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Seam lines in elevations


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hi.

You got me thinking about this issue of lines showing elevations, I have not been having that problem with my projects in vw 2009 and I just made a new test file: 3 layers at different hgts, used wireframe and hidden line renders. please see attachments with screen shots.

If problems persist I could take a look at one of your files.

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Hi,

thank you for your quick answer and for your offer to take a look at my files.

However, my own test files also dont have the problem described. I think test files suffer from oversimplification in the following respect:

1.) Rectangular Plan

It is very easy to achieve and maintain very high accuracy on a simple rectangular layout. This is not so easy with a complex polygonal structure, which may also have different oblique angles, protrusions and recessions.

2.) Copying walls from Layer to Layer is not always an option

As long as you are copying walls from layer to layer you get 100% accuracy. However wall construction or wall thickness may not be the same in every layer. So you have to draw these walls for each layer individually.

Given a moderately complex floor plan, with different oblique angles as described above, I found it almost impossible to achieve the accuracy required for the lines in elevations to disappear.

Using the drawing, snapping or constraint tools for this task is completely out of question. While in theory these tools work perfect, inaccuracies in the range of 100.000002cm or 90.00001? are happening frequently. You have to enter all data numerically. Even then I have repeatedly been forced to start over and copy walls from an adjacent floor, and thereby loosing all specific properties of the wall needed for the storey (doors, windows, etc.).

3.) Inaccuracies introduced by design variations and revisions

An architectural plan is not finished in a day. It is worked on for weeks, months or even years, sometimes even by many different people. In this process numerical inaccuracies are inevitably introduced, leading to unexpected results in elevation and section views. I am currently in the process of switching our office from traditional drafting to a more "BIM" type of workflow. Given the above experience I went from enthusiastic to very sceptic.

A possible solution:

I suppose there is some code in vectorworks that does the collinearity check for elevations. The accuracy of this collinearity check could be either

a.) linked to the drawing scale

b.) linked to the rounding precision

or be

c.) a seperate preference option.

If the collinearity check is linked to the drawing scale or rounding precision it should be as "inacurate" as possible. Example: If the rounding precision is 1 the lines should disappear if the divergence is smaller than 0,5.

The rule of thumb should be: If you dont see the divergence in the object info palette, collinearity should be considered good enough.

Edited by Thomas Wagensommerer
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I'd love to see some kind of adjustability in the sensitivity of hidden line rendering. I, too, have these minor misalignment issues that result in unwanted lines showing in my hidden line renderings. Something similar to smoothing angle would be great.

I have found that changing the rounding precision in File>Document Settings>Units up to their maximums (1/64 & .0000000001) helps quite a bit with this problem.

It would be great if VW's hidden line removal was just...better.

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I have this problem as well. I think we all do. The problem for me with ratcheting the rounding precision all the way up, is object sizes start to become a little meaningless, i.e. I know from experience how big an 1/8" is, but 27/64"? Not so much.

I gave a little chuckle at Wes's renderings here:

http://techboard.vectorworks.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=123217#Post123217

Nice, but whats up with the lines? No one is immune.

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I have this problem as well. I think we all do. The problem for me with ratcheting the rounding precision all the way up, is object sizes start to become a little meaningless, i.e. I know from experience how big an 1/8" is, but 27/64"? Not so much.

I agree but I'd rather deal with that than having to tweak every little thing AFTER I've already drawn it once.

As I said, it would be great if hidden line rendering just worked...better.

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Indeed, Artistic Rendering is based on the old style Quickdraw polygonal rendering ... and that's the rub.

What good is an almost ... not quite accurate ... sorta interesting architectural rendering ?

Placating the Client is one thing ...but having to explain,

"All those extra lines you see are really not supposed to be there ... they're just part of the rendering effect... a mistake in the CAD program ... really..."

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If the walls of the building are meant to be continuous across the floor plate then that's the way it should be modeled.

If there's a software issue it's with the way in which walls have to be drawn to work within standard Vectorworks layer structure.

Vectorworks doesn't handle multi-story elements well...the rendering is just a symptom.

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If the walls of the building are meant to be continuous across the floor plate then that's the way it should be modeled.

If there's a software issue it's with the way in which walls have to be drawn to work within standard Vectorworks layer structure.

Vectorworks doesn't handle multi-story elements well...the rendering is just a symptom.

You're wrong on this one. VW does handle multi-story elements well. If you take the walls, you can set them to take the layer height, when a floor needs to be higher or lower, the walls will adapt to it, ...

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Here's what I'm saying:

Vectorworks wants users to model a four story wall as four walls each on a different layer.

That's why there are seams.

The logic underlying vectorworks layers prohibits objects from being members of multiple layers.

In otherwords, the exculsivity of classification imposed by classes is duplicated by layers and imposed spatially.

The exclusive mapping of layers to floor levels is probably convenient from a programming standpoint, but does not reflect the organization of buildings.

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Here's what I'm saying:

Vectorworks wants users to model a four story wall as four walls each on a different layer.

That's why there are seams.

Right, sorta: in the case of an atrium, for example, some walls might rise multi-stories, and right next to them the same "wall" might consist of a bunch of different stories. In the framing/construction, as well as the render appearance, these are not the same. Walls are associated with layers, but can be any height, so what's the big deal? A first floor wall can span to the top of a 3 story atrium... Which is, essentially, how it would be built, also.

However: it seems to me that most of the time the horizontal seams go away in hidden line mode (don't know much about artistic modes), if the walls are aligned with each other. And given the very good snap tools, I don't see what the big deal about alignment is (am I missing something?). Why would you worry about aligning them "within" .001" or something: just snap, and they are where you want them. Move/snap them again if they aren't there yet... Can someone post a file (or explain clearly) that shows where that is not a viable option?

The exclusive mapping of layers to floor levels is probably convenient from a programming standpoint, but does not reflect the organization of buildings.

I don't quite get your point. it seems to me that people do build buildings one floor/wall at a time, even when those walls span multiple stories... and VW models that. But maybe I'm missing something.

Keith

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Right, sorta: in the case of an atrium, for example, some walls might rise multi-stories, and right next to them the same "wall" might consist of a bunch of different stories. In the framing/construction, as well as the render appearance, these are not the same. Walls are associated with layers, but can be any height, so what's the big deal? A first floor wall can span to the top of a 3 story atrium... Which is, essentially, how it would be built, also.

That's true. But if you model the three story atrium walls on "first floor layer" then you will have to display "first floor layer" on "second floor plan sheet layer viewport."

But now you have to figure out how to control the display of all the unwanted elements of "first floor layer" such as furniture, room names, partition locations, etc.

The only way to do that is by multiplying the classes or graphically obscuring it or putting the spanning walls on their own layer.

What vectorworks won't do intelligently is to limit the dispaly of first floor elements to only those which are cospatial with the second floor (ie. the three story atrium walls).

Vectorworks does not handle multistory elements efficiently.

That's why it is common to get alignment errors and the lines about which people complain.

A vectorworks layer lacks the intelligence needed for modeling many building elements.

I don't quite get your point. it seems to me that people do build buildings one floor/wall at a time, even when those walls span multiple stories... and VW models that. But maybe I'm missing something.Keith

Vectorworks is not a tool for building buildings.

It's a tool for designing them.

Architects don't design multistory elements one story at a time.

The vectorworks approach is based on breaking multistory elements across multiple layers.

In my opinion, it's a poor choice.

Edited by brudgers
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The vectorworks approach is based on breaking multistory elements across multiple layers.

In my opinion, it's a poor choice.

Thanks for the clarification, I hadn't really thought out the implications. It seems like there'd be some thorns doing it the other way too, but I've never used a program that does it that way. Are there other drafting programs that do it that way?

Seems almost like damned if you do, damned if you don't: if you draw the (3-story) atrium wall on the first floor, but then have it print by "co-spatial components" on each floor plan, it starts sounding a lot like layers, with the exception that you have one "wall" (viewed as a bunch of identified co-spatial components) vs. a bunch of different walls, equivalent to your co-spatial components. The conversation started with seam lines in elevations: that issue could crop up or be solved in either of these scenarios...

Given that one can copy/paste-in-place the wall on as many layers as you want, and probably even OIP them all simultaneously if it came to it, I'm not sure I see the value of the co-spatial approach. And if there is an advantage, could it be met just as effectively by having some way of parametrically linking objects on different layers?

I'm not trying to be obtuse, I'm mostly arguing the details since I like watching the devils run around. Oh, and it's educational, forcing me to think about the inner workings of VW more deeply.

Keith

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Brugers, why not just have one layer, however many stories high, for your multi-story walls? Just don't put furniture etc. on this layer. Are you saying that you want to model a multi-story wall as one element and then expect the program intelligently to know when you want to see portions of it? Your analysis of how you are constrained to work in a certain way in VW seems forced. VW provides options to model building components in a wide variety of ways. VW is for designing and modeling. I view modeling a lot like constructing building.

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I mention the issue not because it's hanging me up.

I mention it because, in my opinion, it makes more sense for NNA to put development effort into improving the handling of multistory elements in lieu of putting effort into kludging the renderer to compensate for the manner in which multi-story elements are handled...or rather not handled.

And I said, "You know what we need?" my brilliant insight, "We need knee pads!'" I was very serious, and this person looked at me like I was the stupidest person they'd ever seen. I'm working for this person? This is great. "What we need is packing tables."

--------------Jeff Bezos http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/bez0int-4

Edited by brudgers
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...in my opinion, it makes more sense for NNA to put development effort into improving the handling of multistory elements in lieu of putting effort into kludging the renderer to compensate for the manner in which multi-story elements are handled...or rather not handled.

I'd suggest that BOTH things need NNA's attention. Hidden line generation needs to work better in many conditions, not just when dealing with multi-story elements. If the ends of walls aren't PERFECTLY ALIGNED, a vertical line appears. In conditions where a new addition abuts an existing outside corner, a vertical line appears. When cabinet objects abut, a line appears between the cabinets. And so on.

Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

After reading again the replies, I noticed something, users who experience the hidden lines problems all have something in common, version 2008, in the latest version the rendering behaves differently, no lines in elevations. that is why I posted the screen pictures.

suggestion:

give vw 2009 a try

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Hidden line generation needs to work better in many conditions, not just when dealing with multi-story elements. If the ends of walls aren't PERFECTLY ALIGNED, a vertical line appears.

If the wall is a single element, then there's no need to align them.

Let's not miss the forest for the trees.

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If the wall is a single element, then there's no need to align them.

Let's not miss the forest for the trees.

I'm not sure you understood my earlier post.

When working on a renovation projects, containing new AND existing elements, I frequently have new walls that need to be aligned with the ends (not tops or bottoms, but ends) of existing walls. If the new element isn't perfectly aligned with the existing, a line will appear between new and old in hidden line rendering. I have had many occasions when I snapped a new wall to the edge of an existing one, done a hidden line rendering and found a vertical line between the two walls. The only truly reliable way to prevent this problem that I have found has been to stretch the existing wall, cut it where new is supposed to connect to existing, and then change the "new" segment to a new wall style and layer. Pretty tedious. In my mind, this should just work properly in the first place.

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