Category Archives: View Settings

Teamwork Views, Drawings, and Layouts

Since most of our projects involve multiple buildings on a single site, we often rely on hotlink modules to place those buildings onto a site in separate Teamwork files. This means the site plan needs to be placed from one teamwork file to another.

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This process is actually very simple to do. All that is required is to open both Teamwork files and use the organizer to link a view from one project to the layout of the other. With the file containing the layout book, search for the other open t/w file in the left hand column of the organizer. Lastly, you only need to click import to bring the view from one file to a layout of another.

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Now comes the real issue, that is to update the views. In the past, we have run into the issue of this warning:

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To effectively update drawings from a separate projects view map, start with the drawing settings. The drawing should be set to manual, or you will receive repeated update warnings and, in the best case scenario, a slow update for any externally linked drawings.

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After extensive tests and trial and error, I have found the most reliable way to update a drawing. Follow these steps and it shouldn’t fail to update:

  1. Open BOTH projects, the one containing the view and the one with the drawing that needs to be updated
  2. In the project with the view, do a send and receive. Once you S/R, do not make any changes to the ARCHICAD file, do not even change zoom or pan the view. Even the smallest change to your local data will result in the “Drawing Checking Process has Failed” warning
  3. Immediately switch to the project with the drawing that needs updating. I use com+tab, rather than the mouse to avoid any accidental zoom or pan to the view.
  4. Once the layout/drawing that needs updating is open, simply right click and select update

Follow these steps exactly, and you will find it much less frustrating to update your external drawings.

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Doors & Walls – Symbolic or Projected

The symbolic or projected view of a door determines wether it matches the exact 3d settings of the door or is just a graphic plan symbol. There may be cases for both, but it is important to know what the settings do; and find the right combination of settings for both the wall and the door so that they both appear as expected, or in some combinations, appear at all.

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Wall Projection Settings

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Door Projection Settings

Below is the break down of what each combination of wall and door settings with 3 different relationships to plan cut plane settings.

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Walls and Doors Projection Settings

Graphic Overrides!

Almost all projects have been migrated to AC20 now, and we have just run into the first “special case” for the new Graphic Override feature. Since we use 3d Documents for Reflected Ceiling Plans, we don’t have the advantage of full control over the door or window graphics or even appearance; they show as their literal cut regardless of door settings or Model View Options. In this case, we simply wanted to hide a couple of doors in the RCP; the folding doors on the right side of the image below:

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To do this, we just took the Graphic Override for RCP’s and added a new Graphic Override Rule (Hide Doors):

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This rule simply has a criteria that requires the override to apply to Doors 224 & 235 in this project. Then the Override Style is set to override all Lines to Pen 91, Fills to Empty Fill with Pen 91 for Foreground Pen 0 for Background.screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-2-11-22-pm

The result is exactly what we wanted to see; doors are there, but not visible in the documents:

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It is important to note that this solution does not resolve the Pen and Fill issues we see with saving DWG files; and further exploration is needed to find a solution for exporting DWG files without these doors showing up on our consultants plans.

Understanding the DWG Translator

Coordinating DWG’s with consultants can be one of the trickier things to figure out; working between AutoCAD and ARCHICAD is not as simple as it seems like it should be. Here we will look at all things DWG (or as much as I can cram into a single post).

ARCHICAD and AutoCAD are Different!!!

Lets take a quick glance at how a few common program features are handled differently between ARCHICAD and AutoCAD.

  • Layers are a unique view attribute in ARCHICAD, used primarily to control the visibility of elements based on layer combinations.
  • AutoCAD combines other features into the layer settings; such as pen weight and line type
  • ARCHICAD fills require at least 2 pens to define their appearance; a foreground, background, and an optional boundary/border pen.
  • AuotCAD fills are only defined by their hatch pen (from the layer they are placed on)
  • ARCHICAD utilizes individual segments to cleanly relate element interactions, such as wall intersections
  • ARCHICAD can save objects and components to DWG as CAD Blocks or Drafting Primitives

Because of these differences, a DWG saved from ARCHICAD will often contain more layers, fills, and lines/polylines than you may expect. This often leads to consultants dealing with a slightly clustered or messy drawing file, and often leads to unnecessarily large and cumbersome DWG files.

It is important to solicit a response to the files sent when those files are sent, so that we can fine tune the drawing for their exact needs. The following steps and recommendations should help hit closer to the mark the first time when sending DWG files out.

Check your View Settings

The first and easiest way to control the DWG output is to make sure the view settings you are exporting from are all set up correctly. The addition of Graphic Overrides in AC20 gives us even more control over what fills are visible, and how they are viewed; both in ARCHICAD and in the drawing output from ARCHICAD.

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Default View Settings for DWG to Structural Engineer

Once the view settings are correct in the View Map you can save out using the File> Save As from the drop down or the publisher. Once you get to the save menu in either location, you should review the DWG Translator Settings. Below is a list of the important translator settings to review.

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Drawing Units Should Match Project Input Units (Inches for Imperial Projects)

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In Most Cases, Save Options Should be Set to Save Layout Into Model Space, and Place Drawings Into Single DWG File. This Allows DWG’s to be Saved From Views or Layouts Consistently. Most Consultants Have Asked to Have Objects Saved as Lines, Not Blocks. This is Controlled by Saving Floor Plan Drop Down to Explode Complex ARCHICAD Elements.

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Layer Method Should be Extended by Pen Number and Visible Layers Only

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Export Fills “as is”. Conversion Tables Can be Used to Override Drawing Fills to Empty Fill if Required by Consultants.

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All Save Extras Should be Unchecked to Accurately and Correctly Save Blocks and Labels

 

Save and Share Custom Translators with Project Team Members

If changes are made to the out of the box translator for consultant specific needs, the translator should be saved using the “Create New…” button in the translator setup window. These custom translators are specific to the computer that created and saved them, since they are stored in the application folder of that computer.

In teamwork projects they will be visible, but grayed out and not accessible to other users. If they are shared to a common folder, they can be imported to the project file using the Browse… button. Doing this however will replicate/duplicate the translator every time a drawing is saved. The best way to ensure all users have access to custom translator settings is to locate the translator file in each team members application folder.

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This can be located under your computers user > Library > Application Support > Graphisoft > DXF-DWG Translators Vnumber USA. Care should be taken to not remove, rename, or duplicate files or folders in the application support folder, as it can cause problems with the application performance.

The final step when coordinating DWG files is to check the drawing before sending it. We have eDrawings on all computers for viewing DWG files. This is more effective and real to AutoCAD than opening the DWG in ARCHICAD, since the fills are viewed more true to their final destination.

Relevant Stories

Everyone should be familiar with the Floor Plan Display settings for the various element types in ARCHICAD. Some tools are very flexible in regards to which stories they are visible on, others seem very limited; namely the wall and column tool. With these tools, you only get two options; Home Story Only and All Relevant Stories. So what constitutes a Relevant Story?

For this example, I have just thrown together a couple walls in the ARCHICAD20 Residential Template, but it illustrates the point well enough.Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 4.46.32 PM

The boundary walls are 12′ tall and extend 2′ to the the story above. The bisecting wall is 10 feet tall and is top linked to stop at exactly the story above. All walls are set to show on All Relevant Stories.

The resulting floor plans are as follows (Home Story left, Above Home Story right):

If this is not showing how you need or expect it to you can adjust the view settings to determine the constraints for a Relevant Story in the view map view settings.

Going to the Roof Story’s view settings, go to the 2D/3D Documents section and click on Floor Plan Cut Plane Settings…

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From here, you can define what extents will be considered relevant for this view. If I want the boundary walls to show as cut instead of outline as illustrated in the plan views above, I can drop the Cut Plan height to Current Story to a level that will cut the outer walls. Then if I want to include the interior wall as an outline element (not cut through), I can set the Relative Floor Plan Range: Show down to: Current Story -2′ (or any height that would include this wall.

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The result is that the home story for these walls has not changed, all walls are shown as cut just as before, but the story above shows with the taller walls cut and the lower wall as outline only:

One of the amazing advantages of this feature is that a wall may be Relevant for one view, but not for another. Even though the story settings match, the wall height never changes, but the wall appears on one plan view, but not another of the same story. Or it appears as cut in one plan view but as outlines only for another view of the same story.

The default for our floor plans is to have the Cut Plan height to Current Story set to 4′, and all offsets set to 0″, but there are always cases to fine tune this to show or hide elements, or change how certain elements may show in a given view.

 

Finding Linked & Source Markers

The Quick Solution

Without getting into too much detail about the use of Source vs. Linked markers, I want to present a strategy for tracking down each marker type for given views. There are several ways to find a views source and linked markers.

First, there is a setting to show/highlight the source markers. If there is a reasonable density of source markers, it becomes easy to discern between the source and linked markers.

Highlight source markers - on screen

There is also a setting in the work environment to adjust the color of the highlight from standard yellow to any color or RGB code.On screen W-E.png

This has limited efficacy, since what you normally see is something like this:

Marker Mess

 

The Correct Solution

So a simpler, and better solution is to obtain a direct connection to the source marker and a list of the linked markers. First, click on any marker, linked or source, or open the view from the view map or project map. Once the view is open, click on it, and select the project map from the navigator. The current view will be shown in Bold in the project map list.Section Project Map

From here you can right click and select either “Select N marker on the Home Story and zoom to it”, or “Find Linked Markers”.Right Click Select Source Marker

The first option very simply zooms to the location of the source marker and selects it. The second option provides a list of all linked markers associated with that source view. If there are multiple instances or references to a single view map item in several markers, this will give a list of the marker type and location, and allow you to jump to that linked marker directly.Find linked markers 2

 

For more information on linked vs. source markers and how they work see:

A Note on Marker/View Types

All markers have three types (with the exception of Interior Elevations, which must be a Source Marker); Source, Linked and Unlinked.

Source markers generate content based on model elements. Linked markers reference an already created source content or view. Unlinked markers are a blank slate that reference not model or drafted content or existing view.

A marker may be changed from source to linked, but any source content will either be missing or translated to 2d elements. This is irreversible, and for elevations and sections, new source markers and subsequent views will need to be created. Linked or unlinked markers can not be changed to source markers. Linked markers may be changed to unlinked markers, and unlinked markers may be changed to linked markers.

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Moral of the story; do not change source markers/views to linked or unlinked markers. You can create a work sheet from any view if you need to explode view content, or place a new marker if you need the source marker to reference a different drawing.