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Move & Snap in Screen Aligned Views



When working in Front, Back and Side views, I wish objects being moved would behave as if they were in Screen Plane mode (as in, they'd only move parallel to the screen, particularly when snapped to other objects). The ability to snap to objects forward of or beyond an object's current plane (that's parallel to the screen) seems more problematic than not, since one doesn't have any perception of what's happening perpendicular to the screen...

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

That makes sense. Especially if you weren't in a perspective view, there would be no visual indication of moving an object in the "depth" direction relative to those specific views until you changed views again and saw you had snapped to something (or nothing) in the far foreground or background.

Currently you can SORT OF use Shift to lock you to the relative X and Y directions for those views, but it is by no means guaranteed.

Still worth hashing it out in this thread if anyone else has any additional input on how this could be implemented in an easy to use manner. But I think a combination of limits per-view and shortcuts to force movement lock to "x" and "y" would work well, submitting request now.

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Another failing of the Layer Plane / Screen Plane issue ?

This thread falls into the same line with a Post I recently made


"Traditionally, one would switch to the Front or Standard View to move / draw in the "Z" plane. Top Plan View for X and Y - Front for Z and X ? etc Setting the Working Plane to match was not needed. Now there appears to be the possibility that drawing in the Top Plan view, and switching to the Front View, will allow the object to be moved in a direction that is not visible in 2D. This, more than often, results in the object not being where it is expected, when you switch back to the Top Plan view.

Is there a Preference to have the working Plane follow the Standard Views ?"


As an example, I continue to have issues with 3D objects used as a reference in "straight on" Front - or Side Views. You are able to snap to one of the vertices, to start drawing the 2D component, then there are none to pick ?!?

Same thing for dimensioning in the Top-Plan view, (with the Layer Plane option set). Copy some dimension, move the Front view and Paste ? Where did the dimensions go? and Why?

Are there that many people who draw dimensions on different working plane in traditional "drafting style" drawings?

Maybe a Preference that sets the mode to "2D Drafting" and the 2D is 3D is 2D (or is it ?) with Layer Plane / Screen Play goes completely away. (The Screen Plane Only Options that appeared in VW 13 is close to it ?)


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start drawing the 2D component, then there are none to pick ?!?

I know! What happened to the snaps after that 1st pick?

Where did the dimensions go? and Why?

They went onto the layer plane, because drawing set to Layer Plane. (but not sure exactly where on layer plane). Switch to top or flyover to see the dim.


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Yes. I NEVER move anything anymore without checking it with a flyover. The snapping...it's going to find something to snap to and mess it all up.

C4d has a great axis handle. Three big arrows pointing in the three axes directions. Pulling on one of the arrows means you're only moving in that axis. But it has arrows in between the axes as well, to move in xy/yz/xz planes. That's a big help. And snapping works in all of them.

Another frustrator. There should be a key one can hold down to toggle between resize cursor and resizing disabled. That way I can hold down a key, move the object, release the key, adjust that point. Having to use the mode bar is a time suck because you can't go backward. You can only go through the modes in one direction.

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I have learned that Automatic and Screen Aligned options create the greatest problems for specific situations.

Example: View is set to Standard View Front. Intent is to draw 2D Geometry, (Rectangles) while snapping to existing 3D Geometry (Extrudes). The first Snap is easily selected (end point), then it is as though the snaps no longer work, they are just gone!.

By selecting the Screen Plane Only preference in the Document Preferences the process works as expected with the Snaps behaving almost 100% correctly.

There appears to be an "issue" when two 3D components (Extrudes) or two parts of the 3D geometry occupy the "same space". Then the 2D object (Rectangle) selects the first end point snap, second end point snap ? then it "can't find" the last point (End Point) the work around is to go for a mid point or another end point on the same plane.

Ironically, if the same shape is drawn in reverse or upside down, the Snap error moves to the opposite corner ?

The Screen Plane Only option os a good fix to Layer Plane / Screen Plane, though there are still a few glitches - Peter

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Attached is a repeatable example what I consider a BUG when moving 3D objects in the Top Plan View.

((Original Topic: When working in Front, Back and Side views, I wish objects being moved would behave as if they were in Screen Plane mode (as in, they'd only move parallel to the screen?))

Traditionally, if you were in Top Plan View, 3D items would NOT move at all in the Z direction. There is limited logic in having such a feature as there often is limited ability to see where, in the Z direction, the object might be going.Add to that the infinite snaps available in some situations in a single "Z Location".

The example shows several 3D items that were in the correct "Z" position in the design and were moved with the cursor in the Top Plan view in one direction.

The Z position changed, but was not indicated till the drawing was rendered in a side perspective.

As we have little use for different layer planes (the projects we have use the ground plane almost 100%) Is there a way to Lock a Working Plane? So movement as illustrated does not occur? I am not sure why there is even the ability to move in the Z direction when the drawing is in the Top Plan view. (see attached detail) - Peter

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