Surfaces Overview

4m 10s

In this course, Josh Bone will demonstrate methods for creating optimized models using ArchiCAD 21.

We will demonstrate methods on how to create granular models that can enable you to extract more views from the model for documentation which will reduce errors and omissions as a byproduct.

When you are done with this course, you'll know how to find ways to leverage the BIM from the early design phases through design into construction.


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In session three we're going to talk about surfaces in ArchiCAD. Surfaces can be found under the Option pull-down menu and you'll find Surfaces as a tool that we can open up to go into Surface Settings. Let's talk about surfaces for a moment. There are a number of elements in ArchiCAD that reference surfaces, building materials, and it can be confusing at times to understand when we're talking about a surface and how it applies compared to a building material and other components that we're referencing and how they link to composites, complex profiles.

Surfaces are found throughout elements within the parameters of each ArchiCAD element. Here in the Surface Settings, you'll see in the template that we're using, ArchiCAD 21 template in your Black Spectacles training folder, there's a number of surfaces that are set up here. These surfaces have textures that are applied and they can reflect how this shows in 3-D in the window and in the rendered window.

Let's go out first and let's look at a wall and let's understand how that surface is tying it all together in the different areas in the way surfaces can be linked. I'll hit Okay and I'll go to the Wall Tool. Let's double-click on the Wall Tool. First, in the Wall Tool, let's talk about our geometry methods here and how we want to create the structure of this wall.

This wall right now gives us the ability to set up a simple wall, a composite or complex profile. Let's start with a simple, basic wall. This wall is referencing the building materials. This is a building material. If I go in and I pick up concrete pre-cast, this is a building material, not a surface right now. The building material is referencing the surface. I know that can seem a little confusing.

Let's talk about what that means. I'll hit Cancel here. I'll go back under Options and under Building Materials. Building Materials, which we're going to jump into a little bit later, allows us to control granularity in the model and how we want things to reflect and impact one another. Right now, by going into Pre-cast, you will see that this has a fill pattern that is separate from a surface.

We have our surfaces here that are set up and applied to a building material. Now, back in those Wall Settings, let me cancel out of that. Let's go back into the Wall Settings. We have our wall that's using a building material. If I want to override those settings for 3-D purposes, remember surfaces are how things are reflected and how they show in the 3-D view, which can also then have elements associated with them. There can be fills associated with a surface, so we can choose how we want that surface to reflect in a section or elevation.

For example, if we have siding, we want that siding to reflect in elevation with a 2-D siding pattern, that can now be linked to the surface. We can override settings of elements, here. In the model, Override Surfaces, we can set this wall up, even though it's using a building material that has a surface applied to it, as well as a fill, we can go back in here and we can override those settings and apply a surface to the outside.

This is the reference line face of the wall. This is the center of the wall, the top and bottom and the edges. Then we can do the non-reference line face. This is not necessarily outside and inside. It really depends on how you're drawing that wall and which side your reference line is associated with. This is the reference line side. This is the opposite side from the reference line side, so you can change those.

It all depends on how you're drawing your walls, depending on which side your reference line is set to. Let's click Okay.

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From the course:
ArchiCAD Intermediate Level Training

Level 2

Duration: 7h 4m

Author: Josh Bone