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New DTM/Site model classes

Benson Shaw

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Site modeling in v2012 atomatically adds at least 2 new classes to the drawing:

1. ?DTM-SourceObjs? is added when site model source objects are created (eg via Landmark>Survey Input>2d Polys to 3d Contours). The new source objects are not assigned to the new class. I have not seen discussion about this class. Any advantage to assigning the source objects to this class?

2. As discussed in several threads here, ?Site-DTM-Modifier? is created when a site model is created. Apparently the intended use for this is adding new contours to the proposed model. Other uses?

These new classes are not automatically created during site modeling in earlier versions.

However, in 2008.vwx (and probably other versions):

1. Manually adding the Site-DTM-Modifier class provides functionality found in 2012.vwx. Eg, new 3d ploys assigned to this class correctly modify the DTM, but produce a pad-without-fence error dialog during DTM update.

2. Adding the DTM-SourceObjs class to a 2008.vwx file produced no new functions.

Any experience with this in older versions? I never ran into these classes until v2012.



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No responses, no prob. Thanks to Taoist for a related thread pointing to ArconCAD?s resources on site models.

Site modifiers work fine in user created classes, so why does Vectorworks create them but not load them?

I?m fairly adept at site model basics, but I don?t know the capabilities and intended workflows of these highly unusual new classes. They are kind of double secret handshake items, not mentioned in Help. This thread is/was an attempt to daylight these new classes with forum members experience.

So, next best thing: I?m posting a K-base request. Maybe in a few months or years there will be lots of common knowledge.


Edited by Benson Shaw
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benson, i didn't respond simply because i have now answers. thanks for bringing this up, as i'm struggling myself. rather than using the automated process of importing survey information, i've been doing it manually and creating my own class for source data. i do this because of problems i've repeatedly encountered with corrupted files and to give myself more flexibility. i wish i knew more about the things you are bringing up here.

as for the site-dtm-modifier class, i use it simply to turn the automatically assigned modifiers on and off. again, i wish i knew more.

your suggestion of more shared knowledge is a good one, i would expand that to the dtm concept in general. vw's dtm is one of the main reason's i stick with vw. it is the best i've seen and i keep looking for alternatives. however, it is tricky to use, especially with large and complicated sites, doesn't always work smoothly, corrupts frequently, and bogs down the computer. this is one of those great ideas from vw. but, in the last couple of versions, they haven' given it enough attention.

i welcome more discussion.



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Thx, Ray

as for the site-dtm-modifier class, i use it simply to turn the automatically assigned modifiers on and off

You seem to imply that some site modifiers are assigned by Vectorworks. In my experience, Vectorworks never automatically assigns any objects to these new classes. I have to "put" them in.


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i--almost most all of the time--use the "objects from polylines" tool to crate boundaries and pads. those objects automatically end up in the "site-dtm-modifier" class. texture beds i usually do as hardscapes, which has a classing scheme of its own, which i do not use...i create my own and do it manually.

that's about all i know when it comes to site modifiers and classes.


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Thanks, Ray - That auto assign to class is not working (see 3 below).

This is to all:

Eating some crow here, and dishing some, too. Sorry for the long post. Short story is that Site-DTM-Modifier and DTM-SourceObjs remain woefully unexplained.

Eating Crow:

1. Site-DTM-Modifier and DTM-SourceObjs are not new as stated in my opening post. These are two Object Auto-classing classes which have appeared in every version since v12 (maybe they were in earlier versions, too).

2. There is limited, but not very helpful documentation.

Dishing Crow:

1. Documentation of "DTM-SourceObjs" is nil, zip, no hits in Vectorworks Help v12.5 through v2012. Vectorworks automatically creates the DTM-SourceObjs class and adds it to a .mcd or .vwx file?s class list at successful conclusion of the Survey Input command. But I find no hints about intended use or advantages of this class. Is this a legacy visibility control prior to Screen/Layer plane split?

2. Documentation of ?Site-DTM-Modifier? class is minimal at best, and varies each version. It is cited in Help in the Standards sections about auto classing and Class Standards. Search term ?Site-DTM-Modifier? (with or without the quotes) yields nothing helpful in 2012 Air Help (top hits are Wing Nuts). It?s better in 2010 Air Help. Best hits are found in the pdf file found here (location varies in earlier versions):

Applications>Vectorworks 2012>VWHelp>Additional Documentation>Design Series_2012.pdf

These are the relevant quotes from v2012 (similar in earlier versions):

2A. If the Use Auto-classing?check box is selected in Standard Naming (see Standard Naming), then these plug-in objects will be automatically placed in the designated class as they are added to the drawing. The object?s class is created automatically if it does not yet exist.

2B. ?Site-DTM-Modifier (Vectorworks Landmark): This class is created by the Pad, Texture Bed, Grader, and Boundary objects. The Landscape Walls and Roadway objects include pad and fence objects if the Use Site Modifiers?check box is selected on the Object Info palette. This class is toggled to visible and invisible by the Show or Hide Site Modifiers command.

3. I have drawings in several versions set up per 2A. Pads, Boundaries, etc created via Objects from Polyline or via Site Modifier tool are not automatically placed in the Site-DTM-Modifier class. They go to the active class. What is required? This should work.

4. But why do I want any items in this class, anyway? No docs on that.

5. Site Modifier ?Fence? changed name to ?Boundary? starting v2010. But v2010, v2011, v2012 all list ?Fence?, not ?Boundary?, as an Auto-classing Object in the Help>Standards section. Attention to detail, people! Please!!


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