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I am new to Architect but have used Fundementals before. I am slightly confused re Design and model layers. Simplistically for a new doc I would set up in doc prefs. Units.. model ( which gives me the builing levels) .. and standard VPts.

Where is the Design layer? Or is this the model layer. Simply do I design on the model layer and view my chosen setions and elev etc on the viewport layers and print from the sheets that are generated. Sometimes I see a Design layer and sometimes I don't in some docs. Also if I designate the perspective Vport to render a GL version of the design say in persp. lower right view for example, when I go to the perspective Vport I either have to change the scale or there is a blank rectangle with blue control handles which dont appear to do anything. I am obviously not understaning something here so can anyone help me please.

Thank you


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design layers are generally what you draw on. sheet layers are used primarilty for formatting and printing your sheets. thats my simplistic approach anyway. is you want to model you building you need to place wall, doors etc., on the appropriate design layers- like mod-floor-1 for 1st floor stuff, etc. same thing is true for sections, draw on design layer- includinf notes and dimenisions- and place on the sheet layer as a viewport. some like to draw the section on the design layer and notate on the appropriatly scaled and placed viewport, but thats a personal choice. hope this helps...

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It might help to do a search or go back through old posts, since these are basic questions of drawing and project set up. It would also help to take some basic training and find a user group.

That said, in a nutshell:

You draw a plan on the Design layers, ie, 1st Floor on Mod-Floor-1.

You draw the objects to be in that plan in the Classes, ie, a window on the window class, an interior wall on the Wall-Int class (or your choice of label). These you can turn on and off to generate the desired view on the Design and Sheet layers, such as framing, floor plan, lighting, furniture etc. You save those views in Save View in the menu bar on your bottom left for ease of future navigation..

When you want to generate drawings, you can select a portion of a plan and create a viewport (view/create viewport), assign it to a particular Sheet Layer and render it how you like (wire-frame, Open GL, etc).

Section viewports allow you to create a section from your model, assuming you have set up the model parameters properly. These, along with 3d views and elevations tend to show up as either red boxes or an image with a dashed red line, which you Update in the Object Info Palette. As jmarch noted, some folks prefer to note on the design layers. I prefer to use the annotation capabilities of the viewports.

You can assign the viewports anywhere and use them to organize the drawings. I often set up an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet and make a series of viewports of plans and 3d views that evolve as the design progresses. I can place one of these over the sheet outline or titleblock and File/export/pdf and send them to clients for discussion. This is a rapid way of getting an idea to the client or a detail or image to a builder or vendor without using a large format sheet.

Nuff said for now. Good luck.

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Thanks for the help and I moved forward on this quite well with your help and having played the video training movies on the VW12 site. I have Architect and Fundementals and have two more questions.

Is it a fact that I was getting confused with Fundementals and Architect,

that in Fundementals I get a "Design layer" and in Architect I get a "Model layer" ( having set this up under doc setup) .

So I dont get named Design layers in Architect?

Secondly having got viewports working in section and elevations I am having trouble with the perspective V/Port. All views have the same scale and when I ask the persp. V/P to give me a perspective view I get four small square dots. Changing the scale does not seem to give me a view just a slightly different size square but not big enough to show anything. Basically I am trying to have the perps. V/P give me a GL perspective view updated from the model layers just like my success with the elev V/Ports for instance.

Any ideas welcome.

Thank you for your help hopefully


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You have Design and Sheet Layers in both Fundamentals and Architect.

The advantage to Architect is you gain a Model Setup feature that will go in and construct your layers for you along with z (elevation) and delta z (thickness) settings of each layer.

They are named for you, but you can use Standard Naming menu to adjust the names of these layers.

You can always create your own as well and name them whatever you wish.

You don't have to use the Model Setup feature in Architect if you feel more comfortable setting the document up yourself and choosing the names of layers, viewports, sheets, etc. on your own.

The perspective view choice of viewports is going to set a perspective of the layer. It may not precisely be where you want, so instead, I suggest setting the view in your design layer, then creating a viewport from that view.

Go to the Design layer(s) you want to include in your perspective view. If you have RenderWorks, use the RenderWorks Camera Tool in the Visualization toolset to set the perspective. If you don't have RW, you'll have to use the View > Set Perspective menu to generate the perspective.

Once you get the perspective view set, you can increase or decrease the viewing window of the perspective. Grab one of the corner handles and adjust them around in the drawing to your liking.

Once that's all done, go to View > Create Viewport and choose the Sheet layer you want the perspective on.

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David B, it?s a shame that you don?t a training manuals to get you started. If you had exercises about design layers, classes, sheet layers and viewports this would become a lot clearer.

I write one of the best VectorWorks training manuals and it has several exercises on using design layers, classes, viewports and sheet layers to make your drawings.

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