buildingSMART Forums

Animate IFC objects in an IFC Viewer

I’m kind of a beginner in IFC and I started to manipulate IFC viewers like xBim and I have a question I can’t find the answer to, in the case we want to integrate some BIM compatibility in a SCADA software, one idea would be to implemant an IFC viewer like xBim.
But, this way, we could only be able to open, visualize a models and have acces to its properties, one interesting feature would be to be able to animate objects according to real datas like sensors, alarms etc, change the color of a door, change the color of a complet floor in case of alarms etc…

I have never heard about possible animations like this in BIM softwares.
I would be really happy to have your opinion about this.
Thank you

While you could discuss doing this within the IFC format, the reality is that most thematic views in IFC viewers are done in the viewer, on the graphical representation and only use IFC to filter and select which elements to colorise (e.g. Solibri, BIMcollab Zoom, XBIM, BIMvision, BIM 360 … all do this).

Depends on the viewer you use if you are able to simply use the features out-of-the-box or that you can extend this via scripting or extending the source code itself.

@stefkeB’s answer is correct, in that representations are done client-side, not baked into the schema definition.

I would like to add however that there are properties in the IFC schema that relate to time, such as those for construction sequencing, or performance history. These can indeed be parsed by a viewer and then “animated”. However, again, the style of the animation is by the vendor.

Most BIM software have relatively rudimentary animation tools - they are designed for BIM and CAD, not animation. Sequencing tools have better animation tools related to sequencing. If you are looking for a tool which specialises in animation and can also read and write IFC data, BlenderBIM is what you’re looking for - the animation and visualisation abilities in Blender are equal to those in industry-grade CG/VFX/Hollywood tools.

Thank you for your answer, that really help me.
Extend the code used to select an element to be able to colorize an object would be a really good solution.

Thanks again

The BlenderBIM Add-on has features to select and colourise objects arbitrarily, or based on any class hierarchy, attribute or property or quantity value. See the paintbrush icon in the screenshot below.