AECbytes Tips and Tricks Issue
#3 (February 22, 2006)
Getting the Most from your Materials in ArchiCAD
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
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
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.
Tricks > Getting the Most from your Materials
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