Dctimestep indexed output

Hi all, I hope that I can find help regarding this question: we are generating HDR images using the Five-Phase Method, my question (I guess), has to do with the following sentence in the description of the new releases:

Version 5.3 (Released September 1, 2020)
>> Changed indexed (numbered) output from dctimestep to start from 0 rather
than 1, to make it more consistent with expected input naming.

I’ve noticed that, in the Three-Phase Method, the images start with 0000, however with the Three-Phase-Direct and the Sun-Coefficient, the output is printed starting with 0001.

dctimestep -o results/3ph/mid_%04d.hdr matrices/vmtx/mid_%03d.hdr ./xml/mid.xml matrices/dmtx/mid.dmx skies/City-march21-m4.smx

The issue comes with the combination of all the phases. Ex. considering only 1 day= 24 hours, since I have images from 0 to 23 (three phase) and from 1 to 24 (Three-phase-Direct and Sun-Coefficient).
either I put
0…23 --> not such a file or directory for the 0000 file or
1…24 --> not such a file or directory for the 0024 file

I wonder if the fact that dctimestep outputs images from 0001 for the Three-phase direct and sun coefficient, could be connected to some other issue?

Not sure if this is related, but when doing the simulations with the Three-Phase, there is a warning at the end: warning - changing output type to -oc

My version: RADIANCE 5.3a 2020-08-29 LBNL (5.3.8f3acff297)

I would appreciate your help regarding this issue, thanks in advance

Hi Chantal,

I’m not 100% clear on your issue. Can you give the other command that is producing file indices starting from 1? I need to know both commands and have a better idea of the inputs to figure out what is going on. The command you gave should produce files starting with 0000 and continuing until nsteps-1, and that sounds like what you are getting. What command produces indices starting from 1? It may be possible to adjust that command, but we need to see it.

The warning message is just because you didn’t specify “-oc” on the command line to indicate that you want an HDR image as output. It’s not related to the indexing issue.

Hi Greg, thank you so much for your reply,

The command that is giving output starting from 0001 is also dctimestep but for the Direct Solar Contribution of the Three-Phase Method, and also, the multiplication to get the Sun-Coefficient Simulation, below the lines:

For the ‘Three Phase Direct’ simulation:

dctimestep -o results/3phdir/mid-t0_%04d.hdr matrices/vmtxd/hdrLum/mid_%03d.hdr ./xml/mid.xml matrices/dmtxd/mid.dmx skies/Cityd-march21-m4.smx

For the ‘Sun Coefficient’:

dctimestep -o results/cds/mid-t0_%04d.hdr matrices/cds/hdrw/mid-t0_%04d.hdr skies/Cityds-march21-m4.smx

In both of those cases I get images starting with 0001, while for the ‘Three Phase’ simulation, I get images starting with 0000.

Something I noticed after posting the message: in the tutorial (p.43), it mentions that the View Matrix Images output should be numbered 001 to 145, while for us is from 000 to 144. The line to get the View Matrix (Three Phase Direct) is just like in the tutorial (p.78):

vwrays -vf views/desk.vf -x 400 -y 400 -pj 0.7 -c 9 -ff | rfluxmtx -v -ffc -i vwrays -vf views/desk.vf -x 400 -y 400 -d -o matrices/vmtxd/hdrillum/mid_%03d.hdr -ab 1 -ad 1000 -lw 1e-4 -c 9 -n 16 - objects/mid-glazing.rad -i octrees/model3phdirect.oct

This line outputs images from 000 to 144, so my next line (to get Luminance converted images) would be:

for idx in {00…144}; do pcomb -h -e ‘ro=ri(1)*ri(2);go=gi(1)*gi(2);bo=bi(1)*bi(2)’ -o matrices/vmtxd/mmap3phD-mid.hdr -o matrices/vmtxd/hdrillum/mid_${idx}.hdr > matrices/vmtxd/hdrLum/mid_${idx}.hdr; done

I posted that in case that is related to the previous issue, I hope that is not so confusing, Please let me know if you need some more information,
Thank you so much in advance


I’m still puzzled why you would get a sequence of images starting from 0001 in your sun commands. Is it possible for you to post your sun coefficient files, somewhere?

Hi Greg, Thank you so much, you can find the files in the links below,

For the Sun Coefficient:

For the Three-Phase-Direct (since its also showing the same problem):

I copied what I thought it would be useful, please let me know if you need to look to other files…

Thank you so much for your help, and waiting for your comments

Kind Regards

Hi Chantal,

It’s easiest for me if you provide all of the input files needed to run one of your problem commands. I wasn’t able with either of your uploads to run any of the commands due to lots of missing files and directories. Perhaps you can create a simpler set-up that reproduces the same issue? Without knowing your inputs, it’s difficult to interpret the output.


Hi Greg,
Sorry about the confusion with the files. Actually, this seems to be a problem of a messy installation, while preparing the files to upload again in dropbox I realized that now we are back to a 5.2 RADIANCE version. Here at the Institute, they installed a new Debian version during the weekend, my workstation was beta-test before the complete upgrade. Honestly I don’t know if this is related, or how this happened but this is the only explanation I can find at the moment, I need to find out more with the IT guys before continuing with the question. At least now I have the same numbering for all the Phases of the Method.
Sorry about the confusing issue and thank you again for your help.
Kind Regards

Well, I’m somewhat relieved to hear that it’s a mixed-version issue, since I couldn’t figure out what else might be going on. This really should have been flagged as a “breaking change” when it was checked in. I didn’t realize it was going to impact user’s scripts and so on, but I see now that it has.

I just wanted to confirm that the issue was about two different versions installed 5.2 and 5.3a, another colleague installed his own and our workstations were linked as we were sharing another program, so somehow the RAD installation got messed-up. We will use only one version from now on. Thank you again.