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hybrid objects can only be rotated...

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Hello VWX peeps,


I am getting increasingly frustrated when it comes to rotating objects in 3D.

  1. I have created a diamond truss structure, from symbols imported from VWX's resource library.
    • I cannot, for the life of me, get it to allow me to rotate it, in anything other than top plan view. I get the following error, shown in the first attachment
    • I say "yes" to the dialog box query, because, one would assume that whatever is preventing me from rotating this object, will be fixed when I agree to the software's suggestion!
      • But, alas, no.  I am still unable to rotate it


WHAT SETTING AM I MISSING THAT IS PRECLUDING ME FROM ROTATING IN 3D?  This program would be worthless if it were true that you could only rotate stuff in top plan.


That being said, I created a circle truss, in another file, where I don't have that error message.  I can rotate it as I please.  But, I don't know what was different from that circle truss, to the diamond truss, or anything else I put in my drawing.  Absolutely maddening!  Help please!







Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 11.23.25 PM.png

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Hybrid symbols cannot be rotated in 3D.


Your truss symbols are Hybrid. So cannot be rotated in 3D. HOWEVER. If a truss symbol is inserted with the Insert Truss tool, then it will be converted into a truss object. In the OIP for the truss object there is a check box that says 3D only. When you check that box, a new extra symbol is created in the resource manager with all of the 2D geometry removed and the Truss tool will use that symbol instead. 


The truss can now be freely rotated.


I hope that makes sense.

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JPickup - thank you.  please excuse my green-ness.... but, is there a way to remove the 2D component to a hybrid symbol?  I don't see such an option in the Tools menu. or any menu for that matter.  I created a symbol, for my diamond truss, from my grouped trussing objects.  Perhaps the easy thing to do would be remove the 2D from that symbol.  But, again, I don't know if there is a method for that.


markdd, thank you.  I see where you can do that.  Funny thing is, in one file (File 1 - the one with the circle truss in my previous post) I can 3D rotate an inserted truss, using your suggested method.  But, in my current file, (File 2- the one with the diamond truss) I can't.  I inserted a straight truss, in exactly the same manner, in both files.  Same result.  Yes in File 1, No in File 2.  FYI - File 2 is a later revision of File 1.  So, there might be some setting I've changed, from the File 1 to File 2?   For further info purposes, the first attachment shows the OIP for the File 2 truss, I inserted.  Please note, the OIP does not even have the option to check/uncheck "draw in 3D only".  



Here is a screenshot of the OIP, in File 1, of the same truss, created in exactly the same steps.  As you can see, this OIP does have that checkbox option.



!  After all that, I stumbled upon a way to make it work!  While composing this post, I was toggling back and forth to my 2 VWX files.  During that process, I imported symbols into my rotatable File 1, that I was using in File 2.  Symbols that were already imported into File 2, directly from the VWX Resource Libraries.  Then, I inadvertently imported those same truss symbols, from File 1 to File 2.  I've just inserted the 45˚ truss, by double-clicking on the newly re-imported symbol, and then inserting it into the drawing, and, for some unknown reason, I can 3D rotate it now.  Glad it's working, but, still MADDENING!


Thanks to all for your help.





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I think the confusion you are having is because there are two different types of Truss tool in Vectorworks.


The Older ones are Straight Truss Tool and Curved Truss Tool. These create plug-in objects "on the fly" according to the parameters you set in the object information palette. These objects in themselves cannot be rotated in 3D. However, by adjusting the Rotation angle and Hanging angle from the OIP you can get the actual item to show rotation in 3D just fine. Every time you change an angle value in either of these fields, the 2D part is re-calculated from scratch to correctly reflect what the item would look like from a Top/Plan perspective .These items will however NOT respond to any 3D manipulation by another tool such as the rotate tool and you will get the Hybrid error message you saw earlier.


There is a new tool which is 2 versions old called the Insert Truss Tool. This behaves more like the lighting instrument tool and this is the tool that allows you to just see 3D geometry and works as I described above. This inserts Actual real world manufacturers truss in the form of Symbols that are created by the Vectorworks content creators or ones that you can make yourself (if you have all the data necessary). These can be anything from straight truss lengths, curved truss, corner blocks and so on and so forth. These symbols hold the Braceworks data which allows Vectorworks to use the Braceworks functionality to calculate structural engineering loads etc for concert rigs and the like. 


As far as I understand it, it is this tool that Vectorworks are moving forward with developing further, and leaving the older tools for the kind of work one does in the initial design stages of a production. They are still really useful, but they will never be as accurate as the Braceworks Insert Truss tool.


If you are new to the software I would suggest you play with each one of these tools separately so that you can see the differences between them clearly. Place one of each type on a clean drawing and just see the differences between them


I hope that is helpful. Come back if you have any more questions




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Thanks a  bunch markdd.  I've used you advise and was able to make it work.


One other non-related question:  recently I did something, where, now, when I change design layer, my top plan view gets moved somewhere away from where the "meat" of my drawing is.  It used to not happen in this drawing, nor in previous revisions of this drawing,, but, it did happen in one, or two, other files.   I did recently update my Spotlight preferences, as well as sniffing around thru my workspace properties; trying to find answers to the above, as well as other questions.  I have a vague recollection of, perhaps, some click-box that specifies where to center the view, but, I can't recollect if that was real, or in some vague hazy, frustration induced dream.  Anyone know if that's just an option I inadvertently selected, somewhere?







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thanks, again, markdd.  Just your pointing me towards possibly having turned off "unified view" led me to the fix.  I still had "unified view" turned on, but, going there made me remember that "vague recollection" I mentioned in my post.  I had, at some point, ventured into "unified view options" and checked ON the box "center view on activated layer."  




That made the view center on the "page center", which was usually the center of the, how shall I say it...."watermarked" overlay of the design layer page, i.e. a Arch D page.


Anyhoo, I've unchecked it, and, now that issue is gone.


I'm posting pix and explanations here, even though you already know the deal, to help any future VWX-ers that run into the same problem, and, don't know how to fix it.







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  • 11 months later...


I've too been struggling with Hybrid Object rotation in 3D, and I too am on a steep learning curve...


Am I correct to say that, when I insert a hybrid Library object like a loudspeaker, in order to rotate it 3D I should

a) convert 2d/3D hybrid object to Group, thus making it a generic 3D solid

b) rotate it the way I need it to be.

c) re-create a symbol and in 2D edit mode create a new 2D symbol for correct representation in Top/Plan view


This works for me, but wondering if there is an established way / workflow that perhaps I'm not aware of.


Thank you in advance for any pointers.  R

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5 hours ago, RonanR said:

a) convert 2d/3D hybrid object to Group, thus making it a generic 3D solid

b) rotate it the way I need it to be.

c) re-create a symbol and in 2D edit mode create a new 2D symbol for correct representation in Top/Plan view


I would recommend a slightly different workflow. This only works if the symbol in question is already in your file and assumes there aren't hybrid symbols nested inside your symbols.

  1. Make sure you're working in the Design Layers. Open the Resource Browser and find your symbol.
  2. Duplicate the symbol by right clicking on it and choosing duplicate. Name it appropriately.
  3. Right click on the Duplicate and choose Edit 3d Component. Rotate things as needed.
  4. Without exiting the symbol edit, right click in the drawing area and choose Edit 2d Components.
  5. Edit the 2d component as desired. (In 2019 or newer, you could just delete all the existing 2d components and right click to use Generate 2d from 3d Components to automatically generate the 2d.)
  6. Exit the symbol and place as needed.


The advantages here are that you don't lose any record information associated with the original symbol and you maintain a related origin point without any effort.



Edited by Kevin McAllister
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  • 1 year later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Trusses and lighting devices have special behavior. In Spotlight, if you use the truss tool to place the symbol you will be able to rotate the truss in 3D. You will also be able to insert lighting devices, hoists etc and have them attach to the truss. Most of the workflows described above apply to older versions of Vectorworks.

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