A fast, semi-automated method for visualizing the time-varying effects of radiative heat transfer, including obscuration and multiple reflections, is presented. Starting with a finite element surface description, an analyst assigns “groups” to a model by indicating which elements have the same material and surface properties. The elements within each group are combined into isothermal nodes. View factors are then calculated using a variant of the hemi-cube method. Transient nodal temperatures are calculated using an implicit solution to the finite difference equations derived from the thermal properties of each node and the radiation exchange between nodes.