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Automatic Elevations with Model Paint - Tutorial

Elevations Model paint Tutorial

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#1 Keith Almond

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 08:21 PM

Okay, I admit it, AUTOMATIC is stretching the point a little ...

 

In a earlier thread, I promised to show my method of doing elevations. I am assuming that this is pretty unique in the Softplan community, but if anyone uses the same - or a similar - method, I'd like to hear from you.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is a Standard SOFTPLAN sample project model, that I've borrowed for this small Tutorial.

The MODEL PAINT is MY standard materials, and the render mode is MY standard WATERCOLOUR MODE which is seriously customised from the default, and is deliberately NOT intended to be photorealistic. The other mode that I use is ILLUSTRATED which is identical to the watercolour, but has a blank white background, and no shadows.

2016.09.14_21h23m04s_001_.png

Generate Front Elevation.

2016.09.14_21h24m16s_002_.png

and Save as a SOFTPLAN drawing ... NO AUTO-PAINT.

2016.09.14_21h25m25s_004_.png

Remove Elevation Markers and Text (you can obviously keep them if you use them, but I always put my own in, in a specific manner, so I delete the originals).

 

CTRL-SELECT everything RIGHT CLICK and SET LAYER as HIDDEN (any will do but HIDDEN is self explanatory).

2016.09.14_21h28m38s_005_.png

Change lines below grade to LAYER - WHITE (the white layer is defined as ONLY PEN 9 in the layer setup) and edit to dotted (I've explained in the past that I have PEN 9 set to print as white .... you'll see why further down).

2016.09.14_21h31m30s_006_.png

Add SHADE BREAKS to perimeter and GRADE. Note: There are limits to the extent of the shade breaks outside the model, before the model paint repeats. If you see the repeat, adjust the shade breaks as necessary to eliminate the issue. I haven't figured out yet where the repeat starts, but it is surprisingly close to the model.

2016.09.14_21h33m24s_007_.png

Add model paint to an above grade area (any one), and image paint of grass to a below grade area (again any one).

2016.09.14_21h35m15s_008_.png

Edit both paints to be SHADE paint. Also ensure that the OPACITY of the MODEL PAINT is set to 100%

2016.09.14_21h36m38s_009_.png

Edit above grade model paint, CLICK  EDIT 3D OPTIONS and edit it's render mode to ILLUSTRATED (Note: My Illustrated Mode is highly customized)..

2016.09.14_21h38m44s_010_.png


Keith

There are 10 types of people in this world ....... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Softplan user since version 5.5.2.5

www.homehardwarekingston.ca

#2 Keith Almond

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 08:23 PM

Continued from above ...

If you then turn off the HIDDEN layer, you have a perfect textured elevation

2016.09.14_21h39m18s_011_.png

Turn the HIDDEN layer back on so that you can reference all the lines etc. and add whatever dimensions and notes you think necessary. Everything that's over a dark background should be put on the WHITE layer.

2016.09.14_22h07m38s_012_.png

Turn off the HIDDEN layer again

2016.09.14_22h08m07s_013_.png

Add to Planset

2016.09.14_22h14m22s_014_.png

At no point has any part of the elevation itself actually been drawn.

One of the advantages is that this is a LIVE elevation, and is obviously still linked to the model. If the plan changes, then editing the elevation is as simple as just REGENERATING. You don't need to EVER redraw anything, although if size changes much, you may have to adjust the position of the shade breaks.


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Keith

There are 10 types of people in this world ....... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Softplan user since version 5.5.2.5

www.homehardwarekingston.ca

#3 Tom Rogers

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 11:26 AM

That is very interesting.  I like how you have it stated that they are live elevations.  While on the surface, and you may have even mentioned it, it may be confusing; are you the only one that does it this way? Or you have a staff or outside venders that you use that all do it the same.  Seems like it might be a hard knowledge to control if you are not the one working on them


"remember... what we are building today, should be what we want in the future"​
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#4 Keith Almond

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 12:30 PM

That is very interesting.  I like how you have it stated that they are live elevations.  While on the surface, and you may have even mentioned it, it may be confusing; are you the only one that does it this way? ...

 

As far as I am aware, I'm the only person on the planet does it this way ... the other designers in THIS office still draw their elevations.

 

I would encourage everyone to at least have a try.

 

I think it works really well, but like everything else, relies on the premise that you created the model correctly in the first place - although you can still fudge some things if you try.


Keith

There are 10 types of people in this world ....... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Softplan user since version 5.5.2.5

www.homehardwarekingston.ca

#5 Tom Rogers

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 09:27 PM

Definitely would like to see if I can make it work in some capacity for me.  But I would need it to be consistent throughout my guys.  Even in an office of drafter or builders I am surprised that only one guy would do it.  Seems like the standards would dictate one way or the other

 


"remember... what we are building today, should be what we want in the future"​
Version 10 to Version 2016+ and beyond
www.residentialproductions.com

www.arcresidential.com

 


#6 Tom Rogers

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 09:28 PM

You need to trademark that as the "Almond method" :D


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"remember... what we are building today, should be what we want in the future"​
Version 10 to Version 2016+ and beyond
www.residentialproductions.com

www.arcresidential.com

 


#7 Keith Almond

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 06:13 AM

It really doesn't matter to us about consistency, none of us ever works on someone else's drawings, because of the way the jobs are assigned. As long as the information is on the drawings, then everything's good.

 

Have a go at it on something not critical when you have a minute, and see how it works for you.


Keith

There are 10 types of people in this world ....... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Softplan user since version 5.5.2.5

www.homehardwarekingston.ca

#8 Verlin Klassen

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 05:17 PM

Thanks to you,Keith, I have developed a way of doing elevations very similar to yours. I don't typically show site paint in elevations, but use the Shade Break to show the grade height. In the case of the attached I couldn't see much difference if I turned off the elevation drawing lines so with just leaving them there the below grade is shown without changing to dashed lines.

I really like your idea of printing over the paint with white instead of masking around any notes on the painted area. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • West Elevation.JPG

Verlin Klassen

Westman Drafting


#9 Keith Almond

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 07:40 PM

Looks good Verlin. Glad you like the white text idea.

 

I've found that leaving the drawn lines on tends to cover a lot of the white window frames and they don't seem to show as well.

 

Are those elevations something you've been doing for a while? or as a result of this thread ... ?


Keith

There are 10 types of people in this world ....... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Softplan user since version 5.5.2.5

www.homehardwarekingston.ca

#10 Verlin Klassen

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 08:49 AM

I started doing them in Spring as a result of a previous thread here. Showing the model paint only till the grade is something I started more recently. It seems there are always ways to improve. 

My aim is not necessarily be the cheapest draftsman around, but to put out a quality set of drawings and provide a pleasant experience for my clients.


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Verlin Klassen

Westman Drafting


#11 Dave Pazyniak

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 11:32 AM

Thanks, Keith.  This looks like a good approach to me.  How would you handle the elevations if you did not want them textured, but wanted different line weights (thicker for closer...) for different materials/areas?

 

Dave



#12 Keith Almond

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 12:43 PM

Completely differently ...

 

I'd have Softplan generate a base, and then spend hours editing them to suit, the traditional way.

 

Bear in mind that when Softplan generates an elevation it does so in MANY layers. If those layers exist in the drawing, the pens can be predefined so that you can make Softplan do most of the work. You would have to do some minor edits to make the closer lines thicker, but you can control most of it ... REFER also to this thread ... http://softplan.com/...rs-pen-settings


Keith

There are 10 types of people in this world ....... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Softplan user since version 5.5.2.5

www.homehardwarekingston.ca

#13 Brian Berzinskis

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 10:55 AM

I had tried out working with these live elevations but at the end of the day I found out that adding in all my typical details that I use to dress up an exterior, it took me longer to build the 3d model perfectly than it did to just draw the elevations and at the end of the day I still thought that my drawn elevation looked better than the live one so I gave up. It would be nice to see some new tools to help us draw our elevations if a lot of us are still doing that.


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#14 Tom Rogers

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 01:18 PM

While that may be true Brian, it does not use Softplan like the BIM system that it is.  We, as a collective group, have a hard time breaking from the norm.  How many times did we hear "I can sketch it quicker by hand" or, in my case "easier to do a roof plan with my adjustable triangle" and even now "I can draw it quicker in 2D" (this comes from a close associate of mine who has bought Softplan but wont convert from AutoCad).

 

All of this is because we are afraid of change not taking the time to improve.  As this graph from the AIA shows:

image-CADvsBIM.png

BIM takes more time to develop but makes the CDs much quicker. Or heaven forbid the dreaded change order or modification let alone using stock plans.  While there are times that you need to expediate it is also a shame not to use all the tools we have.  Never know what one might do. 

 

I say this in part to myself as I will to anyone else, becasue I am guilty of it also.  I get extremely frustrated with my Softlist learning and the formulas that dont work and all the time I spend on a material list or 3D that I am not getting paid for.  BUT, in practice comes speed and in speed comes value.  Let's hope we all have the time to get up to speed to increase our value. 

 

( :wacko: Sorry, wasn't meant to be a soap-box.  Just went there)


  • Wouter van Tiel likes this

"remember... what we are building today, should be what we want in the future"​
Version 10 to Version 2016+ and beyond
www.residentialproductions.com

www.arcresidential.com

 


#15 Verlin Klassen

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 04:42 PM

Keith, you stated above that since this is a live elevation, nothing needed to be redrawn if the plan changed. That would not apply to the below grade lines would it? If footing heights changed, for example, would you not need to redraw the lines in the elevation?


Verlin Klassen

Westman Drafting


#16 Keith Almond

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 11:40 AM

Apologies, yes I would. Footings and foundations below grade are lines not live, and so would have to be redrawn. You are correct.


Keith

There are 10 types of people in this world ....... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Softplan user since version 5.5.2.5

www.homehardwarekingston.ca

#17 Verlin Klassen

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 10:47 AM

One thing I just discovered about using model paint for elevations is that model paint does not export to DWG. This was verified by tech support.


Verlin Klassen

Westman Drafting


#18 Keith Almond

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 11:06 AM

One thing I just discovered about using model paint for elevations is that model paint does not export to DWG. This was verified by tech support.

 

I wouldn't have expected it too.

 

However, not an issue for me. I never have to export my designs to anything except PDF.


Keith

There are 10 types of people in this world ....... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Softplan user since version 5.5.2.5

www.homehardwarekingston.ca

#19 Wouter van Tiel

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Posted 09 April 2017 - 04:38 PM

I had tried out working with these live elevations but at the end of the day I found out that adding in all my typical details that I use to dress up an exterior, it took me longer to build the 3d model perfectly than it did to just draw the elevations and at the end of the day I still thought that my drawn elevation looked better than the live one so I gave up. It would be nice to see some new tools to help us draw our elevations if a lot of us are still doing that.

I agree entirely, the live ones don't particularly look good unless you manipulate it like described here by Keith. For 2020 that would be one of the major items on my wish list - to see efficiencies in producing construction drawings beyond the 3D modeling stage. All the bells and whistles are nice but in the end I bought the program and spent the money to save time and produce a nice product for my clients while not having to do a lot of manual labor. It is a computer after all and properly programmed it should do a lot if not most of the work for you while you engage in the creative end of it and that output should look good enough to be presentable at a high level. There is so much good stuff in Softplan but then the steps to go from A to Z seem to miss a few and there is a canyon in the middle you have to climb through, while all the ingredients for a bridge seem to already be there. Oddly enough.



#20 Wouter van Tiel

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Posted 09 April 2017 - 04:45 PM

While that may be true Brian, it does not use Softplan like the BIM system that it is.  We, as a collective group, have a hard time breaking from the norm.  How many times did we hear "I can sketch it quicker by hand" or, in my case "easier to do a roof plan with my adjustable triangle" and even now "I can draw it quicker in 2D" (this comes from a close associate of mine who has bought Softplan but wont convert from AutoCad).

 

All of this is because we are afraid of change not taking the time to improve.  As this graph from the AIA shows:

attachicon.gifimage-CADvsBIM.png

BIM takes more time to develop but makes the CDs much quicker. Or heaven forbid the dreaded change order or modification let alone using stock plans.  While there are times that you need to expediate it is also a shame not to use all the tools we have.  Never know what one might do. 

 

I say this in part to myself as I will to anyone else, becasue I am guilty of it also.  I get extremely frustrated with my Softlist learning and the formulas that dont work and all the time I spend on a material list or 3D that I am not getting paid for.  BUT, in practice comes speed and in speed comes value.  Let's hope we all have the time to get up to speed to increase our value. 

 

( :wacko: Sorry, wasn't meant to be a soap-box.  Just went there)

So glad you posted this because it illustrates exactly what I am looking at having spent 20 years line drawing with my $35 deltacad program. I got really fast at it, but it was a lot of manual labor. Enter the 3D (BIM I guess) softplan and the world changed only to see we still need to line draw the elevations! Wow shocker, that was exactly what I was trying to get away from. Thanks to this post I might be able to. Super thanks for that! I hope so sincerely that Softplan will upgrade the elevation drawing process. Also I was surprised to see how many personal solutions have to be invented for each of us to make Softplan work as best it can, while frankly that could be a focus of the company. 

 

Softplan, please invite the best of your users and let's have a session and figure out what will make 2020 the super program that is already lurking behind the curtain. I think you only need to let it out the closet. 







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