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mbaron

Custom fence panels

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I've been searching online to find an answer before posting here, but I can't figure out how to either adjust existing fence panels from the symbol libraries or create new panels for fences using fence tool. 

I'm trying to make a fence with 2x2 verticals like the fence in the photo. 

I thought there would be a way to adjust the vertical panels in existing symbols, but I can only adjust the frame and posts. 

thank you!

IMG_7644.JPG

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Hi @jeff prince would you be able to post the file for this be interested to look further at what you did?

I have not used the railing/fence tool much but when I did was a bit nonplussed at how restricted you were so this is a very helpful post thank you

Tom

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No problem, knock yourself out 🙂

I also attached the image i made to use as a texture for the Wall tool trick.

 

I rarely use the fence/railing tool almost of my stuff is too complicated for it to model effectively.  I draw a lot of my panel designs in 2D and then use those to make textures that I can assign to surfaces or use to model. That's how I did the rebar pickets on the image below as well.

 

 

Screen Shot 2020-12-19 at 12.05.18 AM.png

fence.png

fence.vwx

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Cheers Jeff that's really cool! The wall using an image texture with image mask transparency. Thanks for sharing. I actually saw another wall like this - a chain link fence - but hadn't realised at the time how it was put together... So the 2D image just naturally extends across the top + sides of the wall of its own accord? To give the flat surfaces at the top + sides.

 

And good to see what you did with the green one. Good to know you have the option of customising the railing/fence object to get it looking the way you want. But presumably you wouldn't want to have to do too much editing of the fence once you converted it into generic solids...

 

Can I be a pain + see the rebar fence file as well? Would be great to see exactly how you did that - thanks! 👍

 

I had to do steel palisade fencing a while back - this kind of thing:

354ed25f592a7d921797035f28ab945f.thumb.jpg.37d309679c4bfe2bc3d38c29a2d4f7d8.jpg

 

but the best I could come up with using the fence tool was:

1867621959_Screenshot2020-12-19at08_41_38.thumb.png.feeb9f85f2a1328e5d9cff4b67b46a72.png

 

Hardly a faithful representation so glad to know all is not lost. I will try out some of your techniques next time

Cheers

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@Tom W. The rebar is just a texture like the fence panel I posted earlier.  In that case the panel is simply a 3D face with the texture, works great for thin stuff like rebar and chain link.  Sorry, I can’t share the assets, client project.

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Cheers Jeff no worries I guessed the rebar element was a texture with mask transparency (which I didn't really know about until today so thank you). But I wasn't sure about the rest of it: the posts + top/bot rails. Did it start off as a Railing/Fence object then you ungrouped it + inserted the 3D texture panel in between?

There's just so much you can do with VW it's really fascinating + great that people like you are prepared to take the time to show/explain what you do 

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@Tom W. No problem.  I modeled the top and bottom rails using Extrude along a path.  Draw a cross section of the rail and a path for that cross section to follow.  That was the only way to get the rails to follow the angled steps in the wall effectively.  The posts are simple extruded parts placed in a symbol.  There are two types of posts in that railing due to height variation.  They were all placed manually based on unique spacing requirements.  Finally, I made end brackets for the wall mounts using extrudes and symbols, placing manually.  Basically the digital equivalent of building it in the field 🙂.

 

Sometimes you just gotta do things the manual modeling way to get precise results.  The bonus payoff is using the model to generate the details and rendering.  The downside is having to manually quantify them or developing complicated schemes to do so automatically.  If I have a bunch of features like this that have to be quantified, I have to decide between speed and BIM compliance.  This is determined on a project by project basis.  The complexity of BIM compliance is probably why so many public projects are starting to look so basic... who wants to spend hours figuring out how to quantify something that took minutes to custom model?  Hopefully this gets easier as tools improve.

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17 minutes ago, Tom W. said:

There's just so much you can do with VW it's really fascinating + great that people like you are prepared to take the time to show/explain what you do 

I enjoy trying to solve problems people post on the forum.  It’s like a game for me with the prize being gained skills and/or pass the pandemic time 🙂. Good luck with your future experiments using these techniques.

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12 hours ago, Tom W. said:

 

but the best I could come up with using the fence tool was:

1867621959_Screenshot2020-12-19at08_41_38.thumb.png.feeb9f85f2a1328e5d9cff4b67b46a72.png

 

Hardly a faithful representation so glad to know all is not lost. I will try out some of your techniques next time

Cheers

 

 

Just want to point out that I really like this kind of VW OpenGL aesthetics,

in your case, with the right amount of detail and complexity.

Edited by zoomer
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Thanks Jeff and Tom for the helpful discussion and feedback!
The fence file was great, Jeff. I worked through it and created the magenta fence. This was basically what I was trying to do initially but couldn't get it to work out. Seems like the option to create the 2"x2" verticals was in 'Frame Bars' in the Frame/Panel section of the railing/fence settings. That was where I was previously stuck.

 

I created the green one, but it just became a 'group' not an Auto Hybrid like the green one you created. 

The "wall" fence texturing is still a bit of a mystery to me, how the gaps between the verticals was created...though I probably won't go in this direction.

 

Nice thing about the magenta one, even if it isn't as precise, is that I can save it as a fence symbol and use it to quickly re-draw more of the same fence. I can create a detail of it if needed using the ungroup method of the green fence. 

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@mbaron no problem.  I forgot to mention that I converted the green fence to an auto hybrid after I got the modeled elements to my liking, then regrouped it.  I just did that for plan view graphics.

 

I also failed to mention the chief advantage to the Wall method...

You can add door objects to them in order to represent gates, even adding custom geometry to a door object to make the gate accurately.  Handy in some circumstances.

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Is there merit to having fences like the green one in Jeff's images be two fence styles placed along side each other - the adjusting of either the post, rails, and fence fill can be easily adjusted using the fence dialog (once you get accustomed to it) 

style 1 - post, caps, and rails

style 2 - fence fill (pickets, stringers, and caps over the stringers/pickets)

I wanted to use custom profiles for offset fence elements, but adjusting them after creation is not as easy as I would like

 

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to create the fence in the post's original photo, there would be 3 fence styles:

1 for the pickets

1 for the posts

1 for the rails

Jeff - could the 3 styles be saved as a symbol ?  

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to create the fence in the post's original photo, there would be 3 fence styles:

1 for the pickets

1 for the posts

1 for the rails

Jeff - could the 3 styles be saved as a symbol ?  

 

AlanW has a marionette script for fences that may help us -

I am not versed in marionette, but was able to, adjust the fence design

 

 

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19 hours ago, bob cleaver said:

to create the fence in the post's original photo, there would be 3 fence styles:

1 for the pickets

1 for the posts

1 for the rails

Jeff - could the 3 styles be saved as a symbol ?  

 

That is an interesting thought.  I composed a wall similar to the Green one posted in my first example riffing off your notion.

 

This involved using 3 fence styles and paths, one for each fence component.  The trick to making it work was defining an "invisible post" for the frame and pickets to have something to align to, but not appear in the finished product.  Apparently, the railing tool breaks if you omit posts, hence the invisible post trick.  Further, the paths for the frame and pickets were offset from the center path for the posts.  This sure seems like a lot of work that the program should be handling instead of the operator.  Maybe Vectorworks 2021 handles this better?  Doesn't look like it from the promo video I just watched 😞

 

Wouldn't it be nice if the tool could handle this basic style of construction in a single interactive object?

Maybe it can, I just don't see it.

Wouldn't it be nice if the tool could handle curvilinear railings flowing down a site in a similar fashion?

I'm guessing this is an impossibility for the Tool, hope to be proved wrong.

 

1534377343_ScreenShot2020-12-20at12_13_49PM.thumb.png.067fa21c535e19cafb5f705c6a150de4.png

fences-composite style.vwx

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While I'm griping.  Give us a Gate object already 🙂

Using walls and doors is a poor workaround when you are doing metal and wood framed fencing.

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Jeff, thank you for getting this fence concept to work 

This process feels awkward but the benefit is having the fence tool allow for quick design adjustments and develop studies and details -  

In plan, do we set the initial fence outline (post alignment) and then offset the next elements (rails/caps and then pickets/stringers) ?

The fence layout is one polyline sent to surface of a terrain model - once the first ploy line is at the surface, then uses the offset tool for the other fence components.

 

Vectorworks Design Team - would you consider having the fence tool work similar to the handrail tool on the stair tool ?? and allow dialog to offset the components ?  Jeff's file provides the template of the desired effect - 

 

Having these fence styles in a library to recall quickly (on multiple projects) is essential

 

Did you look at the marionette scripts ??  Marionette may be the best one trick solution for fences and gates ??

 

Developing a library of gates (via the door tool) allows use of the VW tool without too much trailblazing, but having an effective gate tool as part of the fence tool would be terrific - 

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Yes, the fence tool is awkward in general, adding this trick makes it even more so.  This is speaking Vectorworks at it's finest 🙂

 

1 hour ago, bob cleaver said:

Did you look at the marionette scripts ??  Marionette may be the best one trick solution for fences and gates ??

 

I haven't looked at it yet, but I hope to after Christmas.

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I used two fence objects.  One for the post and rails and one for the pickets.   For the main posts I used a custom symbol offset from centre so that the rails were towards the back of the post.

Fence.jpg

Fence.vwx

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@TomKen thanks.  I guess those fancy 2021 fences don't play well with 2020 😞  Your solution sounds a little more elegant since the number of fence objects can be reduced to two instead of three.

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Jeff  I just opened the 2020 file on my computer it works fine.   I'll open on my home computer tonight and see if it works there.

 

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