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Custom roof tiles


Hi everyone
I am working on a very old project and the roof tiles are very unusual and there is no tile like this in the Archicad accessories addon.
I tried to model it with a morph and finally turn it into an object, but eventho It is an object, it becomes very heavy and I can no longer work on the project, does anyone have any suggestion? Except for GDL coding...


Barry Kelly

Even creating a GDL object via scripting will probably not be much better.

I guess it depends on the tile.

Can you post an image?


If you need an actual modelled tile, can you simplify its shape and maybe use a profiled shell?

You want to get it to a few polygons as possible.


Personally I would try to avoid modelling individual tiles.

Use a flat roof with a hatch pattern for elevations.

In section and large scale details you can use a 2D fill of the profile where it is cut.


In 3D renderings you may want to see individual modelled tiles - depending how close you get to seeing them.

But if viewed from a bit of a distance, you can set up a surface with bump maps or distortion to give the impression of tiles.

That is a bit easier said than done unless you know what you are doing with surface materials for renderings.




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Hey Barry, thanks for the answer, I have attached a photo.
They need these tiles to be visible in 3D so I cant use 2D stuff or textures, but havent heard about profiled shell, you mean modeling 1 tile with shell then copying that?



Its rotated, sry

Because of the curved lip at the front, a shell would not work.

For the roman tiles in the background a shell would be perfect.


These a fairly flat tiles, so maybe a 'j' shaped morph (with thickness) to get the profile and then just morph lines on the surface to represent the edges and the diamond detail.


If you need more detail in 3D then raise the edge and the diamond so they sit up a little, but keep the edges square.

But more detail = more polygons = slower file.





One of the forum moderators.
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You might want to look at CADImage "Coverings". I believe you can create custom tiles and then the tool covers the roof with the custom tile shapes.

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Thanks alot, I will check that


This should be doable, depending on the level of detail you need.


I would suggest modeling one tile as a morph, using as few polygons as possible. Could you use a single, flat shape with no thickness? This alone will reduce the amount of polygons needed by more than 50%. Keep detailed curves to a minimum, use straight line facets instead.


Look at the attached quick sample I made – this roof has 1120 tiles, each modeled as a single layer (no thickness) morph, 7 polygons each. To make this I drew the profile in plan, traced it with the morph tool using straight lines, and then a little manual work in 3D to extrude it, before multiplying it and unifying them into one large morph. I believe this last step is important – it reduces the number of individual objects Archicad has to keep track of. 


The total roof (one side, 14 x 4 meters) amounts to 7840 polygons – that should be workable on most computers, at least it is on my 2013 iMac.


Of course you could end up with many times more on a large building, but I think this is about as efficient as you get without coding. I have not tried to convert it to an object, this could increase performance even more, but I have generally not felt the need to do so. 





Roof tile morph 3D.pngRoof tile morph polycount.png

Thanks David, very cool suggestion; but how about sections, where you need them to have a thikness?
I have almost 7500 tiles, so with the thinkness and extra lines, I have atleast 75000 lines at the end, big difference indeed

I would consider if I really needed to show the modeled thickness in section. It is a drawing after all, which will always be a simplification of reality, to varying degrees.


Adding 2D fills could be enough, and manageable, in most situations.

Rajesh Patil

Hi, up-to what extent you are willing to show then in your 2D and 3D representation? Are you willing to extract number of tiles quantities too? 

Rajesh Patil
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