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Jason-Baeri

Angled Truss in VW 2013

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Does vectorworks 2013 address the need to have an angled truss that can appear flat on the top/plan view, but angled while in 3d view or do you still have to do the really confusing "Create plot and model view" thing?

I'm specifically looking at this to make a plot view that electricians can hang from without having to draw a second set of objects for the 3d view.

thanks gents,

JB

Edited by Jason-Baeri

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It's still Create Plot and Model View for showing it completely flat. Create Plot and Model View simply moves your truss onto a new layer and creates two separate viewports of it - one viewport showing it laid down and another rotated viewport showing it at the angle you want. You show the laid down viewport on your Top/Plan sheets and the angled viewport when displaying the model. Give me a shout if you want any further clarification.

To generate automatic plan views of more complex geometry, Vectorworks now has an Auto-Hybrid facility - create your model and run Create Auto-Hybrid. Then, it will generate the 2D view at whatever cut plane you specify.

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.....

To generate automatic plan views of more complex geometry, Vectorworks now has an Auto-Hybrid facility - create your model and run Create Auto-Hybrid. Then, it will generate the 2D view at whatever cut plane you specify.

When I try this with a piece of truss (made using truss tool) and some lights I get a message saying the operation failed "...because no supported objects were selected".

Does this mean I cant use Auto Hybrid on truss and lights?

I still think Plot & Model is really bad though so a working alternative is much needed.

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To generate automatic plan views of more complex geometry, Vectorworks now has an Auto-Hybrid facility - create your model and run Create Auto-Hybrid. Then, it will generate the 2D view at whatever cut plane you specify.

When I try this with a piece of truss (made using truss tool) and some lights I get a message saying the operation failed "...because no supported objects were selected".

Does this mean I cant use Auto Hybrid on truss and lights?

I still think Plot & Model is really bad though so a working alternative is much needed.

Simon,

It seems like the Auto Hybrid won't work on groups or symbols. To get it to work you will need to ungroup things. It does work when multiple objects are selected, as long as they are all 3D.

Kevin

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Truss tool truss and Lighting Devices are already hybrid, so they won't work in an autohybrid. 3D symbols will work in autohybrids, for example a piece of truss from a manufacturer's 3D drawing.

-Josh

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From what I can see all truss included in spotlight is hybrid so I have to convert to a group and then ungroup first.

All the fixtures in Spotlight are hybrid and I want to keep them that way (for 2D paperwork purposes) so again I am a little screwed on using the Auto Hybrid command.

This leaves me with plot and model (not a real option) or just drawing all things vertical twice (once in 3D and then for the paperwork side of things).

I would like to see an example, step by step, of someone taking some truss and some hybrid lighting fixtures and then doing all the needed steps to make this auto hybrid feature clearer to me though as I may be doing it a little wrong.

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Hi Simon

You have VSS right? There is a step by step tutorial in there that takes you through Plot and Model - it shows examples with vertical truss and with angled truss. It has example files, and movies. And if it still doesn't help, you are welcome to ask me for further help.

Sorry - I may have confused you with Auto Hybrid - it is not an option for creating a light plot - I mentioned it as an aside really - as a comparison to how unique things can be modelled and have their 2D automatically generated. As Josh mentioned, you might import a DWG model (for example) of some truss that is 3D only. You could run Create Autohybrid on this to turn it into a hybrid object and then create a symbol from it. Then, you could use that symbol to create a truss and then convert it to a light position as normal. An alternative use might be to import something you have modelled in say CINEMA 4D, which is 3D only, and use it to create the plan representation.

This is not what you want with a vertical truss - because it would only show the Top view anyway - and you want to show it vertical on a model, but laid down on the light plot. So that is two very different representations of the same thing. Create Plot and Model view uses Design Layer Viewports of the truss to show it in different orientations - just as a sheet layer viewport can show the model in different orientations.

Hope that helps

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Hi Tamsin,

I have VSS and the example video that I have watched many times works for when you want to do something simple like in the video. The problems occur when you want to create something more akin to the real world and this is where I would like to see a video tutorial.

typical plot might be as in this included picture.

In terms of fixtures, as a good working example to help me get my head around it all, I would like to see the following..

Each leg in the picture has 4 truss pieces at different angles.

Each truss piece should have:

2 x video panels (EC10).

2 x Source 4's.

2 x moving lights.

layered and classed as follows.

video on "Video plot" layer and class called "EC10"

S4's on "Lighting plot" layer and class called "Generics"

Moving Lights on "Lighting plot" layer and class called "Moving Lights"

It is with this type of drawing that I really struggle to get the plot and model working for me.

If you can do a video tutorial I would be most appreciative as I am sure others would as I know I am not alone in this.

I hope you can help with this Tamsin :)

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OK, So how about this - I can rotate a truss but if it has lights on it they don't rotate with it - how do you get the lights to stick to the truss and why is all this so difficult to do? It's the most common thing to do in pop lighting.....

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Simon

Why don't you send me a file with those elements set up on the truss, with the classes etc as you want them, and then I will take a look at it. I can't promise to make you a video tutorial, but I will take a look for you.

Lec

Again, why don't you send me a sample file that demonstrates your issue and I'll take a look.

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Lec and Simon -

Here's what I've done to create models of non-horizontal trusses:

1) Create a Design Layer for each of the truss assemblies.

2) For each of the assemblies, construct things in plan view (as a shop person would want things presented) - with each assembly on its own Design Layer.

3) Create a "Main Model" Design Layer.

4) Create Design Layer ViewPorts of each of your assemblies on the "Main Model" Design Layer. You'll be able to move them around and to tilt/rotate them as you like.

This might sound a little convoluted, but you'll end up with a single drawing file that functions as both a presentable 3D model AND understandable plots.

Make any sense??

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Tamsin:

Thanks. I have included a plot (on dropbox link) that has the items I mentioned. I actually drew it the way I normally would (so it looks as it should in 3D) and I now need you to show how to create the 2D paper plots.

Andrew:

All makes sense but I am not totally clear on step 4. I dont think your method will work with the way I do my drawings but I could be wrong. Please take a look at the included file. Maybe I am doing it all the wrong way around?

Thanks for the help!

Dropbox link to VW2013 file

http://db.tt/nJHpRw3y

Screen grab of plot

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Simon -

I've attached a simple VW2013 file showing you what I meant.

This is a quick pic:

Landru3DDemo.jpg

Does that make more sense?

This isn't my normal way of drawing, either, but is one way I've found that works well to fill this specific need.

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Hi Tamsin,

Thanks for the reply. While I appreciate the suggestions, I have to agree with some of the other responses that this really isn't a great option. The whole reason behind using layers is to be able to organize your document. If I use the plot and model view tool, I am now managing a layer for my lights, a layer for my overhead truss, and now another 5 layer for each of 5 angled trusses (on this project anyway), plus whatever other layers I have AND 2 more viewports.

I get how it works, but it really isn't a good solution for me. What if I have to do a rigging diagram? befoere, where I would just turn off my light layers, now I have to create a copy of the truss anyway and put that in yet another layer.

It also doesn't address the actual fixture positions so if I want to turn on the lights, I still need to add yet another layer for the render lights.

I haven't done a show in the last 5 years that doesn't have at least 1 angled truss. I know I'm not alone on this and I know I've seen the request a hundred times before. This is a standard nowadays in the lighting industry and VW really needs to address this as a need for lighting designers.

Not to go off on too much of a rant, but in 2001 when it was an economic option to autocad that offered some specific lighting tools, I was ok saying "yea, I can do without it". Now that it costs as much as Autocad, I don't feel bad asking for a much needed feature that, while it may be hard to implement, should be added.

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I'm not at home in the ways if lighting, but it really sounds like what you guys need are hybrid symbols......ie. model the truss section in 3D and draw the Top/plan representation in 2D and create a hybrid symbol with the 2.

Once you've modeled the truss once, you've done most of the work. For each differently rotated truss section create a new symbol by duplicating the previous one and making the correct adjustments......my 50c.

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I appreciate all your concerns - and these are of course going to be seen by Nemetschek who I hope will address them on your behalf.

My purpose here was simply to explain how to do it with what you have in Spotlight.

In a nutshell, standard hybrid symbols will only rotate about the Z axis, because all hybrids are parallel to the design layer plane - that's the case throughout Vectorworks.

For Spotlight, you need to be able to show hybrid objects (light positions and their lights) at other angles while still displaying them laid down, in 2D for the light plot. Therefore you use Create Plot and Model view to create design layer viewports of those elements. The design layer viewports can be used to display things laid down or angled, and you then use class and layer visibility controls to determine what shows in a particular sheet layer viewport. This gives you accurate 2D and accurate 3D. The worksheet functionality also takes this into consideration because it can exclude things in design layer viewports (and not mess up your counts by counting duplicates.

I'm going to bow out now, because I am on Andy Dunning's domain here and I believe he has now provided the sample that Simon needed. But that's the best way to achieve what you want, with Spotlight.

Have fun!

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Hi, thanks for your help on this. It is of course a truly very complicated way to achieve what is an extremely straightforward and commonly used thing when designing lighting. It seems that Vectorworks has not really addressed some of the most basic functions of our industry. What really bugs me is the fact that when you draw lights on a truss they do not automatically attach themselves to it. To continue this thread for example I have a 6m circular truss with 12 moving lights rigged evenly around it. Very simple, very effective, looks great in real life - think Pink Floyd. Ok so in Top/Plan view it's all fine but try and tilt the truss to 90deg and you're stuck. Why oh why don't the lights stay with the truss? In the real world they would. What on earth made the designers of VW ever think that there would be a time when you would rig lights on a truss which when you moved the truss the lights stayed where they were. It's lunacy. When is a truss ever not a lighting position? It should default to that every time surely. The whole point of Vectorworks is that it's meant to be intuitive, easy to use. When you put a light on a truss it should stay there by default. If there are any lighting designers out there on planet earth who would ever want their lights to stay still when their trusses moved I'd like to meet them.

When will Vectorworks start listening to lighting designers who just want to produce good, clear easy to create drawings?

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Lec:

Totally agree. Whats makes matters worse is that you dont have a hanging angle option when using the curved truss tool but you do when using the straight truss tool. Converting to a light position does not give a hanging angle either!

Andrew:

Thanks for the file. It is a different approach but having worked with your file I just cant seem to get along with it. This mainly has to do with the way I do my layers. I need to keep my layers in the style I do as I often export the VW file into MSD for offline programming and this is where the layer structure becomes a little more critical for me.

I find it odd that VW has a good layer and class system that you essentially have to stop using in any sensible manor to make vertical truss.

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Lec

The reason the lights stay put is because their Z value is the same as the Z value of the Light Position. This is why you need to use the Design Layer Viewport method. That way, you are rotating the view of the truss and lights, not the truss itself.

I'm sorry you don't like the answer - I am just trying to help you achieve what you need with the tools available.

Simon

I will take a look at your file. I'm a bit pushed today, but will get to it.

Best

Tamsin

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I find it odd that VW has a good layer and class system that you essentially have to stop using in any sensible manor to make vertical truss.

Actually, I'd offer that VW has a good Layer and Class system that, used in a little different manner, makes this process somewhat more managable.

Think about how an architect might set up a drawing: Classes for each discipline/trade (plumbing, electrical, floor coverings, doors, etc.) and Layers for each floor/level in a building. Used that way, Classes are for WHAT something does. Layers are for WHERE something is.

Apply that to entertainment/production: The WHAT becomes lighting, sound, video, scenic, etc. The WHERE becomes performance spaces or, in the case of the example I posted, project sub-assemblies. I know that this is a bit different than the way most entertainment users work, but I've found this way of, in a way "mirroring" the architectural world, to be a great way to work. Approaching things this way, the VW Class/Layer system is quite useable and makes a world of sense to me.

So, for the way I work, I don't have to stop using the system; I simply expand my usual approach a little.

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Tamsin,

I'm sorry if I came across as terse; I appreciate the help immensely and I do respect your experience. The unfortunate answer, however, is that no, VW has not addressed the needs of designers to be able to cleanly draw angled trusses.

The plot model view is a workaround to make the drawing look like the functionality is there, but in reality, the program does not support a real function to deal with this. If the lights are at the wrong z height, the feature doesn't work. If I have to still draw a separate set of trusses for my other rigging plates because the lighting trusses are tied up on a definition layer, the feature doesn't work. If I have to keep duplicate layers for renders with the lights on and then other layers outside of my plot layers, the feature doesn't work.

Hopefully there will be something in VW2014 but for this year, I'm still stuck with doing things twice.

Thanks again for your help,

JB

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Lec:

Totally agree. Whats makes matters worse is that you dont have a hanging angle option when using the curved truss tool but you do when using the straight truss tool. Converting to a light position does not give a hanging angle either!

Simon,

Re Curved truss. Check the option in the OIP to draw 3D only. Then you are able to rotate as the object is no longer hybrid. Note you'll have to add 2D geometry to see it in Top/Plan.

You can always ungroup an LPO to get back to the newly created symbol. If you then need to go further down the tree so as as not to edit any other LPO's based on this symbol then use the Convert to Group command.

Cheers,

Peter

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As we approach what I'm assuming VW2014 season in the next few months, are there any updates to this? Is there any hope of a new way to rotate truss without using plot and model view on the horizon?

thanks,

JB

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