How to export ArchiCAD Models for Graphisoft BIM Explorer without the need for a parachute!

The instructions for saving from ArchiCAD to Graphisoft BIMx are relatively simple:

1) Open the project in AC15 and check the consistency of the model and the surface textures before starting the export process. Note that you can’t modify the 3D model and the surface materials in BIM Explorer.

2) Open the 3D window (perspective or axonometric views).

3) Launch the File/ Export for BIM Explorer command.

4) The Export for BIM Explorer status window opens.

5) Once the export process is finished, click on the Launch button.

6) The BIM Explorer application starts automatically and the exported model is loaded into the program’s memory.

If you follow these steps you might just experience induced vertigo for yourself or your client, if following step 2 blindly. The reason I say this is that the person who wrote these instructions made some assumptions that you will figure out the fact that you need to set the camera for the 3D Window (be it perspective or axonometric) to be close to the ground. If you didn’t  you most probably will experience a period of free fall (without a parachute).

As per the screenshot below showing the Perspective Settings window the Camera Z height is 85892 and the Target Z 11299. If one then saves this to BIMx, with the opening screen the viewer will appear to be free falling to earth. Worse than this is the fact that the viewer will initially be looking at the ground, until they figure out that if they move their mouse then they can control what they are looking at.

Rather as per the screenshot below choose a more appropriate view that you want to start your introduction with for the BIMx model. A recommendation is to set both the Camera Z and Target Z to the same “eye” height. Which would give you a 2 point perspective.

I chose 1600mm as this is the default camera height in BIMx. Therefore using these settings instead of arbitrarily chosen settings  for the “opening scene” in BIMx the viewer will be “standing on the ground” facing the building without the fear of “falling” into the scene.

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