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Story Vs Layer Height


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Just started using VW2013 and had a question in regards to the Story vs Layer Height.

The stories under the Organization Tool seems to work, but the only issue is that you adjust the height of a story after you have a bunch of stuff in the model, the layer Wall height does not adjust??

So we originally had a 10'-0" story and layer wall height set, but had to adjust the Floor to Floor due to a structural change. Changed the Story Heights in the Organization Tool, which adjust most things, but then noticed that there was a gap showing up with all the walls. Have to go into each layer and adjust the layer wall height.

Should this adjust automatically if you change the story height? Or am i missing something?

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Wes it's confusing at best with all the various settings scattered everywhere that don't "talk" to each other... I suppose you'll call it "flexibility". I personally liked the VW version when we had a wall section pictogram to help us set up our layers, I think that method should have evolved with the introduction of storeys. There should have been various bldg sections pictograms to choose from (instead of a wall section) to aid in setting up storeys. Example of section types could be residential vs commercial with option such as split levels, atriums or cathedral ceilings that span many , etc.

If I want software flexibility I'll sign up for an online yoga class. It's got to be easier to use this package out of the box because theirs hardly any training resources out there for it.

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Maybe I'm the "old dog" in this story, but I don't really like the Stories story. I (think I) understand that it or something like it was needed for BIM interoperability, however in my opinion it created a confusing mess. There ought to be an option to have walls bound to "none". Often I find myself struggling to move walls in 3d space because they are 'glued' to a reference point and will not go beyond it...

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the height of a story

A story doesn't have a height, only a layer does. A story is just a level you set and can have other levels attached to it, each with a level type. You need to look those story and level types as just key levels (= z values) that objects can bound to. When you then change a level, objects will follow. The thing with VW is that for defining a level, you have to make a layer, and the z-height of that layer is the level. Apart from all those levels, layers also have a height, which you can use separately to also bound to. A good setup of stories and layers will result in an easy workflow where things are easy and quick to adjust, but you have to think it through and experience which way works best for you.

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I suppose you'll call it "flexibility".

Indeed, flexibility is a euphemism for lack of power (power being the ability to do more with less).

I was watching a video this morning on how Archicad 16 handles renovations (new, existing and demolition). It's incredibly simple and very powerful because it's built and designed specifically for that purpose. One could argue that Vectorworks has similar capabilities by way of the layer and class system, because it's "flexible". In reality it's a jack of all trades and master of none and with all this "flexibility" comes a lack of intuition and huge amounts of time invested wasted on developing workflows and workarounds.

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Absolutely agree with Peter. Beginners, and those of us who choose to, should have a way to work up to being conversant with Stories. A "None" option (set as default) would help immensely. And by the way, there is no "sticking a toe in" when using Stories. You have to know how to set up and use the system fully otherwise a great deal of frustration can occur. Not good for those without a built-in guru or lots of time to experiment.

Tom

Edited by Tom G.
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Having recently switched from 2011, the use of the stories & layers actually seems to work better for me at least. Now there is a clear definition and organization. But the automated integration is the issue.

So when you adjust the "Story" elevation in the organization tools, even though i understand the story does not have a height, it will adjust the bottom "Z" of any layers associated with that story.

So one would think that there would be an option to stretch the walls that are to the underside of the story?

Maybe just looking for too much automation? Really just wanted to make sure i wasn't missing anything or doing something incorrectly.

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if I understand correctly the layer height gives the story height but you can change them in the Layer setup also

NO. The layer height is a setting that hasn't anything to do with the stories. The stories and their levels (layers) are all about levels (Z coordinates). The layer height is something from before stories and can be used separately. I use the height only for my spaces, so they can show the height of the room.

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Story's = have a defined height (thickness if you like) one on top of the other with no gaps in between and no overlaps.

Design Layers = can either:

1. be placed in/connected to these Storys and then use the Story definitions for various objects e.g. walls, stairs etc. to follow i.e. change the Story settings and the walls will automatically adjust (it is however necessary to set this function in the actual objects too btw....) (you can for example have a DL that is placed in/connected to Story 2 however that has been offset to lie in the Story 1 elevation height)

or:

2. be placed individually with no connection to Storys

in both cases the Layers can overlap each other and Story heights or be place with gaps between.

(In addition to this objects in a certain DL can be offset/moved so that they lie completely over or under the Story/DL definitions)

To sum it up:

Storys are only a definition of elevations not containers,

Design Layers are the containers in which objects are placed either connected to Storys or not.

(If you don't want you don't need to use Storys at all....)

Edited by Vincent C
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Story's = have a defined height (thickness if you like) one on top of the other with no gaps in between and no overlaps.

Then where do you set this thickness/height? And what's the height of the topmost story then?

Stories are actually groups of levels (through design layers), with each such group a base z value. Thats all, nothing more, nothing less...

Edited by DWorks
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Then where do you set this thickness/height? And what's the height of the topmost story then?

This is defined by the Story above.....and yes the top Story has no vertical definition, this I have experienced is a faulty set-up because my wall definitions are bound to certain predefined DLs (e.g. slab DLS)on and above the actual Story, however walls on the top floor then don't have anything to bound to because these default DLs don't (need to) exist there.....

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Then where do you set this thickness/height? And what's the height of the topmost story then?

This is defined by the Story above.....and yes the top Story has no vertical definition, this I have experienced is a faulty set-up because my wall definitions are bound to certain predefined DLs (e.g. slab DLS)on and above the actual Story, however walls on the top floor then don't have anything to bound to because these default DLs don't (need to) exist there.....

Your walls will be fine if you have a separate story for you roof...

But then again, I have never had the situation that all of my walls are bound to the same thing....

Edited by DWorks
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Your walls will be fine if you have a separate story for you roof...

But then again, I have never had the situation that all of my walls are bound to the same thing....

No, you don't understand, in my wall styles I set bottom bound to 'Slab' and top bound to 'Slab Story Above' this works on all floors but not the top floor (roof level) because this doesn't have/need a Slab Layer......i.e. I need to create a special slab layer on the top floor that doesn't have any other function than to bound my standard wall styles......or create special wall styles for this...either way it includes extra unnecessary work.

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Vincent, Walls can be linked to any Layer associated with a Storey. So if your top floor has a Roof Layer then select the top floor walls using the Select Similar tool (use the Wall Style filter) and then change the top bounding Layer to that Roof layer.

Note also that you are not restricted to using the Default Storey Layers because you can create your own.

Alternatively you can change how the height by using:

- The Wall Layer's defined Wall Layer Height.

- Entering an offset value from any one of the Layers associated with the Storey.

- Entering an offset value from the Layer the Walls are in. i.e.. its Layer Elevation.

Where the roof is not horizontal use the Fit Walls to Objects menu command on the AEC menu to fit the wall top to geometry on the Roof Layer, or any other Layer that you wish to use.

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I've followed this discussion intently & come to the conclusion that as much as I've invested time & money in VW it is a very large cerapod blissfully unaware of the approaching asteroid.

I say this as this Storey Story is just another example of solutions for a question no one asked, or a design solution offered by an accountant.

Why are the software updates not approached in some of the simple suggestions mentioned here?

I start projects with a pencil - regardless of what I'm doing. Why does VW not take the same simple approach to help automate the process? The example of a simple metaphor pictogram of how walls, slabs, floors ceilings etc. connect was telling. Why is this not the default? Why can't I just look at a simplified image of a building, or section, and make it work on the fly?

Why when something as needlessly complex as Stories is introduced is the non technobabble Video not shipped with the software? Sounds like a corporate culture thing to me.

I fear that my cerapod metaphor may be off base, VW is more like my 2nd car, an english one. I loved that car, but also hated it. Turns out so did the rest of the world. How many Austins are there on the road today? I suspect like my present car, sooner rather than later I'll be driving a different platform.

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Alternatively you can change how the height by using:

- The Wall Layer's defined Wall Layer Height.

- Entering an offset value from any one of the Layers associated with the Storey.

- Entering an offset value from the Layer the Walls are in. i.e.. its Layer Elevation.

I am aware of all of this Mike, that is the way I'm forced to do it, however I still consider them 'extra' steps as a result of a not completely water tight concept.

The fact that there are all those ways of solving it plus more shows how complex and fragmented VWs is becoming, again the term 'bursting at the seams' comes to mind......I consider myself above average when it comes to using BIM applications, so when I feel I 'm forced to actively ransack my mind to find why certain objects don't function the way I expect and can't directly find the cause or setting that corrects this alarm bells start to ring! How is a novice ever supposed to get their head around this.

e.g. Wall heights can be set through:

1. Wall style

2. Wall settings dialog

3. Story settings

4. Layer settings

5. OIP settings

6. Fit to Geometry

7. Manual manipulation

8. Any number of combinations of the above.

.......get my drift?

Edited by Vincent C
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Thanks for a helpful thread. I'm just looking at stories for the first time, after not even looking at VW for more than 6 mo. Yikes. My head is exploding.

What I seem to already be tripping over is essentially split-level stuff. That is, I've got a project with an old basement, a new basement (18" deeper) and a crawlspace (5' shallower). I THINK I should create stories for each of those, since I can't create more than one "Foundation" (say) level type per story... but then the layers' that I try to create on the various stories overlap, which is apparently not allowed. I suppose I could create more level types, but that seems like a broken approach to the stories paradigm. Is there an obvious approach I'm missing here?

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What I seem to already be tripping over is essentially split-level stuff. That is, I've got a project with an old basement, a new basement (18" deeper) and a crawlspace (5' shallower). I THINK I should create stories for each of those, since I can't create more than one "Foundation" (say) level type per story... but then the layers' that I try to create on the various stories overlap, which is apparently not allowed. I suppose I could create more level types, but that seems like a broken approach to the stories paradigm. Is there an obvious approach I'm missing here?

You can use for example 'foundation' and 'foundation sub', 'floor' and 'floor sub' in one story to have your split levels. I do it this way, and it works very well. I only hate those extra not used layers you will end up with.

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... but then the layers' that I try to create on the various stories overlap, which is apparently not allowed. I suppose I could create more level types, but that seems like a broken approach to the stories paradigm. Is there an obvious approach I'm missing here?

Keith, Storys can't overlap however that doesn't matter because Design Layers can, even though they are connected to certain Storys, you don't need to use Storys if they complicate things, just use Design Layers. In your case you need to decide if and to which Story you want to connect your Split Level DLs to, after that you can place walls anywhere you want with and at any height. It is for example possible to have a DL connected to Story 2 but place walls in it that lie on Story 1.

Storys have been introduced to make it possible to control several building elements (PIOs) that are story bound in one go. e.g. if you have a stair going from Story 2 to Story 3 on a Design Layer that is connected to Story 2, and you then need to change the height of Story 2 at a later stage, the stair will adjust automatically. Another advantage is that you can make all Design Layers associated to the other Storys adjust as well. You could see it as a way of collecting/grouping Design Layers associated to the different Storys together.

I know it is rather confusing but I believe it is a first step toward a more logical setup along the lines that the competitors (ArchiCAD/Revit) have and this has kind of thrown us into a no mans land between 2 setups (Design Layers and Storys). Hopefully they'll get it cleaned up in the next few versions......

Edited by Vincent C
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If the expert users above can't seem to agree on how to set up stories AND do it in a just a few sentences, then something needs to be done on NV's end to improve understanding by recoding along with creating better learning content. Wasn't this thing tested on users prior to its roll-out?

Wes: Please give us a better video than we have on explaining Stories.

Tom

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I know it is rather confusing but I believe it is a first step toward a more logical setup along the lines that the competitors (ArchiCAD/Revit) have and this has kind of thrown us into a no mans land between 2 setups (Design Layers and Storys). Hopefully they'll get it cleaned up in the next few versions......

Think you're right. Hope so too.

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