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CipesDesign

Using Rendered Viewports to create Elevatons

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Graham & Others, here's a step-by-step to get a result similar to the one I posted:

1) Create a model of your building. The model will usually consist of multiple layers (but this is not a requirement). It helps (in the long run) to use specific classes for "ext walls", "Style-Glazing 1", "roof", etc, etc. This is also not required, but will allow you to show certain textures in a "model" (3d presentation) and then change them (by class) for the working drawing elevations. I will explain more about this later.

2) There are two ways you can display your building model so that all of the layers align properly in "Z" space. Either use "stack layers" or "create layer link". For quick testing and viewing, stack layers is much faster & easier, but for final elevations I prefer to create one (or more) layer link(s). The reason for this is that I can place a "sun" object into the layer with the link, and it wont show up anywhere else. (You can also assign your sun(s) to specific classes to control when they are "on" or "off".

3) Once you have a model with a light source, go to an elevation view (eg: front, right, etc) and render it using "Final Quality Render Works". (note: artistic rendering will not give you accurate shadows). If it looks good (that is, has nice looking shadow lines and light) then go to step 4, otherwise keep tinkering.

4) Draw a rectangle (or any poly) around the entire rendered elevation and "create viewport". Place the VP on a sheet layer and position as desired.

5) Select the VP and then "duplicate in place" (I usually just "option-click" which will do a duplicate in place). Now you should have 2 identical VP's, one stacked exactly over the the other.

6) Select the top-most VP and change it's rendering mode to "Hidden Line". Then go to the "advanced properties" dialog and increase the line weight by some factor (I used 6 in my example).

7) Now double click (or right click) on the Hidden Line (top) VP and select "edit annotations". In the annotations draw any heavier line work you want. In my example there is very little: basically only the perimeter and some areas of the porch posts and railings.

8) Select both VP's and click UPDATE.

9) You should have something close to my example.

Try it and let me know if you have any questions.....

A couple other things to keep in mind:

Rendered presentations (3d stuff) are very different from printed elevations. So be aware that you may need to adjust the level of ambient light for your elevations (In my example the ambient level for the FQRW's VP was 85% or so). Again, In a 3d model I might want a dark brown roof tile and clear windows, but these will not print very well (the roof will be a giant black blob for example). So if I have used a specific class for my roof (and glazing) I can go into the "classes" area of each of the VP's and by selecting a particular class I can then edit that classes attrigbutes (including texture) FOR THAT SPECIFIC VP ONLY (sorry for yelling, I wanted to very clear!). That way I might change the dark brown roof texture to light gray (or white) for the elevation VP's, and change the window glazing to solid gray, etc. Hope that helps...

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So you have a few different layers with different sun positions on them, and thats all? named like Sun-Summer, Sun-Winter or whatever, and you layer link them and unlink them as you need them?

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i dont want to reply for peter, my method there is to have a design layer Mod-Sun on that layer one is the real time sun in class Sun and 4 suns in 4 classes Sun-N , Sun-S, Sun-W & Sun-E which i set 45?in each quarter and switch on as necessary per Elevation.

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Both methods (and perhaps others) will work fine, but I am doing something a little different. In my case I have created one new deisn layer which I have named "Elevations N & E" and another named "Elevations S & W". With one of these new layers active, and with no objects in the layer yet, I have gone to VIEW>CREATE LAYER LINK. In the dialog that comes up I have selected the design layers I wish to show in the elevations (eg: First Floor Plan, Second Floor Plan, Roof, Etc), and clicked OK. I have repeated the exact same procedure for the second Elev layer. Now I have two layers, each containing a complete building model (as a Layer Link). Next, for each of the layers, I use the "Set Sun Position" command. I always try to use accurate lat/long for the sun, but will vary the time of year/time of day as needed so that each side of the building has some direct light on it. So, in the example I posted earlier, the sun is set to very early in a mid-summer morning, which is how there is light showing on the North side of the building (you'll notice that the shadows are very long). This also gives me light on the East side. In the second link I use a Sun position in the mid-afternoon, which allows light to fall on the South and West sides. In this example the house is oriented exactly N/S, but you can modify the above to suit your needs. Hopefully that expalins it more clearly... P

Here is the link to the example again: North Elev

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Peter,

I think you should post this to the Tech Notes section. Might save several of us having to re-explain this process.

Very well presented, BTW.

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Peter, I'll offer my variation on your method, which I use to give basically the same kind of result. First, instead of a second viewport, I superimpose a line conversion of the elevation so that I can work out some of the little annoying artifacts that sometimes clutter the hidden line view. I paste this into the annotation space and visually align it to the rendering. Second, for different times of day I have multiple lighting assigned to classes like "Sun-10 am" and "Sun-4pm", which can be individually activated as desired for particular viewports. I also find that it is often unecesssary to change the sun angle if you just crank up the viewport's background lighting on the shady side. It doesn't give dramatic shadows, but it's also more true-to-life!

Regardless of these slight differences in the way of working, the method you outline has been very successful and I've been very pleased with the results. We can get what is perceived as an "extra service" with semi-photorealistic elevations, and do it faster and easier than drawing line elevations. The only problem I find is that color output is still a bit expensive, and the conversion to black and white causes some loss of clarity. I'd be curious to know your thoughts on that issue.

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Ah, the color/B&W issue. Generally I like to see "true" colors for 3d presentation stuff, and so I use a suitable texture for each type of surface. But, as I said above, these textures do not translate well to a B&W printer. So I use VP class overrides to change the textures to something simple and closer to B&W or grayscale. I have learned, for example, that for elevations which show lap siding I need to use a white (or very light grey) siding texture for B&W printing. Similarly, I almost always use a light grey or white roof shingle in my final elevations, although the original model may have used brown or dark grey or whatever. It's both a matter of graphic taste and what will actually "read" well on the final printed output. Does that make sense?

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Hi Peter et. al.,

I am having a problem. I have set up a design layer which is a model of the house, with layer links to bring in the floor, walls, roof, etc., each from seperate design layers. I have four suns in the model layer, one pointing straight at each side of house and set to four different classes ("sun north," "sun east," etc.) I set the ambient in the model layer to 50% and the brightness of the sun to 50% and render with "final quality renderworks." Here's what I get:

www.remodelguidance.com/clients/111calumet/testrendering2designlayer.jpg

Now, when I create a viewport of the same layert:

www.remodelguidance.com/clients/111calumet/testrendering2viewport.jpg

Yes, the class for the "sun" is on in the viewport!

Beyond this, I have some questions:

1) What do you use for shingle and roof textures? I used the "roof tiles" option from VW and struggled for a few hours before discovering that I had to adjust the width and length up quite a bit to seen anything. The values listed there seem kind of random - do you have sizes you like for 1/4 = 1'-0"

2) Where do you place your suns?

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Graham -

I've replied to your post on the other section where you've also posted the same question here.

Be sure you click on "Show All" or page 2 in the lower right to see my reply and replies of others.

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There's a few shingle textures that ship with VW you can also use.

The size can be changed under the Render tab in the OIP or just adjusted with a slider.

The other option is to get an image from a manufacture or the internet and create a texture from the image.

When you say "Where do you place your suns" are you asking about coordinates relative to the model, the layer, the class, etc. ?

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Peter this is the way I've been doing elevations and it works really well. The one complaint is the bad job using hiddenline in the top view port. Using Pete's method of converting a copy to lines will let you fix the problems that hiddenline leaves which is cool. The new problem is I like to use a mild sketch on the top view port. I can't figure out how to get this new group of lines, now in the annotationed viewport to take a sketch.

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Graham,

The Viewports have their own lighting options at the bottom of the OIP. That probably needs turning on or a bump up in intensity.

Also, if your lights in the design layers are pointing directly, horizontally at the elevations, you won't get any shadows in the RenderWorks rendering. That may be what you want anyway... Tilt them down to some degree to get shadows.

Keep tweaking all the knobs and buttons like the Wizard behind the curtain and you can get any look you want. It does take time and experimenting at first.

Edited by Michael K

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I like Peter C. use the viewport tools to produce my final document output. I will usually have a rendered viewport underneath a hidden line viewport. I notate the HL VP on the final docs and print to PDF in B&W for presentation to the field. I also present in color to the client. Plans come out really nice depending on the printhouse....sometimes they print a little dark and have to adjust thier intensity.

Go to TOULOUSE PDF SAMPLE PLANS to see what I send to the field with the method described above.

Pete A

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Hi Pete! Very nice work! I especially enjoy the fact that you include the 3d ISO model view along with the plans/elev's'etc. I'll bet your builders find this enormously helpful, especially for roof framing! I think I will have to "borrow" this idea (in concept only, not specifics) for use in future CD's. Thanks for the post ;-)

Oh and PS: I'll bet the roofing contractor will be cursing you under his breath as he watches his guys hanging from their harnesses! LOL

Edited by CipesDesign

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Panthony, awesome work. You're a rock star and an inspiration. I just hope I live long enough to get that good with the program.......

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One more thing.... *all* of you who have contributed to this thread (and others like it) always impress me with your knowledge and willingness to share. Thank you for some really good stuff.

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Thank you for the kind words!

I have to, however, say that I recieved my inspiration from Islandmon, Peter Cipes, Pete Retendo, Petri the sometimes rude but always humorous and absolutly right on with VW, Mike from OZ, Robert Anderson, Christiaan, archoncad, propstuff and many many others who post to these forums with their wealth of knowledge...but I think the person who really got me going was "Kaare Baekgaard" I think it was the nail to the forehead and running out into the street screaming that showed me there are other users who after years of work in VW are still slamming their heads in the door jamb to get great results.

Thanks to you all...and Thanks VW for a good product. And thanks Katie!

Pete A.

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Peter

I dont understand how having one VP in Hidden line with annotations, sitting on top of a VP with a model works. When i do this i simply have the HL Vp showing since it's sitting on top of the first 'model' VP - Please explain.

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Ronin,

HLRs are "transparent". . .only the lines have density. This allows any color or grayscale from the second VP to show through. (That's what you're seeing in the examples posted.) Make sure the back VP is set to render with Renderworks or OpenGL. Update both VPs.

If you don't have the RW option with your VectorWorks, this isn't going to work.

Good luck,

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Ronin,

The major benifit to using this type of VP technique is to give the the appearance of depth to an otherwise 2D drawing. This is strictly for presentational purpose which with any type of unique graphical display presents the viewer with a dimension that mimicks reality thereby communicating a dramatic response from tickling the senses. You can paralell the response similar to listening to a symphony from outside the hall or inside the hall. Both expamples will get the job done, however the experience will be enhanced from inside.

Your VP's must have their fill attributes set to "None" for this technique to work.

Please note however that in order for this technique to work you must spend time building the model rather than filling in an elevation. So the time to produce this result is equal with both techniques but this one is realistic.

Pete A

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Here's another method using a single viewport and the glass house effect. Glass House w/ Frame

Here's another one using 2 viewports - one is the framing plan in open gl with a hidden line render (sketch style enabled) on top.

(it's just a snippit - the entire thing is huge)

Cool sketch & render frame

Edited by Katie

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Pete, Travis

A HUGE - Duhhhh!!! Man, did i feel dumb, you guys are absolutly correct - I had a viewport fill set to white so the lower VP didnt show through.

I'm having fun now.

Thanks

Ronin

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