Calculation Viewer - Analysis Modes

The Licaso Calculation Viewer provides a number of ways to examine your calculated results when using a rendered view (Main view or Add view - Rendering). The default mode is an RGB visualization depicting luminance, or reflected light rendered for the day and time shown in the View Display Settings. The luminance display is the truest image as the interaction between the light and surface color/reflectance is considered. Illuminance can also be also be visualized, which provides a display based on the final amount of light incident on all surfaces. The illuminance image will appear artificially bright for environments with dark surfaces. Both luminance and illuminance can be shown in Pseudocolor, and an upper limit can be set to allow direct comparison of images with different lighting solutions. To further enhance the display of calculated quantities, the Contours selection provides access to Spatial Maps and Isolines and the ability to control their settings.


The Calculation Viewer


Analysis Mode Illustrated Explained
Contours button

The Contours button controls the display of Spatial Maps and Isolines as visual enhancements to the visualization of calculated quantities.

A click on the Contours button will enable or disable (toggle) the display of the current selection, Isolines, Spatial Maps or both.

Contours can also be controlled from the View Display Settings panel.

Contours Settings

Contour values are automatically selected based on the metric being displayed. You can add contours by typing in the "Add New" area. If the Smart Colors box is enabled the new contour value will assume it's place in the list and be assigned an intermediate color. Contours can be disabled by unchecking the selection, or removed by clicking the minus sign to the right of the color.

Spatial Maps are simply gradients of the same color scheme as Isolines.


Scheme 1 - Follows the longest path around the color wheel from the min color to the max color interpolating the intermediate colors for the other values.

Scheme 2 - Sets dark blue as the minimum color and red as the maximum color. Yellow is set as a third value halfway in-between. Additional values added are interpolated between existing value colors. This is the Licaso default scheme from older versions of the software.

Scheme 3 - Uses fixed standard colors from the color dialog.

Smart Colors


The Smart Colors checkbox is enabled by default. This feature will automatically select a color when you enter a new value based on the current Scheme.
Pseudocolor button The Pseudocolor menu contains all settings for the rendered display calibration. The default display mode is RGB with Default Luminance scaling. Clicking on the button will switch the display to pseudocolor with default scaling. If other settings are selected (illuminance for example), the button will toggle between that setting and RGB of the same metric.


or Grayscale selections

Pseudocolor view of Illuminance with linear scale

Grayscale view of Illuminance with linear scale


Pseudocolor is a remarkably effective method for interpreting the quantity of light incident on any surface (illuminance) or reflected from any surface (luminance). The maximum value for the color scale is red, corresponding to the highest light level, while the lowest value is deep blue. The maximum value can be set using the Custom Maximum control.


The Grayscale display works in the same way as Pseudocolor and is simply a monochromatic view of absolute luminance or illuminance.


The Pseudocolor or Grayscale display can be scaled linearly or logarithmically. The Power Law option is useful when attempting to "stretch out" the lower light ranges.


The Pseudocolor button will toggle the currently selected mode (Pseudocolor or Grayscale) on and off, with standard RGB being the default display mode. The previously used setting is always retained.

Luminance (Pseudocolor button)

Luminance display with Default Maximum applied

Selecting Luminance from the Pseudocolor menu will calibrate the visualization for luminance (reflected light) in cd/m2. The Default setting calibrates (exposes) the rendered appearance such that the average scene luminance is assigned to an 18% reflectance gray and the visualization is scaled linearly from there.


Alternatively, the white point of the display can be set to a Custom Maximum or to the calculated Interior or Exterior Maximum value as calculated. In this case the display is scaled linearly downward.


You may elect to adjust the Exposure to make the visualization look more realistic (i.e. the average reflectance of the scene is higher or lower than 18%).




Illuminance display with Default Maximum applied

Selecting Illuminance from the Pseudocolor menu calibrates the visualization for illuminance (incident light) in footcandles or lux. In RGB mode colors will appear unnatural and dark surfaces artificially bright. The best use for the Illuminance mode is in partnership with Pseudocolor mode.


If the set Custom Maximum property is enabled, the white point of the display will be set to the maximum illuminance value entered. The Interior and Exterior Maximum* cells will calibrate the white point to the respective calculated maximums.

If no Maximum is selected, the average surface illuminance is used to calibrate the display.


* The maximum calculated illuminance is not the maximum calculation point, but rather the maximum luminous exitance in the scene, converted to illuminance (incident light).


Mesh Overlay

Default Mesh

Color Mesh


Patch Element Mesh

The Default and Color Mesh options in the Mesh Overlay command superimpose the radiosity element (receiver) mesh over the current view. The element mesh shows how each surface is subdivided to account for changes in luminance. The Color Mesh provides the option to see the scaled Pseudocolor hues in element mesh, which can be informative when observing luminance or illuminance gradients.


The Patch/Element option shows both elements (receivers) and Patches (emitters) for the environment. Elements are shown in red while Patches are shown in blue. Intelligent inspection of the Patch/Element mesh can be very informative when evaluating the mesh density for calculation rigor.


The Mesh Overlay command will remember its last setting, so that the selected mesh type can be toggled on and off without having to select a mesh preference.