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Kevin McAllister

Display Symbol instead of Layers in Viewport

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This is a longstanding wish of mine that I will add to the list again. I often create scenic elements as symbols. Each of these elements need to have detailed drawings created from them. Right now I place each individual symbol on its own layer and then setup sheet layer viewports for the drawings.

Instead of creating layers I would like to have the ability for a a sheet layer viewport to look at a symbol instead of a layer or group of layers (see attached image). Essentially I would like a way to detail a "component" as many other software programs have. If this were implemented, my VW files would be so much more compact as I often have 12-20 layers just to detail individual elements.

Kevin

ubbthreads.php?ubb=download&Number=9713&filename=Symbol%20in%20Viewport.jpg

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Miguel,

Interesting, I didn't know that. It doesn't help me in this instance as all of the symbols are individual 3d models. I want to use viewports to detail various views of the symbol by using their view drop down menus (ie. Front, Side, Top) and render these like I would any other viewport.

Kevin

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Miguel,

Interesting, I didn't know that. It doesn't help me in this instance as all of the symbols are individual 3d models. I want to use viewports to detail various views of the symbol by using their view drop down menus (ie. Front, Side, Top) and render these like I would any other viewport.

Kevin

??? But if they are 3D, then they will just render fine in the elevations, unless your elevations are 2D? If they are 2D, make 2D symbols out of your 3D one, once the work, but faster than you do know.

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This would be a nice feature Kevin. Admittedly I don't have a good understanding but I suspect it might be a nontrivial thing to implement given the way VW is so deeply organised around layers.

For instance when I talked to NV about implementing a teamwork server so teams can work on a single model and sign objects in and out without having to deal with separate workgroup referenced files, they said they probably wouldn't implement such a thing with an object database but rather base it on Layers. Anything else, apparently, would require a low level rewrite of the way VW works.

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I just tried what Miguel offered up. Here's the problem. When you place a 3d symbol in an annotation, you cannot change it from top/plan view.

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Grant, that's exactly what happened when I tried. The symbols also don't render in the same mode as the viewport (which isn't surprising since the annotations space is in top/plan view).

Christiaan, I wondered the same thing. Have you ever noticed that when you edit a symbol the layer drop-down in the mode bar at the top of the screen changes to the symbol name....

DWorks, I'm not sure you're understanding the wish. Essentially I want to use a sheet layer viewport to "look at" a symbol instead of looking at a stacking of layers.

KM

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take a look at section Viewports with limited extents perhaps

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There are lots of workaround and I have a current workflow that works. I'm looking for a new feature that has a lot of benefits for creating drawings from symbols (components) of a project. It may not have much application for architecture but it has great potential in the exhibit / entertainment fields which are a growing market for VW.

KM

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just trying to be helpful.

a workaround to me is a way to get VW to do something it is supposed to be able to do but doesn't: very different to a new feature request.

perhaps an 'auto-create limited extents section viewports for selected objects' command would be good wishlist item that may give the functionality you need without adding a third level of discretion.

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VW does however bill itself as a CAD package for the entertainment industry. And it's extensive spotlight package does the trick for many lighting designers.

But spotlight does little to no good for scenic designers, who must draft scenery in a manner that is accepted by our industry.

I have drafted scenery with limited extents section viewports, and do not find it to be as useful nor as efficient as the method Kevin describes.

The reason why Kevin's method is better is because as a symbol, on it's own layer, a piece of scenery can be rotated to be perpendicular to the XY coordinates, making the viewport options for top/right/front view useful.

As a symbol, it can exist in two places in the file at once. So back in the model where groundplans and sections are created, scenery symbols can be moved around to create shift plots, to satisfy the needs of the director, LD, TD, etc, all without destroying the drafting viewport created by the isolated symbol on it's own layer. Limited extents sections would need to be constantly shifted with scenery to accommodate this flexibility.

I don't think that Kevin's request is any more of a stretch in development than having stories available to architects, something that they had workarounds for before they existed but now (I hope) are making their lives easier.

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DWorks, I'm not sure you're understanding the wish. Essentially I want to use a sheet layer viewport to "look at" a symbol instead of looking at a stacking of layers.

KM

You always can set the view of a sheet layer viewport to whatever you want to have a "look at" a symbol. I don't see what you are trying to do, maybe mixing 2D views with 3D views perhaps? If so, then use hybrid symbols instead. Please give an example of what you are trying to achieve.

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Grant explained the reasoning much more eloquently that I could.

DWorks, its about workflow. Right now I have many layers (15-20+) each containing a single symbol centred at the origin. These are what the viewports currently look at. I also have a composite layer with the same symbols in the correct relationship to each other. With my wish I don't need the layers for the individual symbols, I can just point the viewport at a resource that's already in the file - a symbol. Simple and clean. This allows the layer list to focus on what should really be there, in my case the individual scenes of a show.

Imagine if on a building project you needed to do a dimensioned detail sheet (plan, front, side, back) of every single door, window, sink, toilet, fireplace, appliance, the public art piece, a car in the parkade etc. instead of listing them in a spreadsheet with part numbers / types. How much more overhead would be involved in creating these drawings. Now what if you could point viewports at a symbol of each?

What I'm asking for may be a little "outside the box" for architecture, it would be an innovative way to solve an existing problem for theatre, events, exhibits or any other application where the design is the sum of many specific parts.

KM

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You always can set the view of a sheet layer viewport to whatever you want to have a "look at" a symbol.

In simplest terms I want to be able to do this without inserting the symbol in the drawing (ie. the resource only exists in the resource browser list for the file).

KM

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This request has come up a few times in the past and I'd love to see it as well. Think about it as a system of parts and assemblies. In VW, a part could be a symbol, and an assembly could be a collection of symbols. The idea is that the part in the assembly could be rotated along any or all three axes. The part may have been originally created in that orientation as well to make sure it fits with the other parts. Shop drawings are needed to build the part, so how do you get the part displayed unrotated with the required views (plan, front, side, isometric, etc.)? There are ways to do this in VW (with many additional classes and/or design layers, viewports with custom view rotations, etc.) but they're all much more complex methods than having a sheet layer viewport that could display the contents of a symbol.

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It's beginning to make sense.

What I don't see working is how you could simultaneously turn on the visibility of a Layer and a Symbol in this new paradigm.

It looks like a new type of Viewport is called for - a Symbol (Assembly) Viewport

as opposed to a Drawing Viewport which could live either on a Sheet or a Design Layer.

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That's correct BCD. The viewport would only be able to display the contents of a symbol (not along with design layers). I don't know if there would be a need to display the contents of more than one symbol, but I think displaying only one symbol should be enough.

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That's exactly right. I just assumed if you chose to look at a symbol, layers would be disabled or vice versa. A separate type of viewport would work too.

KM

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Hey NAA.

How about simply creating a __symbol layer

This would be hidden from the user like a __record.

Access to viewing the __symbol layer in a viewport would give the function requested.

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