Polygon Counting Tool Add-On

by Emőke Csikós · updated: 05.09.2017

INTRODUCTION

Polycount is an ARCHICAD add-on that helps you control the number of 3D polygons in your ARCHICAD models. This tool can be used effectively if the project size or the limited physical memory of your computer makes the 3D model size a critical factor in your modeling decisions. Polycount can display the number of 3D polygons grouped by element types (walls, slabs doors, windows, objects etc.) and also their percentage compared to the complete model size. The add-on also allows you to change the 3D detail level of library parts in your projects.

The new “PolyCount” palette can be activated from the “Window/Palettes” menu.

HOW TO USE “Polycount” ADD-ON

After the successful installation, open the Polycount Palette from Window > Palettes. This palette is dockable and resizable just like any other ARCHICAD palette.

FUNCTIONS

1. Elements to be calculated

You can control the elements that should be calculated in the list on the first two tab pages of the Polycount palette:

  • The Elements of Stories tab page provide option for calculating the polygons of a given story range
  • The Selection only radio button on the Selection tab page allows you to calculate only the model elements within the actual selection

2. Default Detail Level

Polycount can change the level of detail (LOD) of certain library parts in the actual project. Library Parts can be adjusted individually on the 3D Model Size list or jointly from the Default Detail Level tab page. If you want to choose the Default Detail Level option the LOD of the required library parts have to be set to Default on the 3D model size tab page. Read more about it below.

3. 3D Model Size of Elements

The list shows basic information about the actually opened model’s 3D polygon size. Elements of the virtual building model are grouped by types (walls, slabs, doors, windows). Library parts can also be listed individually by clicking on the expand button near the element type name (doors, windows, objects, skylights, stairs and lamps).

  1. The first column (Name) shows the ARCHICAD element types.
  2. The second one (Objects) indicates how many instances of the given element type are placed in the ARCHICAD file
  3. Polygons column shows the number of 3D polygons generated in the 3D model from the given element type
  4. Polygon usage of elements can be viewed by Percent in the 4th column
  5. The Detail Level field is only applicable for library parts (doors, windows, skylights, stairs, lamps and objects). It has the following values: Detailed, Simple, Off, Custom, Default. See the description of the Set Level of Detail button for more details.

Model elements highlighted with the mouse in the 3D model size list can be selected on the floor plan with the Select button. These items can later be deleted or modified in order to reduce the number of polygons in the model.

The 3D Model Size list can be recalculated anytime with the Refresh button.

The Set Level of Detail button allows you to change the detail level of library parts selected on the list. Multiple library parts can be selected by holding down the shift key. Pushing the Set Level of Detail button will open a dialog where you can choose the required detail level for the selected objects. The following options are available: Detailed, Simple, Off, Custom, Default.

Most objects in the ARCHICAD library includes a 3D Detail Level parameter with options for Detailed, Simple and Off representations. The Set Level of Detail function allows you to toggle between these values. The Custom value is indicated if multiple instances of the same library parts are selected and their LOD value is different.

With the Default option active the LOD of selected objects can be set from the Default Detail Level tab page (see above). If you need to change the LOD of these elements again you don’t have to select them on the list, you can modify them directly with the Default Detail Level option.

LIMITATIONS

  1. Objects belonging to hotlinked modules are marked on the list. The LOD of these elements can be set however this change will not have any effect on the library part and therefore the number of polygons will be calculated according to the elements’ actual LOD parameter.
  2. The same limitation applies for objects in Teamwork projects that are not included in your workspace.
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