January – June 2011
Office Hours – March 31, 2011

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This recording was made on March 31, 2011 during the second “Office Hours” coaching call. In this call, after a brief introduction, I address questions by the following course members:

  • Chris Ellis – adding additional stories for framing purposes
  • Maura Lester – bringing in standard materials (and other attributes?) back into project file
  • Chris Sparks – using older details in current file via hotlink
  • Andrew Passacantando – presentation elevations – control of shading and shadow
  • Chris Sinkinson – bringing in Views from an older job

Due to a problem on the machine that was recording the session, the video stops at about one hour 45 minutes. The session continued for another 25 minutes, and included:

  • Chris Sinkinson – speed issues in MasterTemplate
  • Dave Olufs – creating realistic specialty doors (storefront/commercial)

This was the second run-through for the Office Hours coaching calls, in which I address questions on the fly from members that request a time slot ahead of time. It seemed to work pretty well, but I’m very interested in your feedback. Please add your comments below.

 ArchiCAD Training Session Notes

Prayer for Japan    
Adding Additional Stories for Framing Purposes   0:08:17
  Cons of Added Framing Stories = Stairs & “Previous Story” 0:10:30
  More on Using Trace Reference Effectively 0:25:33
  Bringing in Standard Materials & Attributes Using Attribute Manager 0:31:21
  Trace Reference Used When Printing a Plan 0:44:53
  Changing the Pen Set for a Drawing/Layout 0:47:00
Adjusting An Object in Display To Affect Visible Lines (for Example a Cabinet’s Edges)   0:50:10
How To Handle Remodels (Check out Aecbytes.com for: Four Ways To Handle Remodels & Additions)   0:53:26
Using Older Details in Current File Via Hotlink   0:55:04
Bringing in Detached Outbuildings As Hotlinked Modules   1:05:47
Presentation Elevations   1:16:10
  Navigating in the Navigator Panel 1:17:33
  Quick Tip For The Eyedropper Tool (Selecting Materials) 1:29:41
  Fill Types
Power of Using the Following Command:
View>3D Navigation Extras> Look to Perpendicular
The Pros & Cons Binging Views From An Older Job Into A New Job. Best Solution: Copy Project In   1:40:26

ArchiCAD Training – Coaching Call – March 31, 2011

AGAIN – Please give me your comments and feedback – I love to read what you post and will reply when I can!


Let us know how you feel... (10 comments so far)

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  1. RJ Dial
    13 years ago

    Audio on the recordings and Webinar is great now, whatever format you have settled on is perfect.

    I also have figured out why I like the course so much. As an advanced user, the topic may be of no interest to me, or I already now the practice or method, but along the way to getting there, you are constantly showing tips and tricks and explaining the inner workings of ArchiCad. An example is the simple trick of quickly invoking the eyedropper before going to Materials and having that material be the one that is selected was priceless…

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      RJ –
      Thanks for the feedback on the audio quality and the value of the little tips I throw in whenever I can…I’m glad to hear some of them are “priceless”!

  2. Diana
    13 years ago

    Maybe a suggestion… Would be very useful to attach to the video, a brief list of questions and the minute when the question is starting to be answered by you on the video.

    Hope I have explained myself clearly. Thank you.

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Diana –
      That’s a great idea. I am thinking about offering a work-study scholarship that would allow someone to take the course partially in exchange for doing some work for me. This would be an ideal task to include, since it is best done by someone who understands what is being discussed.

  3. Jim Lohmeyer
    13 years ago


    I missed most of the coaching call on Thursday. I downloaded the video and the recording stopped at ~ 1hr45min. Is that a problem with my download or the webinar recording. I am very interested to know if you got to Mr. Oluf’s question on custom doors. I’m having a similar issue with controlling the width of the stiles and rails individually using std v14 door objects. When I use the slab tool to create a custom door component with the correct widths/heights the floor plan display is correct but the doors in elev and 3D are ‘scrunched’.

    Enjoying the course. Thanks.


    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Jim –

      I noted above in my description of the coaching session that the recording ended at 1 hour 45 minutes when the other computer (the one that was recording the session) had a problem. So it is not a problem with your download – unfortunately, we didn’t get the last 25 or 30 minutes recorded.

      I demonstrated a couple of things in response to Dave Oluf’s question on custom doors. One part of this was showing how to create a custom door component, similar to what you described. I have not noticed a problem with the component being scrunched, so I’m not sure what is happening with your process that makes it go wrong. As you may know, the component (e.g. door panel) will be stretched to fit the available panel width, so if you want to make it appear exactly accurate, you’ll need to create the component exactly to size so that it doesn’t get resized.

      I will be covering this in a course lesson on creating your own objects, but am happy to look at it during another coaching session.


  4. Christopher Ellis
    13 years ago


    Thanks for your exhaustive evaluation of my technique of adding framing stories question yesterday. As you suggested, I do place the stair on the framing story only and then use virtual trace and line work to show the stairs above and below. Many clients do not like any of the extensive choices offered by Archicad to show the stairs in plan, so this provides a solution for them.

    In thinking back on your question as to why I use separate framing layers for each story’s framing: it derives from the desire to be able to show a quick construction simulation for clients. Starting at the foundation, I created framing layer combinations that reveal more and more framing components on a story by story basis. This can show the process of the “frame” going up. Turning on additional layers for walls, trim and then roofing complete the “construction”. Many clients find that fascinating and instructive.

    I am enjoying your course very much. I also appreciate the fact that you are expanding as needed to cover everything in sufficient depth. Out here on the front lines, that thoroughness is very much appreciated. I have recommended you to several other users on Cape Cod, so you may have a waiting list of my neighbors when you reopen the class.

    Chris Ellis

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Chris –

      Thanks for sharing a little more insight into why you have been adding framing stories. As I said, there are many ways to do things in ArchiCAD, and often it is not a question of “right” or “wrong”, merely a comparison of “pros” and “cons” of different approaches. If your method works well for you, then please continue to use it.

      However, it seemed like you were unaware of the possibility of using Virtual Trace with a different View and Layer setting, so you were missing the option to get your alignment information showing just the framing information of another story. Now that you know how to do that, you may want to reconsider your approach.

      As a side note – in general, the representation of elements by ArchiCAD in 2D and 3D can be manipulated to get satisfactory or excellent results. However, in some cases (e.g. stairs) it may be desireable to use the stair object for 3D and draw the linework manually. I would look carefully at the possible settings for the stairs to see if you can get it looking good directly, but of course, if you choose, you can hide the stair on the plan and only show the linework that you draw that represents the stair.

      Construction simulation is a great communication tool. You may want to create a series of 3D Views that are put into a folder in the View Map, each with different settings for layers and filtering elements for particular stories. There is a free Goodie you can download from the Graphisoft website specifically for construction sequencing, which allows you to set specific dates when elements appear or disappear (go to the ArchiCAD Help menu > ArchiCAD Goodies or ArchiCAD Downloads, depending on which version of ArchiCAD you’re in). If you can set this up in the way you need, then it becomes very quick to show live (updated, rotatable) views of the model in sequence.


      • Christopher Ellis
        13 years ago

        Hi Eric,
        Thanks for the tip about the construction simulator. I’ll check it out.

        What software do you use for recording your lessons and coaching calls ? I’d love to add some videos to my website or alternatively to You Tube. I did the Lower Cape Expo yesterday on Cape Cod, and did a presentation there. It would be great to duplicate that and put it on the website.

        Thanks again for all you are doing. It is inspiring.

        • Eric
          13 years ago

          Chris –

          I use Camtasia to record my onscreen presentations. There is both a PC and a Mac version, and it’s a great tool. If you’re on Mac, there is another one that a lot of people use, I think it’s called ScreenFlow. In either case, you simply tell it to record while you do things, and have a good microphone. When I’m on the coaching calls, I’m talking on a regular telephone headset, but when I record the lessons, I use a USB podcaster microphone called the Blue Yeti, which gives somewhat better quality than my previous mike, a USB headset by Logitech.

          The coaching calls are recorded using Camtasia on a second computer which is signed in to the GoToWebinar call purely to watch and listen.

          I’m using EasyVideoPlayer 2 to create the video player on the web page, and hosting the videos on Amazon S3 – a powerful yet inexpensive cloud-based solution for videos and other media.