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I am working on a pocket neighborhood, 12 small houses on a lot with a shared parking.  Cool idea actually.  I created each house as a symbol, after I "saved-as" when the plans were completed, cleaned/purged each to get the file sizes of each to about 50 kb. I am not done with this site plan file, as I need to add some more lighting, signs and landscaping.  Broker wants these rendered banners and vids ready for a Home Builders Parade in September.  My issue is so far my total file size of the site is 1,210,000 kb (what you see in the attachment and after a purge).  My system is bogging down.  Even though all my models are on D drive and have plenty of space, my C drive (has only 31 GB left, and that gets eaten up running a camera.. ram I am assuming). 

 

The question is, will creating two or three plans and combine into one even work in Chief?  For instance, have a file that is just with the landscaping (trees, small plants, & mulch), another of the parking, walks, lighting...) Insert them all into one "site" model with a common insertion point.  When editing any of the attached files, it updates, like a xref would.  I am thinking CA does not have this capabilities. Example, if I have a landscape model xref'd into the site model, and update that landscape model, will it update?   I know its to late in the game for this project, but this broker is planning similar hoods in other locations, and I'd like to be a little smarter when I set these up.        

 

I use a AutoDesk Plant 3D all day, and xrefs are only way to go to keep parent file size down.  I am hoping CA is the same way.

 

Any other advice on getting this file size down? I have purge material and blocks.. and that helps a little.        

SITE VIEW 1.jpg

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You can combine plan files in Chief, but they won't "auto-update" like an AutoCAD Xref, because they are now part of the plan into which they've been inserted.

 

I've been using TwinMotion, which may do what you want, sort of. You can export your Chief models as .dae files, then import them into TwinMotion - they can be "refreshed" within TwinMotion easily after you've made changes. There are quirks, of course, but TwinMotion is fairly easy to learn and is very fast and responsive. It does crash too often, which I think has something to do with Chief's .dae exports. This screen shot shows two Chief .dae exports, imported into TwinMotion; notice in the Import tab that they are two separate DAE files:

 

twinmotion.thumb.PNG.b821cdfc12566a6a4b286a090232d359.PNG

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When you made the symbols, did you make the houses into a shell only? If not, start deleting. I don't think you need interior doors for a site plan.

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Not sure if this helps or not. I did a hospital cafeteria with a lot of custom symbols that was getting unmanageable. I put all the furniture and symbols into a separate plan. Then just referenced it both in plans and in 3D. In 3D the only option for reference is standard view but when used in a PBR it appears to take on some (maybe all) of those characteristics. At least the refelection in the tables is better than I see normally in Standard view. Put this one together on the fly (faster than looking around for the old ones) It made working a lot easier, less lag.

Yes it does update live. NO you can't RayTrace-the referenced files won't show up.

image.thumb.png.8da7f151b7d8e85bf5e624c792108d2b.png

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28 minutes ago, Gawdzira said:

When you made the symbols, did you make the houses into a shell only? If not, start deleting. I don't think you need interior doors for a site plan.

 That was my first go round with broker.. but he shot that down.  When this is all done, and he is marketing, he wants 59 second vids from each house looking inside and outside, so future buyers will get a feel of the neighborhood.  

 

 

 

24 minutes ago, MarkMc said:

I put all the furniture and symbols into a separate plan. Then just referenced it both in plans and in 3D.

image.thumb.png.8da7f151b7d8e85bf5e624c792108d2b.png

How did you reference them into the model Mark?  I can see how this might work, but not understanding the steps. 

 

Def. not ray tracing.. $hoot.. 10 passes might take a day..  :-)

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36 minutes ago, rlackore said:

You can combine plan files in Chief, but they won't "auto-update" like an AutoCAD Xref, because they are now part of the plan into which they've been inserted.

 

 

twinmotion.thumb.PNG.b821cdfc12566a6a4b286a090232d359.PNG

That's what I have found out too..  I asked originally, because I will be the first to admit, I don't know all Chief has to offer.  

 

I've been watching some vids on TwinMotion, and getting to point to finally start to learn it hands on.  I was going to use this slow down to learn more in depth, but its not slow anymore, so kinda put on back burner.     

 

BTW, if I love the house on left style..  modern and a low profile! 

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21 minutes ago, mtldesigns said:

How did you reference them into the model Mark?  I can see how this might work, but not understanding the steps. 

Reference Display...

ref.thumb.png.6decbe3f43661b6a30150d6857b188ac.png

...just bear in mind that any referenced plan files cannot be re-positioned in relation to each other.  They are always fixed in relation to the origin. 

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21 minutes ago, Alaskan_Son said:

..just bear in mind that any referenced plan files cannot be re-positioned in relation to each other.  They are always fixed in relation to the origin. 

Interesting..  never thought to look here...

 

And that's how a true Xref would work, all having the same "fixed". 

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3 hours ago, mtldesigns said:

And that's how a true Xref would work, all having the same "fixed". 

Either you don’t quite realize what Xrefs are capable of or you aren’t understanding the limitations we have in Chief.  Using your subdivision as an example:

 

In AutoCAD you can model the buildings as usual in separate files and then insert them into your master plan as Xrefs.  Upon insertion, you can adjust the insertion point, rotation, and even scale of each individual house.  
 

In Chief on the other hand, this is not possible.  Individual houses would have to be modeled at off angles, at the exact size you want them, and at the exact height and X/Y location in their respective plans as where you will eventually place them in your master plan.  This is a MAJOR limitation if you’re using for something like subdivision planning since you obviously would want the ability to move those various elements around, and possibly even adjust scale during massing studies.  
 

 

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I totally understand Xref's in AutoCAD (been using this tool for 10 + years at day job)..  and I realized Chief could not do the exact same, so I was hoping for some kind of happy medium.  That's why after I was complete with the house plans (not located anywhere in a real world x,y & z or off any datum), I saved as separate models and create symbols of each.  Still, these symbols were not located in a specific spot, as a xref'd model would be.  With these symbols, I could located and adjust angles, as I placed into "site plan" model.  I was hoping that I could also have a separate models, one with landscaping and one with the extras, as mentioned above.  I guess I was really asking if this was possible AND if so, would this reduce the size the files.

 

When Mark and you mentioned "reference" files, I was thinking you were saying there was slight possibility, maybe that happy medium I was looking for.  I am going to research more on this.  Thanks for pointing me in a direction.  Even if it works half a$$, it still might be something to think about.  I have to get these file sizes down.  Besides just sluggish performance, these big files don't upload either.     

 

Have a blessed day! 

 

   

 

 

 

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If the other method does not work and you are still doing the camera work in CA, this becomes a film editing job. Do the camera move for the exterior and then repeat the camera move for the shot with the interior of one house at a time. Then edit the video to cut as you start to see in the window. Or, move the file to a real video animation production tool..

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23 hours ago, mtldesigns said:

When Mark and you mentioned "reference" files, I was thinking you were saying there was slight possibility, maybe that happy medium I was looking for.  I am going to research more on this.

Sorry, I just realized that I sent you a deceptive screenshot in my last post.  The basics are the same, but you need to open up the Change Floor/Reference dialog while in a camera view.  Again though, just to stress one MAJOR point, each and every element must be positioned appropriately in their respective plans.  The 3D reference display basically behaves like Paste Hold Position and the various elements cannot be relocated.  They are where they are.

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On 8/14/2020 at 12:07 PM, Alaskan_Son said:

Reference Display...

ref.thumb.png.6decbe3f43661b6a30150d6857b188ac.png

...just bear in mind that any referenced plan files cannot be re-positioned in relation to each other.  They are always fixed in relation to the origin. 

 

That is a really interesting capability, that initially seems filled with so much promise, only to fall short in so many ways. Sometimes I feel Chief doesn't follow through on their ideas and implementations. Nonetheless, thanks for pointing this out - I was completely unaware of this feature.

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