Delete Local Data

It is critical to keep your local data clean and current. The first step in doing this is to periodically leave the projects you are working in. This forces your local data to rebuild from the server data on the next open/join. This has all been outlined in our BIM manual under the Collaboration section. It is also outlined in part here and here. For more information on ARCHICAD errors and possible solutions, check out this article.

So lets assume you have a local data error that will not allow you to send or receive. The solution is:

  1. Save a .pln to your desk top, so that you do not lose any of your work
  2. Leave the teamwork project and completely close ARCHICAD
  3. Open ARCHICAD and “Browse for Teamwork File” and immediately click “Cancel”
  4. Go to the Teamwork menu > Project > Local Data Manager
  5. Delete ALL content from the list (libraries and project files). This will need to be done line by line.

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As a bonus tip, you can set your work environment to schedule the local data clean up reminders under Local Data Manager > Options. This should be set to send a reminder every 30 days minimum, for projects older than 30 days. Always delete local data when prompted! Unless you are opening from a crash recovery, there is no need to ignore local data clean up warnings.

In 2017, we need to make it a goal to Send and Receive often (every hour at least); lets pay attention to the Teamwork protocols in our BIM manual and avoid lost work!

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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.

Gradient Fills!

Dan has done something interesting with his exterior elevations. The elevations are too long for the layout. Typically we have a break line/match line for buildings like this. The break line on this project has one added unique feature.

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Full Elevation with Break

the elevation beyond the break line has an added fill, using a gradient fill instead of a basic white masking fill.

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Selected Gradient Fill

This gives the elevation a gradual “disappearing” at the break line.

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Enlarged Gradient Fill

Roof Wall Connections

I feel like I have written this all somewhere before, but it begs repeating. Roof wall connections can be tricky, and solid element operations are not always the answer. In this example, we have an eave bearing wall running perpendicular to the roof slope.

The original model was built using SEO’s. This created a section error, showing the ceiling finish running through the wall structure:

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Also, notice the selected wall is taller than it should be, running above the roof plan. This wall height should be modeled to stop at the highest intersection of the bottom of the roof core. Then the roof and wall, while both selected, can be cleaned up with the Merge function (Design > Connect > Merge, or Right Click > Connect > Merge).

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The result is a properly cleaned up section view!

Drawing Titles (Layouts)

During my project audits, I run into a lot of layouts with fussy manually positioned drawing titles. This can some times be necessary for a custom location, width and structure to get the title to work with a Layout’s organization and content. But for most of our drawings, especially details, elevations, sections, and interior elevations, this is just adding extra work. Proper use of the title settings will allow you to quickly align your drawings on the layout, butt them into each other and know that the titles are not going to overlap and will show up correctly and consistently.

This is baked into our template as a favorite, and as a default for all drawings pre-laid on layouts. As an example, here is a “starter” drawing on the detail sheet.screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-9-16-58-am

The settings for the title width and location should be as follows:

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Setting the title width to link to the drawing will ensure it’s position and size will always relate to the drawing. The optimum offsets for width and location (as highlighted above) should be 0″ for vertical positioning and 1/4″ from the left and right edges of the drawing.

As I said, there may be exceptions, but we should start to make this our default setting. Use the template favorites if you are unsure of how to set this up for consistent use.

Info Box Content

The Info Box is an instrumental palette to the ARCHICAD work environment. There is content in the Info Box that is difficult, if not impossible to adjust anywhere else. A large function of this palette is to give an easy access to each element’s Selection Settings. There are, however, a few items in the Info Box that are not available in the Settings Dialogue. These are the Geometry and Construction Method settings. A handful of element types have these incorporated into the settings dialogue, such as the Geometry Method for the Shell Tool. The Shell Tool has an additional Construction Method that is only available in the Info Box.

The Info Box for all available tools with Palette only content:

The geometry method is useful for a wide range of functions. Wether it is drawing 4 walls with a simply x/y input, setting a shell to rotate a given shape rather than just a dome or arc, or setting your labels to place more precisely with a three point click instead of a simple click and drop in place; the Geometry and Construction method settings only available in the Info Box will help model more quickly and precisely.

New Surface from Internal Settings

Getting a surface image or color to render out properly can be difficult due to the number of variables that need to be managed. I have gone through a basic exercise to explore 4 different surface settings for reflection to compare results on surface color in Open GL and CineRender views. The surfaces I generated are a basic medium gray and a bone white surface with varied reflection and emission settings.

For the purposes of this exercise, I have eliminated all Transparency and Emission variables, and only made adjustments to the Reflection and Glowing Settings. By playing with the Specular Color, you can further adjust the hue of the CineRender view.

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Matte Settings

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Semi-Gloss Settings

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High Gloss Settings

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Mirror Settings

Note that the final color of the rendered view is impacted to varying degrees based on the reflection settings. Further adjustments can also impact the color, intensity, reflectivity of the surfaces include: Lamp Settings and location and hue, Rendering Engine preset, Rendering Sky Preset, and Surface Color.

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Open GL View

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CineRender Outdoor Daylight Medium + Lamps 50%