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Discussions about managing ARCHICAD in architectural practices (Project Setup, Templates, Attributes, Migration, Compatibility with Previous Versions, Preferences/Work Environment, User/Project/Application Administration/Management etc.)

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

User avatar
By Steven Dumont
#270040
I created a great template file in our office that we've been using for quite a few years now. My question is; is there a point where I should start from scratch and create a new one? I've always migrated the template from the last version of ArchiCAD. Creating a new one from scratch is quite time consuming (though I know it pays off).

If starting from scratch, how much do I have to recreate? Can I bring in building materials, pen sets, composites, etc? I understand that starting over can remove potential bugs in the software... just wondering what is ok to migrate over and what might create problems.
User avatar
By Steve Jepson
#270049
I have never understood the value of a Template. And others can't imagine working without one. Every time you finish a project you have created another Template haven't you? And these are the source for assembling other projects are they not?
User avatar
By ejrolon
#270054
You should recreate when major changes happen within AC. I recreated when BMats were introduced, New Favorites and with GO's. With 21 and having the new favorites interface you might be able to skip it since you could control stairs and railings with them.

A template is the starting point of a project were all your standards are based. I always start from my Template and I cannot understand how somebody does not use one. A well defined template will save you hours setting up a new project.
User avatar
By James Murray
#270056
The template should address general problems that have been solved in the past – things that most projects have in common. Most projects have a lot in common. But not everything in common, so if you simply Save As you are bringing a lot of custom (project-specific) cruft forward. The template represents the most complete, sophisticated, general case of your projects.

I have never started my template over. What would that mean? Delete every layer? Why? To deliberately introduce incompatibility with all your previous work? Incremental improvement, every time you notice something, is the way.
User avatar
By JaredBanks
#270059
A template is much more than just a clean file from a previous project. A template is a collection of best practices, aspirations, and starting points to save you time. This blog post covers a lot of my feelings on templates:

http://www.shoegnome.com/2015/12/09/bim ... ting-firm/

(and from there you can find many, many more). As to when to start a new template:

In an ideal world you'd start from scratch every version. That's not always feasible though. So I agree with Eduardo. Major changes in ARCHICAD require a rebuilding (AC16 to AC17 for BMats, for instance). Other versions don't require as much recreation (AC20 to AC21). However there are other lesser reasons to rebuild from scratch. If GS redoes how they do Attributes, as they do secretly every few versions, that's a reason to rebuild from scratch and align your template (where valuable) with what comes OOTB.

Another reason to rebuild from scratch is to fix bad habits. If you look back at the various versions of my Open Template (http://www.shoegnome.com/tag/shoegnome-open-template/) you can see where and why I felt it was necessary to rebuild completely. Sometimes it was to fix Pens and Pen Sets, other times it was to align Attributes with what GSNA does or to make my Layers work better with Graphic Overrides. We work the way we do because we have brilliant ideas for how to use ARCHICAD. But ARCHICAD changes over time, so our brilliant ideas become garbage or at least archaic.

If you have been migrating your template from version to version for many years, it's probably time to tear it apart and rebuild it. Bring forward what works and don't be afraid to ditch what doesn't. It's time to rebuild not because of anything special about 21, but because it's probably best to not let the core of a template get more than a few versions old. If you have the time completely reconstruct everything in a clean AC21 file. If you don't want to do that, judiciously use the Attribute Manager to migrate Attributes and carefully copy and paste other things. Whenever you can though rebuild manually in the new file to prevent errors, to avoid migrated garbage, and also review what you do.

Okay, so that's all a long winded way of saying templates are about workflow. If your workflow takes proper advantage of all the recent features of ARCHICAD, it's probably fine to just migrate another year forward. If your workflows don't play well or fail to use things like renovation filters, Graphic Overrides, the new Favorites, CineRender, ARCHICAD Properties, etc, it's time to return to the fundamentals and cause a little pain as you rework how you work.

BTW, the same goes with keyboard shortcuts:
http://www.shoegnome.com/2017/06/28/sho ... chicad-21/

(edit: I agree 100% with the first half of what James wrote. I respectfully and lovingly disagree with his second half. Sometimes a break from the past is necessary—for those of us who didn't start their templates perfectly the first time like James did).
User avatar
By Link
#270060
Templates are the most important thing in ARCHICAD apart from ARCHICAD itself. There are those who don't have a template :o and those who start a new project from their last one :shock: and those who have a dedicated template that they start every project from 8)

Here's my take on templates: https://bim6x.com/blog/bim-one-three-th ... s-template

A template is a live document, one that should be adjusted on an ongoing basis, but this should be done parallel to your current project, not as pat of it. Otherwise like James says it will become polluted with attributes and layouts and views and other project-specific info that will bog down all your projects going forward.

If you're not using a dedicated template you're doing it wrong! :wink:

Cheers,
Link.
User avatar
By JaredBanks
#270061
To piggyback on what Link says, keep a running list of changes you need to make to your template. Sometimes I have the time to make the changes in real time as I'm working (by keeping the template file open in a second ARCHICAD). Other times I just add notes to my list of things to change, such as:

add XYZ graphic override, fix typo in X layer name, add Y layer, create Views for this or that, create Layouts for such and such, etc.

Then when the list gets long enough, or it's time to start a new project, update the template, clear the list, (share the template for free with everyone in the world because why not), and get to work.
User avatar
By Steve Jepson
#270062
ejrolon wrote:You should recreate when major changes happen within AC. I recreated when BMats were introduced, New Favorites and with GO's. With 21 and having the new favorites interface you might be able to skip it since you could control stairs and railings with them.

A template is the starting point of a project were all your standards are based. I always start from my Template and I cannot understand how somebody does not use one. A well defined template will save you hours setting up a new project.


There is no need to "sett up" a new project. You open a similar project or two if needed, and let the new one evolve as you assemble it, mostly via copy and pasting pre-modeled building ststems that are simply placed and adjusted for the new configurations to make new buildings. There are unorthodox "Workflows" that are exponentially more efficient than the start with a Template idea. There is one Template I do like to use on occasion. It's called the Clear Template think it can be found in a search on this forum.
User avatar
By Richard Morrison
#270063
James Murray wrote:I have never started my template over. What would that mean? Delete every layer? Why? To deliberately introduce incompatibility with all your previous work? Incremental improvement, every time you notice something, is the way.

I agree that this is the way it SHOULD work. However, I've had a few occasions where, no matter what I did, I just could not get things like intersections to display correctly in an updated legacy template. Running these through with tech support, we tried the same condition working from the OOTB template, and no problem. Old version template=problem. New version template=No problem.

Therefore, I have become convinced that there are subtle little code ghosts that linger when you've moved a template through a bunch of versions. I'm not sure when or where these occur, but I think that every few versions at least, it helps to start with a blank slate, as annoying as that is.
User avatar
By James Murray
#270065
JaredBanks wrote:(edit: I agree 100% with the first half of what James wrote. I respectfully and lovingly disagree with his second half. Sometimes a break from the past is necessary—for those of us who didn't start their templates perfectly the first time like James did).


When something like Bmats happens, a lot of stuff is going to get torn out and done over. But Bmats is no reason to toss out your layers, views, publisher sets, etc. That's the context in which I view 'fresh starts'. (The last thing to wreck our layers was Reno status.)