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Line/Surface Merging Control

Anonymous
Not applicable
This one bothers me for a looong time.
When we have two coplanar adjoining identical surfaces, the line will always become invisible.
As we all know and been discussed in this topic: https://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=45918&hilit=merging+surface&sid=2de7072f31...
Forgive me, but duplicating BM or Surfaces, changing the global behavior by Registry, Applying chamfers on the corner of CP's, Changing Layer Priority or Manual drawing Morph lines, are unacceptable solutions for a very very common situation.
So where I am proposing a checkbox for "Lines on Coplanar Adjoining Identical Surfaces" on all Element Model Settings.
19 REPLIES 19

Marc H
Booster
Essential! Thank you, Braza, for proposing it.

This would be a very efficient solution one can choose by element. My work around, as others have also stated, is to create a discreetly different building material with a slightly different priority. This works well in many places, but in some cases it just propagates more materials than would really be needed and therefore, more things to manage with no value added.
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Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
Good wish and a good solution so the behavior can be controlled on an element level.
I voted Essential.
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Marc H
Booster
I just had another thought: this condition often presents itself when we have adjoining structural elements, whereas not so much for finishes where we typically hide adjoining material 'seams'. This is noted in Jared Banks entry within the referred topic. He speaks of framing and my experience is typically around adjoining concrete walls and columns, or primary and secondary steel, etc.

Perhaps you could have a Work Environment (or project template level) panel where you review the coplanar separation value defaults by classification (e.g., 'structural') or perhaps MVO, so as to set most of your element groups from the start. Then, you customize at the element level check box as an override to those more global values.
“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” - Abraham Lincoln

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Anonymous
Not applicable
Marc wrote:
Then, you customize at the element level check box as an override to those more global values.
You mean adding this option to a GO Rule?
Like this:

DGSketcher
Virtuoso
I have voted essential as this is currently something I have have to manage by duplication of materials resulting in typically four copies of each framing element to prevent merging and make it clear where beams & columns start & stop.

Just throwing it out there, but to do my framing correctly the layers need an intersection value of zero, for me the simple solution would be to simply extend the LIP to not merge materials, or perhaps add the use of -1 to add the option. This provides easy global control by layer and can be quickly set through layer combos according to display requirements.

The prospect of managing this by element could be frustrating under some situations e.g. tracking down the right element(s) to set the tick box and needing to display both conditions to limit unwanted lines. Bear in mind how long it has taken to get the equivalent MVO option for slabs. I don't see GS providing an MVO for each element type as it doesn't solve different elements meeting and on an individual basis it just adds to the tool complexity when we need simplicity. I do think an GO option would be the next best option e.g. Show element contour.
Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

Anonymous
Not applicable
@DGSketcher

Yes. Granular/Element control is always a nice thing. But in this particular case, it could create some inconsistency. Plus the fact that the automatic invisibility of these lines probably have been created by GS for the performance sake. The Graphic Override solution seems more versatile, as it can change it at both levels with a search criteria. Not to mention that it would be much more easy to implement, as you wouldn't need to put the checkbox on every Element Model Option Dropdown. Personally, I would like both options (Element and GO), but I would also be happy for the GO.

Gergely Hari
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
I have a feeling this control rather belongs to the Building Material level. Eg. Metals, Wood, Plastics, Precast concrete you would want to keep the lines when joined, while in-situ materials like brickwork, concrete, plaster, soil, gravel, sand, air, water are something tonalways be merged and the lines eliminated.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Hi Gergely,
Thanks for the feedback.
I think the thing is not that linear... For example: There are situations that involve brick/Tilework and phases, where the line between the two phased walls need to be visible.

Anonymous
Not applicable
But in the other hand, the phasing separation line could be better handled by Layer Intersection Priority.
Yes... I think you are probably correct.

Gergely Hari
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
I'm sure that any rule-based solution (let it be GO, MVO or BMAT based) will never be a 100% correct - there will always be edge cases which require either element-level intervention, or 2D/3D patching of a few lines.
But I think the BMAT approach is - although a bit more limited than GO - ultimately good for more users; because BMAT settings are core knowledge for almost all AC users, whereas creating GO rules is still the realm of power users mostly. So a solution that solves 80% of cases and accessible for 80% of users, is inherently better than a solution capable of solving 99% of cases, but which can only be operated by less than 50% of users.

If the majority of situations can be solved by "non-merging Building Materials", then I'd go with that - and of course some kind of element / view level override would be necessary to better solve the remaining cases (but only if it is really as trivial to find and use, as drawing the missing lines there...)

Anonymous
Not applicable
Agreed. And the BM approach is more in line with the whole BM principle. The Line/Surface Merging is more a physical characteristic of the material itself.
So, if I understand you correctly, you propose a BM Line/Surface Merging Control and a GO Rule for eventual fine tune, right?

Gergely Hari
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
I'm not sure if the fine-tuning should be GO based though. (don't even know if that part would technically be feasible - GO can only remove-replace attributes, not really capable of drawing lines back if they were not there in the first place...).
I think the fine-tuning should - in the shorter run - be element based (eg. this element always shows all its contours, or never shows them); and in the long run, element &view based (this element's that line is hidden in this view) - but that is purely theoretical, this is far from being feasible at the moment. Element-level control for all lines (like Morph), maybe.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Gergely wrote:
I'm not sure if the fine-tuning should be GO based though. (don't even know if that part would technically be feasible - GO can only remove-replace attributes, not really capable of drawing lines back if they were not there in the first place.
I mean using the GO to change the BM original attribute definition from Visible Lines to Merged Lines.
And assuming that including a Visible/Merged Lines checkbox inside the BM Dialog Box is feasible.

Anonymous
Not applicable
And assuming that including a Visible/Merged Lines checkbox inside the BM Dialog Box is feasible.
Like this:

Marc H
Booster
Wasn’t the idea was to utilize the same BM for different assemblies (limiting BM redundancy), yet have a visual separation choice? That was the idea behind a suggested WE or project level Separation choice setting based for different classifications (e.g., structural frame) . An additional check box at the element level could be an exception choice for the odd element you want to see merged.

Example: I have a reinforced concrete building. I check a box Project Preferences Separate Coplaner Materials for my structurally classified elements. All columns will have lines between them and any infill concrete walls of the same BM. But then, I have a condition In the design where the SEOR wants a fully integral column set and shear wall. I select the two columns and the wall and check a box marked Merge Element Coplaner Material within the elements Info box.

In the above example, my other non-structural concrete elements using the same BM would still be visually merged. Say, there are some connected half-walls about In various directions of the same concrete spec (to match the structural elements color and texture). You would not see separation because the half walls would not be classed as structural.

Hope this helps.
“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” - Abraham Lincoln

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DGSketcher
Virtuoso
I think Gergely's idea is currently front runner if it could be implemented within a realistic time frame as it makes most sense architecturally e.g. some materials always show their edges whereas others naturally merge. The only problem I see with it is basic render / 3D document type images where you might want to merge the surface as an option for presentation purposes but still need to show the break lines for technical illustration.
Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

Anonymous
Not applicable
Marc wrote:
But then, I have a condition In the design where the SEOR wants a fully integral column set and shear wall. I select the two columns and the wall and check a box marked Merge Element Coplaner Material within the elements Info box.
DGsketcher wrote:
The only problem I see with it is basic render / 3D document type images where you might want to merge the surface as an option for presentation purposes but still need to show the break lines for technical illustration.
That's why I suggested the GO for Line/Surface Merging to complement Gergely's solution. You could then create a GO Rule to select only the specific elements and apply them the correct Line/Surface Merging.
As Gergely mentioned, technically, the checkbox inside each elements model options probably wouldn't or hardly be feasible. The inclusion of the control inside the attribute itself would be more straight forward. And the fact the GO only deal with attributes, would allow it to "tweak" the BM options for a particular situation/rule. This would cover the general and specific behavior of the Line/Surface Merging.

Barry Kelly
Moderator
Braza wrote:
That's why I suggested the GO for Line/Surface Merging to complement Gergely's solution. You could then create a GO Rule to select only the specific elements and apply them the correct Line/Surface Merging.

The only problem with GO rules is that they apply to the entire element, so all surfaces on the elements will be set to merge - not just the one surface material.
That might not be a desired outcome.


Barry.

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Anonymous
Not applicable
Yes Barry. If the element is made with multiple BM it could get messed.
As DGscketcher said: We may be hitting the developers brick wall. Again.
But I am sure they will come with a clever solution. As usual.

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