TIPS & TRICKS. How to make a simple animation with the Advanced Reports plugin?

In Advanced Reports, you can visualize a simulation of the step-by-step creation of an object or animate another process based on a selected characteristic parameter.

The animation is played according to groups of values (by grouping) or according to individual elements (then the “Per element” option should be additionally selected).

The exemplary model contains information defined as “Construction phase”, after which the sorting will take place.

We can see that the value code in the example file is arranged in a certain way (phase, group, etc.).

In the example, the element groups are divided into individual phases and the order in subgroups (which determine the order in which individual elements are created).

By creating a template containing only elements containing the “Construction phase” variable, we can show the order in which these objects appear on the construction site.

The animation preview will display all items that have been taken into the report. Therefore, if you want to create it, you should start by indicating them. These can be all elements or, for example, specified by means of a selector.

In the sample file, the elements that are taken into the report (and thus into the animation) are defined by a selector. The selector selects all elements of any IFC type that additionally have a property called “Construction phase” (from any set of properties, with any value of this property).

After indicating which elements are to be included, proceed to the next step (“Columns” tab), where you select the properties to be displayed in the report.

Such properties also allow for such operations as grouping or subsequent sorting according to the value (ascending/descending) of the indicated property.

In the example, we can see that in the final report we will only have such properties as: element type (IfcEntity), name (Name), and the “Construction phase” property.

*It is also worth paying attention to checking the “Group by” box (elements will be visualized according to groups with the same values of the indicated property).

Next, by going to the “Preview” tab, we can see what the table looks like. (If in the previous step – in the “Columns” tab – we set some grouping, we can use the “Collapse all” option).

When the property table is displayed, you can view the values of the selected properties as well as make additional final settings.

For example, you can click on any of the resulting column headers to indicate by which property the items in the table should be sorted (subsequent clicks will reverse the sort order – ascending/descending).

In the sample output table, you can see that the sort is set to the “Construction phase” property and the values are in ascending order.

To view the animation, go to the “Animation” tab of the side panel.

Various additional options are also available in the indicated tab.

For example, there is the “Per element” function, which, when activated, causes elements to appear one at a time, not in specific groups.

Before starting the animation playback, it is worth setting the model in the display window in such a position that later the presented elements are clearly visible – the model in the center of the window.

After pressing “Play”, an animation window will appear. Before starting the animation, we can still specify its maximum duration.

*Attention! Animation cannot be saved as a separate video file. However, having the “Advanced Reports” plugin, we can save a specially created template to be able to use it later.

To save a template file, all you have to do is select a “Save” option from the drop-down list in the “Advanced Reports” plugin window – e.g. “Save” > “Save to file”. In this way, you will be able to save the template anywhere on your computer, and you will also be able to easily transfer such a file to another location.

To use the saved template and play the animation, all you need to do is open the base file and then load the template by clicking “Load” in the drop-down list (“Load” > “Load from file”).

*Attention! The example shows an exemplary use of the code that is to arrange the elements in the model (E1.G1; E1.G2; E2.G1.F1.S1…). Generally, the way of defining values is free. However, the way of sorting elements, i.e. a coherent arrangement of values of a specific (selected) property, is important.