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Vectorworks Graphic Legend - automation / separate sheets


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Does anybody know a way I can automatically create something like the attached sheet for a lot of sheets from lots of symbols (I have edited this to remove client information). I have 300 symbols and need to create a sheet like this for every one and place on a separate sheet is there a way to do this with scripts or the built in tools?

 

Currently I thought Vectorworks graphic legend could help me but I will have to filter each sheet individually for the item.

I would be grateful for any help that would speed this up please.

 

Thank you,

Simeon

Symbols - Graphic Legend.jpg

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Assuming this is actually a 3D object the only way I can think of is to create a design layer for each object with the object in the same location on each layer. You then create the first Sheet Layer and layout the Viewports the way you want with appropriate layer (Only one Design Layer active) and class setting and view and rendermode for each viewport.

 

Duplicate the Sheet Layer, Go to the new sheet Layer, select all the Viewports. Click the Layers... button and change the visibility so that the "next" Design Layer is the only one visible. When you update the viewports you should have the second object.  Repeat for all the other layers.

 

This is scriptable, but I don't have time right now (next two weeks) to work on it. 😞

 

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Hi, Thanks for replying back that was my first thought, but instead of selecting multiple views on a sheet layer what I have done is created one graphics legend filtered to the specific Hybrid 2D/3D symbol I need with a few filters and that 1 graphics legend has all the views setup in it with the text and everything else from records that are set on the symbol, so when I duplicate my sheet layer all I need to do is change the filter in the graphics legend and it updates everything else including text etc. ( I can extract a sample page if you want so I can show you my legend.)

 

the only thing I couldn't do was script the graphics legend to create all the sheets in one go automatically filtering each symbol and placing that new graphic legend that was filtered on individual sheets.
 

It would be very useful going forward even if it's not straight away but something that could automate doing this task whether it is with viewports or graphics legends as we usually have to do this a lot with different projects. I have tried scripting some things but I would be very grateful even if it's just some hints for the future on how to script this or if Vectorworks themselves could add something that could automate large tasks like this.

 

Marionette is amazing and I have managed to use some of it on some project and vectorscript / python is amazing to have but a lot of the time, a lot of users don't have time to spend on scripting due to project deadlines (which I know is very backwards for companies as scripting something could speed things up considerably) but it would be nice to have some way to automate sheet creation from either graphic legends or from a template page a little like a master page in indesign or something like that and then you could just set your vectorworks filters up on a template page and leave it running over night and come back to everything that would take days to do all within one night.

 

I would be very grateful when you do get time if possible just some hints on how to do this in the future or how to script just that sheet creation from symbols.

 

Thank you,

Sim

Edited by TSG-Sim
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Hi,

 

Example file attached, apologies the file is a little large I took the original and stripped it so it was easier for me to send you the example.

 

I hope I have made sense with what I am trying to do and I don't even know if this is a good way of doing this but it seems to work for me at the moment. Just the wait time in-between updating the views I have to cope with.

 

I am very grateful for you coming back to me on this as I say we do this kind of thing a lot.

 

I would like to have the views looking a little better than they do as well with the dimensions and positions but I ran out of time and I was trying to keep everything at 1:100 so it was easy for anybody to take dimensions from it with any ruler and I just had to get these done for now but for future work this would be really handy to have a quicker way of doing these kind of views.

 

Thank you,

Sim

 

https://we.tl/t-bONI9Kixso

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one thing I can think of as a kind of workaround, which may or may not work depending on how you need to have your drawings set up for issue sheets and so on...

 

If you create a sheet layer, go to page setup and do something like this...

 

242981703_Screenshot2023-01-29at23_42_17.jpg.a74c062e1f006876186ef24c9772b1e0.jpg

 

That gives you a grid of 5x5 "pages" that looks something like this:

 

1393202690_Screenshot2023-01-29at23_39_36.jpg.5f6faddcd9e5a08ecaf75300e0e04319.jpg

 

(In the distant past, I used to set up sheet layers like this, each page in that grid would be a "drawing sheet" each with its own titleblock etc. Meant you could see a bunch of sheets at the same time which was useful sometimes.)

 

Could you then set up a "graphic legend" where the cell size was made to match exactly one of those "pages"? Because then you ought to be able to make a 25-cell graphic legend where each cell would sit on a "page". And to print or export each page as its own document/sheet, you just need to go to print and select "all" and 25 sheets would be produced.

 

In your case ... it would need to be a grid of 10x30 or 20x15 or maybe 1x300 or 300x1 would be best.

 

Not sure how best to deal with titleblocks - maybe you could attempt to make them part of the cell layout for the graphic legend.

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Hi @line-weight thanks that almost works fully but with the amount of sheets and hidden line geometry it may get very slow and may even stop but I need to check the main file, I haven't had chance to try it with all the items I had so I might when I get chance with all 300 items (I managed to complete the project over the weekend that I was doing, creating them partially manually each page using a graphics legend for the 300 separately) but I just tried your method with 14 random items from vectorworks library and it seems like you can use this way to create them.

 

It looks like you can use your way and get rid of the margin which is a way of creating the titleblocks side by side and it creates one PDF with all the pages in which does work and if I wanted individual images I can create individual images like that but the only downside to this method is that there is no automatic method of naming the pages like sheets and no way of exporting as individual PDF pages so only one per PDF.

 

It is almost there but definitely if the graphic legend had an output to separate sheets or even a publish like window for generating separate sheets that would be perfect so you could just create one template page and output lots of sheets from that with whatever filters you have, speeding up multiple page creation.

 

I think vectorworks is definitely improving with each release, just needs some streamlining to things like this and certain user interface tweaks,

I could see some vectorworks improvements as:

 

1. have something like the graphics legend that is similar to affinity publisher or indesign master pages so you can create one page and all other pages you assign the master too automatically uses that master for creating views from and automatically publishes from a filter setup a bit similar to publish pages but with this graphics legend built in.

 

2. maybe something like a hybrid stretching 2D and 3D symbol that has an offset and the offset allows all items outside the offset to be fixed and everything on the inner of the symbol stretches, I know we have marionette but if we had a dynamic stretching style block we wouldn't need to take ages setting up marionettes for some things. 

 

3. in addition to the above hybrid stretching symbol have a pulldown option that is configurable by the user so you can hide and show things in a symbol and assign the hide and show to a dropdown item, you could assign any 2D or 3D item to the dropdown and it just hide or show depending on what option is picked. I know autocad has dynamic blocks like this but they were limited but if vectorworks allowed hybrid stretching and hybrid visibilities and it automatically creates a plugin symbol it would be very useful.

 

4. making startup times a lot quicker (maybe removing plugins from startup until you run the tool for the first time and then after that first run each plugin runs quicker because you started it already from the tool, it would speed up startup a lot I think. It might slow down the tool a little for the first use but I could see a lot of speed increase in that as each user doesn't use every tool / plugin inside of vectorworks and if you use the plugin / tool you are more than likely to use it more than once in the session your running. I might be wrong with my thinking on this though.

 

5. Worksheets update the user interface to be more like apple numbers like style filters / categories and build in better formatting for cells, maybe improve and put in auto dimensioning into worksheets as well (it may be that graphics legends could be the replacement for this but its not advanced enough yet, but certainly getting there. 

 

Thanks for your help with this graphics legend.

 

Sim

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35 minutes ago, TSG-Sim said:

 

 

It looks like you can use your way and get rid of the margin which is a way of creating the titleblocks side by side and it creates one PDF with all the pages in which does work and if I wanted individual images I can create individual images like that but the only downside to this method is that there is no automatic method of naming the pages like sheets and no way of exporting as individual PDF pages so only one per PDF.

 

You can make a title block style which is set to "auto generate page number". I'm never 100% confident I know what's going on with that, but if you make a first instance of the title block and duplicate it, you get a second instance which gets numbered two. I just tried doing a duplicate array of such titleblocks and managed to create 300 of them numbered sequentially from 1 to 300. So if you got the dims right you could overlay these onto your page grid as well as the GL cells.

 

All starting to deviate a bit from what all these things were really designed for though!

 

As for producing individual PDFs ... there must be some kind of PDF editing app that can split a multi-page PDF into individual pages. But of course maybe you would not end up with sensible file names.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Does anybody know how to script the sheets and viewports so that it can loop through all my design layers in a file and generate for example 8 viewports we need per item and an overview but with the codes for each item displayed on the overview.

 

we have hundreds of viewports to create and I have looked into partially scripting this but I wasn't understanding fully how the viewports worked with the design layers to get each item and how we could maybe use either cameras or a fixed viewport to define the view properties for all other viewports.

 

For example we have 10 design layers, on each design layer is a symbol titled as the code of the product and the design layer is named the same code. They are all centred in the middle of the origin in the same place for each item, we need for each design layer, 1 sheet layer that will show the plan view and all 8 custom view / camera view rotations all around the item, think turntable. After this overview sheet we will have the 8 separate rotations all as separate sheets but we might have to repeat this for 1000's of items and on each overview page we need text that displays what the symbol name is.

 

I would highly appreciate any help with this.

 

Thank you,

Sim

 

 

On 1/26/2023 at 4:59 PM, Pat Stanford said:

Assuming this is actually a 3D object the only way I can think of is to create a design layer for each object with the object in the same location on each layer. You then create the first Sheet Layer and layout the Viewports the way you want with appropriate layer (Only one Design Layer active) and class setting and view and rendermode for each viewport.

 

Duplicate the Sheet Layer, Go to the new sheet Layer, select all the Viewports. Click the Layers... button and change the visibility so that the "next" Design Layer is the only one visible. When you update the viewports you should have the second object.  Repeat for all the other layers.

 

This is scriptable, but I don't have time right now (next two weeks) to work on it. 😞

 

 

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