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VW for films: should I use 2D or 3D objects on drawings?

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What objects(2D or 3D) do you use when you draw in VW for films(drafting)?

If you use 2D then you can manually create shades where you want(just like in hand drawings) & also draw as complex shape as you wish. On the other hand i find it stupid to use VW for 2D because it's basically designed to do both 2D and 3D at the same time and thus is a way better than AutoCAD.

Do you draw in VW in a way that allows you to see 3D view as well as 2D(e.g use walls, columns, extrude along path for cornices etc) or you utilise just 2D components so that you are more flexible with your drawing?

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You can use either or both. Your experience and skill with determine for you how much to work in 3d and how much in 2d. Vectorworks is evolving toward a 3d workflow, but many users draw parts of a project in 2d, and parts in 3d. For some situations, I might find it easier to detail using 2d tools, rather than creating a fully detailed 3d object and creating the required sections from that.

For example a door handle and the lock mechanism inside it can be modeled as a 3d symbol and placed on every door in a project. But that might make inefficient renders, and may be very time consuming, esp if the hardware changes and a new model needs to be created each time. Also the mechanism may not line up for a clear section showing everything required. An idealized section can be made in 2d for the detail sheet. 3d door knobs in the renders can be simple hollow shapes.

Does this address your question?


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I usually rough-in my drawings in 2d. Then model everything in 3d. Then make most everything into 3d hybrid symbols so they appear differently in top/plan view than in any 3d view.

One of the main ideas with Vectorworks is to draw everything once. You draw in 3d and generate drawings from any angle, as well as sections. All your viewports are based on that one original object. Change the object and the viewports update.

But in reality, you are drawing everything twice. Once in 2d and once in 3d and then combine the two into a 3d hybrid.

When you are in top/plan view you see the 2d drawing. But change to top view and you see the models.

Does this help?

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Sorry, i'm a bit confused.

Let's say i have a square room plan & 4 elevations(1 per each wall).

Do you mean that you draw:

1) 2D plan using just lines/hatches etc

and also

2) a separate 3D room using walls/doors/windows so that this you can use for deriving elevations and for setting up a camera projections(that you can use when discussing a design with a director/DOP)?

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I'm not on the architecture side of things. I design for the stage. An architect might be better suited to advise you on this.

But I will share what I know. A standard door symbol exists in both the 2d and 3d world. In 2d, you see the door as you would on any architects plan. But as soon as you rotate into a 3d view, it pops up off the page and you can see the 3d hardware and everything.

So all of the furnishings in my designs are hybrid symbols. They have a simple plan view, but are fully modeled.

I've attached 3 files.

1) a jpeg of a scenic unit in plan view

2) the same scenic unit in top view

3) the same scenic unit in an isometric view.

After modeling this unit, I made a copy of it and converted it to polygons. I used the 2d polygon tool (outer boundary) to outline the entire shape. I placed the resulting polygon over my original model. I selected the model and the new polygon and created a symbol. It is automatically a hybrid symbol because it has 2d and 3d elements. In plan view, you see the polygon outline of the model. In any other view you see the model in whatever rendering mode you happen to be in.

There are so many tutorials out there on what you want to do. Search You Tube. The Vectorworks channel and the Archoncad channel are the best.

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  • 4 weeks later...

For my workflow, I do most everything in 3D. I often start by making simple 3D representations of my units in a class I call "shell." This is equivalent to sketching. I'll use the shell as a guide to create accurate 3D models with different classes for different materials, such as plywood skins, wood frame, metal frame, trim, etc, and eventually turn "shell" off. I tend to put each unit of my stage set (each wall or platform, etc) in its own designer layer. I can use unified view (or design layer viewports in some cases) to see the whole set together. Then I can use visibilities to create sheet layer viewports that can display each unit individually, or show just the frame, or whatever.

I don't get into symbols very much, but they could be useful to create a very clean ground plan by creating a simple 2D symbol attached to the 3D unit.

I will sometimes do a 2D detail drawing if I can't get a clean looking view of the 3D model. Often I'll create the 3D view in a viewport, draw over it in annotations, then turn all the classes off so my drawing is all that is visible.

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