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dorp

problems learning 3d

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I have been using VW for 2d drafting for a bit over a year now and decided to try 3d modelling and found it to be far more difficult than I thought. People like to say Autocad is difficult to learn, however I was able to teach myself the basics of 3d modelling and get productive results within one evening messing around with it after work. I have tried to do the same with Vectorworks and I am not getting anywhere. One of the most basic things I am trying to do is to align one 3d object to another. I do this in an isometric view and everything appears to be perfectly aligned. Then I switch to an elevation or another isometric view and the objects are in all sorts of different positions relative to each other. I imagine the issue may relate to not using the working plane correctly however I was hoping the working plane tools would establish some controls as to how objects were placed in space -so far it seems pretty random. I used to think Autocad's UCS settings were confusing but now appreciate the level of control they provide - and atleast Autocad notifies you when an operation will produce unreliable results. (FYI-I am using VW 10.5 on a Mac that's still on OS 9) I have other issues with VW 3d but won't get anywhere until I figure this out. I have read the manual quite a few times but I am not getting any more enlightened on this. Any help would be appreciated. - Thank you.

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If you are serious about learning 3d in VW's you should try to attend one of the learning seminars!

Another option is to buy Janis Kent's very comprehensive 3rd party manual. You can find it at www.improbability.com

Her most recent version is for VW's 9, but the basics are still pretty much the same.

Peter

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I am not nearly as savvy as I would like to be with VW 3d but I can at least offer this: when one is drawing is a 3d view, the snaps, at their most basic level, treat the view as a 2d drawing space. (As if one is working with a tracing of a 3d view.) This applies to 2d objects as well as 3d.

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There's a very important option in the restrictions menu. Double click on the point restriction icon to activate the "snap to 3D point" option (or whatever it's called in the US version). This is only available starting from 10.5.

What is known as UCS in ACAD is called working planes in VW. It's pretty porwerful, and behaves in a similar manner as UCS's. One very handy option is clicking a face. The working place is placed on the face, and the center of the working plane is the center of the face. Of course, this only works with flat faces, not with curved surfaces.

Good luck,

BaRa

[ 12-21-2003, 02:16 PM: Message edited by: BaRa ]

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dorp, your problem with 3d snapping is not unusual, but once you have developed techniques to overcome the issue you will have no problems. Basically what is happening is that the program is snapping to a point in the background or foreground that is closely aligned to the point you want, and you don't realize that. VW 3d is no more difficult than AutoCAD, but has more features.

1) Use the orbit tool and rotate your objects to get an unambiguous view of the vertex you want to snap to (3d selection tool works best in this space). Or . . .

2) Work only in orthogonal views and snap only to 2d objects using the 2d selection tool - a 2d locus works fine. When moving a 3d object to a 2d object point, the 3d object is constrained to the working plane (i.e., can move in only 2 dimensions). You can utilize working planes to extend this concept to any plane in 3d space. This technique sometimes requires 2 movements to place something, but it is foolproof.

After you place your object where you think you want it, check by using the orbit tool to rotate things around. If it isn't where you think it is, that will become quickly apparent.

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Dorp,

Did you ever get it all figured out? I'm at a similar spot on the old learning curve (looks a little like the old learning CLIFF actually. [Wink] )

It seem like VW is lots harder to learn than AutoCad for 3D, but it's lots cheaper, too.

Even so, I'm thinking of sending it back.

Bruce Donelson

A Better Builder

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The training CDs are a good learning tool for learning how the program works.

They not only give a visual aid, but they explain how things work and why they work that way in most cases.

If you are still having a challenging time adjusting to drawing in 3d from AutoCad, you may want to look into the Foundation I and II training CDs.

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