Jump to content

Hello Community!

This Saturday, April 11, from 9am – 1pm EDT we will be performing maintenance on the Vectorworks Community Board. During this time, the site will be unavailable.

  • 0
Sign in to follow this  
Christiaan

Get rid of design layers as basis for model structure and display of levels

Question

This is a very long-term wish and it's fundamental to what VW is but we'd like to get rid of design layers as the basis for modelling and displaying each level of a building.

We'd like to model our buildings as one model and then use a live-section technology to generate plans, etc.

Design layers in a BIM application are basically drawing board baggage.

Edited by Christiaan

Share this post


Link to post

Recommended Posts

  • 0

+100...

true, but I would like to keep hybrid symbols for having another 2d representation for objects because the rendered view/section of some things are too complex. (I think of furniture etc...)

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
true, but I would like to keep hybrid symbols for having another 2d representation for objects because the rendered view/section of some things are too complex. (I think of furniture etc...)

Yeap, agreed.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

Why do you want to get rid of them? It is possible to build a model and generate plans from it.

The original concept was to create your 2D plans at the same time you are building a 3D model (HYBRID) and this does not apply exclusively to architecture. So reversing the order from 3D to 2D could be programmed without removing the design layers.

I hope you realize that your wish for removing design layers may never happen since other users, including myself, depend on the current concept to design other types of projects.

I say it is possible because I have programmed hybrid road plugins that can make live updates to profiles & sections. In the same way, you could program VW to generate plans & sections if the cutting plane is defined.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

i have the same question as miguel: why?

the design layer does not in any way mean 2d. so there is nothing inherently in the way of 3d designing.

i find that the combination of design layers and classes gives me a lot flexibility in organizing the model space. sometimes i use it literally, as the vertical stacking of a building. other times thematically, such as existing, new; or site, buildings, plants, lights and cameras. sometimes as varaitions. sometimes i mix it all up.

in the end, its all one model.

ray

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

No but "get rid of design layers as the basis for plans/building levels" is different from "get rid of design layers".

I've gotta shoot off but I'll explain more tomorrow (although Dieter might like offer his reasons).

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
although Dieter might like offer his reasons).

Well now we are forced to draw our 'model' in pieces, like a wall is now drawn one per story while it would be easier to draw it as a whole and let vw handle the representation on the different layers. The current system is good, but requires a lot of work trying to get the walls correct while it could be much easier. Things that go over multiple stories will become so much easier like windows, chimneys, roofs, ... . We actually need many objects adapted to the feature the stair has now: being able to show up on multiple layers. Why not draw a wall and just set the layers it needs to appear on? Or better: the layer type of the stories.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

- Why not put your design layer (Top/Plan) at the elevation you want it to represent (disconnected completely from Story definitions)?

- Then in addition to this let it 'sense' objects at user defined heights below and above the DL plane? Basically the same technique as the Auto Hybrid but in Top/Plan view. As well as having added user defined options for each of the representations.

I guess this is basically what you mean Christiaan and this is basically how it works in Revit. It would in its turn solve many PIO problems like the stair tool and how they can be represented (or not in some cases) as opposed to how it is done presently.

Edited by Vincent C

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

seems like the issue is not getting rid of design layers ( which can be used however you want to use them, or not), but getting live sections--which we ask for year after year.

ray

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

As Dieter points out one of the problems is breaking up the model into pieces for no good reason. It's an historic thing derived directly from the drawing board.

This causes numerous unnecessary overheads, which Dieter has also covered: we have to manually co-ordinate walls between levels even though in reality they're the same wall. And this also manifests as problems with the presentation of elevations, where we can end up with lines where we don't want them and no lines where we do want them.

As Dieter also points out it causes major headaches with regard to objects that straddle multiple levels, such as windows. It can take a huge amount of time to produce tidy output from models with this deficiency.

But design layers as the basis for our model structure also restricts us in other ways. For instance, I believe they're the reason there's no built-in BIM server on the horizon and why we're going to be stuck with file-based design-layer-based teamwork for the foreseeable future.

The structure of our models should be separate from the presentation of them. There's no reason why our BIM applications shouldn't handle the display of levels independently of the model structure. For anyone that understands the progress of HTML then a good analogy is the advent of CSS, which allows web developers to manage the content of a webpage separately from the design. Before CSS the content and design were mixed up in the same code, HTML, which made it difficult and time-consuming to change the design or edit the content.

I find that the combination of design layers and classes gives me a lot flexibility in organizing the model space.

Design layers as the basis for model structure don't increase your flexibility to organise the model space. They force you to divide your model into pieces based on floor levels. And this also decreases your flexibility to display the model in the way you like because the structure of the model and presentation of the building levels are entwined.

Something best described in VW parlance as a "live auto-hybrid layer" would allow you to structure your model in whatever way you like while allowing you to present it in any way you like.

in the end, its all one model.

That's actually exactly my point: it's not one model and it should be.

- Why not put your design layer (Top/Plan) at the elevation you want it to represent (disconnected completely from Story definitions)?

- Then in addition to this let it 'sense' objects at user defined heights below and above the DL plane? Basically the same technique as the Auto Hybrid but in Top/Plan view. As well as having added user defined options for each of the representations.

I guess this is basically what you mean Christiaan and this is basically how it works in Revit. It would in its turn solve many PIO problems like the stair tool and how they can be represented (or not in some cases) as opposed to how it is done presently.

Exactly.

Edit: I've changed subject of thread to try and clarify my point.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

not to belabor this more than necessary...

but it seems to me that you are taking a very narrow view of the use of the design layer. in the the end you are building one model. it is your decision how you want to organize it. in fact if you chose, you can build the entire building in one design layer (which i sometimes do for a variety reasons), doing many of the things described above.

the problem becomes one of presentation, such as setting the height of the plan view (also live sections), which is a valid complaint discussed in other threads on this forum, and a serious shortcoming in vw that 2013 very little to improve. that should be improved and perhaps that is what christiaan means when he says "getting rid of the design layer..."

i for one see a lot of value in the design layer and appreciate the flexibility that it affords.

on a side note. many on this forum seem unhappy that vw is not revit. we use revit very heavily in the school where i teach. it does some things very well, some things it does poorly, especially working beyond the building. if i want revit i will by revit, but more likely archicad. i do not want vw to become revit it is a different program. i just wish that it worked better--and i have made that clear to the folks at vw.

ray

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

i for one see a lot of value in the design layer and appreciate the flexibility that it affords.

Again, he's not asking for the removal of DLs, he's asking for them not to be 'locked' to one certain story which results in distinct limitations from an architects workflow perspective, not to name the limitations it creates in (certain) PIOs.

Edited by Vincent C

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
in fact if you chose, you can build the entire building in one design layer

No we can't do this, the Storeys feature doesn't support it.

perhaps that is what christiaan means when he says "getting rid of the design layer..."

To be clear I haven't proposed getting rid of the design layer.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

i realize that, and that's why i wrote: perhaps that is what christiaan means when he says "getting rid of the design layer..."

but, you have to admit that when the request starts by saying, "getting rid of the design layer.." that some red flags go up.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

Okay, I could have worded it better, but do you still think design layers for each level are a good basis for structuring the model?

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
Okay, I could have worded it better, but do you still think design layers for each level are a good basis for structuring the model?

No. But what we have now is just the way VW has 3VOLVED: Draw your plans, get the 3D model (sort of).

It should be: Model in 3D, get all else.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
No. But what we have now is just the way VW has 3VOLVED: Draw your plans, get the 3D model (sort of).

It should be: Model in 3D, get all else.

Nice, that's a better way of putting the drawing board analogy.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
Okay, I could have worded it better, but do you still think design layers for each level are a good basis for structuring the model?

no, not always. as i said above, sometimes i do, sometimes i don't depending on the nature of the project and our goals.

but, what i'm wondering--which i may not have made clear above--is if the problem is in the model space (design layers), or in the way the model can be viewed and consequently represented in drawings. i think it is more the latter. as you and others have strongly and rightfully argued elsewhere, vw is seriously deficient in this regard. at the moment you can construct an entire building in one design layer, or you can have single vertical elements extending through the space of multiple layers. but selectively viewing the model in these cases is difficult and sometimes impossible.

ray

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
Okay, I could have worded it better, but do you still think design layers for each level are a good basis for structuring the model?

no, not always. as i said above, sometimes i do, sometimes i don't depending on the nature of the project and our goals.

I'm not talking about your workflow in VW as it currently is. I'm asking what use would it be to split the levels of your model up onto multiple layers if presenting and working with those levels was dealt with by live-section technology?

As far as I'm concerned there is no use.

but, what i'm wondering--which i may not have made clear above--is if the problem is in the model space (design layers), or in the way the model can be viewed and consequently represented in drawings. i think it is more the latter. as you and others have strongly and rightfully argued elsewhere, vw is seriously deficient in this regard. at the moment you can construct an entire building in one design layer, or you can have single vertical elements extending through the space of multiple layers. but selectively viewing the model in these cases is difficult and sometimes impossible.

The problem is both presentation and structure. It wouldn't make any difference if only live-section technology were introduced on its own because VW Storeys needs multiple design layers to work.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

I tend to agree with what Christiaan is proposing. Design layers are a good tool for some things, but not really for a stacked model.

VW is missing the idea of a "component". What's is being suggested is the building model as a component. A component that viewports could look at or slice through in various directions. (I've tried to do my set pieces as a component using symbols but the workflow with walls/doors etc. in symbols is a no go.)

(For beginners who need to collaborate with Autocad users, removing the dependence on stacked design layers would make their lives much simpler.)

Kevin

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

Maybe the introduction of a building layer, and then having design layers to be able to show the section of that building layer at a specify height? We then also need the stories and level types to be set withouth the actual design layer it needs to have now, and let us bound the objects in the building layer to any level type, not only the one above or below. We also need to be able to specify if symbols would use a custom 2D plan view, ...

Edited by DWorks

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

christiaan,

i understand what you mean. my response needs some context. designing buildings is only a part of what i do, which includes landscape architecture, urban design. when i mentioned flexibility, i meant the ability to change my workflow across this range of projects, and that was the reason for choosing vw in the first place. i don't do detail documents of buildings. so what you are proposing is not that critical for me, but improvement is welcome as long as the basic model structure doesn't become building centric as with some dedicated bim packages.

you mentioned stories. i spend 90% of my time in the landmark workspace. i know stories where introduced a couple of versions back, but have never used them. can you not do multiple stories within a design layer? if not, would making that possible get closer to what you are after?

ray

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

don't mean to be a stick in the mud, bimguy. i'm just trying to get my head around this.

but, it seems that if the stories concept actually did something like what kevin is describing, that the vertical stacking could be accomplished within the existing modeling environment, including design layers.

go ahead...tell me it isn't that simple.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

Well it's not quite that simple, if Kevin likes the component model thing,then may I suggest try Inventor or Solidworks? which incidently doesnt do buildings very well.

Neither of those are really right for what I do. The advantage to Vectorworks (and the weakness for many of you) is that it is not strictly an architectural tool. This week I am drawing a stage set in a theatre, a temporary theatre within an existing permanent theatre, an event in a tent, and the table centrepieces for said event.....

I merely see the usefulness of Christiaan's request.

(For my own wish, what I would really like to see is walls/doors functioning properly in symbols and the ability to have a viewport look at various views of any symbol in a file without the need to place it on its own separate design layer (ie. symbols were listed in the layers drop down of the sheet layer viewport and could be turned on/off)).

Kevin

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

 

7150 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, Maryland 21046, USA   |   Contact Us:   410-290-5114

 

© 2018 Vectorworks, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Vectorworks, Inc. is part of the Nemetschek Group.

×
×
  • Create New...