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Big Buildings and Roofs
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* April 03, 2013, 01:05:20 AM
#15
Hi Tom,

I am not quite following your reasoning on the 4 x 4 model (sounds like a 4 wheel drive!  ;D ). Are you indicating you have just 4 colour schemes (one in each catalogue) and then propose to update 4 copies of the model so that each colpy has its own colour scheme. If that is what you mean, then it should work, but you still have the problem of select all and replace for 3 of them.  I can't see any way around that.

How many actual textures are you using?  Just thinking (haven't fully thought this through but...) you could also do it by renaming textures. Say you save your window framing texture with a non-specific name like Frame (say the origianl one is green) and apply this to all the windows. Now copy the other window frame textures as say FrameR (Red), FrameO (Orange) and FrameB (Blue) or whatever your colours are. What you could now do is change the original texture you named Frame to FrameG (Green) and the one you called FrameR to just Frame. TFP will now find its texture as it is still called Frame but the colour is now Red not Green so it will show Red instead. Every place you used the original Frame texture (even if it was on the doors, door frame, fascia etc) it will show as Red instead of Green because (as I understand it) it picks up the texture from the Textures folder on your computer - only a link is saved in the catalogue. That is why, if you send the model to someone else and you have used a custom texture, it will just be white on the other persons computer. You may need to open and close the model for it to pick up the new textures.

This may be more work than changing all the materials in the model but I don't think, so unless you have a huge number of different colours also. Probably the main colours would be Trim, Exterior Wall, Roof and Facia in which case you would only have to rename 4 colours.  Obviously there are going to be more than that but it does not sound as bad a changing each element that uses the colour. You would have to use a naming convention so you do not get confused, as the name of the texture in the model must stay the same even though the texture itself is different. IF you decide to experiment with this PLEASE do it on a copy of your model and a copy of the Textures folder. Copy the textures folder and rename it TexturesOriginal for example - the one the model is connected to must have the same name Textures.

I hope you can follow that and that it helps - it may not but I cannot think of any other way.  There is no way to update it all globally to a new catalogue.

Allan

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Allan Chesney,
Kalamunda, Perth, Western Australia
www.alchesdesigns.iinet.net.au

TurboFloorPlan Home and Landscape Pro V16.0.C1.901
Envisioneer Construction Suite V9.1.2.1234
TurboCAD V17 Professional


* April 03, 2013, 10:23:59 AM
#16
This part 1 or two part response to Alan’s suggestion.

Your first paragraph was correct, except I’m having trouble with the replace that goes beyond the amount of drudgery required. (see part 2 note.)

I’m trying to generate four sets of building colors.  (Any more than that would be too much work for me and it would offer too many choices to Board of Directors and Condo Owners.)  Each scheme has a basic siding color and perhaps a second color for the gables.  The basic color is used for both horizontal and vertical siding.  Then the building will have a trim color used for baseboards, window trim, corner boards, fascia, soffits, columns and custom trim elements.  Windows have a sach color and frame color. Finally there is a roof color.  I have a feature scheme matrix (attached) that lists rows colors or characteristics and columns as schemes.  I plan to make jpegs of the four color schemes each with a common view and distribute them to the members.  At the final selection meeting I will show them normal tour type views.   I expect that people will want to see what things look like if x was changed to y and my questions related to ‘fast updates’ were thinking ahead to that point.

The idea of using non-specific names seems really good and I have wondered just how that could be done.  Where do the names go?  I have tried at one point to make use of the ‘favorite colors’ on the Microsoft Custom color wheel but then I it does not work with textures.  So far I have found the list of ‘texture’s to be about useless.  It is very long list, with no categories and search does not seem to work.  (I type in something for search, say ‘vertical siding’ it gives me a list of four places to search but no selected item.)  However, it there was a single step ‘model update’ and it was combined with manipulation of textures it would be ‘really really really’ good feature.

Tom

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* April 03, 2013, 10:32:27 AM
#17
This part 2 or two part response to Alan’s suggestion, but it mostly tries to clarify the issue with replacement that has been frustrating me for the past week.

I originally drew the building with brown cedar siding and light blue trim as that is what now exists.  I have tried several approaches to organizing the color replace over the past week.  This AM I make a copy of the catalog, edited my custom walls to have Grey siding and Maroon trim.  Made a copy of the model and tried to ‘select’ a first floor wall, ‘select all similar’ and ‘replace’ the Brown wall/Blue trim wall with the new Grey and Maroon wall.  The walls changed to Grey but the window and baseboard trim stayed Blue. 

The process I use to make the new custom wall element is I expect pretty standard:  (1) select a Brown and Blue custom wall from the catalog, make a copy, then in the copy (2) select the ‘trim’ tab, (3)edit the external side to have properly sized baseboard, opening trim and window sills.  As I select the trim board sizes I edit the color of the boards for example to Maroon. Then (4) switch to the ‘appearance’ tab, select the ‘external surface’ and finally (5) edit the material to the Grey color siding.  When all walls are done I changed to the element manager and (6) moved the new walls to a special group.   That gave me one catalog having two groups with different colors.  I tried to replace and found nothing seemed to happen.  This led me to think, perhaps erroneously, the SW was using the custom wall name without qualifying it with the group name.  Based on that I reordered the groups but that did not help.  Then I made a copy of the catalog and in each copy I deleted one group and its members.

What is confusing me is when the software is programmed to instantiate things.   As a retired computer scientist I see a five level hierarchy: (A)Wall in building, (B)Custom wall in catalog, (C) Appearance or Trim look for left, right or exterior side, (D) Materials for siding, baseboards, openings and window jams, (E) Colors for Material elements.  At each level the SW could be programmed to store either a link to an element at the next lower level or a copy of the lower level description.  I have yet to figure out what is stored at each level and I’m pretty sure the choice is not consistent.  When I had a Brown and Blue wall then created a Grey and Maroon wall it was noteworthy that when I went back and looked at the Brown and Blue wall it had become Brown and Maroon. So the siding color had to be in the wall description, while the trim color was a link.  Further, when I replaced a Brown and Blue Wall in the building with the Grey and Maroon custom wall from the replacement choices, I got a Gray and Blue wall. That action implies that trim specification ‘links’ are converted to ‘descriptions’ when copied from a catalog wall to the building wall but only when a wall is created.  When the wall is updated by a replace these descriptions are not recreated.  However, even that does not fully explain behavior.  I have first floor walls with baseboards and second floor walls without baseboards.  So I tried replacing the 1st floor wall with a 2nd floor wall and the baseboard disappeared as it should have.  But them when I replaced the 2nd floor wall sans baseboard with the Grey and Maroon baseboard catalog wall I got the Grey and Blue baseboard wall back. Hence I'm fully confused and really don’t have clue about how to proceed.

Footnote
** I’m also not sure if replacement choices are updated when the catalog wall is updated or when the program is started but I don’t think it is when I select ‘replace’. Due to this concern I find that I often close the program then restart it just to be sure the replacement list is updated.  However, I don't know if it makes any difference.

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* April 03, 2013, 11:10:47 AM
#18
Part 3 of 2.  A solution

I just found a solution but have no idea why this worked and the more logical alternative approaches did not work.

1)   I opened the Grey/Maroon (but with blue trim left over) building then selected a 1st floor wall.
2)   I edited properties for the baseboard, openings and jams trims to use Maroon things. It said I had Blue things to begin.
3)   Closed the properties edit and the wall looked correct in the model.
4)   Used the catalog/element manager to copy the edited wall back into the catalog.
a.   In the course of the copy it said wall already existed
b.   I selected the ignore
c.   It put the wall in with the same name plus a ‘[1]’ but it put in the old Brown and Blue Group that had been deleted when the catalog was copied????
5)   Selected a different section of 1st floor wall, selected all similar and replaced with the new FirstFloor[1] wall. 
6)   Suddenly the correctly edited wall appeared all over the entire building.

Sorry to have filled up the thread with the other lengthy querries but I'd still like to understand what is really happening.  Thanks for the help.

Tom

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* April 03, 2013, 04:25:12 PM
#19
Hi Tom,

What you are trying to do is no simple process as TFP allows almost unending combinations of elements and textures.The only way to be sure you cover everything in a modified element (eg Wall) is to right click in the Catalogue list on the right of the screen, select Add New and create a wall of your choice and name. Within that wall, on the Trim tab, right click on each element you want to include and again select Add New and name your new trim, selecting the texture size etc. Do that for any part of the wall that needs to be changed. When you replace the original wall with your newly created one it should also include the newly created trim and other elements. If you have part of the wall with windows sills and/or door sills and others not, then it would have to become another wall type. They must stay in the group where you created them. If you move them later it will not find them.

It is possible in Catalogue Manager to change elements for a selected number of elements all at once. For example you can select a number of walls and change all of them at the same time to a certain trim for example. You still of course have the issue of replacing the elements in the models. Once an element is in the model it is it is no longer connected to the catalogue - changes to the same element in the catalogue will not change it in the model. The catalogue change has to be done before it is inserted (or replaced).

I am not sure how you planned to do your presentation but here is a how I have done it previously and some suggestions:

My previous presentations have been to groups of between 100 and 500 and were done using Powerpoint with images all from the same angle but in different colours. It looks very professional to see the identical view suddenly wipe over from one colour to the other. I have ended with the screen then split into 3 (I never give more than 3 choices)  so that all schemes can be compared at once and it is possible at that point to get a show of hands as to which they want. I found it best though  to print some of each scheme, name them and distribute a 'voting sheet' so each could nominate their 1, 2, 3 preference. This meant that some were not influenced by others and their second preference was taken into account. Usually there was a very decisive choice for one scheme.

Now to answer your other questions:
The idea of using non-specific names seems really good and I have wondered just how that could be done.  Where do the names go?  I have tried at one point to make use of the ‘favorite colors’ on the Microsoft Custom color wheel but then I it does not work with textures.
Rule 1 - do not use colours - they do not always work - use images (BMP not JPG) of the colour - this is what the Paint textures are. These render consistantly. If the colour paint you want is not there, then use a photo editing program to make one. From the Microsoft colours choose what you want and use that colour as a tiny image (note the size of the Ben Moore paint colours in the Textures folder). You will find this under the same directory on your computer as the Catalogues folder.

The Textures folder on your computer has nearly 10,000 images in it, only a few of which appear in the lists in the catalogue. Within the Textures folder they are usually grouped because they are named similalry. All the Paints for example starting off with Ben M... and a number for each colour. If you name yours consistantly they will be together.
You need to create the textures (colours) first or, if you are using an existing 'paint', select the one you want in the Textures folder (if you use the photo editing program browser you will see all the textures as thumbnails), and save it with your own name (eg 1FrameG, 1FrameR, 1FrameB etc or 1SidingBrownV (for Vertical), 1SidingBrownH (for Horizontal) etc). The number before the name is just so that it will list first in the Textrues folder rather than being mixed through it alphabetically.

Now is where you get to the tricky bit as you have to change the texture names. Your initial colour has to be named 1Frame (for example and we will say that is the blue one) and that is used everywhere that you need that colour in the model. Once the model is ready with all its generic names you go to the Textures folder on your computer (not the catalogue!) find the 1Frame texture and change its name to 1FrameB (the blue one). Now go to 1FrameR and delete the R so it becomes 1Frame instead and so 1Frame is now red (and should show that in TFP after reopening the model.) To change the colour of 1Frame you would go back to 1Frame and add an R (so you know it is the red one) and now select 1FrameG, delete the G.  1Frame is now green.

It is still going to be tedious but not as much as changing every part of every element.

DO NOT do the whole thing - just try it with one colour to be sure the process works. I have done it before but on a very limited scale. Prove it works on a test model first!

Allan

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Allan Chesney,
Kalamunda, Perth, Western Australia
www.alchesdesigns.iinet.net.au

TurboFloorPlan Home and Landscape Pro V16.0.C1.901
Envisioneer Construction Suite V9.1.2.1234
TurboCAD V17 Professional


* April 04, 2013, 05:14:40 AM
#20
Thank you Alan.  I'm now off to incorporate all that info. (The real textures I need to use come from Certainteed via the 3D Warehouse and a trip through Sketchup.  I was planing to use JPG to pass the samples from Sketchup to TFP but I'll figure out how to generate BMP format.)  All of your info is useful but two sentences were surprising.

They must stay in the group where you created them. If you move them later it will not find them.



It does however correlate with some of what I discovered.   On its face it does seem to make the capability to "create new group" a somewhat useless feature.  New groups are born empty and if everything needs to stay where it was created then there is no way to populate a new group.  I had hoped to use groups to organize information in much the same manner that I use file directories.  Not having that capability is a disappointment.

Tom

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* April 04, 2013, 08:04:20 PM
#21
How should I move textures from 3D Warehouse to a new siding?  Certainteed has put up files that look about like the sample displays they bring me.  A backing and what looks like all the colors in a specific series.  I've download one and attached.  Howver the size sis so big it blows the question budget.  I will continue the question in the next section.

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* April 04, 2013, 08:16:58 PM
#22
To continue I used SketchUp to read the Certainteed file then exploded it, cut and pasted one sample to a second SketchUp instance.  In that instance I pinched the window down to as tight as I could then exported it as a BMP file.  (Attached).  Finally I created a new siding with the texture taken from the BMP file  Made a wall with that siding and put it on a small file. (Also attached)

The wall comes out with horizontal stripes that Seem to come from some of the boundary area.  Is their a process I should be following that will avoid the problem?  Is there a way to fix the problem?

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* April 04, 2013, 09:36:19 PM
#23
Hi Tom,

First. If you move an element to the new group and insert them from there you should not have any problem. If you insert the element into the model and then move the elements to a new group in the catalogue, you will probably find when you try to Replace, that it will not find it, as it is looking in the original group.

I have never tried importing SKP material this way, as it imports it as a 3D model. If you particularly want the Certainteed texture why not just copy the one you want from their website? Under Products it shows all their siding in different colours and you can enlarge each one. Just use the Windows 'Snipping Tool' (Start menu) to cut out part of the texture only from the screen and Save it to the Textures folder on your computer. Now you can select it from within TFP and bring it into the catalogue material list. This way you bring in only the ones you want. The Snaipping Tool saves as a JPG but saving a texture as a JPG is OK - saving a plain colour is best as a BMP. If you are using a vertical siding, make sure the cutout is on exactly the same position on each side of the image (eg Half way through the board on both sides or half way through the gap between the boards). TFP will join the two edges of the image, so they must not double up any part of the boards or gap otherwise the duplicated line (eg the Gap) will be repeated all over the wall and look wrong (as with the white lines on your example).

I cannot see the texture you have used in your model as it is not on my computer, so it just shows white but the sample you have posted has white lines across the top and bottom, so these will naturally be replicated across your model as mentioned above. If you crop the lines off, then they will disappear from the model.

It is natural that you would want to use the actual texture in the model but there are many so close to yours and already in the catalogue, that it may not even be worth the effort trying to import new textures if you are not really familiar with photo editing software. In the end, if you are just presenting the results as a Powerpoint presentation or printed, no one will really know whether it was the Certainteed texture, or one that just looks the same. Colours vary (considerably sometimes!), from screen to screen and printer to printer or even different papers in the same printer, so I have learnt over the years not to become too concerned if I did not use the actual texture, (unless it is a specifically patterened fabric or wallpaper) because no one will ever know.

Allan

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Allan Chesney,
Kalamunda, Perth, Western Australia
www.alchesdesigns.iinet.net.au

TurboFloorPlan Home and Landscape Pro V16.0.C1.901
Envisioneer Construction Suite V9.1.2.1234
TurboCAD V17 Professional


* April 06, 2013, 01:06:33 PM
#24
Should work and better to have multiple catalogs rather than one large one.  You can open/close catalogs with one project open whole time.

You could make each catalog smaller by deleting unwanted items...could be a lot of work tho.

No easier way I can think of just now.

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* April 11, 2013, 10:57:13 AM
#25
How do I get rid of interference patterns?

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* April 11, 2013, 03:58:20 PM
#26
Hi Tom,

They are just the interaction between the shadow lines of the siding you used and the lines of pixels making up your computer screen and there is nothing you can do about that other than change the size of the siding or resolution of the sceen. That will not stop it either , it will just alter the pattern. It is the same effect you see on TV if someone has a striped pattern on a shirt or suit. One of the side effects of the digital age!  ;D
They should not appear when you are closer to the siding or when the you render and print the image.

It is certainly a big building and obviously represents a lot of work!
Congratulations!

Allan
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 04:02:41 PM by Allan Chesney »

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Allan Chesney,
Kalamunda, Perth, Western Australia
www.alchesdesigns.iinet.net.au

TurboFloorPlan Home and Landscape Pro V16.0.C1.901
Envisioneer Construction Suite V9.1.2.1234
TurboCAD V17 Professional


* April 12, 2013, 09:27:51 AM
#27
Allen - Thanks for all the help you have offered as I went through this.  What the picture shows is something between 1/3 and 1/2 of the building.  I plan to make the set of jpegs for distribution to the members today and then I probably don't want to see TFP for a bit. (I drastically reduced the interference by scaling the siding texture replication factors by 3.)

At the beginning of the thread I asked if TFP was suitable for a very big building documentation effort.  Having done it the best I could I would now say the answer is no.  I  found that the program has too many 'un-understand-able' operational quirks.   I'm done and don't want answers to any of these issues, but here is about a dozen problems I encountered, any one of which can delay progress by a week or more:

(1) There simply is not way to figure out how the building descriptions of major elements (ex. wall) correspond.  I have walls in the building, the replace display and the catalog, that are suppose to be the same thing yet the image generated  matches none in every detail.  In my final delivered jpegs there are window sills with a texture/color that is left from December experiments and it will not change from red to what I want to use.  (2) The buildings have lots of roofs and mostly they push up against a wall or another roof.  Sometimes they cut around other parts of the building causing some small part of a wall to escape up to the next overhang but sometimes they block a wall's extension to the roof resulting in a 'wall hole'. (3) where a wall wraps around a staircase and includes a window at the landing level the window can be half trimmed or its presence can trim a baseboard on another building level. (4) If you put in a wall then elevate it (as was needed to create cantilevered dormers with boxed in trim and gables) the action of replacing the wall to get a new color and/or siding) will delete the elevation. (5) the wall described in #4 if it attaches to the building will cut strips out of the building's wall when it is elevated. (6) again for the #4 wall I needed a 45 degree 4x4 post to support the 'cantilever'.  There is almost no way to position it because if you create a special elevation view 'selection and move' won't work.  But even making the support is problematic in that you use 'custom member' to make either a horizontal of vertical beam and then you need to rotate it either 45 or 135 degrees.  The rotate angle widget will not accept typing and instead I had to click on the up widget 45 or 135 times.  (7) How elements are dependent upon underlying templates is a mystery.  Sometimes you can change the dimension in a window detail and sometimes you can't. (8) There is no way to actually control the inheritance tree.  The approach suggested about using a dummy texture name did not work for me.  I'd do one thing 'here' and then discover it had an effect 'there'. (9) 'Select all Similar' works mostly  - but fails in mysterious ways.  I have 20 or 30 first floor wall sections (different building levels or different sides of section) and all were put in with the same custom wall that included baseboard, opening trim, and window/door jams.  Select any one of 18 or 28 and select all similar and all but two sections will be highlighted.  Even if I replace the two 'different' sections from the same catalog element as the others they still remain, for no apparent reason, different. (10) Roofs are never 'similar'. My Building has 25 some of which had to be broken up into multiple surfaces  and every one had to be selected individually to change the color. (11) To use a 'gable' color on two of the four jpeg color sets I needed meant changing properties of roofs and gables in 3 places for each and every roof section had to be addressed separately. (12) Terrain manipulation is too difficult to describe and fills and retaining walls don't.  My land included 43 feet of vertical elevation change under the building and about 20 feet of additional elevation change.  I had a survey map accurate to a foot but it had hundreds of contour lines.  I could not map from it to the 'plateaus', the pitch on the side of a plateau is not really controllable (think about steep and gradual sides) and plateaus drawn on a hill do not seem to have flat tops.

Perhaps I was using the wrong program.  I bought the TFP Home & Landscape Pro and maybe I should have bought Envisioneer.  (It would not be the first time I was lead astray by lower cost.) Overall I think it is a excellent SW and I have also done a couple of tentative house additions with it.  At the scale of a house the shortcomings I described are completely tolerable.  At the scale of a house you might encounter a shortcoming but it takes only an hour to circumvent it.  At the scale of this building every shortcoming had to be circumvented a dozen times and it gets too tedious and too hard to remember how you fixed it last time.

Again thanks to all who helped me.  I do not expect an answer to these issues.

Tom

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* April 12, 2013, 03:22:02 PM
#28
Hi Tom,

Your particular project has certainly been unusual although I have seen many big projects over the years, such as retirment villages, appartment blocks and in my case office blocks and a convention centre, but apart from those most of my projects have been smaller ones, which are obviously easier to handle.

Actually many of the issues you have raised are possibly due to lack of familiarity with the program - except the widget in point 6. We have been asking for that to be fixed for years!  The developers probably do not use it except in testing so do not realise how irritating it can be!

Do not regret having not bought Envisioneer for this project. The 3D part as you have used is identical. Envisonerr takes over in its 2D capabilities by producing the construction drawings "automatically". The one advantage in Envisioneer has at the moment, is the new Terrain tools. They would have made that part of the project easier. They should flow into TFP in its next release but that is too late for your project of course!

I hope your presentation of the project goes well and that the people involved appreciate the huge amount of work you have obvioisly put into this project! Somehow I suspect they won't have any idea!

Allan
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 03:25:55 PM by Allan Chesney »

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Allan Chesney,
Kalamunda, Perth, Western Australia
www.alchesdesigns.iinet.net.au

TurboFloorPlan Home and Landscape Pro V16.0.C1.901
Envisioneer Construction Suite V9.1.2.1234
TurboCAD V17 Professional


October 13, 2015, 07:58:51 PM
#29
Here's a great tip for creating vertical siding (re point 7 of your list). Just choose the siding you want, then click on the 'Mapping...' button (in the 'Material' area of the dialog) and rotate the siding 90°. Then apply it to your project. This should work for any material or texture. The project I'm working on also uses vertical siding and this solution looks pretty good to me. See my included screencap.

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