Monday, December 15, 2008
I'm not going to repeat the basics that are found in the AutoCAD help or the tutorials. I want to focus on the extra tips for use here in Oz (and anywhere else :-) Here I am going to focus on creating a Gablet (dutch Gable to some) (Gablet-UK) plus a couple of other tips including adding infill, the barge board and dealing with the overhang (underhang?). The methods here can be used for creating other roof shapes such as a Dutch Gable.. Roof types with 2 constant slopes like the 'Pizza Hut' roof or the 'Mansard' (or American dutch gable,) the flat top roof with a skirt around are better created using the 'Double Slope' option in the Properties Pallete.
Create your rectangular roof with a hip end. Select the roof object & right click. Choose 'Properties' and on the tool pallete select 'Edges/Faces'.
(Note: This dialogue box shows the roof object tool's incomplete nature in several ways.) If you want to change the whole roof pitch DON'T do it here. You can only change one at a time.
Do it on the properties pallete under 'Slope'. You can however change overhangs 'en masse' by selecting one, several or all of the edges using Windows standard Control or Shift key options.
Now the lower panel shows a slope per selected edge and if you select multiple edges the lower panel greys out. Let's cancel out and get back another way so we know which edge we are editing.
Hint : If you can't change the slope in the properties pallete then it's possibly because you have edited an edge and added an additional individual slope so make your broad changes first before editing edges.
Cancel out and again select the roof again. Right click and select 'Edit Edges' and choose the right & left edges. Where-as before the dialogue box showed you all 4 edges, you now only have the 2 edges you selected. Select the first edge in the top panel and then click below the last entry in the 2nd panel under the 'Face' column. You have now added a 2nd plane for this edge. It will have the same slope as the main roof. Click in the slope column for this 2nd face and change the slope to 90 (vertical gable face). Now in the height column enter the height from the pitching (not eave) edge back to the face of the gable. I find this hit & miss but I get it eventually. (I'm sure you could do it mathematically.) Your height may be above the ridge so your gable may not show up. Adjust the height until it does. You now have your 'Dutch gable'. A reverse Dutch Gable can also be created by reversing the slopes for the 1st & 2nd slopes. i.e. A gable chopped short with a hip over.
Now gables look better with an overhang so how do you do that (remember: The OOTB roof object will not overlap itself). Here's my best work around. Create a small section of roof (object) with slope to one edge and 90 slope to the other three. Position and shape it as the roof section that is overhung. i.e. the 2 side edges at 45d to align with the hips. In an 'isoview', align the new section to the existing roof. Make sure your roofs 'Edge Cut' are set to plumb (properties pallette).
The only drawback to this solution is a line on your aecElevations from the model but it's minor and you could pretend it's the flashing line for the gable wall over the roof sheet below.
Tip: If you have hatching to your roof material, setting the material hatching orientation to global will ensure the hatching to both objects align for your elevaiton.
Tip: Generally I position (in iso view) a wall style at the back bottom edge of this item, give it a very small wall height (10mm) and project the wall into the main roof object to create my gable infill. This peculiar wall style might have a frame & cladding componant so that I can apply a profile for the cladding. Note: If your gable wall is too high it will fail to project being taller that the lowest portion of the roof. It must be all below it (hence the 10mm height & bottom edge).
Gutter & fascia are taken care of by my wall style. But what about the gable end barges? I use another roof object! Draw a roof 50mm wide, set slope as per main roof and edit back & front edge slopes to 90 degrees. Ensure your roofs 'Edge Cut' are set to plumb (tool pallette – wish that was default!). Many use structural members and they have their strengths (getting quantities) but if you don't need Q's then the roof object is easier to adjust quickly because it maintains it's slope when the overall size is adjusted to suit different width. (It would be great if you had the edge option of 'Flat' along with 'Square' and 'Plumb' but as this is only for 3D and the unwanted portion of the barge dissappears into the roof then I am unconcerned ). Set your barge material on the first one (remember – no styles) and then copy around, adjusting as necessary. Remember to adjust the width in plan view and place using snaps in an 'isoview'. As the slope is set in the roof object it will keep that slope as you adjust the width - which is why I use them rather than a structural object. Update: You can use this option but I now use a structural object to get more detail for rendering.
Tip: Once you have built this 'circus', you can use an object anchor to tie it all together.
aecobjectanchorattach (alias to AOA or something simple). Object anchors are cool but they can cause unexpected behaviour in connected objects so keep an eye on them.
To get around the aecRoof Object's limitation WRONG of not being able to overhang itself UPDATE you can split the roof as I've done here. This takes a little planning but I've simply traced the main roof around the valley connection to the raised roof and given those valley edges a 90 (vertical) slope. Because the raised portion is a seperate roof object it can overlap as required.
Tip: When in the initial design phase, don't worry about untidy roof's if you have several roof objects overlapping. They won't show on your model or elevations as they will be inside the roof. That way, rather than convert to slabs, you can review the overall roof and perhaps replace it with one or more aecRoof Objects when the time comes to do documentation.
Again I prefer to use a roof object. Like the gable overhang infill trick above, just isolate the slope to 1 edge and you can wrap around a main roof (wall). Of course without the ability to add vertices, make one mistake and you have to do it all over again. WRONG!
Tip: Create the roof with a 90 slope then edit the edges you need to slope. You will be editing less edges.
Roof hips for metal roof's Update: You can use this option but I now use a structural object to get more detail for rendering.
Here again I've found the Roof Object to be simple and versitile. Only necessary if you render or like your elevations to look complete rather than basic. Not having styles is a drawback but if you make the first one the correct setup and copy it around it's okay. These can be tricky and are fragile. You have two bottom edges with the roof slope on a 6 sided object. The other edges are 90 slope (vertical). Make the thickness around 5 to 10mm and sit on your main roof. Make the ridges thicker and they will sit above the hips like they do in real life. Ok I've also added a 50mm round structural object to get roller ridge capping which costs more but is much better looking.
There are a couple more small tricks to using the roof object successfully and I will try to be prompt in providing those secrets shortly.
Now why would you do all this and not switch to slabs? Well I'm just showing you the options 'is all'. Simpler roofs don't need the slab and it's easier to manage one object (KISS). The hips stay aligned to one another. Be free to continue using slabs if you have them mastered and are happy with them. If you want to stretch an edge and want to see the rest of the roof adjust automatically though, you may want to revisit the roof object.
Best to ya (Now when did I really post this one? :-)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Here's a couple of articles on the Archidigm site that illustrate some techniques for creating roofs. Check out this great article on the roof object (I think before aecRoofslabs existed) that Odin wrote based on ADT1 (07/99) and another article. Unfortunately Adesk has never felt that an obscure architectural item such as a roof deserved further treatment.
It seems the guiding wisdom is to convert to slabs and I think because of that the roof object has not been fully explored.
If you are doing mostly residential work, then check out VisionRez's roof object (here compared with the ADT roof, and see what a roof tool should be. It will make your life much easier but unfortunately does not doGablets (Gamblets-UK) like I demonstrate below. VisionRez has some downloadable video's that can be helpful in creating roof's. Most though refer directly to it's own (great) roof tool) but there is some mention of the ADT tool. On reviewing VisionRez's superb rendered images I was struck by the fact that there wasn't a single Gablet (Gamblet-UK) roof. It seems the US just don't do it. But here in the west it's a very common feature (out of fashion at the moment but still used). This is easy to create and adjust using the roof object but it's not obvious so I'm going to show you how with the Roof Object in ADT / ACA.
So to the Roof Obect. You just have to treat her gently and you can get some use from her. Together with my eaves object (wall style) seen in my post here, you can have a simply created model ready to produce 'anatomically' correct renderings, aecElevations and aecSections that you won't need to explode or adjust further.
Some points that hamper the Roof Object that do keep it from being a complete tool
- The roof object is treated as a sketch tool and does not have styles. Adding aecMaterials would be done globally or per object over-ride. (This affects how you go about a project. Get one right and copy it around otherwise you will have to change each one.) Update: In ACA2009 you can now use MatchProperties to copy display overrides from one roof object to another which makes the above 'hamper' no longer much of an issue at all.
- You cannot add vertices after you have created your roof. If you need to, you will have to re-create from scratch. (Good practise!) WRONG - see my update in Part 5!
- Tthere are a small number of situations where it goes haywire. (such as a slightly out of square perimeter). Solution - draw accurately!
- It cannot overlap itself. This affects dutch gable overhangs and roofs that turn on themselves. VisionRez's roof can do this. WRONG! Let me show you how to do it with the ACA roof!
- Being a complete object it will adjust each plane when you adjust another. I like that. You can add gables, dutch gables & gablets after the fact. Rather than using an edge style to a slab, restricting my gutter & fascia to the same colour, I can use my 'gutter wall style' . This also allows you the flexibility for you gutter path apart from your roof. Automation is great but it can be painful when it doesn't work for every situation.
Click here for all roof posts
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Firstly, you may try using DoorWindowAssemblies but they look different to std windows, you can't add sills and headers the same way and well, they just feel over the top. If you do commercial work then dive in because DWA's are the go but for residential, it just feels that it should be easier. One big ticket item for me is that you can add a manufacturers standard sizes into the window style but you can't do that with a DWA. It just makes it easier to size windows.
The file is posted here. And yes it's the wrong place!! It should have gone in the adt.content.
Now I don't consider these finished but someone asked about this idea and I haven't revisited it for months. So I thought I'd post them and see what you think.
If you have any extra tips to improve it please let me know or if you add some styles we can share with everybody. So check it out and let me know what you think. Hopefully the file itself holds enough info.
ps. wow! I missed September. Thanks for coming back. I finally reinstalled windows, ACA09, etc etc and have my desktop back :-)
The windows are based on Stegbar's Std cat. Sliding windows but they could be adapted for Awning and casement. They will elevate like an OOTB window with arrow for sliding direction. The idea was that you could mistake them for OOTB objects. There is also DWA's in the same file that are along the same lines. But .... the file is a WorkInProgress so excuse the mess!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Using the poly as a masking object will cause it to ignore your hatch settings just in case you were wondering!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Or maybe I am too busy to go to that level of detail and will have to outsource to someone with more time.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
EntRef - Ever heard of this one? Nor had I and it's not documented. It's kind of a cheap block. It can only contain 1 item, Acad OR ACA. It doesn't have a name but you can create an object and copy it around. If you move the original, all others will move. If you alter the original, all the copies will be updated. Archidigm shows a possible use for the EntRef command here. (It's copying a downpipe around the building). You could use it for a text item that is repeated.
James, I had a quick play with an ENTREF of a window for the purpose of creating a window schedule and it seemed to work. The copy is not added to a schedule as it is recognised as a copy of the original, not a seperate frame. My schedule is set to automatically add frames and I also tried to add it manually. The EntRef updated in size when I changed the original but the dim's don't auto-update. Possibly you could construct a schedule and bring the EntRef in for the graphic but I could not block *1 the EntRef for auto insertion but at least there is a connection. The copy did not need the wall to anchor either. mmm... perhaps some possibility there for further exploration.
*1 Did you know that schedules in 09 can include a block!
Friday, August 22, 2008
There is also a good option to download the free RPCcreator from Archivsion which will allow you to create your own RPC objects from your own maps as well as have access to their large library. It's based on it's big brother, to be had for a price. I became obsessed with making my own maps so I have many that I wanted to use. I tried the RPCcreatorFree but I was impatient with the long process to create and was concerned about the hard coding of file paths but I could be wrong on that.
Anyway onto revealing some tips.I have all my maps in folders (duh) organised how I like. In AutoCAD each folder path MUST be entered under OPTIONS- FILES-Texture Maps Search Path. It's important NOT to allow Acad to save the search path in the LO. as it hardcodes it, preventing you from altering your folder structure. Going to another office will 'break' your LO if the paths are different. I have set up several times over the years and if I decide to re-organise where and how I sort my maps, I don't want to break my LO. (See image below)
You might choose to group them in folders, ie. Tree, Plant, People, Stone, Roof, etc. (I have my general textures with my LO textures) so you will add each folder to the search path.
Here are some great resources on rendering and the landscape tool in the OLD engine from Archidigm. 1,2, & 3 . Always great tips from Odin!
You can use a variety of bitmap formats for LO's (& textures). Jpg's are efficient size. PNG's will display transparent when making a movie but the quality is so bad that you probably wouldn't worry about it. .png's are good for maps you place with Photosomething after rendering as they can carry transparency so you don't have to remove the white/black as an extra step.
Tip – DON'T use the library tool to insert your trees (except once). It's clunky and awkward. Instead insert your created LO's into a .dwg file and have them ready to cut & paste. It's much quicker, you can see what you are choosing and you can see them all at once. I have a file for Trees.dwg, Plants.dwg People.dwg etc. When you open it, select shademode and all your maps are visable (love to see RPC do that). Here you can size them to scale so that once you insert them they don't have to be resized (could be a metric issue as they are always too small using the inbuilt tool even at 100 scale). You can see in the adj. image there are blanks for some LO's. It's where the file path has been hardcoded and the map has changed location OR I have renamed the image along the way.
You could also arrange them on a predetermined layer if you wish. ie. Trees, Plants etc.
Tip: When positioning your LO, have it in shaded mode and you can 'place' a tree correctly in the ground (not floating). Very handy where people need their feet to be on the path etc.
In my working process of rendering inside ADT6, I have to work around the issue of not being able to render materials in X-ref's. So I had to 'map to a colour' anything that required a material or avoid X-Ref's. However, LO's do perfectly well across an X-Ref so I set up a landscaping file to hold all my trees and 3D cars. This means I can load it at anytime and run a render quickly after changes and not have a different file for CD's or Renders. So I only make changes once. Once the render process is finished, unload the landscape file and continue on. A client makes a change. Make the change, reload landscape x-ref and re-render and very quickly you can have a response. Have model layers seperate from any annotations or detail drawings also helps. I grew very impatient with the slow unresponsive Viz-Render link process so I am excited about the new engine and the potential to do everything in the one program. Maybe you have time to play around more than I do but If I took more time, I wouldn't be doing much rendering!
Now the interesting news is that once you have created your LO, you can bring it into v8 or 9 and use it in your renderings. There are some caveats and I haven't done enough testing to fully vouch for it but I do know that it works. I have found MR more fussier with your maps so it doesn't give great results on some of my homegrown maps but IT DOES WORK. I just have some tidy up to do.
Let me know if there is any part of this process I haven't made clear or you would like explained.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
- Walls cleanup automatically ( I put my eave 'wall' on it's own cleanup group),
- Every element can have different material applied. (you can only have two with slab edge styles – fascia & soffeit).
- Can be on their own layer and turned off in plan views, you can even assign different componants for different views for the same part if required. (we'll explore that one here).
- I can use the wall width to set my eave width (0 = no eave) which adds the eave ceiling in for 3D renders and sections.
- You can also use it with slabs and get multiple material assignments for rendering.
Now if you love palettes, unfortunately they don't carry the sweep profile, so I would usually apply this style by the old cut & paste method. If you do use palettes, you can select multiple eave objects (try using 'select similar') and apply the profile to all of them at once. Don't forget to tick the 'Mitre selected Walls' box so you don't have to do it as a 2nd step.
See the Eave wall style in action here (item no.2 in two of the images).
So again with the drawing of one line, I can have my gutter, fascia, boxed eave ready for rendering, elevations and sections.
Tip: Select your eave wall and right click for the add selected option. Unlike palettes, this does retain the sweep. So you can cut from a template drawing, paste into and then 'Add selected' around. My eave wall is set to be setout from the top edge of the roof and it's done in Iso mode though if you lock your Z, you could do it in plan.
Tip: I used to turn off the display of the eave style in plan view but then it couldn't be selected. Now by assigning it the invisibility plot style (Aec Standard.stb) I can see it but it doesn;t print.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Well from Autodesks view I think this is a smart move. How can an ACA user move to Revit when they have existing projects running in ACA. To move to the Revit suite previously meant only having AutoCAD which made transitions difficult. Now they will be able to transition their office at their own pace. They can train on Revit whilst keeping existing projects going in ACA. Very smart (doh!). ACA is only around $1700 upgrade on top of ACAD anyway and sub is cheaper.
But again what does this mean to ACA. Well I think the mass weight of Revit in big offices means most will move across unless they are still on autocad and don't care to go 3D. But they will not be able to resist the customer demand (whether that's logical or simply good advertising).
The "writing has been on the wall" and it is "only a matter of time". But unlike mechanical, I would argue that the architectural base of ACA is much larger and slower to react and will hold on for some years to come. Development on ACA is already a sore point and there will be those who jump ship and slowly the numbers will turn.
My thoughts are that ACA is good value for those offices already using ACAD and for a small(er) upgrade fee can be into BIM approach and get some good return. But perhaps that is getting more difficult to justify as the weight of numbers changes. Why would you train an office on a product that is being superceded albeit gradually?
I could happily end my sub now and continue using ACA09 (actually I''m still using ADT6). But I charge extra to maintain my sub so it's covered anyway. I know others are not so well looked after and some have dropped their sub. Basically, if the product does what you need then be happy. Maximise your existing setup. Might be nice not to worry about all those re-installs and reset ups and relearning a whole new interface just for the heck of it.
But if you are going to be in the industry for some years to come and want to stay current then you may need to stay tuned. If you are self-sufficient and do things as you want to (like me) then you are free to choose. If you are reliant on working in other environments then you may need to keep up to date with the latest software.
What will I do? Well I ain't going to ArchiCAD! Chief Architect seems to have a solid sales base in Australia. My kids enjoyed that one! For the time being I will continue on ACA but I would think that Revit is going to be somewhere in the future. The economy of the cross-grade!
Revit has strength in that it doesn't have so many options. It doesn't give you choices you don't really need to bog you down. I'm sure in time Adesk marketing will add back in lots of unnecessary options because the user base keeps asking for them and Revit will become complicated and slower etc.
Anyways, that's progress for you!
Best to ya!
Monday, August 4, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
If you have specific queries on the wall styles let me know but I hope to post details of how to do them soon.
(And if anyone has specific hints on restoring a desktop please let me know. My latest take is that my profile is corrupted ut it appears windows normally tells you if that's the case).
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Or how about a road?
Now I don't often have an original idea but I did investigate roads before I found that Odin had got there first and has some seriously good content available. at a great low price. I don't intend to be doing much on road's as I was just exploring to see what I could achieve (though the roads do belong on a subdivision plan I've done).
Saturday, July 19, 2008
As you get into any CAD programs, the more curious of us often look to how far we can push the objects we are provided with. I have found the wall object has a few more uses other than for walls.
If we leave the idea that it's a wall and just think of it as a tool to create anything that is linear then we can think up any number of items. And don't forget that endcaps can resolve the ends and perhaps by using opening endcaps, a few other things as well mmmm...... have to explore that one!
This article is big so we'll split it up into modules but I include some taster pictures here.
Oh and I'm still to post an update on my pc upgrade. I ran benchmarks on the old system and am still to test the new one. I have four fans in my case and they seem to be running slower than they should especially the cpu fan so I am thinking I am a little under powered. However, seeing that the Core2Duo's are supposed to be very power efficient compared to the D805 it replaced, I am a little bamboozled. (I have a 430w ps).
I'll keep you posted.
Check them out. Joining is FREE!
(Dang! I can't remember what password I used! :-)
Saturday, July 5, 2008
First I added a componant of about the right size which worked fine but then I wanted to have either a splay or a moulding profile, you know, to make the sections & renderings look elegant. Fine but what happens in a bathroom where you have no skirting. You can create another wall style copied from the first and remove the skirting but some walls have skirting one side only, other walls have no skirting at all and I really didn't like having essentially the same wall style repeated several times.
So I added two 0 width componants (sleeper componants) to both sides of the wall and applied profiles & found out I had to create a 2nd profile mirrored of the first to get the 2nd one to display correctly. So now I had to add 2 profiles to each wall and you can bet I got them mixed up and applied the wrong profile to each side more than 50% of the time.. Also using the PN I had the internal layout in a seperate element (it was repetitive) and the internal skirting wouldn't cleanup with the external. (see tips below)
Oh and back to applying a profile, it seems the applied profile doesn't obey priorities and/or cleanup rules and I ended up with skirting piercing clear thru the wall (I think this is a bug). See tips below. Maybe it will be a different solution for different projects – at least now I know some options.
Tip: Oh and unlike a body modifer, the position of your componant is important for a sweep as the insert point of your profile will correspond to the offset and ht of your componant (though you can edit that in the sweep section on your property pallete)
Tip: Did you notice that I had set a height for my skirting componants. When you sweep a profile, the height has no effect. Only the bottom elevation of the componant the profile is applied to.
Tip update: An applied profile will NOT obey priorities so it really only fully works if you accept a shape defined in the componants list (width & height) rather than apply a profile. Using it this way it is reliable and efficient - just not pretty. Your componant could also be a dado, or picture rail but they really need a profile don't they!
Tip update: If you do decide to use a profiled style, apply it to one and then use the 'Add Selected" on your right click to add the rest of your walls. (Sorry it won't help if you have already drawn the walls). That way the profile will already be applied and get's over the limitation of the tool pallete not being able to hold profiles. When you come to a bathroom wall that has no skirting, you can more easily remove the profile from a couple of walls rather than apply it to many.Is it worth it for a skirting? Maybe not :-( If it had worked simply like I was hoping for! but I am sure you can apply these principles to something more worthwhile. Let me know what you come up with.
Friday, July 4, 2008
You can now also control the material of this componant via the wall style rather than via a ME style or some other separate object.
WARNING: Be aware that adding a componant may mess with your endcaps. I don't often need them but if you do, push the sleeper to the end of the list & you should be ok.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Just thought I would drop some tech hints as there are lots of misconceptions about hardware for Acad. When I rang the pc guy the first thing he said was "You can get a faster QuadCore for the same price". But if you peruse the hardware NG you will find some disappointed users who thought that the Quad was going to give them so much more. Truth is that Acad is STILL not multiprocessor aware, or at least not fully. Some activity can benefit from an extra 'core' but most things are single threaded. SO.. if you compare a Quad core running at 2.66 with a Dual at 3.0, guess which one runs Acad faster. Truth is lots of app's are not multi-processor aware. If you are downloading, encoding mp3's, and Acad'ing at the same time, you might like Quad. If you just want raw power then go with the faster processor. Acad will never look past the 2nd core. Not sure if Mental Ray is multi because if it is then it might make sweet use of a Quad core. Anyone?? --Word is Yes! So if you do lots of rendering then Quad can give you a decent return but your modelling work will be quicker with a quicker DualCore. Check this link to Shaan Hurley or Adesk.
Now if you are really serious you can look at the Xeon's but this is for home and I'm paying!
The other item is the Graphics card which is quite a sore spot because of a lack of clear information. Previously a high end Nvidea Quadro was the go for OpenGL performance but now in 09 they have introduced DirectX support so the games cards will give better performance for the buck! I have used a Quadro 1500fx 256mb and a mildly cheaper FX8950 512mb and I wouldn't move back to the Quadro. And that's using 06. So... go for a fast game card and it will do. Most of us can't run in hardware mode anyway so it's the cpu doing most of the work. UPDATED! In 09, a Quadro will be a massive waste of funds as it is more expensive and doesn't offer better performance (possibly poorer) than the game card using DirextX. In Vista your quadro possibly won't work at all as Vista won;t support OpenGL. Previously the ATI cards did not have as reliable drivers as NVidea but I haven't seen complaints for some time so they maybe they could be ok for Autocad. Stuart has sent me this link to a great read which perhaps indicates that I should be updated my GC as well :-) http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-hd-4870,review-31046.html
Beef your RAM. WinXP Pro will only allow any one app to use 2gb max of RAM unless you enable the 3GB switch (Autodesk). 4Mb seems to be the maximum worthwhile for WinXP pro. As we move to 64bit things will change but that's another minefield (just ask James). Ram is probably a better upgrade than your graphics card unless you have a dog or shared memory graphics. RAM is faster access than hard drive and when your pc runs out of RAM to use, it starts using the hard drive and that slows things down. Do a Control-alt-del and have a look at the performance tab. Leave it open while you work and you can review how much Physical Memory (RAM) is being used. Your page file is your hard drive 'virtual' space and though it will use some regardless, you don't want it too active. If the line's not moving you are probably ok. If it's dancing, you need RAM.
This tab is also useful for seeing how much work your cpu's are doing. It will show each core and what is doing what. I should do some testing and observations before removing the D805 just to compare.
My 3ghz Pentium D805 is much slower than a Core2Duo at 3ghz. The AMD Athlons came up against the old Pentium4's and wipped them with slower clock speeds. Clock speed is NOT everything!
Oh... and any REAL techie's out there who want to correct me then please do so. Qualified hardware info for Acad is scarce and Autodesk have not been forthcoming up until recently where they seem to be making an effort to be more helpful.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Mixtup asked on the NG whether anyone knew of the capability to be able to have wall objects restrict themselves to brick sizes. Apparently this is not common around the world but here in West Aus, perhaps because of our predominance of building in double brick and our brickies being prominent trades, if the brickwork will be facework, we set out the building strickly based on modules of the brick size. Of course if the bricks are to be rendered then we don't need to worry as the bricks used are an odd size anyway (305mm). There is an add-on available locally for AutoSketch that offers a total customisation package for local conditions/ materials/ practise. This package will adjust the wall length depending on which way you turn. An 'opening' measurement has an extra 'perp' joint whereas a 'pier' dimension has one less. A 'wall' dimension has a 'perp' for each brick'. All the brick companies issue charts that can be read and offer measurements for every half brick size or in the case of the newer block size, in 3rd's.
So, can we do this in ACA? Well not quite that exact but simply by adding a Snap setting of 120 or 100 for the larger blocks, we have a dimension that is within 10mm. When laying out your walls your mouse will 'Snap' to points in brick sizes within 10mm. Of course you should be starting from 0,0 or at least a whole number location.
(For those not had the mispleasure of accidentally clicking on the Snaps (& Grid) they are along the bottom of the Acad interface left of centre. They can be also accessed by the F6 & F7 function keys. Ever wonder had your mouse become'sticky'. Could be that you hit the Snap key by mistake and your mouse now locks in on the spacing set. To change the settings, just right click on either button for a dialogue box. --but you already knew all this!)
Once your walls are laid out, if you want to, you can adjust for that final accuracy by grabbing the centre grip and pulling it 10mm (you know the rules). It's great for creating sketch layouts that can be turned into CD's already to brick sizes. If you already have added dimensions though, you are better to use the stretch command so that it adjusts your Dimension defpoints as well. Once you've set up your walls you can turn snap off again. This is the first useful idea I've ever found for snap and I would really like to remove the button so I don't accidently turn them on.
Now do you want to SEE those snap points? Well you have to turn on that other UNuseful (til now) tool Grids (F7). Set your grid to the same spacing and you will now see where those points are as you draw.
Want a larger Grid. The Limits command sets the grid area.
Tip: Do you work in just one file (I try to)? Set up all your sheets in your template in typical layouts and setup your title blocks ie. A1 SitePlan, A2 Floor Plan, etc. You can even add in other sheets you may need like A2 Demolition, A7 Roof Plan, (It's easier to delete them when not required). Set up a 'dummy' floor plan and site plan by simple rectangles and then in your sheet view set up the appropriate scaled Viewports and layers. Decide where to put your elevations and sections and do the same. (Position your elevations so that a typical 3D will not be looking towards other parts of your drawing). Set up all the other settings as you want them. Save the file with a .dwt ending, perhaps with your other customisations. Now In Options -Files set this file as your default template when you type QNEW.
Best to ya
Friday, June 27, 2008
You can obtain a 3D model of your site by placing the contours at their respective Z levels and issuing the Drape command to give you a contoured MassElement. You can then model up other ME's to union & subtract with the base model to create other features. Using ME Groups you can create some objects as negatives that will deduct space live from another ME allowing you to make constant changes without making anything 'hard' allowing you to experiment. On Dermot's pic you can see he has cut out for driveway, a rear swimming pool and yard area (circular) and it gives you a great overview of the site levels.
TIP: If you give your ME an earth texture in section, it can be also used in your sections (and elevations). To trim unwanted 'earth' you can use a styled aecPolygon in your view file set to mask or just having a white background (check your plot style). If you wanted to further limit the area of 'earth' that is hatched, you can use the 'Material Boundary' tools to limit the area of hatching or even the ME itself. Perhaps that could be an article in itself. Oh did I mention that you can attach a grass material to the ME (presentation high detail DispRep of course) for rendering as well.
Display Reps for rendering and modelling.
The second item that Dermot's image illustrates what James showed us earlier. To have one DisplayRep with only a simple material universally applied, you can use it for illustrations that don't need any materials showing. Have you played with this concept? I have since James brought it up and resolved to add the materials in the Presentation DR (High Detail) and have the Medium DR (Model) left as one Material) although as James pointed out and Dermot has also done, you can add your glass material to windows. Further experimentation is now easy to find that one material you like. James used white, I've seen an image using a wonderful cardboard texture so that the image looked like a carboard model. I have lots of textures in my library and depending on the purpose it's very easy to swap that one material in and out.
The third item that Dermot's next image illustrates is of course the shadow diagram. Using the rendering tools you can set the sun in it's correct position, at the correct time of day at the correct time of year just like the codes ask for. The actual rendering side of things is too big for this article and as admitted before I ain't no expert with the new rendering engine but you can download Autodesk's own James Smell's great pdf on this topic.
Using a photoshop type program (Gimp for free)you can add the text etc OR you can bring the rendered image (.jpg) back into ACA to set up in a view port and easily add your text there in a familiar environment. You can use the Image command or just drag & drop! Too easy!
I've only skimmed these items so if you want some more explanation for how then let me know by posting a comment. But also have a good look at the ACA help (yes it can be very helpful) and also the tutorials. I had to download the tutorials for ACA08 and I see that I have to do the same thing again in 09! Curious! Can't fit them on the 2 DVD's? Maybe they are done after the date? Download 07-09 tutorials here.
The problem I found using ctb's is that I was trying to use colour to do two different things – ie. a colour of an object in 3D and in plan view a pen thickness. Now I know that these can be separated using the DispReps but I have found it so much easier now that they are not linked. Because I have always sought to do 3d renders for everything (spent way too much time) I really notice the ease with which I can operate compared to using a ctb file. Lots of items in my schemes will not have a render material added and just rely on the objects colour. For a simple column or window frame colour, you may not need the extra rendering time required in adding reflection etc to make the material more realistic as the item is thin or not prominent. Being able to change the colour on the fly and know it will not change printed output is great. If you work for a big firm then the plot file used will probably be a much bigger decision and out of your hands but if you are a small or one man band then I encourage you to take a look. If you like the idea that you can 'see' on screen pen thickness by colour then you can still apply the colour (near) to the layer and get the same effect. One reason I bring this up is that, as I work on content to share, I realise the impact of us all using different schemes and how it makes OOTB difficult to achieve. Indeed this is one of the great strengths of that frog sounding competitor in that it doesn't allow so many options. I hear that it's WYSIWIG all the way. So by demanding individuality we make it more difficult to help each other. But then we are involved in architecture aren't we!
I know one person out there who likes to print drawings in colour and by using an stb file he has freedom between colour and pen thickess. He is using the AIA Colour.stb.
If you open stb templates in 08/09 you will see that Adesk ACA team have moved to the AEC Standard.stb file as it's default. So it's OOTB! It's a simpler standard whereby in the plot style only Saturation (Full,50%,25%), Standard (Colour) and invisibility are provided. The actual pen thickness is set in layer or overridden in Style or object. I think it's simpler than the AIA Standard.stb and gives you a little more flexibility.
If you search on the newsgroups ("Plot Styles") you can find a number of discussion about this topic. I did that to try and decide if it was worth changing, the advantages and the implications. Since changing, I have had to do some work in updating files that I want in the new standard but it didn't take too long (that depends on how you've set things up of course). Someone posted affirming AEC Standard.stb and I thought it sounded the most straight forward. Of course you may have good reasons for staying with your present system but if you are struggling and looking for something better then I recommend moving to AEC Standard.stb.