Creating flipbooks of timeline simulations and fly pasts

You can create flipbooks of timeline simulations. A flipbook is an ordered series of multiple images taken from a timeline simulation at predefined intervals, saved in a particular folder. When "flicked through" (ie when displayed sequentially), the images provide an animated depiction of a timeline simulation. You might find flipbooks useful if you need to create a series of images that depict the progress of a project - for example, for use in a presentation. If a fly past is selected when you create a flipbook, the flipbook will represent the different viewpoints of the fly past accurately.

You can define the intervals at which images are created in two different ways:

  • Base the intervals on dates and times. For example, you could specify that an image should be created on the first Tuesday of every month at 11 am, or every two elapsed weeks at 4 pm. Basing intervals on dates and times results in flipbooks with images that are created at regular intervals, which can be useful for depicting the regular progress of a project over time.
  • Base the intervals on the finish dates of tasks and milestones to which specific code library entries have been assigned. For example, you could specify that an image should be created each time a task to which a "Carpenter" code has been assigned is completed, or each time a milestone to which a code from a "Build stages" code library is completed. Basing intervals on the finish dates of tasks and milestones results in flipbooks that can be useful for showing the tasks that particular resources carry out on a project over time, or for showing the completion of various build stages of a project.

You can combine these two methods of defining intervals in a single flipbook, but it probably makes more sense to use either one method or the other. The method that you choose will depending on what you want to use a flipbook for.

Flipbooks can comprise a large number of images; sample images from a flipbook are illustrated below:

Three sample images from a flipbook

You can specify that flipbooks should include the view that is displayed in the IFC Comparison Model pane, as well as the view displayed in the IFC Model pane.

You can annotate flipbooks with text or information of your choice. For example, you might want the names of the tasks that are involved in the timeline simulation to appear at the top-right of flipbook images, with the date or week number appearing at the bottom-left. If a flipbook includes the IFC Comparison Model pane, you can annotate this pane with different text or information in the flipbook.

You can add a "watermark" image that overlays each image within a flipbook, partially-transparent, if required. For example, you may want to add a "watermark" image of your corporate logo as an overlay to a flipbook.

To create a flipbook of a timeline simulation of an IFC model or IFC group model:

  1. On the BIM tab, in the Timeline Export group, click Create Flipbook. The Flipbook tab of the Create Flipbook dialog appears.
  2. Specify a folder in which to store the flipbook in the Path field. Click ... if you want to browse for a folder in which to save the flipbook. The flipbook images will be saved in a new folder, named after the IFC model or IFC group model and the date and time, within the folder that you specify in this field.
  3. Use the Panes field to specify whether you want the flipbook to include:
    • The IFC Model pane only.
    • The IFC Model pane with the IFC Comparison Model pane to the right of it in a vertically-split screen.
    • The IFC Model pane with the IFC Comparison Model pane beneath it in a horizontally-split screen.
  4. Specify the format in which you want the flipbook images to be created in the Image field.
  5. Enter the size, in pixels, that you want to apply to each flipbook image in the Width and Height fields.
  6. Use the Time grid to specify one or more intervals at which new images are created, based on dates and times:
    • Click Add. A new interval row appears in the grid.
    • Click the row in the Interval column and select the type of interval at which to create an image.
    • In the Day of week column, specify the week day on which to create an image.
    • In the Number column, enter either the day of the month on which to create an image, or the number of elapsed days or weeks that should elapse between images being created.
    • In the Time column, enter the time at which to create an image.
    • Select the Enable check box to apply this interval when creating the flipbook, or clear the check box to ignore the interval without deleting it.
    • Select an interval row and click Remove to delete it.

    If you want to base the intervals on the finish dates of tasks and milestones to which specific code library entries have been assigned, you do not need to specify any intervals in this grid.

  7. Click the Code Library tab. You use this tab to specify one or more intervals at which new images are created, based on the finish dates of tasks and milestones to which specific code library entries have been assigned.
  8. If you want to specify one or more intervals based on code library entries, select the Enable check box and select the check boxes to the left of the code library entries in which you are interested. An image will be created at the finish date of every task or milestone to which a selected code library entry is assigned. For example, if you want to create a flipbook that highlights the tasks to which a "Carpenter" code has been assigned, select the check box to the left of the Carpenter code library entry.

    If you want to base the intervals on dates and times only, clear the Enable check box.
  9. Click the Annotations tab.
  10. To annotate the flipbook with text of your choice, select the Free text check box, select the position in which you want the text to appear in the field to the right, then enter the text to display in the Text field. You can enter up to 50 characters of text. For example, you may want to annotate the flipbook with the name of the project, or with the revision number of the project at the current time. Clear the Free text check box to create the flipbook without any free text annotation.
  11. To annotate the flipbook with the names of the tasks that are involved in the timeline simulation, select the Task data check box, select the position in which you want the names to appear in the field to the right, then specify the maximum number of lines of text to display in the Max lines field. If a task has both a bar name and a task name, both are displayed; if a task has only a bar name or a task name, either is displayed. Clear the Task data check box to create the flipbook without any task name annotations.

    If you have based the intervals in a flipbook on the finish dates of tasks and milestones to which specific code library entries have been assigned, only data relating to tasks and milestones to which the selected codes have been assigned appears in annotations.
  12. To annotate the flipbook with the current timeline date, select the Date check box, select the position in which you want the dates to appear in the field to the right, then specify the date format to use in the Date format field. Clear the Date check box to create the flipbook without any date annotations.
  13. To annotate the flipbook with the week number, select the Week numbers check box, then select the position in which you want the week numbers to appear in the field to the right. Clear the Week numbers check box to create the flipbook without any week number annotations.

    If you annotate the video with week numbers, the week numbers start from the project's global date zero, as specified in the Zero date field on the Properties tab of the Backstage view.
  14. If you have chosen to annotate the flipbook with one or more types of information, specify the colour, font and font size to apply to the annotation text in the Text colour, Font and Size fields.
  15. If the flipbook includes the IFC Comparison Model pane and you want to annotate this pane with different text or information in the flipbook, select the Use alternative comparison annotations check box, then use the fields below to specify the text or information with which to annotate the IFC Comparison Model pane in the flipbook. If you clear the Use alternative comparison annotations check box, the IFC Comparison Model pane is annotated in the same way as the IFC Model pane in the flipbook.
  16. If you want to add a "watermark" image that overlays each image within the flipbook, click Image Overlay. The Image Overlay dialog appears.
  17. Select the Overlay image check box to add a "watermark" image to each image; click ... to select the file to display and use the remaining fields to specify the way in which the image should appear in the flipbook.
  18. Click OK to return to the Create Flipbook dialog.
  19. Click Create. The flipbook creation starts and the Creating Flipbook dialog appears. This dialog has a progress bar that illustrates the progress of the flipbook as it is created. When the flipbook has been created, the dialog disappears and the flipbook is saved within the folder that you specified in the Path field.

    You can halt the recording of a flipbook before it has been completed. To do this, click Cancel in the Creating Flipbook dialog.
  20. Click Close to close the Create Flipbook dialog.

Related Topics:

Running a timeline simulation of an IFC model

Configuring the way in which timeline simulations run

Creating fly pasts for use in timeline simulations

Creating videos of timeline simulations and fly pasts