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Design Concept Presentation with Archicad


In this article we want to provide some tips and tricks to supplement or enhance architectural drawings. Architects need enhanced architectural drawings to be able to represent their design concept efficiently.

Of course, you have to start with a proper model in Archicad.

Step 1: Create an Axonometry View

The next step is to find the best view of the model, which helps you represent every detail you want. Nowadays, axonometry’s role is confined to conceptual drawings. Of course, a perspective view also can be the right choice, here you can read about how to set up a perspective view.


In Archicad we can find the required settings to achieve different axonometries. In the Projection Settings dialog presets are available for the basic types of projections. 

View > 3D View Options > 3D Projection Settings > Parallel Projections… 

Other useful commands are under View > 3D Navigation Extras

Click to see the different Parallel Projection types
Custom Top Isometric
Frontal Monometric Dimetric

Step 2: Create a 3D Document

The 3D Document allows you to use either the Floor Plan or the 3D view of the model as the basis for creating a document, to which you can add dimensions, labels and additional 2D drawing elements.

Click to see the steps for creating a 3D Document
  • Right click on Generic Axonometry in the Navigator
  • Select “New 3D Document” from the context menu
  • In the appearing dialog type the Reference ID and the Name of the 3D Document
  • 3D Document will be generated by clicking on Create button
  • The current view of 3D will be displayed

Step 3: Set up a Graphic Override Combination

Use Graphic Overrides to apply a predefined appearance (color, fill) to different model elements. First, create Graphic Override Rules. A Rule defines what type of elements (based on specific criteria) should be overridden and how they should look like (3D surface, contour line, fill) as a result of the override.

Why do we use Graphic Override instead of re-coloring the elements in their settings?

Because re-coloring an element is a global setting, in every view, even on the rendering, you would see that specific color. If you use the Graphic Override feature, you can have different colors in every view.

First, set up Graphic Override Rules, then create a Graphic Override Combination and apply the Combination.

Click to see how to create a Graphic Override Rule

Create a Rule

  • Go to Document > Graphic Overrides > Graphic Override Rules
  • Click the New button at the bottom of the Graphic Override Rules dialog box
  • In the New Rule dialog box, enter the Rule name
  • Click OK to create the new Rule
  • Also see: Create Rule in the User Guide

Define Criteria

  • In the Criteria list, the first line is always Element Type
  • Select this first line, then click the black arrow at the end of the row to choose a value for this criterion from the pop-up
  • To define additional criteria, click the Add... button to bring up a list of Parameters & Properties
  • Choose criteria
  • Then click Add (or press Enter) to add it to the list.
  • You can add additional Element Types, plus any more criteria as needed

Define Override Style


Use the Override Style panel to define how to display elements that fit this Rule’s criteria.

Check the boxes of the attributes you want to override. For each of these attributes, define the type (e.g., pen color, line type) as applicable.


Alternatively you can also override the Fill Type and Colors instead of the 3D Surface.

Click to see how to define a Graphic Override Combination

Define Graphic Override Combination

A Graphic Override Combination (a View Setting) is a collection of Graphic Override Rules applied to the elements of the model view in a particular order.

  • Go to Document > Graphic Overrides > Graphic Override Combinations
  • Click on New and enter the name
  • Click on Add and select the rules you want to add from the list
  • Click OK to create the new Combination
  • Apply the Combination: Go to Document > Graphic Overrides and select the new Combination (or use the Quick Options Bar)


Step 4: Add Dimensions and Labels

To the 3D Document, you can add dimensions and labels.
To place them, use Archicad’s dimensioning tools, plus certain dimensioning functions that are available only for 3D Documents.

Step 5: Add Fills and Lines


To the 3D Document, you can add any 2D elements, such as fills and lines. In this example, we used two types of Fills on top of each other for the sky.

Further Tips and Examples

Turn on Shadows

  • Go to Document > Documenting Tools > 3D Document Settings
  • Open Model Display Panel
  • Scroll to Sun Shadow and turn it on
  • Click OK 

Select All Ridges Smooth for the Mesh

  • Select the Mesh and open its Settings
  • Under 3D Appearance select All Ridges Smooth
  • Click OK


Also see: Perspective sections in Archicad

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