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Atrribute manager

Paul King
I would dearly love for Attribute Manager to be able to intelligently manage rather than "mangle" attributes

Currently, a painstaking process is required every time you want to transfer a large selection of modified material attributes to another project with the same material names already in use (another module in a series of related modules for example)

Simply doing a batch overwrite from a saved aat file does not work - instead you end up with the wrong materials overwritten somehow, as well as duplicate rather then overwritten materials. Don't quite understand how this could occur, but it does most of the time for me. Even if nominally overwritten, i find the preassigned materials on objects can be unpredictably changed by the process.

Just about every time attributes are updated from one model file to another, the next model ends up with many wrong colours/textures etc & user has to manually put every thing right. Also I have noticed that Lightwave material attributes are frequently not transferred properly even when conventional ArchiCAD material attributes are correctly transferred to materials with same name.

Deleting all existing attributes & replacing with all new imported ones produces equally unpredictable results - material names again seem to count for little, and other materials often get substituted on objects in the model.

Similar issues apply with linetypes, fills etc - it appears the name of the attribute being transferred is not assumed to refer to an existing attribute of the same name - almost as if there is a separate/hidden ID number that takes precedence over the actual typed name of the material

I think that attribute names need to be sacrosanct as a fundamental attribute management/merging/overwriting tool

A second related wish:

Attributes files should be able to be treated much like a standalone library file in themselves - in other words project material definitions, line types etc should be able to refer to a central database file, that automatically and accurately updates all models that refer to it.

Potentially, you could have a huge and CONSISTENT single database of materials, linetypes etc to draw on for all projects - where you are not forced to hunt through multiple previous projects for exactly the material you want for your current rendering. This could include commercial libraries of thousands of paint colours & stone textures, carpets etc. You might also have smaller subset/local project versions which draw from the central database which are automatically generated each time you want to add a new attribute, and which are purged of unused attributes etc at the end, and which are saved with project for archival purposes

Updating could be akin to the teamwork updating process, with satellite library of attributes updating accordingly

Much like library parts, often you don't know ahead of time which materials you will need (projects are all so different), so relying on office templates is not a great option.
And in each concurrent project your office undertakes , you might enhance or add several given materials , and have that work lost for subsequent projects that need to start from a different existing template or existing job for other reasons

Evolution of office standard attributes across multiple concurrent projects is too much to keep track of let alone capture manually - and exactly what an "Attribute Manager" should be able to automate.

ArchiCAD 8-25
Octane Render Plugin for ArchiCAD
Twinmotion 2022
Windoze 11
Intel Core i9 10900K
Nvidia Gforce RTX 3080
32 Gb DDR3
2x4K monitor extended desktop

this is crucial for cad managers, trying to synchronize projects into a common work environment, where cores, stairs, units, etc. are swapped between projects from different years, different teams, etc. We have 30 users of ArchiCad, staff is reshuffled as jobs ascend and descend in priority in the office, which results in a lot of mixed attributes, from mixed user expereince and mixed source files. We are desperately trying to standardize.

the 'hidden thing' you referred to which counts for more than an attribute's name is the index number.

that's why ML created his 'hundreds of dummies' .aat file, to sort, stack and reorder mangled attributes, but it is a workaround.

What I have been begging for is rewriteable indexes (for cad managers only, perhaps), and lockable core/standard attributes/indices.
Andy Thomson
Andy Thomson | Architect
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AC24 / Twinmotion / iMacPro

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