Week #16 – Roof Modeling and Documentation
16-2. Modeling Roofs with Ornate Rafter Tails

ArchiCAD Training (Best Practices Lesson 16-2)

This 23 minute ArchiCAD training lesson was actually created in November 2009 as part of my occasional series of ArchiCAD tutorials and video tips.

The roof tool creates a simple volume that does not represent the actual construction components. When you apply a composite, the roof becomes a little more detailed, but still retains a uniform thickness.

This lesson shows how to use Solid Element Operations to trim off the underside of the roof in the extension that overhangs the outside shell of the building. Subsequently, beams or objects representing framing members are added to show the rafters supporting the roof. These are then carved out with a profiled element using SEO to create ornate rafter tails.

Along the way, a few speed tricks and shortcuts are demonstrated that allow these operations to be performed quickly on large roof systems.

Please post your comments and questions below.


Thank you for visiting the Best Practices Course website. The video lessons are available for members only. If you are an active member and would like to watch the ArchiCAD training video on this page, please login to the website. If you are not currently a member, please visit the following pages for more information and to sign up for the Best Practices Course, the QuickStart Course or for the Best Practices ArchiCAD Coaching Program. Eric Bobrow, Creator of the Best Practices Course
Want to download this video, pause or resume playback, jump to a specific point or watch this video in a larger window? Click here for Video Playback and Download Notes...

Your Downloads

You may need to right-click the following links and select Save Link As to download the file to your computer

Click here to see the transcript of this ArchiCAD training lesson...

ArchiCAD Training: Modeling Roofs with Ornate Rafter Tails

Let us know how you feel... (7 comments so far)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  1. KaitingChiu
    11 years ago

    Hi Eric, I am a very new ArchiCAD user and I am using ArchiCAD 17. Under the custom wall drop down menu, I couldn’t find MT Eave option and I also don’t have as many wall type as yours. Where can I download those wall types?

    • Eric Bobrow
      11 years ago

      Kaiting –

      Thanks for your question. The wall types that you see in your menu are specific to the project file that you have open; you may create custom wall types for each project.

      When you start a project, these wall types are based on the template file you use, as the new file is actually made as a copy of the template file. The U.S. template distributed by Graphisoft has certain wall types, while templates distributed in other countries may have different ones installed.

      I often work with MasterTemplate, the robust office standard that I created with architect Scott Bulmer in 2007 for ArchiCAD 11, and have updated for every ArchiCAD version since.

      We add in a lot of additional wall types into MasterTemplate as a time-saving convenience for users (just like we add many more Views, Interactive Schedules, Layouts, etc.). For more information or to purchase MasterTemplate, please visit http://www.actemplate.com.


  2. MattJoyner
    11 years ago

    Hi Eric, in this training session about rafter tails relative to Solid Element Operations you put the ‘operator’ on a layer that becomes invisible when viewing. Can you not just delete it from the drawing or is there some reason to need to retain it ??

    • Eric Bobrow
      11 years ago

      Matt –

      If you delete the operator, the operation is cancelled. You need to keep the operator around in the file, and if you don’t want to see it (because it is only being used for modifying another element) then the best way to deal with it is to put it on a layer that is hidden most of the time (except when you’re working on SEO).

      The layer can also be made wireframe using the Layer Settings dialog, allowing you to see through these elements, but still see their outline, allowing you to select and possibly move or adjust these operator elements.


  3. Juliano
    12 years ago


    Fantastic lesson!…It has a double advantages first for the great tips on roof modelling second the fact that you used master template is fantastic for all of us who have the template seeing how you take advantage of the master template fixtures is extremely helpful.

    Perhaps you could consider use master template when you demonstrating the same example in US version and international version, I mean in one of the examples you could use master template. This will satisfy both, those who don’t use the template would be happy with the first demonstration and those who use the template can see the same principle demonstrated using master template.

    Kind regards


  4. IgnacioGarcIa
    12 years ago

    I can not download this session.
    I can only see it in the web after pressing the download button

    • Eric Bobrow
      12 years ago

      Ignacio –
      To download the video, right-click on the DOWNLOAD button and choose Save Linked File As or Save Target As (this varies by browser) instead of just clicking on the link. This will save an MP4 file to your computer that you can play with Apple’s free QuickTime Player, Windows Media Player or other video tools.