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  1. A few things:

    1) Yes this is absolutely acknowledged as an issue.

    2) No, a full solution will not be something that is implemented extremely soon.

    3) A small part of what I think is the best way to address this is slated to be included in Vectorworks already.

    4) No, unfortunately I can not discuss details about it yet. Both because it is still under NDA as well as the issue still not really done being worked out to significant levels of satisfaction.

    Ok. Thanks for the reply on this.

  2. Somehow I think the whole concept of "hybrid" is outdated or flawed.

    It ought simply to be that if I create the geometry correctly in 3D, the software converts that information to a 2D floorplan using whatever drawing conventions are desired. This, essentially is what happens in my brain when I draw a floorplan - I create a 2D representation of what will be a 3D reality. Having decided on certain graphical conventions, there is only one correct way to draw the plan. This should be an ideal task for a computer.

    The thing is, as far as I can see we aren't so far off doing exactly this. What is preventing it working seems to be this "hybrid" concept because all the time I'm trying to create a floorplan from a combination of elements using two different systems. The auto-hybrid tool is capable of creating a correct section from non-parametric geometry. And the parametric type tools are capable of creating 3D objects that mostly display correctly in 2D according to drawing conventions. But they don't always work because they seem unable to do certain things that the auto-hybrid tool can, like creating a correct section cut through walls of varying heights. Why have we got these parallel systems, which between them seem able to do everything we need, and yet somehow they can't work together?

    It's like a drawing office with two draughtsmen - one of them can do you an accurate section cut through complex geometry but has never been taught about architectural drawing conventions. The other one is good on those drawing conventions but has never been taught how to project a section cut from 3D information. They don't talk to each other, work in different rooms, and the boss doesn't want to teach either of them the skills that the other one has. And when you send them the info for your design, you have to decide which bits to send to each guy, and they independently send you back two floorplans with bits missing which you then have to assemble together using scissors and sellotape.

  3. It is disturbing that after drawing your Walls and such, you insert a floor and

    everything will be hidden behind that Floor, although it is clear that all other geometry

    including tables and stairs are exceeding the Floors Z height.

    You know you can use the "send to back" (and send forward, etc) tools to solve this?

    It's still hardly ideal though; it shouldn't be necessary to do this manually. The things have Z positions so the software should be able to stack them properly automatically.

    I think this is partly the reason why the VW suggested set-up seems to be to have separate layers for floor slabs, walls etc. But for me that just generates too many layers.

  4. col37400, I agree with you 100%. Top/Plan makes a mess of presenting a decent plan view, but a 3D view rendering is no better.

    I haven't tried a plan section, but maybe I will now - but I do see a lot of "fixing-up" on the viewport to show all the elements I need to show.

    I guess the question is which needs the least "fixing-up" - a top/plan view output or a plan section output.

    The answer is probably different for different people depending what kind of work they do.

  5. Clip cube and Auto Hybrid need years of development to be anywhere near as polished as Plan.

    This is the problem though - there are all sorts of things that are simply impossible* to get drawn properly in top/plan view - Auto Hybrid is an attempt to fill in those gaps but as you say it's just not polished enough.

    *When I say impossible, I don't mean it's impossible to draw anything in 2D, I mean it's impossible to draw so that they are correct both in 3D and in top/plan view, without having to do manual 2D patch-up work to fix things.

  6. Thanks. Actually I'm in the process of totally overhauling my "template file" structure.

    Having a template file is generally how I've dealt with this in the past. Sounds like I should just continue that way.

    The only problem I've found:

    I have my template file, but what actually happens is that each time I start a new project I tend to make a copy of a previous project's file, delete out all the geometry and then use that as the starting point, instead of going back to the pristine template file I originally created. Reason for this is each project I tend to slightly evolve/improve my drawing structure, so don't want to lose these changes.

    Is there a tidier way of creating a new document that has the same setup as an older one, but without inheriting/having to delete all the geometry?

    My drawings tend to have a lot of "junk DNA" in them...symbols left over from old jobs etc, as a result of my process above.

    Your tip for keeping door settings by saving a symbol is a good one, thanks.

  7. eg.

    If I use the door tool, even with auto-classing off, when a door is created, certain classes are assigned to elements under "visibility classes" in the "2D visualisation tab" of the door tool settings. So, Slab & Swing is set to "Sills" class.

    I can go into the settings for the door tool, and change this to assign to a different class. So, the next and any subsequent doors will have these settings. But that change to the tool default only persists in that document, as far as I can see.

    Is there any way to change it globally? So that if I open a new document, and start using the door tool, it will be using my custom settings?

    The reason for this is I'm trying to set up my own class structure, with different names for those classes. I'd like to have things set up so that when I start a new document, tools like the door tool will be defaulting to assigning things to my class system instead of the default VW one.

  8. I think you might get some push back from some folks who will tell you they just want to create 2D Plans, Elevations & Sections.

    I'm not sure I agree with you when you say:

    Essentially in my opinion, "top/plan" view is a mess and just doesn't really work. I don't really see how it can ever work properly in its current form.

    I find the representation of TOP/PLAN really a good way to visualize, and communicates well to most consultants and trades for the vast majority of our work. My drafting textbook from school (first published in 1965!) tells me that a PLAN VIEW is like a slice cut midway through a building, generally speaking at 4' (1220).

    Where I do agree is it would be very useful to have the ability to use the CLIP CUBE more creatively (CLIP 3D POLY?) to illustrate complex connections & assemblies without having to manage tons of CLASSES & Layers.

    To clarify, I'm not arguing against the use of floorplans generally to explain a building. I'm talking about Vectorwork's implementation of the "top/plan" view.

  9. So the basic idea of top/plan view is that it's a kind of symbolic representation of a 3d reality. It's not quite the same as a horizontal section, because drawing convention has it (mostly for good reasons) that in plan view some architectural elements like stairs or doors are shown in a way that's not quite a literal projection of what those things look like from "above".

    In vectorworks we can (now) create a plan view of sorts by making a horizontal section.

    Or we can go with the "top/plan" view which (in theory) creates much the same but with certain architectural elements show in the proper symbolic way. In reality this doesn't actually work though, as soon as you start dealing with anything a bit complicated. We're given tools like the Auto Hybrid to partly deal with this - effectively the Auto Hybrids let us say "this part of the 2D drawing shall be generated in much the same way as a horizontal section is". So what we end up with is a kind of mashup, where parts of the drawing are generated as a literal horizontal section, and parts are generated as 2D symbols which aren't literal projections. And these bits don't really join together properly, and there are all sorts of reasons why having certain things in these containers makes everything a bit difficult. So it seems basically inevitable that all sorts of things have to be patched up in 2D layers in order to create something presentable.

    Essentially in my opinion, "top/plan" view is a mess and just doesn't really work. I don't really see how it can ever work properly in its current form.

    Why can't we have a plan view that takes, as its starting point, geometry that's generated by literally cutting the 3D model. Then the symbolic elements like doors and so on are inserted into that in an intelligent way. In my mind it could be as simple (in principle) as a tick box in a viewport setting. So we just have one "plan view" which we can toggle between (a) a literal horizontal section of the 3D model and (b) the same but with things like doors replaced with conventional architectural symbols.

    At the moment it seems to work in a completely backwards way - we start off with a 2D drawing that kind of generates the 3D stuff (but not very well) and then we go into 3D and draw all the other bits in a way that either feeds back to the 2D drawing in an unsatisfactory way, or which we just give up on drawing in such a way that will generate things properly in 2D, and chunks of the information end up getting drawn in parallel, once for the 3D model and once for the 2D output.

    This just doesn't encourage model-centric drawing, which, I think, is what we're all trying to move to, isn't it?

    So, anyway, ultimately my question is whether, in the long term, Vectorworks will move to something more like I describe above, or is the the current "top/plan" view approach here to stay?

    • Like 1
  10. I've been wondering if the easiest workaround is to place a rectangular column in the zone where the various walls intersect. Then the walls simply butt up to this and I give up on trying to join them because that doesn't work properly and I'd have to patch it over in 2D anyway. It would make stuff sort-of work in 3D at least, and maybe be a bit more robust for edits and so on.

    I wonder if it would work to have an object that performed this function, one that walls could join to. The complication would be in to how to deal with walls with multiple component layers.

    Does anyone know how this situation is dealt with in other software? It seems like a pretty basic thing to have unresolved.

  11. See the attached image.

    This is a hypothetical building where there are two storeys (walls on lower storey are coloured green, on upper storey they are coloured blue). The transparent squares indicate floor levels (yellow) and roof levels (red).

    The upper storey has a step in level though.

    So you can see we end up with walls joining in L, T or X formation, but the walls that need to join each other are at various different levels.

    Every time I come up against this kind of situation it gives me a headache, when I try and join the walls so that they look right both in top/plan mode and in 3d.

    For the upper level:

    - I can't use the "T" wall join tool because A and C are separate wall segments (because they sit at different levels).

    - I can use the "L" wall join tool to join walls A and B, which gets rid of the bevelled corner visible in the left-hand 3d view, but then odd things happen in plan view at the junction of the 3 walls.

    For the lower level:

    - I can't use the "T" tool for same reasons as above.

    - I can't use the "L" tool because if I join any two walls like this, things go wrong with the junctions with the other two.

    - I can't use the "X" tool at all ("The parts do not completely intersect")

    Is there a correct way of doing this, so that all the joins work in plan view, as well as in 3d views?

  12. +1

    We need basically a folder structure for everything in the navigation pallet. Design Layers, Sheet Layers, Saved Views - all of these - especially with Project Sharing - get too long and would really benifit from a clever folder, tab, or nesting system.

    Yes. Drawing organisation is becoming more complex and the systems need to cope with this.

    Eg, layers - it used to be fairly simple when you could essentially have a layer per storey. If, for example, I wanted to make a revision to one floorplan it was quite easy to duplicate it, keep the old one intact and make quick edits to the new one. Perhaps have several versions of each floorplan, when considering different options. Then, once a decision had been made on which option to pursue it was easy to discard other options, or keep them in reserve as desired.

    But now, the setup we seem to be encouraged to have for 3D/BIM involves several layers for each storey (walls, slabs, etc). So to carry out the equivalent of the above process it would be necessary to duplicate several layers for each option. If those layers you be bundled together that would make the process less cumbersome.

    (I know there's the "storeys" thing now, which might address some of these things, but that is so confusing I've given up on it for the time being, and it doesn't seem all that flexible).

  13. I'd too would like to request further support for 3Dconnexion devices.

    I've just got a Spacepilot second hand to try out (I know the only official support is for the spacenavigator). After just a couple of hours I can see that this could be very useful and I expect to start using it a lot.

    None of the buttons do anything, except button 1 which toggles between flyover/walkthrough/constrained walkthrough/2d.

    I'd like to be able to make use of those extra buttons and be able to customise them.

    Perhaps more importantly, I'd like to feel confident that Vectorworks were seriously supporting these devices, because if they become a fundamental means of interaction with the software then I don't want to find they suddenly stop working when I do an upgrade, and so on.

  14. My point, kind-of, was really that these things *should* be picked up without requests.

    What I describe above is a functionality that is a basic feature of SU. It is one of the standard tools in the basic toolbar of the quasi-free version of SU.

    Surely it just requires someone at your end with a fairly detailed knowledge of what's possible with your competitors' offerings.

    My wishlist request would simply be "VW's 3D environment should be at least as capable and fluid as Sketchup's".

    Make sure that you file requests regardless for now. The decisions behind feature additions are weighed HEAVILY by the sheer volume of requests for a given feature, and that volume is currently taken directly from JIRA (where I place wishlist items and bugs) but not yet directly from the board. Until such time as our tech improves and we can directly channel user board posts into JIRA without human intervention, requests are the only way to get the features you want.

    I am not saying your intention is incorrect, I agree that that is how things should be handled, I am simply describing the current state of affairs and how they can best be influenced directly by users today.

    Ok, sure.

    I'll file a wishlist request when I get a moment.

  15. By the way...you mention that for example VW can make door schedules and so on. I wonder how many people actually use this though? I think it might be fewer than you think. It's not an especially intuitive process, and many VW users probably work mainly on small projects where the quantities of repeated elements aren't so huge to make it necessarily worthwhile.

    Of course I might be completely wrong. But this is why the analytics thing sounds like it could be hugely useful. In fact in many ways of all the new stuff announced in this thread maybe it's the most encouraging, in the longer term at least.

    I remember as an intern - working in Autocad - manually cross-checking a door schedule with a plan - and thinking that this felt so arcane, and there has to be a better way. We do not do BIM models - but firmly believe in leveraging the data in the plans. Basically - if you ever find yourself counting anything manually - you are doing it wrong. Not only is it slow - it is just crazy how easily it can be wrong.

    This was as true on a small townhouse and apartment projects as it was on the larger condo buildings. Staff can run through a plan make some tweaks - change doors from 36 to 34 inches - never having to worry that they have to go update a schedule. VW just keeps track of the changes. At very least the door number on the plan will always match the door in the schedule.

    Doors, Windows, Appliances, Lighting Schedules with automated Wattage calculations, even Millwork schedules - are all things that we now rely on. I highly recommend spending the time to set up your files to take advantage of this. We started with doors - quickly added windows. After that I had staff approaching me with smart symbols they have made to start keeping track of other things because they no longer wanted to be responsible for manually keeping track of this info anymore.

    (As you can see I am very passionate when it comes to schedules. )

    I should make more use of automated schedules.

    In fact as a stepping stone towards this, recently I've started doing schedules inside VW (instead of as spreadsheets in excel or similar).

    And yet, I come up against another failing at a very basic level - it seems it is not possible to create proper multipage schedules. As described in this thread:

    https://techboard.vectorworks.net/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=218107

    Again... the higher level functionality is hampered by something basic.

  16. Its a one way process for us Su to VW. We make changes all of the time and the process is certainly not inefficient (is that the same as being efficient?). 2015 was a huge leap forward for us with this process and it works extremely well. Maybe we have more time on our hands than you :)

    When you say a one way process do you mean that you keep a fully up-to-date SU model, and each time you make a change to it, this is somehow imported into your VW drawings?

    Or do you mean that at a certain stage in the design process you import your SU model into VW, and from that point on, only update the VW drawings?

    Either way, surely it would have to be a more efficient process if you could do everything you currently do in SU, in VW instead. The fact that you don't suggests that you currently consider VW deficient in some way.

  17. I know that the stuff above is specifically related to an export of a web view ... but the object-collision thing and easy walkaround is something that's missing from basic VW.

    In sketchup it's very easy to look at stuff from "inside" - you can drop a little red cross where you want to stand, and you are transported there, with a realistic eye height already set and you can look around and walk around straight away.

    In VW, to do the same seems to have to involve going to a menu, selecting set 3d view, possibly setting a working plane to make sure you are going to stand where you expect, selecting the stand point, selecting the target point, and manually inputting an eye level. And then you are ready to walk around but without the collision detection stuff and without automatically changing level as you go down steps and so on.

    Just an example of simple stuff that could be made so much easier than it is.

    Make sure these have been submitted as wishlist items, that kind of thing can't be picked up without requests.

    My point, kind-of, was really that these things *should* be picked up without requests.

    What I describe above is a functionality that is a basic feature of SU. It is one of the standard tools in the basic toolbar of the quasi-free version of SU.

    Surely it just requires someone at your end with a fairly detailed knowledge of what's possible with your competitors' offerings.

    My wishlist request would simply be "VW's 3D environment should be at least as capable and fluid as Sketchup's".

  18. We find its not one or the other as we use both successfully. Apart from not being able to class Su objects on import the whole Su to VW pipeline is very solid as long as you follow a few fundamentals.

    So do you move one model back and forth between VW and SU depending on what you want to edit? I don't see how that works or how it can possibly be efficient.

    I tend to have a model in SU that is for exploratory design work and/or presentation drawings. Then in parallel a set of 2D drawings in VW. These are the definitive, accurate drawings and eventually become the construction set. If I make changes to the design in either the SU model or the VW 2D drawings, then I have to replicate the changes in the other. I cant export the 2D to SU in such a way that they magically become replicated in 3D. And if I make a minor change in 3D it doesn't make sense to go through the whole export/import process in order to bring it into VW, and then the same thing for the next minor change.

    Even if I had everything fully set up in 3D in VW, with all elevations, sections etc generated from the model, I don't see how making alterations in a SU model and then importing them can be an efficient process.

  19. By the way...you mention that for example VW can make door schedules and so on. I wonder how many people actually use this though? I think it might be fewer than you think. It's not an especially intuitive process, and many VW users probably work mainly on small projects where the quantities of repeated elements aren't so huge to make it necessarily worthwhile.

    Of course I might be completely wrong. But this is why the analytics thing sounds like it could be hugely useful. In fact in many ways of all the new stuff announced in this thread maybe it's the most encouraging, in the longer term at least.

  20. While the walkaround function with solid object detection is a good development, let's not forget that this has been possible in Sketchup for several years now, an application that is either free or substantially less expensive than VW.

    So really a lot of this is just VW playing catchup, but a bit late. And there remain other basic things that are possible in Sketchup, that aren't in VW, or are possible but clunkily implemented.

    (Jim W I don't want to seem negative, and greatly appreciate the efforts you are taking to share and discuss developments with us. Just, when I see the amount of money it costs me to update to the latest VW, and we are still talking about introducing features that have long been available in Sketchup, it grates a little. I'm aware of course that the pricing structure is not determined by you.)

    In any case, if an opponent is ahead of you, there is no option but to catch up to them first if you eventually plan to get ahead of them.

    However in this case, this topic is regarding the export of a web view so that anyone can view it on any web-capable device, not just ones that can install sketchup. You are comparing a feature sketchup has within it's application to an export/presentation object generated FROM a Vectorworks model. The comparison your are drawing is indirect.

    However, to the pricing issue:

    SketchUp in particular is extremely deficient in a number of areas compared to Vectorworks as well. There are an array of plugins that attempt to supplement this functionality, but even relatively standard things like creating door and window schedules or creating a database of plants take significantly longer there. To say nothing of it's significant lack of 2D plan capabilities that is still crucial to a huge number of users. Then we get to rendering, where it basically includes OpenGL but then all advanced render options either require export or a separate plugin.

    Vectorworks is an extremely broad set of tools designed to give you a huge array of ways to create things and solve problems, and that tool set is only going to keep increasing. There will always be more focused or more expensive packages that can do parts of what we do better than we can do them, thats the price of maintaining diversity and a jack-of-all-trades mindset.

    SketchUp is certainly another viable option. If it meets your needs and if it gives you a superior value for your money, then I fully encourage you to embrace it. I am not here to try and encourage you to spend money on something you do not feel proves it's worth to you, I am here to try and help you get the most out of what we offer and more recently, to share in our future development so that you can make more informed decisions about agreeing to multi-year contracts with us.

    If as I suspect the more underlying issue is a concern over the price of the software, there I can not help you. Vectorworks is certainly no insignificant amount of money, but in many cases it still costs users less than even the hardware they run it on and earns its keep dozens or hundreds of times over.

    Sure. Sketchup can't compete for 2D work, I agree. But I'm in the position, I think, of many who want to start to work more in 3D. And I think VW wants us to do that.

    It's just a bit frustrating because, instead of doing my 2D in VW and then 3D in Sketchup I want to bring it all into VW and make the whole process more productive. Yes, the price is worth it if it makes me more productive. I'm really trying (honest) to transition towards doing what I've previously done in Sketchup, in VW, and I'm making headway but constantly meeting quite basic things that make it hard work.

    Going by the marketing and launch videos and so on, I think VW wants us to be working smoothly and freely in 3D ... does VW know that we aren't though?

    It's inevitable that any of us moving our 3D workflow from Sketchup...which we might think of as a kind of benchmark standard given that it's sort-of free software...into VW are going to feel (whether rationally or not) a bit short-changed when, after investing a certain amount of time getting our heads round how to do this, we find certain things missing that we might think would be taken for granted.

    I know that the stuff above is specifically related to an export of a web view ... but the object-collision thing and easy walkaround is something that's missing from basic VW.

    In sketchup it's very easy to look at stuff from "inside" - you can drop a little red cross where you want to stand, and you are transported there, with a realistic eye height already set and you can look around and walk around straight away.

    In VW, to do the same seems to have to involve going to a menu, selecting set 3d view, possibly setting a working plane to make sure you are going to stand where you expect, selecting the stand point, selecting the target point, and manually inputting an eye level. And then you are ready to walk around but without the collision detection stuff and without automatically changing level as you go down steps and so on.

    Just an example of simple stuff that could be made so much easier than it is.

    The price, fundamentally, is not the issue as such. If I could choose between (a) VW, with certain basic things in the 3D environment improved to "at least as good as sketchup", at the current price, and (b) VW as it currently is, at the price of sketchup, I'd choose (a). Because of all the other stuff VW has, and because it make sense for things to be as integrated as possible. And because I already have 10+ years of learning (and habit) invested in VW.

    I just want to make sure folk at VW are fully aware that many people will be comparing its 3D environment with what they get in sketchup - and that they will currently be finding certain shortfalls. I'd like that awareness to be informing the development that's currently going on, much of which seems to be very positive.

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