Custom visualization bounds: animating through timesteps & creating spatio-temporal maps

As described in “Color & data output”, Mr.Comfy usually takes the gradient lower/upper bounds straight from the zone data stream. This is good for quick mapping, but yields less total color variation when animating / walking through individual timesteps. In that case, it would be desirable to set the gradient bounds from a larger range that contains all the values that can occur when stepping through the report range.

This is where visualization_bounds_mode (1) applies. If set to “custom range”, the visualization_bounds_start/end_time (2) slider pair defines the range from which the custom upper / lower gradient bounds are taken. Input for the sliders is in hourly format, but when the reporting_frequency changes, the provided date is locked to the day or month the selected hour is on- as indicated in the “Visualization Bounds Time Range” panel (3); scheduling is always in effect (unless in hourly mode, which has no scheduling). Annual reporting frequency cannot have custom visualization bounds.

08_customViz

In effect, setting point in time mode for a given frequency (e.g. monthly), selecting custom visualization bounds (e.g. the whole year) and stepping through the months will show how zone values change throughout the year per time step, in relation to one another and the minimum / maximum report variable values. You can thus easily create e.g. monthly performance maps (like the one on the “Example files” page) that show how performance changes seasonally; animate a point in time GH slider and save the output images for custom compositing.

Custom bounds are also useful to decrease color contrast between zones when mapping statically; bounds “fit_to_input” mode will emphasize even small zone value differences, while setting “custom_range” and mapping a shorter (e.g. seasonal) report range within them more closely color-clusters similar report values, since the bounds now relate to, say, the whole year.

Daylight color bounds input control functions identically to the thermal principles and is input through the same sliders, slaved through the Mr.Comfy component to retain display synchronization and lessen GUI feature duplication.

The way the custom bounds mode lower/upper values are generated specifically depends on the average_or_sum_mode and range_or_point_in_time_mode combinations. If in average mode, in both report range or point in time mode, bounds are the time step minimum and maximum peaks from the indicated visualization range, since those are the extremes that will be hit during a traversal. Hence, when animating through report time steps, zone value averages are seen to shift in relationship to the whole visualization range (and you can e.g. see in the colors “it gets warmer in summer and colder in winter, in that zone more than in the other one”).

Sum mode in range mode takes the time step peak minimum as lower bound and the largest zone total value as maximum bound, allowing the user to observe how values grow when lengthening a report range (and you can e.g. see in the colors “energy consumption in the East spaces is really growing fast, as opposed to zones facing South” – or maybe North, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere). Point in time mode in sum mode again takes time step minimum and maximum peaks from the visualization range, since no summing beyond the time step within its schedule happens here- similar in behavior to the average mode.