Chief Architect Plan Review - Designers Show #119

designers show Jan 22, 2024
Chief Architect Plan Review - Designers Show #119

This episode is a real treat for architects, designers, remodelers, and Chief Architect aficionados. Our host Dan Baumann alongside other Chief Experts John Schrader, Rene Rabbitt, Kevin Transue and Robin Rigby Fisher, dives deep into the nitty-gritty of 3D modeling, plan presentation, and the art of revision management.

The episode kicks off with a casual chat, warming up the atmosphere and setting the stage for the deep dive into the world of design. But the real excitement begins when the team reviews a viewer-submitted plan. It's not just about pointing out what needs fixing; it's about providing constructive feedback, practical solutions, and that extra bit of insight that can transform a good plan into a great one.

As we delve deeper, the episode unfolds the complexities of 3D modeling in Chief Architect. Whether you're dealing with the quirks of remodeling historical buildings or adding unique design elements, the tips and tricks shared are pure gold.

This episode also covers the ins and outs of plan presentation. From making your plans stand out with material customization to managing schedules like a pro, the episode is packed with advice that can elevate your presentation game.

The episode also explores efficient strategies for managing revisions, making use of layout pages, and ensuring every change is on point. It's about making the revision process less of a headache and more of a strategic step towards perfection.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, this episode is a treasure trove of insights, tips, and real-world advice. So, grab your favorite cup of coffee, settle in, and get ready to be inspired. And remember, your designs aren't just plans on paper; they're the blueprint of dreams waiting to be built!

We love hearing from you, so drop your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

Stay tuned for more from the Designers Show, where design meets reality, one episode at a time!



Show Notes:


Introduction and Casual Chat (00:00 - 06:49)

  • Dan, the host, starts with a casual introduction, mentioning the unusual snow-free winter in Minnesota.
  • Discussion about an upcoming designer show, emphasizing the intensive learning experience and the benefits of attending.
  • Details about the event schedule, including courses, business tracks, and learning sessions.
  • Encouragement to participate in the event, with information about available accommodations and booking.

Challenges in Remodeling Historical Buildings (06:50 - 09:59)

  • Introduction of Michael Payne, who is working on a historical house in Denver.
  • Discussion about the challenges of documenting and remodeling historical buildings, specifically focusing on a unique Dormer window.
  • Tips on 3D modeling in Chief Architect, highlighting the importance of default settings for proper automatic functions.
  • Demonstration of troubleshooting issues with walls and roofs in the 3D model.

3D Modeling and Roof Adjustments (10:26 - 21:25)

  • Dan discusses the importance of stretching walls correctly to maintain the roof's automatic functions.
  • Tips on joining steep roofs with other roof planes, including changing roof plane options to square instead of plum.
  • Troubleshooting for issues like parts of the roof sticking through by clipping the end of the roof plane.
  • Advice on dealing with roof box thickness and the alignment of eaves and moldings.
  • Solutions for bay windows cutting off walls, including exploding the bay window and adjusting wall settings to default.
  • Creating a symbol from a bay window and using a window pass-through to create a hole in the wall for the bay window.
  • Tips on creating custom window grids in Chief Architect, including converting CAD lines into a custom mullion and adding it to the window.

Advanced 3D Modeling Techniques and Troubleshooting (21:33 - 32:58)

  • Discussion on how symbols and pass-through openings in walls affect framing in Chief Architect.
  • Tips for creating arcs and using the concentric copy function for precise placement of objects.
  • Demonstrating how to use the circle about center tool for creating circles from a center point and specifying the radius.
  • Techniques for trimming objects and using the fence tool for selecting and modifying parts of objects.
  • Addressing a question about curving shed roofs, with a demonstration of how to curve a roof by copying the pitch angle from a steep roof to a lower roof.
  • Tips for joining roofs to ensure proper alignment and appearance in 3D view.
  • Mary joins the call with questions about creating 3D renderings from plans, specifically asking about the difference between saving as a picture or an image and how to ensure the correct size and resolution.

3D Rendering and Layout Techniques (33:05 - 43:56)

  • Discussion on resizing pictures and viewports in layout pages, with tips on maintaining the correct aspect ratio and avoiding cropping issues.
  • Explanation of the difference between live views and static images, emphasizing the benefits of live views for automatic updates and resource management.
  • Tips for handling 3D views on layout pages, including how to refresh the view to improve clarity on the screen and ensure crystal-clear prints.
  • Advice on rendering settings for physically based rendering, including adjusting export samples, denoise settings, and exposure to achieve desired visual effects.
  • Techniques for changing the color of materials like T111 and lap siding using the rainbow tool or the color picker to blend with the existing material texture.

Material Customization and Plan Presentation (43:59 - 55:06)

  • Techniques for changing the color of materials like T111 and lap siding using the color picker tool and the blend with texture option.
  • Discussion on how to make schedules, such as door and window schedules, more manageable and visually appealing by splitting them per floor or per elevation.
  • Tips on resizing schedule columns and minimizing the width to make the schedules easier to read and more aesthetically pleasing.
  • Emphasis on the importance of using schedules to their full advantage, as they can significantly enhance the presentation of plans.
  • Chad's focus on differentiating his plans from the competition by making them more artistic and appealing to homeowners and clients.
  • Suggestions for making plans stand out, including customizing schedules per elevation and considering the presentation as a spec tool for a richer and more dynamic feel.

Plan Checking and Revision Management (55:12 - 62:03)

  • Strategies for managing live camera views in plans, including locking camera layers to prevent accidental adjustments.
  • Importance of plan checking and learning from previous plans or other professionals' work to identify missing details or potential improvements.
  • Techniques for managing revisions effectively, such as using layout pages for bubbling revisions and linking callouts to specific CAD details for easy reference.
  • Utilizing CAD details in layouts for additional flexibility and functionality.
  • Tips for managing multiple revisions, including how to label and track changes efficiently.
  • Suggestions for utilizing resources like municipality plan submission checklists and county GIS parcel maps to ensure compliance and accuracy in site plans.
  • Approaches to bubbling significant changes in plans, deciding when to bubble individual changes versus entire sections based on the extent of modifications.