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ARCHICAD Training Lesson Outline
Fast Track - 3D Window Tips and Tricks
In this session we'll go over basic and advanced options for controlling and managing the ArchiCAD 3D Window, choosing what you see, how you want to see it, and navigating in 3D efficiently.
You can choose what you want to see in the 3D Window with several methods. The most basic is by the Layer Combination, which is typically set by activating a View. This turns on specific layers, so different categories of elements are shown. The layer combination used in a Plan view for construction documents or during the design process is not necessarily the right one for looking at or working on the 3D model, so it is likely that one will need to change the layer combination for the 3D window.
Using the 3D Window icon in the Toolbar or using the keyboard shortcut F3 will bring up the ArchiCAD 3D Window with the last used viewing style and position, showing the currently visible layers. One may draw a marquee and Right-Click in empty space (i.e. not pointing at and selecting any element) and choose Show Selection/Marquee in 3D, in which case the model within that enclosed area will be seen, either for elements visible in the current story (thin marquee) or for elements on any story (thick marquee).
Other variations include:
- Right-clicking and choosing Show All in 3D, which will bring up all elements on all visible layers regardless of story
- Selecting elements directly (with the Arrow tool and/or by Shift-clicking or Right-clicking) and using the Show Selection/Marquee in 3D command, in which case one only gets the selected elements showing in 3D
- Right-clicking and choosing Show Stored Selection/Marquee in 3D, which will bring up the last marquee area or selected elements, regardless of what is currently selected or whether there is an active marquee
- One may also select elements while in the 3D window and use the Show Selection/Marquee in 3D, in which case only the selected elements will remain showing; this is useful for isolating specific parts of the model to work on details
- The Quick Layers palette (available from the Window menu > Palette submenu) allows manipulation of layer visibility on the fly, with Undo capabilities; this can be extremely useful to isolate categories of elements to work on specific areas of the model in either 3D or on Plan
In ArchiCAD there are two main projection options, Axonometric and Perspective. These may be selected using the popup menu next to the 3D Window icon in the Toolbar, or with keyboard shortcuts listed on that popup menu.
The Orbit navigation method will spin around the current center of view. This may be activated using the Orbit icon button in the navigation area at the bottom left of the 3D window, or using the letter “O”. While Orbiting, one may not edit the model; to finish the Orbit mode, one may click the Orbit icon button again, or type “O” or hit the Escape key.
ArchiCAD TIP: A very convenient shortcut to “orbit on the fly” is to hold down the mouse-wheel button (also known as the middle mouse button) to get the “Pan” hand, and at the same time to press down the Shift key on the keyboard. The cursor will change to show the Orbit icon, and one may drag the mouse around to orbit the model. Release the mouse button and Shift key when ready, and you will find that you are able to immediately edit or draw.
The orientation angle may be seen in the Navigator Preview window, which may be brought up using the icon second from the left at the bottom of the 3D Window. In Axonometric view, the orientation may also be controlled by dragging the small camera icon around the circular path shown in the Preview window. One may also use a popup menu to select specific preset styles of Axonometry, including Top, Isometric, and Side (Elevation) views. One may also set the Axo view to directly face a surface (typically creating an Elevation style view) with the View menu > 3D Navigation Extras > Look To Perpendicular of Clicked Surface command.
When in Perspective, the Preview window will show the camera position (where you are looking from) and the target point. You may move these with the mouse, and the 3D window will quickly update. Conversely, if you orbit, zoom in or out using the mouse wheel, pan using the mouse wheel, or use the Explore method for “walking through” the model, you will see the Preview window update to show the active camera and target locations.
If the current camera position is located outside the Preview window, one may bring it back inside by Shift-clicking and dragging the mouse. To reposition the target point, one may grab it with the mouse, but if it is off-screen, one may Option-click or ALT-click and drag the mouse inside the Preview window.
One may also set the target point using the View menu > 3D Navigation Extras > Look To command. This is particularly useful in controlling the center of an Orbit operation, since it will keep the view facing this point of interest.
While in perspective, ArchiCAD offers an Explore mode, which may be activated using the Explore icon (a small human figure) in the navigation area at the bottom of the 3D window. The Information dialog explains the main options for moving through or around the model. Once one confirms the dialog, mouse movements shift the focus or target, while keyboard commands adjust the walking or camera position or speed. One cannot edit or draw while in Explore mode; to exit this mode, click the mouse or hit the Escape key.
ArchiCAD TIP: While the Explore mode is useful for certain types of study and presentation, I prefer navigating (whether in perspective or axo modes) using the mouse wheel to Pan around and adding the Shift-key to Orbit on the fly. Usually I can get where I want more quickly, and resume editing or drawing immediately.
3D Viewpoints and 3D Views
There are a variety of ways in ArchiCAD to set and save precise 3D Viewpoints that you can return to whenever you wish, as well as 3D Views, which are Viewpoints associated with Layer Combinations and other attributes such as marquee selection cropping.
The Camera tool is a powerful and convenient way to set specific viewpoint locations. To place a camera, activate this tool, then click to place a viewer location (where the camera is looking from) and a target (what you are focusing on). Select the camera and bring up the 3D window, and you’ll be looking in perspective from that location.
You may create as many cameras as you wish, and return to their viewpoints easily by either selecting the camera and going to 3D, or double-clicking the camera item in the Project Map. Similar to Markers such as Sections or Elevations, the camera does not record the current model environment, so when you bring up that viewpoint it will appear with whatever layers are currently active, and any marquee cropping in effect.
ArchiCAD’s Navigator Preview window is useful for checking and adjusting the view cone angle as well as moving the camera and target locations on the fly. After adjusting the view in the 3D window, one may save the viewpoint as a new camera or revise the selected camera using commands in the View menu > 3D Navigation Extras menu; this menu also has other useful commands that are explained during this lesson.
While in the 3D Window, you may save a View with defined layer combination and other attributes by using the standard Save Current View… button in the View Map. If a camera is currently selected on the floor plan, then this View will be connected to that camera as it’s “Source”, and will change if that camera is moved or adjusted on plan. If no camera is selected, then the View will be associated with a “Generic Perspective” source, meaning that it will be independent of the cameras placed on the plan.
3D Views may be defined for Axonometric viewpoints as well, and include not only standard View Settings such as Layer Combinations, but also selection, marquee cropping, and sun position. A View may be updated to use revised settings (such as a new sun position) using the “Redefine Image Settings with current” checkbox in the View Settings > 3D Only panel.
3D Views may be placed onto ArchiCAD Layout sheets much like any other View, and will update to show the current model in exactly the same manner. The 3D View may also be set to either show the 3D Window (usually an OpenGL quickly textured image) or a Photorendering (based on the 3D Window, then processed according to the settings saved in the Photorendering Settings when the View was defined).
ARCHICAD Training Lesson Transcript
Hey, welcome, everyone, to the ARCHICAD Best Practices 2020 training course. Today is Monday, June 3rd, 2019, and we’ll be continuing on with the Fast Track module, looking at 3D window tips and tricks. Let me know that you can hear me and that you can see my screen, and we’ll get going. I see Tom and Chris, Zlatko, Jimmy. Alright, perfect. If you’re not on Slack and in this area, then please go to bobrow.com/slack and fill in your email address, and you’ll be able to get into our Slack community chat. [0:00:52]
Then, you’ll be in General, and you’ll go to Channels and click 2020, where we have the conversation about the training lessons, in the 2020 course. Alright, so we’ve got over quite a few of these things in the past few weeks or months, but it’s good to sort of collect them all in one place for reference, and there will be some things that I don’t think that I’ve covered that we’ll be adding in here. In the 3D window is lots of ways that you can control what you see. The most basic is the layer combinations. [0:01:36]
So, let’s just take a look at this. So, let’s see what’s going on here. We’re in the 3D window of the sample project, and we obviously have different layer combinations, accessible since ARCHICAD 20 in the strip at the bottom of the screen. For example, if I say Model Building Only, then we’re going to see different layers that are being turned on and off. Of course, we can also go directly into the Layer dialog and turn the on and off as well. [0:02:09]
Now, when we are switching back and forth between the floor plan and the 3D window, starting in version 20, the tabs give you the ability to maintain different sets of layers. So, for example, on the floor plan here, I’m not seeing any of the roof elements whereas in the 3D view, I am. This is different than in previous versions of ARCHICAD before version 20, when the layers for the plan and the 3D, and in fact, multiple viewpoints were all coordinated, which had its pros and cons. [0:02:50]
Now, one of the issues that we’ve encountered is that if you wanted to take a little excerpt of this window – if you wanted to do a cutaway, the most convenient way to do that is with a marquee. However, if you activate a marquee on the plan like this here, and we then say to show the selection or marquee in 3D, it’s going to not only use the marquee as a boundary, but it will also change the layers of the 3D window when you do that, and you can see that now we don’t have the roofs. We only have part of the building – the part that was seen on the plan. [0:03:32]
Now, if I do manually switch the layer combination here to Model Building Only, and we see a little bit more of a complete representation there. Now, if we do want to experiment with different marquees as we go back and forth and study things, then we may want to pick up the settings of this particular view. What are the settings of the view? They are, of course, the layers. Also, some things about the model view options, etc., but the most important one here, if I inject it into the plan, it has to do with the layers, and so you can see that now we’re seeing information about the roofs and even rafter tails and things like that. [0:04:19]
So, if you do want to then go and study different parts of the building, this is a great way to do it, to make the view here in this plan have the same settings as we have in the 3D view. So, if I go and say to show selection marquee in 3D, now we’re still maintaining having the roofs, etc. Now, one of the things that people often don’t realize is that you can select things in the 3D window and focus your attention only on those elements using the same command that I just had. [0:04:57]
So, if I pan over here, and let’s say that I only wanted to look at the elements in this area, I can select them using the Arrow tool one by one or in groups and then right-click and say Show Selection Marquee in 3D. Now, in this case, it’s going to be a little funky because actually, it’s not a marquee. We’re actually seeing elements that extend beyond the area that I highlighted. So, sometimes it’s better just to say I want to see these elements here, and you can select, rotate this around, and pick a number of elements like this. [0:05:41]
Let’s see here. Then, you can say you only want to see those elements in 3D. Now, we’re isolated a little bit more, and we could study the relationship between these elements. Now, at any point, you can go back and say to show all in 3D here, which will, of course, give us the entire building here, and there was an option, I believe, to show stored selection marquee in 3D, which will go back and forth between those two different options. [0:06:16]
So, sometimes that’s good to see, to work on things in isolation, and then to go back to the fuller context and back and forth. OK, now, just looking at my notes and things I want to make sure I include in this quick review here. OK, so quick layers. OK, so quick layers are a very good way to control this. So, if we go to the Quick Layer palette, available from this shortcut here in the standard toolbar in the U.S. version – in the International version, I’m not sure if it’s in the standard toolbar. You can certainly customize your toolbars to have it, but you can also go to the window, palettes, and quick layers are available down in the lower section. [0:07:16]
So, in the Quick Layers palette, we can say we would like to look at just the roofs and walls, and then we’ll hide the other layers, and now we can see just essentially the shell of the building. Now, the upper roofs were not included, in this case, because they’re on a different layer. So, if I make a mistake or I just simply want to go back to the previous situation, I can undo the quick layer and then select this additional element and then hide other layers, and now we’ve got just the simple shell of the building. All the interiors have been turned off, and even the slabs and ceilings, etc. [0:07:58]
Now, on the other hand, if we wanted to hide certain layers, like turning off the roofs so I can select a couple of these roofs that are on different layers and say to hide then like that, and maybe hide the ceiling layer as well. We can then peer into this building in a different way. So, these are certainly quick ways to be able to manipulate your layers to be able to see what you need and get access to them. Quick layers is one of my favorite things here. [0:08:35]
It’s the only way that you can change the layer setting on the fly and undo it because if you use the other option, which is to select the roof here and right-click and say layers, hide layer, which you could do for one or more elements and one or more layers, there’s no undo for doing that. In order to get the roof layers back on, you’d have to go to the layer settings and find where it is. OK, A roof. Oh, I hid the roof – lower one here. [0:09:12]
Of course, you can also use the layer combination here. Alright, now when we’re in the 3D view, we have, of course, two different styles of 3D views, just as a general distinction. The ones that are in axonometric that do not have foreshortening, and ones that are in perspective that simulate something like the human eye or camera with foreshortening. You can switch back and forth between these in the view menu, 3D view options, perspective or axonometric. There are keyboard shortcuts as well, which I never remember, but they are, in this case, Option+F3, which would probably be Alt+F3 on Windows, and Command+F3, which would be Ctrl+F3 on Windows. [0:10:06]
So, if I use that, then I’m in the most recent perspective, but if I go here to Command+F3, it at least goes back to that perspective, even if it’s not the same viewpoint as I had. In other words, it’s not the same zoom. It’s just switching to the most recently stored orientation of that. You can also switch under the view, 3D view options, 3D projection settings, and we are now in the parallel projection. We can switch to perspective here and then adjust it and say OK, or of course we can go back to the same command, which also has a shortcut which combines the Option+Command or Alt+Ctrl and F3. [0:10:52]
Then, we can bring that up and switch views. Now, these views, of course, can be stored in a variety of different ways so that we can quickly get our orientation. So, we’ve spent quite a bit of time looking at the views in the View Map. So, for example, I can have this AXO overall which not only includes the angle of the view but also the zoom, and I can go AXO rear with sun, which is a view of the other side of the building with not only the orientation changed but also the sun position changed to make it bright on this side of the building. [0:11:38]
Now, if I want to study that view again, I can use the keyboard shortcut Command+Option or Ctrl+Alt+F3, and see here for example that the sun is behind the camera, so it’s sort of over your shoulder, lighting up the face of the building from your direction here. Now, if we go into the perspectives, we have 2 different types of perspectives. We have perspectives that are attached to camera positions, and we have ones that are just freely created from moving your view around, either just on the fly or that you’ve saved but haven’t moved it around. [0:12:22]
Now, you notice the icon here is showing perspective. Now, if I were to move this around – if I orbit this using that keyboard shortcut that I like so much, which is Shift and the center mouse button, to get me into a new position, and I then say to store this view here. So, here it says Project Map, and it has a camera, and you can see how the source of this view is Camera 1. So, it’s an actual camera position that is being referenced, and remember in some of the previous lessons, I’ve talked about placing cameras on the plan and recording things, but I want to point this out. [0:13:11]
If I say to give this a name, and we’ll just call it aerial perspective here, if I double-click on perspective here, we’re going back to this view. If I go to aerial perspective, it does remember the change in the orientation, but let’s see what happens if I say to modify this camera to the current view. So, basically, there was a camera that it was linked to that, of course, was more eye level, and I can say to modify this camera. [0:13:50]
So, if I do that, then if I double-click on this perspective, it’s getting a little spinning beach ball right now, but we’ll see what happens. With Cameras, as you recall, you can save your viewpoints independent of what layers are turned on because cameras – let’s see here. We’ll click this. Let’s see. If we do this here and go back to this perspective, let’s see. View settings. OK, so this is also saying Camera 1. So, there’s a little bit of not so much a confusion, but views can be created from an original camera, and they can be linked to it, so let’s just go now to the camera positions. [0:14:44]
So, I’ll go to the floor plan here, and we will go and go to the Camera tool, double-click on the Camera tool. We’re in the perspective ones, and we’ll go to the path to show the cameras. Alright, so here are our cameras. I’ll jump out to be able to see them better here. Now, if I go and say to select Camera 1 here, what is that camera? This camera is now up in the air here, and if I have it selected and go to 3D, we’re going to have that angled view. [0:15:29]
So, the camera is something that we can use in the Project Map to go from one viewpoint to another, and you can see as I double-click on it, what it’s doing. It’s actually jumping with the same layers as I’m currently in, just like when you jumped from story to story. The viewpoints change, but the layers are going to stay the same if you’re using the Project Map. So, these are raw orientation positions that we can save in this 3D viewpoint area. [0:16:12]
So, Camera 1 has now actually got this orientation here. If I go back to the view here and then right-click on it and say to modify this camera to current view, then this camera has been reset to that view. You’ll see that the camera now jumps over to this orientation. Now, the reason why I wanted to go over that is because there are times when things are linked to a camera, and you modify the camera, and all of a sudden, your views change. You need to understand whether a view is linked to a camera position or not. [0:16:57]
Now, let’s just look at the possibility of saving different viewpoints in a axonometric view. You can see when I double-click on generic perspective, it’s the most recent perspective that I was in. When I double-click on generic axonometric, it should be the recent axo here. Let’s go and fit in window here, and this is actually interesting that it’s not showing that. Let me just rotate around. It’s not letting me see anything as I’m trying to rotate this around. You can see the orbit one there. So, this particular one has lost its track. [0:17:47]
So, let’s go to one of the axos here, which is a saved view, and let’s see if I can save current view here. If I say to open this, it’s actually now sort of connected to that. Now, as with the difference between the Project Map and the View Map, the orientations are useful references, but the views are the most important ones that you want to have. In the old days, you could be saving a number of axo views in the Project Map here, but I actually have never done that in recent years. I’ve only created new views, which of course save things like the layers as well. [0:18:48]
Now, let us see here. So, if you wanted to look at things in certain standard types of views, then you would want to go into those projection settings and, for example, use the pop-up. The pop-up allows you to change to, for example, a straight-down view or an isometric, frontal axonometric, a monometric or dimetric, and all of these have equivalents underneath. In certain rare cases, you want to be looking underneath, and there’s also the option for pure side view, which would be an elevation. [0:19:31]
So, if I take the top view here and orient this to on the axis and say OK, now we’re going to have a view that is straight down. If I go back into that dialog here and switch it to an isometric, then we’ll have a true isometric view. Now, from what I recall, either a different relationship in terms of the lengths of elements that are defined in isometric versus monometric, but I know that in isometric, some of the information is scalable. If you were to print it, you could actually measure the verticals of the projection, I think. [0:20:24]
So, you may find different ones to be more pleasing, but obviously, these are sort of old standards for when you needed to be able to project something in a drawing, and I think all of the ones on this face are going to be on scale, and of course, the receding planes are going to have a certain relationship in terms of the offsets that typically would allow a manual calculation to be done. No particular reason to do this anymore. [0:21:13]
Now, I’ll just go back in here, but occasionally, it’s something like a monometric one that may be useful just because of the way it projects things. You can, of course, rotate this around, and I notice that in this case, it’s looking rather different than we had it. In other words, even though I’m rotating it on the fly, it does not look natural to my eye. If we go back in here, the axis lengths are defined based on those standards that we had. So, if we go back the monometric, you can see that all of these are uniform, and if I go back to isometric, then they have a certain relationship for each of these here. [0:22:09]
So, these values are something you can manually type in, but generally, my suggestion is that you either go to an isometric and rotate around because that’s the most pleasing, at least to my eye, or of course, top or side if you want something that is similar to an elevation. Now, why would you do an elevation like this? This is certainly exactly the same type of projection that you would have in a true elevation drawing. You can just zoom in on this. Get it to whatever visual scale you want. [0:22:59]
Now, unlike a real elevation in ARCHICAD, this has texture. So, we are seeing the shingle, and we are seeing the wall and the roof surfaces and the stone in here. So, this is something that you could save and put onto a sheet. You can save any of these 3D views for putting onto a layout sheet. So, for example, if I wanted to save this as a view here, I can go and save current view, and we’ll just give it a name here. We’ll just call it South Elevation 3D here, and we’ll say create. [0:23:48]
Now, if I wanted to put this one onto a sheet, let’s say that we have the building elevations, and let’s just compare this to it. So, the building elevations here – that’s interesting. We’re not seeing these come up. Let’s just do the update and get those generated. Let me see if there’s any comments so far. So, I see just the original greetings, but nobody has any comments or questions. Alright, so here’s our views there. I’ve got a new view that we’re going to be bringing in – the south elevation here. I think it’s similar to that one there, I guess. [0:24:47]
So, let’s just bring that over here. Now, in terms of the scale of it, we go to the drawing selection settings. We look at the size. OK, so it’s at 100% scale based on what I had on screen at the time that I did it. So, it’s actually not based on a true quarter-inch or 1:50 sort of thing. So, if we did want to put it onto a sheet and make it match, then we might want to actually overlay it and snap it till it has the same scale. [0:25:37]
So, if I were to drag this down approximately here and then use the option to scale it, which is this one in the pet palette, and if I put this here and say display order, send to back, then you can see that we can look at them in relationship to each other. It’s a little bit hard to tell, but let me just drag it so that the tip of this is more there, and it’s actually looking pretty close. You can see that ridge line there. If I were to take this down just a little bit more there, now it’s getting pretty close. So, you could, within a couple of minutes, get this to be actually in the right scale. I’m getting it pretty close, probably within 2 or 3% or something like that. [0:26:41]
So, sometimes it’s useful to create a view that’s identical, but I’ll just know that I’ve got it in scale. Let’s just compare the visual appearance of this here. So, we can crop this in. It’s a rendered elevation, and of course we can put notes on top of this here on the sheet, or we could create a 3D document from it. If you create a 3D document, you’re going to end up with a view pretty much identical to the one you have in a pure elevation, just with the 3D document having built in the options for shading. [0:27:30]
Now, the textures are only going to be seen in the 3D window or in a rendering, but this particular view obviously is one that you can then use as an alternate way of editing the elevation there. So, let’s see if we have any questions. I see Andy Travers is typing in something, so let me know if you have a question about the application of this approach and whether it would be useful. So, he says, “Can you not use your dimension to scale the model view into position?” [0:28:08]
In this case, no, because the model view is actually a 3D window snapshot. Now, it is live in the sense that if I were to go to this 3D view here, and let’s just say that I took the tree, and I dragged it here. Let’s select the tree and drag this. So, when we’re in this type of a view, it’s actually harder to do certain types of editing like the drag. Let’s see if I were to take this window and use the option to edit it, move it over a bit. Actually, I ended up selecting the wall. That’s interesting. [0:28:56]
Let’s select the window. There we go, and let’s drag it there. OK, so now I have the window moved. This is, of course, a live view. If I go back to the elevations here, we don’t see the change here or here yet, but if we do an update, either individually of a drawing by right-clicking on it and saying to update, we’ll see that it will keep up to date. So, a 3D view, whether it’s an aerial view or an AXO view or a perspective or something like this, the elevation will be linked to it, but there is no scale. It is a 3D snapshot. [0:29:43]
So, unfortunately, you have to manually scale it with something that is scaled. Obviously, true elevations – when we go to the drawing selection settings, they are set to be a percentage of the drawing scale. So, you can see that there’s a drawing scale here whereas this one, if we go to the drawing selection settings, it’s a percentage, but it’s a resolution in terms of dots per inch of when you actually save that view. [0:30:19]
So, that’s the key difference, but the advantage of this, at least in some cases, is that you can get a nicely rendered view. Let’s see here. Let me just put myself on Do Not Disturb here so that we don’t have any more interruptions. Alright. OK, so Chris says, “Can you not get a colored version of an elevation?” Yes, you can. So, let’s just say this elevation here – right now, this drawing is linked to – scroll all the way down here. It’s linked to a view that’s within my elevations clone folder of that south elevation. [0:31:18]
Now, there is a similar view here that would be in the presentation document section, and this one is south elevation here. So, we’ll take presentation elevation, south elevation. So, when this view here updates, it has the colors. Now, look at the difference between this. If I zoom in on it, it’s shaded with vectorial linework whereas this view is textured. Now, depending upon your zoom level, when you save that view, this can be more or less detailed, but you can see the difference that this makes, and if we look at the stonework, the appearance of it can be more naturalistic, and the trees as well – just the colors. [0:32:20]
So, that’s the difference between a construction document view with shading and not. Now, just as a quick reminder, in terms of these viewpoints, the construction document elevations here and the presentation document elevations are actually in the current version of MasterTemplate, and in whatever file you have, you can have the same view with two different settings. You can see how it didn’t leave the window. We’re still in the south elevation. This is still the one marker for a particular viewpoint that is just having different overrides. [0:33:08]
Right now, we have no overrides, so the elevation marker is set to show in color here, and there’s some areas of the project that are beyond the marked distant area, where we say if it’s beyond that, don’t do it in shade. Don’t put textures on it. Just give me some linework, so it proceeds in the background. The overrides – if I say I want no shading, then this will turn off the shading but leave the vectorial lines. If I say to just give me a plain one, for example, then it can turn off all of the lines and even the shadows, and if we want to just very quickly review the graphic overrides, which were introduced in ARCHICAD 20, it gives you the ability to do multiple effects on a drawing or view. [0:34:12]
So, in this case, it’s hiding the shadows and the shading and the cover fills, which give us the shading one here. If we say no shading or shadows, or no shading, you can see there are fewer overrides. So, each one of these is a rule that goes and says, in this case, no shading. It’s going to say anything that is 3D, make the fill background pen blank. So, it’s basically not going to have any fills with a color. So, that’s how we achieved it. [0:34:53]
Alright, let’s go to my notes here and see what I’ve got here. OK, let’s look at the 3D viewpoints and bring up the Navigator preview window, which I don’t use very often, but it is so useful for certain things. So, if we go to the Window menu, palettes, and where is it? Navigator preview here, and you can see this little option here. Now, I can rotate this around, and now I’m in a pure elevation but just rotating it to a different angle. [0:35:45]
So, this is very nice because you can switch between these so gracefully. Now, if I were in another orientation like just a different orientation here and then rotated it around, I’m still maintaining that sort of aerial type of view here. So, this Navigator preview is something that you can turn off or on. Now, if we are in a perspective like this in the Navigator preview, you can see there’s this little V, and I’m standing here, and the building is there. If I move this closer, you can see how I’m getting to be a closer view, and I can rotate this around. So, there’s a very, very fast way to navigate around that view. [0:36:36]
Now, if I double-click on it, there’s an option. Let’s see. We want to be able to auto-zoom. OK, unfortunately one of the things that’s a little bit hard about this is that you can’t zoom in on this easily. You can drag this window by grabbing its title bar. You can grab it and have it free-standing, and then you can make it a different size, and if you have more than one screen, then this can be convenient for being able to see it nicely, but you can see that I can move this around. [0:37:18]
Now, there is an option that I just must have turned off here somehow – oh, real-time zoom. That’s what it is. With real-time zoom, as I move this around, you can see it instantly is updating there. This is our target. That’s the center of my view. Now, if for some reason, this is off-screen, and unfortunately we just can’t zoom in and out. There is a shortcut. If you wanted to jump over to an area that was in view? No, I just wanted to show you in the 3D Projection settings that we have a very similar view. [0:38:11]
You can see it here. Now, I can drag this around, and we’re not getting the instant feedback, so you just sort of have to guess about this. Sometimes, this may be actually off-screen. If I rotate this around here, you can see this point is off-screen, so I can’t drag it. A shortcut is you can hold down the Shift key and click, and that will put your viewpoint here. You can hold down the option key and click to grab the target as well. So, Shift+click or Option or Alt+Click will allow you to move this around. [0:38:50]
So, with the perspective settings here, of course, we can maneuver with certain controls in terms of where you’re looking. So, right now, we’re looking across from 5 feet to 5 feet. So, that’s about eye level, about 1 ½ meters, roughly. If we take this up, let’s say, 55 feet, we can see we’re now up in the air about 15, 20 meters in the air. In order to have things without foreshortening or have these lines parallel here, let’s say that if you’re looking more steeply down or steeply up, you’re going to have the point of convergence down at some location in theory where all these lines would meet. [0:39:56]
Sometimes, that can be distracting, and so there is an option that you should at least be aware of. Say that we wanted to have this type of view but without the extra foreshortening. We can go under the View menu and go to 3D Navigation Extras and say that we want 3D View Options. Where is it? There’s a special one that will straighten the view. OK, I’ve lost that one here. 3D View Options? It’s not there. Let’s see. 3D Projection Settings, use two-point perspective effective until next 3D navigation. [0:40:58]
So, two-point perspective allows you to sort of force it to regenerate this where all of these lines are vertical. Now, this particular view is pretty funky-looking. You can see how weird it looks, but for certain orientations, this can be useful. Now, it says it will only be in effect until the next 3D navigation, so for example, as soon as I press down to move around here, it will go back to having the foreshortening, but if you do want to bring that up, you can bring up that dialog and say to use two-point perspective, and there are times when this may actually be better for your purposes. [0:41:47]
Maybe it needs to be a little bit further away to get that effect. So, you can say this is a view in your View Map and return to it at any time. So, let’s just see the difference. If I say to save this in two-point perspective here, and then if I just click to start navigating and save this one, we’ll just go here and say three-point perspective here, and we can then just go quickly back and forth between the two-point and the three-point there. [0:42:34]
OK, let us see here. So, there’s an option for moving around in space that I rarely use, but you may find it convenient, and that is the Explore Mode. So, when you go into Explore Mode, you click on this little icon here of the walking figure, and it has certain keyboard shortcuts, which ultimately were carried over into BIMX. You can use the arrow keys to move around on screen, so if you have cursor keys on your keyboard, the up arrow will move you forward, and the down arrow will move you back, and then left and right will move you sideways. [0:43:17]
You can also use the keyboard and the WASD on the keyboard or in the upper-left of your keyboard, and they have a natural relationship to each other in terms of going forward, backward, left, and right, and then you can move up and down in space if you have an extended keyboard, and you have the Page Up and Page Down buttons. You can use those. You can use the spacebar and the C, which are just below the WASD on the keyboard to do a similar thing. [0:43:52]
The Fly Mode allows you to move around freely in space. When you’re not in Fly Mode, it will actually try to keep you in relationship to the ground plane a certain distance, so it’s really like walking, and you can move along at different speeds by using the + or – keys or the period or comma and the Shift key to speed up. To get out of Explore Mode, you can use the mouse to click or hit Escape, and there is a help option. [0:44:26]
So, if I say 3D Explore, and I use the cursor keys, I’m now moving forward. I can move left or right here, and we rotate the view with the mouse. So, this is just like BIMX. It allows you to move through space and your client may find it useful. It’s very much like a video game. Now, you can see down in the bottom left of the screen that it’s in Fly Mode. So, we’re actually floating in space. If I hit the F key again, now I’m not, and let’s see. OK, we’ll go down. So, the spacebar allows me to go up. The C allows me to go down, so those are the keyboard shortcuts that you may want to do, and you can move around your view. [0:45:34]
So, the Explore Mode is very much like a video game. I generally find it more awkward than helpful, so what I prefer, and I’ll just hit Escape to go out of it. I prefer to just use the center mouse button and pan around left or right with the Shift key orbit and roll the mouse button in or out to move my camera position when I’m in a perspective along. So, with combinations of that, and if I want to go up above, I just drag up with the center mouse button, and I’m now using an elevator, essentially, and if I want to get back away from the building, I rotate the mouse wheel to back away. [0:46:27]
So, I’ve gotten very used to that as a navigation, just on the fly, but Explore Mode down here is something that occasionally I’ll use for certain demonstrations. So, that’s an option you may find useful from time to time. Let’s see if there’s any questions. How many of you have used Explore Mode in ARCHICAD? It’s something that I think Graphisoft set up years and years ago, and it was pretty revolutionary, but with the other options for zooming in and out and moving around, not sure how many people are using it. [0:46:58]
OK, so I’m just looking at comments. Chris used to use it years ago but not so much now. Jimmy says, “Yes.” Tom is typing in. OK, so let us see here. OK, so I think that I’ve covered most of the 3D navigation options that I wanted to today. We’ve covered so much in previous lessons. I just wanted to have one place where I summarized some of the most common ways that I have for moving around in space. [0:48:17]
I’m going to open it up just for any questions that you have, things that relate to 3D viewing and just being in the best place in the project for what you need, and let me know if there’s any things you’re a little confused about or find frustrating or awkward, and I’ll try to give you some quick answers before we finish up for today. [0:48:40]
Alright, so Marlene says, “Is it possible to look at BIMX and the same features?” OK, so BIMX has multiple different versions that you can be talking about. There’s a desktop version, which is the app that you download on your Mac or Windows machine. There’s the mobile version, which is an app that you put on your iPhone or Android device, and then there’s the web version that is a recent addition. It was added just this past year, I think, and it allows you to upload your file to your Graphisoft website and then actually move around or explore the project within the web browser, and as an additional option, you can then embed that exploration into your own website. [0:49:56]
So, let’s take a look. I don’t have my iPad here to be able to demonstrate the mobile version, but let’s look, then, at BIMX in this context here. So, it used to be that if I were in a 3D view of any type that I could just go to the File menu and say Save As and choose BIMX here as one of the options. You notice that there is no BIMX option anymore. [0:50:30]
The reason is that instead of saving a 3D model as BIMX, they give you the option to publish a BIMX hyper model. So, when you publish a BIMX hyper model, you’re saving a 3D model or possibly more than one version of a 3D model, and you are saving the views in the layout book for a particular set of drawings. So, if we say to publish a BIMX hyper model, then it’s going to look at a publisher set, which is designated for that purpose. [0:51:05]
So, let’s go to the Organizer and look at publisher sets in this context. So, publisher sets are the controls that are organized in this final button of the Navigator here. So, if I click over in the standard Navigator, the right-hand one, these are the publisher sets, and each one of these publisher sets has a property or publishing properties, which asks if I’m going to save it in a BIMX hyper model, a .pdf, or if I’m creating a folder structure, then I have the option to save each individual view or sheet that’s in there as a .dwg or .pdf or something else. [0:52:03]
So, with these, the publisher set would ask where I’m going to store it, and each individual element will now have its own format. When I do a single file, it’s going to be either a BIMX hyper model or a .pdf with multiple drawings in a single file in this case. So, by making it a BIMX hyper model, then this particular one here – these two – are set up as BIMX exports whereas if I go to layouts to .dwg and I ask what the publishing properties are, you’ll see it’s going to create a real folder structure. [0:52:43]
If we go to layouts to .pdf and publishing properties, it’s going to create a single file that’s in pdf format, so the ones that are for BIMX need to be chose to that purpose. Let’s just create a new one here. We’ll go and create a new publisher set, Test BIMX. So, publishing properties need to be single file, BIMX hyper model, and we have an option for saving out data from the model that would be viewed. If you selected a window or a wall or a cabinet or piece of equipment, what piece of information would it carry over? [0:53:28]
So, I can select the general properties of elements, or I can select a schedule from any of these schedule that we have, and we can actually have multiple ones. I can say I’d like to have the information that’s in the door schedule and the information that’s in a window schedule here. We can have multiple ones here. You can see multiple selection for the info set, or we could say to just give me the classifications in properties, which is general data about it. [0:54:06]
So, the BIMX hyper model is going to be a single file with some data that will have a certain name – in this case, the MasterTemplate sample project, and it’s going to have a certain path that we are going to save. So, I’ll just put it into my Downloads folder here. So, now I’ve defined this one, the Test BIMX, as an export there. So, that’s how I’ve defined it. [0:54:36]
Now, when I go to open it, you can see there’s nothing in there because although I’ve defined it, I haven’t put anything into it. So, how do we get things into it? Well, in the Organizer, which is a double-wide version of the Navigator, I can switch to the test one, and you can see there’s nothing in there, and I can drag in. Let’s just say I want the title sheet here, and I want the floor plans, the elevations, and the sections. [0:55:08]
So, these are 4 different sheets that I’m going to do, and then in order to make it a functional BIMX, I need to have a view or more than one view of the model. So, I’ll just say to give me an AXO Overall here, and I’ll just drag this over. So, now I have a 3D view here. We literally can have more than one 3D model view, although it’s not recommended that you put in multiple ones because it will actually duplicate the model in the BIMX file multiple times. [0:55:42]
It does allow you to have different versions – for example, the structural model versus a full model or one with interior elements – furniture – versus one that’s just the architecture. So, you can do that, but each time, you’re exporting the full geometry of the data. Now, I can go and publish it here, or I can go back to that file menu command that says publish BIMX hyper model. Let’s go ahead and publish this right now. [0:56:11]
It is going and saving, and you can see in the background that it is going to some of these sheets and re-updating them, and here’s it’s going to that AXO view and just making sure that it’s there, and it’s exporting it. So, it’s now finished up saving the BIMX model with some plan or some drawing sheets. Now, in the desktop application – the one that we can open up directly on screen on a Mac or Windows machine, when I open it up, it will only give me the 3D model. [0:56:56]
So, that’s fine. I can open it up. We can send it over to a client to look at. They will be able to see the 3D model on their Mac or PC and be able to move through it. Now, if they have a mobile device, or you look at it on your iPad or iPhone or Android device, then you will be able to see the documents, the drawings, along with the model, and jump back and forth between them in a very intuitive, graphically compelling method. [0:57:37]
Now, recently, Graphisoft introduced an option for uploading a BIMX hyper model to a web server that they provide for users. You get a certain amount of space that’s more than enough for handling several projects without any charge, just using your Graphisoft ID. You can also probably pay a small amount to have more space, and we’ll see what’s happening. It’s taking quite a while to save the BIMX info, but I’d imagine it’s going to complete that. It’s exporting the materials right now, so in this case, it’s got probably quite a few materials that it’s preparing so that the BIMX file can look fairly realistic. [0:58:31]
So, it’s still going. I can see the spinning beach ball, so hopefully it will get this all done, and I’ll just keep talking for a moment. So, while this is happening, I’ll just bring up my browser, and we’ll go to my web browser here, and we’ll do a search for Graphisoft BIMX transfer site. So, BIMX model transfer or BIMX.Graphisoft.com here. So, you can go explore other people’s BIMX models that have been made public. [0:59:26]
You can also make yours public if you want to share it, sort of as a portfolio piece or even just have a link on the Graphisoft site that people can access, but if I sign in with my Graphisoft ID, then I’ll be able to upload, and you can see here that I’ve got 78 megabytes out of 5 gigabytes total, so this is actually the sample project here. It’s in a folder called Home. You can have multiple folders to organize different projects or different clients or different styles like commercial versus residential there, and I can upload a hyper model from here. [1:00:13]
So, once this has been saved, and let’s just see if it actually completed. It has completed here, so we have all the check boxes, and we can close up the publishing process. So, if it’s been completed, then I imagine I can go and say to upload this BIMX hyper model and go to find the one that I just did and say to open it. You can see it is uploading, and I’m sure it’s going to be similar in size because it’s really the same model, essentially, with maybe just some different sets of drawings done, and once it’s been processed, it will be available for publishing, and I can say whether it’s going to be public or private. [1:01:03]
So, I’ll say public so other people could potentially look at MasterTemplate and find it. I guess you can do a search based on maybe my name or MasterTemplate there. So, I’ll say to publish this, and we’ll see. Now, if I double-click on MasterTemplate Sample Project Test BIMX, we’ll see that this looks like the corner of a sheet. So, that’s sort of the preview image. If I say to play it, essentially opening it, you can see that here are the different sheets. Remember I had those 4 sheets. So, I can click on title sheet, and here’s that title sheet. [1:01:55]
I can zoom in, and you can see that it’s nice and crisp, just like a .pdf here. I can go to the next sheet and just look at each of these sheets, and if I use this navigation menu here, I can go to that 3D view. Double-click on it, and go to the 3D view. Now, I can open this window up. This is a window on the webpage, and I can go and expand it. There’s a little icon here to make this fit the full browser window. So, if I do this, you can see that now, I’m in the view. [1:02:44]
If I use the arrow keys, I can navigate around. I think the W will allow me to move forward through here. So, you can see that I’m moving through this. So, the up and down keys allow me to tilt my head. The left and right allow me to rotate my orientation, and the WASD will allow me to move forward, backward, or left and right. So, there are more controls here. You can see this question mark that will bring up some guidance for how you can navigate and different controls that you have. This little X here will close off the guides. [1:03:42]
There are some controls here with the gear. For example, if you’re in Fly Mode, moving freely, or you’re in Walk Mode where it’s going to keep you to a certain level relative to the ground, whether you’re going to move slowly or normal speed or fast, etc. I say fit in window here, so this is actually jumping out to fit the screen here. Launch hyper model in new window? Here’s the Graphisoft site, and here I’ve got just the model in window here, which I guess I can go to building elevations and things like that. [1:04:35]
Alright, so that’s the basic navigation things here. As a secondary thing you can share, links to this using this button here – tweet it, post it on Facebook, LinkedIn, or put it into an email, and you can also get the code to embed this model. So, this is what’s called an I-frame, which means if you have it in your website, it will put in a window with this information. So, you can literally have that available. If I go to bobrow.com/BIMX, I think I may have set up one here. [1:05:23]
No, I had one that was a BIMX file. No, that’s not it. I’m not sure. I know I created one just recently as a test demonstration, but I did have it on my website. Now, I’m noticing that my power is down to 4%, even though I’m plugged in here, so it’s a little bit odd, but hopefully I’ll stay connected up through the end of the webinar. Alright, so that’s the basics of BIMX in the web browser, and the one that I sort of skipped over is the fact that I can just double-click on the BIMX file, and it will open up within the BIMX application that I believe is installed automatically with ARCHICAD. [1:06:20]
You can see that I’ve got this file open. How do I get this to go? Double-click on this. No, I hit Escape here. If I hit Escape, now I’m actually in that model, and I can move around. Controls here? Fly. So, these are the various controls that we have. Now, what I will say here is that we’ve got this opened here. If I say to browse hyper model, it’s saying that this hyper model includes 2D documentation, but that’s only visible in the BIMX mobile app. So, if you open up this file on an iPhone or an iPad or an Android device, then you would see the 2D documentation, the layout sheets, but here we don’t see it. [1:07:33]
All we see is the 3D model, which I can open, and here we are. Controls? Parallel view is F8. OK, so we are in the parallel view, I think. So, if I hit F8, now I’m in the perspective view like that whereas if I hit F8 again, now I’m in an axo sort of view, and I can zoom in and out. So, those are the basic controls in BIMX, and that’s the way that you would generate a BIMX file, and let’s just put it back into ARCHICAD here. [1:08:21]
Alright, so since I’ve asked for your questions, I see a question from Jimmy. “Is it possible for quick dimensioning to any of the 3D windows?” OK, so we are in a 3D view, obviously, and in a 3D view, I can move in and out, select things and edit them, but you notice the 2D documentation tools are grey. In order to put in dimensions or any type of annotation, we need to save a view wherever we choose to do this as a 3D document. [1:09:08]
So, we can right-click an empty space and say new 3D document from 3D, or we can go to the document menu and do 3D document, new 3D document. Same thing. Basically going to create this 3D view, give it a name, and we’ll just give it an ID – 01, and we’ll just say AXO Test. Create this. So, this is going to create a 3D document in just a few seconds. You can see it looks similar, but it has different shading. It is like what we see in the elevations when you choose to have shading. In other words, we’re not seeing any textures. [1:09:54]
Now, there is an option, if we go to the 3D document settings for how you’re going to look at the model display, and for example, we could turn on vectorial 3D hatching. When we do that, then we’re going to see the linework that we’re seeing in those elevations. So, if you want that, you can have it, or of course, you can say no, I don’t want 3D hatching. It’s not helpful in this particular case. [1:10:24]
Now, when you’re in a 3D document, I can zoom in and out, but I can’t rotate because it’s a fixed view. Now, I can use the labels, and I can point at things and say new walls. So, I can just label things with normal annotation. Now, if I wanted to do dimensioning, I use the Dimension tool, and if I click on a point, you can see how it recognizes the roof. It recognizes another point. You can see the black pencil and the fact that the roof highlights. [1:11:03]
Double-click, and you can see how it’s proposing that that dimension go off in a certain orientation. Sometimes it can be a little bit awkward what that orientation is. Let me just do that back here, but you can see that that is dimensioning something that is, I’m sure, something accurate. If I wanted to have something like a vertical reference here like from this point to that point, you can see how it does it. [1:11:34]
Now, these dimensions are associative, and this view is going to update if the model changes, so if we do end up redesigning, then if the walls get taller or the roof changes shape, then these dimensions will update. So, this is a 3D document. The 3D document exists in the Project Map in this group here. So, the Project Map. Remember our viewpoints, so things like plans, sections, elevations, etc. Here’s 3D documents, and then you can and should create views of the 3D documents by going to the Save Current View, and we’ll just say AXO Test 3D Doc here. [1:12:30]
That’s now a new view that I can return to at any time, and I can place it, of course, onto a layout sheet or just simply print it if it’s just for a meeting or a working session. Alright, so Jimmy mentioned that the audio was gone for a moment, and then it’s back. OK, alright, so you’re welcome, Jimmy. Let me know if we have any final questions for today. I know that it probably was a review of many things that you already know. Hopefully there were a few items in here that were fresh, particularly that BIMX has got some new options with the ability to upload to a website or to the Graphisoft site and navigate within a web browser. [1:13:30]
You can actually share that link with a client directly, and you can also embed it on your website, if you wanted to have samples of your work that people can explore in the BIMX context. It can be an interesting way to share your portfolio. Alright, so we’ll finish up. Thank you for joining me today. We’ll be moving on. [1:13:54]
I think we have one or two more sessions in the Fast Track where we’re going over sort of key principles that will give you greater control and efficiency, and then after that, we’re going to be moving into some more of the details of the 3D elements, particularly some of the things that have gotten more intricate and have more options than they used to for all of the different tools and elements. [1:14:27]
So, we’ll be getting into more of the modeling side of things very shortly. Alright, take care. Thanks for joining me. [1:14:34]