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Simple rendering help required


Kevin C

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This is probably a question that has been asked many times before, but I have difficulty in accessing it, so here goes.

 

The vast majority of our day to day work is to produce plans, sections and elevations to a standard that can easily be understood by clients, statutory authorities, contractors etc. I am not trying to produce photorealistic or 'high resolution' renderings on a daily basis - I actually don't want to produce a render, I would very much like Vectorworks to draw a set of lines that are representative of an elevation or a section and the ability to add some colour or detail without having to create an 'image' and worry about the resolution, the giveaway is in the name - Vectorworks - means lines, the name of the software should really be changing to Rasterworks as it is nearly impossible to produce vector drawings.  The problem is that we need sometimes just to see what something is going to look like quickly and to produce an elevation or section from a model that shows just a modicum of colour or detail, is now so complicated that we as an office have all but given up trying to do it - doesn't look good when trying to run a business.

 

How come that to generate the model in Open GL in the design layer, spin it around to my hearts content, zoom in and out, switch classes on and off, take screenshots etc. only takes seconds, but to generate the same level of detail in a sheet layer can take hours??

 

The real reason for this post however is because I am sitting at my desk trying to generate a set of simple elevations - taking 20 minutes each time because if just one thing is changed in the entire drawing, everything has to be generated from scratch again.

 

And we wonder why other designers are continually mocking Vectorworks  - ability to create instant and live elevations / sections. Live updates etc. Come on guys - what's the problem????

 

 

 

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I am using the most basic Open GL.

 

The 'textures' are solid colour clocks with no 'special effects' and the coursing being carried out by a simple brick hatch.  It needs to be this way as renderworks textures have now proven to be far too overly complicated.  The other real problem is that to create a viewport that can be printed, the resolution has to be at a level where there is no pixelating of the image - i regularly have to go up to 305 dpi to get over the problem (which again just adds time), but in this case I was rendering at 72 dpi. 

 

The real issue is insisting that the drawing needs to be rasterised.  Why?? 

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello Kevin C.

If you just want to create views from your model and you need them quick and pretty, try these options, these are my personal favorites when I need to get an idea out for reviews.

 

Create a viewport, whatever view tells the story better. If you set your sheet at 300 dpi or higher then your OpenGL renderings will look crisp and take no time to render.

White model in OpenGL take less time compared with colors and textures.

Artistic Rendering styles are effective and fast, and you can even leave your dpi at 100 since you'll just get a sketch look

 

I am posting a few samples of one of my latest files.Realistic.pngWhite style.pngsketch.pngOpenGL.png

 

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Luis.

 

These are presentation files (very nice I might add), but I am looking to generate working files. This is one of the biggest issues I have with VW - We are not there to create 'beautiful and pretty and awe-inspiring' images 24/7, yes sometimes - but very rarely.  I need to produce working elevations from a working model that is being worked on and people will be building from.

 

Can I ask a question re the picture you posted.  Can you create a set of working, fully dimensioned and specified plans, sections and elevations from the same model?

 

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I'd have no trouble creating plans, elevations, sections and details from this model.

In fact, you gave me a great idea for my next webinar, creating drawings from a decent model.

If you want to know about the tools we used for this cafe project, please check out this webinar and let me know what you think.

https://university.vectorworks.net/course/view.php?id=486

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Luis,

 

I was asking if you could create a working package right now.  Ie you will be creating the renders once all the internals are in place - walls / floors / doors / furniture / specifications etc.  If I have an empty model (nothing on the in side) - yes, I can create these effects, but not once the model is a working model - it gets too bloated.

 

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@Kevin Allen Yeah, I agree.  I don't understand what is causing @Kevin C difficulty.  The images below are all from the same model.. Plan, Section/Elevation, & OpenGL view.  The section took 1 minute to generate and had hatches for tile mosaic on the spa and roof tiles on the pool cabana.  The hardscapes cut in section have complete buildups represented by vector hatches.  This is one of the few things I have been highly satisfied with in regards to Vectorworks, one model = many generated drawings with little effort.

 

392497883_ScreenShot2020-10-28at3_00_53PM.thumb.png.edac0f9ae0beb5f12864c097c761670e.png

 

347256265_ScreenShot2020-10-28at3_00_22PM.thumb.png.d69b1b7062e46a197d34693f5bb79595.png

 

281784098_ScreenShot2020-10-28at3_01_28PM.thumb.png.dabd02caa345eb527d8fbd08840e13ea.png

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7 hours ago, Luis M Ruiz said:

In fact, you gave me a great idea for my next webinar, creating drawings from a decent model.

 

Yes please!  I'm relatively new to the 3D side of VW, getting fairly proficient at building the model, but still wrapping my head around best practices for generating working drawings, and haven't even looked at the 2021 callout/section/marker upgrades.   

 

As an extra bonus, it would be great to have access to the VWX file to allow for reverse engineering of things that might not be fully covered in the webinar.

 

Sign me up.

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13 hours ago, Kevin C said:

 

How come that to generate the model in Open GL in the design layer, spin it around to my hearts content, zoom in and out, switch classes on and off, take screenshots etc. only takes seconds, but to generate the same level of detail in a sheet layer can take hours??

 

 

I think Kevin's point is that the 3D working environment is working so fast now, that it's spoiled us for the slower 2D workflows.  Yes, it would be great to have them faster, but in general, we haven't found it to be that much of a nuisance.

 

I'm not sure why it's taking 20 minutes to update a set of elevations or 'hours' for sheet layers.  I push our system pretty hard (complex models) and it usually only takes a few (≤5) minutes to update a set of elevations. Perhaps it's a multi-story building with a complex DTM and lots of polygons? 

 

One thought is to review design changes in Open GL (design layer view) utilizing standard views with a clip cube.  Save each elevation as a standard view.  That can allow you to review design changes without needing to render the viewport each time.

 

 

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You might know this already but I have just discovered recently (after year or two working with section viewports) that '3D Conversion Resolution' option under Advanced Section Properties for section viewports make HUUUGE impact on vw update time.

By default it is set to highest resolution 'Very High' and I never have payed enough attention to this very crucial setting.

Example below took with 'Low' option 15sec...with 'Very High' 4minutes 30s!!! Mind you there is lot of annotations objects but 3D model (buidling + site) is fully fledged with walls/slabs/roofs that have even thin plaster component included...and all components with hatch fills.

And this is the file that is migrated and was originally created few versions ago...newly created models (vw 2021) seem to update section viewports even faster.

 

So this setting have made huge difference for my workflow...95% of time low is just fine for me. I am on iMac 2019.

Nowadays I tend to use multiple view panes mode to work on model in one pane and quickly update section viewport in other. It is really fast.

 

Snímka obrazovky 2020-10-29 o 8.34.51.png

3D conversion.png

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It is worth doing a few tests (when you have the time) to find out what renders quickly and what does not in a sheet layer.  For my purposes, drapery objects (especially in fullness) render quite slow in section.  So I need to be aware of that when cutting a section and avoid arbitrarily cutting through them.  Some times it is unavoidable, and then I might set the drape object to render in simple 3d.  

 

I also discovered some time ago that planar objects (notes, dimensions, callouts, etc) do not like to be cut in section, so when I cut my sections I make sure to turn them off (since they are all in one layer anyway).  

 

I cannot comment on Kevin C's issue that somehow the rendering model is not enough to make a working set of drawings from.  My working model is what everything is generated from: renderings, sections, elevations, etc.  But I am not using most of the architectural package (walls, windows, etc) so maybe they contribute to the issue?  It would be good to see an example....

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@Kevin C all my working elevations/sections are produced using hidden line rather than OpenGL. Is there a reason you're not using hidden line? Because that *is* vector based.

 

There are problems with hidden line... but I just about get things to a good enough standard for working drawings. I generally don't use hatches at all (except for section cut plane) and I also generally stick to black and white only. Traditional style pure line drawings.

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Yeah....because they are 'working drawings' I have come to the conclusion that the building/planning  departments don't deserve anything beyond that :-). I do use hatches, where appropriate, with my hidden line drawings. But then....for the Client's, I do a series of interior & exterior full on photorealistic renderings on 8 1/2 x 11 sheets, which they can view and print if needed. Just my methodology....don't try this at home. :-)

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  • 5 months later...
On 10/28/2020 at 8:00 AM, Luis M Ruiz said:

In fact, you gave me a great idea for my next webinar, creating drawings from a decent model.

@Luis M Ruiz Any chance this will happen? I think this is the biggest hole in the training & documentation for an architect's workflow. 

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@E|FA Just to start the documentation from a model conversation. Recently we managed to release a webinar related to modeling a project. 
https://university.vectorworks.net/mod/scorm/player.php?a=506&currentorg=articulate_rise&scoid=1012

In a near future we'll release another dedicated to producing drawings from a model. stay tuned.

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@Luis M Ruiz  Looking forward to seeing the webinar regarding producing drawings from a model.  You'll get bonus points if there's at least some written documentation, such as a "cheat sheet", for future reference.

 

BTW, I heard promising info regarding updates to training materials and the VW University interface at yesterday's virtual open house.  Thanks.

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On 11/2/2020 at 6:59 AM, line-weight said:

@Kevin C all my working elevations/sections are produced using hidden line rather than OpenGL. Is there a reason you're not using hidden line? Because that *is* vector based.

 

There are problems with hidden line... but I just about get things to a good enough standard for working drawings. I generally don't use hatches at all (except for section cut plane) and I also generally stick to black and white only. Traditional style pure line drawings.

I’ve started to transition away from hidden line renders in favor of OpenGL for most of my drawings. If there is a really close detail, I’ll use hidden line but otherwise, I find the performance and results are better using OpenGL; at least for my purposes. When doing this my sheet layers are set at a minimum of 300dpi, textures and colors off, shadows and lines on, and ambient light set to 100%. Once VWX added ambient occlusion to OpenGL, it was kind of a game changer.
 

That’s just me though. if I were doing straight up architectural sections I would probably still use Hidden Line. 

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34 minutes ago, grant_PD said:

@scottmoore does openGL line rendering respect line weights?  I've never tried it, but I would love to move away from Hidden Line and that is the thing that's worrying me.  

I am not entirely sure off the top of my head as all my symbols follow a similar line weight preference. Worth experimenting though. 
 

I will say a decent SL DPI and ambient occlusion are what make OpenGL worth using. 

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1 hour ago, scottmoore said:

I am not entirely sure off the top of my head as all my symbols follow a similar line weight preference. Worth experimenting though. 
 

I will say a decent SL DPI and ambient occlusion are what make OpenGL worth using. 

Can you post up any examples of your sections produced with OpenGL?

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