In this session, we covered basic principles you need to apply in building a project template file and how to import and use site plan and floor plan PDFs.
- 00:07 We started with a completely blank file. When you create a new file in Vectorworks, there is an option called Use document template—and you might find a template in the Vectorworks list that works for you. Personally, I like to build my own template file. We began to discuss the basic principles to apply when building a template by looking at the Page Setup options. We wanted the Vectorworks display to be an A2 page that would print out on an A3 page—to achieve this, scale the A3 page 71%. Another thing to look at is text. You can save your most commonly used text styles and add them to your template so that they’re always there. At the same time, you can start organizing your Resource Manager by adding a folder called Text Styles. Next, we looked at units—Vectorworks has the ability to have primary and secondary units—and we saved our preferences so that they would appear in the Settings drop-down menu in the future.
- 15:20 Continuing to cover basic template principles, we went to Custom Standards and made our own dimension standard. We covered creating the standard step-by-step. Then, we made additional dimension standards that we wanted to use—one for plans, one for dual dimensions, one for site plans. If you create these first and put them in your template, they’ll be there whenever you start a new job. Next, we looked at the Design Layers that we would need in a template. We added Site Import, House Import, Site Plan, Building, Hard Landscape, Soft Landscape, and Site Model design layers. We set up the snap grid in the SmartCursor settings.
- 26:55 Switching to our Site Import layer, we dragged in our site plan PDF. We turned on the Snap to Geometry option on the Object Info palette for the PDF Page and scaled the page using the Scale Objects command. Be careful to select the page first so that you don’t scale everything in your file! Next, we drew a crop for the site plan. Now, we could use it to trace site contours and the building outline. Next, we dragged in the House PDF, turned on the Snap to Geometry option, and drew a crop around it. We continued by lining up the two PDFs.
- 37:31 Clicking on the Save As Template command, we created our template file. You can save it as the Default—the untitled file that opens when you start up Vectorworks. Save a copy of the template file into the Template subfolder of your Vectorworks User folder—that way, the template will show up in the template list when you open the Create Document command.
- 40:49 I believe that Saved Views are very underused. They save layer and class sets for given views, letting you restore that view with just one click. Having a series of Saved Views can really help your productivity. These Saved Views—as well as your design layers and classes—can be incorporated into your template.
- 49:32 You can create a template that has custom tools set up for drawing different kinds of materials. Using the Draw Similar tool allows you, for example, to quickly set up astro turf, bark, stones, driveway asphalt, and whatever other kinds of materials you need to create when you have examples already in your template. In addition to materials and objects, your template can include reports and worksheets that you need. You can turn your template into an extremely powerful tool! You just need to spend some time to include in your template the things that would be most helpful to you.
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