You are going to give Master Script 80 Euros; And be VERY happy you did
An interesting offer…
I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this review for weeks. Okay months. Jeroen de Bruin of Master Script first contacted me about writing a review for Total Zone and Total Marker on July 26th. I was flattered and thrilled. I warned him it’d be a little while. I wanted to use Total Marker and Total Zone in a project. Flipping through features and dreaming is fun, but it’s when objects and tools and tricks are used in projects with deadlines and demanding clients and bosses that the truth comes out. Isn’t that half the point of this blog? Theory AND Practice.
In the Meantime…
Jeroen is infinitely patient with me. He’s a new parent again too, so he understands the girls didn’t sleep this weekend and we’re all sick excuses. We chat a lot via e-mail, discussing life and his work as a GDL scripter. I definitely get the sense that Jeroen and I are kindred spirits in our efforts to help the ArchiCAD community. I ask him to write a blog post about his experiences as a GDL master. He does. I start looking at Total Zone and Total Marker. I’m instantly impressed, which is not typical for me. I notice one or two things I wish Total Marker could do and mention it to Jeroen. His reply? Oh that’s easy. Here’s a new version of Total Marker with that functionality. I go from impressed to amazed. Let me repeat that. Not only did he fix a glitch I found, he ADDED AND IMPROVED to his objects because of a suggestion I made. Now that’s awesome.
Total Marker and Total Zone, let’s finally get to the review
What makes these two objects essential, once you experience using them, is how they both add to and build on the core functionality of ArchiCAD. Each object mines the data already within your project and allows you to leverage that information with new Model View Options.
Why’s that so awesome? Let’s look at a few examples from total marker.With Model View Options you can set all interior door markers to read differently from exterior door markers. Same goes for windows. In this example I set interior doors to automatically show leaf sizes and exterior doors and windows to show their ID, which is referenced on my exterior door, window, and skylight schedule. Not only is it all automatic, I was able to EXACTLY match the aesthetic of how I used to do it, which was all manually done using object ID. Typing in 2′-8″ x 6′-8″ as the ID of a door to get it to read properly on plan sucked. It wasn’t linked to the actual size, there were often mistakes, I often hit the limit of ID length, and it wasn’t living up to the BIM ideals. Total Marker easily allows me to replicate everything I used to do, but smarter and prettier.So mimicking aesthetics and dabbling in BIM functionality is great, but let’s go farther. Now that I’m using Total Marker, I can set up doors to show rough opening sizes on a framing plan. This screen capture shows the same entry with different a different set of MVO criteria. Same marker, same door, same project, different MVO, different data displayed. Nothing overridden. A step down the path of BIM.
The variability of MVO has got me thinking about what else I could use the markers for. What other information I can embed in my doors and windows and display on the plan? A good object (or program) should encourage creativity, should get you thinking about other possibilities. What about fire rating? That option has been a parameter for years and years. It’s easy to access, change, and include in a schedule. But what about on a life safety plan? Before this information had to be added as text. But that’s no good. And that’s not coordinated. I want to have the fire rating show up everywhere that it would be useful (schedule/plan) and have it linked. Done. And because it’s done with Model View Options, all these different options can be setup and added to my template. Once that’s done every project is ready to have all this data displayed automatically.
Total Zone works much the same way for zones. Model View Options galore, great aesthetic options, and wonderful at helping you mine all the data already in zones. But this post is already getting long and reaching my preferred max word count. You can learn more by following the links for Total Zone and Total Marker. Perhaps I’ll write more about Total Zone in a separate post. But then again, I’d end that theoretical post the same way I’ll end this one.
I love these two products. They make me wish for more Model View Option Enhanced Objects.
Graphisoft should give Masterscript a nice chunk of money and incorporate them into the standard library for ArchiCAD 16. There I said it. But that probably won’t happen, so go buy them. At 40 € each both objects are a bargain.