According to ARCHITECT's Wanda Lau, it wasn’t too long ago that architects wanting to sketch a layout, diagram, or vignette would trace over a printout of a floor plan or building model from a CAD or BIM program as a starting point for nailing down scale and perspective. The need for that intermediary hard copy has diminished as tablet styluses have become increasingly precise, and as digital illustration apps blur the line between sketching and drafting.
Since its debut in 2012, Trace and its not-free version TracePro (iOS, $7.99 monthly, $19.99 annually) by New York–based Morpholio is one app that has been breaking down that barrier. Today, the design and software development firm furthered TracePro’s ability to generate passable working drawings with its new Smart Fill feature. The tool attempts to predict which regions of a shape, a floor plan, or even a tree canopy a user wants to enhance with a hue or a hatch, and calculates in real time the fill area, a valuable metric to know for quantity takeoffs and FAR (floor area ratio) calculations.
Along with the ability to track the areas of multiple regions simultaneously, Smart Fill can produce a list of values for exporting into a spreadsheet program. “Today we’re adding an areas layer with Smart Fill, but in the future, there could be a swarm of these intelligent layers,” says Morpholio co-founder Mark Collins in the firm’s press release.