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help with elevation settings

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Hi all!

When I am (desperatly) trying to draw some elevations, I can't find any settings that would fit my expectations.


I'd like to have a very simple rendering, more or less only black lines, eventually very light greys for some areas (like glass). I approached that whith an OpenGL rendering with no texture, no colours, see figure 1

Problems with that:

1- All the work I did with defining all the 2d components (front/back, ...) of the windows and doors symbols is lost (especially how the windows open - see figure 3)

2- I'd like to set the glass colour to a very light grey, i don't know how to do that.

3- Any idea why the part of the walls around the doors are not white? These walls are not in the same plane than the rest of the façade, it seems like they were shadowed... I didn't set any shadow or heliodon as far as I know!

4- If you have an idea about setting, textures to have something like figure 2 "Façade Sud"


If I switch to the hidden lines rendering, I can see what I defined for the 2d components of the symbols (see figure 3).

Problem with that:

1- The lines appear with their class colours (every object in my file is in its specific class) and I don't want any colour... Some windows appear in purple wich is their class colour, the other appears with what I defined as the 2d front component. (In the middle of the window, I drew a big F, just to check where the front and where the back view appear. Do you know why I see the F partially????)

2- Obviously, with this option, it is impossible to have any filling (for example, the gass cannot appear grey).


Last question, what is the point to define front and back views for the symbols if there is not way to see these views in elevation???


I have thousands other questions, but that's a good start!!! 🙂



FIGURE 1.pdf FIGURE 2.pdf FIGURE 3.pdf

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Here are a few thoughts...


  • I recently learned that 2D Components only work when Background Render is set to Hidden Line, which means you can't combine a Background Render of OpenGL with a Foreground Render of Hidden Line and keep that custom 2D linework. Here's a wishlist request to change that.
  • So the decision you have to make is the trade off between having shading (OpenGL+Hidden Line) -or- having 2D Components but no shading (Hidden Line only). Of course the workaround is to have two stacked viewports, one set to OpenGL and the other set to Hidden Line. Then you get the best of both worlds but have to deal with two coincident viewports.
  • If using both OpenGL+Hidden Line, make sure OpenGL edges are turned off so you only have the nice, crisp vector lines from Hidden Line.
  • In Hidden Line render mode, the colors you see are the actual pen colors of those objects. If you go to your Design Layer and use the teapot dropdown to switch to Hidden Line you'll see that those colors are indeed present (the same colors that appear in Wireframe). You may be used to the OpenGL "edge" lines which always appear as black regardless of pen settings, but those edges are not vector-based. When using a Hidden Line viewport, one quick way to override all these pen colors for that specific Viewport is to select it and choose "Advanced Properties" in the OIP, then check the "Black and White Only" option. Note that this will also affect objects in the Annotations of that viewport (which bugs me since I like blue dimensions, but that's how it's programmed).
  • Regarding the grey walls in OpenGL, this is due to the "Default Light" that exists in Vectorworks (the one that provides shading when you're actively modeling in your Design Layer). There is no way to select or modify this Default Light (though it goes away the moment you add any Renderworks Lights). But in your case, you should be able to simply select the OpenGL Viewport, click Lighting Options, then bring the "Brightness" slider all the way up to 100% and re-render. This should cause all angled surfaces to show up as white (but will likely cause your roof to appear white as well). By the way, I also recommend turning on Ambient Occlusion if you don't already have it on; this will still show up to provide some shading even when ambient brightness is all the way up.


Experiment and let us know what you come up with! 🙂



Edited by Andy Broomell
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Hi Andy!


Thanks a lot, it has helped a lot...


So, if I understand well, there is no point to draw cloloured parts of the 2d components (as I did and as you can see on the figure 3 attached). Whatever you do, only the lines ill be drawn, am I correct?


Following your advices, I stacked two VP on top of each other, and that is the result. It's already much better than what I had, probably good enough for this step of our project. But still...

1- The tiles are too much important -> I can probably use a finer line for the tiles, but I wish they would appear in grey, which impossible in hidden lines B&W only option.


2- If I want a drawing in shades of grey (like for example the figure 2), I think I have to use renderworks textures. Am I right? I already played around with that, but I still have to learn a lot!


3- Following your advice about the default light... I tried to have some shades, but I didn't manage to find the right way? Any hints?




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