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Plot and Model View


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

The Create Schematic Views create a 2d (graphic) of the lighting device and position, it's more a case of 3d first then generate a 2d element for the plot. Draw your elements in 3d  and then get vectorworks to create the schematic of how that position goes together. The create plot and model command has been superceeded by this and the workflow has changed. Also export to Vision doesn't like plot and model and requires you to draw your fixtures where you would like them in the 3d space and not off to the side of the main plot as you would graphically represent them on the drawing. However all is not lost as you can still create Design Layer Viewport which will work in place of the create lot and model command.

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/10/2019 at 1:30 AM, TomWhiteLight said:

The Create Schematic Views create a 2d (graphic) of the lighting device and position, it's more a case of 3d first then generate a 2d element for the plot. Draw your elements in 3d  and then get vectorworks to create the schematic of how that position goes together.


Then what is the best method to tackle a ladder type position where fixtures are stacked on top of each other?  It's seems to be more efficient to draw and detail the position in a 2D environment over 3D.  I'm ultimately trying to do the detail work in a 2D elevation and then create a "footprint".  


Schematic views at face value seem like a great concept but it's just not a solid replacement for plot and model views (with exception to vision export, of course).

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hi Ryan. 


I don't use the ladder tool, create a short pipe. put a placeholder lighting device on it edit - duplicate array (Z axis). then draw a 48mm circle either side of the lighting pipes and extrude, then set a bottom Z. Select each lighting pipe using shift + Click then Spotlight Visualisation Create schematic view. Then go to your 0,0 point and unpick and rearrange the schematic views. Then select placeholder lighting devices you want to change  and select replace with on the OIP.


Not got VW open to clarify but this is how I do it.

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@TomWhiteLight @Sebastiaan Valid points indeed, however, my take on it is that detailing a plot at the 3D level for a more inexperienced "set in their ways" user is cumbersome and clunky.  Several of these types work in my office.  The Plot and Model view solved being able to allow them to draw and detail vertical positions on a 2D plane while still allowing for an accurate 3D representation of the position.  In fact, Vectorworks just released a webinar that touched on the benefits of utilizing this method, which is now considered obsolete.  


DLVP would work just as well, however, the lights do not reflect the correct hang and rotation when they are assigned to a focus point.  Even after changing the X, Y, Z rotation of the fixture, they still reflect the orientation  that they have in the layer that the DLVP is referencing.  Is there a setting that I'm missing somewhere?


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@Sebastiaan See attached screen shot.  I messed around a little more with the schematic views and vertical positions.  I created some UTorm ladder symbols, converted them to hanging positions, and added some fixtures.  Works great.


When I created the Schematic View, it created 2D line work of the various views as I selected them which I actually really like because the 2D Front View it created as its pretty detailed and accurate.  My issue is when it comes to the detailing process.  The lighting devices all have a label legend attached to them.  You can see it in the Top/Plan view.  All of the information that I plug into the fixtures does not translate to the Schematic View.  Also, the label legend information gets jumbled up in each other because of the overlap.  I tried to build a data tag that will return that information but no luck a data tags will not attach to the "Lighting Device in Schematic View" objects nor is there a parameter selection for said objects.


Which brings me to my question... Aside from being able to slide fixtures around a little easier than doing it in a 3D view, what's the point of Schematic View?  Unless there is a way to translate the label legend display to the Schematic View objects I would need to create a 3D label legend and create my layouts from a 3D view.  Just seems like unnecessary steps.


Thanks again for the help so far.

Screen Shot 2020-02-06 at 12.52.54 AM.png

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@rseybert I did not even now that the schematic view could create these nice frontviews. That's very interesting! However I agree that this is not complete if we can not add the same type of labeling like we can in "normal" views.


I just did a very quick try on a 3D label but that does not work as I expected. Labels are not aligned to the schematic view instruments and I do not see the text just some white planes that are the size of the textboxes. What I've seen so far is that the schematic view is only usefull for a raked truss that you want to schematically display in top view. But that is not flawless yet either. Definitely waiting for improvement there, but I believe there is a lot of potential in this function!


So in many cases I wil for now revert back to my workflow of using a 3d view in combination with 3d labels or data tags on my sheet layers. I attached a pixture of a frontview of a ladder in hidden line render with some data tags that I applied in the annotations of the viewport. And that looks quit similar to what you made in the schematic view, but with working data tags ;-). Just to be clear, this was drawn in 3d just like your example.



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@Sebastiaan I agree, the Schematic View does create some great elevations, however, its lacking practical functionality.


I was able to find the "Create Plot and Model View" buried in the legacy tools in the workspace editor.  Which is awesome, however, the fixtures still do not rotate in 3D appropriately.  I'm led to believe that feature does not work currently.  this was confirmed by a user in another VW forum.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

The main reason why we are encouraging users to utilise schematic views is also because when you export an MVR the fixtures must be in their correct respective locations. We will continue to improve schematic views for the next release. There were changes made to the rigging objects in 2020 so I would not recommend using create plot and model view in 2020. I would recommend saving back a version and using 2019 if you absolutely need plot and model.

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@TomWhiteLight I'm sorry, but there is no "encouraging" users in this scenario if the've updated and adopted 2020 and have no recourse.  Utilizing DLVPs in the fashion that are is essentially dead.


I don't want it to seem like I'm beating you personally up over this, but does VW have any metrics on what percentage of its users actually use or would use the MVR feature, should it be available to them in their workflow outside of VW, that would support a paradigm shift like this at this stage of the feature?  At this point, only MA and Robe support this feature with the use of their products.  I'm sure that more manufactures will adapt this feature in the future but at this time I don't see it being a justifiable reason to make a very common and practical workflow obsolete for a very large portion of the Vectorworks Spotlight users, especially those that don't have any practical usage for MVR.  Seems like a select few are controlling what the majority can or cannot make use of the software.


You mention improvements to the Schematic Views being available in the next release.  Will this be in a service pack update or a major release like 2021?  A service pack update would ideal as the general rule of thumb for users is to stay far far away from the major releases until SP1 or SP2 are available.  Which means this at least a year out based on the trend-line of major releases.


Back saving to 2019 is less than ideal as we have already adopted 2020 and converted our custom resources to 2020 compatibility.  This would also potentially cause more issues in other departments than it would really solve based on experience of having done this a few times for vendors that are not current on the software.  This may not be the case for other users who view this post but it applies to my offices' unique situation.


I posted this in another forum post but wanted to post it here.  I would assume that any of the feedback that is posted in the forums are shared with the dev team.  I will also post this in the wish list section of the forums as well.  I figure the more heat that users put on this topic will help make it more apparent that this needs to be a priority.


Wishlist of features for Schematic Views:

 - Allow 2D label legends to translate to the Schematic View.

 - Allow user the option to create a "backwards" Schematic View by drawing elements in a 2D form first and then create the Schematic View.  Ideally, the result would be a "2D/3D symbol" that would be a footprint of the position in Top/Plan View and would show actual geometry when viewed in any of the 3D views.  

 - Navigate away from using Hidden Line rendering to create the Schematic View.


Many thanks again for all your help.


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hi Ryan


apologies for any inconvenience caused.  I am using a mixture of 3d viewports with some schematic views and data tags for my own outside design work, if your interested in can share a file with you. In truth there are other benefits to the new workflow, schematic views generate less geometry and then you have the ability to accurately report fixture locations from the setting line, I myself have a worksheet that displays sidelight position location and sidearm heights. So it's not just about MVR, although with the free version of Vision being offered to VSS customers a seamless MVR export is something we are striving for, we also have to support those users. In addition we also have a number of  customers designing large scale shows and using an MVR export for another bespoke visualisation program. We currently have at least 30 partners signed up and developing tools, workflow and content for GDTF and MVR. I appreciate that schematic views is in its infancy and is not an exact replacement for plot and model but we are constantly making improvements to this important workflow. I will certainly share your wish list with the development team.


2d label legends do work in schematic views providing they are 'Top'. if it's a 3d view then I believe 3d label legend information should be able to be displayed. On my test file it's trying to show this (I can see outlines) but failing to show the text so it could be a bug which I will investigate.


In truth I think it makes sense to draw the fixtures exactly where they are going to go on the model so that you know they are going to 'see' their focus point, not hit any masking etc. Then create a 2d schematic for the electricians of what you have drawn, but I will share your thoughts with the team.


A different choice of render modes would be helpful.


Best wishes


Tom W

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I truly believe all your reasons to move into true 3D designing only are legit. 

I personally have always been principally against the use of Plot and model views and I have never used them. 

However I do agree that @rseybert has a very good point. That removing functionality from the now legacy, but widely used, plot and model view before the new workflow is fully functional is a mistake. 

Edited by Sebastiaan
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@TomWhiteLight I would appreciate a shard file.  Hopefully, it will shed some light on how this is used in other applications other than my own unique workflow and I'm all for learning.  I too understand that it's still in its infancy, however, disrupting workflow because of it is less than ideal.


Top view schematic views are fine.  What I'm having issues with are the vertical positions and displaying the data correctly without having to create additional steps in the workflow to obtain that data... even though it could just be temporary until VW releases a full functioning iteration of the tool.  I'm also seeing that 3D label legends do not display in a schematic view.  Photo attached for reference.


Furthermore, not arguing the practicality of drawing the elements in 3D where they actually live within the space.  Speaking as part of a team that produces large scale bespoke corporate events and theatrical productions, we strive for as much accuracy as possible in the pre-production phase... some would venture to say too much.  Time wasted on-site translates to wasted money and the number crunchers get really itchy when that happens.  I do utilize Vision as my pre-viz solution when time/budget allows for it, so I can appreciate Vectorworks strides toward making the transition between the two programs more streamlined.  My argument is how that data is displayed once its created/drawn for the practicality of creating shop build drawings and installation drawings.


Something I'm going to noodle around with is taking the varied levels of detail (Low, Medium, High) that you can apply to symbols and see if I can get Schematic Views to spit them out as well.  Perhaps that would be a temporary solution until this gets fine tuned.


@Sebastiaan I completely agree that 3D first is a valid argument.  See above.  I'm generally not the first person to interact with a design before I'm tasked with detailing it out.  I am tasked, however, with making sure that those above me starting the design have the tools they need to initiate said design.  If they need to draw something up real quick but don't necessarily possess the skills (or patience) needed to draw in 3D first they will draw in 2D first and deal with the 3D later... but that is an argument saved for a different forum.  The other concern I have is that the graphical representation and the details within that comes with the 2D symbols are lost, especially when traditional fixtures come into play that are represented graphically.  Things like gel color representation in color fill, lensing, lamp wattage, and fixture orientation to name a few.  In my experience, these are details that are best represented graphically for quick reference, clarity and to save space on the drawing.

Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 9.01.42 AM.png

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This is all quite interesting to me. Seems like schematic view has a lot of potential. It is always disappointing when features are released before they are completely functional but that seems to be the case with many things. I don’t necessarily agree that drawing an item in 3D is “better” as that can often involve changing working planes but that may simply be a personal preference. 

After reading this I tested focus positions in DLVPs and sure enough, that no longer works. Rather disappointing. 

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