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Complex Roof Creation

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Originally posted by Suukmel:
I am trying to piece together an absurdly complex roof. As you can well imagine, the roof creation tool can't do this in one big procedure.

Have you tried using the roof tool on various sections of your roof? Use "Make roof from polygons" on a section, then make upper sides "gable" ends, and adjust the various bearing heights as needed. Combine the results.

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That is exactly what i've done, but how the heck do you combine these roof sections???

BTW, I'm using 8.5.2

I've tried every tool I can find and none seem to have any effect. Having only worked with the program for a couple of weeks, there may well be some tools I haven't found. The process certainly isn't intuitive though.

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Modeling roofs (I've always thought it should be 'rooves', oh well) is by far one of the most advanced and trickiest thing to do. If (and I suspect this is a big IF) all your roof faces are at the same pitch, you can draw each face as a polygon with 45? angles, etc., and use the 'create roof face from polygon tool'. If your roof contains faces with different slopes this will involve a lot of trial and error (angles other than 45? will need to be used). One way I've had success is to build the roof in the model as I would in the field. For example, if there is a dominant roof which will be built first as, say a gable and then other roof pieces which will be framed over the dominant one, I build it just like that in the computer. Then, by adjusting grays / colors / light direction & strenth, when I render it, it shows the intersections (valleys) some of which are actually overlapped with each other. This gives me an exterior model that is acurate, but will not be accurate inside (if there is a vaulted ceiling for instance) Sometimes I give up and do one of two things: build a foam-board model (like the old days!) or draw in 2D. I hope this helps at least a little. Good luck and Happy Holidays! PLC

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I am trying to piece together an absurdly complex roof. As you can well imagine, the roof creation tool can't do this in one big procedure. What I am attempting to do is create all the different sections of the roof and the trim/join/intersect them into a complete roof.

What I can't seem to do is get these roof sections to interact. Even as simple a procedure as getting two intersecting roofs to show the lines of intersection.

What to do???


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Thanks for all the suggestions. It would appear there is no good way to do this, but at least i now know that the create roof from polygon command is not going to do the job. Here is a list of questions and true/false statements that would help in going forward.

1. (T/F) There are 2 roof creation methods built into the program: create roof (from polygon or walls) and create roof face.

2. (T/F) There is NO way to use any 2d/3d editing commands such as trim and extend to create intersections between 2 different roof objects frown.gif" border="0

3. What exactly is a roof object and how does it differ from a roof face?

4. Can you (and I have not been able to) use any 2d/3d editing commands such as trim and extend to create intersections between 2 different roof faces.

5. I have seen the combine roof comment in a couple of posts, can someone please explain how they are combining roof objects?

I can go in there and build the thing with a bunch of surfaces easier than this. I already calculated the thing in plan, know all my ridge and eave heights....heck, what do i need a computer for smile.gif" border="0

I realize there is know way to expect a program to be able to figure out some these complex roof intersections without some manual manipulation, but as far as I can tell, the only way to edit a roof is to explode/ungroup the object. Which sort of defeats the purpose of using an object to begin with.

For that matter, I have not succeeded in getting ungrouped roof planes to intersect/trim.

Very frustrating!

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Perhaps I'll jump in on the complex roof creation discussion. It looks like no one has answered your list of roof questions.

1. True. Create roof from polygons or walls is for very basic roofs. I have to say that I never use it. Create roof face does just that, create a face at a time. A third thing to remember is that you can use any solid as a roof for a model. I have created many barrel solids to be used as roof elements.What you also seem unaware of is the EDIT GROUP command. You can always edit slope and other variables of a roof face in the OBJECT INFO pallette. But to change the face plan shape, select it and EDIT GROUP. Make changes and EXIT GROUP. I have keyboard shortcuts for these since they are so helpful. They are under ORGANIZE. The other command you should be famuliar with to work with complex roofs is PASTE IN PLACE. You use this to paste registered guide lines on the roof face to guide in editing the face.

2. T&F. Probably more F.You can't use extend and trim on roof faces. You can however still edit the 2D polygon of a roof face in EDIT GROUP described above. For simple roofs of the same pitch it is fairly easy to know the intersection lines for the roof faces. The challenge is to do this with roof faces of different slopes and base creation heights. I sometimes create oversize faces and view the roof layer in PLAN 3D orthogonal (not perspective) in Quickdraw 3D interactive (VW8.5.2) or OPEN GL VW9.5. Make sure to throw in a LIGHT so the roof faces will show the insection of the oversize faces. Now draw a line along this intersection. You cannot snap but can get very close to the exact location. CUT this line out. Select one of the oversize roof faces. EDIT GROUP. You now have the polygon used to make the face. PASTE IN PLACE. The line will be placed on the polygon at the correct intesection. Cut away the extra roof with CLIP SURFACE or just edit the polygon the usual way. Remember to delete the guide line before EXIT GROUP. Do the same to the other roof face. Now these roof faces are cut at the correct intersection. Once you get good at this it becomes quite fast. I remember struggling with it when I first got the program. The first day I got the program I started with 3D and spent 10 hours creating a complex roof I could do in 20 mintes now. Complex roofs of different slopes and heights are custom work. All custom work takes more time. At least it can be done in VW.

3. I have just started using VW9.5 and have to answer for VW8.5.2. A roof object is a grouped collection of locked roof faces which can be minimally edited. UNGROUP the roof object and UNLOCK the resulting roof faces to be able to edit them.

4. see above

5. I don't understand the question. Perhaps they are just working with many roof faces on one layer and not combining.

I hope this helps. We all do things different ways. VW offers so many different ways to do the same thing that it is overwhelming at first. VWA tries to standardize some of the methods.


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You can easily find the intersection of 2 overlapping roof faces by selecting the two and "convert copy to lines" them. a line WILL be drawn showing the intersection if intersection there is.That trick is not limited to this particular use.Hope this helps


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Actually, I think this last suggestion is incorrect. If you do a "TOOL/convert copy to lines(hidden line option)", the intersection will be absent a line showing the vector of intersection. It's about the only line that is missing(you can use that knowledge to snap the missing valley line to eave intersections and ridge end points).

Otherwise, do a "convert copy to polygons(hidden line option)" rather than "line" and you will get 2D polygons that demarcate the valley accurately. (if you convert those polygons to lines, the accurate valley line will be there if you can find it). It's easier to just snap a line over the polygon edge that defines the valley, then "edit/cut" it for use in clipping the roof face polygons per the above instructions.

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Please give me a call and I can talk you thru how to do complex roofs. Most everything I design requires a complex roof w/ various pitches and plate hts. I think I have mastered roofs in vectorworks.

Dave w Anderson Nichols Design



Pinehurst, NC

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