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e_calabrese

Section Drawing Workflow

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Hi All,

 

I'm about 2 month into learning VW (2020 on a iMac details below) after a decade of using Revit and I'm trying to wrap my head around the best workflow for Section drawings.  What I would like to do is cut a section viewport from my model and then draw 2D lines on a separate design layer to show detail (studs, TJIs etc).  My issue is figuring out how to set the work plane so the 2D line work is in front, currently all of my line work in hidden/obstructed by the model. I realize I could create all the line work in annotations but I'd really like to save that for my tags and notes.  In Revit I could just draw 2D annotation lines over any view and it would automatically draw overtop of the model and stay associated with that view, is there a way to do this Vectorworks?  I have tried using the screen plane but then the line work shows up on all my views.  Below is a screenshot of the section I am trying to detail, thank you!

 

 

Screen Shot 2020-01-22 at 12.13.27 PM.png

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As far as I’m aware there is not an easy way to do what you want. I once tried something similar with 2d lines on 3D working planes but soon realised that it was not how the program is designed to work.

 

In VW viewport annotation spaces are used. 

 

One of my light bulb moments when learning vw was that the path of least resistance was to work in the way the program was designed - whilst it might not be how you are used to working overall it will make life a lot easier...

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There are legacy commands I use occasionally:

Cut 2D Section

Cut 3D Section

They can be found by going to TOOLS>WORKSPACE EDITOR>EDIT CURRENT WORKSPACE and adding the two menu commands to your View menu.

With these commands you can cut sections that will reside on Design Layers where you can draft over them.

Play with these a bit and see if either of these helps.

bc

 

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@line-weight my main issue with detailing entirely in annotation mode is that it disappears in editing mode and I am unable to edit 3D objects at the same time (for example when drawing the wall and floor assembly of a dormer in annotation mode I realized I had to shift the wall a bit but was unable to see my 2D annotation lines while also having the ability to edit the wall).   Ideally I'd like to draw things like TJIs, soffits, and interior trim on a design layer and save annotation mode for notes, dimensions, and tags.  To @Boh 's point, I'm still trying to figure out if the way vectorworks was designed was to either work entirely in 2D or model every aspect of the building so it is represented accurately in 3D.  

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10 hours ago, e_calabrese said:

@line-weight my main issue with detailing entirely in annotation mode is that it disappears in editing mode and I am unable to edit 3D objects at the same time (for example when drawing the wall and floor assembly of a dormer in annotation mode I realized I had to shift the wall a bit but was unable to see my 2D annotation lines while also having the ability to edit the wall).   Ideally I'd like to draw things like TJIs, soffits, and interior trim on a design layer and save annotation mode for notes, dimensions, and tags.  To @Boh 's point, I'm still trying to figure out if the way vectorworks was designed was to either work entirely in 2D or model every aspect of the building so it is represented accurately in 3D.  

 

vectorworks was initially designed to work in 2d (as I understand it) with the 3d element gradually being added.

 

As far as I have worked out there's not actually any "official" way to deal with what you describe - drawing the basic geometry in 3d then adding detail in 2d. They pretend you can draw it all in 3d (at least, up to a certain level of detail) - using things like the wall and roof tools, but as you will have found, that really only works for quite straightforward and rectilinear stuff. As soon as you get into drawing things like lofts and dormers you've really no hope of building it with the standard tools and producing something with useful constructional detail (in my opinion, anyway).

 

I can tell you where I have ended up, which may or may not be of use to you. Recent projects I have tried drawing in quite a bit of detail in 3d - to the extent that I can almost take 1:20 or 1:10 constructional sections straight off the model. This involves modelling a lot of stuff directly, abandoning things like the wall tool in certain instances and building the individual layers of construction (and things like timber studs) individually. This probably sounds rather laborious - it is, but I've found it's not as laborious as you might think, and probably still saves time compared to previous workflows where all that stuff was drawn in 2d (but had to be copied/redrawn between multiple details). Once you get your head around it you can be a bit strategic - for example, you don't have necessarily have to model the internal detail of each wall for its entire extent, you can model it to the extent that is necessary to produce your GAs, and then certain portions in more detail, where you are taking a section. But you kind of have to keep a consistent level of external facade detail, for example, so that elevations look OK.

 

I'm still trying to find the right balance of detail in the model vs detail added in 2d annotations - the right balance is probably different for each project. I do add detail in annotations but try and keep it fairly minimal. One of the weaknesses of annotations, as you've alluded to, is that it's not really attached to the underlying model at all. So if the underlying geometry shifts, you have to go and shift all that annotation stuff manually to match.

 

Something else to know about annotations - VW does not do a great job, when it comes to producing the final drawings as PDF or whatever, of integrating the linework of the 3d and annotation parts of the viewport, with slight misalignments sometimes being visible. This is most noticeable if you try and "blank out" errant lines generated by the section - you can try and do it by drawing white objects on top but the result is always slightly messy. I've complained about this on here many times, and asked if VW has any recommended way of doing this, but have only been met with silence. This is one of the bits where VW just doesn't really work well, and I think there's a denial of the reality of how people want/need to produce working drawings.

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I understand what you mean, having used Revit for quite some time while there are many frustration in Revit but there are other things I like such as additional 2d lines on top of a 3d model etc.

 

Depends on whether you need the section to be linked with the 3D model to update on any changes further down the line, if not you could convert the section to a 2D line drawing in designer layer and add any further details needed.

 

Alternatively I tend to add them on annotation layer in the viewport.

 

Typically for the work that I do, I model everything in 3D. 

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So adding my 10c here. For construction drawings I model only enough to get some 3D views, reasonable elevations and simple cross sections. 
 

I use the basic architectural parametric tools, roofs, walls, slabs, windows and doors (actually Windoor here in New Zealand) stairs, some extrudes and a site model.

 

I like to add things like spouting and down pipes, balustrades some times roof flashings to my 3D model.

 

This covers 95% of what I need to model and because it is simple it is easy to modify.

 

Everthing else I do in annotations however the elevations do not require much in the way of annotations so they pretty much auto update with the 3D model, and most often construction details (all in 2d) do not need to mimic exactly the actual construction as long as the important information is correct.

 

The only items which may require signicant maintenance after modifying the model are the sections and yes masking polys are sometimes required.

 

For me and the sort of work I do ( mostly medium size commercial building) this is an efficient workflow 

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4 hours ago, line-weight said:

vectorworks was initially designed to work in 2d (as I understand it) with the 3d element gradually being added.

 

Actually, it was the other way around.

Here's a brief description I found for MiniCad 1(released in 1985): "3D editor, rendering with invisible surfaces, 27 basic geometric objects, perspective views, processing of raster images."

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@line-weight and @Boh I so appreciate you sharing your workflows, it's very helpful to know how others use the program.  The small firm I recently joined has only ever used Vectorworks in 2D and I am trying to learn the software and develop our 3d workflow so I'm in a bit over my head.  @PeterYip thank you so much for the tutorial! 

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I've been having the same questions as @e_calabrese and struggling to get the balance of what to draw in annotations or pull from the model. This shifts more towards the model as I get to grips with the tools further. 

 

There are a lot of tutorials out there on the 3D modelling but haven't found any yet which show construction details at say 1:10/1:20 from the model. Does anyone know if there are tutorials on this scale of drawing somewhere?

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Posted (edited)

I don’t know of any such tutorials. If anyone can efficiently create quality construction details to 1:5 scale then I would be very interested.

 

My opinion is that the extra time required to model to that degree would not only take longer but also not produce the same quality output.

 

Usually by the time a project has reached construction detailing stage the changes to the design would be minor. I.e not much  to gain by having a detail model that auto updates. 
 

For 1:20 output live section vps are really useful especially for things like stairs. 

Edited by Boh
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Yes it would be really useful to know if anyone does details to that scale from the model. At the moment I similarly would output up to 1:20 from the model but would resort to annotations for anything in a larger scale.

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By way of example, here is a 1:5 detail from a recent project. In the second screenshot you can see the annotation separated out from the section cut from the 3d model, to show how much of it is added in annotations.

 

Which bits are drawn in detail in 3d varies for me. You can see in this example, I have drawn the window in 3d in pretty much full detail, from scratch. That's because I wanted it to look right in elevations and 3d visualisations, and because the built-in window tool is so hopeless I couldn't have come anywhere near to usefully approximating this window type at anything greater than about 1:100. On the other hand, the small timber battens are not in the model because they aren't visible in elevations and aren't necessary to show in GA plans (for me usually 1:50). I did show the main timber studs though, because this was useful in visualising the main structural buildup, and because I like them to show in GA plans (and the wall tool can't automatically show timber studs, as far as I know).

 

1414375540_ScreenShot2020-03-10at09_23_28.thumb.jpg.78f7e71c3db6d59125f44b7b5a3313f8.jpg

 

777890517_ScreenShot2020-03-10at09_23_37.thumb.jpg.7798d09b9cab23a6123de59ac7d2cb06.jpg

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Thanks @line-weight it is really useful to see your workflow. This is a similar method I have been starting to use for simpler details so good to see a more worked through detail.

 

I might also try creating the initial detail section viewport into the design layer then drafting over it in 2D to keep annotations for text only but not sure if this would give any benefit to just working into the drawing in annotations

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31 minutes ago, LauraCB said:

Thanks @line-weight it is really useful to see your workflow. This is a similar method I have been starting to use for simpler details so good to see a more worked through detail.

 

I might also try creating the initial detail section viewport into the design layer then drafting over it in 2D to keep annotations for text only but not sure if this would give any benefit to just working into the drawing in annotations

 

I think I've also considered doing that... but in the end decided there was no real benefit. It would mean that you'd have to go into the design layer to update the viewport rather than doing everything in the sheet layer. And viewports of viewports seems to add opportunities for more things to go wrong.

 

If you find some advantages of doing it that way I'd be interested to hear though.

 

I also would be interested to know if you agree with my complaints outlined in this thread:

 

https://forum.vectorworks.net/index.php?/topic/49011-how-to-remove-unwanted-lines-in-sheet-layer-viewport/

 

This I think is something that needs to be addressed by VW. The more you rely on annotating viewports with extra detail, the more of an issue it becomes.

 

I am frustrated by the fact that my final output linework for many drawings (especially elevations) is worse quality than what I could produce when I worked only in 2d.

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6 hours ago, LauraCB said:

 

I might also try creating the initial detail section viewport into the design layer then drafting over it in 2D to keep annotations for text only but not sure if this would give any benefit to just working into the drawing in annotations

One big advantage of doing all the detailing in the design layer or alternately all in vp annotations is that it makes it much easier to copy and paste the detail into other projects or even just somewhere else in the same project.

 

ive recently started a construction detail library of common details saved as symbols( all 2d atm).  I couldn’t do this if I had the details spread between DLs and VP annotations.

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