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Using Textures with ArchiCAD

By J.T. Burk, October 16, 2003

This article provides step-by-step tips for working with textures within Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD.

1. Collect the textures/objects you want to use in your project in one folder. For this example, let’s call this folder “Project 123 Textures.”

2. Select the “Load Libraries...” command from the “File” menu. When the “Load Libraries...” dialogue box appears, browse your hard drive until you find the folder (Project 123 Textures) that contains your selected textures.

3. Select the folder and then click on the “Add” button. Click on the “Done” button to allow ArchiCAD to reload the libraries.

4. Select the “Materials” command from the “Options” menu.

Note: If the “Materials” dialogue box shows in the compressed form, click on the “Expert” button.

5. In the Materials pop-up menu, select a material that is more or less similar to the item you would like to use. For this example, we will be creating a siding material and we will use the “Red Brick” material as a starting point for it.

6. When the “Red Brick” is showing in the Materials pop-up menu, click on the “Duplicate...” button.

7. Type in a name for the newly created material. In this example, let's call it “Splitface Block” as shown in the image above.

8. For “Splitface Block” - the newly created material - we should replace the attached texture by clearing the texture that came with the original material (if any) and then attaching the new texture:

Note: To clear the existing texture (if any), click on the “Clear” button.

9. Click on the “Edit Texture...” button.

10. Use the <<, >> or “Search” buttons to locate the desired texture from your library.

Click on image to enlarge

11. Type in the values for the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the mapped texture, and click “OK” to close the “Texture Settings” dialogue box.

12. Double click on the color of the material to reset the proper color of this new material. Now, each time you use this material, it will show this texture in the photo-rendering window.

13. Repeat these steps for other textures.

Additional Notes and Helpful Hints

  • When saving an archive, make sure the “Include Linked Textures” check box is checked.
  • When using textures with alpha channel such as fences, make sure that the “Transparency” check box in the “Texture Settings” dialogue box is checked.
  • Do not use the Z-buffer Rendering Engine when rendering pictures with alpha channel objects because this rendering engine cannot recognize alpha channel. When creating an animation, the Z-buffer Rendering Engine calculates the shadows only once at the first frame and then applies the shadows calculations to the whole animation.

About the Author

J.T. Burk is a licensed architect and experienced project manager who has founded three companies: CADeshack, a value-added reseller that provides sales and support services for architectural CAD software and hardware systems; the Fountainhead Group, which designs and develops architectural fountains and waterscapes; and the OwneRep Group, which provides commercial and retail design, interior layout, and project management. You can reach him at jtburk@jtburk.com or by visiting his website at http://www.jtburk.com.

About Graphisoft

Graphisoft is a leading provider of design and management software solutions for the architectural profession and the building industry. Founded in 1982, Graphisoft is ranked today among the largest AEC CAD software developers in the world, with ten offices worldwide in addition to its Budapest headquarters. ArchiCAD and other Graphisoft products are used by more than 100,000 architects, facility managers and building professionals all over the world. Shares of Graphisoft are traded on the Budapest (GRAPHI) Stock Exchange. More information about Graphisoft is available at http://www.graphisoft.com.

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