Help

The Analysers

The SmartSpaceAnalyser component offers functionality in the form of four different analysers. Specific details on how to use each of these tools can be found on the following pages:

Distance To 

How far away is everything from one or more locations?

Average Distance 

What is the average distance to all locations from all locations?

Visibility 

What can I see from my current location?

Field of View 

What is directly visible from my current location? What is in my peripheral vision?



For more general help on using the SmartSpaceAnalyser tool please investigate the page below.

Getting Started

 

To use SmartSpaceAnalyser you will need to have Rhinoceros 5 and Grasshopper installed.

Installation


1. Download the SmartSpaceAnalyser (SSA) installer and extract the executable file.

2. Double click the SSA_Intaller_Beta.exe icon. You may be prompted to accept changes from this publisher, click Yes.

3. A window welcoming you to the SmartSpaceAnalyser installer will open. At this point you will be prompted to close both Rhinoceros 5 and Grasshopper before proceeding with the installation.

 

4. If both Rhinoceros 5 and Grasshopper are closed, click Next.

5. You will be prompted to choose in which folder to install SSA. The default location is the Grasshopper Components folder and should not be changed. Simply click Install to begin the installation.

6. If you do not have the correct Microsoft .NET Framework you will be prompted to install it. 

7. If you do not have the correct Visual C++ Redistributable Package you will be prompted to install it.

8. You have now completed Installation. If setup was completed successfully you can view details of the installation process. Click Close to exit the installer.

9. Open Rhino 5

10. Load Grasshopper by typing 'Grasshopper' in the Rhino command line. You should now see the SmartSpaceAnalyser tab in Grasshopper.

You are now ready to start using SmartSpaceAnalyser!

 

The Component

The inputs required to run SmartSpaceAnalyser and the outputs produced vary depending on the analyser type being used. Below are the definitions of all inputs, outputs and analyser settings.

 

 

Help Button

 

?   Help documentation can be accessed by clicking on the help button at the top of the component.

 

Inputs

 

1. Analysis area

Analysis area is an input required by all analysers and defines the area you wish to analyse. The input can be any kind of closed planar curve. Multiple Analysis areas can be used simultaneously but each must have its own Target point / Target line (see Input 3). All Analysis areas must be completely enclosed by an Obstacle (see Input 2). This enclosing obstacle can either be the same geometry as the Analysis area or a separate set of geometry.

2. Obstacles

Obstacles is an input required by all analysers and is the set of geometry representing all obstacles or objects (e.g. walls, buildings, desks) within your Analysis area. The input can be any kind of planar curve. Note that using curved lines will reduce the speed of the analysers – curved lines will be automatically converted to short straight line segments resulting in a higher computational cost for all analysers. Note also that one or more Obstacles must enclose your Analysis area.

3. Target lines / Target points

The Target lines / Target points input will change automatically depending on the Analyser type (see Options 14) selected and is needed for all analysers.

Target lines is required for the Field of view analyser only and is a straight line or set of lines where the first point of each line represents the position of the observer and the second point defines the direction of view. All Target lines must be placed within the Analysis area.

Target points is required for all analysers except for Field of view and is a point geometry or set of points where each point represents the location of an observer. All Target points must be placed within the Analysis area.

Top Tip: When multiple targets are added the analysis result will be calculated for all targets simultaneously to produce a single colour map. To produce a set of images (one for each target) the set of targets must be input as a tree rather than a list. This is done by ‘Grafting’ the geometry component. Right click on the geometry or point component containing multiple targets and click Graft. The output is now passed as a tree.

4. Visible angle / -

The Visible angle input is an optional input that is only available for the Field of view analyser. The input is a number in degrees which defines the extent of the observer’s view, i.e. a value of 45 would define a field of view of 45 degrees to either side of the Target line. The default value is set to 90 degrees and will be used if no input is connected.

5. Visible distance/ -

The Visible distance input is an optional input that is only available for the Visibility to and Field of view analysers. The input is a number in metres which defines the extent of the observer’s view, i.e. a value of 10 would define a visible distance as 10m from the Target point or Target line. By default there is no maximum distance unless specified by the user.

6. Resolution

Resolution is an optional input for all analysers. This adjusts the number of measure points used (measure points per unit area) and therefore the quality of the output colour map. The default value is set to 1 measure point per unit area and will be used if no input is connected.

Top Tip: There is a limit to the number of measure points allowed in any analysis (~100,000). If the combination of Analysis area size and Resolution would result in greater than 100,000 measure points, Resolution is automatically reduced to the highest possible value and a notification is displayed to inform the user of the change in settings.

 

7. Lower limit

Lower limit is a numerical input defining the lower value of the colour gradient. If no input is provided the lowest value from the data output is used to set the gradient Lower limit.

 

8. Upper limit

Upper limit is a numerical input defining the upper value of the colour gradient. If no input is provided the highest value from the data output is used to set the gradient Upper limit.

9. Save path

Save path is an optional input available for all analysers. If a save path is provided the component will save a capture of the active viewport in Rhino for every new output created. The captures will be saved in the folder of your choice. The input is text, for example from a panel component, containing the full path of the destination folder, e.g. C:\Users\<username>\Desktop\Frames".

Outputs

10. - / Surfaces / Meshes / Curves / Obstacles

The geometry output is dependent on the specified Output type.

If Only data is selected as the Output type no geometry output will be provided.

If Surfaces (A) is selected as the Output type a list of meshes will be provided as the output. This list represents one individual mesh for each measure point where the mesh is to be coloured by the data value at its centre point (the measure point).

If Meshes (B) is selected as the Output type a single mesh will be provided as the output. The mesh will be coloured by the vertices to produce a smooth continuous colour map.

If Curves (C) is selected as the Output type only the curves around each measure point will be provided as the output. This can be useful is you wish to post-process and edit the data in some way. 

If Obstacles (D) is selected as the Output type a list of line segments will be provided as the output representing the set of obstacles which are to be coloured.

 

11. Points

Points provides a list of the [x, y, z] coordinates of all the measure points used for the analysis. For each point there will be a corresponding data value (Data) and colour (RGB).

12. Data

Data provides a list of data values for all the measure points used for the analysis. For each Data value there will be a corresponding coordinate (Points) and colour (RGB).

13. RGB

RGB provides a list of colours for all the measure points used for the analysis. For each RGB value there will be a corresponding coordinate (Points) and data value (Data). 

Options

14. Analyser

In the Analyser drop-down menu you select the analysis type to be run – Distance to, Distance average, Visibility to, or Field of view. See the individual sections of documentation for details of each analyser.

When changing between Analyser types the Run Analyser check box will automatically be unchecked to avoid unwanted analysis from starting. When changing between Field of view and any other Analyser type be aware that the Angle and Target point / Target line inputs will change type.

15. Output

In the Output drop down menu you select the type of geometry to be output – Only data, Surfaces, Meshes, Curves, or Obstacles. For details on the different output geometries see Output 10.

16. Run analyser

When the Run Analyser check box is un-ticked changes can be made to the model and component inputs without analysis being recomputed. When the box becomes ticked the analysis begins. While the box remains ticked any changes to the component inputs will restart the analysis.

Top tip: If you start an analysis which you decide you would like to stop before completion, press escape at any time during the computation.

17. Accumulate Data

Multiple target points/lines can be specified (see Input 3) which can either be treated as multiple targets for one single analysis or as a list of targets to be considered one after the other in a series of analysis runs. In the latter case, if Accumulate Data is unticked, each new result will replace the previous result. If Accumulate Data is ticked then each new result will be added to the previous result. For example, for a visibility to analysis the final result with multiple target points using Accumulate Data would be an image showing areas coloured based on whether they were visible during any of the analysis runs.

18. Refine Mesh

When using the Output type Surfaces, the refine mesh button can be used to improve the quality of the mesh along boundaries and obstacles. When Refine Mesh is unticked the colour map will be displayed as a uniform grid of individually coloured squares (left below), when refine mesh is ticked the colour map will be displayed using a mesh which matches the shape of obstacles (right below). While this option does improve the quality of the output it will also increase computation time.

 

19. Gradient

The Gradient tool makes use of an existing Grasshopper feature available as a separate component in Grasshopper. The Lower limit and Upper limit for the colour gradient are controlled by Inputs 7 and 8. Double clicking one of the ‘grips’ at either end of the gradient allows you to change the colour to the left or right of the gradient range – this can be particularly useful for setting the colour for inaccessible sections of a model. Many other features for the colour gradient can be controlled using the following Grasshopper documentation tips:

 

  • You can activate the Gradient Editor by double clicking on a Gradient control. The Gradient Editor allows you to alter the colours and position of each grip.
  • By default, colours between grips are interpolated smoothly. If you change the Gradient type to Linear, the colour transitions across grips will become sharp.
  • If you lock a gradient, you will no longer be able to drag the grips. If you want to change a locked gradient, you can either unlock it temporarily or use the Gradient Editor, which is never locked.
  • You can alter the position of a grip without the Gradient Editor by dragging it along the Gradient rail.
  • You can alter the colour of a grip without the Gradient Editor by right clicking on the grip.
  • You can add new grips by clicking and dragging from the spectrum icon in the upper left corner. New grips are assigned a random colour, but once you place it on the rail, a colour menu will pop up automatically.
  • You can remove grips by dragging them off the gradient area. You have to drag them well beyond the gradient extents. 

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