Architect Special Interest Group March 2018 (am)

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In this session, we discussed challenges with uploading to the Cloud Services Portal, covered quick line weight and hatching methods to make drawings more readable, and talked about coordination issues with title blocks.

Topics Covered:

  • 00:10    Someone was uploading a file to the Vectorworks Cloud Services Portal but had difficulty keeping the right fonts. I have added a separate folder to my cloud portal with the special fonts that I use. With the fonts uploaded ahead of time, I haven’t had difficulties with the fonts of the files that I put in the cloud. For processing large renderings, having them rendered online is a huge benefit. I tend to manually upload the files to the cloud and have them processed.
  • 04:50    It’s easiest to export a whole file to the cloud, but someone needed to export a single symbol for a client. Only part of the symbol was showing up in the cloud. If this happens to you, you will have to experiment with checking different export options until you find the one that works best for your object. For example, if you have lots of NURBS surfaces and you’re exporting it as a DXF, you have to check the option to triangulate the fills because DXF is “old school” and doesn’t like complex shapes.
  • 08:23    Next, we discussed line weights for drawings. I tend to keep mine simple, using only three to four line weights in a drawing. The challenge is how you speed up the process of coloring in all of these shapes. I like to use the Outer Boundary Mode of the 2D Polygon tool—for example, you can select your whole model and get a thick line to emphasize the outline of your elevation. Don’t forget about using the Z-key to zoom in. Using the Polyline tool in Corner Vertex Mode is helpful for drawing your ground line. I click and drag to make the shape, filling it with a soil hatch. I make the outer line very thick but use the Reshape tool in Hide or Show Edges Mode to remove all but the line for the top grade. You can remap your hatch, even create a new hatch from it if you want. For your elevations, you can click the Display Surface Hatches option (under Background Render Settings on the Object Info palette for the viewport) and, if you have assigned hatches in your classes, Vectorworks will have them show up in your drawing. Introducing a few heavy vertical lines in the Annotation window of your drawing can aid your client in seeing the wall transitions. Going into the Edit Surface Hatch setting for your wall texture will allow you to change the hatch that shows up on your 2D elevations. It seems complicated—however, once you have one set up, it is very easy to make changes. You can also play with the opacity of a section of your elevation by overlaying it with a shape and adjusting the shape’s transparency level to fade the lines behind it. All of these things can help our buildings to read correctly, rather than just expecting the computer to do everything.
  • 32:46    Sometimes the wall hatches don’t line up on your elevations or perspectives. We discovered that changing the Map Type of your walls (under the Render section of your wall’s Object Info palette) from the Auto-Align Plane setting to the Plane setting can often help your hatches to match up.
  • 36:18    We ended the session by looking at title blocks. Someone was having difficulty with editing the name of a drawing sheet from the Navigation window and having it show up in the sheet’s title block. A place to start is to check your Document Preferences and make sure that the Use automatic drawing coordination option is checked. Otherwise, you can use a pre-made title block, such as the VAA title block, to ensure that your documents coordinate properly. We tried changing the drawing name from the Title Block Manager, but it did not appear to have an effect. We’ve found that using a mix of the NAA and Vectorworks standard title blocks is customizable and very powerful. Also, start using the Title Block Manager if you’re not already!

Architect March 2018 am
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