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I've read before that the pattern files are just text files with coordinates. And that someone could, in theory, create custom patterns if they just knew the format to type in all the coordinates. Has CA ever released that information? A guide? A tutorial? Anything?


I want a brick pattern like the one attached. I want it so badly that I'm willing to try this myself, but I have no idea where to start. Any help would be appreciated!


Wouldn't it be great if Chief (or someone) could release a custom pattern maker??? Sometimes I wish I were a programmer. Sometimes.


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Hatch Patterns are just text files in which you can create simple ones like brick patterns yourself by following a few simple rules. Do a web search for "Overview of hatch patterns" by Autocad. Autocad has a good tutorial on their help site which gives all the rules and has some good examples.


If you want something a little more complex -- try the Hatchkit 2.7 software. -- Some what difficult to use and their tutorial is not so good but works..


However, for simple brick patterns, you only need a few lines which you can do with a text file. But most brick patterns are also offered free on various sites.

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But most brick patterns are also offered free on various sites.


Are you saying CA uses a standard hatch pattern file format??? I think you may have pointed me in the right direction; many, many thanks!

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Excellent summary by Joe Carrick cut & paste from the "legacy forum":


Fill Patterns are simply text files that can be edited in a simple text editor like Notepad. Chief Architects supplies some standards and several custom patterns that are contained in the "Pattern" folder. Each Pattern is made up of a series of Lines.

The format of a Pattern File is as follows:

nAngle, xOrigin,yOrigin, xRepeatDelta,yOffset, [nLength,nSpace]
.................................................. ......
.................................................. ..

nAngle = Angle of the Line (0 is horizontal - angles are measured clockwise)
xOrigin,yOrigin = Start Coordinates of the Line
xRepeatDelta = Offset of the Repeat Pattern (only valid when nLength & nSpace are present)
yOffset = Spacing between Lines
nLength = Length of a Line (if not provided the line is continuous)
nSpace = negative value indicates length of a space.

Example Pattern:

0, 0,0, 0,24
0, 0,1, 0,24
90, 0,0, 0,48
90, 1,0, 0,48

This results in a pair of horizontal lines 1" apart repeated 24" o.c.
and a pair of vertical lines 1" apart repeated 48" o.c.

In most cases xRepeatDelta will be 0.
If a specific length solid line and spacing is needed then [nLength,nSpace] should be specified as nLength,-nSpace such as 23,-1 to result in a line 23" long with a 1" space before the next solid line.

Note that the above is very similar to the AutoCad format but Chief doesn't support a DOT in the Line definitions

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Do a thread search on "Creating Fill/Hatch Patterns".  This is a thread that Joe Carrick started in the Q&A forum of the legacy ChiefTalk that may have some information that you find helpful.


Thanks Joe.


Edit:  I see Kevin and I are on the same page with recommendations.

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FYI -- There is no standard hatch pattern format.


Chief uses the format developed and used by AutoCad which are the same rules referenced by Joe. That's why I referenced you to the Autocad help site which also give a couple more commands. They have several examples that show how to develop repeating irregular patterns. Software such as PhotoShop & others use a different pattern even though they all use the same Pat file extension. Any site that offers free AutoCad hatch files can be downloaded and will also work in Chief. Hatchkit will save in AutoCad format and in several others. If you see a good Photoshop patten, I believe you can load into Hachkit and resave in AutoCad format. -- Haven't tried it but they offer a 30 day trial.

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HatchKit 2.7 has been superseded by HatchKit for Chief Architect.


Late to the party but I must inform readers that HatchKit will not convert Photoshop patterns to AutoCAD format. Photoshop patterns are raster swatches while AutoCAD patterns are vector fills.


However what HatchKit can do for you is open and edit any existing AutoCAD pattern or a pattern contained in a DXF file or, if you prefer, create a new hatch pattern from scratch within its graphical editor.


Hope this helps,


Hugh Adamson

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But, what's the best route to the look shown in the original post. I'm thinking CAD, use a grid, and draw the brick-lines using snaps.

I'm trying to imagine the custom hatch that would deliver that look. It would have to be a great big thing to be able to have the nice randomness of what was shown.

A suggestion for Chief for next release?

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Well, I'll stick my neck out here and say that I wouldn't bother trying to use ANY method to duplicate that brick look as I think it looks terrible and very unprofessional. 

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