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Could someone take a look and explain what I'm doing wrong with hardscape slabs?

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I'm trying to use classes to control textures and other attributes.

 

I've made a number of hardscapes and I can't get them to use their class attributes at all.

  • The hardscape slab styles are set to 'by class' in the Edit Slab Style menu.
  • The render setting are set to 'by class' in the OIP.
  • But the hardscapes use the attribute of the class they where made in, not the class they are currently in.

 

I've set all the setting I could find to 'by class' (wouldn't it be great if there was ONE menu that had ALL the settings!?!) but I must be missing something somewhere.

 

I've attached a test file so you all can have a look.

 

Also, why are the hardscape slab 2D textures at 45deg for everything else and how do I fix that?

 

 

Here's a video:

 

 


 

hardscape by class.vwx

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Hardscapes are great but also really confusing in terms of the over-abundance of settings. I think the way that the 3D representation of a Hardscape is achieved by associating a Slab with the hardscape is unhelpful + unnecessarily complicates things. On the roadmap they are talking about introducing ‘Hardscape styles with components + improved texturing’ which I’d hope would mean ending the link with Slabs + making Hardscapes a completely stand-alone tool.

 

But in the meantime I prefer where possible to use an unstyled Slab to cut down on the number of different settings. The advantage in using a styled Slab is that it makes it easier to transfer the Slab settings to other hardscapes or to the border if they share the same slab settings. But otherwise, I just find it more straightforward if it’s unstyled.

 

By my estimation there are FIVE different ways to assign textures to hardscapes but the way I have arrived at controlling the look of the hardscape is this:

 

-       Use the slab component classes to control the 3D look of the hardscape (textures).

-       Use the slab component classes to control the look of the hardscape in section (pen + fill).

-       Use the Joint Pattern setting in the ‘Draw 2D’ tab of the ‘Hardscape Object Settings’ dialog to control the Top/Plan look of the hardscape (fill).

-       Use the Main Area Class in the same tab to control only the visibility of this fill (I just use a default ‘Hardscape-Component-Main Joint’ class across all my hardscapes which allows me to turn off all of their fills in one go if I want to, with the individual fills they use assigned within the Hardscape settings. Otherwise you have to have a load of extra classes for each of the different fills, assuming you have a number of different-looking hardscapes in the file).

-       Assign the hardscape as a whole to a container class e.g. ‘Hardscape-Main’. When you save the hardscape settings as a red PIO symbol you can assign the hardscape to this class in the Symbol Options dialog. This is just to organise the file + control the visibility of the hardscapes.

 

The attributes you assign in the slab component settings will override any texture or class settings specified in the ‘Draw 3D’ tab of the Hardscape Object Settings. This can be confusing because the ‘Main Texture’ setting is still active (it isn’t greyed-out) but has no effect – it is irrelevant + can be ignored.  

 

So think of the 2D representation of the Hardscape + the 3D representation as separate things. The look of the 3D representation is controlled by the slab components (either directly in the slab component settings or – preferably – by class). And the look of the 2D representation is controlled by the ‘Joint Pattern’ parameter in the hardscape settings + the visibility of the 2D fill by the ‘Main Area Class’.

 

Having said this, I still get weird things happening sometimes + have to fiddle around with the settings in the 'Render' tab to 'wake up' the hardscape to get it to display correctly. And in your file for some reason I couldn't get texture mapping to work in order to rotate the timber board texture. Not sure why...

 

@jeff prince is the expert on hardscape idiosyncrasy be good to hear his take on all this 

 

Edit: I did get the texture mapping to work eventually

Edited by Tom W.
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Tom, thank you for the in-depth explanation.

 

10 hours ago, Tom W. said:

....the look of the 3D representation is controlled by the slab components (either directly in the slab component settings or – preferably – by class)....

 

I am trying to use classes this way.

I have the slab component set to 'by class' but it does work and still connected to the class I had active when I created the hardscape.

Meaning even if I change the hardscape class, it still reflects the class attributes of the original creation class.

How do I change this behavior?

 

I've tried 'fiddling around' with render settings as I've read that often - even Tamsin has said that at times.

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Tom W. said:

....the look of the 2D representation is controlled by the ‘Joint Pattern’ parameter in the hardscape settings + the visibility of the 2D fill by the ‘Main Area Class’....

 

This is new to me, thank you.

I think I was ignoring 'joint pattern' as I've traditionally had a separate class for that and hand drawn the joints as I like them in very specific locations. Will explore this further.

 

10 hours ago, Tom W. said:

...On the roadmap they are talking about introducing ‘Hardscape styles with components + improved texturing’ which I’d hope would mean ending the link with Slabs + making Hardscapes a completely stand-alone tool...

 

This can't happen to soon.

Hardscapes are a great tool but they are needlessly complicated.

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31 minutes ago, hollister design Studio said:

 

Tom, thank you for the in-depth explanation.

 

 

I am trying to use classes this way.

I have the slab component set to 'by class' but it does work and still connected to the class I had active when I created the hardscape.

Meaning even if I change the hardscape class, it still reflects the class attributes of the original creation class.

How do I change this behavior?

 

I've tried 'fiddling around' with render settings as I've read that often - even Tamsin has said that at times.

 

 

 

 

 

No probs I've spent ages going round + round trying to get to grips with Hardscapes so good to be able to test what I think I've understood about their behaviour + see whether I'm miles off or not...

 

Attached is your file after I messed around with the test slab + set it up the way I would have done so see what you think. I took the liberty of changing the slab component fill to something more suited to a section (see the sheet layer) which is why the other slabs look the way they do.

hardscape by class_REV.vwx

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I'm late to the party, but here's my advice:

 

Hope that Vectorworks rebuilds the tool and fixes its behavior to follow typical design process involving changing material selections and assembly methods during the life of a project.

 

I just upgraded to 2021 this week, so maybe I'll have better advice once I see how the new features impact things, if at all.

In the mean time, I would emulate the behavior found in one (and only one) of the provided Slab Style folders (Cambridge, Technoblock, OR Hardscape Objects - there are subtle undocumented differences).  Additionally, I would always create hardscapes from 2d polys and save them for when you need to regenerate a hardscape from scratch.

 

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I'll implement this advice immediately!

 

12 minutes ago, jeff prince said:

...Hope that Vectorworks rebuilds the tool and fixes its behavior to follow typical design process involving changing material selections and assembly methods during the life of a project....

 

 

 

But seriously VW corporate, are you all aware of this mess?

 

I did a test file last night, clean and nothing else except a couple of slabs and hardscapes.

 

And the hardscapes worked perfectly!

 

...until I opened their settings to see what was different.

 

The SECOND I touched that menu they would not use class attributes again.

And I couldn't cntr-Z my way back either - behavior was just gone.

 

If that's not a bug I don't know what is.

 

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