Boogdaddy

Before I purchase, a question or two...

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Quick Background on me: 35+ years of residential and light commercial design. I am old school in that I learned and have always done my work, from preliminary sketching through construction documents with pencils, pens, layover and vellum. My father was a very talented illustrator who moonlighted drawing house plans, so I've been around design my entire life. However, I have reached the point where I can not even purchase the tools and materials I use day-to-day anymore. There is not enough market for it so manufacturers of drafting equipment have literally just closed up shop. Coupled with my desire to get away from hand drafting, and here I am. I have spent the last several weeks researching which program will work best for me. I'm a one-man outfit, and I don't do as much work as I once did. I occasionally build my own designs, both for myself and for clients. I have already purchased hardware (iPad Pro and MacBook Pro). I have already started doing preliminary design on the iPad using Morpholio Trace and Procreate. I'm surprised with using the Apple Pencil how little my preliminary design has changed.

 

I am VERY particular how my drawings look. Will CA be customizable enough to satisfy my particular taste? Are things like how dimension lines and tick marks appear things that I can customize? I do not like how they look in the default mode. The arrows are a definite no for me. The super thin tick marks that are the same line weight as the dimension line are also a no. Can I go into CA after I get some training and time under my belt and change the way things are to make my drawings appear just slightly more like quality hand-drawn plans?

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Have you experimented with the trial? 

 

2 minutes ago, Boogdaddy said:

I am VERY particular how my drawings look. Will CA be customizable enough to satisfy my particular taste?

 

Only you can answer that question.

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There shouldn't be any problems getting close to or exactly what you want.

Why not post a pic of one of your hand drawn plans and someone here can probably tell you.

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22 minutes ago, Boogdaddy said:

Are things like how dimension lines and tick marks appear things that I can customize? I do not like how they look in the default mode. The arrows are a definite no for me. The super thin tick marks that are the same line weight as the dimension line are also a no.

 

There are 49 choices of arrow styles for dimension lines which includes a blank style that you could always pencil in your own hand drawn style if you wanted to.

 

Why not download the a trial version and give it a try ?  The basics are really pretty straight forward.

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Thanks for your responses. I've already downloaded the trial version. I have played with it a little bit, but I haven't had the time until now to focus on learning the program. Before I spent the $3K for the full version plus whatever I spend on a learning platform such as Chief Experts Academy, I'm just trying to satisfy my curiosity as to whether it will do what I need it to do. I will try to scan a portion of a drawing or two tomorrow and upload. It sounds like if there are 49 choices of arrow styles, and if I can hand-draw a style I like and scan it in, I'll be fine. Since we're all in lockdown mode at home for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19, I figured it would be good to take advantage of the time and spend it learning some CAD/BIM.

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2 minutes ago, Boogdaddy said:

It sounds like if there are 49 choices of arrow styles, and if I can hand-draw a style I like and scan it in, I'll be fine.

 

Sorry I did not mean to mislead you.  The choices are the choices.  You could use the blank arrow style and draw your own using cad on every single dimension line or print to paper and then use your hand drawing skills to add those custom details.

 

Even though there are a lot of choices we have been asking for the ability to customize but we are not there yet.

 

Take a look at the choices first though and you may find something that would be acceptable.

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12 minutes ago, Boogdaddy said:

It sounds like if there are 49 choices of arrow styles

 

Double click the Dimension Tool, go to Arrow and have a look. Choose one and then dimension something.

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11 hours ago, Boogdaddy said:

quality hand-drawn plans

This is entirely subjective. A great method for comparison would be for you to post something you've drawn. It'll give us a much better point of reference to see what you're looking for. The short answer to your questions though is YES. Chief is able to do more than you'll ever figure out. Many users have completely customized Chief and use none of the out-of-the-box settings. I've been using it for around 20 years (is that possible?)...and I'm still learning new things all the time.

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Here is a scan of one of my plans. It's a crappy scan with lousy contrast done by Staples. Because I live on a ranch in rural Texas, Staples is the only place within an hour's drive that can run prints and make scans. I'm frustrated with their service, which is yet another reason I'm moving to CAD/BIM and will buy my own plotter.

 

I've now had a chance to look at the arrow styles in CA. I see one bold arrow/tick mark that is satisfactory to me, but I don't like how the dimension line stops at the arrow and doesn't extend through the arrow. Perhaps the dimension line issue is something I can customize in CA?

Stephan_FPB.pdf

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I would say you will find an aesthetic you are content with for drawings in Chief, but it may involve some concessions.

 

You can turn your own lettering into a font here: https://www.calligraphr.com/en/

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15 minutes ago, kMoquin said:

You can turn your own lettering into a font here: https://www.calligraphr.com/en/

 

That's cool.  I hadn't seen that one before.  There are a few others out there, but they're not as robust at that.  Thanks for the link Kevin.

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4 hours ago, Boogdaddy said:

Perhaps the dimension line issue is something I can customize in CA?

That sounds painful:wacko: Very nice work by the way! I can think of some fairly quick ways you could get the dimension lines to extend beyond the arrow. Obviously it'd be extra work. 

You could easily create a polyline around your building, then replicate it to where you want your dimensions to be. Then create a white box at each corner to cover those polylines leaving 4" showing beyond the building. That'd also give you a nice permanent guide to snap your dimension lines to. Probably easier ways...

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I’ve got a YouTube channel with a lot of good lesson/how to videos.  Might give you some idea.  Click the link in my signature below...it’ll take you to my channel.  
 

Chief is an incredible piece of software and the Company listens to its users and adds great improvements to the software every year.  You will be happy if you purchase Chief.  

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On 3/19/2020 at 8:10 PM, Boogdaddy said:

Will CA be customizable enough to satisfy my particular taste?

CA can get you there with one caveat - time! But that is with pretty much everything in life. I have used this software about 24 years and, like Robert, still learning. You can develop your own style with CA - the tools are there. Learning to use them to your advantage is where the time comes in. CA's training videos, this forum, CA's training, user videos like Steve mentioned will get you going, especially if you can devote some time up front to learn the basics and then concentrate on presentation style. Note: other users on this forum also offer training and training videos; just search the forums.

 

Nice drawings, BTW. :)

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I looked at your PDF. Chief 100% has that dimension style "tick" I use it myself. The font, I'm sure you can find one that's close to your lettering style, there's many fonts you can use in chief.

Your door labels is again how I label "2668" goes as the default door label.

Window labels you'd have to type in manually that way under the label tab in the window dialogue box and perhaps a secondary text box.

Chief has 3D symbols to use for furniture and fixtures, but you can also use their rudimentary cad tools as well make it really custom.

All very doable with this program. Standard out of the box with chief is very easy. You can do anything custom as well with more experience with the program.

 

You should find chief very close to your standards. Looking at the drawings overall zoom is pretty close to a chief file in my opinion graphics wise.

Tutorials are all over the internet for chief, especially on youtube. And Chief has their own video tutorials as well. Chief can be learned by anyone within a couple hours. Door, walls windows, roofs, stairs. All basic, and very user friendly. Takes more time to master, but you could have a full floor plan for your clients within a week easy after watching some tutorials. I've used chief for 16 years, and surprised more architects don't use this program.

  

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Stephen,

 

I made a little PDF sample for you. I matched your standards best I could. If you spend some more time, I am sure you can get it just how you like it or very close to "Acceptable" Once you create a file, make it a template, and then you can use the same standards every time instead of creating it from scratch every time. Example, wall types, window, and text styles, line style, etc.

 

Stephen Chief Sample.pdf

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I also have a question before purchasing CA. I have also done a lot of research on CA vs Revit vs Sketchup vs ArchiCad, etc. Overall I have found that CA is really good for residential projects and far easier to use than Revit. One thing that seems to be lacking is photorealistic renderings. For Revit and Sketchup there are 3rd party software like Lumion and Vray to create photorealistic renderings but CA doesn't seem to work with as well with those. I also found CA's Ray Trace to be not as good as Lumion/Vray. 

 

The best rendering I have seen from CA is the modern style home in the Rendering Tutorial but even there the landscaping looked very fake (perhaps they didn't really spend time working on the landscaping?) This is what I'm referring to: https://www.chiefarchitect.com/videos/watch/1910/ray-trace-rendering-introduction.html?playlist=103

 

I did find you can export 3Ds file from CA and then import it in Sketchup and then use Lumion/Vray however the 3Ds file is not that great to import into Sketchup. 

 

Can someone tell me what are the best options to get photorealistic renderings with CA? Please provide any video walkthroughs/images done in CA (or design done in CA and rendering done in another software). 

 

Thank you!

  

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3 minutes ago, Jay900 said:

Can someone tell me what are the best options to get photorealistic renderings with CA? Please provide any video walkthroughs/images done in CA (or design done in CA and rendering done in another software). 

 

Thank you!


Some of the best renders are done by people who rarely or never even post here, but there are a few regulars who do beautiful work in 3rd part apps.  @Renerabbitt and @Chiefer come quickly to mind.  Maybe one of them will chime in.

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16 hours ago, Alaskan_Son said:


Some of the best renders are done by people who rarely or never even post here, but there are a few regulars who do beautiful work in 3rd part apps.  @Renerabbitt and @Chiefer come quickly to mind.  Maybe one of them will chime in.

Appreciate the mention, thank you Michael. @Jay900Rendering is a funny topic, one of the most subjective in our industry. People have any number of reasons to choose Chief as their software of choice, and needs for rendering run the gamut.

 

My work has never been photorealistic, there just isn't a budget for it in the market segment I target. I achieve good results for a good price. For the cost of a very polished and processed PBR(biased) I can produce an unbiased trace with a high sample rate and little to no AO. Budget for that type of thing ranges from $200-$1000. Photorealism is more in the range of $2K to $10K and up. An individual is simply not efficient enough on their own to produce such results for interior scenes, a team is typically involved, or access to an incredible number of assets. I myself have 1000's of hours invested in materials and models and still can't produce a photorealistic couch without blowing the budget in the residential market.

 

For the money, you can't beat CA's parametric BIM-based modelling. I've raced some very proficient modelers while they were using Sketchup or Revit/2020 etc. It just doesn't compare when you get a Chief expert behind the wheel. I myself am very proficient in Sketchup and other software's and I'd rather rebuild an entire model in chief than pick up where someone left off in their software. Just today I built a very complex model in 3 hours to replace a model someone built in Sketchup over the course of several days.

 

Chief exports to all of the major 3d model types. Rendering is never an issue and certainly not a reason to keep from purchasing the software. The built in PBR engine is sufficient for most client presentation if it doesn't already exceed expectations. Take a look at any number of my YouTube videos where I am simply fooling around in the software and you will see you can get some very desirable imagery-Example below, CA PBR

Besides chief, there is the free Twinmotion 2020 that works quite well with Chief models-Example below, modeled in X-12

As well as 3rd party renders such as Thea Render for Sketchup or V-Ray-Example Below-Modeled in X-8, rendered in Thea

1169178607_191106-LOD5-MINERRD-COMPRESSED.thumb.jpg.52d4e083d17f70f1df23ec013fd1da9b.jpgRITA2.thumb.png.24476164f45910ddb2bcccbc22ffcc9a.png

 

Above all else I would offer this, you'd be hard pressed to find a more helpful, professional culture. The people that use this software encourage growth, offer their time and expertise generously, and are some of the most intelligent humans I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Please ask any questions, happy to help. Chiefer, or Jintu as Michael mentioned, does an incredible job at exterior renders, and a lot of what goes into it is an established scene and assets. With the right landscaping, any 3d model can look incredible, he's been doing it for tens of years and it shows...it's not something that is achieved OOTB.

 

FYI 3ds imports really well into SketchUp. Architectural components in CA are preserved as components in SketchUp for instance, and all naming conventions are carried over as well as the diffuse map. The only thing CA doesn't do well is UV mapping, other than that, results are quite desirable.

 

The above office render is an environment that exists in a catalog of commercial style buildings that I present to FF&E designers. They choose from any number of workspaces to showcase their workstations. It's the scale-ability that makes photorealism achievable. Comparing a company that has 100 hours into their renderings vs that office that was built and rendered in 7 hours is a great example of bias that goes into rendering. Next time you see an incredible rendering, ask yourself how many hours went into it? It's a great question, along with..was it worth it? I love rendering, but more often than not, photoreaslism just isn't necessary unless you need marketing material or your targeting the residential development market. I still want more rendering jobs though, it's quite addicting seeing your designs come to life :)

 

RR

 

 

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Hi Renerabbitt,

 

Thank you for he insight! I did more research after reading your post and it seems like Rendering is a whole different step/process. You are right that the amount of hours and number of people that work on it can vary greatly which can vary the rendering quality. I saw some people who model in Sketchup then render in Vray and then edit in Photoshop/Premiere so it was quite a process. I guess we have to question "how much effort is necessary to get results that will get the job done without wasting time/money?".  

 

Also, now that we are discussing this: what is the best process to go from CA to Rendering in Vray/Lumion/Thea for images and videos?

 

You mentioned CA doesn't do UV mapping very well. How do you work around this? I also saw many people saying CA has some limitations vs Revit/Sketchup give you freedom to design anything (of course this freedom comes at a cost of tediousness/cost of software). What other limitations have you noticed in CA and how do you work around them?

 

Thank you!

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On 4/11/2020 at 2:31 AM, Jay900 said:

Hi Renerabbitt,

 

Thank you for he insight! I did more research after reading your post and it seems like Rendering is a whole different step/process. You are right that the amount of hours and number of people that work on it can vary greatly which can vary the rendering quality. I saw some people who model in Sketchup then render in Vray and then edit in Photoshop/Premiere so it was quite a process. I guess we have to question "how much effort is necessary to get results that will get the job done without wasting time/money?".  

 

Also, now that we are discussing this: what is the best process to go from CA to Rendering in Vray/Lumion/Thea for images and videos?

 

You mentioned CA doesn't do UV mapping very well. How do you work around this? I also saw many people saying CA has some limitations vs Revit/Sketchup give you freedom to design anything (of course this freedom comes at a cost of tediousness/cost of software). What other limitations have you noticed in CA and how do you work around them?

 

Thank you!

Try the free Twinmotion 2020, the "almost" realtime renderer or master Chief's PBR (interior rendering)

pbr-chief-architect-x12.jpg

nikkel.png

inspiration.png

honor_000.png

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Please help

Hello, so my search landed me here. I've spent most of the morning researching  how the pros are fooling me on perfect renders. I've resorted to using only physically based final images because of time and quality vs waiting.

#1.  I can't seem to figure out why it takes my design 20 minutes to do 3 passes on a simple modern kitchen, only to find out it's too bright or etc.... (Please help!) I've tried everything.

 

#2. I'm seeing that the magic comes from exporting a plan to V-Ray? Is this correct? 

 

#3.  I looked into TurboSquid.com to get furniture pieces. Not sure yet if this is possible. 3D warehouse seems limited and unrealistic quality compared.

 

5 year Cheif Architect  veteran :D

System Model GA880 GMA-UD2H

System Type X64-Based PC

Processor AMD Athlon(tm)II x4 630, 2800 Mhz, 4 Cores, 4. 

              logical processors 

RAM 16GB  

Virtual Memory 32GB

 

 

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On 3/19/2020 at 6:10 PM, Boogdaddy said:

Will CA be customizable enough to satisfy my particular taste? Are things like how dimension lines and tick marks appear things that I can customize? I do not like how they look in the default mode. The arrows are a definite no for me. The super thin tick marks that are the same line weight as the dimension line are also a no. Can I go into CA after I get some training and time under my belt and change the way things are to make my drawings appear just slightly more like quality hand-drawn plans?

 

Compared with other applications in the market, Chief is the least customizable of any i've used.  However, nothing you specifically mention can't be customized.

 

There are going to be some 2D visual preferences you'll give up in Chief, and because we are limited to rounded line edges the drawings don't look nearly as sharp as other apps who either use square line edges or give you the option.  There are several other visual issues I have, but I still use Chief since it does so many modeling things well (particularly for Residential) that it outweighs the negatives thus far.  It reduces steps in other apps by a factor of over 50%.

 

Lastly, I do want to make sure you understand that Chief is designed to work primarily in BIM, and is geared to the type of output product others above show off.  Chief is, without a doubt, the worse 2D CAD app i've ever come across - ultra inefficient and frustrating.  The same could be said about its generic 3D abilities (thought got better in X12), but by contrast it shines in its data driven 3D, and is truly unmatched there.

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On 3/19/2020 at 9:10 PM, Boogdaddy said:

Quick Background on me: 35+ years of residential and light commercial design. I am old school in that I learned and have always done my work, from preliminary sketching through construction documents with pencils, pens, layover and vellum. My father was a very talented illustrator who moonlighted drawing house plans, so I've been around design my entire life. However, I have reached the point where I can not even purchase the tools and materials I use day-to-day anymore. I still purchase my drafting supplies from DataPrint (see Image) and still develope certain details by hand, scan and import into my Chief Drawings There is not enough market for it so manufacturers of drafting equipment have literally just closed up shop. Coupled with my desire to get away from hand drafting, and h.ere I am. I have spent the last several weeks researching which program will work best for me.(Chief or Softplan, Chief is more Flexible but you won't like the stairs tool, especially when detailing) I'm a one-man outfit, and I don't do as much work as I once did. I occasionally build my own designs, both for myself and for clients. I have already purchased hardware (iPad Pro and MacBook Pro). I have already started doing preliminary design on the iPad using Morpholio Trace and Procreate. I'm surprised with using the Apple Pencil how little my preliminary design has changed.

 

I am VERY particular how my drawings look. Will CA be customizable enough to satisfy my particular taste? Are things like how dimension lines and tick marks appear things that I can customize? I do not like how they look in the default mode. The arrows are a definite no for me. The super thin tick marks that are the same line weight as the dimension line are also a no.(You can select the Fat Tick Marks in Chief) Can I go into CA after I get some training and time under my belt and change the way things are to make my drawings appear just slightly more like quality hand-drawn plans? There are a couple of guys using Chief that do beautiful Construction Documents. Back in 1997-98 I purchased the Demo CD & manual for $25 and started playing with the program. At the time I had used and was in process of OJT learning of Softplan in a builder's office. At the time, I was manually drafting some semi-customs for another builder and taking around 40hrs per plan. When I tried my first one in Chief, it took me around 50hrs for a similar plan. Then each time the hours dropped and I drew a ranch house in about 24hrs and  I wasn't providing alot of details like I do now. Once you go CAD you'll never go back because of the efficiency and ease or replication. 

 I'll never give up my parallel bar and tracing paper mechanical pencils, lead holders and good old #2 and hb pencils. Pretty much not using vellum anymore and will never go back to mylar and ink. Your drawings are very good and at a glance could have been a good Softplan drawing

.

DataPrintDraftingSupplies.PNG

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