On Land

Environment Information
At Rill Architects we run ArchiCAD on Mac OS X. If you work at Rill, this is your stuff. If you don't, but you work in ArchiCAD, you may find something interesting. Anybody else, I don't know.

Graphic overrides greatly expand the number of ways an element can represent itself in different kinds of documentation. This means less redundant 'drawing', and more unity.

The RCP has long been a frustrating form of output if you're trying to minimize drawing. All the things that need to be shown are modeled, but Archicad has had limited facility to present these elements with properly modified attributes. In practice, 'properly modified' usually just means a dashed line type.

Now, with graphic overrides, we can choose any kind of element and say, draw it with a dashed line type instead of solid.

It follows from this that we probably need fewer custom object solutions that use the ceiling switch.

Old Ways

• To show countertops and stairs, you have to trace them with lines on the +A RCP Line layer. If you modify the model elements, you have to modify the lines.

• To show beams, ceilings, and soffits as solid, you have to either trace them with solid lines on +A RCP Line, or model them with objects that are ceiling switch-aware.

• To show roof overhangs and clip lines in the ceiling, you have to draw two sets of lines, one dashed on A Ceiling2, and one solid on +A RCP Line. Or, use Ceiling Line objects, which can change their line type but have to be placed one line at a time.

New Ways

• Countertops and stairs are shown directly. A graphic override rule changes their line type to dashed.

• Beams, ceilings, and soffits are shown directly. A graphic override rule changes their line type to solid.

• Overhangs and clip lines can be drawn once with dashed polylines. A graphic override rule changes their line type to solid.

Layer changes

To support these changes, these layers are now shown in the RCP layer combination: F Cabs2, A Stair2, A Soffit2, A Ceiling2.

It is tempting to show roofs on A Roof2, but I think this makes the drawing too busy, and the graphic override rule turns the cut lines dashed, which looks idiotic. There might be cases where you want to show slabs on A Deck2. You can update the layer combination to do this - the decks are already handled by the dashed line rule.

A side effect of this improved method is that we need to fork the F Cabs2 layer into four new layers. (Well, three new and one renamed.) New layers tend to happen when a new documentation type or working method forces us to recognize the difference between things we used to be able to treat the same.

When F Cabs2 was hidden in RCP, we could treat counters, base cabinets, upper cabinets, and shelves the same. They all showed in floor plan, and they were all hidden in RCP. Once we turn that layer on to see the counters with a dashed line type, this is what else happens:

• The base cabinets are showing, with the same dashed line type as the counters. This looks cluttered and confusing. So we need F Cabinet Base, hidden in RCP.

• The upper cabinets are showing, with that same dashed line type. They should show, but their line should be solid. So we need F Cabinet Upper, shown in RCP with a solid line override rule.

• Bookshelves and pantry shelves are showing, which they should, but they should not be dashed. They should be solid in floor plan and RCP, since you see them directly when looking either up or down. So we need F Shelves, which shows in RCP but is not overridden.

• Now counters are the only thing left on F Cabs2, and they aren't even cabinets, so that layer name is changed to F Counter.

F Cabs3 can stay. It is still a good name for the layer of 3D-only parts of cabinets.

The layer A Ceiling All is probably not needed any longer. I found one extremely rare case it might help. Generally, ceiling elements can be placed on A Soffit2 or A Ceiling2 and the overrides will make them work.

Objects of reduced importance

Ceiling Line: Probably not needed at all. Too bad, I liked that one.

Ceiling Line Accessory: Needed less, and not needed at all to change line type, but still useful. Use the accessory to automatically outline the hole in a ceiling slab, while not showing the edge. You can show the slab directly on A Soffit2, but if the main polygon crosses an opening, the dashed line is visible. In that case, put the slab on A Soffit3, and use the accessory to show just the hole on A Soffit2.

RCP Beam: Not needed at all, unless you need the cover fill in RCP feature. In most cases you can use beam elements instead.


RCP Overhead Solid: All elements on the layers A Ceiling2, A Soffit2, and F Cabinet Upper are drawn with a solid line. These elements should placed with a dashed line type as their 'natural' settings in the floor plan. (When you choose Upper Cabinet in the Cab Blob object, it is automatically drawn with dashes.)

RCP Below Dashed: All elements on the layers A Stair2, A Deck2, and F Counter are drawn with a dashed line type, and no cover fill. These elements are placed with a solid line in the floor plan. (I've included decks in the rule but not in the layer combination. If you want to show dashed decks in the RCP, update the layer combination.)