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Wishes forum

Layers

Anonymous
Not applicable
Hello
My name is Ottorino Cassotta and i work with ArchiCad since the name was Radar/CH since 3rd version. (1984)-( for references see www.proarch.it and Cigraph Italy)
I always appreciated the software annual upgrade but I have a question about an element of the software that, perhaps, you did not thought of. The question is about the use of the layers.
The software has a layer gestion which can be grouped by extension, XRef and visibility.
But, in a complex project, layers are used also to define all of the elements that are part of the project.
For this reason I’m thinking that an important upgrade to organise the layer window could be the grouping of the layers in a gerarchy graphic folder which could permit the designer to find more easily the layers the wants to activate or disactivate with a great time saving.
I attached two sample shoot: the first is the actual shoot of gestion layers and the second is the shoot of my personal gestion layers.

An alternative method of managment could be the possibility to activate more than one layer combination at a time. This could possibly semplify the upgrade I described above.
23 REPLIES 23

DGSketcher
Rockstar
BIM generates lots of layers. GS needs to make them user friendly.
Apple iMac macOS Monterey / AC26UKI (most recent builds)

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
Yes, I think it would be very useful to have hierarchical layer structure.
Provides better organization, plus you can expand or collapse the various levels of the hierarchy depending on how many layers you want to see.
Also, setting the Visibility, Locked, etc. settings of a Layer could also propagate this change to all layers under the modified Layer in the hierarchy.
For example 5 Wall Layers would be grouped under the Walls heading in the hierarchy. To hide all off them you would only need to click the Hide icon in the Walls heading row.
So this is useful stuff in my opinion.
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Anonymous
Not applicable
Excellent suggestion! I also wish that layers could be "filtered" so that, for example, all layers with the word "wall" in the description could be listed. At present there is only a crude filter (the "extension" column).

Anonymous
Not applicable
Even Vectorworks has this!
This would be a welcome feature for me in Archicad

sinceV6
Enthusiast
Hello everyone.

This is quite an old wish, dating back more than 10 years. Yep. TEN years.
http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=671
http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=4367
and many more since then

Too bad wishes here stay only as wishes...

I'd like to chime in with some more suggestions I've had over the years, without trying to deviate from topic. In attachment:

1. Check box to activate/set a layer combo.- right now, you can't have a layer selected and edit its properties (lock state, view state, etc) in the available combos without making that layer combo active.
2. GREP search filter, immediate focus on settings opening.- open layer settings and type something to filter layer list.
3. Layer hierarchy, as proposed.
4. A layer combo editor.- right now you can only see a single layer's state in all combos or all layers' state in a single combo. To compare two separate combos you need to select each combo (and thus activating it). A spreadsheet approach to this would allow to see how a layer combo affects layers and how a layer is in each combo. Hope it makes sense...

Don't mind the old mockup.

Best regards.
LayerSettings.png

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
sinceV6 wrote:
Too bad wishes here stay only as wishes...
Do not generalize please and try to make it seem like no wish posted on ArchiCAD-Talk is ever granted.
True, this wish in particular and many other wishes have not been put into the program yet, but many other wishes were.
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DGSketcher
Rockstar
I have already voted in favour of this but of course GS could take us down a completely different route given the big steps that have been taken with Building Materials and PBCs. There is always the engineering route of associating parts based on dependencies, which to some extent already occurs with openings. I for one would be interested to see my model as a tree with elements, sub-elements and components which is possibly a more natural way of designing. Navigating to find things should also be easier than trying to find something lost on an unknown layer with an alien name. Just have to wait and see what rabbit GS pulls out of the hat this time round...
Apple iMac macOS Monterey / AC26UKI (most recent builds)

sinceV6
Enthusiast
laszlonagy wrote:
sinceV6 wrote:
Too bad wishes here stay only as wishes...
Do not generalize please and try to make it seem like no wish posted on ArchiCAD-Talk is ever granted.
True, this wish in particular and many other wishes have not been put into the program yet, but many other wishes were.
I'm sorry, Laszlo. You are right. My apologies. Should've said "a lot"

Still, many won't deny that GS has a tendency to overlook user request's and focus more on new grand features following the industry heading and market opportunity. I understand the approach, otherwise why would anyone upgrade or stay with a subscription, and while I've always been supportive of their keen eye when implementing features that help the overall workflow, many user request's are based on everyday use and problem solving, and I would really like if the company paid a little more attention to the unresolved issues.

Best regards.

alemanda
Participant
sinceV6 wrote:
...
4. A layer combo editor.- right now you can only see a single layer's state in all combos or all layers' state in a single combo. To compare two separate combos you need to select each combo (and thus activating it). A spreadsheet approach to this would allow to see how a layer combo affects layers and how a layer is in each combo. Hope it makes sense...
...
I like this table combos/layers
It gives you immediately the status of the layers along the combinations.
+1



Regarding the hierarchy of the layers I add a sintax number before the name of the layers. example 401 - floor finishings - 2D
where "4" means that we are in the field of finishings, 01 it is useful to find it immediately when assigning to it one element of the model typing 401 quickly, and then you the description of the layers' contents. And usually I divide 2D elements and 3D elements ...
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Anonymous
Not applicable
Will I go. Here's my vision of the present improvements.
And the ability to drag and drop from the subfolder to subfolder.
In large projects annoying to scroll and look for the right layers. Sorry for my English.

ALL (3).jpg

Anonymous
Not applicable
Hello. Recently, friends have completed the project, I decided to look at the result of the layer manager. The output was:
- 42 layer combinations
- 136 layers
Of course, I do not argue, there are both garbage layers, and combinations, which are unclear why and to whom they belong.
Not the best pleasure to scroll through and search for the right layers to form the necessary combination. I draw your attention, this is a small and simple project of approximately 2000m2.
In this connection, I decided to add a little to my proposal, adding grouping and in a combination of layers, I think this will also be useful.
And so, to your attention I present an updated idea of the layer manager.
As practice has shown, combinations of layers, it will be quite convenient to form into subsets based on the requirements for the stages, and subsets of groups of layers with respect to sections.
In my opinion, it will be enough to form three sublevels for combinations and layers. Also in this proposal took into account the proposals of foreign colleagues, which seemed to me useful, it is search and filtering. I tried on an example to show how it would look like with the stages.
Please forgive my English.

DGSketcher
Rockstar
Grouping Layer Combinations would really help in keeping them synced with Views.

Grouping for Layers would be good, but even a basic search would be a huge help, as the filtering system really doesn't work.
Apple iMac macOS Monterey / AC26UKI (most recent builds)

Anonymous
Not applicable
I think its time for the industry to leave the "Layer Theory" to rest in peace...

Its amazing how we evolved since the 80's, but we still think on layers as if we use a drawing board...

Why don't use the full BIM potential and start filtering what we want to see with Property Filter View Option?

henryL
Booster
Braza wrote:
I think its time for the industry to leave the "Layer Theory" to rest in peace...

Its amazing how we evolved since the 80's, but we still think on layers as if we use a drawing board...

Why don't use the full BIM potential and start filtering what we want to see with Property Filter View Option?
Layers (in archicad) aren't just a filter method to see or hide elements, they define how you build your information model. I think that human brain works better when a 3d geometry problem is downscaled to 2d (and this will not change shortly) so we will always need a "drawing board" to stock layers of informations (dimensions,texts, autotexts ...).
Btw a property filter view option will be very nice tool but it will be a way to interrogate your model, not to build it.
I think that now we all need a way to build a more organized model, with a layer hierarchical structure, with layer properties (intersection number, extension) that can be the same of the containing folder.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Hi Henry,

Thanks for the input.

Essentially Layers were created to mimic the vellum paper used for the old blue prints.

(Oh man... how did I suffer with those clogged ink pens and razor blades!)

Layers are just vellum papers in which we put/draw things in, and stack one on each other.

The problem now is that BIM technology has much more capacities than that and we don't need to think/work in the old way.

For example: You have a remodel project that will be constructed in 3 phases, with 3 design options, with: existing, demolished, new and refurbished elements,
plus MEP, Site work and Structural.

- A window is existent, but will be removed from one wall in phase 01, refurbished and put in another wall in phase 04.
- A water pump may be in the electric project, but also in the water project and also in the HVAC project.

So i filter my model like this:

- (Wall OR Slab OR Window OR Roof) AND (Existent AND Removed) AND Phase01.
- Pump AND Water AND Electric/Water/HVAC.

I will place only one window and only one water pump. No duplications.

With a Layer system, an element can only be in one Layer.
With a property filtering system, an element can have multiple properties that we can select to see in a logic way.

Now, the information is within the element. Not in the Layer/Vellum/Box.

This Layer methodology limitation is similar to the penset methodology.

I recall my Autocad days, when each layer had a specific color that would be ploted with a specific pen thickness.

The thickness of a pen was/is mainly used to simulate depth in a 2d drawing. So... Cut elements have thick lines, floor elements have thin lines.

But now, with 3d technology, the software can easily distinguish different hights within elements in a model and automatic give them thicknesses to simulate depth.
With current technology I don't need to waste time configuring pensets for my projects to print them in a legible way.
I only see the use of color in BIM, to diferentiate Groups of properties. For example: All structure elements must be blue, furniture green, etc.

But now I am a bit off topic.

Cheers,

Paulo

p.s.: Stefan Boeykens has posted similar ideas here. I only propose the use of Property Filtering to achieve the same goal.

gavinNZz
Enthusiast
I definitely see the logic in your properties filter approach and a layer would just become another 'property' tag, if used at all.

The only issue I see with the property filter process is its current implementation. Like most things with GS they are still stuck in the 90's, so while they have built properties & classifications into AC the process to manage the visibility settings based on these tags (e.g. graphic overrides) lacks a simple 'visible - yes/no' option. Probably because they are still thinking layers are the process to do this.

A live 'visibility settings' pallete would be the best solution giving direct access to the property tags used to filter the view. Graphic overrides could then work off the back of this pallete albeit in a more manageable configuration.

By 'manageable' I am not referring to GS's current default of putting everything in one big list (surfaces,layers,etc.etc). If they approached the management of these things in the same way we manage view sets or layouts (basic folder structure) then valuable time savings could be found.

Anonymous
Not applicable
I definitely see the logic in your properties filter approach and a layer would just become another 'property' tag, if used at all.

I myself am for the discontinue of LAYER, LAYER COMBINATION, RENOVATION and PARTIAL STRUCTURE DISPLAY tools.

But... Of course, as for legacy issues It would be necessary to mantain it for a couple of years/versions.

There would be some issue integrating the LOCK and PBC now in a new PROPERTY FILTER methodology... PBC must be kept for BUILDING MATERIAL reasons, but LOCK I think it kind of lost its function in a PROPERTY FILTER solution, once in my opinion/use it is only used to limit the LAYER DROP DOWN list. I'm not sure if it would be necessary. Perhaps someone can point to an essential benefit for LOCK. (?)

The WIREFRAME set is already covered with GRAPHIC OVERRIDE. VISIBILITY obviously would disapear.
The only issue I see with the property filter process is its current implementation. Like most things with GS they are still stuck in the 90's, so while they have built properties & classifications into AC the process to manage the visibility settings based on these tags (e.g. graphic overrides) lacks a simple 'visible - yes/no' option. Probably because they are still thinking layers are the process to do this.

GRAPHIC OVERRIDE is/was perhaps THE greatest tool developed in the last 10 Archicad versions... Simple, elegant and efective. But as the name says, it is graphic... I know a lot of us use it to make elements invisible by making it with empty fills and white lines... but it is just one more work-arround that we users are all tired of.

Again. PROPERTY FILTER and GRAPHIC OVERRIDE could make LAYER, LAYER COMBINATION, RENOVATION and PARTIAL STRUCTURE DISPLAY tools obsolete.

I know the process of implementing this would'nt be that simple. I can only imagine what the software design team have to deal within the guts of this complex piece of software. But I think this new approach could in the near future make their job a lot easier.

I think that PROPERTY FILTER with GRAPHIC OVERRIDE would make a powerfull duo that would boost Archicad in its on going conquest of the first place in the market.

henryL
Booster
Braza wrote:
The problem now is that BIM technology has much more capacities than that and we don't need to think/work in the old way.
I can understand you focus a lot on the Model and with that in mind i can agree with you that a vellum paper system is an old way to work.
But i also think you're confusing representation and simulation. Archicad was born as a modeling software to produce representation of a building (printing). A few years later BIM has come and now in archicad we have geometries with heterogeneous data inside them.
As an architect who works in Italy i have to deal every day with public authority and they want the representation not the simulation (they are now starting to ask the ifc model but it is just a side information).
So as long as 2D representation is a core part of our work a layered system will be an effective way to pack information.
Also i think GS should invest more in 2D, try for example to draw a road next to a house on a sloped terrain and you want to se that on different storey, if you model it in 3D the 2D representation is awful, if you draw it in 2D you have to copy it in every storey (with a high risk of inconsistency in case of modifications). And i'm off topic too.
Braza wrote:
For example: You have a remodel project that will be constructed in 3 phases, with 3 design options, with: existing, demolished, new and refurbished elements,
plus MEP, Site work and Structural.

- A window is existent, but will be removed from one wall in phase 01, refurbished and put in another wall in phase 04.
- A water pump may be in the electric project, but also in the water project and also in the HVAC project.

So i filter my model like this:

- (Wall OR Slab OR Window OR Roof) AND (Existent AND Removed) AND Phase01.
- Pump AND Water AND Electric/Water/HVAC.
Archicad has no real phase/design option, this is absolutely true, and it's a shame.

leven
Newcomer
A very old and simple wish that never gets fulfilled somehow: a search field in the layer panel would be highly appreciated.
Levi
(Using AC23)

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