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VectorWorks 12 Live Sections

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Some comments on the ideal graphic view of building elements in the Live Sections:

- Design sections do not require much information.

- Construction sections do.

Therefore in the Construction section scenario:

- A wall should also show the component elements that it is constructed of. Therefore a cavity brick wall should show as a cavity brick wall and a window with a raking brick sill should show the raking brick sill.

- A floor made up of timber boarding, timber joists and a plasterboard ceiling under should show this way in section.

Roofs and footings are probaby going to be a bit more difficult unless the elements have actually been modelled.

I can see that much of the construction detail will have to be drawn manually over the top of the sections, and to me this is an acceptable trade-off. I assume that the red 'cut' fill shown in the example can be toggled off and on so that in design sections you can have it visible and in construction sections it can be replaced with meaningful 2D linework.

We really need more information on the Live Section capability so that we can understand what has been implemented, and therefore what we will be dealing with.

PS - I decided to start a new topic on this subject because much of the previous Live Section topic's discussion was about other issues. Can we please not do the same thing with this topic.

Answer posted by Andrew Bell in a parallel topic


The cut surface gets its properties from a class which is specified by the live section. So you can make a section surface class with heavy, light, or no lines, and hatched, pattern, solid, or no fill. Each live section can use a different class for that section surfacce

[ 10-18-2005, 07:25 PM: Message edited by: mike m oz ]

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I'm actually really interested in this feature. It seems like most of the time I spend on a set of plans is on the section sheet and if edits to walls are required I have just been redrawing the section stuff from scratch.

One thing I'm concerned about is the amount of information that must be erased from the section after it's turned into a "convert to hidden lines". All the triangular lines, extra lines around windows, etc.

It is really nice to have the elevations "live" thru VPs but sometimes requires covering unwanted items with lines and boxes in annotation because they can't be erased. This method has been working fine mostly because the final render version is quite realistic. It also pretty easy to fix the annotation after walls have been moved on the floor plan.

I'm hoping this will make sections as easy. I really do look forward to trying it out.

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I?m skeptical about the idea that hot 3d sections can really be used for CD details. The bottom line is line weights. Line weights are what make a detail look good. Ok, hatches also. I have cut 3d sections in the past and spent so much time cleaning them up, that I have left off using 3d at all. Except for massing and structural framing issues. I?m aware that I can just draw in 2d. While I can see the benefit for hot sections in design phase I cannot see how in the world they will ever be used for CD details.

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The way I see it there are two issues to be considered:

1) Design integration & functionality . The ability to maintain the integrity of the data regardless of the changes. 'Live ' Sections should be able to provide this essential benefit. For 3D work they will be indispensible and an important checksum.

2) Presentation is something else all together and depends on a multitude of factors over which NNA has no control whatsoever.

The idea that Live Sections wills somehow know intuitively what the structural requirements are and the methodolgy used to represent them in various premutations of the Design/Build process is asking way too much. But hey, if they can find a way to make it happen ... go for it.

My only real concern is how much overhead these 'living' sections will require... will they eat me out of house & home.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee


Originally posted by LarryAZ:

One thing I'm concerned about is the amount of information that must be erased from the section after it's turned into a "convert to hidden lines". All the triangular lines, extra lines around windows, etc.

Good news, Larry, walls in live sections will not have visible split lines in hidden line rendering. Also note that if you have stacked walls (for example, two floors of a building) in a hidden line viewport, the line between the walls on the different floors is no longer visible in hidden line.

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Ok it's my turn......

Mike, thank you for being there and all your contributions to this forum.

I have limited knowledge and experience with this my only and beloved program..VW Arch/RW.

I have experienced in the past the reality that sometimes VW functionality is only at 80%. Witness the stair object, dormer editing, dead sections, as well as some 2D oddities that all were helpful but frequently lead to workarounds and remedial drafting.

I would love to stand corrected on this point, but I believe this is what we're going to get with the live sections...only 80% which won't be good enough for some (probably eventually including me) but will be well received by me none-the-less and NNA will get my cash because it will be worth it overall. If we must detail wall components in section for now, then so be it. Life will still be better.

Mike, to help with my sections, in the past I have modeled my foundations by stacking two walls on top of each other with one the shape of the footing and one the foundation wall and both textured concrete. These can be moved around as easily as regular walls and show up in sections and models. I wish NNA would give us a foundation wall tool with fully editable footings and walls all in one wall but until then.....can you suggest a better way to model the footings?

I realize I'm straying a bit from the live section discussion but what more is there to discuss until we have the program running or someone from NNA demonstrates this feature fully?

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Mate, you're as anxious as a hound before the hunt! The horizon will start to lighten here in about a week. Then we'll be able to see through the mist enough to go after the prey. A little dose of patience, perhaps with a spoonful of sugar?

As someone else noted recently, I do appreciate your contributions to these boards. Between you and Alanmac, tho, there are days I wonder if you've got a little too much time on your hands. [Razz]

All the best!

[ 10-19-2005, 11:07 AM: Message edited by: Travis ]

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee


Originally posted by Ariel:

Btw, is it possible to 'freeze' the section viewport into a 2d only drawing?

You can convert any viewport to a group of 2-D elements, including a section viewport. The specific elements you will get depend on the rendering mode (lines for hidden line, bitmaps for OpenGL, etc.); section viewports will have lines and polygons for the sectioning surface.

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"woohoo". I'm very impressed by the demo. Also notice the fact (as said in another topic) that the lines between floors do not appear any more. That's really good.

I was also very impressed by the speed of the action.

I guess the demo is in "real" time. I runs really smooth. What is the configuration of the computer (it seems to be a mac, what should be the equivalent pc configuration?"

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Hang on, Hang on....Live Sections??

I've just watched the video and it seems this is a half-baked implementation of live sections at best.

Why on earth choose to display the sections straight into a viewport? How can I then add linework, hatches and notes to the section and then use it for details in multiple other viewports?

A section view should be like any other view - Top view or Front view. The section needs to be usable within the Design Layers side of a file - maybe as a 2D 'image' like a bitmap (albeit a live one), but certainly not as a viewport.

Why can't a section view even be fully 'live' so that I can actually change the model in section view?

I think NNA are mixing up a section view as a 'drawing' to go straight on a sheet, with a useful section 'view' through a model as a design aid, a modelling aid, and as a base for detailing.

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I've always thought of a Section as part of the construction drawing set, so it seems most logical to have it incorporated with Viewports. One can easily add linework, hatches, etc via Annotations.

For Details that are referenced several times in a drawing, we typically draw them in another file and then WGR them in. I know you can't WGR a Viewport, so the detail is generally drawn in 2D on a Design Layer complete with all the "detailing" (hatches, fills, notes, etc). If you'd like to use a Section Viewport as a base for detailing, Andrew points out above how easy it is to convert it to linework.

I don't quite see how the modelling process is limited by not being able to make revisions in the section "view" you imagine. If a wall needs to be revised, I've got to revise the whole wall (or divide it into segments) not just the portion I might see in section view. I can understand that being able to see the revision, perhaps in a split-screen window, might be useful.

Having done some pretty limber mental gymnastics to create reasonably "live" section Viewports in 11.5, I'm thrilled to have the functionality built-in (and much more intuitive, I might add) that I see in the demo. I'm curious if there's a fully-baked cake somewhere against which you're comparing this one to determine it's half-baked status?

Look forward to playing with v12 directly.

Good luck,

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I think this live sections it's the best i ever see. Every plan that we make in our office come up from a 3d model. If you want to understand the big potential in production of the live sections you have to know how to develop a project in 3d, wich is the basis of all this. Start thinking in 3d, then finish in 2d, not in reverse.

Sorry for my english.

[ 10-21-2005, 10:36 AM: Message edited by: RHF ]

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It is rather dissapointing that Live 3D sections are not there in VW12. They make a execellent communication tool. So far i had been remodelling specific areas in my design to so that they look like 3D cut away sections. Had nemetschek implemented this, VW12 would have been a very serious competitor to ArchiCAD.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee


Originally posted by michael john williams:

The live section demo is great!

But [sorry] it looks more like a presentation tool rather than a detailing tool. Is this true? Or can wall cavities, brick, block, cladding, etc be added?

Not automatically. You can edit the viewport to add annotations for all of these items, and the new Polygon from Outer Boundary mode for the Polygon Tool makes it easier to make polygons to which you can apply the appropriate hatches, etc.

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