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Rotate Ground Plan

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Is there anyway to have 2D objects rotate with the view? In CAD the groundplan rotates with the view by default. The only way I can get my 2d drawings to rotate is by extruding them to 0". But then they lose their 2D qualities. I can't have dotted lines etc.. I also have to convert text to polylines and extrude to 0"

I build theatrical sets. I start by drawing a groundplan in 2D. Then I begin modeling up the set. When I rotate the view to have a look, it would be nice to see the rest of the footprint in its correct perspective. Also, I do not model all of the backstage architecture. I leave it in 2d but I have to turn it off when I rotate the set.

I wonder why Vectorworks doesn't even offer the option? I've attach two images so you can see what I mean.

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VW is the only CAD program I've ever used that can't do this (AutoCAD, Microstation, Revit, ArchiCAD, SketchUP can), and I find it frustrating myself.

It's a particularly glaring omission when compared to SketchUp. In SU you can take a site plan, drag up some shapes, then view in 3D and you've got a great block model, with all your roads, paths and fences etc marked on the ground plane, without you having to model them. It makes these quick massing models worthwhile.

Now you can extrude quickly in VW - as fast as dragging in SU. You can even use the McMansion tool (NNA call it the Massing Model tool or something) to get roofs quickly. But you just can't see the ground plane when you flick into 3D, so your massing is either floating in space or sat on a plain base extrude.

Somebody will no doubt tell me a dozen workarounds for this, but it's the simple, obvious, functionality that gets used, not workarounds.

Add it to the wish list James - '2D Ground Plane Follows 3D View' option

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Somebody will no doubt tell me a dozen workarounds for this, but it's the simple, obvious, functionality that gets used, not workarounds.

Nah. One is enough: convert (a copy of) the 2D linework to 3D-polygons. Maybe put a floor there, too, for the overall site. Or a terrain model.

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Well, I can't understand how the 2D geometry could know where it is supposed to be in 3D. 2D objects do not have 3D data because they are not 3D objects.

Would it be useful if something drawn in plan would always be at z-level zero? I don't think so.

But let's assume you draw something in front elevation. Where would that 2D something be along y-axis? Or in a perspective view?

There is, BTW, a solution that is definitely not a workaround: draw everything in 3D...

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The other programs are wrong. Stupid. Anyone who would like VW to work this way is... well, never mind.

Go and buy any of the other CAD programs!

2D objects have an x and y which remain the same in 3D space

No. Nothing like it. A 3D view is not the same as 3D space. The x/y coordinates of 2D objects have no relationship whatsoever to the coordinate system of the 3D-space.


Right. Some people want an "option" to have 2D objects in 3D space. I have only bad news: this is not possible. Some want a stupid and totally pointless z=0 setting.


Yes, I am irritated.

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Hey, read a book on spatial geometry. Enrol on a course of Extremely Elementary Geometry & Utterly Basic Coordinate Systems at your local, friendly Mechanics Institute. Hire a maths teacher. ANYTHING!

(It would not help, though. How about a book about Simple Arithmetics? One finger, two fingers, three fingers - six!)

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Call me stupid (again...), but you're arguing that something is impossible that actually exists in all other programs. You previously acknowledged it was possible, but that the other programs must be stupid for doing it. Which is it? And why the unsupported presumption that it's not VW that's stupid in this respect?

Why CAN'T a representation of the 2D plan exist, or appear to exist, at Z=0 in 3D?

(in simple terms for us stupid people please)

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In simple terms: 2D objects do not exist in any 3D coordinate system.

I'm pretty sure that this concept is beyond your comprehension: it must be difficult to realise that 2 is not 3.

Now, I do appreciate that with your whopping four years of experience and little, if any, background knowledge, logical & mathematical concepts are difficult. This, as such, would not be stupidity. Your unique stupidity arises from your unwillingness to learn even the basics of spatial geometry.

Just stick to drafting.

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Petri, you can see it another way:

2D is not always 2D. It can be 3D that looks 2D when you look at it from in front of it. So Those other programs, just draw thing in '2D' on a 3D plane.

It will be very handy to have this.


When you rotate your drawing in 3D to work on it, All 2D objects show in front of the 3D objects and make it hard to work on those 3D objects.

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2D is always 2D. Once more: if you want everything in 3D, use only 3D-objects. Draw them on a plane. Do not use any 2D objects. What's the big problem here?

It might be handy to have clairvoyant 2D objects that would behave like 3D objects in the way we would like them to, but that is not going to happen.

Oh yes, about "all other programs": ArchiCAD behaves exactly like VectorWorks in this respect, except that it can't even convert 2D lines etc into 3D.

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The other programs are wrong. Stupid.

What would the downside be to this? If 2D objects including text and dimensions assume a 3D orientation parallel to the plane in which the were created, wouldn't that just be better then doing nothing at all when you change views?

If so, could this not be a user definable option similar to how viewports and linked layers reveal 2D objects (the project 2D objects option)? By the way, that option is probably poorly named huh?

I can promise you one thing. NNA is well aware of this user wish, and I would bet a nickel that an engineer is working on this as we speak. Well not as we speak, but during normal business hours. That's not to say that the NNA engineers don't work overtime. And is this really speaking? Well you know what I meen.

Anyway, I'm really only writing this because I have been long removed from this message board and this thread was so entertaining that it made me want to jump back in.

And in conclusion, I'll put down another nickel that Petri has something to add.

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Let's assume you have two 3D lines created in different orientations. How would you join them?

Good point, though it seems that the problem might be more related to why are you able to draw 2D objects in anything other then a 2D view, then why can't NNA make this work like many of the other CAD applications out there. What would Mr Euclid say about drawing 2D objects in front, side top, back iso, etc. views. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating a forced switch to plan view every time I grab a 2D tool, but I think this can be worked out.

The reality is that drafting using 2D tools is merely overlaying that information, relative to your page, on top of 3D geometry. The two are totally independent and for a new user this is very difficult to understand. Ask tech support. This comes up all the time. Mr Euclid's laws or not, I'm sure the talented engineers at NNA are working on an implementation for this type of 2D/3D interaction. And I'm confident we will see the absolutely best implementation of this, in any CAD application.

or SketchUp.

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Good point, though it seems that the problem might be more related to why are you able to draw 2D objects in anything other then a 2D view, then why can't NNA make this work like many of the other CAD applications out there.

One of the better 3D features of VW is that you can draw a 2D shape in any 3D view and then extrude or sweep it. If this possibility would be taken away only because some architects want 2D shapes (uselessly at z=0) to be shown in 3D, we'd take a huge leap backwards. Since only the plan view is 2D, you are indeed advocating a forced switch to plan mode.

If someone is able to create a massing model of a building, surely he or she can either draw a few 3D polygons or convert 2D shapes to those.

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