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Theatrical Ground plan possible?

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What is the best way to create a theatrical ground plan - one that includes dashed overhead lines, from a 3D model?

The only way I can see to make a ground plan is by first creating a front elevation and then taking a section view of that. However, I can do hidden lines, but not overhead lines. The theater I am working in has a mezzanine level, and the set has a balcony. If I do a standard cut at 3' or 4' I don't get any of this information.

I must be missing something, this is one of the primary pieces of paperwork in drafting, surely it's possible, right?


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There are a few ways to approach this but none of them are ideal. I think the mezzanine is the harder of the two items to deal with.

My preferred method would be to do separate plans for the main ground plan and the balcony. I would manually add a dashed outline of the balcony in the main ground plan in the Annotation for the Sheet Layer Viewport. I suppose the balcony plan could also be the "mezzanine" plan. I would try and put both plans on the same sheet, aligned in a way that you can refer to both and make correlations between them.

Another way to deal with the balcony on the set would be to put the entire set into an Auto Hybrid. The Auto Hybrid allows you some limited control over what appears above the cut line. The disadvantages are the Auto Hybrid can slow things down if the geometry in it is complex and it can be fussy to re-edit set elements once they are within it.

You could also model the levels on separate layers and layer Sheet Layer viewports to get what you're after. This approach can be harder to manage if there are revisions, since only the initial draftsperson knows how things are organized.

Ultimately VW will generate drawings with too much dashed overhead information so you'll have to decide what is helpful and if too much is in the way of clarity. That's why I tend towards separate plans.


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Thanks, I'm going with separate plans right now, taking viewport sections at different heights. Have not yet tried Auto Hybrid, I'll check it out, the set is not too geometrically complex.

I guess it's just good to know that I'm not missing something obvious! Like "Click the ground-plan button".

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I use layers and classes for multiple levels all the time. I believe this is how VW is designed to run.(and most other CADD)

In a viewport it's pretty simple to flag a class as being dashed rather than it's normal look. I also put odd levels like balconies in their own classes, but using their own layers is pretty simple too.

As for organization there are 2 things that make it simple.

1. Label stuff with meaningful names; "ground plan" is too vague, try "stage level set plan" "house mezzanine floor" "light onstage electrics plot" and call viewports "viewports", saved views "views" it saves having duplicate names with sheets and layers.

2. Make many saved views. By automating the on/off settings all the layers and classes start to make sense and you save time. Here is a related tip: make a saved view for every planned viewport.

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