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Daniel B. Chapman

Schematic View 3D Rotating (Booms)

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@Daniel B. Chapman @TomWhiteLight

 

I can see that this new tool is the direction things should move in, especially as the CPMV command really does not adress the problem of integtrating the 3D model with Vision and other rendering options such as Blender etc.

 

The issue it seems to me is that when used with Hanging Positions,  a Hidden Line component is generated of the Hanging Position as well as the Lighting device. What we really want is a Hidden Line View of the Hanging Position and the ablity to use (perhaps by default) the Top component of the Lighting Instrument Symbol. That way Label Legends would work as normal and the Lighting device would look as intended.

 

Accessories are a problem at the moment. There is no way to add an accessory to a 3D lighting device. So creating booms in 3D virtually rules out the use of accessories for booms. A solution to this needs to be found soon, so that those of us that still use conventional lights can create sidelight positions that use Top Hats, barndoors etc.etc..

 

We are currently in Service pack 2.1. The tool has improved since Sepetember and I hope that with the advent of SP3 and upwards some of these concerns will be implemented.

 

I agree with @Daniel B. Chapmanthat it would be really good if a developer from Vectorworks could come forward and answer some of our concerns or if the folks at Vectorworks Training could produce a good quality training Video showing a workflow that works for various different scenarios. Perhaps in the process of making the trainimg material the problems that users like ourselves are experiencing will become all too apparent.

 

It is worth saying that the Create Plot Model View function still has it's uses. I do not find it innaccurate or buggy. However, it is a huge problem for many users because it is tricky, and no workflow was ever demoed by Vectorworks to explain it properly. Many users deride the tool as over-complicated, which it certainly is. However, once you get used to it, it becomes quick and predictable which I really like and I have managed to achieve some really great results using it.

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@markdd @TomWhiteLight 

 

Hello all,

 

Some really good responses in this thread.  I feel like we're really getting after it here.

 

I noodled around with it some more last night and this afternoon and discovered some interesting results.  See attached screen capture.

  • Schematic views do not like "Hanging Positions".  It will react better to simple rigging objects like a "Lighting Pipe" or a "Lighting Pipe Ladder".  I believe this was touched on in an earlier post in this thread or another.
  • Not converting to a "Hanging Position" will yield a proper 2D Schematic View complete with accessories and Label Legends when "Top" is selected.
  • Converting to a "Hanging Position" will yield an almost identical 2D version of the source geometry when "Top" is selected.  When "Front" is selected, it will yield a "Hidden Line" version of the position with no accessory or label legend information attached.
  • When label legends are populated by Schematic Views, classes that are associated with a label legend do control the Schematic Views display to a point.  All items need to be classed appropriately.  This means that containers need to have an appropriate class assigned to them not only at the label legend level but also within the symbol.  This will be problematic if you're utilizing the same container symbol for more than one field.
  • Schematic Views do not show "Modify Lighting Instrument Color" based on color field when selected in the Spotlight Preferences.
  • Accessories will display in a schematic view, however, they're placed at the top of the Schematic View, not with the fixture they're assigned to.
  • The spotlight numbering tool does work directly on the "Lighting Device In Schematic View" objects and the input is reflected appropriately.

 

Clearly, not converting the rigging devices to hanging positions is the way to go with schematic views, however, this does create some issues in itself.  

  • Not converting means you lose the ability for auto numbering or proper "Z" values.  Take the ladder tool for example.  The hight of the object is is controlling the center, center,center of the object, not the very bottom.  With a hanging position, its default is the bottom most bit of geometry is the base "Z" value.  Even then, you can edit the position afterwards and move the objects around until you're happy with where the "Z" base is located.
  • Another issue that I see is if you have bespoke symbols for hanging positions that are not rigging objects you have no choice but to convert them to hanging positions to make full use of the data that populates as schematic views do not populate without a rigging object or hanging position being selected.

It's been said many times now that we (the users of the software) need some proper direction from the dev team on how this tool is to be utilized and what steps are needed to create the correct outcomes we're expecting.  At the very least, reinstating the traditional methods until the tool is at full speed.  I'm very excited to see the full potential of the tool but until it comes to fruition we're left with no recourse.

Screen Shot 2020-02-09 at 3.36.21 PM.png

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Mmm the fact that you can't convert to Hanging Position is a bummer..

As I always convert for auto naming fixture position. And making labels fast and so..

There are some other issues as well but that's for an other topic.

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@TomWhiteLight

 

Tom, could you point them in the direction of weird origins and normals? I'm very confident that's where the weirdness occurs in the "lighting position" objects. A lot of those plugins have really specific meta-data and they likely need an update. I suspect that's why everyone is having trouble with the hanging positions. (Caveat: I have not used Hanging Positions in over a decade outside of my classroom, and even then I advise against it due to some of the weirdness). It is actually a bummer. I would really like the auto-numbering to work when I'm in a rush on corporate shows.

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Hey Daniel, Are you referring to where the Internal Origin is different to the user origin by more than 5k?

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@TomWhiteLight Thanks.  We look forward to their advisement.

 

I reviewed your file.  Looks like you're creating a top schematic view of each ladder rung of a position (converted to a hanging position) as opposed to the position as a whole.  I'm assuming you then recreated the whole position in an elevation view rung by rung, which works but seems time consuming when dealing with a large number of these type of positions.

 

I posted my test file in the shared dropbox folder for you see.  Perhaps you can send that off to the Dev team as well.

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@TomWhiteLight

No, (I've not run into that before). I'm referring to the internal origin on a symbol in this case. The schematic view assumes a "top view" and a center point and the fact we can't customize that is where I think the majority of these issues come from. Basically to get non-horizontal boom to layout properly you need to rotate the original symbol to be normal to the way you want it to display in the schematic view and then rotate that in the world space up. (Long story short: you build the boom flat in 3D then rotate it into your model and it works). The schematic view is displaying the "top view" as the normal of the position symbol you create rather than a normal you can set. 

 

(Accessories are just a bug, they need to be fixed so we can add an accessory and have it show up. Fortunately my plots don't really have many scrollers left or this would be a huge issue)

 

Here's the result. I am mistaken, I'm successfully using hanging positions but I don't think I'm using them in the way others are.

image.thumb.png.2489a8c91a7d7fcb1e60472f96f69d32.png

image.thumb.png.2b626d578900a4a1b8cdc20db8cda97c.png

 

I've attached a simple file that has the schematics working and not working as well as labels. Basically the root symbol of my hanging position has the normal that is used for the output. That isn't what we're expecting. We're expecting a schematic front or side view to be the 2D representation so we can use complex label legends.

 

A checkbox that says "Use 2D" or "Use 3D" would solve this. I think we need to be able to use a 2D representation from any angle or a 3D representation from any angle. I think what everyone wants is a "show as 2D" checkbox on the schematic view so we can put legends wherever we see fit. Honestly, I'd love that for viewports in general, it would make the schematic view workflow moot.

Demo.vwx

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I think, having read all of this and other posts related to this issue -  The Top View refers to any lighting position seen as if it is laid down on the deck. This applies to Ladders, Lighting Pipes and lighting pipes turned vertical to form booms.

 

If you want to use hanging positions -

  • Build as usual but strip out any 2D geometry - You don't need it
  • Convert to Hanging position
  • Hang your lights
  • Rotate the Hanging Position into the position you requre
  • Re-orientate your lights using the 3D Rotate tool on the lighting devices (if you need to)
  • Run the Schematic Views command and select Top View

This should give you a good representation of your boom which you can adjust according to your needs

 

I like to show boom arms as well and I have found a nifty way of adding them en masse which takes just as much time as my old workflow. This extra hardware does not become part of the Schematic View and it was this need of mine that was bogging me down.

 

This thinking seems to give consistent results. However:

 

Here is a list of issues that I think need addressing before this tool can be thought of as fully formed.

 

  1. Schematic Lighting devices showing in a Top/Plan view first with the ability to show the device in all the other Orthographic views when required
  2. The ability to integrate Accessories with this tool without having to regenerate the whole Schematic View. It is currently very difficult to add an accessory to anything other than the uppermost lighting device on any sidelight position. This means that changes through the design process are nigh-on impossible without a very cumbersome workflow.
  3. The ability to use the Ganging tool on Schematic Lighting devices
  4. All Schematic View lighting devices need to have all of the functionality that Lighting devices have with regard to the Spotlight Preferences dialog box (ie. Class and Modify color functionality)
  5. To be able to specify an insertion point for the Schematic View on creation.
  6. Fully functioning Label Legends on the Schematic Lighting device that work independently of the Model Lighting device.
  7. Some sort of Glyph by each lighting position to show that a schematic view already exists.
  8. This is a biggy, but well worth it in my opinion. The ability for Schematic View objects to use the respective component part of the lighting instrument symbol or Truss symbol for each kind of Orthographic view. This would mean that we as users could precisly tailor the output of any view according to what we had made in the components portion of the symbol.

 

I am sure others will have even more ideas to add.

Screenshot 2020-02-10 at 16.08.29.png

Edited by markdd
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I have been spending way too much time on this of late, but have now developed a workflow that seems to work with the Schematic View command.

 

Accessories were a sticking point but @Sam Jones's AutoPlot Place Devices and Accessories command fills the gap where the VWX accessories tool is lacking at the moment. After running the AutoPlot tool, the trick is to manually attach them to the Rigging object. (make sure you un-check the object in the resulting dialog or they will dislodge themselves.)

 

 

 

 

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@markdd Do you see your workflow working without the AutoPlot tool set?  

 

My challenge is that I manage a few users and making sure everyone has this plug-in installed, up to date, and tracking with the various updates of the VW software is another step in the process.  I would like to keep as much of our workflow within the confines of VW as much as possible and refrain from using third party plug-ins as much as possible.  We utilize Project Sharing with our workflow and have had issues in the past with third party plug-ins.  This is also the main reason why we cannot utilize Lightwright for paperwork purposes and instead rely on worksheets that I've created within VW.

 

Thanks.

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1 hour ago, rseybert said:

@markdd Do you see your workflow working without the AutoPlot tool set?  

 

My challenge is that I manage a few users and making sure everyone has this plug-in installed, up to date, and tracking with the various updates of the VW software is another step in the process.  I would like to keep as much of our workflow within the confines of VW as much as possible and refrain from using third party plug-ins as much as possible.  We utilize Project Sharing with our workflow and have had issues in the past with third party plug-ins.  This is also the main reason why we cannot utilize Lightwright for paperwork purposes and instead rely on worksheets that I've created within VW.

 

Thanks.

Not easily. The AutoPlot tool solves the Accessory problem and I can add Accessories retrospectively with relative ease now.

 

When I get some time I am going to make a video of the workflow that I have come up with which I will publish here.

 

As with most things CAD related, this tool is fiercely logical and understanding how the tool perceives what is Top or otherwise is the key to understanding why it works in the way it does. It's all about the Axes within a Symbol definition. The tool renders the hidden line geometry entirely based on how the X,Y,Z axes are orientated within the source Truss Symbol, or if it is embedded within a Hanging Position, where those axes were orientated when the Hanging position was created. Once you get that, then the way the tool behaves makes perfect sense.

 

I hope that helps a little!

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