3D Modeling Special Interest Group – December 2016


In this session we looked at using standard objects, such as the table, to try to create the objects that we require and we looked at 3D people. With the example of the table, one user wanted to use a simple table, but use different chairs, and another user wanted to look at where you could source some good 3D people.

Topics covered:

  • 00:22    we can start by using the standard Vectorworks table and adjusting it to suit our requirements. For example, you might want to substitute different chairs the ones that come with Vectorworks. In this case you would turn off the chairs, find a suitable chair and place these chairs around the table. Once you’ve done that you could then select the table and all the chairs and use these to create a separate symbol. If you store that symbol into your library it will be available on all your projects. Another way to look at this is to convert the plug-in object into a group then modify the group to suit your requirements. We also noted that if you ungroup the table and a Top/Plan view, you lose all the 3D data. But also if you convert the table and chairs into a group and a 3D view, you will lose all the 2D information. When it comes time to replace the chairs, you should use the Resource Manager to look for the chairs. If you know the name of the chair then certainly try the search.
  • 02:48    the standard table and chair plug-in object can be edited without a grouping at using the Object Info palette. You can often use this to create the table that you require. We started out by adding textures then making some slight changes to the leg thickness and the leg offset and we carried on making changes until we turned the dining table into a coffee table. After the coffee table we then turned the table into a barstool. It needed some adjustment for the foot rails on the barstool, so these were added manually.
  • 09:55    the technique of getting Vectorworks to build is much as it can and then editing it to suit your requirements can also be used with windows and doors.
  • 12:56    a large part of the session was spent looking at 3D people and the different ways that you can create or import 3D people. The Resource Manager in Vectorworks 2017 has elevations of people. There are some that are just outlines and there are some that if solid filled (so they have no detail but you can see the person). The type of person you choose and 3D really depends on the reason for putting the person in. If you want the person to appear realistic, then you will have to find an import some realistic people (which we did later). In this situation we want to look at resources that are readily available and so we started by looking at what was available. The solid filled and outline people are 2D only, and are often useful for putting into elevations. We imported these people and converted them to 3D so that we could use them on our projects.
  • 17:47    we also found there are some legacy 3D people. There used to be a tool in Vectorworks that would create a 3D person. I was felt that the 3D person was a little bit lumpy looking, but they still available through the Resource Manager if you look in the Vectorworks Resources > Objects – Miscellaneous_Entourage > Entourage People > Legacy Human Figures. We also looked at the impact on the file size by adding these people. Some people that you add to your files can make a huge difference to the file size.
  • 19:37    I have a file that has 3D people that are highly detailed. I can’t remember where I got this file from, but we decided to import some of these figures into our file for today and see the impact on our file size. By importing one person, the file size grew by over 10 MB. However, since this object is a symbol, you can play several them in the file without making the file size substantially larger.
  • 26:48    we also looked at 3D Warehouse (Google sketch up warehouse) defined 3D people. We found several sets some of which had quite realistic people. These can then be downloaded and imported into a blank Vectorworks file (it’s always a good idea to import them into a blank file) so that you can then pick out the people you want or manipulate their textures, size, et cetera..
  • 37:35    another way to create 3D people is to use an image prop. Older versions of Vectorworks had a huge number of Vectorworks image props of people (from Oz CAD) but these are also available through the resource manager. One of the problems with image props is that they will appear only in rendered views and you will not get an outline of the image prop when you create a hidden line render. My solution for this is to trace an outline of the image prop as a polygon, which you can then create as an extrusion, or a 3D polygon. If you put the image prop on one class, and the polygon on another class, then you can choose viewport by viewport with you want to see the outline or the image prop. I had a file that I opened which demonstrated this.
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