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Architosh Staff (
16 Jul 2002

Special Feature: BOA In-Depth - Part 1

This new series of In-depth articles focus on specific procedures or areas of a software program and provide numerous screen shots to allow one to follow along and to get as much as possible a sense of the workings of an application. They are more ideal for folks evaluating or researching an app versus current users of the app.

Continuing from our review of BOA, this first "In-depth" article looks more closely at the modeling of walls, openings and the "insertion" of frames into openings. This is a rapid fire little article with lots of detail and screen shots.

It Starts With A Wall

In this article we'll be developing a little two room office building. There will be no discussion about the architecture.

After launching BOA and setting units and some other basic preferences with the application, we set up two screens on the monitor. (Image 001 below) The left screen will be for working in axon view, the right for plan view. You have to manually set the sizes of these screens. Using the Blocks palette (see left on image) we set some basic parameters for the walls like thickness and height.

Starting with the 10 foot long wall, we'll start with the axon view window and pull it up at 45 degrees up the screen. Because this is a 45 degree axon view, this corresponds to straight up in plan view. After this wall is drawn on the left, we update the screen on the right to show it in plan view. We can work in plan view or axon view, whatever feels the best for the situation.

Image 001

Working in two windows there are a few different ways in which items drawn in 3D or 2D can appear in the other window. At the bottom of each window are some small buttons which bring up the Utilities palette, lock snap, and so forth. On the far right (see Image 001) of the screen the click toggle redraw to hidden line, which can used. A better technique is to use a keyboard shortcut, Shift-Command-R, from the Zoom menu.

Creating a Wall Layer

Before we go much further it would be a good idea to create a new layer just for the walls (see Image 002 below). Pulling up the layers palette you create a new layer by selecting the N button, next to the calculator like button next to the trash button. I named the layer "walls-10ft" for ten feet high walls.

Image 002

Now when we go back to creating walls we can place them in the correct layer. Looking at the Blocks palette (see Image 003 below) we select the new layer from the pop-up menu named Destination (Dest:).

Notice in the Blocks palette at right that the Length field is left as 0". This allows us to drag the cursor to various lengths to make walls of a desired length. The option is to type a dimension in this field.

To the right of the square color selection button noted grey 253, are wall alignment choices, right, center and left. And above this area are the selection boxes for Transparent and Vertical. The Transparent box would make the created block see through in OpenGL rendered views or hidden line views. We'll make a transparent block later.

Also note that in the buttons above, we started with the Single Block button versus the Linked Blocks button. Normally it would be better to use the Linked blocks choice in many cases but we'll finish with the first choice so we can go over manually joining blocks to each other.

Choose the next page button below to continue.

Image 003



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