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Wall components and wall styles - eliminate undesired behavior


P Retondo

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I thought I understood that settings in Wall Styles were global - in other words, change a setting and all walls with that style change.

 

Turns out that is not true, and it can play hell with your 3d model.  Especially if you don't use stories, which are not my cup of tea at all.  But that is another discussion.  It turns out that the way component heights show up, which is a setting you can change in a wall style, is not affected by the global change you make.  VW tech support claims this behavior is "by design," but unless someone can convincingly illuminate, I maintain the belief that this feature makes a mockery of the concept of "design."  And, by the way, this whole problem is almost guaranteed to crash VW if you start to work with it.

 

I started out wondering what the heck was happening with walls where only certain components displayed as full height.  Like the wall on the upper left, instead of as expected (lower right):

 

1380342321_wallheight.png.9028d6d923a085abffa64d06622ad4ca.png

 

Turns out that the various components were defined differently in the wall style as to how height is handled:

 

 

741521841_Componentsettingswindow.thumb.png.d563a25a1117629ca60c4f6639f14e0c.png

I changed the settings to "relative to wall height."  Nothing changed in the display of the wall.  I called tech support, and they pointed out that EACH INSTANCE of a styled wall can be edited as to this behavior (and no other behavior) as evidenced by the fact that these settings are black instead of gray when you click on "Components" button in the OIP:

 

 

741521841_Componentsettingswindow.thumb.png.d563a25a1117629ca60c4f6639f14e0c.png1745216675_Componentinstancesettingswindow.thumb.png.f49181f3beed39bd1e686d6d28778433.png1745216675_Componentinstancesettingswindow.thumb.png.f49181f3beed39bd1e686d6d28778433.png

 

Tech support says that this particular choice "sticks" whether you edit the wall style setting or not.  So depending on how things were set when the wall style was created - in this instance, a stock wall style from VW defaults - that's the way it will be, even though you can change the option in the wall styles component settings windows.  This situation makes absolutely no sense to me.  A global setting should operate globally, just like ALL THE OTHER SETTINGS in a wall style.  The fact you can work around this by editing individual instances is tedious, at best.

 

Does anyone see any logic to this situation?  I don't, and my request is to make this component setting operate globally when a wall style is edited.

Edited by P Retondo
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If you don't make any changes to the component offsets on an instance-by-instance basis then all walls will respond to changes made to the style. But yes if you edit the component offsets of a particular wall instance in the O.I.P. then those changes are locked for that instance of the wall + changes to those components in the style will have no affect in that particular wall. But it is quite important that this be the case because you will often want different walls of the same style to behave in different ways depending on where they are in the building: this allows you to override the style settings, otherwise you'd end up creating dozens of wall styles which were virtually identical save for a couple of changes in the offset settings. But only the particular components you have edited via the O.I.P. are affected: all the other components in the wall can still be changed by editing the style. And if you return the changed component to the same offset setting as the style then it will follow the behaviour of the style again.

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13 minutes ago, Tom W. said:

But yes if you edit the component offsets of a particular wall instance in the O.I.P. then those changes are locked for that instance of the wall + changes to those components in the style will have no affect in that particular wall.

 

A GREAT feature !

 

But only if you activate that setting, that prevents overriding manual height adjustments,

in the dialog pops up when you edited your Wall Style, which asks how to apply changes.

 

And usually it will still override all Wall's height that you didn't touch manually.

Just the edited ones are kept as they are.

 

But I think you can even deactivate any height changes in the that Dialog.

Maybe that is the reason for noch change at all.

Other wise it would be a bug in VW 2021.

Edited by zoomer
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1 hour ago, P Retondo said:

Especially if you don't use stories, which are not my cup of tea at all.  But that is another discussion.

 

 

Yes,

but beside that later adjustments of Story Levels (UI/UX) is terrible,

having useful Stories and Levels for PIO Styles is such a great feature

and overall Building control.

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6 minutes ago, zoomer said:

But only activate that setting that prevents overriding manual height adjustments

in the dialog pops up when you edited your Wall Style, which asks how to apply changes.

 

And usually it will still override all Wall's height that you didn't touch manually.

Just the edited ones are kept as they are.

That is a very good point. I have never really played with the 'Replace Heights' + 'Only replace default heights' options in the 'Wall Replacement' dialog but I can see what they do now

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Before that feature was implemented it was pretty useless.

 

As you said, you would need dozens of Wall Style duplicates.

And it was error prone as you hardly realize that your 12 special

case custom Walls were corrupted, just because you did some

little other height unrelated changes in your Wall Style and

clicked OK.

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I think that better indication in the Wall OIP as to what is governing the wall in question would be incredibly helpful.  Here are my initial thoughts:

 

1. Indicator as to whether it is related to a Story or not.

2. Indication as to whether default wall heights are active or have been overridden, manually or by fit to objects command.

3. Indication as to whether any of the components have an offset (and maybe even edit directly in OIP)

 

Anyone have other improvements to the wall OIP to suggest?  If so, I can compile them in another Wishlist post for clarity.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Tom W. said:

If you don't make any changes to the component offsets on an instance-by-instance basis then all walls will respond to changes made to the style.

Tom, that, according to my experience (using VW2019) and according to my tech support person, is unfortunately not correct with respect to my specific comment.  I was unable to make a global change to component height RELATIONS (not offsets) after making no changes to any instance of my styled walls.  Also, and to be clear, I am not asking that the instance-by-instance "override" of height relations be dumped or interfered with.  I'm just asking that we not be prevented from making a global change by editing the wall style.

 

Also unfortunately, this is an incredibly and (IMHO) unnecessarily complex issue.  The behavior of wall heights, with the confusing and ungovernable "offset" concept in the OIP and the added complication of component joins to horizontal objects, has created a bit of a nightmare.  I think it might be made better, somehow, but this is quite a mess of a corner VW has painted us into.  VW engineers have tried to make it easier for designers of certain building types to change their floor-to-floor heights without manually modifying a lot of objects.  I'm thinking this problem could have been solved in many ways, but the ones chosen have led to very muddy waters.

 

Glad to have THAT discussion, but in the meantime, does anyone see anything wrong with making this styled wall component height relation mode editable globally, as long as contrary overrides for instances are preserved?  It's either relative to wall height or relative to story, and I don't see why that simple choice can't be globalized and isolated from the infrequent instance when someone would want a particular wall to have a non-global choice.

Edited by P Retondo
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@P Retondo apologies I didn't fully understand the point you were making + I'm still unclear to be honest would you be able to post a file so I can look at what you mean? As much to improve my understanding of how walls behave than anything. Thank you.

 

I don't use the stock VW wall styles + my own walls so far are always layer-bound rather than story-bound so I've not encountered the issue you describe but I've been playing around just now + switching between story-bound + layer-bound in the settings - either the wall as a whole or individual components - seems to work for me i.e. the changes made to the style affect all instances of the wall in the drawing.

 

Playing with the 'Replace Heights' + 'Only replace default heights' options in the 'Wall Replacement' dialog I am finding I can manipulate the wall heights + individual component heights pretty much any way I want so it would be really good to better understand the problems you're experiencing. Thanks

 

Roofs I have all sorts of issues with but walls + slabs I'm pretty happy with but perhaps only because I've been using them in fairly unchallenging ways

 

 

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10 hours ago, E|FA said:

I think that better indication in the Wall OIP as to what is governing the wall in question would be incredibly helpful.  Here are my initial thoughts:

 

1. Indicator as to whether it is related to a Story or not.

2. Indication as to whether default wall heights are active or have been overridden, manually or by fit to objects command.

3. Indication as to whether any of the components have an offset (and maybe even edit directly in OIP)

 

Anyone have other improvements to the wall OIP to suggest?  If so, I can compile them in another Wishlist post for clarity.

I think on point 1. it's pretty clear already if a wall is story-bound or layer-bound in the O.I.P.?

But I think points 2. + 3. definitely. It would be good if you could tell when you are in the 'Wall Components' dialog looking at the top + bottom offsets which particular offsets were from the style + which were manual overrides. And in the O.I.P. whether the overall height of the wall is derived from the style, a manual override or because you have used the 'Fit Walls to Objects' command.

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37 minutes ago, Tom W. said:

I think on point 1. it's pretty clear already if a wall is story-bound or layer-bound in the O.I.P.?

I keep screwing myself up on this one.  I tried using Stories for a while and then decided against, but some of my old wall styles are still popping up (from copying stuff from older projects).  How can I tell easily in the OIP that the wall style is not Story bound?

Edited by E|FA
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I am no authority on any of this just always keen to learn more but in the O.I.P. you have the 'top bound' + 'bot bound' settings in the 'Height' section: for me it's always 'Layer Elevation' or 'Layer Wall Height' because my walls are all layer-bound but with story-bound walls it will say the name of the story level e.g. 'top of slab' or whatever. So you can tell this way.

 

But it does get confusing because like @P Retondo says these are the overall wall settings but there are also the settings for the individual components which can themselves each be set to layer-bound or story-bound

 

What I would find useful is to have a little schematic diagram in the wall style dialog showing a section through the top + bot of the wall, illustrating the offsets. When I set up a new wall I tend to draw the wall/slab + wall/roof interfaces in 2D anyway so I can work out where all the components need to start/finish + know what offsets to input. But then once the style's created you no longer have this to refer to + it's just numbers + very hard to visualise why a particular offset is what it is. Then you change an offset for a particular component in a particular wall instance + like you said, there's no indication in the settings that you've deviated from the default which adds more confusion still...

 

If the diagram were dynamic it would cut out the separate setting-out sketch stage (for me): I could do everything directly in the style. Like with doors/windows/stairs etc.

 

Also perhaps the ability to add descriptions to components in the same way you can for classes + layers (so that when you hover over them the text comes up in a floating pane). Then you could add notes to remind yourself why a particular offset is what it is. In a similar way find I write myself notes in the Tags section for resources (symbols, styles, hatches, textures, etc) to remind myself what's what: not really what the tags feature is for but I find I need to do it to keep track + distinguish one resource from another. But perhaps that's just me...!

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OK, I can very well understand that some don't want to use Stories and Levels.

 

You can basically achieve similar by a Layer Height + Layer Wall Height setup

in a far less complicated way.

Not as granular as Stories and Levels though.

But as these aren't everywhere so flexible for adaptions either, in most cases

it may not matter if you use Levels or just Layer + Wall Height bindings.

And Offsets from overall Wall Height for Wall Components.

 

 

1 hour ago, E|FA said:

but some of my old wall styles are still popping up (from copying stuff from older projects).  How can I tell easily in the OIP that the wall style is not Story bound?

 

Makes me thinking of VW now duplicated their Default Wall Style Libraries

in a Story bound Style Folder and a classic Layer (or manual Wall Height ?)

bound Style Folder.

I think the best way would be to add that classification directly in the

Style Name.

 

 

I agree with Tom, if you have a styled Wall selected, OIP already shows

Wall's Top/Botton assigned to : "XXX ... Level not existing".

 

I would not mind to have alternative indications in OIP though !

Basically overall Wall's attributes may show manual or Layer Heights,

while all your Components are still Level bound.

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I definitely want to start using stories. I have played around a bit with them + understand how they work just haven't got on with it... In my layer-bound system I often end up with lots of different layers where I have slightly different floor heights between rooms on the same level + therefore objects all at different elevations + feel that I should be using story levels to regulate/organise this better, even if it's just a two-storey building. Next time...

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35 minutes ago, Tom W. said:

In my layer-bound system I often end up with lots of different layers where I have slightly different floor heights between rooms on the same level

 

In the best case the structural Slab has everywhere the same thickness and

just the floor packages differ. Then I would bind Story Height to Top of

structural Slab. (Usually I would have Top of Finish Floor)

"Floor Package Slabs" with their different heights, I would fill into every room with the bucket.

For me Door (Jambs) Bottoms start at Top of Structural Slab.

(So usually have an extra offset from Finish Floor Top anyway)

But you have to manually add the Floor pieces under the Door if there is no board

or other thing under the Door opening.

 

 

But if you have multiple real height Levels in or between Rooms or even Split Level,

VW's Story + Level System starts to get really cumbersome.

As you will need lots of Level duplicates which makes finding and assigning them

really hard.

 

 

48 minutes ago, Tom W. said:

even if it's just a two-storey building.

 

There is never an optimal solution how to organize the Building.

Maybe in that case, just duplicating Wall Styles for each Story may be less pain ?

 

 

But I also often doubt about my Story Level Setups in general.

 

In Bricscad's BIM and Direct Modeling there are no Layer Heights used for Stories.

Everything is in World Z. Just a BIM Story Tag applied to each Object.

So there is also no problem with Z shifts, when dragging objects between Stories.

You Model everything with simple Solids and apply your (multi Ply) Compositions later.

 

If a Story Height changes, you just pull the Slab.

Everything that touches the Slab, like Walls, is magically linked and will adapt automatically

 

 

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Tom, in answer to your request I made a simple file containing a single wall that was taken from default wall styles.  I discovered some really buggy behavior when I tested this.

wall height.vwx

 

1  Edited wall style by right-clicking on the wall, and edited the core component, changing its top & bottom preferences from relative to story to "relative to wall."  That is the state you find this drawing in, but the first time I did it, it worked - i.e., that component became 8' tall.

2  Did the above operation again, this time editing another of the components in the same manner.  Instead of making that component 8' as well, everything reverted to the state you see, which is everything 0' tall.  I undid that operation, and saved the file without that change.  The undesired behavior stuck, for some reason.

 

Try it, you won't like it!

 

I conclude from the above that we might be dealing with a bug, and that my tech support person might have just been trying to get through the call as quickly as possible.

 

Rather than filing a bug report, which I have found in the past to be a time-consuming drain for practically zero return, I wonder if getting engineers to tackle my request - to make this setting operate as it should - would lead to an examination of the bugginess I see, and possibly also to the improvements you describe.  I hate to think it is too much to ask that VW fix this whole unwieldy wall height (and component height) system so that it works smoothly and transparently.  For example, if you have a wall that is set to layer height, and then want to change its height, top or bottom, editing the offset often gives undesired results.  Likewise with editing the wall height directly.  I often resort to creating a 3d planar object, and using "Fit Walls to Objects" to get what I want, that works reliably and logically.

 

As to why I don't use stories, just look at the building pictured on my profile and you will see how a single story building can, in the world of VW "stories," make no sense to the software.

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Posted (edited)

Just discovered at least one glitch that explains the behavior.  When you edit a wall component by changing it to relate to wall height, the wall height itself, as shown in the OIP, changes from "Layer Height" to "Top of Slab."  That is definitely a bug.  Change that setting back, and the components display as desired.  Now I have to go back to the project I was having trouble with, and look at every wall to see if that setting was corrupted when I edited the wall style.  I don't know if VW tech is monitoring these discussions any more, that would be helpful.  One gets tired of the black hole that is bug reports.

Edited by P Retondo
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Thanks Pete I edited the components one by one, changing them to layer-bound + giving them a top offset of 8' + the wall actually behaved as expected:

267073666_Screenshot2021-08-23at19_15_03.png.368c773b4a507a3feefca03d273abaf3.png

 

But if I was converting one of the default story-bound walls to be layer-bound I would first change the overall wall height to be layer-bound too (in the 'Insertion Options' tab) so that everything was relative to layer:

1545633050_Screenshot2021-08-23at19_20_51.png.0aade6d3f86a2ab1508ffacc6635671e.png

 

Not sure why it's possible to mix + match layer- + story-bound settings like this + whether that's responsible for some of the weird behaviour you've been experiencing, but seeing as you're not using stories I'd just shift-click all the components + set them to be relative to wall then set the wall height to be top- + bottom-bound to layer elevation then it will be fully layer-bound + then I'd expect it to behave normally.

 

 

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I think it is better to just decide for either Layer bound or full Story+ Level bound Styles.

It may work technically but just for better control and understanding.

 

I always have overall Wall from Top of (structural) Slab to Bottom of (structural) Slab

above. Cladding/Insulation is always from Bottom of (structural) Slab to Bottom of

(structural) Slab above.

Inner Walls mainly to Top of (structural) Slab to Bottom of (structural) Slab above,

maybe some Components from Top Finish Floor to Bottom of (structural) Slab above.

 

So basically the overall Wall is kind of Story bound (between Slab and Slab above)

while each Component is bound to a Level.

(In fact everything is bound to "Levels")

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It is just a pain and Problem that Slab Styles "Thickness"

(at least a single flexible Component, which Bricscad allows)

can't react and be bound to Levels.

 

So you may need to adjust your Levels, in the manual and cumbersome

way AND create and assign a new Slab Style for Thickness changes.

And you are completely lost if you have different structural Slab

Thicknesses in different parts of a single Story.

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Tom, this is what the wall looks like when I edit one of the components to "wall height":

 

902052939_wallheight2.jpg.b6007caad0b415ad7c6617e78a87cc60.jpg

It looks this way because of the bug I noted above, where the wall itself changes from a top boundary of "Layer Height" to "Top of Slab" in a project where I don't have a slab.  I note that you are using VW 2021 on a Mac where I am using 2020 on a pc.  Possibly the bug was fixed in VW 2021.

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