Houska

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  1. A useful faking trick I've used in similar situations is to make specific components have the material "Insulation Air Gap". In the below, the left cabinet (full ht, opening top and bottom) is normal. The middle cabinet I used material painter to make the back "Insulation air gap". That seems to remove top and bottom as well, but leaves the front frame as well as the opening shelves. The right cabinet I also turned the front frame into air gap. In both, note the middle shelf is part of the same component as the top and the bottom, so got zapped as well. You could avoid that by editing the cabinet to have only one tall front opening, not two. Also, the side panels got zapped, so I manually added vertical partitions the same height in the place the side panels should be.
  2. I'm playing around with Virtual Reality on HD Pro 2024, walking through a house design. In a way, it's super impressive; in a way, it seems struggling to keep up. I don't have top-notch hardware, but within minimum specs (though not recommended ones): Creator-type laptop with NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti w/4GB, Intel i7-11850H w/16GB. I can get renderings and walk through my plan with modest jitter. However, while lighting is fine at my initial starting point when I go into VR, as I move around, things look very flat: no ambient occlusion, and lighting seems to not update as I teleport around, even as I press the manual update lighting button on my controller (Y/B). In particular open-shelf (i.e. no door) cabinets don't really show any modeling inside, and it's hard to see clearly where ceilings and walls meet. Should I be trying to tweak settings (and any recommendations which ones?) or realistically, this is all I can expect with hardware like this? In other words, is the stuff missing because I've accidentally turned something off, or because it's barely keeping up and these "bells and whistles" are the first things that go?
  3. I want to apply a different exterior cladding to a rectangular area of an otherwise uniform exterior wall, the area hand-outlined in blue in the pic below. (The idea is to bring the windows visually together). If it were the whole horizonal span of the wall, I'd just create an (exterior) wall covering on that wall, e.g. from height 12" to 102". Since it's not the whole span, just around those 3 windows, I'm mucking around breaking the wall at the precise distance from the windows I want. But HD(Pro 2024) is insisting on putting the wall breaks at the nearby intersection points with the perpendicular railings instead - which would make sense if I were genuinely structurally breaking the wall, but I just want to change the cladding. It doesn't seem to be an edit behaviors/snapping issue, but something about walls specifically. I figured there must be a setting somewhere on "how short a wall can I create in HD", but I haven't found it, in Preferences or Default settings for the plan. What am I doing wrong? The default I-can't-figure-out-how-to-do-this-better kludge of just pasting on a soffit would be annoying to implement, since I don't want to cover up the windows and I will be experimenting with their shape and size.
  4. You are looking for Layer Set functionality that is present in Chief but has been excluded from the Home Designer versions. Unfortunately, I don't know a way how you can now reset to default. That said, there is a partial workaround in HDPro to avoiding this problem next time. The developers have ported over (limited) Layout functionality, and that means they've had to partially implement Layer Sets in the background. Here's the work around. 1. Create a new (utility) layout, empty is fine. 2. Before you start tinkering with which layers are displayed in views in your HDPro plan, i.e. with your normal layers selected for display, Send to Layout and stick it anywhere in the layout 3. Now reopen that view *from within the layout* 4. Tinker with whatever layers you want displayed; HD Pro is now working with a special layer set associated only with that layout view. When you use Tools / Display options..., at the top it will no longer say "Properties for working layer set" but something else; that shows you're working with a special layer set. 5. When you're done (even temporarily), don't change layers displayed back. Just close the view you opened from within the layout, and (if necessary) reopen the Plan, without the layout. You'll be back to using the untouched "working layer set". By the way, you can have multiple layer sets each "attached" to its own view in the (utility) layout you're using. However, it's kloogey compared to true layer set management in Chief itself, and I find I generally screw it up by user error if I try doing too much at once.
  5. Happy it worked for you, and thanks for reporting back here. As digital GIS data proliferates, questions on how to import it come up here more frequently. All workflows that worked will be helpful to someone. Personally, I'd have used QGIS to export the elevation data as contours, or a grid of points, in DXF format rather than GPS format. But if it works, it works, especially when on a deadline!
  6. Take a look at the Edit Area (all floors) tool, a video explaining it is at https://www.homedesignersoftware.com/videos/watch/2511/using-the-edit-area-and-stretch-cad-tools.html Take care with it, since it is easy to mess up with it, but you could use it on the area around one building and move it -- and all its elements on all floors -- without affecting the other buildings.
  7. Eventually solved with support. For slider (patio) doors, the right analog to "Move with frame" for windows is actually "Offset from wall" on the general tab, not "Inset" of the doorjamb. For hinged doors and other similar, they will always be flush with the side they open towards. To replicate the effect above, for instance in a thick masonry or superinsulated wall, need to break the wall and insert a thinner (potentially pony) wall. This is sort reflective of how a builder would think about it ("I need to make a really wide rough opening into which I will frame out the door with the desired inset").
  8. A couple of useful tricks, though I use HD Professional so you may discover some of these are not enabled in Architectural. Use Edit / Copy and Paste in Place to create an identical copy of an existing window, then Ctrl-E to open the window specification of the duplicate copy. Change the parameters you want (like height, floor to top, window type...) but let it inherit the horizontal position of its "ancestor" to be above it. All while leaving the original copy unchanged. Create those higher windows in the Attic level (as @solver suggests). You can use Edit / Copy of an existing window on Level 1 and then Edit / Paste / Paste Hold Position on the Attic level to create a duplicate on that attic level, to combine with the previous trick. Use reference floor display to show the structure of the floor below, including window/door placement, while you are working on the "upper" attic/clerestory level. Rather than in perspective view, create a cross section/elevation view facing the front wall head-on, to work on details of horizontal and vertical spacing. Work parametrically using the Transform/Replicate Object tool. This lets you move or copy (i.e. duplicate) windows with a numerically specified relative position in x,y, and z coordinates, which can help especially if the window and door spacing down at the bottom is in nice round dimensions. Make sure object snaps (Shift-S) is on. If you still can't get things to snap properly across levels, create (temporary) CAD lines in cross-section/elevation view that snap to the existing windows, and then snap the new windows to those CAD lines. In Window specification / Options, you can set vertical stacking level, which controls which stacked windows show up in plan view. However, I'm pretty sure (subject to correction...) that's in Pro only, not Architectural.
  9. You will have to preprocess using a GIS package. I use QGIS (https://www.qgis.org/en/site/), a free and open source alternative to the costly but capable industry-standard ArcGis. It has a bit of a learning curve, but no worse than HD Pro! (I'm biased, I admit. I'm one of the many QGIS contributor-developers.) It can read and display the elevation data that you have as a raster TIFF file, it seems. You can then "geoprocess" using one of the included algorithms into a vector layer of contours, at the desired intervals (e.g. one foot) and with some amount of smoothing. Then export the contours from QGIS as a DXF file, that you then import into HDPro. See https://hometalk.chiefarchitect.com/topic/8732-moving-dxf-imported-contour-lines-to-terrain-elevation-layer-hd-pro for one wrinkle to deal with. If you do have a printed or pdf surveyor's plan with contour lines, you'll probably find it easier to import it as an image straight into HD Pro and selectively trace over it there, bypassing GIS and tracing just enough lines carefully enough to get a faithful-enough representation of the terrain in your 3D models. You can then decide whether for your submission documents you will show the elevation data layer (your traced lines), the primary contour layer (HD's interpolated terrain contours implied by your traced lines), or the underlying PDF along with your house footprint. The GIS solution I describe above is in the case that, as seems to be your situation, you have the elevation data from a government agency in digital format instead. It tends to generate way overkill in terms of information needed in HD Pro for the actual terrain modeling, but it gets the job done. Editing to add: If you want a quick'n'dirty solution, 1) import the TIFF elevation data into QGIS, 2) use the contour raster renderer to display it on-screen as contours (rather than geoprocess to an actual contour vector layer), 3) screen print the QGIS mapping canvas with the contours and turn it into a PDF, 4) import and scale this PDF as needed into HD Pro, 5) trace over important contour lines with HD Pro elevation lines as if you had a PDF of a surveyor's plan instead. Personally I think it's worth doing "properly" as I described above, but this will bypass some of the QGIS learning curve in geoprocessing and DXF exporting as the expense of a bit more manual work tracing over the contour lines.
  10. I'm building a superinsulated, passive-style house with thick exterior walls (14" Larsen truss on the outside 2x6 load bearing frame). I want windows and sliding exterior doors at the outside of the thick wall assembly. In HDPro, I've defined a wall type where just the 2x6 framing layer is main, the extra 14" is an exterior layer; this gets the framing more right. With "Recessed" unchecked in the window specification dialog (or default settings), but "Fit frame to wall" selected, I get tolerable results for the windows, though I actually use "Fit frame to wall" off and a manual frame inset value since with "fit frame to wall" the interior of the window well is rendered using the "Sash (interior)" rather than "Trim (interior)" materials. However, when I do the same with doors (using the sash instead of frame settings), while the sash in the door*way* does move as expected, the sliding door itself remains resolutely set in the middle of the wall's main layer. It does not move in and out to match the sash. See pic attached. It's not a plan view artifact - the 3D representation matches. (By the way, of course the negative inset windows and doors on the top right, where the Larsen layer is part of the main layers, are impossible - I put them in to show the difference the main layer definition generates.) Any way to make it move, as with the red arrows I drew, to be consistent with window behaviour? I can't figure out if this is a bug (I can't really imagine the door position being away from its sash?), a feature limitation (sorry, need to upgrade to Chief?), or me not getting something about door framing or terminology. By the way, I've tried with hinged exterior doors too, just in trying to figure it out. While the sliding doors are always in the middle of the main layer, the hinged doors are always on their swing side of the whole wall assembly -- also limiting, though I guess there is some physical sense to it in that case.
  11. HDPro (not sure about other versions) lets you specify a roof with precisely specified slope, overhangs, custom materials, etc. Importantly, it also lets you change the thickness of the roof rafter (or equivalent) structural member. Finally, you can add (potentially sloped) soffits specified with a custom material to represent growing substrate or vegetation on top of a green roof; you will probably want to create a custom seamless texture .jpg, say with repeating sedum plants, to visually represent it. HD does not provide as fine control over roof layers as it does for wall layers, so you will not be able to model the typical sandwich of layers on top of a green roof (framing, sheathing, water and root barriers, drainage control, substrate, vegetation) in an automated fashion. So you can represent a green roof dimensionally and visually accurately, but you get limited support to design, frame, and otherwise specify it in any detail.
  12. To a limited extent. My answer is for Home Designer Pro; some of these may be hobbled in the cheaper versions. Passive house designs generally include carefully designed, multi-layer and thick wall assemblies, containing plenty of insulation. HDPro allows you to create complex custom wall types which allow you to model, for instance, double framed walls, including with an insulation gap in between them. And/or rigid insulation outside the main layer(s) to address thermal bridging. Or a single-framed main wall layer with Larsen trusses on the outside to hold extra insulation. In addition, double frame walls can be specified with a custom framing interval and to alternate studs between layers, also important for avoiding thermal bridging. There is (limited) support for recessing windows and/or doors to the main layer or the sheathing layer (but not finer granularity than that). If this is important to you, do a trial run with your wall assembly, including your choices of what of the wall layer sandwich is in main layer vs on its inside/outside, since that will determine where HDPro allows you recess doors and windows to. Trusses can be specified with an energy heel, and ceiling planes can be (manually) created some distance below a roof plane to model a sloped cathedral superinsulated ceiling/roof sandwich. However, again the ability to specify insulation specifics in detail is limited. This also affects foundation modeling, where rigid insulation under a (slab) foundation and/or around stem walls can be modeled manually, say using supplementary slab or soffit objects with insulation material type, but this is not automated. Another important component of passive house design is careful attention to air tightness and, more generally, uninterrupted air, water, and vapour barriers. While HDPro allows you to include a membrane as a wall layer, it does not help display or model to comprehensive barrier envelope. Finally, passive houses make extensive use of passive solar. Through the use of the sun angle feature, HDPro allows good modeling of how far the sun will penetrate at what time of year, adjusted for location. Bottom line in my experience is that HDPro provides enough tools to adequately represent a passive house design and test out the space-planning implications of passive design principles as you work through a design. But HDPro does not have specific support for making a quality passive house.
  13. Ends up being pretty darn similar, for sure. Since it's already in, digitized, the "convert to plain / convert to elevation" dance is a bit less *incremental* work than (re)digitizing manually, but I certainly ended up deleting some of the lines rather than converting them when it was clear interpolation would be as good. Bottom line is it's a good data pipeline hobbled by a minor but poorly thought out design decision that generates unnecessary manual work whichever way you look at it.
  14. For completeness, in case someone stumbles across this: In the absence of replies here, I opened a support ticket. Tech support has (in my view correctly) characterized this as "not really a bug, but an oversight" and has suggested to the dev team that a change be made in a future version so that imported elevation lines go into Terrain, elevation data; just like imported terrain perimiter polylines go into the Terrain, perimiter layer. They also could not think of a (current) workaround other than the one I am using.