BIM Coordinator Program (INT) April 22, 2024

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Enhancement to design options fade element function


Design options has some useful visibility functionality - not just the ability to easily hide elements in both 2D and 3D but also the ability to control the degree of visibility which is useful when modelling one set of elements with another just acting as reference. Similar functionality was already implemented through model compare and graphical overrides but design options puts it within easy reach when modelling. So naturally I've tried to reach it but  just to be slapped on the hand by GS - as always. 


The basic workflow is ridiculous in terms of hoop jumping and gets quite messy with multiple options. The SEO function of design options is also a limitation as both targets and operators need to be relinked even though one might be irrelevant for the modelling. A modern approach to element visibility control would be preferable and given already implemented functionalities, it's beyond my understanding why resources and time has to be waste on sh't like this - but perhaps design options could offer some quick relief in certain situations?


  • Use F&S to select relevant elements based on criteria (should be easier than it currently is).
  • Relink to an ad hoc "focus" design option.
  • Use focused editing to highlight and or isolate selection.

Doing this gives the desired graphical result and with edit default only - only the focused elements are selectable and yet the unfocused elements remain active for snap reference!





So this is looking nice and promising but, alas,  focused elements can't be selected by clicking on a node or line if behind a surface of a faded element. For already selected elements it is possible select such nodes and lines for edit so selecting objects by other means is effective but inefficient.


So I would like it to be possible to select elements by clicking on nodes and lines that are behind a the surface of a faded element i.e. as ghosted/x-ray display modes usually work.


Furthermore. Currently for original colour surfaces and contours are increasingly burned out to white until the minimum value where surfaces becomes 100% transmittance and contours white. For custom colors surfaces instead get gradually increasing transmittance and contours increasingly burned out to white. These should be consistent and just a question of if the user want to use the original element color or choose another colour for highlighting purpose. Whether or not there it is increased burn out or transmittance should be a separate setting. For custom colour surface and contour colour should be separate as you don't want the same colour for low transmittance and you don't want white for high transmittance.


And it should also be noted that GS decision to require option sets and limit activity to one option per set makes it much worse than it has to be. Without that users would be free to reflect the layer structure in design options giving the user much better control. The explanations given that it is to avoid user confusion isn't credible given the state of the rest of AC, just as the explanation that focus environment is on screen only as not to interfere with graphic overrides. 


The more I try to use design options as described above - the more frustratingly obvious it becomes that GS really was a proper understanding of workflows away from a release that would have had a real (positive) impact. Seeing how design options didn't get a roadmap second chance, in contrast to distance guides, attribute management and MEP modeller, - I guess I will have to get learn to ignore the tantalisation...

Hi @thesleepofreason I had a look at DO’s this week and tried them out and yes it is frustrating and the scope for further development is certainly warranted. I would hope that what you outlined in this post should be seriously considered by GS. 

AC8.1 - AC27 ARM AUS + CI Tools
Apple Mac Studio M1 Max Chip 10C CPU
24C GPU 7.8TF 32GB RAM OS Ventura

And I hit yet another limitation.... Thought I was going to use the fade environment function to quickly and clearly show and evaluate alternatives for a roof construction but since there also are options for certain windows the result isn't optimal. The potential of the interactive visibility control is obvious but the default vs environment implementation puts a hard limit on it. It simply should be possible to choose which option/s should be affected. 




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