Software and Version: AutoCAD 2016

Lesson 3: Hatching and Labelling

So, most of the work is already done, but so far, we only created lines and that looks boring. We also need to fill our mud-bricks, stones and different soils with colour. We want to also differentiate artefacts from soil colour, so we will use two different filling styles. We start easy though.

Solid Filling

acad3_01_firsthatches.jpgLet's start with the mud-bricks again. Mud-bricks will be filled with a green colour. We therefore open up the Layaer-Properties (Layer-Eigenschaften) and create a new layer called Mudbricks_Fill and give it a green colour (92). Double-click to make it the active layer. So back in our drawing, we will search for the Hatch command. You'll find a small button in the Home toolbar, pretty far to the left. It is one of the three symbols right besides the Arc command. The lowest one. Hover your mouse over it, so you see the info box. Click on the Hatch command and a sub menu will be visible. You first select the Pattern and click on Solid. Then you'll click on Pick Points on the left side. The command is now active and ready. You can now click inside one of the mud-bricks and see, that it gets filled with a green solid colour. You can also click several mud-bricks in a row, to fill more than only one mud-brick. As long as your drawing is water-tight and there are no holes in the mud-bricks, the hatching should work just fine. Select 5-8 mud-bricks and then hit Space to exit the command. If you have a look, you'll see, that you can also select the hatch, by clicking on it. The more mud-bricks you selected in one go, the bigger the hatch gets. So here is a word of advice: Don't start clicking all the mud-bricks at once, to have one big mud-brick hatch. At some point you will need to make some corrections and that most certainly includes also deleting the hatch again, so you can change or correct the line drawings. If you click all the mud-bricks in one sitting, and later have to delete it, you'll have to do it all over again. My tip here: Activate the hatching command, click inside 8-10 mud-bricks, exit the command by hitting Space, enter the command again by hitting Space once more and then fill the next 8-10 mud-bricks. Working in these batches will make your life easier. Go on and fill all the mud-bricks. If you click at the wrong place, simply undo the last step with CTRL+Z.

You can repeat the same process for the pottery (Pottery_Fill: red colour) and Stones (Stones_Fill: white colour). Looks good, no? Well, let's proceed. We also want to fill the soil. We have four different soils on the plan: ash, mud, sand and whitings. Everything black on the plan is ash, greenish or no colour is mud, yellow is sand and red is whiting. It is sometimes difficult to see, but just try your best to identify each colour. We want to fill this a bit different though. We will use the same method, but will do the layers a bit different. Let's start with the ash fill. Go on and create a layer named Ash-Fill and give it a black colour. In the column of the Transparency however, enter a value of 70. This will make the layer semi-transparent and will look differently on the paper than a solid fill. You can also create the other layers (Mud_Fill: green colour, Sand_Fill: yellow colour, Whiting_Fill: red colour) all with a transparency of 70. Then, you can start filling the soils with these new layers. If you have a look at the Layout, you'll see the difference.


So the next step is to add some Nivellements, so heights. On a usual excavation drawing, you'll see some markers for heights, but as you probably already have noticed, these markers are not present in our drawing. We only see the trench, no heights. This is due to the fact, that the heights were documented on a separate sheet of transparent paper, that was simply taped over the excavation drawing. You can download the heights here: Nivellements. You can turn off the excavation drawing now in you Layer Properties and attach the new drawing instead on a new layer (Niv-Drawing) to the drawing. Have a look back at chapter 2 on how to include an image and scale it correctly, so it sits at the right place. With the nivellements placed at the back of our drawing, we can proceed to add the heights. One thing though: As the original JPG is pretty bright (white colour of the paper), we rarely see our cursor, which is painful. When you select the background image though, a new menu appears on top. There, you can crank up the Fade option to about 40%. This help seeing on the drawing better.

To work better with the nivs, we actually don't need the soil fillings, as they distract us. So simply turn them off in the Layer Properties. So everything that has a _Fill at the end, can be turned off. At some later point, I will add here how to create a layer filter, so to make it even easier turning certain layers off. If you zoom in, you can see the nivs drawn on the paper. As you can see, there is a small triangle pointing to the location of the measurement and a number, representing the measurement. First, we will create a prototype of this, so we can copy this around our drawing. In a second step, we will adjust the actual numbers for each point.

acad3_03_heights.jpg So let's start with drawing a triangle. For this we create a new layer named Nivs and give it a black colour. We search for one triangle on the drawing, that we especially like and redraw that with three points. Try to be as symmetric as you can be and make sure, that you close the triangle with snapping. We will then use the same layer and hatch the triangle with the same black colour. Triangle done! To create the number, we will use the Text tool. You'll find it also in the Hometab of the upper tool box. Click somewhere in the drawing and enter something like 4,??. As you see, the text is way to big. To give it the correct size, we click on the text, so that it is selected and then right-click somewhere to access the Properties. Under the option Height or Text Height we'll enter 5. This should be the correct size relative to our triangle. Position the text by either using the Move tool (you already know) or by clicking the small blue cube on the lower left corner of the text and move it to our triangle, so it sits right on top and to the right side of the triangle (see screenshot).

This is now our prototype group. We can select it all (triangle outline, triangle hatch and the text) and use the Copy tool to place it to the positions indicated on the drawing. When asked for a reference point of the copy, snap to the lower point of the triangle, this way you can easily place all the prototypes on the correct positions. If you now want to enter the correct numbers, you can simply double-click on the text and change the value! Easy peasy.


Ok, on to the last chapter and the finalisation of our drawing. We so far have created a scaled excavation trench (chapter 1), redrawn all the structures and findings (chapter 2) as well as filled them with colour and added heights for the drawing (this chapter). We are basically done with the redrawing part of our project. As we change now to the Layout view, we should find a perfectly digitised redrawing of our hand-drawn excavation trench.

What is missing though are some labels and a legend, so let's add that. Again, we are now working in the Layout view, not in the drawing space, as we are finished with our drawing. So in layout mode, try to arrange the drawing in one corner, I choose the top right one. If you do not already have changed the size of your paper from A4 to A3, you can do that now: Right-click on the tab of your Layout in the bottom left corner and start the Page Setup Manager. In the list with page setups, there should be only one entry. Select that and hit Modify. In the new dialogue, select the drop-down menu in the paper size section. There you can select ISO A3 (297.00 x 420.00mm). Hit Ok and Close.

acad03_05_infobox.jpgWhen you have arranged the drawing on the paper space, we can think about adding some information. First, we need a box that tells us what we see (e.g. name of excavation, trench, date of creation, date of redrawing, name of drawer, name of redrawer (you) and so on). We first create a new layer called Drawing_Desc and give it a black colour. So let's create a box in the top left corner with the Rectangle tool, that you'll find in the Home tab of the upper tool menu on as a small symbol on the left side. Click once to start the rectangle and a second time in the opposite corner to create it. Then use the Text tool to create some text. Have a look at the screenshot for some inspiration. Don't worry, if you can't align everything right now, this is not important for this exercise. If you want to align it however, try to think about using a non-printable layer to create a grid on the paper, so that you can snap the textboxes to that. This way, you can perfectly align everything.

acad03_06_legend.jpgThe last thing we want to do, is to create a legend. This is a box, where we can see every colour used in our drawing and the corresponding meaning behind it. So let's start by creating a new box below the first one. Then, create a new small box (see screenshot) inside, which will represent our colour that we used in our drawing. Besides that, create some text to convey the meaning. So for example, you create a black box, hatch it with the ash layer and write Ash besides it. You can then copy the whole line and just change the layers. So for the next line, we change the hatching by selecting it and choosing another layer from the dropdown menu on top. Let's change this to Mudbrick_Fill and change the text besides to Mudbricks. The third line should be the mud filling and so on. Note, that for Pottery for example, you not only change the hatching, but also the outline of the box (to Pottery_Outline). Have a look at the screenshot to get a sense, what I mean.

You know what? You are done! Congratulations! This was a lot of work (believe me I know), but doing this once helps in learning and also understanding the required time for doing such works. If you want, you can print your drawing now and put it into a frame! acad03_07_final.jpg

  • kernkompetenzenii/chapter03.txt
  • Last modified: 2021/11/16 13:01
  • by shageneuer