CARMELHILL

Complexity of other programs - kudos to Chief

Recommended Posts

I have to compliment Chief programmers on keeping Chief fairly intuitive and easy to use.

 

I've been looking at some other programs to supplement Chief and some are an absolute horror of hidden values, hidden menus, and hard to use command lines. I am not, and never will be, a programmer, and never nearly as good as Joe Carrick or Michael Alaskan_Son at Ruby. A good design program should free up the designer to get work done, not to learn a crazy difficult and overly complex programming language. Otherwise go back to paper and pencil.

 

This might be a naive statement or I'm taking my 7 years of Chief experience for granted. But between their interface, quality training videos, and the IMMENSE value of this well developed and very deep forum, I think this program is top notch and can easily be made better.

 

I remember years ago looking at some of the cad program on the shelf at Staples. Punch 3D, etc..I was amazed at what some of them were able to do. But there is some of a tradeoff for keeping it simple and dumbing it down, many features were automated with no ability to customize for you own particular needs and preferences. Chief's Home Designer probably was one of those programs on the shelf. But I gotta say Chief Premier has a good blend of both worlds. Sure it would be great if they opened up the program to third partys for app developers and plugins. Some car turning radius apps would be nice. Cadimage Keynotes for Archicad would be nice. Third party hvac design pps would be cool.

 

But I still feel this is a dam good program.

 

Moderator: move this thread to Chat room if needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edward:

 

I agree - I was able to do 60-80% of a model or remodel

then my partner would have to do the "tough" stuff

 

I probably could have learned roofs and terrain if I spent the time

but it was easier to email the plan to Joe when I needed his skill

 

I doubt if I could have done that with any other cad software

 

Lew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chief just sits nicely between the ease of use of Sketchup and the productivity of Revit or Archicad. 

 

It’s never going to be more but that’s good enough for residential home building. 

 

I know that might sound like an apology but my praise for Chief is limited to the renewal of my SSA and the actual initial purchase of the program. Beyond that I won’t get on the Chief fanboy bandwagon because there’s a lot that needs to improve, and if I’m paying they better be listening.  

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't seem like a "Fanboy" topic/thread to me, just giving credit where credit is due. I'm a huge whiner because I don't believe it would be that difficult for Chief to fix the simple day to day things that plague me/ us. But, I think the programmers need to know that I (we?) appreciate their skills and efforts and (at least from my point of view) am glad that I've never had to learn or use AutoCad et all.

 

My suggestion (in order to stay with the parameters of this Suggestion Forum) is that we continue to offer constructive suggestions.-BB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you about Chief. I'm a new user slowly learning CA as I migrate away from Revit. A few hours a week on a training book, so no actual project experience yet, though. I did trials of SoftPlan and ArchiCAD before ultimately deciding that Chief is hands-down the most intuitive, with the best interface and vast amounts of great training videos.

 

Softplan had a simple user interface (not saying it's better than CA). The huge turn off for me was not being able to edit anything without right-clicking. Also, you can't really select much in 3D to edit. It's like the 3D is only for visuals. Coming from Revit where I can can click on anything in any view, that was very frustrating.

 

The reason I then considered ArchiCAD was to not have any limitations, as sometimes I do some large complex residential projects. I was very surprised, and frustrated that they did not have a single sample file for me to click on things to see how things work in the software. Every software has at least one. They pointed me towards an website ran by someone for a template, but it was a tiny "shed" and very messy layout for sheets and such. Ultimately, Graphicsoft was not as helpful as I wished, and the ArchiCAD interface was way overly complicated! If I learned ArchiCAD instead of Revit, I'd be much happier due to some really nice architectural tools. But not worth switching from Revit when there is Chief to choose.

 

Revit....I used to love until I started getting tired of days of 2D detailing of sections of a 19k SF house. So, I started looking for software better for residential.  Almost everything in Revit takes way too long, and there are so many limitations. You can't do lines with letters (i.e. site plans). Autodesk has grown to a huge corporation that doesn't listen to it's users. Each release barely has any new improvements. People just use it because it is marketed better. Now, with learning CA, I'm becoming very annoyed having to use Revit in the meantime.

 

Hopefully my opinions help you feel better about liking Chief for what it is, and what it does best.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, nVisionTEKBIM said:

and vast amounts of great training videos.

 

I think 7 years ago the great training videos and the amazing Bonus Catalogs were what won me over from Vectorworks to Chief.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/10/2018 at 3:39 PM, nVisionTEKBIM said:

I agree with you about Chief. I'm a new user slowly learning CA as I migrate away from Revit. A few hours a week on a training book, so no actual project experience yet, though. I did trials of SoftPlan and ArchiCAD before ultimately deciding that Chief is hands-down the most intuitive, with the best interface and vast amounts of great training videos.

 

Softplan had a simple user interface (not saying it's better than CA). The huge turn off for me was not being able to edit anything without right-clicking. Also, you can't really select much in 3D to edit. It's like the 3D is only for visuals. Coming from Revit where I can can click on anything in any view, that was very frustrating.

 

The reason I then considered ArchiCAD was to not have any limitations, as sometimes I do some large complex residential projects. I was very surprised, and frustrated that they did not have a single sample file for me to click on things to see how things work in the software. Every software has at least one. They pointed me towards an website ran by someone for a template, but it was a tiny "shed" and very messy layout for sheets and such. Ultimately, Graphicsoft was not as helpful as I wished, and the ArchiCAD interface was way overly complicated! If I learned ArchiCAD instead of Revit, I'd be much happier due to some really nice architectural tools. But not worth switching from Revit when there is Chief to choose.

 

Revit....I used to love until I started getting tired of days of 2D detailing of sections of a 19k SF house. So, I started looking for software better for residential.  Almost everything in Revit takes way too long, and there are so many limitations. You can't do lines with letters (i.e. site plans). Autodesk has grown to a huge corporation that doesn't listen to it's users. Each release barely has any new improvements. People just use it because it is marketed better. Now, with learning CA, I'm becoming very annoyed having to use Revit in the meantime.

 

Hopefully my opinions help you feel better about liking Chief for what it is, and what it does best.


I am learning Archicad and I am loving it more and more everyday! It just looks and feels so professional....you have the control, not the software.....is it perfect? No, but is seems perfect for what I do

  • Upvote 2
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AriseDesign7 said:


I am learning Archicad and I am loving it more and more everyday! It just looks and feels so professional....you have the control, not the software.....is it perfect? No, but is seems perfect for what I do

How are you getting by in ArchiCAD without temporary dimensions and not being able to add bullets to text? I was really surprised it did not have that for such a powerful software. I wanted ArchiCAD to be the software for me, but I doubt it would be considering it's lacking those features, as well as many other residential specific features. I'm a current Revit user trying to slowly transition away from it since it's horrible for residential projects (I'm an expert level user, btw). 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, nVisionTEKBIM said:

but I doubt it would be considering it's lacking those features

 

Many other users have said this, and I have to grudgingly agree, there is no one platform that will do everything you want. You might need to adapt your own design and drafting styles to the limitations of your software, or have a multiplatform office.

 

I crossed Archicad off my list because it didn't have cross referenced keynotes built into the program as a base feature. After spending $6g on the program you have to then add a monthly license for a plugin from Cadimage. AC 22 supposedly released a feature that addresses this, but it looked extremely confusing. Another plugin is buy once and you own it, but a $6g program? Come on. A super powerful commercial program should have this basic feature built in.

 

Modern designs with slanted walls and curved roofs, or standard centerhall colonial houses, or commercial work, you need the program that fits your office. And don't forget added costs.......$6g for AC sounds like a lot, but what about the months of additional training, diminished office productivity while your training, etc......it makes more sense to stick with Chief and use what you have available.

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On Mon Dec 10 2018 at 9:39 PM, nVisionTEKBIM said:

I agree with you about Chief. I'm a new user slowly learning CA as I migrate away from Revit. A few hours a week on a training book, so no actual project experience yet, though. I did trials of SoftPlan and ArchiCAD before ultimately deciding that Chief is hands-down the most intuitive, with the best interface and vast amounts of great training videos.

 

Softplan had a simple user interface (not saying it's better than CA). The huge turn off for me was not being able to edit anything without right-clicking. Also, you can't really select much in 3D to edit. It's like the 3D is only for visuals. Coming from Revit where I can can click on anything in any view, that was very frustrating.

 

The reason I then considered ArchiCAD was to not have any limitations, as sometimes I do some large complex residential projects. I was very surprised, and frustrated that they did not have a single sample file for me to click on things to see how things work in the software. Every software has at least one. They pointed me towards an website ran by someone for a template, but it was a tiny "shed" and very messy layout for sheets and such. Ultimately, Graphicsoft was not as helpful as I wished, and the ArchiCAD interface was way overly complicated! If I learned ArchiCAD instead of Revit, I'd be much happier due to some really nice architectural tools. But not worth switching from Revit when there is Chief to choose.

 

Revit....I used to love until I started getting tired of days of 2D detailing of sections of a 19k SF house. So, I started looking for software better for residential.  Almost everything in Revit takes way too long, and there are so many limitations. You can't do lines with letters (i.e. site plans). Autodesk has grown to a huge corporation that doesn't listen to it's users. Each release barely has any new improvements. People just use it because it is marketed better. Now, with learning CA, I'm becoming very annoyed having to use Revit in the meantime.

 

Hopefully my opinions help you feel better about liking Chief for what it is, and what it does best.

I'm sorry to jump in on this but I'm not sure what exactly you mean by lines with letters here. I'd call myself a Revit expert as well but I do agree that it is not the best for small residential projects. However I've never understood the concept that it takes too long to use to design barring instant dimensions with chief but to each his own. I've also never had an issue drawing up site plans in Revit especially so I'd like to know what it is you're exactly referring to. Also 2D Drafting is a lot better in Revit than it is in Chief (although we all work differently so I will say it is for me and also to each his own).

 

Do note I agree with the poster that Chief Architect is incredibly intuitive but I also agree with the second post that it is good at what it does but not for anything beyond its focused scope.

Screenshot_2018-12-13-17-28-56-801_com.google.android.apps.docs.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, 1UPrime said:

I'm sorry to jump in on this but I'm not sure what exactly you mean by lines with letters here. I'd call myself a Revit expert as well but I do agree that it is not the best for small residential projects. However I've never understood the concept that it takes too long to use to design barring instant dimensions with chief but to each his own. I've also never had an issue drawing up site plans in Revit especially so I'd like to know what it is you're exactly referring to. Also 2D Drafting is a lot better in Revit than it is in Chief (although we all work differently so I will say it is for me and also to each his own).

 

Do note I agree with the poster that Chief Architect is incredibly intuitive but I also agree with the second post that it is good at what it does but not for anything beyond its focused scope.

Screenshot_2018-12-13-17-28-56-801_com.google.android.apps.docs.png

 

CA can show lines with custom letters that repeat. No such thing in Revit. AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, Chief, and Softplan all have that feature. It's difficult to use all kinds of dashed line styles in Revit to show a site plan. Sure, I went ahead and created a custom annotation family with custom letters, but that won't work for curved areas. A horrible work-around in Revit.

 

Also, try placing a light on a sloped ceiling, and having it's 2D symbol show correctly in plan view. After years of cheating it, I went ahead and spent half a day modifying my recessed light family to show the 2D symbol correctly (flat) on the floor plan when the ceiling is sloped. Totally ridiculous! Believe me, I loved Revit for a while, but it's only efficient for square flat-roof buildings (boxes). I do very detailed modeling and very detailed plans, so I got really tired of spending so much time on "ridiculous" work-arounds and problems that I went searching for a better software suited for residential. Chief seems to be the one for me, at least so far as I'm learning it.

Chief Custom Line Type.PNG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, nVisionTEKBIM said:

 

CA can show lines with custom letters that repeat. No such thing in Revit. AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, Chief, and Softplan all have that feature. It's difficult to use all kinds of dashed line styles in Revit to show a site plan. Sure, I went ahead and created a custom annotation family with custom letters, but that won't work for curved areas. A horrible work-around in Revit.

 

Also, try placing a light on a sloped ceiling, and having it's 2D symbol show correctly in plan view. After years of cheating it, I went ahead and spent half a day modifying my recessed light family to show the 2D symbol correctly (flat) on the floor plan when the ceiling is sloped. Totally ridiculous! Believe me, I loved Revit for a while, but it's only efficient for square flat-roof buildings (boxes). I do very detailed modeling and very detailed plans, so I got really tired of spending so much time on "ridiculous" work-arounds and problems that I went searching for a better software suited for residential. Chief seems to be the one for me, at least so far as I'm learning it.

Chief Custom Line Type.PNG

I see what you mean for your first point and I do agree that I use a workaround in Revit for that as well.

 

However I really disagree with your second point. That is that Revit is majorly only good for boxed buildings. Out of both Revit and Chief only one of would be able to form a shell structured building and it wouldn't be Chief. Chief has always worked through floors but with Revit you can work through form. As to the issue with the sloped ceiling light I don't recall having an issue like that myself so far. But I do believe you, over the years I have developed a lot of workarounds for Revit so I do know how difficult it can be and that it is definitely not perfect, but no software is. I'm not here to start an argument though. Whatever issues you have that make you want to drop Revit is valid. I just think you're choosing to see the weak points to Revit more than its strengths.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, 1UPrime said:

I see what you mean for your first point and I do agree that I use a workaround in Revit for that as well.

 

However I really disagree with your second point. That is that Revit is majorly only good for boxed buildings. Out of both Revit and Chief only one of would be able to form a shell structured building and it wouldn't be Chief. Chief has always worked through floors but with Revit you can work through form. As to the issue with the sloped ceiling light I don't recall having an issue like that myself so far. But I do believe you, over the years I have developed a lot of workarounds for Revit so I do know how difficult it can be and that it is definitely not perfect, but no software is. I'm not here to start an argument though. Whatever issues you have that make you want to drop Revit is valid. I just think you're choosing to see the weak points to Revit more than its strengths.

I agree that no software is perfect. Even if we think it is we all slowly get annoyed with things. Hopefully you would agree with me that since Autodesk is such a corporate giant, they barely listen to their users' feedback. Each yearly release barely has anything new added. CA seems to have a large list of great improvements.

 

Autodesk thinks because they are so popular that they can just barely improve the products, and people will continue to buy.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, nVisionTEKBIM said:

I agree that no software is perfect. Even if we think it is we all slowly get annoyed with things. Hopefully you would agree with me that since Autodesk is such a corporate giant, they barely listen to their users' feedback. Each yearly release barely has anything new added. CA seems to have a large list of great improvements.

 

Autodesk thinks because they are so popular that they can just barely improve the products, and people will continue to buy.

 

That I most definitely agree with. I am still on Revit 2016 and my firm has seen little reason to update passed that because there are barely any improvements over the years. Each new release brings about less hope for things to actually get better.

 

You are very right about Autodesk products in general, their only major advantage is that they are so inbuilt into the design marketshare while actually offering little more than their competitors. I use Revit mostly because it's what I'm now used to and what I've encountered the most from firms around me but it has a long way to go before it could be considered the software to beat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, CARMELHILL said:

 

Many other users have said this, and I have to grudgingly agree, there is no one platform that will do everything you want. You might need to adapt your own design and drafting styles to the limitations of your software, or have a multiplatform office.

 

I crossed Archicad off my list because it didn't have cross referenced keynotes built into the program as a base feature. After spending $6g on the program you have to then add a monthly license for a plugin from Cadimage. AC 22 supposedly released a feature that addresses this, but it looked extremely confusing. Another plugin is buy once and you own it, but a $6g program? Come on. A super powerful commercial program should have this basic feature built in.

 

Modern designs with slanted walls and curved roofs, or standard centerhall colonial houses, or commercial work, you need the program that fits your office. And don't forget added costs.......$6g for AC sounds like a lot, but what about the months of additional training, diminished office productivity while your training, etc......it makes more sense to stick with Chief and use what you have available.

 

 

You don't have to pay $6k, you can just do the monthly subscription or buy Archicad SOLO version, which is more like $2500 for a perpetual license. All I can tell you is that Archicad is and it will always be more advanced and sophisticated that what you and I will ever need....Yes, things at first looked very confusing but as you grasp it it becomes easier and easier.....CA in the other hand looks easy to use but then it gets more confusing! lol   J/K....use the tools that best suit your needs....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, nVisionTEKBIM said:

Autodesk thinks because they are so popular that they can just barely improve the products, and people will continue to buy.

 

After Autodesk went the subscription route, their corporate earnings and stock price did very well. But shortsighted I think. You don't screw over your customers just for quick bucks. 

 

I've been hearing rumblings that more than a few shops are looking at different CAD packages. Bricscad Bim emphasizes this a lot in their product presentation. But I don't know how much Bricscad is like Revit, or maybe more like Autocad Architecture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, AriseDesign7 said:

 is more like $2500 for a perpetual license.

 

Maybe, but what's the deal with Archiframe? $5800 additional to do wood framing. Seriously? That better be one kick ass framing module if I'm going to switch for $8300.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, CARMELHILL said:

 

Maybe, but what's the deal with Archiframe? $5800 additional to do wood framing. Seriously? That better be one kick ass framing module if I'm going to switch for $8300.

I'm happy someone finally stated the same thing I thought about that! I've done trials of the 2 framing add-ins for Revit for a previous employer. So overly complicated, and that was when I was using Revit on a MAC with parallels, which was a nightmare in complexity and issues. Those 2 add-ins were about the same price as ArchiFrame. I would never spend that kind of dough, if it were for my business, unless I had builders specifically requesting panel shop drawings for framing, and I increased my rates to cover the cost.

 

That's what so great about Chief.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, CARMELHILL said:

 

Maybe, but what's the deal with Archiframe? $5800 additional to do wood framing. Seriously? That better be one kick *** framing module if I'm going to switch for $8300.

Like I mentioned, use the tool that best suits your needs. In the work I do (custom residential, TND's) someone else takes care of the structure and estimating, I don't have a need for any of those tools. What I want is great looking graphics and a software that behaves like I need it to do....

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AriseDesign7 said:

Like I mentioned, use the tool that best suits your needs. In the work I do (custom residential, TND's) someone else takes care of the structure and estimating, I don't have a need for any of those tools. What I want is great looking graphics and a software that behaves like I need it to do....


Exact same boat that I'm in. 

All municipalities here require a separate set of structural/seismic plans that are stamped by a professional engineer and are submitted alongside the architectural plans. 

The engineer also is required to conduct site visits to inspect framing and is ultimately required to sign off on the framing for the entire structure (Called a Schedule B — Assurance of Professional Design and Commitment for Field Review)

As a result, the framing tools that are included in Chief, while powerful, go completely unused on my end. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Irony is the relative low cost of Chief may be a factor in why the long suggestion list goes unattended.. I say "may" because more resources may not guarantee the key improvements we want.. 

 

Autodesk being a public company is almost required to be parasitical.. like Intuit (Quickbooks)..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't buy that

27 minutes ago, Rashid_Garuba said:

The Irony is the relative low cost of Chief may be a factor in why the long suggestion list goes unattended.

 

I don't buy that because I think the program is relatively rock solid. Jump on the Vectorworks forum and you'll see users begging for next years release to have no new features, just fix what's broken. That's a bad indictment.

 

I was thoroughly impressed with X10's release. The PBR was amazing. It needs some tweaking, but amazing. I haven't looked at Raytracing once since the release of PBR. But they seem to have tunnel vision on eye candy stuff, VR, 360 panoramics, etc.., Although, that stuff is what sells a program to new users. "Hey look at all these cool features your probably never use!" But you could never sell the program with "we finally gave you a real cad stretch tool, cross referenced call outs, and better general 2d tools."

 

I think we're in for something special on X11 based on the absolute silence from Chief since June. No new x10 updates, beta hasn't been announced yet, and no mention of the new program for the upcoming Vegas Builders Show. X10 has new form fields that could be a precursor to REAL BIM fields, etc... there are things in X10 that hint about what's to come in X11.

 

So they are either working on something really big or they are quiet because we aren't getting a new version until 2020, which is highly doubtful.

 

Another indication, check the Vegas Builders show exhibitors floor plan, North Hall. The footprint for their display booth is HUGE. You don't spend money on a booth that size unless you have something to show off. Something new. 

see booth N1155

https://s23.a2zinc.net/clients/nahb/ibx19/public/eventmap.aspx?shmode=E&MapID=2

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ed..

 

Yes X10 has been sweet.. especially PBR (love it).. As far as X11 I am easily excited.. Would love something special..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Rashid_Garuba said:

Ed..

 

Yes X10 has been sweet.. especially PBR (love it).. As far as X11 I am easily excited.. Would love something special..

X5 has been meeting my needs. But, from what I've read on this forum, I would really love to take X5 to X10 or X11 - waiting on pricing special they sometimes have around the end of the year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Member Statistics

    28314
    Total Members
    6254
    Most Online
    06PeterMorris62
    Newest Member
    06PeterMorris62
    Joined