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Migrating from Chief Architect

jonthepain
Newcomer
I am migrating our office from Chief Architect to ArchiCad later this week. Do you have any suggestions or advice for us to minimize the designer's trauma? This was my idea so any issues that crop up will be rightly laid in my lap.

Thanks
Jon
21 REPLIES 21

Rashid Garuba
Newcomer
This has been discussed a lot in the past.. a search should get you some answers.. May I ask what type of work you specialize in and what is Chief Architect NOT doing you hope ArchiCAD will?
Rashid Garuba
www.aaihomeplans.com
AC 9, Cinema 4D 9, DataCAD 11, Chief Architect 10
Athlon 64 3700+, 2G ram, GeForce 6800GS 256mb

Dan Kunschik
Newcomer
jonthepain wrote:
I am migrating our office from Chief Architect to ArchiCad later this week. Do you have any suggestions or advice for us to minimize the designer's trauma? This was my idea so any issues that crop up will be rightly laid in my lap.

Thanks
Jon
Jon,
Its probably safe to assume that migrating from Cheif Architect means you do primarily residential work. If you list some of you initial concerns, maybe we can give you a little more specific guidance.

Also, please visit the following thread/wish about a "Residential Forum". Please post your opinion about this suggestion as it relates to your new experience with ArchiCAD. Please also be sure and Vote

Here's the link: http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=8306
Dan K
ArchiCAD 9 (1812 USA FULL)
ArchiCAD 10 (1010 USA FULL)

jonthepain
Newcomer
Rashid,
I'll do a search-I am sure that'll get me up to speed concerning "concerns."
Thank you.

Dan,
Good call-we do high end residential design.

Re: Reasons for a big change-

My boss-the lead designer-needs a smooth walkthrough because he often modifies his design with the clients in his office. CA takes several seconds to render each camera view; there is no walkthrough capability.

By the same token, I need software that changes from 2D to 3D windows quickly. It is frustrating for the designer to watch me waiting for a 3D view to render for 20 seconds so that I can check my work.

My want is a 2D interface that is similar to Autodesk products. CA is frustrating to use in drafting mode for someone with Autodesk experience.

I have been taking Autodesk product courses at our local college thinking that we would go that route, however, after putting several CAD programs through their paces at the Baltimore home show this past weekend, we settled on ArchiCAD. It had a smooth walkthrough inside a fairly complex live (editable) file and still looked good enough to impress clients. CA is somewhat prettier, but time is money.

I'll try and come up with some specifics when the CDs come in. Right now I'm just spinning my wheels in Demo mode. Oops there goes the phone again...

Thanks
Jon

TomWaltz
Newcomer
jonthepain wrote:
I am migrating our office from Chief Architect to ArchiCad later this week. Do you have any suggestions or advice for us to minimize the designer's trauma? This was my idea so any issues that crop up will be rightly laid in my lap.

Thanks
Jon
You should look at getting the "Project Framework" book from ObjectsOnline.com. It is a pretty solid guide on how to use Archicad in the real world.
Tom Waltz

jonthepain
Newcomer
Will do. I was concerned about which book to choose after reading some very negative reviews about some of them on Amazon.

TomWaltz
Newcomer
jonthepain wrote:
Will do. I was concerned about which book to choose after reading some very negative reviews about some of them on Amazon.
Amazon's last Project Framework was for Archicad 6.5 The latest edition covers Archicad 8.1 (even though 9 is the current version).

I would go through objects online. They should have the newer version.
Tom Waltz

s2art
Newcomer
Project Framework is available from CadImage too, I've only seen up to Ac8.1 version, don't know if Ac9 edition is available.
Jon, it looks from your avatar that you could do with Dwight's "Lightworks in ArchiCAD" too.
S t u a r t . R o s e
PAUA Architects
AC22 6025 NZE
iMac Retina 27inch
3GHz Intel Core i5, 32GB 2667 MHz DDR4

Jon,

I won't try to argue you out of ArchiCAD, of course, but the reasons you've listed below are not the best reasons to switch. (There are better reasons to switch.) Some are just wrong. See below.
jonthepain wrote:
Rashid,
Re: Reasons for a big change-

My boss-the lead designer-needs a smooth walkthrough because he often modifies his design with the clients in his office. CA takes several seconds to render each camera view; there is no walkthrough capability.
No, just use Chief Architect in Render mode with the "dolly" tool active. ArchiCAD can generate MOVIES in a way that Chief can't, but for real-time movement within a model with the client sitting next to me, Chief does as well as ArchiCAD, IMO, maybe better.
By the same token, I need software that changes from 2D to 3D windows quickly. It is frustrating for the designer to watch me waiting for a 3D view to render for 20 seconds so that I can check my work.
You can have both 2D & 3D windows open concurrently in Chief, just like AC. If you're taking 20 sec. to render, something is wrong-- bad hardware, too large of a model, etc.
My want is a 2D interface that is similar to Autodesk products. CA is frustrating to use in drafting mode for someone with Autodesk experience.
Well, AC's 2D drafting tools are superior to CA's, as is the whole area of CD production, but I would try to get AutoCAD out of your bones before using ANY other drafting program. If you try to treat them as similar, you will just get frustrated.
<snip>
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

s2art
Newcomer
Smooth walkthroughs are available in real time, in Open GL mode, if you can approximate textures adequately, and lighting is not an issue, and everything generally looks darker and gloomy, and glass is either totally obscure or totally invisible. (Maybe CA does this better? I'm not qualified to answer that one).
I have recently had clients sitting beside me for most of a day going through their new house, room by room, tweaking things here and there (windows, materials, room sizes and layouts) until they were happy with what they were getting (sometimes going around in circles, back to what we had proposed in the first place. We are the professionals, after all). They really got a feel for what we were giving them, and with a few quick LW renders for better quality textures etc, they went away very happy. ArchiCAD was a superb tool for this.
S t u a r t . R o s e
PAUA Architects
AC22 6025 NZE
iMac Retina 27inch
3GHz Intel Core i5, 32GB 2667 MHz DDR4

jonthepain
Newcomer
Richard,
re:no walkthrough-my mistake, i misstated. also choppy in dolly mode. re: bad hardware-2G RAM, 3.2G cpu, geForce 256k 5200-should be enough. re: 2 windows-yes sometimes i draw like that but it still takes too long to update the other screen. re: too large of a model-ok, 350000 textures is alot, however, it is what it is, and i'd like to smooth it out. re: bones-i'm sure if i stay in this anti-autodesk environment for a few years it'll get gone.

we are giving it a week. maybe i'll recommend Revit or sticking with CA. one thing going for CA, it has an extraordinarily helpful and friendly online community.

s2art,
hey, i spent all day on that render!

jonthepain wrote:
Richard,

we are giving it a week.
This isn't really an adequate time to evaluate it from the perspective of a user in practice. Can you imagine someone without AutoCAD training saying, "Okay, we're giving AutoCAD a week to prove itself, and then moving on if it's too slow."
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

TomWaltz
Newcomer
Richard wrote:
[This isn't really an adequate time to evaluate it from the perspective of a user in practice. Can you imagine someone without AutoCAD training saying, "Okay, we're giving AutoCAD a week to prove itself, and then moving on if it's too slow."
It may not be enough time to learn everything you need in the program, but it (40 hours, not 1 calendar week) is probably enough to find out if Archicad is capable of doing what you want.

If you looked at Archicad for a week and Revit for a week, you could have a decent idea of their comparative features, and which one you might want to go with.

A few years ago, I spent 8 hours each on almost every CAD software I could find trying to pick a new one.... I dug a little deeper once I had a "top 3", which each got another day.

I was surprised at how much "feature information" could be gathered in that amount of time.
Tom Waltz

jonthepain
Newcomer
OK, I guess I have to justify myself now.

I've been taking an ADT/Viz course at night for the last 9 weeks in order to evaluate that one. I've got the timed demo for Revit that I've been playing with for maybe a month. They are very similar.

I'd do the same for ArchiCAD if it was offered at any of the local univ's. (NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, Duke.) However, I have talked at length with a close friend who is a CAD Tech (currently using Revit) who's last contract was with an ArchiCAD office, who's previous office was AutoCAD, reviewing our wants/needs/options.

Last week the co. flew me to Baltimore to explore a variety of programs at the home show there.

I am hoping that a week-probably 40 hrs out of my typical (unfortunately salaried) 55 will be enough. I'd like more, of course, but Mr. Lead Designer is picking up the tab for my perhaps unproductive perhaps not 40 hours. He has been using CA for the past 7 years and may decide to just stick with that (and dump the CDs in my lap.) This is a big decision for us, however, a week is all that he is willing to spend on it.

We have a small project for a test case and an 8000 sq footer coming up that I'd like to put into ArchiCAD from the get go. If.

My manager has not had any previous ArchiCAD experience, however, he is picking it up very quickly because of his expertise with CA. I think the concepts cross over somewhat-if you know what to draw, you should be able to adapt to the interface. So I am not sure that the "we're giving AutoCAD a week" analogy applies. As someone trained in AutoCAD, I had trouble with CA, but the ADT classes have helped-same concepts, different interface.

I am seriously trying to do due diligence, which is why I have solicited input from you, experienced ArchiCAD users, which I am not. Hopefully I'll build some long term relationships here. I have certainly had that experience in other forums.

And Tom, thank you. I can use some encouragement.

Jon

TomWaltz wrote:
Richard wrote:
[This isn't really an adequate time to evaluate it from the perspective of a user in practice. Can you imagine someone without AutoCAD training saying, "Okay, we're giving AutoCAD a week to prove itself, and then moving on if it's too slow."
It may not be enough time to learn everything you need in the program, but it (40 hours, not 1 calendar week) is probably enough to find out if Archicad is capable of doing what you want.
Forty hours is probably MORE than enough time to explore whether the package has the features you need and whether you like the interface. But it was my impression that the OP was talking about putting the package INTO PRODUCTION for a week to see how it compares to the current software. For this kind of time investment, a better approach IMO, would be to take 3 or 4 days of training and then work on a tiny project for one or two days. Just mucking around on a project for only a week on such a complex piece of software while you're trying to learn it is going to lead to frustration and an inaccurate perception of the software. And then, because the project isn't even close to finished, he'll have to go back to the old software to redo it and then everybody in the office is unhappy.

To Jon, this software CAN be very fast and efficient, but this will require getting the project set up correctly initially with layers, view sets, lineweights, "favorites", etc. If the project isn't set up well from the beginning, you will end up living with drudgery and a mess to straighten out. If you absolutely can't get training, then I'd recommend at least starting with a template that has already been set up, such as Eric Batte's at www.getstandardized.com .
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

jonthepain
Newcomer
Richard wrote:
TomWaltz wrote:
Richard wrote:
[This isn't really an adequate time to evaluate it from the perspective of a user in practice. Can you imagine someone without AutoCAD training saying, "Okay, we're giving AutoCAD a week to prove itself, and then moving on if it's too slow."
It may not be enough time to learn everything you need in the program, but it (40 hours, not 1 calendar week) is probably enough to find out if Archicad is capable of doing what you want.

Forty hours is probably MORE than enough time to explore whether the package has the features you need and whether you like the interface.
for a second there i thought you were giving someone the benefit of the doubt.
But
ok here it comes
it was my impression that the OP
i have a name (mud, apparently)
was talking about putting the package INTO PRODUCTION
no need to shout
for a week to see how it compares to the current software.
that's what ya get fer thinkin.
For this kind of time investment, a better approach IMO
you certainly have those
, would be to take 3 or 4 days of training
that'd be great, especially since you get 2 free days of training with purchase. in Baltimore. boss says he needs me here in raleigh.
and then work on a tiny project for one or two days.
yes that was exactly the idea (see previous post).
Just mucking around on a project for only a week
you don't have to insult me
on such a complex piece of software while you're trying to learn it is going to lead to frustration and an inaccurate perception of the software. And then, because the project isn't even close to finished, he'll
does that mean me?
have to go back to the old software to redo it and then everybody in the office is unhappy.
not as unhappy as they'd be if you worked here.

To Jon, this software CAN be very fast and efficient, but this will require getting the project set up correctly initially with layers, view sets, lineweights, "favorites", etc.
gee, what're they?
If the project isn't set up well from the beginning, you will end up living with drudgery and a mess to straighten out. If you absolutely can't get training, then I'd recommend at least starting with a template that has already been set up, such as Eric Batte's at www.getstandardized.com .
how about the tutorial that comes with the software?(it's actually kinda fun so far)
.
.
.

aren't there other threads where you could be helpful instead of disparaging would-be customers of ArchiCAD?

Rashid Garuba
Newcomer
Tom, Richard.. go vote..

http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=8376

I must have been clairvoyant or something...

Jon,

Richard has other things to do besides help you. I saw nothing insulting in his advice to you. Very suprised at your reply to him. Things are hectic for all of us, but no need to unload on others.
Rashid Garuba
www.aaihomeplans.com
AC 9, Cinema 4D 9, DataCAD 11, Chief Architect 10
Athlon 64 3700+, 2G ram, GeForce 6800GS 256mb

s2art
Newcomer
Jonthepain (how did you get your name, by the way?)

If you look at Richard's thread he is directing the first paragraph at Tom. You can see at the start of the 2nd paragraph he addresses you directly.

You are asking for comments and these guys are giving both sides of the story. This IS a very helpful community here. There are MANY (oops sorry for shouting) people out there that are only too happy to offer advice, but remember, it's usually just one person's opinion. Someone else may have a different idea. There are also a few people out there who do try to stir things up a bit - these guys aren't them.

ArchiCAD is a great programme, yes, it does have its foibles (but what doesn't), give it a crack and make your own mind up.

Cheers
S t u a r t . R o s e
PAUA Architects
AC22 6025 NZE
iMac Retina 27inch
3GHz Intel Core i5, 32GB 2667 MHz DDR4

Aaron Bourgoin
Advocate
Calling Steve Fullalove.

Where are you now?
Think Like a Spec Writer
AC23-3003 USA / AC24-4018 USA
Rhino 7 Mac
OSX 10.14.6 & 11.3.1

Ben Cohen
Participant
Jon

The best advise is to see your local reseller. (if you havent already)
Ben Cohen

Mac and PC

Archicad (Latest Version) aus

www.4DLibrary.com.au

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