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Wish: Surface Painter to work on Stairs and Railings


Hello everyone

This wish is simple the surface painter should work on stair and railing tool.

It can consume a lot of time to edit the surface overrides.

Have a nice day!

Barry Kelly

I never noticed that it doesn't work as it is not something I use a lot.

I just tried with curtain walls which are basically combined GDL objects like stairs and railings are, and it worked there.

I wonder why stairs and railings don't work.




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Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin

Technically what the Surface Painter does is it turns on the Surface Override button for the clicked surface and applies the selected Surface Override. So it works on surfaces of only elements where you can see Surface Override buttons in the "Model" panel of the element's Settings Dialog. It is basically a faster way of performing the tasks of

1. Selecting an element

2. Clicking the desired Surface Override button and

3. Selecting the Override Surface.

Instead you can just select a Surface to be used and click the element surface you want to override.

Also, it applies Surface Overrides on an element level, so if you have a multi-segmented Column, for example, and apply a Surface Override to its sides using the Surface Painter, the Surface of all sides of all Segments will be overridden. If this is not what you want you would have to apply those Surface Overrides individually to those Column Segments.


So this is me guessing, but I think that coding the ability to override any surface of any element would be a much greater development effort. For example, in the case of clicking on the top face of a Stair Tread, the Surface Painter would have to know that you clicked a sub-element (a Library Part) of a Stair, and it would have to know which face of its geometry you clicked. Plus, the Library Part would probably have to be scripted in a way so that different Surfaces can be applied to its individual faces. Then, you would have the case of Library Parts that are composed of thousands of individual faces.

So I think it is not an easy or trivial task if you want it to work on any surface of any element.

With all that said, I, too, would love to have this ability. 🙂

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