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Pete (STZ)

2d vs 3d elevations and line weights

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we really love vectorworks because you can make the 2d elevations look so great - good control of lineweights, hatches, fills, gradients etc...

But in 3d it is a different problem. The elevations look clunky, so just thought I would get some advice on getting the settings right.

In the absence of separate controls for how a wall looks in plan, section and elevation what is the best way to set the combination of classes, and wall type settings...

It is a pity that this is not clear anywhere in any VW help.

For a wall... there is:

-The class the wall is on which you can control fill and line weight....

- the wall attributes

- The wall components.

I currently have the wall types as:

The best way to get the walls to look good in plan and elevation is to:

Have the class showing the setting that you want to be, (say 0.15, black with white fill) and set the wall attributes to 'class' then set the wall components to the fill, lineweights and colours you want to see in plan. (eg. hatch and 0.3 lineweights)

However, if you want to use the 'hide wall components' then all you get is the lineweights of the wall attributes - which is the same as the elevation.

What to others do?

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And if you cut a section you only get a choice of the original class or an override class that puts everything in the same attributes - great for elements in the background but nothing else.

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3D wall components now have the line attributes of the overal wall, where it should be their own class, that's the reason why it is hard to get elevations or 3D view looking nice.

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When you say "2D" you mean you've drawn your project manually without using Unified View (Stacked Layers) to derive the model? And by 3D, you mean when you are rendering your 3D or Section view via Unified View in Hidden Line mode?

If so, see the following:

For me, there is too great a management load to keep everything controlled by classes since, as you've seen, the choices from within the software to control all line-work are complex. This coupled with rendering (in Hidden Line) that sometimes does not complete*, along with my own errors in line management and model completeness, means that the final 3D Hidden Line render requires quiet a lot of post-processing work to get it to look its best.

I Convert Copy to Lines of the rendered Viewport and transfer this block back via the OIP to a Design Layer. There I typically need to ungroup and scale it up (48 times if working in 1/4" to the foot). If the model changes, I update my Viewport and repeat the process. Converting the refreshed line block to red or blue prior to ungrouping helps me change only those lines that have been revised, allowing me to pick up the colored lines that remain unchanged and delete them. When happy with the line revisions, make a new Viewport representing the elevation or section. This process gives me ultimate line control while allowing me to get the most out of the automatic model-refreshing that Viewports provides.

I'd love there to be a one-button process for this--an Explode Model button, perhaps--but at this time there is no simple, official** means to reliably convert a model comprised of Unified layers into an exploded lines view.

Tom

*In VWks 12, this tendency to not complete lines during Hidden Line rendering, seen frequently around roof volumes, has been fixed per the What's New docs on the website. This will be a most welcome improvement.

**"Best Practices" in the parlance of NemVwks.

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Revit has this nailed.

In a 2D elevation view, you activate the lineweight tool, select the desired lineweight from the drop down box, click on the line you want to change and job done.

This is a feature that I miss....

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For me, there is too great a management load to keep everything controlled by classes since, as you've seen, the choices from within the software to control all line-work are complex. This coupled with rendering (in Hidden Line) that sometimes does not complete*, along with my own errors in line management and model completeness, means that the final 3D Hidden Line render requires quiet a lot of post-processing work to get it to look its best.

What do you find hard about using classes to control attributes? You have class overrides and other great stuff out there!

I only use classes to control the attributes and it's working great and do not require much work.

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DWorks:

I agree classing is a great way to control attributes ONCE you integrate that skill into the other skills one needs to succeed. Beginners and others could absolutely use a way to easily convert lines and add lines in a way that doesn't place the added burden of mastering the classing system. Let them work into it over time.

Tom

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DWorks:

I agree classing is a great way to control attributes ONCE you integrate that skill into the other skills one needs to succeed. Beginners and others could absolutely use a way to easily convert lines and add lines in a way that doesn't place the added burden of mastering the classing system. Let them work into it over time.

Tom

I don't agree with this. It's way too easier to use classes from the beginning. What I do agree with is that you need a good setup of classes and that you need to have your library utilize theses classes.

Where I work, many people also thought that classes where not needed. Once I showed them how they can benefit from them, they totally changed their minds.

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Just a tip, I've started using several Section/Elevation viewports of the same section/elevation superimposed showing different things with different overrides i.e.. 1 Viewport with lines and one rendered with opacity, or one with the section info on the section line and one with line work beyond the section as well as one rendered with opacity, all superimposed.

Works well but it should be easier than this!

See attached - Hiddenline with sketch all thin VP, superimposed on a VP with FQRWs with a white rectangle with 60% opacity in-between the 2 to reduce the strength of the rendered colors.

Edited by Vincent C

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Beautifull renders vincent, but I think you can do this with 1 viewport. You have foreground and background render settings and you can override classes and layers.

I also sometimes use multiple viewports stacked on each other for effects that can't be created with one viewport. Like for example the floors below the current floor, I set only the classes on that I want to see below the current floor and then use a shape with opacity to show it lighter.

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but I think you can do this with 1 viewport.

Not quite....to get the slightly faded (opaque) material renders i need to insert a white rectangle with a certain opacity between the FQRW and the hidden line. i.e.. it is not possible to give a FQRW a certain opacity through the edit settings.

Edited by Vincent C

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but I think you can do this with 1 viewport.

Not quite....to get the slightly faded (opaque) material renders i need to insert a white rectangle with a certain opacity between the FQRW and the hidden line. i.e.. it is not possible to give a FQRW a certain opacity through the edit settings.

You can play with the ligtning a bit for getting the same result. But I guess it will be the same amount of work after all.

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This is still a FUNDAMENTAL WEAKNESS in Vectorworks.

It's not just lineweights. Seams still show, roof faces are still clunky... basically a tremendous effort is still needed to tidy up the 3D model whenever the design is a bit fancy.

Several years ago, we had a lively discussion about real-time elevations. It ended with promises of improvement in the next version. Now, several versions later, the improvements are only in 3D. There's no help in 2D elevations. It's like you present your stuff in perspectives rendered in wizbangknockyoursocksoff wow, get paid, happily run to the bank, then forget about 2D quality for the rest of your project.

It makes me think that the demand for good lineweights is just not there ? or as revealed in the other discussion, the understanding of why it's important has eroded. Old school dying out?

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This is still a FUNDAMENTAL WEAKNESS in Vectorworks.

It's not just lineweights. Seams still show, roof faces are still clunky... basically a tremendous effort is still needed to tidy up the 3D model whenever the design is a bit fancy.

Several years ago, we had a lively discussion about real-time elevations. It ended with promises of improvement in the next version. Now, several versions later, the improvements are only in 3D. There's no help in 2D elevations. It's like you present your stuff in perspectives rendered in wizbangknockyoursocksoff wow, get paid, happily run to the bank, then forget about 2D quality for the rest of your project.

It makes me think that the demand for good lineweights is just not there ? or as revealed in the other discussion, the understanding of why it's important has eroded. Old school dying out?

I don't see the problem with line weights. When you use classes to control the attributes of objects, you can easily override them in your elevation viewport.

For the seams and roofs: I almost never have any problems with it anymore. In the beginning, I had problems too, but that's because you'll have to get to know VW and adjust your drawing methods to it. Once you can accept that, it will go a lot easier, faster with better results.

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My floor plans show walls in a heavy line weight. These same heavy lines show in side views (viewport of model, hidden line render). Then if I use Advanced Properties to change the Line Weight Factor, all lines for the entire view get reduced.

Isn't the goal to reduce or eliminate 2D drafting?

How do you use classes to control the lineweight of walls for different views (floor plan vs. Elevations)?

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Ken...

Class overrides BABY!!!

:P

Class overrides on different viewports gives us a good set of control. You just need to ensure you draw a certain way with your attributes set by class as much as possible, and BOOM... your in business!

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Can you explain more?

For example. A house with detached garage, breezeway between the two, I have the house walls in a class called "House." The garage walls are in a class called "Garage."

In the model, I control the visibility of either house or garage by turning on/off the two classes.

In the floor plan, walls are shown as a set of HEAVY double lines.

How would I apply class overrides to see thinner lineweights for walls in the elevation viewports?

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Maybe this post may help:

wall style thread

If I have it clear then it's your House class that controls the lineweights in elevation and 3D, and your wall components control lineweights in plan.

and this post

Edited by Kizza

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I've only skimmed those discussions. But are you talking about introducing WALL COMPONENTS into the fray?

You're talking about setting an "outer skin" component to become visible or invisible in different views?

What if I want my walls to have NO COMPONENTS? Just a double line!?

Or if I already have very specific components where the exterior surface must be visible in both plan view and elevation view?

If so, then you're not just talking about applying different classes. You're talking about fudging the drawings with visible/invisible wall components. Yes?

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Ken...

Hope I'm understanding your situation...

You have a viewport for plans which shows your original HEAVY lines, correct?

And you have a viewport for your elevations which you wish to show lighter lines?

In the elevation viewport, 'Edit' the 2 wall classes (House and Garage), and make them as light as you desire.

Ensure that both classes are set to 'Use at Creation', and the walls' attributes are set to class style.

Your original HEAVY lines would still be the same throughout the file, except for on that specific elevation viewport.

If I don't seem to be on the same page as you, do send a file over to give me an example of what you are trying to achieve exactly.

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You probably know already but to answer you...

But are you talking about introducing WALL COMPONENTS into the fray?

You will need to create/control wall components for some walls if creating construction drawings

You're talking about setting an "outer skin" component to become visible or invisible in different views?

With walls we can:

1) Turn parts of wall on and off i.e. outer skin vs inner components

2) Turn classes on and off in viewports. These classes include those we have created for our wall components. So one class say for "external walls" another class for wall component called "wall-brick" Gives us a high level of control.

What if I want my walls to have NO COMPONENTS? Just a double line!?

Why not create a new wall style with no components?

Or if I already have very specific components where the exterior surface must be visible in both plan view and elevation view?

If you create the wall with all components and graphic attributes applied then all should be good in plan and elevation, no?

If so, then you're not just talking about applying different classes. You're talking about fudging the drawings with visible/invisible wall components. Yes?

Two distinct and separate ways of controlling graphics - which method you use depends on the outcome you want to achieve.

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I've just tried it on an existing drawing (existing viewport elevs), and it did not work. VW 2012.

I created a new class called "Eleview." Checkbox checked for "use at creation." Line weight set to really thin. OK button.

I make this new class visible everywhere.

The walls have no class assignment (in this drawing). So on the walls layer (floor plan view), I selected all walls and assigned them this Eleview class. The dialogue box asks, "do you want the selected object(s) to use the graphic attributes of the new class?" I said NO to all, keeping the heavy lines for the floor plan.

Then in elevation viewport (Hidden Line render), I bring up viewport class properties. But checking/ unchecking the "class overrides" and "class visibilities" have no effect on the line weights. I exit each time with OK button and press Update several times afterwards, various combos. No effect.

Not sure what you're talking about.

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... [snip] ...

Why not create a new wall style with no components?

If you create the wall with all components and graphic attributes applied then all should be good in plan and elevation, no?

In general, I find that having extraneous invisible wall components in a special lineweight class for viewport purposes to be cumbersome at best.

These are also drawings that get passed around. Not everybody here is up-to-speed on Classes, let alone wall components. Let alone picking and choosing the right ones for each design change! It's an indirect workaround that'll backfire more often than shine.

Nonetheless, it's an interesting workaround.

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This discussion has been good, and has helped crystalise some of the workflow issues I had been having..

In short currently in VW you need to to a class override on the elevation views to get the elevation lineweight to look good.

The problem still exists where you want to create 'depth' of view or highlight 'profiles' of the building.

I do:

-A class override of all walls to be 0.15mm

- 80% opaque white fill over the parts of the elevation you want to fade (not ideal as it makes these bits a bit fuzzy)

- Trace over some profile lines where you say want the edges of a building / part to read a bit thicker with a 0.35mm line

This combined with adding hatches in the elevation (as I think patterns give a crap looking drawings)are all work around we need to do to get the 3d elevations looking as good as the 2D ones.

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Class overrides don't seem to work for me. I've just tried again by creating it all new in VW2012.

It seems you might as well use the Advanced Viewport Properties to scale the line weights to 0.01 or something, then go in to annotate it with 2D drafting.

2D drafting still necessary. Lots of it. Opaque fills, too if you want. But seams, clunky roof faces, etc still remain problems.

shedh.jpg

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