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Christiaan

VectorWorks 13: 2D rotation and legacy files

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Katie, here's one I'm really interested in.

With the apparent ability to rotate the co-ordinate system added to v13, how does v13 deal with legacy files, which don't have this ability? Is it transparent to the CAD user or are their negative implications?

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Well, I'm not Katie, but I'll try and address. Strictly speaking "legacy files" suggests forward translation from earlier versions, and I thin you will agree there's no conceptual problem here. What I think you are talking about is what we call "reverse translation", that is, translation to an earlier version, yes?

In any case, keeping in mind that "Plan rotation" is just another view mode, like Top or Top/Plan, exporting to an earlier version just removes the rotated view. No data in the drawing is changed, and thus no negative implications. Rotated views are saved with the standard "saved view" capability, and so if views are edited in the earlier version, it might be possible to lose the rotation part of the saved view (I have not tested this). But this is a minor issue.

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Great, thanks Robert. I remember an engineer telling me this was one of the main difficulties in implementing co-ordinate rotation.

Or... wait. Is "co-ordinate rotation" different from "plan rotation"? Will I, for instance, be able to create a model at the correct real-world orientation on a site and then turn the whole model to right angles so I can proceed drawing my plans and right angles?

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Christiaan, I somewhat overstated compatibility issues. There is one area of data-loss when reverse translating. Rotated rectangles, ovals, and rounded rects get converted to polylines when reverse translated. In VW_2008, these objects retain their identities and reshapability (if that's a word).

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Okay great. So will I be able to create a model at the correct real-world orientation on a site and then turn the whole model to right angles so I can proceed drawing my plans and right angles?

And then add benchmarks to the site plan that will give me real-world co-ordinates?

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Christiaan, you can do that now. Draw your floor plans square to the page (or as most convenient to a local XY system), and use layer links to move it to your site plan at whatever angle.

Rotated plan is not about those one-time transformations. It's about handling multiple rotations within a single plan (two wings of a building that are angled to one another at 17deg42min, for example.)

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Christiaan, you can do that now. Draw your floor plans square to the page (or as most convenient to a local XY system), and use layer links to move it to your site plan at whatever angle.

Well, no, that's the other way round from what I described. You're not actually building your model in real-world co-ordinates, so you can't, for instance, place a loci on your plans to get a co-ordinate (without going to another layer).

Using Layer Links to achieve this just adds another layer of complexity to the process of making a model, especially when we have Stack Layers.

Rotated plan is not about those one-time transformations. It's about handling multiple rotations within a single plan (two wings of a building that are angled to one another at 17deg42min, for example.)

Are you saying this feature won't allow me to create a model at real-world co-ordinates and turn it at right angles to work on?

See this wishlist thread for more info:

http://techboard.nemetschek.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=66791

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Are you saying this feature won't allow me to create a model at real-world co-ordinates and turn it at right angles to work on?

Hi Christiaan,

I think that is exactly what it ought to do. (and think it does).

Let's wait until we have it on our computers and running.

(Simply can't imagine advertising such feature without actually doing just that..... mumble mumble)

Gerard

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That's what I thought to, but I want to hear it from the horse's mouth before advising a purchase. I can't seem to get a straight answer tho. Robert, how about it?

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Christiaan, you will be able to do it. But that doesn't mean that I think it's the proper workflow for it. I think, from a workflow point of view, site information and building information should occupy different layers. Therefore, you can use layer links to do transforms between the two. Even today, as I said before.

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I think, from a workflow point of view, site information and building information should occupy different layers.

I agree, but there's no workflow related reason why they shouldn't simply be ordinary Design Layers rather than Layer Links. The only reason I can think of is a technical limitation within VectorWorks.

Why add the complexity and extra steps of setup and use of a Layer Link when you could simply create a model in it's real-world position and orientation?

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I think the reason Robert was suggesting Layer LInks is so you could draw the object so as to best use the horizontal/vertical snaps/constraints of VW. The LayerLink can then be brought into the site and rotated to match the required real world angle.

This is a work around, but until we see the VW2008 Rotated Working Plane, probably not a bad way of working.

Pat

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No, Robert is suggesting this is the proper workflow regardless of the ability to rotate the co-ordinate system.

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I hope christiaan's method works, this is by far the preferable. robert's 'correct workflow' method throws up all sorts of potential problems, maybe not such a big deal when plugging out multiple detached buildings* but if you are working on a scheme with an integrated landscape, you want them drawn co-incidentally and on the same co-ordinate system..

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I would say (for myself) that every project is different. There are certainly times when you would use one workflow and times when you would use another. Christiaan's original workflow issue was "create a model at the correct real-world orientation on a site and then turn the whole model to right angles so I can proceed drawing my plans and right angles". You can do this using the Rotated Plan view. But in the case given, I see no advantage to doing so.

I don't consider Layer Links a workaround -- they're a very powerful feature of VectorWorks.

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But in the case given, I see no advantage to doing so.

How about:

1) simplicity (not only in setup and use but in explaining the logic to someone)

2) the ability to click on any point on a plan and get a real-world co-ordinate (without having to setup or switch to another view)

3) the ability to use Stack Layers with the site context included

4) correct orientation to sun - that's got to have some advantage

My favourite advantage being item 1.

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coming from a microstation background christiaan's method seems very intuitive to me. real world orientation of models is very useful, here a great deal of landscape (and initial building grid establishments) is done with eastings and northings.

I'll be nervous about doing it in vectorworks as I bet you'll be re-rotating drawings constantly and I don't know if you'll be able to rotate drawings relative to sheet-files and print boxes as reliably as in microstation.

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Yeah, I'm wondering if Robert's viewpoint is tempered by the way this new rotation feature actually works in practice.

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I agree with Christiaan. When we get VW13, I will build my plan in-situ on site at the correct orientation, but use rotated view to work on it true to my screen. Naturally each storey has a layer, as does the site layer, so Robert's advice is good in this respect.

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Christiaan, you said "Yeah, I'm wondering if Robert's viewpoint is tempered by the way this new rotation feature actually works in practice."

It isn't, at all. It's more a pro-practice issue from working in the US, i.e. the domain of the architect vs. the domain of the civil engineer. Sometimes when doing tricky drainage plans*, to make everything work, the CivE has to move things around (vertically, or horizontally, or sometimes both). Much easier to keep the building in its proper coordinate system, and the site in its respective one. They meet at a "datum" that both parties can agree on.

FWIW, the new Rotated Plan view is very nicely done, in my opinion.

R.

* many drainage plans in the US are tricky, owing to the way we tend to pave over the earth for our autos.

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Christiaan, think of the rotated plan in 2008 as being the ability to rotate a sheet of tracing paper on a drawing board like we used to do. I think the intention was to let users handle splayed plan forms more easily such that in working on a 2 winged building, say, where one is vertical in plan and the other is at 30 degrees, you can now rotate the plan so the 30 degree wing is horizontal and the XY co-ordinates rotate accordingly.

In terms of setting global XY positions that will still depend on the origin and the global XY axes.

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Christiaan, you said "Yeah, I'm wondering if Robert's viewpoint is tempered by the way this new rotation feature actually works in practice."

It isn't, at all.

Well there does appear to be one rather large kink in the works for the way I was hoping to use it. When you rotate the coordinate system the page setup is also rotated.

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The coordinates are not being rotated, though, just the view.

And because this is simply a view, it does not affect backwards compatibility.

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Ah, of course, you're right, which means this feature is not what I was hoping it would be. Am I always asking too much?!

So the "best way" to achieve backwards compatibility with regard to co-ordinate rotation was to ditch co-ordinate rotation and go for the easy option of view rotation only:

http://techboard.nemetschek.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=66931&site_id=1#Post66804

More bang for your buck I guess but it's disappointing all the same.

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