Jul 02

MasterTemplate for ArchiCAD 15

By Eric Bobrow | Uncategorized

An updated version of MasterTemplate is being prepared for full compatibility with ArchiCAD 15. AMT15 is expected to be ready by mid-July.

All purchases of MasterTemplate after May 1, 2011 are eligible for a free upgrade to AMT15.

Upgrades for existing MasterTemplate licensees will cost $95 USD. Special introductory upgrade pricing of $75 will be available through July 15.

Complete documentation on the upgrade will be made available at the time of release, including instructions for how to upgrade a customized template.

It is technically possible for users to upgrade their own template for compatibility with ArchiCAD 15. To achieve a clean result, the Interactive Legends need to be carefully migrated to use the ArchiCAD 15 Library. Some of this is handled automatically by ArchiCAD 15, but a significant amount of manual work is required to clean up all the Legend components properly. Instructions for this process will be included in the AMT15 documentation.

I recommend that those who want to upgrade their template with the least effort and cleanest results purchase the AMT15 upgrade, since this will make the transition as quick and easy as possible.

To purchase an upgrade, please login to the AMT website with your username (email address) and password. On Your Membership Profile page click the Upgrade link, and follow through on the standard shopping cart process. Payment may be made by credit card or PayPal. If you buy the upgrade before it is released, you’ll get a receipt and will be notified as soon as the new version is ready for download; if you buy it after release, you will get immediate access.

If you have any questions about the MasterTemplate upgrade, please contact me via email at support@actemplate.com.

Oct 26

MasterTemplate Video Training Survey

By Eric Bobrow | Uncategorized

In mid-October I sent out a request for suggestions from MasterTemplate users (and those on our email list) for our upcoming video training materials. About 25 people responded, and it’s been a real eye-opener!

Please help us out – it’s only a 5 minute survey:


We received some great suggestions for topics to include in the video training series included:

* How to customize AMT for your own firm, and how to migrate a customized template when a new version comes out
* How to extend the Interactive Legends with user-defined parts
* How to bring in an existing project file into the template
* How to keep developing the template based on changes or improvements made in actual projects
* How to simplify MasterTemplate, if you don’t need everything
* The intended usage for all the AMT layers, and for each pre-set drawing type
* What options exist for combining or adapting AMT to work with an existing office standard layer system, and/or renaming AMT Layers
* Use of Attribute Manager to bring in layers or other attributes from other projects or templates
* How to add existing standard details into the template
* Demonstration of how to do a remodel project using our suggested method (a base as-built file hotlinked into a new/remodel file)
* How to get the best looking drawings when printing, perfecting the line weights
* How to work with and develop multiple options to enable comparison
* Creation of complex roof systems

Some people said that MasterTemplate felt very natural, and they jumped right into using it.

On the other hand, a few said that they weren’t yet using MasterTemplate, because they felt it was complex and they didn’t know how to get started.

I believe that these video tutorials will make a big difference in how quickly and easily new users can start implementing AMT. They will also help all users get the most benefit out of the MasterTemplate system. I’m excited to be working on this project!

I’ll keep the survey open through the end of October, so please give us your input if you haven’t already:

Aug 07

MasterTemplate User Tips Contest

By Eric Bobrow | News

A few weeks ago I sent out an email to everyone on our MasterTemplate list asking people to submit their favorite tips for using ArchiCAD, or links to web pages or posts that included useful tips and resources. We will be awarding prizes for the best entries.

We received some great submissions, which you can view on this page.

Please help us decide which tips are the most useful! Simply give a rating to the ones you like best. Voting is open through the next week, then we’ll announce the winners!

Jul 22

MasterTemplate 14 is here!

By Eric Bobrow | Uncategorized

July 23, 2010
[Revised September 6 – International Version now available!]

I am pleased to announce the release of MasterTemplate 14 for ArchiCAD 14.

Both the USA and International versions are now posted!

The AMT 14 Release Notes have been revised and updated. If you downloaded them when the USA version was released, you may get the latest version from this link; the latest notes are also included in the standard download.

If you purchased MasterTemplate (or an upgrade) within the past year, you may download AMT14 for free by logging in to the website.

Go to the GET MASTERTEMPLATE menu in the navigation bar and select LOGIN TO THE WEBSITE (or click this link), then go to YOUR MEMBERSHIP PAGE where you will see a link to the AMT 14 download page. If you’ve forgotten your login info, you may use the Forgot Password link to get it emailed to you. Remember that your Login User Name is your email address.

If your last purchase of AMT was before July 23, 2009, you may upgrade to AMT 14 for $75 by clicking this link (or the one on the website).

Here is a summary of what’s new and changed in AMT 14:

1)   The AMT Legends were revised for compatibility with ArchiCAD Library 14.

2)   MasterTemplate Library items are now embedded into the various Legends PLN files as well as the template itself.

3)   The structure of the template was simplified somewhat by moving some of the explanatory worksheets to the AMT Legends file, and removing some Plan-based Views for the Interactive Legends. A new View was created to facilitate copying Quick Rooms into the project.

4)   New 3D Views were created for Shadow Studies Layout sheets. These top-down views have sun shadows turned on for different dates and times.

5)   A new GDL object creates a swatch sheet for all materials defined in the project. A Material Matrix showing all standard materials has been placed onto Layouts for printing or reference. Users may also create new material swatch sheets using this object.

6)   A new worksheet TIP-01 has been added for compiling tips and reference materials for quick access while working in a project. An excellent tip from ArchiCAD-Talk that explains how wall skin priorities work is included as an example.

7)   Minor corrections / updates:

a)    All site plan worksheet Views have been set to 1/8” = 1’-0” rather than 1/4” = 1’-0”.  (In the International version, these views are set to 1:100.)

b)   Most pre-defined 3D OpenGL views for the 3D window have been redefined to use Sun Shadows, a new feature in ArchiCAD 14. Other updates were made for various 3D Views.

c)    A new Layout sheet has been added to the Small Project Set for DEMOLITION PLANS. It can be used or discarded as needed for each project.

d)   Publisher Sets have been adjusted to correspond better with the Layout Book. Some items have been renamed and/or re-organized.

e)     Favorites have been saved for all the Marker tools (Sections, Elevations, Worksheets, Details, Interior Elevations) and for the Drawing tool.

f)      In response to user requests, a number of Master Layouts for smaller sheet sizes have been added to the International version.

g)     The Master Specifications.doc file now is inside the MasterTemplate Linked Files folder, rather than inside the MasterTemplate Library folder (its previous location). The Word document has been updated to refer to the new placement.

h)    The T-R TRASH | RECYCLING | TEMP STORAGE Layout Subset has been refreshed. These layouts contain reference materials that may be printed out or viewed onscreen.

More extensive documentation on the new features, as well as a guide for how to upgrade or migrate existing templates, is available in the 23 page AMT 14 Release Notes.

Thanks again for the opportunity to work with you, and help you use ArchiCAD more effectively with MasterTemplate!

Eric Bobrow
Bobrow Consulting Group
Creator of MasterTemplate – The Office Standard for ArchiCAD

Jun 04

AMT 14 is coming soon!

By Eric Bobrow | Uncategorized

[June 4, 2010] Graphisoft announced ArchiCAD 14 a few weeks ago, and it is expected to ship in mid to late June. [Update: ArchiCAD 14 started shipping in the U.S.A. on July 6, 2010.] We have just received the “Release Candidate”, a near-final version of the software, and are starting work on an update for MasterTemplate. We expect to have the USA version ready when users receive ArchiCAD 14, and hope to have the INT update shortly thereafter.

If you buy AMT now, or purchased AMT or an AMT upgrade within the past year, you will be able to download AMT14 for free. If you own AMT but your last purchase was more than one year before the release date of AMT14, you may buy an upgrade for $75.

More details on AMT14, including a summary of changes and improvements, will be posted when we announce the release. Stay tuned!

UPDATE – July 23, 2010

Today we are releasing MasterTemplate 13 USA version, and plan to roll out the International version within the next week! Please see the new blog post.

Feb 20

New Video Tip – How to Trace 2D Drawings to Create Your Model

By Eric Bobrow | News

I have prepared a new video tip on a topic that should be of interest to many ArchiCAD users. In this demonstration, I show how to bring in 2D drawings (in this case, DWG files) as a tracing reference to make it easy and fast to create an accurate 3D model.

The video may be viewed here:

At this point, it is about 90 minutes long, and shows every step along the way. I plan to condense it down to focus on the principles and show only the most important steps. Note that for this long version there is a timeline control strip, so you can jump to any point you wish, or replay sections at will.

Here is an outline of the process:

  • Create a new project
  • Import the DWG files into separate Worksheets and coordinate their origin points
  • Set up the Story Levels to correspond to the project heights
  • Use Virtual Trace to reference the ground floor DWG as a background while working on the ground floor plan
  • Move the original MasterTemplate base slabs, elevation and section markers, and gridlines to the vicinity of the traced DWG
  • Set up the wall tool for the proper thickness and height, then trace the outline of the building
  • Repeat for the upper story
  • Place windows in the walls using the plan DWGs as references for location and width
  • Open each of the Elevation viewpoints and correspond the DWG Worksheets for trace reference
  • Adjust window heights, types and glazing patterns to match the original drawings
  • Repeat for the doors, first on plan, then in elevation
  • Draw the first roof piece on plan by tracing over the roof outline from the original drawing
  • Coordinate the height and thickness of the roof in each elevation
  • Use these adjusted settings to create the rest of the roof system on the lower level, then repeat the process for the upper roofs
  • Trim walls to the roofs to clean up the model
  • Adjust some of the windows and doors to have arched tops with bricks above
  • Review the 3D model, elevations and plans, which now correspond beautifully to the original drawings

All of this was done in real time, in 90 minutes!

To be frank, the first time I did this it took between 3 and 4 hours, because I had to become familiar with the project and how the DWGs were organized. The second time it took about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, and then I started over and recorded the process the third time in 90 minutes from start to finish.

I will condense this video into a shorter presentation, perhaps 10 – 20 minutes long, and create an article that explains the process.

I look forward to your comments and feedback.

Dec 03

Cadimage Tools Legends!

By Eric Bobrow | News

Cadimage_LegendsMany AMT users asked us to support Cadimage Tools by adding Interactive Legends of Visual Favorites for their products. At long last, after many days of work by Mark Horrocks of Cadimage Tools (as well as myself) over a period of months, we now have an add-on for MasterTemplate ready for purchase.

This was a much bigger task than originally anticipated – there are LOTS of Cadimage Tools. Separate Legend groupings were prepared for DoorBuilder, WindowBuilder, CabinetBuilder, Landscaping and Landscaping Extras, Trees of the South Pacific, Accessories, and Rapid Detailer as well as objects from the Design Suite. Special efforts were made to synchronize layers, materials, fill and pen settings to enable a seamless experience for MasterTemplate users.

The Cadimage Legends add-on to MasterTemplate is available for $75 – click this link to purchase.

A special bundle is available when the Cadimage Legends is purchased with a new AMT license for $245, saving $25. You may click here to buy this bundle.

To celebrate, we have arranged to offer a 10% discount on all Cadimage Tools products and upgrades for AMT users. Simply visit the Cadimage Tools website and shop for whatever you wish, then enter the promo code “AMT” (don’t type the quote marks) to receive 10% off your invoice.

Disclosure: Bobrow Consulting Group earns a commission on Cadimage Tools sales that are placed using the AMT promotion code. We believe their products are very useful, and proudly recommend them to all our clients. We thank Campbell Yule of Cadimage Tools for his patience and support.

Addendum: For more info on the Cadimage Legends, as well as screenshots, please click the Comments link directly below.

Dec 02

ArchiCAD 13 Hotfix Released

By Eric Bobrow | Blog

Last week Graphisoft released a Hotfix (build 3235) for INT, USA and AUS languages – other languages will follow shortly. The Hotfix is automatically offered if automatic updates are enabled in ArchiCAD, or is available through the Check for Updates… command in the ArchiCAD 13 Help menu. This Hotfix is applicable to all types of ArchiCAD 13 (commercial, education, trial) and updates not just ArchiCAD itself, but the BIM Server, the BIM Server Manager, and all ArchiCAD components, including MEP Modeler, EcoDesigner and the goodie add-ons. Please read the Release Notes for detailed install instructions and list of fixed bugs:


Important note: Working in Teamwork requires that all components (i.e. client ArchiCADs, the BIM Server Manager and the BIM Server) have the identical version number (or build number). Please make sure you run the Hotfix on every component. There is no special action required on the Teamwork project side.

Nov 21

Video Tip – How to Create Sculpted Rafter Tails

By Eric Bobrow | News

Earlier this year, we posted a signup form for a newsletter and promised to deliver regular video tips. This project was delayed, but finally has reached fruition in the form of a rather meaty video. This 23 minute demonstration shows how to create sculpted rafter tails very quickly using a clever combination of Complex Profiles and Solid Element Operations.

To view please click the link above or to to the Navigation menu on this website and click on the ARCHICAD TIPS & NEWSLETTER item and select it from the drop-down menu.

More video tips will be coming soon! If you’d like to suggest a topic, please email tips@actemplate.com or post your ideas in the SUPPORT FORUM.

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