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Classes vs Layers

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As i have seen again that workers new to VW using VW Layers instead of classes,

I vote again for renaming VW "Classes" into Layers

like any CAD App else outside does

and VW "Design Layers" into something like

Level, Stack, Teilbild; Model, Story, .... or similar.

Maybe even VW "Layout Layers" into something like

PDF Space, Paper Space or Layout Sheet ...

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I think I have to agree with Peter on this one. I know for myself it took a little bit to get my head around the terms used as I used Autodesk products exclusively before having to learn VW. Didn't take long though. I find the terms Class/Layer to be very logical in their use.

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just need to get a little training. It doesn't take much, but it does take some.

Exactly what I said.

It's just that I meant the VW users ;)

Keeps "Standards" and easier for all those million Users waiting to switch from other Apps to VW.

And much easier for VW users when communicating with the rest of the world outside.

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Respectfully, just because Autodesk wants to run the whole world, doesn't mean that they should. There are some confusing terms in every piece of software I've ever used. Layers and Classes in VW's are not on that list.

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VW Classes are thought to be used exactly as Autodesk Layers are.

But it is not about Autodesk World only.

As far as I remember these things are all called Layers in

Microstation, C4D, Allplan, Archicad, BricsCAD, 3DSMax, Photoshop, Pixelmator, ...

While additional order systems like VW "Layers" use different names like

Models, Teilbilder, Stories, ....

If the world would exist in VW only that would not be that confusing,

it is confusing when VW does same thing as the rest of the world,

just completely different.

The Term Layer in CAD comes from layered sheets of transparent papers

in previous hand drawing. At a time when the ink drawings where wireframe

only as CAD drawings had no fillings, so stacking order was no thing.

You could have changed sheet layer stacking order anyway.

Like VW "Classes" do not influence the stacking order of Elements (much).

That's why it was criticized in Germany when CAD Vendors started to translate

Layers into german "Ebene" which means something like Level,

which has more of a Z-height, that terms like Foil, or simply just call it Layer

is better.

That "Ebene" or Level is more what VW "Layers" have gotten today.

Ok, beside their (3D) stacking behavior and some slightly different feature sets,

VW's Classes and Layers are hardly to differentiate anyway.

I remember a Tutorial, I think it was from a Spotlight user, who said something like,

"Some people say you should use Classes to separate your Elements, I prefer Layers ..."

It worked for him.

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Disagree.

Class is a good name - they classify objects.

Layer is a good name - they contain infomration and have a stack relationship like a layer.

It does cause semantic confusion - but in reality - the names are very logical. I do the training here - and I feel like a semantic poloice correcting people when they confuse them when they are talking to me - but I have not seen anybody - after getting inside a drawing set - actually use them incorrectly.

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Thanks Tom. And further, the entire, highly original concept of Layers and Classes (circa: min-cad) with which we can create dual intersecting sets (matrices) of specific visibilities and attributes is an extremely elegant creation. One might make the case that the naming conventions (Layers and Classes) be maintained, eternally, simply because of this.

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I think that while this is possible, the benefits would be negligible compared to the amount of relearning that would be needed for our user base. We would also have to revise ALL existing training material which would be years of work on its own.

This will however be filed and discussed as a request (YES I file all the wishes, even the ones I disagree with ;) ) but I suspect that internal feedback will reflect much of the other posted feedback here.

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Zoomer's original suggestion I don't think could work in Vectorworks.

Why?

Because, take for example Archicad and Revit, they both use object attributes (as opposed to class attributes in VW) behind the scenes to control visibilities. If you remove the ability of classes to control attributes, then you will lose control of your graphics.

What would improve the useability of VW immensely IMO (listening JimW? :grin:) is to be able to attach a group of preset class/layer visibilities to a design layer, much like a resource. At the moment, I control this via saved views but it seems like another layer of control requiring babysitting.

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Viewport "Styles"? Totally! There are a wide array of things like render settings, camera settings, name, visibilities, source that could all go into such a construct.

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Not wanting to go off topic but...

Viewport styles is a slightly different concept but viewports can be included.

Layer and class visibilitys attachable to a design layer is what I would like to see.

At the moment, I work mainly in saved views - saves me having to toggle layers on and off all the time when switching back and forth.

If you've worked with Archicad and Revit, you will notice that visibilities are controlled in the design layer. For example, in Revit, view templates are applicable to a floor plan. VW could implement this easily by allowing us to create a preset class layer visibility based on our class/layer structure/standard, naming it, and being able to apply to a design layer, saved view or viewport.

and BTW, the equivalent of VW saved views in Revit are mainly used for the camera views and other more specific project views that may be required.

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If you remove the ability of classes to control attributes, then you will lose control of your graphics.

Hoooh,

I think I was not precise enough.

VW's Class Layer System is the only thing in VW I do not complain.

I do not want to change anything there.

(OK, I still think ON/OFF should be one button only not two,

while there can be an extra button to gray without the need of more clicks,

and there should also be a button, for Render on/off, Lock/off

(and Freeze, as someone else wished))

No, it is just the NAMING of both that I do not like much.

Because VW Classes are called "Layers", everywhere else.

(And classify very well there)

But the prize goes to - semantic police officer :

Disagree.

Class is a good name - they classify objects.

Layer is a good name - they contain infomration and have a stack relationship like a layer.

Because it is the first hint of a plausible reason or meaning of the current naming

that I got.

I understand the no one likes changes and don't want Jim doing videos only for

the next 3 years. But there was a very little chance that others get excited too.

Would have made my client phone call less error prone.

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Nah, leave it as is.

I think they have got the layer/class thing right, especially when you consider other disciplines use VW.

What I would like to see is:

1) Improved class/layer management as described above i.e. class and layer grouping/presets as a resource

2) Auto classing of evrything. Including all annotation objects, labels, text etc.

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Leave VW Classes and Layers as they are

When training people to use VW there are many more complex perspectives or VW ways of doing things than understanding Classes and Layers

When you try to show Worksheet formulas or even Saved Views and the reason for using the latter - is it really a workflow and understand of the software a new user needs to get their head around

So ... who cares if a new user was using AutoCAD, Revit, or whatever

Hey - you are using Vectorworks now - get your head around it!!

D

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The Class/Layer System in itself is very ok.

It is just the naming.

Allplan has the same System and has choosen the name Layer for Classes though.

It is not so important but just another little detail that I think could be better.

It is pretty clear that, even when terms would have been named a bit more obvious

30 years ago, like here is our special Order System called "Cats 'n Dogs",

99 % of users would complain when some one asks for a change to call "Cats" now

Layers, just because they are used to do so since 30 years.

Viewport styles is a slightly different concept but viewports can be included.

Layer and class visibilitys attachable to a design layer is what I would like to see.

If you've worked with Archicad and Revit, you will notice that visibilities are controlled in the design layer. For example, in Revit, view templates are applicable to a floor plan. VW could implement this easily by allowing us to create a preset class layer visibility based on our class/layer structure/standard, naming it, and being able to apply to a design layer, saved view or viewport.

and BTW, the equivalent of VW saved views in Revit are mainly used for the camera views and other more specific project views that may be required.

I'm not sure if I understand that.

Isn't that exactly the problem that VW Layers are mixed up with all other softwares

Layers, because of that different naming standards, which should be seen as

Classes from VW user perspective ?

What you want is to have special Class Visibility Sets when switching the active

VW Design Layer ? Why ?

I can't imagine at the moment how you will organize your drawing.

Isn't that something like Viewports, just with the ability to edit the content.

I see the advantage of such a Dual System that I can see either just Walls (=Classes)

in all Layers, or just everything but in 1 Story (=Layer) only.

I too have a set of saved views for Class Visibility Grouping only and Layer Grouping

only. Which I rarely use to be honest, I switch it in the Navi Palette on the fly.

But no problems with Class and Layer Feature improvements.

Things like Filtering, Coloring, Separation Marks, ... very welcome.

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I totally agree with zoomer.

Most of the users can't imagine the benefits of substantial changes once the got used to some piece of software. People are very anxious with changes.

It's a general problem. That's why VW became overloaded with features over the years and why the user interface became overcrowded and confusing. The developers don't dare to streamline the software and to modernize it substantially. Instead they just add features every year. (Sorry if that sounds a little bit harsh but I can imagine how difficult it is to evolve a piece of software that has such a long time client base.)

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Yes, changes to Vectorworks are welcome. Changes to be more like Autocad is going backwards though IMO.

Edited by Kizza

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I get the idea, but Peter et al are correct. I tell new users who have ACAD experience just to treat Classes like ACAD Layers, & VW Layers are just that, layers of velum (i'm THAT old) stacked up.

My only beef is drawings tend to get buckets of Classes. It would be nice to be able to just "TURN OFF" a particular item in a particular Viewport without having to add another Class.

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Changes to be more like Autocad is going backwards though IMO.

I do not understand this.

Nobody ever said about something about a wish going to any Autocad feature.

I don't work with Autocad. So far I see Autocad is a great example to not use

standards but prefering proprietary ways, even in workflow. I can't and will

get used to it nor have I ever heard of someone having fun with it.

I'm not responsible that Autodesk also uses the name Layer for its Layers.

It is just that any other App beside VW I ever used or heard of calls its "VW Classes"

Layers - yes, even Autocad.

And if it has an additional System like "VW Layers", it gave that any other name than "Layer".

So it leads to confusion if a VW user starts to communicate with the rest of the 3D industry.

Phone Call :

client : Can you hide that somehow ?

zoomer : Oh, of course, i can switch that off easily, it's separated on an extra CLASS ....

client : .... stops breathing ...

zoomer : Oh, ... ah ... sorry, I meant LAYER ....

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This is the definition of a class:

"a group, set, or kind sharing common attributes"

which is how it is used in VW (and computer programming)

and a layer is:

" a covering piece of material or a part that lies over or under another",

which is also how it is used in VW.

Changing VW class to layer would not represent the function accurately and would be equally confusing to the rest of us who do not use, on a regular basis, ACAD or other programs that use the term layer to assign attributes.

If anyone wants to somewhat continue the same ACAD model, you can always use layer colors rather than class attributes.

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Again, no one wants anything ACAD in VW :D

This is the definition of a class:

"a group, set, or kind sharing common attributes"

which is how it is used in VW (and computer programming)

I understand and accept these hints. It makes sense.

and a layer is:

" a covering piece of material or a part that lies over or under another",

which is also how it is used in VW.

Sounds like "a Layer of clearcoat" which could be seen as the Components

or Layers of a Wall, that we currently do not "layer"ize but "class"ify in VW.

Most other software uses Layers to do that kind of classification,

even if it is not so consequent like VW calling that Class.

Isn't Level a much better term than Layer as it implies more Z space between

its Layers, now using Story Layers in 3D (?)

Changing VW class to layer would not represent the function accurately and would be equally confusing to the rest of us who do not use, on a regular basis, ACAD or other programs that use the term layer to assign attributes.

If anyone wants to somewhat continue the same ACAD model, you can always use layer colors rather than class attributes.

Yes, that's how it is.

Edited by zoomer

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What you want is to have special Class Visibility Sets when switching the active

VW Design Layer ? Why ?

I can't imagine at the moment how you will organize your drawing.

Isn't that something like Viewports, just with the ability to edit the content.

The way I structure my VW files is as follows:

Layer for site

Layer/s for each floor

Layer/s for roof/s

What I want is the ability to apply class/layer visibilities and view type (i.e. top plan, front, back etc) to the layer itself, much like saved views you could say. I also want to apply these visibility combinations to other drawings etc, hence the term "visibility style" and the request for a "visibility style" to be a resource.

Then viewports are used to add final touches etc to the drawings. The majority of the graphical heavy lifting is then done in the model views.

If I was a Revit user and I received a Revit file it would be WYSIWYG.

If I was an Archicad user and I received an Archicad file it would be WYSIWYG.

If I'm a VW user, the file would present differently depending on how the file is constructed. For example, if you received one of my files, you would have a set of saved views, someone else would use Viewports extensively and a file from you Zoomer would appear based on your last class and layer visibility selection.

Presently, It all seems to be a bit all over the place...

Edited by Kizza

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OK, I thought about on/off for your visibility set only.

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