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Classes or Layers for parts of theatre venue

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Hi all,


I'm about three months new to Vectorworks, and I use it mainly for theater as a sound designer, but I'm working on a project where I've designed a whole theater venue (i.e. lobby, stage, auditorium), and I'm struggling deciding how to separate these different spaces. I've made layers for the orchestra, mezzanine, and balcony, but these layers don't necessarily translate to floor levels across the venue. I'd also like to make view ports and sheet layers with just the lobby, but objects like doors, stairs, and slabs are are all in one class regardless of where they are in the venue, so there's no way to hide a whole portion of the venue by turning off classes or layers. I'm thinking I should a.) create separate layers for each space, e.g. lobby ground plan, lobby mezzanine, lobby balcony; theatre orchestra, theatre mezzanine; stage fly gallery, stage mid gal, etc., or b.) make parent classes for each part of the venue and class common items to the appropriate parent class, e.g. Lobby-Stairs, Theatre-Stairs, Stage-Stairs, etc.


Curious how other more experienced users would go about organizing such spaces. Hope the question makes sense.



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Yes it can be a bit more challenging when you are dealing with spaces on mulitple split levels as you are.


In general the standard practice is to put objects "on" layers and "in" classes. I.e. layers are the where and classes are the what.

Layers can be set to a height though I would be careful about assigning every different floor level it's own layer. Try to be economical with layers - too many can start to be a bit of a confusing matrix.


I understand your issue with having the same class object on different layers. You could try using design layer viewports. With a DLVP you can control the visibilities of the classes separately from the main visibility control. E.g. if you have two layers you want visible in a sheet layer viewport but you only want to see the doors on one of the layers but the doors are all on the same class then create a DLVP showing one of the layers. Place the DLVP either on it's own layer or in it's own class (doesn't really matter which for this) and place it in the correct position in relation to the rest of your model. Adjust the visibilities of the DLVP so that the doors class is off. Then for you sheet layer viewport set it up so that the DLVP class (or layer) is visible. Set your SLVP so the door class is visible. The SLVP should show doors on all the layers displayed in the VP except for the ones turned off in the DLVP.


I hope that is clear and helpful!


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I usually draw up theater venues and break it down into layers and many classes.  I usually do Venue, Venue Above, Balcony (if there is one), as Layers.  Then in the classes there is long list of everything and varies by venue:



Having the Venue Above layer helps to be able to turn off Grids/hanging positions and all that in one fell swoop.  Same w/ a Balcony layer.  

Having everything in its own class allows you to turn off specific things with great precision.  

I have a LABELS class for all notations that are venue specific so I can turn those off and on as needed, since shows in the venue will have their own specific notes.  

Everything is saved to a master file and then referenced in to a specific show file so that you can't mess up the master file.  



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