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The Basics of making a Movie from ArchiCAD

I’d been meaning to record a video on the basics of making a movie from ArchiCAD for a long time. Yesterday a former colleague and friend was asking where she could find such a video to teach her how to make a quick fly-through movie in ArchiCAD… 24 hours later… here’s the video on Cameras and Camera Paths in ArchiCAD. As always, I’m sure I didn’t cover everything. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments here, or on YouTube. I’ll do my best to answer them, maybe with a follow up video if that makes sense. Also it’s worth noting that what I cover regarding Cameras is useful for many other things beside making movies. But that’s for another post.

Making a Movie from ArchiCAD

Some things I forgot to mention in the video

If you need to add a camera between two existing cameras, select the camera BEFORE the one you want to add in the camera settings. Then when you add a new camera it’ll show up after the camera selected. So for instance if you want to add a camera between cameras 4 and 5, select camera 4 in the camera settings before you create the new camera. The new camera will now be camera 5 and the old 5 will be 6. Clear as mud? Sorry I forgot to cover that in the video.


If you want the background of your 3D window to show an image like in the video I showed, go to the 3D window settings, and set the background to “As in PhotoRendering”. And then in the PhotoRendering settings, select a jpg or other image file for the background.


If you want to make a video using the PhotoRendering Window, setup what you want in the PhotoRendering Settings (whether the Internal Rendering Engine, Lightworks, or the Sketch Rendering Engine), and then select PhotoRendering Window in the Fly Through settings.


Example Results

Here’s the fly-through of the church project I used as an example. You might remember that project from David Jefferis’ guest post on an alternative to photorealistic renderings. As you can see, we chose to do avoid photorealism with both deliverables; but each supported the other in the overall package. There are a lot of ways to get more realism from a movie straight out of ArchiCAD, but this is a great start and a perfect workhorse for much of your 4D needs (if you’re not using BIMx and it’s limited path capabilities).

Need more help with Cameras? Start here. Or ask me some questions.

For even more ArchiCAD goodness, make sure to follow Shoegnome on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.



  • April 30, 2013


    Thanks Jared, this was very helpful.

  • May 1, 2013

    Great video Jared!

    To place cameras directly from the 3D window you can show the 3D visualization toolbar (Windows/Toolbar/3D visualization) and click the tiny arrow next to the 3D Projection Settings-button ‘Put a camera into the path’ (fourth from the left)

  • May 1, 2013

    Thanks for posting this, Jared!

    I didn’t know you could set the camera from within the 3D window, very nice time saver.

    So, once you are finished, is the best way to hide the placed cameras and paths to create a new set without cameras placed?


    Chris Sparks

      • May 1, 2013

        Eric Bobrow

        Hi Jared –
        Nice work, as usual.
        Re hiding cameras, the “official” way to do this is to click the Path… button then from the Display Options popup menu choose None. If you later click to place a camera down on the plan, the display options will automatically change to show all the cameras in the current path. It’s actually not as quick as what you’re doing.

  • May 6, 2013

    I have found the movies take a great deal if processing so the alternative is to create a movie in BIMX and capture off screen using a programme like Snagit. I find the BIMX movie more intuitive because you just decide where to go in the model and the route is recorded for later playback.

    Keep up the great work.

  • May 22, 2013

    Brandt McCorkle

    we’re MAC users and somewhere around AC 15 version, the movie function stopped working. Once saved, AC appears to create a Quicktime Movie as usual, actually saves a small (like 1kb) file with correct icon, and then will not run in Quicktime. We were forced to purchase BIMX for AC 16 to have any capability of saving movies. Evidently AC 17 will now include BIMX. That was a very expensive temp fix.

      • May 23, 2013

        Brandt McCorkle

        Thanks for the reply.
        I’ll try tech support again–called previously and problem could not be resolved. Just tried a quick test again in AC 16–this time it made a .mov file that seems to contain content (11Mb), but same error message when trying to play with Quicktime 7: “Movie could not be opened; the file is not a movie file”. Older movies open fine. So would not appear to be an OS Lion issue. ONly anomaly I see when comparing “Info” boxes of working files vs non-working is under “more info. Only info listed on these non-working files is “Last opened”; while the working files show “dimensions:” “Codecs”, Duration, Authors, Copyright, Movie information.

  • September 12, 2013


    I put a background image on my photorendering settings, but this image won’t cover the whole 3d view background, I tried to solve this by changing the resolution, but it didn’t work, does any one know how can I make the picture fit in my whole 3d window?.

    Best regards.

  • December 24, 2014

    Ernst de Groot

    I was wondering if you already made a walk thru with the new render engine. The new engine is create but comes with new challenges. I make interior movies and there appear blinking spots al over the place. Do you know how to solve that problem?

      • February 23, 2015


        The disco ball effect only happens in the interior fly-thru videos. I couldn’t figure out what causes it, accept maybe the lights regenerate different light patterns each time it’s rendered. It’s very annoying.

  • February 20, 2015


    How do I make the resulting clip slow slower

  • May 9, 2016

    Betsy Cremer

    Hi Jared,

    Sorry to respond to such an old thread, but I am wondering if you can touch on if it is possible (and if so, how to accomplish it) to have your doors automatically open as you “walk through” them in your fly through?

    Thanks so much!

      • May 9, 2016

        Betsy –
        ArchiCAD library parts may be programmed to have different locations or parameter values based on fly-through animation frame numbers. It is not something built into standard Graphisoft library parts, however I have programmed this for clients in years past, and there were some car objects sold by third parties that had this built-in (so you could have a car driving by during the animation, starting at a particular frame and moving from position 1 to position 2 over a series of frames). It’s unfortunately not a simple exercise, since it involves GDL programming and isn’t visual, but it is possible. A more straightforward approach is to do object animations (doors opening, cars driving by, etc.) in a visualization program such as Artlantis Studio, which has a time-line interface that makes it easier to set up, test and fine-tune. If you want to do this type of animation in ArchiCAD directly, you may consider getting some consulting assistance (or purchasing some pre-made objects) from a GDL developer such as Master Script (Jeroen de Bruin in the Netherlands) or CadSwift (Kristian Bursell from Australia).

      • May 9, 2016

        Betsy Cremer

        Thanks so much Jared and Eric – I will use Jared’s cheat for now, although getting into GDL is definitely on our firm’s to-do list!

  • May 21, 2016


    hello , i would like to ask how can i put cameras around an object (a chair) and make it look like the object revolves around itself and it doesn’t appear higher or lower or further from frame to frame. Do i have to keep some numbers on camera settings fixed (such as camera z, target z…..) and if yes which ones stay the same and which ones have to alter?

      • May 24, 2016

        A few suggestions to make this process a little easier:

        1) Place the first camera at the desired location and make sure the focus point (the small bubble that you’re looking at is exactly snapped onto the center of the object. Select that camera and go to 3D and verify that you like the distance, cone of vision framing and elevation of the view. If it needs adjustment, it’s easiest if you do this on plan, maintaining the center point, and check the 3D view again until you’re satisfied.

        2) Select this camera and use the Multiply command and choose Rotate Copies with the option to set the first and last point and allow ArchiCAD to determine the in-between locations. Choose at least 4 copies. Click OK then click the center point, the camera vertex point, then gesture with your mouse in a circular motion to guide ArchiCAD around in a circle, and then click on the vertex point again. This will make multiple, evenly spaced cameras.

        3) Select all of these cameras, and use the command to Smooth Path at Selected Cameras, which will make the patch perfectly circular and evenly paced. (Doing this manually as in Jared’s step 4 is hard to make perfect.) This command is available I think in the context menu; possibly in the View menu > Navigation Extras (I don’t have ArchiCAD open at the moment, so I’m not sure).

        Anyway, you can then experiment with how many in-between frames you create; because your path is perfectly circular and smoothed out, it should work nicely for any reasonable number of frames…


  • May 27, 2016

    Great stuff, man! Thanks again for freely sharing your knowledge. It means a lot!

  • October 5, 2016


    I’m trying to make a animation, have put up all of the cameras and high as i should, but when i try to make a fly-trough out of it..it just goes in to 3D and show the building from above on the outside ( the cameras are placed on the inside) and wont let me make a movie out of the cameras that i have put up, only makes a 1 second movie of the outside.

    Any suggestion on what i can do to make it go the path that i have made for it? using archicad 19.

    Thanks 🙂

      • October 6, 2016


        Thanks for replaying! I’m making a new camera i the camera options when i was starting. Have tried it a couple of times but i wouldnt change. is it a another dialog box?

        – L

  • November 3, 2016


    I would like to know, it I stopped the saving of my movie (which it taking forever) before it was done. Would it be completely useless or would it save it to the part where I stopped it? Why does Archicad 20 seem so much slower than 19?

  • July 17, 2017

    Flash Gordon

    Hey Jared, long time no see. Hope things are well.
    I’m having issues with inserting a camera between existing cameras in the path. It keeps sending it to the end of the path. Just as you stated in your “things I forgot to mention,” I select the camera I want to place it after, go to the camera tool and place a camera, but it still throws it at the end. I also found the YouTube video below which addresses this specific issue, but it’s not working. Any thoughts?


  • October 9, 2018


    how do i make objects like cars to move, doors to open?

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