Jump to content
jeff prince

Thanks for making computer work fun again!

Recommended Posts

On 5/8/2019 at 3:16 PM, jeff prince said:

Almost flawless, see the diagonal line in my harbor?  What's up with that?

Check to see what you're finished grade is in your site model.  That may be the contour line for that elevation.  If not it may be a bug in site models that I have seen mentioned a couple times.  Im impressed if that was your first time.  While I love the site model tools sometimes it can be tricky. Esp when it comes to roadways.

Share this post


Link to post

@HEengineering Thanks, it was tough to learn how to use it.  I never figured out what it was doing for that line. I seems like it was a bug because when I tried to edit that particular contour, it ended up putting a hole in my site model 🙂.   The harbor has been off my desk for a long time.  I’m working on a new project with some extensive topo, so I’m eager to see how it turns out.  I’m guessing it will work out in the new project because I generated the the contours from a point cloud and validated them in a different program before bringing them into VWX.

Share this post


Link to post

I sometimes get that diagonal line thing with site modifiers. I don't really trust the site modifiers.

Share this post


Link to post

We use this feature a reasonable amount for grading plans on small facility sites.  It works well but Ive never seen a model that extensive.  Id love to see more post on this feature and how people are finding the tools to work best. The cut and fill calcs are great.  Seems to be pretty accurate in my experience. 

 

I will say it's nice to have a program that can do ALL this.  Grading, rendering, planning, and modeling. If they could refine all these features just a little more and clean up some of the redundant features as well as get the resource browser to be a little more user friendly Id never need another CAD program.

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, line-weight said:

I sometimes get that diagonal line thing with site modifiers. I don't really trust the site modifiers.

Yes, I have an uneasy relationship with site modifiers and save frequently when using them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

@HEengineering I agree with your sentiments.  When I was evaluating programs for adopting a landscape BIM workflow, VWX ticked the most boxes.  That being said, I look forward to refinements to features such as grading, point clouds, geotiffs on a site model,  irrigation, and modeling of landscape features.  The bones of VWX seem to provide a nice structure for really making these workflows dance.  I came from an Autodesk background using AutoCAD, Land Desktop, and Civil 3D.  I was never excited to use any of those tools because of the look and feel, but they did the job.  During my evaluation phase of VWX, I threw a few very large projects at it to see what would happen in regards to site model and grading, the harbor being the most complicated.  I have seen several people here comment on the need for better roadway tools and I have to agree.  The latest upgrades to the hardscape tool give me hope for the future 🙂.  The problem with being a landscape architect on BIM is that I not only have to be an expert on the landscape side, but also Architecture and Civil Engineering with the way things are progressing.  I’ll post the project I’m working on right now once it gets to a significant milestone.  It’s a home on a 2 acre hillside with retaining walls, sloped driveway, hardscape at different levels,  natural washes, and lots of existing vegetation.  Oh, and a giant house with a split level floor plan, stairs a rooftop patio, and other tricky details.  It’s the most complicated project I have done to date with these tools, but far from the largest.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for posting that - really interesting to see your process.

 

Especially your method of "tracing" the house in 3d.

 

I don't think it would produce anything detailed enough for those of us on the architecture side who would want to do work involving the building - I would want something accurate within say 50mm - but it would certainly be useful for site context, neighbouring buildings, etc. And no doubt, technology will progress.

 

How much did your drone cost?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

@jeff prince did you find those prop lines from your county GIS shapefiles?  l’m trying in a georeferenced vwx file to reconcile some Seattle area prop lines and plss quarter section lines from county GIS portal with property legal description bearings.  Missing some of the legal points by a few feet. Those gis prop lines might be estimates of convenience, or I’m messing up, or CRS imprecisions [HARN] or other.  I’m planning to post all this in forum soon, but maybe you have experience to relate?
 

really super work in this thread! many thanks 🙏🙏🙏

-B

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

@Benson Shaw Thanks man!

 

I generally do not trust the shape files provided by the counties I work in, there always seems to be some kind of error or problem when I have used them.  Oftentimes, there are glaring errors that you can see, such as vector data not lining up with geotiffs and being off by up to 10 feet.  Other times, it is more subtle, like a property line that was drawn incorrectly in their SHP file, like a line being located where a PUE actually is.  As a result, I usually draw the property lines based upon the legal description, geolocating it by looking at the plat and the survey monument it is tied to if my project does not have a survey available.  I have found survey monuments in my counties to be dead on, which makes sense since it is the basis for all other work with these imaginary lines 🙂  Generally, it is easy for me to find a reliable survey monument online and sometimes in the field.  This almost always lines up with the georeferenced aerial I create with my drone (in other softwares).  I prefer to have a project professionally surveyed and use that workflow.  When I do this on my own, it's just out of professional curiosity and has little bearings on my actual design work.  I think we have to remind ourselves that all this GIS data is sometimes of unknown quality and should be taken with a grain of salt.  I trust my surveyors, engineers, and major monuments.  It's hard to trust a government agency that produces geotiffs that look like oblique photography in some cases 🙂

 

I'm still wrestling with importing GIS data into Vectorworks.  When I was working in Kuwait in meters, things worked fine.  Now that I'm back in the US, importing my geotiffs, point clouds, and obj meshes is problematic.  They require scaling by strange factors, like 2 x the meters to feet conversion.  They sometimes come in at the wrong location, by huge distances.  Admittedly, I need to review why this is happening in VWX as it is likely a setting issue, but I know others here on the forum experience the same problem.  In fact, the VWX video on point clouds makes mention that you have to scale and move the point clouds to get them to line up.  It's kind of ridiculous.... When I do this in other softwares with the same data, my geotiffs, point clouds, and meshes just snap right in where they belong geograpically because that location information is embedded in the files.  I make sure the data I generate is set to a known coordinate system, projection, and units.  I'll follow up on this with my next project.  I intend on reviewing the import process step by step to see if it's something I'm doing.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/20/2020 at 1:31 AM, jeff prince said:

@line-weight thank, glad you found it interesting!  My wife’s eyes kind of glaze over when I triumphantly present my latest work 🙂, so I post this stuff here for your enjoyment.  I also kind of hope the folks at Vectorworks are paying attention to this workflow.  It’s huge, usually with LIDAR, in aerial survey, environmental analysis, large scale construction monitoring, and infrastructure planning.  It’s gaining a foothold in design as well.  I used to hire a plane to do this kind of work, now I can do it with a machine that fits in my backpack.

 

I agree with your comments on detail and accuracy, it’s certainly not survey quality work.  Part of interpretation and tracing revolves around knowing the construction type.  If you have something that is block modular, rectilinear, and built by a reasonably skilled crew... you can get within 1/2” in most cases 🙂. Having the knowledge about how things are built goes a long ways in quickly recreating things without measuring.  Architecture can usually benefit from a ground based scan and be highly accurate when required.  I do this mostly as a professional challenge for myself and to save time with data acquisition.  It’s pretty nice to be able to review the entire site visit from oblique aerial photography.  There is all kinds of stuff you miss when walking around a large site.  Plus, the wide aerial vantage point reveals patterns in the landscape that are difficult to perceive from the ground or on Google Earth.

 

That handrail on the stepped wall at the end was pretty fun.  It was built off the drone footage and a walk thru video.  I measured it today just for comparison and to develop a construction detail should I decide to mimic it elsewhere.  The only bust was on the rebar pickets ( I faked it with a texture), height of the lower rail (Off by 1/2”), and connection details (couldn’t see).  I got the slope of the steps (block modular) and steel framing (Assumed standard profiles) correct.  20 years ago I would have struggled with all that because I didn’t have the needed experience.  Now it just flows during modeling.

 

The drone I used on this was a 1st generation Mavic Pro.  I used to have an Inspire as well, but the lower flight time was problematic.  While the mavic camera is not as nice as the Inspire, it is more than adequate when configured correctly.  I probably have about $2000 into it with all the accessories (batteries, props, memory cards, camera filters, ipad holder, glare hood for the ipad, etc).  I fly it with my iPad for these kinds of jobs, so that’s an expense that should be factored in.   Doing it on a phone is okay for motorcycle videos, but on not on this kind of work.  I like to see the photos it is taken on the iPad so I can see if I got the focus and other settings correct.  That’s very difficult to do on the phone.  If you shoot 300+ photos of a site and find out they are out of focus when you get back to the studio, it’s heart breaking and makes digital mapping less accurate.  I unusually shoot two sets of the same photos, but with slightly different settings, as cheap insurance.  That’s where having lots of batteries and memory cards is a benefit.  Oh, I almost forgot the software for reconstruction, that can get pricey depending on what you use.  I bought the drone to take photos and video of my adventures and already had an iPad Pro for other purposes.  Only later did I develop a method for using it for my work due to a lack of aerial photography in the country I was in and having a lot of time for R&D with my employer.  If I didn’t have all the gear already and an interest in figuring this out, I would just hire one of the many companies out there to collect the data for me.  Drone based aerial photography is a cutthroat business in the western US.  There are a lot of hobbyist shooting real estate, they should generally be avoided because they usually can’t actually produce maps or engineering data.  If you find a skilled map maker who is reasonably priced, keep their number handy.

 

hope it helps,

Jeff

 

There is certainly an element of art to surveying, and you become better/quicker at it the better you understand how the building type you are looking at is put together. You also get to know which are the really critical dimensions, and which are the ones where it really doesn't matter if you're a little bit out.

 

Where I do most of my work, the block module is often a hand-made and hand-laid brick, but on soft ground with virtually no foundations so one of the things you learn is not to assume horizontal lines are horizontal! That said, you can often get pretty close by counting brick courses for heights.

 

I'm keeping an eye on this drone surveying, to see if it's something that will become easy/affordable enough for me to start using in place of X hours measuring up manually. There is an engineer I have worked with who uses it a bit ... however some of his efforts have been frustrated by limitations on where and how high you are allowed to fly in densely built up urban areas.

 

In fact what I'd most welcome becoming automated is the surveying of internal details... measuring up multiple rooms with similar but not identical arrangements, trying to get diagonals with furniture in the way, all that can be pretty tedious. Would be nice just to put a device in the middle and get a point cloud - but before starting to try doing things that way I'd want to be confident that VW can actually deal with it, and it feels a bit like we are not quite there yet.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

@line-weight I’m optimistic about the future of point clouds in VWX and the whole notion of reality capture.  It’s a pretty mature workflow for civil, petroleum, and construction engineering.  I saw quite a bit of that in Kuwait.  Architecture and Landscape Architecture is always last in line for technology development and adoption.  I usually wait for tools to become relatively designer friendly before I take the plunge, but this technology is so amazing that it was hard to ignore.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

@line-weight i have felt the pain!  I once drew asbuilts and paper drawings for a houseboat remodel then performed the construction. uneven log floats, everything always moving. first you throw your level in the lake, then the string line and square, and finally settle on tape measure plus outstretched thumb. project was a great success (after tarping the whole building during a big snowstorm ... anyway it IS POSSIBLE to work successfully in low precision . But it’s a pain

 

-B

ps - maybe “low precision“ is wrong words. lets try “a non orthogonal and improvised manner”

Edited by Benson Shaw
respect forcraftwork
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Another thing that is a bit of an art ... and especially when you work in 3d.

 

You measure the ground floor and the upper floor, and drawing each one individually all works fine.

 

Then you overlay them and it doesn't. In 2d you could to some extent pretend it wasn't happening. Maybe you would bodge things around so that at east the staircase makes sense. If the proposed work didn't involve connecting the two levels in new places... it didn't matter too much that the chimneybreast on one level was 100mm away from the one below.

 

Can't really get away with that in 3d. It'll show on the elevations at least. So you have to do a bit of "rounding", and decide which dimensions are the important ones, which might be the ones relating to bits you know there is going to be work done to. The alternative is to draw the walls as they actually are... not vertical. Which VW doesn't really like.

 

I assume that point clouds don't make this any easier.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

There should be a way to 'float' elements IMHO. Literally a wall style that is called "poor work" or "on-site adjustment". Like when you kick a wall in a closet to miss plumbing. It looks like a chase on the drawing (when drawn vertical), but it's just a crooked wall when you get on-site. 

I wonder if there is a way to build that into a workflow. Just make a class called "crooked stuff" and when you add a wall to it, it gives it a color, and detaches it from stories, and is set to maybe grey/snap others. Dunno. But I run into this as well. Garbage as-built plans on paper, and even worse work on site. And I need a model out of that mess. SOME of the walls are fine, and need to be fine, like exteriors and some interiors. It's an idea. Not sure if it's viable or worth the time. Maybe i'll just build a 'As-Built' plug-in that heaps a bunch of the make-good tools into one product. Who knows.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

No matter how accurate the reality capture, we are ultimately working from interpretations of interpretations that will be built by a person interpreting our interpretation of the available information 🙂

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

It is sooo much fun to whine about the compromised product of prior efforts!  I oft envision malleable elements that work like the straight/flat smart objects.  A way to use modeling tools - extrudes, shells, lofts, deforms etc to create a shape with appropriate twists, bends, bulges, leans, sags, etc - then assign components to it.  or build the stack of various components (may have some spaces or compressions in the bulge areas) and somehow associate them as an assembly that can be cut or otherwise affected doors, windows, stairs, and other smart objects. should also aggregate with the usual components in worksheets.  Pretty big ask!  Meanwhile one can just model and make workarounds.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


 

7150 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, Maryland 21046, USA   |   Contact Us:   410-290-5114

 

© 2018 Vectorworks, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Vectorworks, Inc. is part of the Nemetschek Group.

×
×
  • Create New...