How to create and export Solar Studies with Revit

How to create and export Solar Studies with Revit

in Autodesk October 3, 2017

Creating a solar study is a really powerful function in Revit and can be a huge advantage over many other software applications.  Solar studies have many uses as a design tool or presentations for planners and clients, however it's not something everyone knows how to do.  The good news is that creating them is very fast and needs little effort.

First thing you will need to do is decide what view you would like to run the solar study with.  It works well in many views; site plan, elevations, standard 3D views or with an internal camera view, and the good news is the process is the same in all of them.

To create an accurate solar study, you will want to make sure your project has the correct location; you can set this up on the “Project Location” panel under the management tab.  

Once you have done this and you have the view you want, you will need to configure the sun settings and decide if you want shadows to be enabled for your solar study (you probably do). 

Select the Sun Path button on the View Control bar along the bottom of the drawing window and select “Sun Settings”; this will open up the sun settings dialogue box. Depending on what type of solar study you want depends on what options you choose here:

Single Day

1. Choose the option for single day.

2. Set the date, then specify what time you want to run the solar study from/to, or you can tick the box that says “from sunrise to sunset”.

3. Choose the time intervals you wish (15mins/30mins/45mins/1hour).

4. Set your Ground plane level.

5. Save the set-up if you like, for future use.  Click save settings and give the set-up a name.

6. Click apply and OK.



1. Choose the option for Multi-Day.

2. Choose the date you want the solar study to run from and to.

3. Set the from and to time.

4. Choose whether you want it to analyse hourly, daily, weekly or monthly depending on the length of time you have set this up for, some of these settings might not be relevant (for example, it's not recommended choosing hourly if you have a 1 year time scale; this will take a very long time to run through a single cycle).

5. Save the set-up if required.

6. Click apply and OK.


Now, click on the Sun path icon again in the view control bar and there will be an option to “Preview solar study”; select this.

In the options bar at the top of the drawing window there will be a selection of video buttons that become available, if you select the play button, it will play your solar study from start to finish. You can go back into the sun settings to change the time or date to whatever you wish to see the different results. Keep in mind that solar studies are view specific so will only be available in the view you set it up in.

You can now export the solar study out of Revit as an .AVI file for use by others or for a presentation.

Exporting an animated solar study

1. Open the view you set up for the solar study.

2. Go to the applications menu > Export > Images & animations.

3. Select Solar study, a dialogue box will open.

4. You can change the settings here if you wish.

5. Choose the location to save the file.

6. Select the compressor and click OK Depending how long the solar study goes on for will determine how long it takes to export the file out. Once it has finished, you will have an .AVI file you can share out to whoever needs it.



We hope you found this Tips & Tricks helpful. 

Thanks for all your feedback and please keep the suggestions for future tips & tricks coming!

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