Tutorials

Fundamentals

The Pathfinder Fundamentals tutorial is designed with no assumption of previous knowledge. The topics covered will include all of the necessary functions to create, customize, and analyze a pedestrian evacuation model. The reader will gain the skills to successfully replicate these actions on other evacuation models.

Learn the basics in Pathfinder Fundamentals
Learn the basics in Pathfinder Fundamentals

How-To

Creating and Importing Geometry

Avoid Unwanted Gaps in Navigation Geometry during Object Movement
This video shows how to avoid creating unwanted gaps in the geometry of a Pathfinder model. Such problems can occur when subdividing geometry to represent auditorium or stadium seating.
Create Elevators
In this video we show how to add elevators to a Pathfinder model.
Create Spiral Stairs
This is a short video tutorial demonstrating a process that may be used to make circular or spiral stairs in Pathfinder.
Create Stairs

This video demonstrates the steps to create a multi-floor stairs with landings between each floor.

Extract Rooms from a 2D DXF File
Download the and follow the guide .
Fix Geometry in Pathfinder Models Created From DWG Files
In this video we show how to fix geometry problems that can result when a Pathfinder model is created using an imported DWG file.
Import DWG or DXF File
This video demonstrates the necessary steps to import a DWG or DXF file and create a model.
Import FDS Geometry
Download the and follow the guide .
Optimize Navigation Geometry

Video tutorial showing how to reduce the number of navigation mesh polygons to enable larger models and shorter simulation run time.

Ramps in Pathfinder
This post demonstrates how to use straight and curved ramps in Pathfinder. Straight ramps are supported using the Create Ramp tool, while curved ramps require CAD import and use of the Extract Floor tool.
Use a Blueprint Image to Sketch a Model
This video demonstrates how to import a blueprint in jpg format and then create the Pathfinder evacuation model by sketching on top of the blueprint.

Defining Occupant Properties

Configure Occupant Color
There are different ways to select and color agents in Pathfinder. This tutorial video shows how to color by agent Profile, Behavior and Occupant Group.
Script Occupant Movement
This system can be used to give individual occupants or groups a sequence of intermediate goals that they will follow during the simulation.
Specify Elevator Door Selection
This video demonstrates more complex elevator door and exit selection. This is useful for elevators with more than one door to enter or exit from.

Analyzing Simulation Results

Pathfinder Debug WindowDebug Pathfinder for Further Inspection
The Debug feature in Pathfinder allows users to see detailed real-time information about the occupants, elevators, and other parts of their simulation.
Fractional Effective Dose Integration with Evacuation Results
Combine evacuation simulations with species volume fractions to output fractional effective dose.
Import Fire and Smoke Slices into Evacuation Results
Slices are results recordings that capture user-defined planar slices of information. This allows the user to spend minimal processing time recording important areas of analysis.
VR in Pathfinder and PyroSim
The next releases of Pathfinder and PyroSim will include the capability to display results using the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset. This post gives a preview of how to use this capability.

Applications

Circulation movement in a cafeteriaCirculation Movement in a Cafeteria
Circulation-based simulations can be approximated through some advanced techniques in Pathfinder. This article will illustrate these techniques through a comparatively simple example.
Comparing NFPA 130, SFPE and Pathfinder
The NFPA 130 Standard for Fixed Guideway Transit and Passenger Rail Systems (2014) covers life safety and fire protection requirements for passenger rail systems.
Coupling PyroSim Fire Results with Pathfinder Movement
We have begun coupling PyroSim fire results with Pathfinder movement. The first major task was to create a Results Viewer that could merge and display PyroSim and Pathfinder results simultaneously. That has largely been completed. We have also completed limited capability to calculate the Fractional Effective Dose (FED) as occupants move through changing CO, CO2, and O2 concentrations. Future development will use PyroSim results to alter occupant movement and decision making within the Pathfinder simulation. In this post, we demonstrate the capability currently available in Pathfinder 2018.1 and PyroSim 2017.2. See the post Manually Coupling FDS and Pathfinder to Respond to Smoke for instructions on how to link fire simulation output with evacuation simulation movement
Evacuation of Theatres and Stadiums
In this video we show how to effectively simulate evacuation of theaters and stadiums using Pathfinder.
Evacuation using Familiar Routes
Using Pathfinder, we show how to require some occupants to evacuate using familiar routes.
Group Movement in Pathfinder
In Pathfinder 2018.1, occupants can be assigned to groups that move together during the simulation. In this post, we illustrate a few use cases.
Hospital Evacuation using PathfinderHospital Evacuation using Pathfinder
In this post, we use Pathfinder to replicate two of the evacuation simulations that Aoife Hunt calculated using buildingEXODUS.
IFC Import to Pathfinder (and PyroSim)
The next releases of Pathfinder and PyroSim will include the capability to import Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) files that describe building data. In Pathfinder, this can significantly speed model creation since it includes automatic extraction of  floors, doors, and stairs. This post demonstrates this feature.
Manually Coupling FDS and Pathfinder to Respond to Smoke
A long-term development goal has been to fully couple the PyroSim/FDS fire results with Pathfinder evacuation. A first step toward this goal is the capability to display both fire and evacuation results in the same results viewer. However, full coupling of the two simulations has not been completed. In the interim, it is possible to run the fire simulation, monitor the reduced visibility due to smoke, and then manually use that information to slow and re-direct occupants in response to the fire. This provides an example.
Model Aircraft Evacuation

This video demonstrates the variables that may have an effect on evacuation time from aircraft cabins.

Monte Carlo Simulations in Pathfinder
Pathfinder 2018.3 will include basic monte carlo simulation tools to automate multiple simulations where the initial positions and properties of occupants are randomized. This post demonstrates this capability.
Pathfinder at People Movement and Management Show
In July of 2017, Thunderhead participated in the People Movement and Management Show held in Derby, UK. Our goal was to introduce Pathfinder to the people movement audience. Pathfinder was originally developed for emergency evacuation simulation as a companion product to PyroSim, our fire simulator. But we are adding features that will make it possible ...
Pathfinder: Merging Behavior on Stairs
During evacuation using stairs, the geometry of the stairs and landings can change the merging behavior. On the landing, the occupants entering from the floor must merge with the occupants already on the incoming stairs. This post discusses Pathfinder simulations of these effects.
Refuge Floor, Firefighters, and Elevators
In this example, we show some advanced evacuation features of Pathfinder: a refuge floor, evacuation using banks of elevators, and firefighters in stairs moving against the flow in the evacuation of a high-rise building.
Subway Station Passenger Movement using Pathfinder
This post demonstrates how to use Pathfinder to simulate movement in a subway station, with trains arriving and departing from the station. A growing list of features not specific to evacuation, such as occupant sources and assisted evacuation, make Pathfinder applicable to a much broader range of pedestrian movement problems.

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