ArchiCAD's Rotated Views20 May, 2010 By: Matthew Brewster
ArchiCAD Insights Tutorial: Use ArchiCAD's Oriented Views feature to work with models at various angles.
Editor's note: This tutorial courtesy of Graphisoft.
Laying out standard views with ArchiCAD is a simple process. However, sometimes you will want to lay out a floor plan with a different orientation than the site. In addition, during the course of a project the
orientation of a building may rotate. How do you deal with laying out a site plan that is oriented
differently from a floor plan? With ArchiCAD 13's Oriented Views, you can line up your project just the
way you need it: simply rotate the view on screen to a perpendicular position.
When you need to re-orient a building on a site, you should keep the building oriented perpendicular
to the screen — it will be the site that rotates around the building. This way you can keep the majority of
the plan views in the preferred position. It will only be the site plan that needs to be adjusted. Follow this step-by-step guide to easily re-orient your plans.
First, isolate the entire site: trees, streets, etc. Having your layers and layer combinations organized
makes this process fast and easy, and is crucial to keeping your project under control. Also, make sure
you have the North arrow on so you can rotate it with the site. If you have site elements on multiple
stories, use the Marquee tool with the All Floors (thick Marquee) selection method. Next use the Rotate
command, set a reference point, and enter the angle of rotation.
Now that the site is rotated relative to the building, you can use the Oriented View function to rotate the
site plan on your screen and keep north pointed up. To rotate the view, click the Rotate Orientation icon
near the zoom controls at the bottom of the screen. Using the North arrow for reference, click the center
point of the arrow, snap a line to the top of the arrow, and rotate it so north is straight up.
The degree of rotation is shown on the Reset Orientation button at the bottom of your screen. If you click
this button, you will reset the angle back to zero.
With the view oriented correctly, you should save (or update) the Site Plan View. When saving Views in
ArchiCAD's Navigator — View Map, the rotation can optionally be set with the view. This way you can
switch back and forth between different views with different orientations. Choose Zooming: Current
Zoom, and uncheck "Ignore zoom when opening this view."
Note that you can set text to automatically rotate with the view. In Text Settings, check the Always
Readable box. Also, in Object Settings, you'll see that the angle can be set to "Relative to
Orientation" or "Absolute to Coordinate System."
You will also want to adjust Project North to keep sun angles accurate. In ArchiCAD 13, you can find
Project North in the Options menu > Project Preferences > Levels & Project North. In previous versions
of ArchiCAD, look in the View menu > 3D View Mode > 3D Projection Settings and click the More Sun
Finally, placing views onto Layouts will keep the orientation that is saved with the view. If the orientation
changes later on, the Layouts will automatically update.
ArchiCAD's Orientated Views makes it easy to handle plans with different rotations. This function also
comes in handy when you have projects with wings at different angles. You can always work comfortably
with the plan perpendicular to your screen. Text elements are handled intelligently between differently
rotated views, and you can lay out your project however it best suits the orientation of your sheets.
In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!