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Hidden Line to be 'LIVE' or 'INSTANT', just like in Revit

Amorphous - Julian


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I very much agree with this wish.  We are a long time Revit firm and lately I've been looking at other options for us.  Revit is great, but also complex and expensive (especially with the new subscription model).  I find there is a lot to like about Vectorworks and have fun with the software.  I do have concerns though regarding the graphics. They can be a little "glitchy" and updating the viewports in hidden line slows down the production process.  More importantly though, I feel it creates the impression that the software is a little outdated. Other systems feel much more fluid as you jump from view to view giving the user a more modern and enjoyable experience.  I have no doubt the Vectorworks team is aware of this and sincerely applaud the hard work they put into each release. Hopefully this gets worked out soon. 


All that said, V2020 is a big improvement for us.  On our Mac and PC computers the hidden line update times are greatly improved.  Keep up the good work!

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Over the timeline of any project, 2D and 3D will each be given more attention. For our workflows and any hybrid 2D/3D workflow (which Vectorworks is), live updating can be both a blessing and a curse. 

  • When focusing on 3D it is a blessing, because the elevations and sections reflect the direct inputs of the model.
  • When focusing mostly on 2D it can be a curse, because 2D work often breaks model integrity.

I have seen this recently on a large Revit based project where the (AutoCAD based) 2D plans, sections and elevations are a month behind the model. Working on the model meant that the plans, elevations and sections would be broken. I realise there may be a world where we transition to 3D documentation, but until that day arrives, we still need to produce 2D drawings.


For this reason I would want viewports to have the option to be either live or static.

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3 hours ago, Diamond said:

I have seen this recently on a large Revit based project where the (AutoCAD based) 2D plans, sections and elevations are a month behind the model.

Jeepers - why on earth would the 2d stuff be done in AutoCAD? At the Revit practice I worked at, everything including the details was done in Revit. Its 2d drafting capability is slightly above rudimentary, but still totally usable and hatches can be imported .pat files from AutoCAD. Seems a bit disjointed..

Edited by Aspect_Design
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1 hour ago, Amorphous - Julian said:

A number of forum users have DM'd me on this topic. And I thank everyone for their input and guidance. 


In the end, it seems everyone's struggle boils down to one question:



Now, as far as I'm concerned, BIM means BIM. There is no half-way point.


A hybrid 2D/3D drafting process, where information of BIM objects cannot be 'called out' in any part of the documentation (because drawings are flattened) IS NOT BIM. A process where 3D modelling doesn't live-update the 2D drawings (including section etc), IS NOT BIM.


If I can draw a consensus, it's that we would love to implement FULL BIM, but the inefficiencies of the Vectorworks package in terms of speedy 3D workflow is preventing us from doing so. 

In recognition of that, our office is going to roll back our implementation of FULL BIM, and revert back to a 2D-drafting process. 



But wait- there currently is no efficient way to do this in Vectorworks! While viewports can be converted into 'groups' or 'polygons', they are converted in the wrong scale (on sheet), and are not placed inside the Viewport's Annotation Space for further editing. 


Fear not! Enter a script that @Julian Carr developed for us to resolve this Problem.

Julian's script does the following:
(1) - Auto-updates the selected viewport

(2) - Makes a copy of the updated geometries, including hatches

(3) - Places the geometries, at the correct sale, inside the annotation space of the viewport

(4) - Turns off all design layers so there is no overlap (user can choose)

[Note this script only works for Sections and Elevations, not Plan]


I took the liberty to share this amazing Script here. You can all thank @Julian Carr for it. 

This script is an absolute time-saver, and right now a life-saver for us. We think the functions contained in this script should be included with Vectorworks as a standard. 


...Meanwhile, goodbye to the dream of full BIM in 2019. we are full swing into 2D drafting. Back to 'year 2010' we go....  


Thank you Messrs Julian!

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11 hours ago, Amorphous - Julian said:

Now, as far as I'm concerned, BIM means BIM. There is no half-way point.

This is where I am going to have to disagree. What you are producing needs to be fit-for-purpose, not BIM for the sake of BIM.

And what part of BIM, are you referring to? Information, or the model? After all, the model is just another form of data. That is why there are LOD definitions for modelling, because modelling every extruded profile, screw and rivet brings most BIM packages to their knees (although maybe not ArchiCAD, and Vw 2020 is much better with large models). Why explain with extensive modelling what a spreadsheet can do more simply?


And regarding detailing, how do you convey flashings and elements that are so thin that they are lost in a model? (Maybe there might be UI improvements to be able to display this within an exploded model view - but once again, why model the whole building when one detail would do) You need to understand each data medium (model, 2D drawing, schedule, spreadsheet, and so on) and what each does well to suit each purpose.


Architecture is hard. There is rarely one size fits all (unless your work is extremely repetitive - and then maybe Revit would be more appropriate.) Vectorworks is mostly a design-BIM tool, that can also document. Revit’s strength is as a documentation tool. Hope that wasn’t too rambling.

Edited by Diamond
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@Amorphous - Julian  I can't get this to open in 2018 or 2019. Says file is too old or corrupt, etc. What is your recommended proceedure for utilization of this script?  Thanks alot!




OK So I copied the script into my scripts palette and when I run it is says:



Not privy to scripting, I don't know where to go from here.

Any help?


NOW I HAVE IT WORKING.  I failed to copy the absolute entire portion of the script from the file.


Edited by bc
my error
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Since we now have non-blocking rendering of hidden line plans and according to the roadmap we get this soon for sections would this mean 'live' rendering like Revit is something VW can do in the future? This would eliminate the need for hybrid objects I think? And so simplify our workflow. Especially now that materials can define section fill. This would also mean auto-update of all the viewports.. 

Edited by MarcelP102
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