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AECbytes Tips and Tricks Issue #3 (February 22, 2006)

Getting the Most from your Materials in ArchiCAD

Carlos Ramos
Partner, Oppenheim Architecture and Design

When you assign a material to a surface, you want that material to perform for you. You want to generate an elevation and not have to come back and apply a hatch to it in elevation to show that it is a metal grill, louver, brick or whatever.

At the same time, you want these materials to appear automatically and attractively when you render a view as well.

At Cube, a 24 story condominium project in the Design District in Miami, Florida, we are using an exposed steel structural frame. The railings and other portions of the building employ a metal fabric, and there are horizontal louvers as well. ArchiCAD 9, with the LightWorks Rendering Engine, was used to generate the image shown below.

This tip shows how to properly assign materials in ArchiCAD to achieve the rendering shown above.

First, we will create a material which we will call Aluminum Screen_1. Go to Options > Materials and duplicate the Aluminum material. Rename it to Aluminum Screen_1, and change the vectorial hatching to Brick Long-Stack Bond, which will give us the hatching we want in the elevations.

Next, change the Create Preview With option from the default of Internal to LightWorks Rendering Engine. Deselect the Show Essentials Only option in the Set Parameters box. Under the Choose Shader option, select Wrapped Grid and set the parameters to the values shown in the image below.

Next, open the library part for the glass railing, and change the glass material to Aluminum Screen_1, the material we just created.

Now we are ready to open our elevation, which automatically hatches the railing behind the steel structure with no additional 2D drafting effort.

And finally, all that we need to do for generating the renderings is to change the Photo Rendering setting to LightWorks Rendering Engine and render.

My next tip will be on how to generate the exterior steel structure for this building using ArchiCAD's Trussmaker tool.

About the Author

Carlos Ramos is registered to practice architecture in the state of Florida, and a partner in Oppenheim Architecture and Design, and has been using ArchiCAD since version 6.5.




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