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Any 2D tool what you need for drafting.

Moderators: Barry Kelly, Karl Ottenstein, LaszloNagy, ejrolon, gkmethy

What's your opinion about this wish?

Essential (5)
3
19%
Important (4)
6
38%
Average (3)
2
13%
Not important (2)
3
19%
Not needed (1)
2
13%
User avatar
By Dwight
#166340
Paul King wrote: I think ArchiCAD has all the bitmap handling functionality it needs in place already
Right.
The blind lead the blind.

Since I have one eye, let me observe that to skew a bitmap requires interpolating data to rebuild the horizontal raster.

Archicad doesn't have that capability and that is that.

Get a photo-editor, already.
User avatar
By Paul King
#166364
But surely ArchiCAD already interpolates for practical purposes when it rescales, or even rotates ...?

I do have a photo editor - but the process is just too slow & painful - and seems silly! - the wrong place to be doing something like that, since the base I need to be comparing image to is in ArchiCAD. Even with separate photo editor, we need to rescale all images in ArchiCAD with snappable live model present already, so why not do the rest of the same task in same place? Not asking for specialist photo editing capability - just node stretching, just like with slabs
User avatar
By Matthew Lohden
#167377
Paul King wrote:But surely ArchiCAD already interpolates for practical purposes when it rescales, or even rotates ...?
AFAIK Pixel scaling is available as simple system calls. The actual image is unaffected, the display driver figures out what to show, etc. Interpolation is a whole different kettle of fish.

BTW: If all you are after is a simple differential scaling, this is trivial to do as a batch process with Graphic Converter.

I am working on a school that was built in 1953 and all the drawings had to be reduced in width relative to their height. I just set up a batch to convert all the PDFs to JPGs and reduce the width to 90.82%. Just took a few minutes. (It took me longer to figure out the ratio than to set up and run the batch.)

There are other distortions in the set but there is no simple skewing to fix and the distortions are hard to sort out from dimensioning and drafting errors. I'm content just to have the reference drawings close enough and will use my judgement for the details. Since the drawings are only a guide for the numeric entry any more accuracy than this seems superfluous.

To be honest I have never seen a scan that needed to be de-skewed. Differential scaling is common due to pixel ratios, scan roller speeds and such, but to skew a drawing would require either intention or a seriously bad scanner. In the latter case this would tend to create a radial rather than linear skew anyway and that would be some kind of nightmare to fix.
User avatar
By Paul King
#167381
Hi Matthew - I have Coreldraw etc, which can both scale & de-skew - but treating scaling & deskewing as a separate process outside ArchiCAD makes this is vastly more painful & inconvenient that it needs to be - because the re-scaling & de skewing is something that needs to happen with with respect to the ArchiCAD model.

The image handle based methods for scaling & skewing in photo editors are far cruder than the precise alternatives that can be easily available within a CAD environment - in CAD we can snap to known corners and rescale and distort about a snappable origin of our choice. In photo editors the process is intrinsically one of repeated trial & error, because the origin of the bitmap is the edge of the image, and so is very far away from the elements that must be distorted to match the corresponding ArchiCAD elements. Every time you scale & skey via bitmap handles, you need to then drag the entire bitmap back such that the corner of CAD element and bitmap element coincide again - just to see if the other end of wall happens to now be in right place.

You would need to go through this a few times, especially with bit-mapped plans of rotated or non- rectilinear buildings to know how annoying it is.

In CAD, unlike with photoeditors, you do not need to be zoomed out with bitmap handles visable to rescale - you can remain fully zoomed in and can rescale dynamically and with far greater great accuracy via ctrl-k

Not sure why anyone who regularly needs to trace skewed & distorted bitmap plans would find such simple functionality within ArchiCAD objectionable, or anything other than very desirable?

Reminds me a bit of the arguments for keeping the laying out of drawings in a separate application .... once people finally got over their horror at the thought of all that convenience & efficiency, the dust soon settled & we wondered why this functionality was never integrated in the first place![/u]
User avatar
By Paul King
#167385
Hi Matthew - I already have Coreldraw etc, which can both scale & de-skew - but treating scaling & deskewing of the bitmap plans we trace each day as a separate process outside ArchiCAD makes this a vastly more painful & inconvenient process that it needs to be - because in all cases the re-scaling & de skewing required is something that needs to happen with with respect to the ArchiCAD model - it cannot be done efficiently without the ArchiCAD model there to snap to & visually check against.

The image handle based methods for scaling & skewing in photo editors are far cruder than the precise alternatives that can be easily available within a CAD environment - in CAD we can drag a bitmap so a corner is over a snapable model corner and rescale and distort about this or whatever other snappable origin suit our needs. In photo editors the process is intrinsically one of repeated trial & error, because the origin of the bitmap is always the edge of the image, and so is very far away from the elements that must be distorted to match the corresponding ArchiCAD elements.

Every time you scale & skew via bitmap handles, you need to then drag the entire bitmap back such that the corner of CAD element and bitmap element you want to match coincide again - just to see if the other end of your bitmap wall happens to now be in right place, before you repeat the process again & again , hopefully getting closer each time. And then you need to go though the same trial & error process for the other axis, then the same yet again to de-skew.

You would need to try going through this whole thing a few times, especially with bit-mapped plans of rotated or non- rectilinear buildings to know how just annoying it all is.

In CAD, unlike with photoeditors, you also do not intrinsically need to be zoomed out with bitmap handles visable to rescale or skew - you can remain fully zoomed in - for example you can already rescale dynamically in ArchiCAD and with far greater great accuracy via ctrl-k than you can in any photo editor.

Not sure why anyone who regularly needs to trace skewed & distorted bitmap plans would find such simple functionality within ArchiCAD objectionable, or anything other than very desirable?

Reminds me a bit of the old arguments for keeping the laying out of drawings in a separate application .... once people finally got over their horror at the thought of all that convenience & efficiency, the dust soon settled & we wondered why this functionality was never integrated in the first place!
User avatar
By Matthew Lohden
#167405
I think the issue here is how many people actually need this feature. I need it occasionally. Most I know need it rarely or never. It would be one thing if it were trivial to implement, but doubt this is the case.

For me spending a few minutes with Graphic Converter to batch process a set of drawings is actually much easier than it would be doing them individually in ArchiCAD.

I still don't see the point in deskewing unless the drawings are seriously distorted. I have yet to see a case where this was necessary. In my experience the distortions are minor and inconsistent (more often due to drafting errors than anything else) and the time required for the subtle adjustments is not justified.
User avatar
By Paul King
#167406
As to batch file approach - that is good if you have a lot all the same - but most often for me images are from different sources and were photocopied/ plan printed and almost always skewed & rescaled in different ways. As noted, a separate batch process will also never allow you to align bitmap & model elements on screen efficiently to determine exactly what rescaling/rotating/skewing needs to be done.

As to frequency of need - I can't think of a job recently that has not involved tracing bitmaps! - I suspect most people who have these sorts of jobs are not aware of what is possible or are too busy to complain about it online. My local authority keeps a property file on every building in its jurisdiction - consisting of scanned manually drawn building permit drawings documenting every alteration that has happened to that building over the years. The plans supplied to the authority were always plan prints or photocopies -so were distorted even before being scanned. I can very much assure you that "skew happens" - and can be significant!
Yes often not purely linear, but a linear de skew process an awful lot better than nothing!

As to triviality to implement - I don't see why it should be hard at all -

Prompted by your earlier post above I just looked at some GDI & DirectX websites & see rotate, skew, flip, image size (with axis independent) and a number of other things are all system calls for bitmaps, making it even easier than I thought - i.e. the bitmap does not even need to be manipulated by ArchiCAD at all - only the way it is displayed needs to be specified differently - pretty much an extension of what can already done via ctrl-k, but using a few extra lines of code to independently specify parameters for X & Y image dimensions etc.


ArchiCAD can already do half of what is needed with rotating & resizing of images - and the fact that images can be brought in at all to plan view and manipulated like this suggests there was an intention to allow images to be manipulated for tracing - so why exclude the other half of this known workflow requirement from where it would otherwise be much more quickly & efficiently done ?

Skewing & rescaling with axis independent are long awaited functions for-geometric ArchiCAD objects too - though would settle for image display functionality for now!
User avatar
By Matthew Lohden
#167411
If it really is simple to implement then it would be a welcome addition to the Trace and Reference tools.