[Discussion] Drafting 2d annotations for architecture

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carlopav
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[Discussion] Drafting 2d annotations for architecture

Postby carlopav » Wed May 13, 2020 1:23 pm

A big concern to me is how to properly produce 2d documentation of architectural models.

On the Re: DraftSight 2019 no longer free topic we were following up the discussion about some of the limitations of current workflow because we probably just can't think about annotations the way we are doing it now: FreeCAD probably will always be affected (?) by the problem of not being able to contain many document objects in the same doc.

So being able to handle proper annotations (expecially in arch models) can quickly become problematic.
Think about a model with 1000 object: quite common. If we have 500 lines drawn over it it means we are already at 1500 obj. If we have 2 plans and 2 sections, everyone of them with dimensions, detailing, etc. we could reach quite quickly 3000-4000 objects.

So it's probably good to invest some time to addreess this future problem now, or in the near future.

Know it's not so elegant, but I need to ping :
realthunder wrote: sorry :)
We were thinking about a kind of huge single document object capable of containing many subobjects. Those subobjects could be in my vision lines, text, leaders, labels, dimensions, arc, BSpline, etc.
At the beginning it would be good also to have a test with just lines.
The point with annotations is that we do not really need to have those objects have a shape, so they can be 100% coin and they can be 2d, really just laying on a SectionPlane, so we do not need them to have a Z coordinate.
Probably from the mechanical point of view, such need will never emerge, because you can always provide annotations with techdraw workflow, since you need to mainly dimension single Parts, and less frequently the whole assembly. In Arch workflow instead, it's mostly a matter of dimensioning the assembly rather than the Parts.
But anyway it would be nice to improve annotations in the 3d view. And probably Draft is the good candidate (We already have there Text Dimension and Label objects that are 100% coin).

Here you have a reference to a post in which I sketched a potential workflow with Arch views and annotations.

Can we put a bit of thought in this direction?
@realthunder, do you think it could be feasible to have a huge document object containing single simple coin entities or group of them (like dimensions and polylines)? Be able to select them individually and give everyone of them a proper visual style (color and linestyle)?
It would be a bit like having a 2d LibreCAD sheet into FreeCAD 3d View... (or imagine importing a huge drafting 2d sheet and be able to show as a single object, but divided with layers :?: )

Few ideas and really confused, i'd like to know what do everyone think about that, and if it's just me that is really concerned about this point for the future of architectural workflow. :)

Edit: I feel I have to apologize for overusing your help @realthunder in the last times ... :oops:
follow my experiments on BIM modelling for architecture design
paullee
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Re: [Discussion] Drafting 2d annotations for architecture

Postby paullee » Wed May 13, 2020 4:36 pm

Before @Realthundar make response :) ... there seems to be real needs for more development in this direction. I have only tried some simple dimensioning and annotation e.g. in the Villa Savoye model, it is far from the ease and robustness in say AutoCAD R12.

@Regis did quite several models with 2d objects and dawings ...
regis wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 12:52 pm
Ping
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regis
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Re: [Discussion] Drafting 2d annotations for architecture

Postby regis » Wed May 13, 2020 4:47 pm

Hello Carlopav, this is a great initiave, we are already somewhat familiar with the general potential of the 3D modeling aspect of Freecad, however what is heavily underlooked is it's 2D drafting and annotation potential for serious documentation. And like you've pointed out the current workflow doesn't work. Freecad initially was meant to be a promissing solution for BIM and documenation, but right now it fails on documentation and that perhaps where i'm very very very dissappointed by freecad and always feel the need to revert to commercial applications. I'm certain this is the feeling of other proffessionals when ever they take a look at freecad for the first time, the question is can i do serious with it, and when they see they can't do serious work, they run away like a gazelle running away from a leopard.

First of all, freecad text, i'm not sure what's happening under the hood, but on my system i'm unable to change the font for a font I wish. This used to be a major issue when i worked on linux, and now that i'm on windows i find the same issue. I've looked through all possible documentation on the forum addressing this issue and all of them did not work for me. So it's just painful that I imagine every user having this issue when it is supposed to work right out of the box intuitively. So perhaps we can think of a different way even for text fonts in freecad?
carlopav wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 1:23 pm
A big concern to me is how to properly produce 2d documentation of architectural models.
I 100% agree here, everytime i want to get serious with work, i end up spending hours and hours just trying to fix what was already working before and looking for different ways to address what isn't optimal, in this kind of option Freecad is not useful, freecad is not efficient, freecad is not measuring up to the 'least' standards when it comes to documentation. So i agree with you that serious input need to be given to this area of freecad.
carlopav wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 1:23 pm
So being able to handle proper annotations (expecially in arch models) can quickly become problematic.
This has been my main problem ever since i started with freecad.
carlopav wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 1:23 pm
Think about a model with 1000 object: quite common. If we have 500 lines drawn over it it means we are already at 1500 obj. If we have 2 plans and 2 sections, everyone of them with dimensions, detailing, etc. we could reach quite quickly 3000-4000 objects.
Couldn't agree more.
carlopav wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 1:23 pm
The point with annotations is that we do not really need to have those objects have a shape, so they can be 100% coin and they can be 2d, really just laying on a SectionPlane, so we do not need them to have a Z coordinate.
This is a good idea, i'm sure there is some hidden results that can come out of this.
carlopav wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 1:23 pm
But anyway it would be nice to improve annotations in the 3d view.
This is also what i think is essential, improving annotation in the 3D view, WHY? because
1. currently doing the annotations in techdraw is not up to the architectural mindset,
2. Techdraw can start to drag Freecad and make it super slow, everty time it has to generate a change made in the intial model, and yes even if you toggle off the generate, and have to come and generate the changes do it manually in techdraw, it is still terribly slow when the projects gains in maturity and size.
3. Techdraw is a flat 2D generating inskscape vector stuffs, in most programs like revit you are still able to edit the model in the sheets views, which is hightly useful and efficient. So working directly in 3D allows for such possibility of editing what needs to be edited in 3D and see the changes real time being updated and tweaked using the general move, scale, mirror..... etc etc tools that are areadly available + less time to generate the 3d.

I still think there is potential in techdraw, but how i see techdraw is more as a placement space, where there are things like align the drawings positioned, importing templates made from inscape (which is great because once the template is created it's set and so all kinds of creative templates can be made in inkscape). I see tech draw more like Scribus, where once you have everything nicely created you can come and place them nicely and export everything at once, but everything of good and changes must happen in 3D view. I also like tecdraw because i can export drawings and they will appear in inkscape with transparency on them. Currently if we were to apply the picture snapping mode to take pictures of the scaled view drawing in freecad, it doesn't have that vector ability to take a picture and apply clean proper vector transparency on the model, it does scalar transparency so when you zoom on it, the picture is pixelized. Not great at all.

Currently the way I use Techdraw is to scale my drawings to the size i want because i'm not sure how it will fit on paper at a certain scale. (one way to get around that is to have a scale view directly in 3D where when the scale is applied, some view camera created in 3D view zooms in to the scale and what ever fits in that box allows us to determine in which scale the drawing or object is in.
carlopav wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 1:23 pm
It would be a bit like having a 2d LibreCAD sheet into FreeCAD 3d View... (or imagine importing a huge drafting 2d sheet and be able to show as a single object, but divided with layers )
I also played a little bit with Qcad and Librecad to understand the possibily of doing sheet editing on there after i export the dxf, I think if freecad just had 1/5th of Librecad text and annotation possibilities, it would be a major step forward. Literally no kidding. Right now the workflow is not so great because
1. you must learn librecad when you already took the time to learn freecad, this might not make it so interesting for people (and especially me) to always have an extra stuffs to learn just for the sake of productivity when we need to design and focus on acheiving the design we need,
2. No real time instant updates as when the drawing changes as it is often in the architecture world, changes are made on the minute basis, so if every time you need to go and update something in 2D, then it's pattetically painful and less attractive. We will never stand a chance of convicing someone to jump on freecad when they see the ease of commercial softs when it comes to documentation (no to mention that the 3D modeling it self is not rocket science as it's still in developments i.e still needing smooth hatches, smooth textures, smooth materialities etc etc.

So in summary here is what my tinkering experiences suggests if it is possible from the Code point of view
1. Everything Annotation and dimension must happen in 3D View directly
2. The Section/Elevation should be enhanced further
As for wether everything must be layed on it or not I think that's relative, there are advantages and disadvantages, but in general having a type of sheet like/page that is position exactly where the cut occurs where it can host every annotation created (and this page can be now hosted to move with the section, that would be great.
3. The Section/Elevation should be flexible, i.e we should be able to drag the edges and size it up as we need it. This is especially useful for stuffs like interior elevation plans or 'section boxes' like in revit or 'marquee selection section' like in archicad for viewing a small section part of a project.
4. An ability to scale a view, I like the way blender does it in that it has a camera and everything concerning that view happens in that camera, so if you scale a view in the camera, it doesn't affect the main view. Why do we need scaled view, because it is useful to know what size we are dealing with and have accurate exports of drawings, let's say in inkscape, or dxf for further enchancement in another projects.
5. An ability to have transparency of the objects viewed by the camera, aswell as have the ability to apply background color to that view if desired.
6. The camera can actually be where the Sheet is placed and sized, so it is somewhat invisible or semi transparent while we are working in 3d view and can see what happening when we are placing drawings views and sections on it. etc etc.


So that's my 2 cent suggestions, I hope i'm not asking for anything impossible.
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regis
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Re: [Discussion] Drafting 2d annotations for architecture

Postby regis » Wed May 13, 2020 4:58 pm

there are also some development by @moult to provide blender with documentation capabilities

https://blenderbim.org/features.html
phpBB [video]


And his works with documenting in blender
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carlopav
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Re: [Discussion] Drafting 2d annotations for architecture

Postby carlopav » Wed May 13, 2020 5:14 pm

100% agree with everything you wrote regis. This is also my feeling. I think what we need to improve this field is 90% already present in actual Draft and Arch code (yorik effort in this 10 years is great and is what brought everyone of us here), we just have to adapt it to be more efficient! If we can do so... well... FreeCAD Arch will just rock baby!!!
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onekk
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Re: [Discussion] Drafting 2d annotations for architecture

Postby onekk » Wed May 13, 2020 5:21 pm

Having many object in a document could be dangerous, maybe a new format is needed for complex objects.

Some other piece of software have found a solution, maybe not elegant, but easily implementable.

The document is simply a compressed directory, expanded at opening, put in a temporary directory, modified there and recompressed at saving.

In this way there could be a "traditional" FCstd file that contains all the 3D work and several other files containing the "special features" like drawings and other.

Simply use another extension, to tell FreeCAD that this document use "the complex format".

LibreOffice for example use a similar approach you could modify the document name changing the od... suffix with zip and unzip into a directory.

In this manner you could insert many objects, even some databases, images and so on and it appear a sigle document.

Cheap and dirty, end even "serviceable" in case of problems, you could add whatever you want, even backward compatible, if the new features reside in a separate file the standard FCstd file will ever be readable if no newer feature are introduced.

Just a thinking.

Regards

Carlo D.
paullee
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Re: [Discussion] Drafting 2d annotations for architecture

Postby paullee » Wed May 13, 2020 5:48 pm

regis wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 4:58 pm
Good account of FreeCAD capabilities and shortcoming :)

Have you joined the OSArch.org ? There workflows possibilities should be discussed.

I intend to have another deeper look at libreCAD, Inkscape to do documentation with FreeCAD. It seems you find this workflow not very efficient right?

Hopefully with more capable hands like @Carlopav to help @Yorik's development, there will be much faster development and improvement in several critical aspects peoples identify and debug.
paullee
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Re: [Discussion] Drafting 2d annotations for architecture

Postby paullee » Wed May 13, 2020 5:52 pm

onekk wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 5:21 pm
In this manner you could insert many objects, even some databases, images and so on and it appear a sigle document.

Cheap and dirty, end even "serviceable" in case of problems, you could add whatever you want, even backward compatible, if the new features reside in a separate file the standard FCstd file will ever be readable if no newer feature are introduced.
Any time to help developing Arch / BIM in these aspects? :)
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regis
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Re: [Discussion] Drafting 2d annotations for architecture

Postby regis » Wed May 13, 2020 5:54 pm

carlopav wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 5:14 pm
100% agree with everything you wrote regis. This is also my feeling. I think what we need to improve this field is 90% already present in actual Draft and Arch code (yorik effort in this 10 years is great and is what brought everyone of us here), we just have to adapt it to be more efficient! If we can do so... well... FreeCAD Arch will just rock baby!!!
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: I like your galvinising speech, that's the spirit of a leader
vocx
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Re: [Discussion] Drafting 2d annotations for architecture

Postby vocx » Wed May 13, 2020 6:26 pm

carlopav wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 1:23 pm
... If we have 2 plans and 2 sections, everyone of them with dimensions, detailing, etc. we could reach quite quickly 3000-4000 objects.

So it's probably good to invest some time to addreess this future problem now, or in the near future.
...
The problems that you mention seem to be about scalability, but they seem to be similar to what mechanical engineers face with big assemblies. And this is the reason App Link was developed; it is supposed to help with this problem of many objects and reusable components.

How much have you tried App Link? I feel the natural way of approaching this is to really start breaking down a single project into subfiles, all tied together by App Links. Essentially, you can have many objects in one document, but link to them in another document.

The same problem is discussed in TechDraw. TechDraw is apparently quite slow with big mechanical models due to the underlying hidden line removal algorithm that comes from OCCT. So, a partial solution could be to place the drawing in a complete different file, and import the 3D geometry through App Links.
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