Saturday, June 21, 2008

Materialisationability & standards

Somebody has pointed out to me that aecMaterials play a very important role in having everything work efficiently. I had to agree and also confess that I have only just recently realised what a mess I was making. I had numourous style over-rides set for many of my wall styles but after I re-thought what I was doing, I have removed all the overrides from the (most) styles and left the componants set to ByMaterial setting in the default standard wall style. Now I can control my display by the material settings which typically might have style overrides set for some views except the more simpler reflected ceiling plan type display rep's. It means that you have more materials to manage, but it works much more efficiently because you have less over-rides to manage (in the one material rather than several styles).

After James' pictures got me thinking in the right direction on having the ability to have two different rendering schemes ready to go, and wanting to keep as close to OOTB as 'Aus'ily possible, I determined that the rendering scheme should be set to the Presentation DispRep (high detail) and the Medium Detail DispRep should be kept for a carboard image render (rather than introduce a new scheme). I'm also thinking that James render scheme can also be used for shadow studies which is now required in your development approval submission for two storey buildings.

So I created a new file in 2009 using the template AEC Model (MetricStb).dwt, added some styled walls, windows and doors from the OOTB catalogues. They already have materials applied and I wanted to see what Adesk ACA team is thinking.  Unfortunately I'm not sure they have as Medium Detail renders the same as Presentation DispRep. Mmm.... Seems a waste to have 2 different DispReps do the same thing? (The problem in having the Low Detail for the Cardboard Render is that you would then need to add your modelling customisations to this DispRep as well and I would think it should be kept simple for large scale work and massing studies).

So I set up different view ports in Pspace to review what they looked like. To my surprise I found that OOTB the Presentation DispRep on a wall is now linked to the Model view. I opened up ADT6 and did the same thing using the equiv. templates and set up the same view and as I remembered the OOTB Presentation DispRep is linked to the HighDetail model view not the standard Model view. Why the change??

So now I am asking for feedback from users out there to let me know what they think and have they made any determinations that make sense on these issues.

It's difficult to set up an OOTB scheme that eveyone can just 'use' and not have to tamper with to get it to work with their setup (Do I hear a croak?). If Adesk themselves keep tampering with it!!! ah! But why would they set up different DispRep's to give the same result??

So I propose to drop the material over-rides from the Medium Detail DisplayRep and use a universal cardboard colour (or white) and only keep the material assigned in the Presentation High Detail view. It's almost how Archidigm has done his content, probably based on how it was done previously.

So how does that effect my OOTB content? What do I need to do to make this change and what impact would it have? In my view the Presentation view is the most logical view to have rendering settings set up. High Detail Model view is also the logical view along with Medium Detail to have to add all your necessary over-rides. The more DispRep's you add the more you have to maintain so I am trying to keep them to a min. whilst providing a broad number of options for users. The fact that the ACA team has changed it throws me off a bit. (Why??) But having 2 separate DispRep's that output the same result makes no sense to me. BUT altering the OOTB Display matrix should not be done lightly.

Nevertheless, in 09, whilst in a presentation viewport, I open the display manager, Under Configurations, click on Presentation and Model Presentation and sure enough the Wall object has the 'Model' rep ticked which I untick and tick High Detail instead. Now it's back to how the 06 is set up and makes more sense. Remember that I have only done this in one drawing and unless I saved to the template it won't happen in each drawing I do.
THOUGHT: I notice that in the OOTB content that the materials have overrides to EVERY DispRep. This makes massing studies a rather long affair where you might like to follow James 'building mass study' images something common in architectural practise before materials are applied. So my curisosity asks “Why Is It So?” What point am I missing that the ACA team has set up here. Wanting to have a setup where things 'just happen' rather than having hours of tweaking to do to get the output I want I have to investigate further. To alter materials across the project, you would need to edit every material where-as if they all share a common definition, this becomes much easier. (mmm.... perhaps they all have their own over-ride but it could point back to the same rendermaterial.) Now you also have visual styles to use but they are not rendered views and have different uses. Both DispReps yeald the same visual style display so what's the point of having 2 different display reps?? Why do DispReps such as Screened and reflected need overrides to every material def? Surely they can all use a generic setting? Mmm....

So anyway after unticking the Material override for the Medium Detail DisplayRep and assigned a material to this view that will apply to all materials without an over-ride here is what I get. A model I can render for a 'James like' Massing Study or also for Shadow diagrams (article coming) where you don't want to show the materials. Note that I have left the glass with it's material over-ride just as James had done.

Odin (archidigm) says on his site that in Medium Display his content is set to render using object colour and no materials are assigned so it's not exactly the same. I wonder if he does shadow & massing studies. He does have some examples using one of the visual styles.

Here's the catch. If you say why don't you use the Low detail for a carboard view, then that's another view I have to add all my customisations and overrides too. We want to keep it simple which is why I am proposing to manipulate the existing DispReps rather than add another.

Actually what I wanted to talk about was having materials that would work in elevation, section, plan view etc. Ha! That will have to wait. One of the big issues probably in any customised program is that you need to know everything before you start customizing so that you know what the rules are for making the changes. Sigh!

Best to ya

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