Overview: In this lesson, you will learn how to make and edit various drawing types and templates with Drawing Customization.
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:
- Use the Drawing Customization panel to create, edit, duplicate and delete a Drawing Customization template.
- Use the Entity Customizations editor to create, edit and delete a template for a specific entity.
- Use and apply the various Customization settings available to your desired entity.
- Use the Rules editor to set up and determine the filter rule parameters.
- Use the Styles editor to set up the graphic styles for the Drawing Customization template.
- Apply a Drawing Customization template onto a viewport.
- Navigate and share the Drawing Customization templates with other users.
Tutorial: In-depth Drawing Customization
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About Drawing Customizing
BricsCAD BIM uses drawing templates to customize your generated drawings. For a general understanding of how these templates are created and work, please visit the Templates for generated drawings article.
In V21, Drawing Customization allows you to create bespoke templates for drawing types based on a set filter parameter rule against an entity type’s value or property within the 3D BIM model. This is especially helpful for customizing graphics of model entities independent of their assigned layers or layer states, therefore transferable and usable on other projects with similar entity properties.
The Drawing Customizations tool is operated by 3 principles – Entity Customizations, Filter Rules & Styles – and is only accessible from the panel.
Note: Version Control for Drawing Customization will be implemented from V21.1.06. As features and parameters are constantly improved and added in future V21 updates, using older versions of BricsCAD to open Drawing Customization templates may affect their behavior and performance. Therefore, a versioning system would help to prevent customizations from being accidentally opened or modified by BricsCAD versions that are too old to handle them properly.
Drawing Customizations Panel
- Right-click the panel and hover to Panels.
- Select Drawing Customization to dock the tool icon in the panel.
- Open the panel, it allows you to create view templates to control and customize the visibility settings of your drawings on layouts.
- Click to create a new template. By default, the template is named New Customization with the text highlighted.
Note: All the controls of Drawing Customizations are represented as graphic icons within the User Interface panel, such as to create a new control item. They are repeated throughout the tool in different settings, for example Entity Customizations, Ply Customizations..., but their functions and purposes remain consistent.
- Rename the template whilst the text is being highlighted. Once done, press Enter to save and apply the name.
Note: You can duplicate, rename or delete your customization templates.
- Click the newly created Drawing Customization template tab to begin defining its customization settings.
The first step into the template brings you to the Entity Customizations, where you will create the necessary entity customizations template and will be first described later in this article.
You will also notice a funnel icon and a pencil icon on the top right part of the panel. They are the Filter Rules and Styles tabs respectively.
The 3 principles – Entity Customizations, Filter Rules & Styles – which make up the Drawing Customization tool as described earlier in the article, are now accessible on this main page.
Drawing Customizations Styles
- Click the pencil icon to access the styles tab.
This is where your desired style options, such as line weight, line colors..., are stored and will appear as drop-down options in the Entity Customizations and Center Customizations settings as shown in the previous section above.
- To create a new style, click at the bottom right of the panel and a new Style template tab will appear.
- By default, the tab is named Style. Rename it whilst the text is being highlighted as shown. After you are done, hit Enter to save and apply.
- Create a list of desired styles that you wish to use in this Drawing Customization template. Each tab contains its individual styles settings, such as the style’s color, line type, line weight and line type scale.
An example of the style pages a list of templates:
- To edit any of the styles template available, click on its relevant tab to access its settings.
Note: Similar to the Drawing Customization template tabs, hover over the styles template tabs to reveal the function icons to duplicate, rename or delete.
Style settings include the options to define Color, Line Type, Line Weight in their respective drop-down dialogs. Once done, click OK to save and apply the changes.
- To leave the styles page, click Back at the bottom left side of the panel to return to your previous page. From there, you can navigate to modify the Entity Customizations or Rules templates.
Or Click on your desired branch in the tree structure map above the search bar to navigate to your desired page.
Note: The tree structure map is helpful to keep yourself orientated within the Drawing Customization tool. Similarly, the search bar allows you to narrow to a specific template if you have a long list of values to navigate through.
Entity Customizations refer to the visibility settings of how you would like to have your elements in your model drawing to look like.
- to create a new entity customization template. By default, the template is named New Customization with the text highlighted.
- Rename it whilst the text is being highlighted as shown. After you are done, hit Enter to save and apply.
As the entity customization was newly created and not fully set up, you will find the relevant notices at the bottom of the entity customization tab. This is a helpful mechanism to remind you if any customization settings have not been defined yet, saving you the need to check the settings manually.
- Create a list of templates for the entities you wish to customize.
A list of Entity Customizations templates could look like this:
- After creating your desired entity customization templates, click onto the individual tabs to modify their respective settings.
You can choose how the element should look like as a section result, or how a centerline type representation should appear, or how an external symbol representation should replace the original entity.
You can further modify and customize a specific ply layer of your desired entity composition, but only if appropriate, i.e. a wall, slab or roof entity.
- The section result customization displays a series of controls with drop-down values from the Styles tab for more specific control of the section result graphics. You can override the entities’ hatches via the Appearance Override with pre-set or custom Physical Materials available in your project.
The diagram above illustrates how you could control the visibility and customization settings of an entity with the Drawing Customization tool. Notice that the section plane is aligned with the Blue square with Red outline.
- Green outline represents Background, which is essentially the elevation outline of the cut object.
- Red outline represents Intersection Boundary, which traces over the cut area.
- Blue hatch represents Intersection Fill, as it shows the area of being cut by the section plane.
- Orange hexagons hatch represents Elevation Fill, which refers to the area bound by the elevation outline (see Background).
- Pink outline represents Hidden Lines, as it is below the blue hatch
- Yellow outline represents Cut away geometry, as it is above the section plane.
Appearance Override allows you to specify how an entity's hatch appearances (section and elevation) would appear, in place of the default hatch patterns already defined within the Physical Materials library. When you create any new Physical Material entry in the "In Project" category as part of the Drawing Customization template, your desired configurations are independent of the drawing project and stored in the template instead. You can later apply this template to other project models as you wish.
You can further ensure the customization applies to the plies within the entity composition, if appropriate, by checking the Inherit for plies box.
- A similar setup can be found in the Center Customization settings, where your values in the Styles section of the customization template determines the drop-down selections.
Center customization is particularly useful in scenarios where you would like to display the center elements of various planar and/or linear entities. For example, if you were to apply the center customization settings against a planar entity, i.e. a wall, you would be referring to the display behavior of its center plane. However, if you were to apply the same settings against a linear entity, i.e. a beam, you would be adjusting how the beam's center line appears on the sheet.
The diagram above illustrates an example of how the center elements differ between planar (wall center plane highlighted in green; slab center plane highlighted in blue) and linear entities (both column and beam center lines in dashed red lines)
There is no default setting to adjust the visibility of these center elements, and they are not normally displayed in section results.
- For the Symbol Customization settings, you can find an input dialog to specify your desired external symbol drawing in .dwg format. If you would like to make any further changes to the 2D geometry itself, you can use the Edit button once the dialog is referring to your desired symbol drawing.
Alternatively, you can begin creating one on a default symbol template by hitting the Create New button below the dialog.
You can further apply your saved Styles to specific layers within your external symbol source, thereby allowing you to retain a general symbol drawing across several customization templates with different output results.
You could also choose not to specify any External Source Symbol, if you already have your desired 2D layers inside the model, usually as a 2D graphical representation that comes alongside the 3D geometry of a Component.
In this instance, simply add a new symbol layer customization value containing part of the desired layer name. If they are part of the default BRX_2D layers, adding "BRX" as a name value will suffice. Drawing Customization will now search within the component entity that the customization template is applied to. This method, however, will not allow any exchanging or sharing of 2D symbols across entities, i.e. replacing a Column with a symbol derived from a BRX layer stored within a (table) Furnishing Element.
For more information on how BRX layers operate, please visit the chapter Procedure: Understanding the BRX_2D layers in the Templates for generated drawings article.
To be able to apply the right customization styles to specific entities, you have to set the appropriate filter rules to target those entities correctly in the Filter Rules tab located as a funnel icon on the top right-hand part of the panel next to the Styles icon.
Note: Nested Property Search function has been introduced from V21.1.06 onwards, allowing you to specify how nested objects within an assembly are filtered by and displayed.
Filter rules can be further classed into sub-rules, which falls as a sub-set of the parent rule, ie. Fire Equipment as a Filter Rule, whereas Fire Extinguisher is classed as a sub-rule.
also appears respectively and accordingly at each rule level. At the end of each rule, regardless of it being a subset or otherwise, it has to end with an Entity Customization.
- Adding and editing a filter parameter will lead you to a prompt, where the options of filter property are determined by the BIMPROPERTIES imported in the namespace settings.
- The Filter Operation values are also available as a drop-down.
Note: You can also start typing a certain keyword to search a specific property that you want to filter on.
- You can specify a string manually in your check value if your Check Type is a Literal. If you have selected a Property value for Check Type, your Check Property value will refer to the same values found in the Filter Property drop-down.
- To end and legitimize a filter rule, the entity customization value must be added and filled in. The options available in the drop-down selection reflects the existing customizations tab available in the Entity Customization page.
Applying templates to Viewports on sheets
With your entity customizations, filter rules and styles all set, your Drawing Customization template is now ready.
- To apply the template, navigate to your sheet drawing with your desired viewport.
- Open the Properties Panel and select the viewport to view its properties.
- Navigate to the Drawing Customization property and click on the drop-down selection to the right.
- Select your desired Drawing Customization template.
- Once done, hover over your selected viewport to access the Quad. Click UPDATE SECTION in the Quad under Model tab.
- You should see a refreshed viewport with the graphical changes as per your Drawing Customization settings.
Accessing Customization Templates
By default settings, these templates are stored in the Customizations folder within your Support folder in the following path, under Bim folder and then Sections subfolder:
The AppData folder is hidden by default, so you may have to unhide it first. This path can also be accessed by entering SupportFolder in the command line.
You can specify a different path if your Customization files are stored elsewhere in an accessible folder. Simply redefine the path in the Section settings search path in the Settings dialog box or typing SRCHPATH in the command-line:
New customizations created with the panel will be stored in a Customizations subfolder in the specified path. Each customization template is saved as an individual folder which contains in its basic form Settings.dwg, a Filter.json and a New customization.json files. The folder will also contain any external symbol sources which you have created new using the Create New buttons.
Settings.dwg contains the values created in the Style tab in the form of layers and if you have created any custom properties that you wish to use as a Filter parameter, you have to ensure they are also reflected in the Settings.dwg.
Note: As these Customization folders are stored locally in the machine you have created it with, you need to ensure the folders and their contents within are copied and pasted into the same location on other machines, should you wish to share it with other users on other machines. This is the current, temporary procedure to do so, as a dedicated function to streamline the sharing process within the Drawing Customization tool will be released shortly in an update.