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Andrew Mac

Getting elevations to look correct

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Just wondering if people are happy with the way there elevations look from the model or do they need to go back and trace over everything in order to achieve the desired look. My understanding of VW was that you can achieve yhe desired elevations from the model. It seems to work for very simple buildings but was about high end, full of detail residnetial homes, Examples would br detail columns, detail facias, freezes,flares siding at base of house, ornate railings.

I am just using the model as the background and ecentially creating the desired look over the top of it?

Edited by Mac B Designs

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Mac,

Time developing a design can be spent tracing over a simple model in a viewport or building an accurate 3D model which will only require notation withing the viewport.

Both methods can take the same amount of time both to create and to revise...

however...

Building and accurate model allows you to display elevations in plan and perspective with viewport overlays to intensify the presentational aspect of construction documentation. I prefer the front-side model building which can consume time but the pay-off is in the superior presentation it provides to clientele and construction field. Model building also forces you to accuratly portray detail right down to the radius of crown molding and coping detail.

VW is not a system to duplicate what other CAD systems do...it's presentational potential is far superior.

Pete A.

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...Building and accurate model allows you to display elevations in plan and perspective with viewport overlays to intensify the presentational aspect of construction documentation...

Mostly true BUT no matter how much time you spend on the model, you will almost always wind up doing some trace over of elevation viewports to get line weights right.

...it's presentational potential is far superior.

Matter of personal opinion. Some days I agree, some days I don't.

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There is no way you can expect any tool, whether a Stanley block plane or Vectorworks Architect, to provide expected results right out of the box. Neither can you expect any tool to perform unless you take the time to understand how the tool performs. VW, just like a block plane requires work on the front end to ensure that it will perform to your expectations and they both require upkeep and maintenence to continue performing at the expected level and beyond as the user improves in skill and technique.

I have not had to modify an elevation adding lines, hatch or anything other than notation and dimensions for over two years. VW modeling can and has performed to my expectation as I have learned (the curve) to make it work for me. Lets just say I have sharpened VW to my expectation of what a CAD program should perform. And as I spend more time with the program I continue to learn new techniques that improve the presentation of my drawings.

Following are a few of the elevation PDF files that come straight from VW with overlay viewports of Final Quality Renderworks and Hidden Line with only notes and dimensions applied to the Hidden Line viewport.

Elevation 1

Elevation 2

Elevation 3

Elevation 4

Elevation 5

Elevation 6

Elevation 7

Elevaiton 8

I can understand user frustration while learning the program but as you become aquainted with the tools available with the system your frustration will be replaced with pride over your presentation.

Keep at it...building a precise and accurate model is clearly the way to go.

Pete A.

Edited by panthony

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very impressive, I'm still trying to get to grips with producing the elevations but I'm getting there. Do you use Renderworks & does this help. I produce my elevations in hidden line view & the hatch the views in annotation mode otherwise I get odd lines showing up, would renderworks overcome this?

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Wow- those elevations are quite impressive Pete. I'll have to give the layered elevations a shot.

Tim

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Gorgeous elevations, Pete.

I don't render mine. I just do hidden line. That's why I wind up doing some trace over for line-weighting. Hidden line elevations look a little too flat otherwise.

I'll have to give rendering a try.

I've done some rendering for presentations and have found myself doing a lot of waiting for viewports to update. Do you have this problem?

Also, are you doing anything special for printed output? Line drawings are so easy to reproduce & copy - I'm worried about how the renderings will reproduce.

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In order to get the layered look you need to overlay the viewports the bottom one is the final quality renderworks and the top is hidden line. Even with a stand alone hidden line and if your model is precise and accurate you should never see a random line show up that must be traced over to hide.

I moved away from hidden lines and hatching a couple of years ago as it seemed to take just as long to fill in the hatching as is does to build an accurate model.

The best way to create the viewport is once you have the model complete render the elevation and select view->create viewport and place the viewport on a pre-defined sheet. By messing with the render prior to making a viewport all that is left to complete is the notation and dimensioning.

Samples of viewport overlay and utilizing foreground and background options for hidden line.

Water Tank Detail Drawing HIDDEN LINE OVERLAY VIEWPORTS

Water Tank Order Sheets HIDDEN LINE OVERLAYS

There is another item that I learned in building models. I keep emphisizing accuracy and precision. If things don't line up in your model hidden lines will not look good. One way to get things to line up is spread out the data across many classes. This way you can isolate specific 3D data and work only on the active class making snapping much quicker.

Plus and this is a big one.....INCREASE YOUR TOLERANCES OUT TO THE 10 DIGITS BEYOND THE DECIMAL. This will make the system force you to drawn more accuratly. My dimension tolerances are set to the 64th. High tolerances will catch data that does not line up...especially when you are measuring out to ten digits.

I can't help it, my OCD makes me do it!

The colors I use in my elevation renderings where chosen specificaly to provide a clean and ledgible print copy. I suppose other colors would work as well but I found browns gray shade better.

Pete A

Edited by panthony

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Pete,

Do you realize that you don't need to do stacked viewports in VW2008?

VW2008 has Background and Foreground rendering options for viewports. Set the background to FQRW and the Foreground to Hidden Line and you can get what you want in a single viewport.

Pat

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Pat you are correct...and I do use foreground and background with multiple overlays to achieve different results. This way I can break up the amount of data in a viewport which can speed up the update process (sometimes) but mostly using multiple viewports along with foreground and background in elevations along with a slight offset makes the hiddens appear with a shadow.

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Pete-

These are some great elevations-

My concerns are that we deal with high-end custom homes and most of the time we deal with using flair-out for the exterior walls near the base of the home and curved roofs with super detail eave profiles systems. IS it possible to achieve all of this still using a model.

Your drawings look great but it seems that we deal with much more detail and with regards to the building shape

If I break from the model I also feel like there will be significant trace over and trying to mask other things in the model. At this point I fear that the model need to be abandoned and then I ask the question if creating the model in the first place would be cost effective for my time management, or would line drawing just be easier and quicker

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Mac B

I understand your issues with flared walls and hidden line over final quality viewports. I am working on a 85 y.o "Pagoda" Craftsman and while the hidden line overlay looks fine for most of the elements the flared walls add extraneous lines at the flare. You can select the actual flared elements and turn off the hidden line for it in the OIP render tab and that helps.

This is a very detailed building -exposed rafter tails, decorative verge boards, decorative rounded beams, trusses, piers, upturned eaves etc... and although it did take some time to model the elements the accurate elevation views that result-and the ability to rotate around the model for design and presentation purposes is invaluable. Because it is a landmark house in a historic district the proposed additions can be more sensitively designed and then accurately represented to the historic resource board for approval.

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Tad-

I would love to see an example of this and then if you don't mind ask specdics about how you achieved certain aspects of the model

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Mac,

First, thanks!

There comes a time and you are more than likely at this point where you are contemplating spending time in the model or in 2D drafting and you are pulled in different directions because of an investment of time and resources. Because VW is an excellent tool for both modeling and drafting the decision is that much harder. However, VW adds to the equation...intellegence through worksheets and material tracking in the building information model. You can still attach data to 2D graphics but working things out in the 3rd dimension adds credibility to design in that you build a virtual structure with height, width, breadth and cost. Take an accuratly built model and the presentation possibilities are guided only by your imagination.

Time vs. revenue. This is where you have to make the decision that is best for your application. With me it is more about what I think the presentation should be rather than the revenue...but that is my personal conviction (OCD). My involvement in this thread from the beginning was to say that VW can do what they say they can do...and there are folks out there like Tad Damon who set the standard really really high. We can only hope to catch a little of what they can do in building a 3D model.

I am going to keep trying.

Pete A

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Me thinks you have placed me upon a pedestal which I do not deserve to occupy.

As I emailed Andrew of MacB I am quite certain there are 100s if not 1000's of VW users who are far better modelers, designers and presenters than I, (including your excellent examples-and who among us aren't at least a bit intimidated by Islandmon?) but I have offered to help if I can.

(side topic-I can't even figure out how to attach an image here when I need help-no hosted web site and the image hosting sites that I've tried to use the Forum won't take-any recommendations?)

But you are right, even self taught as I am, and hanging tightly to this forum for help, VW can do it, there is such flexibility inherent in VW that there nearly always is a work around, or a different process to achieve (or nearly so) what you want.

When you do make the jump to 3D and do a fly-around of a proposed design with the client, are able to figure out complex roof intersections and then pop out those elevations for CDs and consultants in a flash for annotating- I think the power of VW really comes to life. And yes, modeling is challenging and takes more than a little while to get the hang of it, but ultimately it is the way to go. I am still on a learning curve though as far as techniques and processes go-even as I make the program work for me.

Now, back to trying to figure out how best to hatch and annotate that elevation...

Cheers,

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(side topic-I can't even figure out how to attach an image here when I need help-no hosted web site and the image hosting sites that I've tried to use the Forum won't take-any recommendations?)

I posted a tip on this here:

Image Upload tip

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Switch to the Full Reply Screen when you post and use File Manager to attach files (near the bottom). Using Reply rather than the Quick Reply option will automatically give you the Full Reply Screen.

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Nice looking model.

As I begin to build my model with various types of renderings. I notice which I choose hidden line rendering, I loose all the detail for my windows. My windows actually looks more realistic in wire frame. Do I need to come back and draw more lines so the window has the correct detail?

Also, how do most people draw there exterior trim- Do they use extrude long path?

Also when using the coilumn tool and then do a hidden line rendering the verticle line show up and looks very unsightly- is there a way to get around this? LAstly- Can anyone recommend a 3rd party add that would have 3-d shapes, exmaples would be any type of residential exterior features, colunms, cornices, bed molds(crowns),railings, extensive door and windows plugin-, etc.

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I have read through this thread and am very impressed with the elevation examples posted. Maybe I missed something but, how do you control the line-weight of the elevation profile without adding a new line in the viewport annotations? A heavy profile outline is key to getting the elevations to pop.

Thanks

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Jonathan,

There are many places to manipulate line weights in VW.

Class properties

Layer Properties

Attributes (object properties)

Overrides (viewport advanced properties)

There is one basic understanding though that you need to get is that there is a difference between what you see in 2D and 3D. This is defined at the wall style definition level when establishing base wall line properties under component attributes. This is kind of buried but one of VW's core set-ups that define what a structure is going to look like in view ports.

Viewports show elevations in hidden line rendering of the 3D model...therefore the line weight setups are defined in the wall styles which govern the 3D presentation aspect.

I would reccomend that you start a new project with just one simple wall and tweek the setups to see what you get with differing setups so you can get a good idea of what VW is attempting to provide you with. Print all of your test docs to pdf in order to save on paper though as getting through this to get to what you prefer may take some time.

Pete A.

P.S. there is a users group in Charlotte, NC that you may want to get aquainted with, and they have some powerhouse users that can give you a tremendous amount of tips and tricks. Look them up...I'm sure they would be very accomadating. There are a few of us NCr's who are only a few hours away so meeting once a month is really benificial for all.

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