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Elevation line weights


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As most of you probably know, when you draw an elevation by hand you make lines darker or lighter (thicker or thinner) based on the depth of space behind it. Thus, the outline of the building will be the darkest (thickest) and things that have very little space behind them (i.e. trim) will have the lightest (thinnest) lines.

Is there a way to have the elevations in Vectorworks follow this same principle? Or are the line weights always based on the class properties?



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The simple answer is yes and yes to your questions. You can break up your 3D model to as many classes you are comfortable with assigning line weights as required. There are also viewport level abilities to change line weights. The process is both simple at the class and viewport level.


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My elevations show only the outline of exterior walls in hidden line. This gives me a heavy weight around the perimeter of windows and doors also when ther is no trim present to hide the lines. I use windoor which gives you additional setup for weights around openings because of the number of classes window and door parts are placed.

Use the wall line weights in edit wall style - component setup.

You can either use the class setup here or define your own weight and color. NOTE: THIS IS FOR 2D DISPLAY

If you want to show line weight variations in hidden line viewports the class line weight will show in elevation.

Plus there is always class overides.


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I don't think it's possible to achieve this within VW without some form of 2d tracing / drafting within a viewport. Sounds like a great idea for a plugin though.

I guess this is my point.

One of the great benefits of using 3d based CAD is that you shouldn't need to draw 2d except for details and notes, etc. Comparing it to other BIM programs, I know their default elevation setup displays line-weights based on depth, as I was trained to draw them by hand.

If I need to go into each elevation and draw on top of the lines, that (IMHO) defeats the purpose of using a 3d program.

Attached is a perfect example . . . exterior walls in plan view should have the thickest line-weight, but when viewed in an elevation, they should be thinner when there is less space behind them. See the dark lines on the main facade. The wall actually angles 45 degrees, and the line should be thin, but it is shown thick.

I understand there are manual ways of overcoming this, but the ideal solution would be to have the default set to line-weight based on depth, and then you can adjust the line-weight as need from there.

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"One of the great benefits of using 3d based CAD is that you shouldn't need to draw 2d except for details and notes"

I agree with Bozman's comment above but I don't think we're there yet. Some advisers suggest that the user class all his elements then manipulate the classes on the viewport to get lines to show correctly depending on the view presented. The work needed for many, many users to get to a class-based system of line control is huge and largely unnecessary--in my opinion--for certain classes of user. This is because Vwks allows one to make a DLVP of the model and that image, on a design layer, can be converted to lines and edited with relative ease compared to starting out having to do the same thing structurally.

If the model changes, the DLVP updates allowing for fast regeneration and minor editing to reflect those changes. This is a work-around but one that offers quite a lot of fast line control.

If you are interested in looking at this in tutorial form, see the following:


And particularly


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line-weights based on depth, as I was trained to draw them by hand.

Exactly! We were also expected to leave a gap? In fact, the gap was expected not to be exact, but one that conveys the idea and intention.

The problem is that computers & software are totally autistic and don't have any intelligence whatsoever. Even if they would, no perceptive capabilites.

Anyway: a good set of rules and a thin white line could be drawn around each pseudo-intelligently drawn edge. Easy (?) for simple shapes and basic elevations, but not quite as easy in other situations.

Ahh, the good old drawing board and the times when architectural drawings were art!

(After over 20 years of using various CAD-programs (+Photoshop etc), my wife has gone back to the drawing board?)

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