placeframe Place Frame


The Frame Parameters dialog.

A frame is a graphic reference to a 3D form•Z model (or bonzai3d model). That is, it displays a 3D model with a defined view and scale using specific characteristics to create drawings of the model. The frame retains the link to the model so that, as the model evolves, the drawing can be updated.

This tool has an empty Tool Options palette, but invokes the Frame Parameters dialog, as soon as a rectangle representing the location and size of the frame is drawn. The first click defines one corner of the frame. As the mouse is moved, the opposite corner of the rectangle is defined by the cursor's location. A second click completes the operation. From the Frame Parameters dialog invoked you select a 3D model and other parameters.


The File section specifies the model file. The image is selected by clicking on the Open icon (open_icon_opt.jpeg) and then selecting the desired image file from the File Open dialog. A preview of the model is shown to the left of the Open icon. The Name and Path for the model file are shown below the icon, once a file is selected.


When Define Parameters is selected, the characteristics (View, Layers, Clipping Planes, etc.) of the frame display can be configured as follows:


View: This menu determines the view of the model used in the frame display. This menu contains three groups: plan and section, standard projection views, and project views, whenever they have been saved with the project. Note that each item selected from the View menu is supported with its own set of options.


When Floor Plan is selected, the display is generated as a traditional top down floor plan. The plan is generated as a section through the model looking down at the specified Elevation. By default objects that are below the plane elevation are displayed as well unless the Plan Only option is selected. When this option is enabled, only the objects that intersect the elevation plane are shown. See example below.

Two Frames: (a) without Plan Only and (b) with Plan Only


When Section is selected, the display is generated as a section of the model. The section is generated looking directly at a clipping plane defined in the model. The Section Plane menu lists all of the clipping planes in the model. If there are no clipping planes in the model, then the Section option is dimmed in the menu. By default objects that are beyond the clipping plane are displayed as well unless the Section Only option is selected. When this option is enabled, only the objects that intersect the elevation plane are shown. See example below.


Two Frames: (a) without Section Only and (b) with Section Only


The standard projection views group offers options for the standard Top, Bottom, Right, Left, Back and Front views. The project views group is at the bottom of the menu and lists all of the views saved in the project (if any).


The Layers tab is used to control what layers are on in the frame display. The lists show all of the layers in the project. The first column shows an eye graphic (Picture 2) to indicate that the specified layer is enabled. When the layer is enabled, objects on the layer are included in the display and they are excluded when the layer is not enabled (i.e. no eye graphic). By default, the layer is enabled, if it was enabled when the model was added to the project the first time.


The Clipping Planes tab is used to control what (if any) clipping planes are enabled for the display. Clipping planes are explicitly used for section views, however they can also be useful in 3D views. The first column shows a red dot (reddot.png) to indicate that the specified clipping plane is enabled. By default, no clipping planes are enabled.


The All On and All Off buttons can be used to turn all the layers or clipping planes on or off respectively.


Make New Layers Visible is an option in the Layers tab. This controls how layers that are added to the project after the initial creation of the frame are handled when the 3D model is changed and the frame is regenerated. When this option is enabled, the objects on the newly added layers are included in the frame. When the option is off, they are excluded.


Use Project Scene: When selected, the characteristics (view, layers, clipping planes, etc.) of the frame display are determined by a scene stored in the project. The Scenes menu displays a list of the scenes from the Scenes palette of the model file. The selected scene will be used for the frame display.


Origin: This is the X and Y coordinates of the lower left corner of the frame on the sheet.


Dimensions: This is the Width and Height of the frame on the sheet.


Scale: When selected these options determine the scale that is used to display the model in the frame. That is, the scale that is applied to the model to display it on the sheet. For convenience there are three methods of specifying the scale: Drawing Scale, Ratio and simple Scale %. These methods all represent the same internal scale factor and when any one is changed, the others are updated in kind. Depending on the scale, the view and the model itself, the image of the model may exceed the drawn frame. In this case the image is clipped by the edges of the frame.


When Fit is on, the model is fit to the frames extents. That is, the model is scaled to fit inside of the frame instead of following a specific scale.


Graphics is a group of options that control how the image of the 3D model is converted to the layout. The Object Type menu offers three options. With the Lines option, each edge of the model becomes a line in the layout. This is how prior versions worked. With the Poly Lines option, touching edges of each object are joined together to form chains of lines (poly lines). With the Lines, Splines and Arcs option, the edges of each object are analyzed to form the best matching geometry for the shape of the object. Note that the later two options create smaller files and when Arcs are created they can be dimensioned with the Radial Dimension tool.


The Options button invokes the Hidden Line Options dialog that is used to control the Hidden Line renderer that is used for the conversion from the 3D model to the layout graphics. For details on these options, see Hidden Line.


Show Border controls the visibility of the Frame border.


Units: This section offers options to select the type of units of measurement (English or Metric), the accuracy, and the format in which numbers and angles are displayed in the frame. These options are the same as the Project Working Units that can be found in the Project Settings section.


Editing Frames

Frames can be graphically edited by enabling the controls on the frame. This is done by selecting Show Controls in the context menu, which is invoked by selecting the frame with the Pick tool and then right clicking. Frames have nine controls that represent the corresponding corners, edges and frame center. Moving the center control moves the entire frame. Moving the corners and edges changes the cropping (clipping) of the frame, keeping the placement consistent. See example below.


A frame being edited with it's controls (a)uncropped, and (b) cropped.


Pressing the command key (Macintosh) or ctrl key (Windows), changes the editing from cropping to re-centering the display in the frame of the image in the corresponding direction. Pressing the shift key keeps the changes proportional to the current size of the image.