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Cut and Fill Uncertainties and Error Msg

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Trying to figure out the best approach on my first site model. Usually I just create the planes to represent the site and live with that. But on this one, we have to push some dirt around. The general idea is that we have a flat piece of ground. I want to push 2' of dirt back to some safe distance, build the house, and then berm the dirt back against the house behind a series of retaining walls. If I plan it right, the net cut and fill will be 0.

So, I built a huge square DTM at 0' elevation representing the lot. Now what? Do I first cut the house shape and then fill? But how will the fill know to stop at the house? Or do I first "fill" an area that extends to each future retaining wall and then cut the house out of that? Or doesn't it matter? And when do I add the retaining wall? And how does it know to stop the "fill" at the retaining wall and not slope it to the control fence I set up about 10' beyond the walls?

And when I set view to 3D Contours or Extruded Contours, to what object do I apply texture so that I don't just get the contour lines?

And when I use a bezier site modifier, why do I get "A miscellaneous error has occurred (20,2)"?

And why is the sky blue?....oh wait, I know that one...


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

First, draw a Pad modifier along the bottom of your excavation (we assume this location is fixed.) Then draw a second Pad Modifier at the top of your excavation (where the berm will meet the house foundation wall.) You will have to offset this second pad outward slightly (even 1" is enough), because the DTM doesn't like perfectly vertical surfaces. Now create a Fence modifier out at the foot of where you want your berm to be. Recalculate your DTM and your cut and fill. Experiment with the various heights and offsets until your net is what you want.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Comments on your other questions:

You should set your 'DTM-Mesh' class to the fill and texture you want for extruded contours.

I'm not sure about the bezier modifier, try and simplify it to see if the error message goes away. Fewer edges are always better.

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>I'm not sure about the bezier modifier, try and simplify it to see if the error message goes away. Fewer edges are always better.

I design domes, so was just trying to match the "cut" to the circular foundation. This one's lots of intersected domes...simplification isn't going to be so...simple. :)

Thanks on the other answers. I'll try that. VW has a ton and a half of powerful features--stringing them together to accomplish a task is not always so obvious to me, but we usually get it done somehow.

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Seems another key is choosing "Site Model..." and updating it after EVERY change I make through DTM Processor->View Options...

I'd get one result (often goofy looking) when checking a box in the View Options dialog, and then it'd change to a different look when I updated the site model. Finally got the layered look I wanted by remembering to do both commands in sequence, or else I wouldn't see the true impact of a change in the View Options. Could this be a correct conclusion I reached, or just dumb luck?

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Frustrating day messing with dtm and finally punting so I could get something done. Last straw was retaining walls that draw like the right side of the image--tops and no sides. They weren't transparent and they had a texture and I can't figure out what some of those lines are. Replacing them with plain curved walls like on the left. At least I can make that do what I want. Any ideas on that stuff on the right? It all cleans up when I delete the retaining wall. but doesn't show in anything but a rendering. Also couldn't figure out how to create a site modifier based on an existing polygon/polyline, and my building perimeter was too complicated to trace it multiple times with the site modifier tool.


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