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Live editing viewports in layouts for WYSIWYG content creation

Paul King
Advocate

A dearly held, and very old wish is for live editing windows in the form of polygonal viewports.

Essentially live editing of source views directly from the layout.

 

This would overcome an absolutely huge productivity workflow obstacle.

 

The reality is every single practice I have ever freelanced to, without exception, rejects the paradigm of separating details, (and typically internal elevation views too) into separate windows.

 

The price of keeping them in separate views (i.e. using them as GS intend) is logistically just far too high, and far outweighs the automatic referencing benefits.

 

This is because the bottom line is content creation workflows above any referencing requirements for these view types.  The non negotiable production requirement is that details should be fundamentally viewed, created and edited in relation to one another , in a way that reflects the final layout on the printed sheet.

 

Much valuable design context and design utility is lost during creation if they are separated.

 

Only by drawing all details together side by side within the same window can notes, dimensions, linework, etc that graphically need to align between details, be quickly aligned between details both horizontally and vertically (and sometimes diagonally eg for a series of details following the line of a sloping roof).

 

Only when side by side can families of related details be efficiently checked and corrected for geometric conformity and other implications through multiple revisions.

 

Also it is frequently required that notes and element parameters need to be edited en-mass (eg to change a product reference, or change font sizes, styles, pen weights etc in all 2D library wall stud objects, or whatever) - and the effect of this change needs to be applied to and the results visible in all details at once, in order for any resulting problems to be spotted and dealt with efficiently.

 

The only practical compromise Archicad offers that goes some way to letting users create content and manage it in a WYSIWYG way (What You See Is What You Get) is to draw everything together on worksheets, in arrangements that correspond exactly to layouts, and to ignore the detail and internal elevation tools altogether.

 

Detail and internal elevations tools separate everything that logistically and graphically belongs together in a single view (from a content creation point of view),  into hundreds of clumsy separate view windows. 

These add a nasty management overhead and a lot of extra logistical time in getting to the consistent visual and other outcomes required.

 

By allowing us to work via polygonal viewports of views, we could have the best of both worlds - we could simulate the worksheet approach even while each detail technically still resides in its own view and can thus can be referenced individually and automatically to source makers and drawing titles.

 

A refinement would be to allow the placement of an new empty polygon in that editing environment in itself to create a new free floating detail view, which is only subsequently linked for referencing purposes once a detail marker is placed on a plan or section or elevation.

 

A further refinement would be to allow a saved view that has been placed in a layout to be cut in place along a poly line boundary, with both halves remaining and with content displaying either side of the cut polyline as it was before the cut  - with each half now able to be individually referenced back to a separate detail marker in plan or section.

 

PAUL KING
https://www.prime.net.nz
ArchiCAD 8-25
Octane Render Plugin for ArchiCAD
Twinmotion 2021
Windoze 10
Intel Core i9 10900K
Nvidia Gforce RTX 3080
32 Gb DDR3
2x4K monitor extended desktop
9 REPLIES 9

Erwin Edel
Mentor

This is not meant to undermine your wish, but are you using Project Info to generate custom fields that you can add as autotext to labels in details?

 

We use this method and it allows us to adjust text across multiple labels at once very easily.

 

I can recommend adding a lot of 'dummy' entries in your template, since copy pasting between projects is only possible if the entry already exists and it uses some unclear 'internal ID number' or something to know which field to use. Basically we have like 10 or so fields for the ussual suspects (floors, roofs, walls, ceilings) for mass labelling.

 

We ussually have about 20 to 40 details for our average projects though, so it might not match up to the scope of the projects you are working on. We actually use independent details where the origin 0,0,0 is always the meeting point of story level and grid axis (if this shows in the detail), which means it is very easy to copy paste elements across different details.

 

I have worked with a third party project where they had all the details on one single worksheet, but they then used detailmarkers placed on the worksheet to create the individual details, which meant you had to regenerate them whenever you changed something. I didn't really like that workflow. Without the markers, how do you reference the details though? We use linked markers to the independent details, since you typically end up showing the marker in multiple views anyway.

 

Sorry if this derails your post, but I always am curious how other people do things and if there is room for improvement in our own workflow.

Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten
www.leloup.nl

ArchiCAD 9-24 NED FULL
Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

Paul King
Advocate

Hi, not using predefined custom fields at all.

Changing text in detail labels is not the objective with this workflow - the aim is to facilitate changing the content of the details (which can include text notes, fonts, pens etc), in relation to physically adjacent details on the sheet (which are usually grouped based on some sort of logical or geometric connection with each other)

 

Some practices seem to paste whole worksheet areas full of details as a single drawing on a layout.

My own preference is to cut up the placed detailing worksheet into lots of smaller copies, each cropped to an individual detail, thereby giving each placed instance the ability to act as a unique target reference for a placed detail marker (marker needs to be manually mapped to placed drawing)

 

Typically there are a hundred or more details on the projects I am roped in to

 

 

PAUL KING
https://www.prime.net.nz
ArchiCAD 8-25
Octane Render Plugin for ArchiCAD
Twinmotion 2021
Windoze 10
Intel Core i9 10900K
Nvidia Gforce RTX 3080
32 Gb DDR3
2x4K monitor extended desktop

That's another thing with placing markers on the worksheet: the link for reference to the layout is lost. You do get the ability to drag and drop the details to automatically set up layouts.

 

I would recommend giving the custom text thing a try on a project once. It really does save a lot of time for editing labels for us. I'd call them the 'composite' labels where you list the structure of a roof or wall etc. Sometimes we split the list up if there are variations that allow for a logical divide. It really is quite quick going from design phase to design phase and fine tuning the text.

 

Thanks for the insights in to your workflow!

 

Given a typical 2 to 4 hours of work to draft up a decent detail, I can understand frustration and research into optimisation for projects with around 100 or more details.

Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten
www.leloup.nl

ArchiCAD 9-24 NED FULL
Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

I must admit I am not 100% sure I understand the custom fields idea - in a project where each placed detail view needs to be individually and descriptively named , how do you benefit from typing that information anywhere but in the detail marker (or as the saved view name, if you are using 'official' approach of one detail per saved view) ?

 

I am not sure what you mean by 'link to reference' is lost - when you select an unlinked detail marker in plan, you can then just select link link type, choose 'placed drawing', then in the resulting dialog you browse for the placed instance of your worksheet drawing that  has been cropped around that detail - and thereafter the link works, and marker reference auto updates on the plan if you reorder or insert new layouts and so layout number containing the detail changes,  or if you drag that placed drawing instance to another layout.

PAUL KING
https://www.prime.net.nz
ArchiCAD 8-25
Octane Render Plugin for ArchiCAD
Twinmotion 2021
Windoze 10
Intel Core i9 10900K
Nvidia Gforce RTX 3080
32 Gb DDR3
2x4K monitor extended desktop

labeldetail.jpgpinfotext.jpg

 

Hope this shows it more clearly. You can add fields to the Project Info that you can use as autotext in labels, meaning if you need to change multiple labels used in details, you only have to change the text in Project Info and it will automatically change across all your details.

 

This shows the field I used to show the structure of the composite wall.

Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten
www.leloup.nl

ArchiCAD 9-24 NED FULL
Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

Hi, OK, I understand better now.  This looks broadly similar to a system I developed myself many years ago, where a label object had a drop down list of predefined short form and/or key coded notes, and matching long form construction notes, that could be edited and added to via a linked excel spreadsheet database.  The short form notes or keys could be used to generate a schedule of all notes placed on that layout, with notes key code and full description adjacent. 

Worked pretty well for the one project I got to use it on, but as a freelancer typically joining existing projects underway, with teams of full time staff who are trained in and using existing practice templates (for better and worse) I seldom get to set up a project from scratch - am stuck with whatever systems are already in use.

 

(CI also have their keynotes tool, originally developed (I believe) as an evolution of my system, which I had sent to them at the time, requesting further refinements that were beyond my own meagre coding ability)

 

In other words, and getting back to my wish, supporting the way people prefer to work is my goal here - and there is no logical reason I can see (other than expedience for the developers) to add barriers to a WYSIWYG approach to documentation.

 

Right now the separated views process enforced by the GS detail tool is like the tail wagging the dog, when it fundamentally doesn't need to be that way

PAUL KING
https://www.prime.net.nz
ArchiCAD 8-25
Octane Render Plugin for ArchiCAD
Twinmotion 2021
Windoze 10
Intel Core i9 10900K
Nvidia Gforce RTX 3080
32 Gb DDR3
2x4K monitor extended desktop

@Erwin Edel Thanks for sharing this, I hadn't considered it could be used this way, I always thought they acted as single lines of text.

Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

DGSketcher
Mentor

@Paul King Live detailing has been on my list for a long time as well. 👍 Reading between the lines though, are you basically suggesting that AC should also work along the lines of other cad systems where you place various "live" detail views on the layout, but then you can then click to edit inside the detail view while still having the Layout visible for context? This is kind of an industry standard where yet again GS are behind the rest of the market... 

Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

Hi, yes, in effect.  With flexibility as to the shape of each placed detail window, to allow complex details of different sizes and shapes to fit together efficiently on the page.

PAUL KING
https://www.prime.net.nz
ArchiCAD 8-25
Octane Render Plugin for ArchiCAD
Twinmotion 2021
Windoze 10
Intel Core i9 10900K
Nvidia Gforce RTX 3080
32 Gb DDR3
2x4K monitor extended desktop

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