This 41 minute lesson demonstrates several different modeling approaches you can use early in the design process.
Simple massing models with no detail can be differentiated with colors to indicate changes in material, construction type or phasing. Sometimes it may be useful to add “pseudo-detail” – something that makes the model appear detailed, even though specific design decisions have not really been made. For example, a material texture such as bricks will make the model look more natural or realistic, which may be desireable in some cases.
The concept of progressive refinement of design can be applied to windows and doors. A very simple fixed window element without casing or sill may be placed to indicate an opening, with size differentiation but no specific operational type or style. In early design studies or presentations, some stylistic details may be added, such as a mullion or grill pattern, or structural choices such as casing or sill.
To change the geometry or operational type (for example, arched, sliding, etc.) often requires selecting a different library part. To avoid losing the information already set (such as the style or size), use Parameter Transfer within the library part settings window. Hold down the Syringe tool shortcut keys (Command-Option for Mac, CTRL-ALT on PC) before and during the click that changes to a different part. That way, all available parameter values will be transferred, and the “family resemblance” or style and size will be maintained as much as possible.
Kitchen layouts can be a very detail-oriented and time-consuming part of the design process. In the early stages, a simple polyline may be used to indicate the locations of counters, however this does not allow any 3D visualization or study. A simple slab can communicate basic cabinet volumes in a kitchen, and with a little extra work (e.g. a separate thin slab for the counter, and thin pieces using the beam tool to represent backsplashes or upstands) can be enhanced.
Complex profiles can be used in a creative way to represent cabinets quickly with a little more detail including a recessed kick underneath the body. The profile can be made of multiple different materials, so that a single element may appear to be more complex.
As a final demonstration, a pre-assembled group of kitchen fixtures and entourage elements is copied from a resource file – in this case, the QuickRooms from MasterTemplate’s Interactive Legends. After pasting in the elements, they are re-arranged to suit the design context. This can be a very rapid way of developing a conceptual design which can look quite detailed with minimum effort. Room configurations like this can easily be saved from any finished project into a resource file – perhaps a MOD module file, a standard PLN, or included (as in MasterTemplate) directly within a template.
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Eric Bobrow, Creator of the Best Practices Course
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This is one of my favorite lessons in the Best Practices Course. It shows how you can use ArchiCAD in early design very quickly and efficiently, putting in only the level of detail that is needed, then add in more information later based on the clean framework that has been set up.