Panels & controls

Panels represent controls and data preview to certain functionality of Chameleon. We followed this pattern and implemented several panels. Each provides you with a different type of information. You can choose which ones to keep open based on your current needs. You can also organize them on the screen as you wish or even have them outside of the Rhino® main window.


  • Chameleon Control Panel
  • Area Distribution Panel
  • Metrics Panel
  • Object Info

Chameleon Control Panel

This panel allows users to quickly change simple setting and manage several plug-in's features.
It is divided into several sections that group control of similar purpose.

A) Chameleon panels

Section serves as an easy way how to open rest of the panels related to the plug-in.

B) Visualizations

Purpose of this section is to allow users to quickly change all settings related to plug-in's visualizations.
Proceed to Visualizations to learn more about this feature.

  • Display floors - toggles visualization of buildings' floors
  • Display trees - toggles visualization of trees
  • Display object info - toggles displaying calculated informations right above each object
  • Display errors - toggles exclamation marks above objects that are corrupted (wrong geometry type. etc.)
  • Visualization opacity - controls how transparent visualizations are

C) Detail View Export

As the section's name suggest, this section lets users simplyexport calculated data.
Proceed to Export to Excel to learn more about this feature.

  • Open Excel - Manualy opens Excel to export all calculations
  • Open Excel on load - toggles automaticaly starting excel when project is loaded

D) Import

Use the button in this section to import GIS models to Rhino.

  • Import - button opens a new GIS Import window. Learn how to use it at GIS Import page

Area distribution panel

This panel dysplays all calculations related to area. In case of buildings, it means both footprint and floor area.

A) Panels's controls

First section of the panel is dedicated for controls that lets users to control what information they see.
Panel is able to provide multiple views on the calculated data - it can

  • Sector - allows to select a sector which is going to be displayed. It can either be the whole project or any of the existing sectors. If you do not know what sector is, proceed to Sectors
  • Organize - alows to group results in different way. Possible values are:
    • By type - when selected, presented results are grouped by their type. It means that all categories with the same type will be summed up. For example: If users work with multiple categories for residential buildings, when this option is selected, results will be displayed under 'Residential' column and will include results for each category.
    • By category - when selected, presented results are displayd for each category separately. This view allows users to see more detailed informations about the project.

B) Space distribution

Second section of panel takes only buildings into consideration. It aims to visualize distribution of floor area of the project or any of it's sector.
First part is a donut chart that help to visualy percieve the distribution. Second part is a table (legend) presenting the same results in a different form with some extra values.

C) Land use

The Land Use section displays the area of all elements designed (not only buildings but surroundings too).
It also informs users about how many percents of the plot given category (or grouped categories of the same type) occupies

Metrics panel

Metrics panel provides a simple way how to always know if the project fulfills all regulatory and other needs.
Panel is divided into several section - each informing the user about different aspect. Each section is then divided into several bars - one for the whole project and the rest for all of it's sectors. Bars display the progress of fulfilling the goal which can be eaither set by users themselves, or (in case of car and bike parkings) calculated by the plug-in.

Project analysis

The first section is a summary for every metric that the plug-in analyses. If users want to have an overview of the whole project and it's overall performance, they can see it in this section.
In contrary, it does not display results for sectors - for these detailed informations, users have to take a look at of of the dedicated sections that follow.

Car parkings

Car Parging section helps designers control if the design satisfies demand on parking space or not. Demand of parking spaces is calculated by the plug-in based on constants for buildings.

Bike parkings

Bike Parging section helps designers control if the design satisfies demand on bike parking space or not. Demand of parking spaces is calculated by the plug-in based on constants for buildings.

Floor Space Index

Floor Space Index section informs about the actual FSI calculated for the whole project and it's sectors.
The FSI goal needs to be set by the user.


Density section informs about the actual density calculated for the whole project and it's sectors.
The Density goal needs to be set by the user.

Total Floor Area

Total Floor Area sums up gross floor area for the whole project and it's sectors.
The goal needs to be set by the user.

Total Floor Netto Area

Total Floor Net Area sums up net floor area for the whole project and it's sectors.
The goal needs to be set by the user.

Object info panel

The main purpose of Object info panel is to present current calculations for each object. It has several 'modes' and the content of the panel slightly differs depending on the type of selected object. Some objects of certain categories can also have special functions implemented. For instance: Naming a sector or ovewriting building's composition. These functions are usually accessible through this panel.

Panel has two modes:

  • No object selected - when nothing is selected, panel displays sumarized calculations for the whole project
  • Some object selected - panel displays calculations about the object that is selected. Only calculations relevant to the type of the selected object are displayed.

Special functions

Naming sector
If sector is selected, users can give it custom name to recognize given sector easily. To do so, users need to click on "Set sector name" button which opens a new window, where name can be filled in. Name is saved by clicking on "OK" button.

Building composition for selected building
By default, building composition is defined in a category the object belongs to. In some cases, users needed to create a new category only to change the composition a little bit. It can be cumbersome - especially if there is only one building that requires such change. In order to deal with this problem, it is possible to overwrite the composition provided by category for selected building.

To use this feature, we recommend:

  • If possible custom building composition should be made of the same floor types as the category building composition. - for instance - if the category composition consists of two service ground floors and office floors for the rest, custom composition should not add residential floors. The reason is that variables for computing residential floors are not defined by the user.
  • Feature should be used rather rarely - always consider creating a new category. Over time, if users add more and more buildings with custom compositions, it can be easy to lose track of the origin of the building and it's purpose.

Proceed to Settings to learn how to set everything up