Running a timeline simulation of an IFC model

Once you have built a project schedule from an IFC model - ie once you have associated the objects in an IFC model with tasks in an Powerproject project - you can run a timeline simulation of the IFC model in the IFC Model pane. This gives you a graphical simulation of the construction process of an IFC model, using the start and finish dates of the tasks in the project or in a particular baseline to determine the point at which each object in the IFC model appears. If the IFC Model pane is currently displaying an IFC group model, you can run a timeline simulation of the IFC group model in the same way. If you have added site objects to an IFC model and associated these with tasks in the project, the site objects are included in the timeline simulation.

If you display the IFC Comparison Model pane as well as the IFC Model pane, you can run two timeline simulations of the same IFC model at the same time - one in each pane. You can configure one timeline simulation to run using dates from the live data and the other to run using dates from a baseline. This shows you graphically how a project is progressing in comparison with the plans in the baseline.

Before you run a timeline simulation for the first time on an IFC model or IFC group model, you need to configure the way in which timeline simulations run.

You can use fly pasts to control the movement of the camera during timeline simulations. A fly past consists of a series of viewpoints - "fly past points" - which are each applied at a particular point in time during a timeline simulation. For example, you could configure a fly past to start with the camera pointing at the front of a building, then move to particular areas of the building that are being constructed at different points in time, showing these areas in greater detail.

You run timeline simulations using the following controls, which are available both in the Timeline group on the BIM tab of the Ribbon and on the dockable Timeline Controls pane:

  • Click the Track in Bar Chart control to specify that as a timeline simulation is run, the tasks in the bar chart that correspond to the objects that appear at each stage should be displayed automatically; if the control is currently selected, click it again to specify that tasks in the bar chart should not be selected automatically when a timeline simulation is run. This control does not work if the current view is a calendar view rather than a bar chart view.
  • Click the Dropline control to specify that as a timeline simulation is run, a dropline - a vertical line that runs from the date zone down to the bottom of the current view - should be displayed to indicate the current date and time of the timeline simulation. Displaying a dropline helps you to see which tasks are involved in a timeline simulation at any one time. If the control is currently selected, click it again to specify that a dropline should not be displayed during timeline simulations. This control does not work if the current view is a calendar view rather than a bar chart view.
  • To play, pause and stop a timeline simulation, use the Play, Pause and Stop controls, respectively.
  • To run through a timeline simulation in reverse, use the Reverse control.
  • To run through a timeline simulation manually, use the Timeline slider control control, either by clicking the Minus and Plus buttons or by dragging the slider control. Note that the timeline slider control always runs from the start date of the programme of projects to the finish date of the programme of projects, regardless of the specified timeline simulation scope.
  • To go immediately to a particular date in a timeline simulation, select the date in the Date field.

Displaying the Timeline Controls pane

To display the Timeline Controls pane, on the BIM tab, in the 3D Viewer group, click the IFC Model Pane dropdown and select Timeline Controls. Because the Timeline Controls pane is dockable, you can position it wherever you want. This makes it easier to control timeline simulations, particularly if you work with more than one monitor and display your timeline simulations in panes that float above and are positioned away from the Powerproject window.

Related Topics:

Configuring the way in which timeline simulations run

Creating fly pasts for use in timeline simulations

Creating videos of timeline simulations and fly pasts

Creating flipbooks of timeline simulations and fly pasts

Displaying and positioning the IFC Model pane

Displaying and positioning the IFC Comparison Model pane

Tracking objects that are selected in the IFC Model pane

Ways of associating objects in an IFC model with tasks

Adding site objects to an IFC model