Tag Archives: Layers

Layer Intersection Groups

Here’s a quick note on the layer intersection group concept in our template. We use 4 numbers in most of our project layer settings:

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  • 0 is for layers that are hidden and should not intersect with visible items in a given layer combo
  • 1 is for layers that are set to intersect, and should be the most common, especially among visible layers
  • 2 is for layers that should not intersect with standard “1” group layers. Examples of conditions that may require a Group 2 Layer are:
    • barge rafters or sloping trim that needs to run in to perpendicular and horizontal trim (this always results in a messy connection)
    • walls being trimmed with SEO to a roof plan, whose trimmed portion is interfering with content above the roof
    • there are defualt layers for these conditions already set up:
  • 999 is commonly used for module content placed from IFC files received from consultants.
    • This is a variable not accounted for in our template, since IFC coordination is on a project by project basis

Quick Layers Palette

In 2018 I am revamping the WWABIM site with new quick tips. These will be short messages and tips to help improve your workflow, efficiency and general proficiency at modeling and documenting in ARCHICAD. This is the first tip of the year!

Use the quick layers palette! This palette will allow you to turn layers on/off, cycle through previous custom layer sets, and more with out the need to tediously sort through the layer settings dialog.

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Options on the quick layers palette are to hide/lock/unlock a selections layer(s), or all layers not selected, and to switch back to previous/next custom layer combinations. This allows you to turn groups of element’s layers on at once, instead of sorting through the layer lists.

I recommend using the quick layers palette as a standard to your work environment. If you want to strip palettes and tool bars out of your w/e, you can also assign a shortcut to show/hide this palette, similar to how most have a shortcut for the solid element operations palette.

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Layout Book View Settings

The layout book has global view settings for items placed onto the layouts. These view settings include layers and pen set, and once changed are applied to all layouts.

Drawings and Figures placed to layouts use the source view or Drawing Elements pen and layer settings; but elements drawn directly on the layout (Lines, Polylines, Fills, Splines, Text, Labels, etc.) use the layout books layer and pen settings.

Unfortunately there is no direct control for the pens and layers of the layout book. If you notice elements on the layout are missing (hidden layer) or using the wrong pen set as in the following image:

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Go directly to the layer or pen settings under Options > Element Attributes. Notice the drop down menu includes “(Layout Book)…” after the normal menu option for these settings:

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Changing the settings here changes the Pen Set & Layer Combination for the entire layout book:

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Design Options With Hotlinks

If you have two building designs for the same site, you can avoid multiple site models/building models scattered around your model environment by creating two new layer combinations.

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First create two new layer combinations module option A & B, then three new layers. The first is the “modules layer” which contains all common hotlink elements.The next two layers are the toggle layers, one is only on with layer combination “A”, the other only layer combination “B”.

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The last step is to assign hotlinks to one of the toggle layers (I learned something new about this today!). First select the hotlink to be assigned to toggle layer A, go to File > External Content > Hotlink Module Settings.

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Change the Master Layer for this module to the correct toggle layer and follow these steps for each module which will be part of the option A or option B schemes.

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Layer Intersection Groups

Reading a Shoegnome post recently I came across a concept which I have integrated into our latest template version. That is a layer intersection group “0” for all layers not shown in the current layer combination. While I don’t normally recommend mass attribute purging for most projects, this suggestion for layer management has huge potential to improve the way your model views in 3d and elevation.

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Layers that are not visible can have an impact on the model. For elements like the operators of an SEO this is a good thing. For things like roof only walls or trim elements that show up in one view but not all this can be problematic. You can end up with elements that are turned off which are interfering with the appearance of your model. By changing all layers which are off for a specific layer combination to intersection group “0” you reduce or eliminate the chance of this happening.

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JKR boathouse_full size

Phil has recently produced some amazing renderings for the a boathouse project. He has used Amadeo’s renderings as his targeted “style” for these renderings. Phil’s recommendation for creating and managing these images is to create a clear layer structure in your PS file. Much like you should be using clear layer standards and navigator organization in your AC files, you should have a clear and consistent layer structure for your PS post rendering work. This will make it easier to have a consistent style between multiple renderings as well as make it easier to update the rendering to match any future model changes.

Here is a quick screen shot of Phil’s PS layer organization as a reference:

JKR boathouse PS layers


The Selection Set Pallet

The Selection set pallet is often forgotten; and its features have certainly been growing over the past few software versions. Look through some of the options available for editing multiple element types in one click. We can change multiple element types Layers, Pens, IFC function, Inter/Exter Location, Renovation Status and Structural Function.

The Renovation Status function is Incredibly helpful when assigning elements to be demolished early in a remodel project.

If you do not know about this pallet it can be accessed directly through your Info Box, it is the hammer icon to the left of your layer drop down. Play around with this if you don’t use it already, it is a huge time saver!

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