buildingSMART Forums

Where and how will my colors be saved in IFC?

Just a heads up, since it was on my todo list for a while, that I’ve just (re-)implemented support (it used to exist, but I did a rewrite) for BlenderBIM importing object-level surface styles.

BlenderBIM’s import also distinguishes between an import of object-level and material-level surface styles. To my knowledge, this is the only BIM program which does this. So later on when you click on the object to see its colour properties, you can see whether it was assigned via material or assigned via object.

@Hans_Lammerts - see a screenshot of a portion of your model you sent me below, with colours! :slight_smile:

I will mention that this Allplan IFC file seems to have a lot of identical colour and surface definitions for the exact same colours. Blender can handle this, but it results in a bloated and inefficient IFC file, and unless Blender compensates, it means that the import takes longer and creates more data. If Allplan doesn’t fix this, a workaround is to run the IFC through an IFC optimiser. I think Solibri has one in their product portfolio.

Looks good Moult! I hope all the software developers in construction will apply the same color rules for reading and understanding rebar in 3D. It’s getting better but there should be much more feedback generated from construction sites outside… good work!

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@Hans_Lammerts I think your best hope for getting software vendors to implement a system of diameter-based colors for rebar is first to get consensus among users (especially at the international level) on such a workflow. If this can be agree upon and documented in standards (NBIMS-US, CEN, BSI, etc.), then you are more likely to see vendors support it. To me another key question for implementation and standardization would be “What color scheme is used?”. Again, is you can get a large consensus and documentation, vendors have something concrete to work from. Otherwise it becomes more difficult to implement in software.

Blender has color palettes and I think it would be easy for vendors to support color palettes on their software and even if you want standard colors across the industry, not only in rebar but also in other aspects, I think it’s possible

Some software have color palettes too, but it would be good to have standard color palettes for specific purposes

CC: @Moult add this into the to-do list

Jeffrey, i think (international) user consensus is not the problem here. What makes you think there is a consensus issue? I thought both Tekla and Allplan have the same default allready. Users do not really have problems with these default is my experience. If you look at the colors you will find big contrast between the diameter close in range. Would IFC pick up these colors more easily that would be a very good thing for industry. For importing in Revit and DWG etc. Or even Allplan into Tekla (both super good at rebar…) / cheers

https://campus.allplan.com/en/forum/topics/topic/topics/cad-general/ifc-export-problems-with-reinforcement-display.html

@Hans_Lammerts well, the world is bigger than Germany. or Europe and Tekla or Allplan

Meaning what Jeffrey? There is no problem or user can sort them out?

I have told tekla support years ago about the problem …

It is not about Tekla and Allplan. Revit, ArchiCAD, VectorWorks and Allplan they all have problems with the colors. They all sems to read them wrong sometimes and even write them in a bad way (two different colors for one object).

No wonder most software has problems in reading colors. If an object has two different colors noone on earth could read the right color.

Thus FreeCAD let the user decide which color to take if there are two. But this is terrible anyway (in sense of workflow) for the user.

@Hans_Lammerts I meant that to solve the problem at a larger scale, it is difficult to make the end user manage it manually every time, when the software could do it automatically. However, for software to automatically manage it in an effective way, it helps to have broadly accepted standards for the software to use. For example, steel shapes. While there are many profile standards for steel cross-sections (EN, BS, DIN, JIS, etc.) they are all set and documented in a way that software developers can provide interfaces for their consistent use by end users. Not being a structural rebar expert or structural design domain expert, I am unaware of a “standard” for color representation of rebar based on size. The reason for an international consensus standard would help assure someone that when they saw a “blue” rebar in one model, regardless of the project, software, or jurisdiction, it would mean the same as the “blue” rebar in another model, otherwise they are having to visually reinterpret the color/size scale for each project. Does that make sense?

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We have wonderful institutions that are able to arrange such a standard for passing building information. The ISO bim workforce is one.

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Having standard color coding is one thing. But displaying objects using that color is best left for the viewer software. Depending on the context, we often generate coloured views, based on properties (e.g. Smart Views in BIMcollab Zoom or the ITO in Solibri). Here I want control over what colours mean. And that also means ignoring the color of the object or assigned material/style.

The actual color of a rebar is grey or rust-brown, probably. The pseudo-color is something you add to indicate a certain meaning. The two are very distinct.

Right now, colours in IFC can be arbitrarily assigned - which is fine for me. The creator of the model embeds meaning via the colours. @Hans_Lammerts is right by expecting the assigned colours from the model to also be the colours shown in the viewer. And for that, there is too much freedom in interpretation, hence different viewers show it differently.

Right. Maybe we do need the 3d PDF format to ensure the reader sees what the writer means. I know… i know …ifc is ‘not pdf’… :stuck_out_tongue: