Comments from the GDL- and ArchiCAD community >
Mark Burginger on "ArchiCAD Talk" (7/19/01)
Dwight Atkinson "ArchiCAD Talk" (7/19/01)
Djordje Grujic "ArchiCAD Talk" (7/31/01)
Karl Ottenstein "GDL Talk" (7/19/01)

Mark Burginger is happy to announce ahead of schedule to ArchiCAD-TALK a new tool for the creation of GDL objects. We have all seen the awesome rendering capabilities of the Expressiontools software at the ArchiContest Website, now you can enjoy the complete modeling capabilities of the Demo Software with a SAVE enabled GDL PLUG-IN! You will need to create the object within one work session since you cannot save work in progress and quit without losing the Shade model data. This is a small price to pay in return for experiencing this high-end software. Graphisoft and ExpressionTools have been cooperating for years regarding this subject. Let's all give it a test spin.

Mark Burginger

Dwight Atkinson

RE: ET Shade

And furthermore, this Converter actually makes objects that have comprehensible GDL instructions. More-or-less. Mark has just sent me a spheroid to study.

It actually contained the command SPHERE.

I understood this.

This plug-in has great potential in our community. Study the free stuff.

"Shade" could be the one-stop-shop for the free-form modeling and high-quality lighting effects that ArchiCAD users crave. And don't forget the esoteric appeal of yet another foreign software.

ArchiCAD users know that America doesn't make everything that is great.
Ask Canada.
Canada writes America's humor!

Dwight Atkinson, MAIBC

Djordje Grujic

However, if it is radiosity, raytracing AND moving the cars and opening doors that you need, then IMHO you made the right choice ... with possible exception of ETShade? Again IMHO, even better rendering than C4D.

Djordje Grujic

Karl Ottenstein "I downloaded the demo (30MB) and installed on Windows - fast/painless. I'm with Dwight that it is very exciting to have a product that produces editable GDL script.

ETShade seems a little rough around the edges to me, but I for one certainly applaud them for cooperating with GS in the production of the GDL export feature. Among the pluses is that material qualities assigned in the ETShade creation process are mapped as closely as GDL allows to MATERIAL commands in the script.

A couple of things noted in a brief session of play:

ETShade's coordinate system has Y as the vertical axis (our Z). The export rotates the object correctly into the AC coordinate system.

Objects must be properly placed relative to the origin to get them to appear correctly in AC. For example, the sample "bed" object (nicely soft-looking) was created with the Y=0 (our Z=0) in its center. So, when you insert the exported GDL object into a plan, the lower half of the bed is below the floor slab.

I figured: OK, I'll just move the bed up in the Y axis (our Z) so that the bottoms of the feet are at Y=0, then re-export. Wasn't obvious how to do that with precision - specifying the coordinates. But, the snap-grid worked in combination with the Move | Translate command.

One can see the x,y,z coordinates of the mouse position, but I didn't see how to explicitly enter precise x,y,z coordinates when drawing. (My rapid scan of the manual must have been too rapid - anyone know how to do this?)

The exported GDL contains both 2D and 3D scripts.

The 2D script has WAY more lines than necessary - they haven't quite optimized it yet. (It is a top-view, but apparently hidden lines are not eliminated from the wireframe.)

The 3D script uses ... XFORM ... to move/scale objects.

The 3D GDL is output in a run-on fashion - without the line breaks that we hand-coders typically place after each point - but is otherwise very readable. What a refreshing change from the products out there that only produce binary GDL objects! :-)

The user interface sucks, IMHO.

The ETShade manual has clearly been written and/or edited by a native speaker of English, which is refreshing.

Look forward to hearing other people's reactions, tips, and experiences with this new product.

Karl Ottenstein