This session was well attended and the majority wanted to look at customising classes and setting up a class standard. In a recent webinar I created some classes by using custom classes from my standard. When some of my users saw this, they wanted to know how they could quickly access their own custom classes.
Design layers and classes are the two most important organising concepts that you need to understand in order to create drawings in Vectorworks. I still find some users are confused about when to use a layer and when to us a class to organise their drawings. I use three simple rules to decide when I need a new class, and three simple rules to decide when I need new design layers.
Symbols are generally thought of as relatively small repeating objects. So first of all you should use symbols whenever you need to repeat something, like sanitary fixtures, light fixtures, furniture, and so on.
Collapsible (Hierarchal )Classes – I am a fan of using lots of classes. Layers are where things are, so you tend to have layers for stories of the building or for structuring the file. Classes are what things are. This means that you have classes to differentiate different parts of the design depending on what the objects are.
Storing a Layer and Class Standard – When you create a Layer and Class Standard, it is important to store it in the correct location so that Vectorworks can use it.
Creating a Layer and Class Standard – When you create a lot of drawings it’s essential that your drawings are similar to each other in the way they are set up, a standard will do that for you.
Use More Classes, Use Fewer Layers – Layers should be where you have drawing the information, classes should be what the information is. For example, the walls are drawn on Floor 1, the class tells you that the walls are existing, proposed, or demolished.
This is the movie from the BIM Special Interest Group, September 2012, creating a BIM workflow, Part 4, setting up drawings using viewports and sheet layers. (morning session)
This is the movie from the second session Landmark Special Interest Group, August 2012. We are looking at starting a template file and simple drawing techniques.
Class options are extremely important when you are using Vectorworks. Choosing the right class options will make it easy to use Vectorworks. Choosing the wrong class options will always make Vectorworks difficult to use
This is a recording from the January Beyond Beginners session. We looked at rules for creating classes. You can create an almost unlimited number of classes, but should you? Wouldn’t it be better to have a strategy for making classes?
Stories. For complex projects it is sometimes easier to break them up into manageable chunks. In this example we will use Stories to control the elevation heights, design layers for modeling and classes to control visibility and graphic style of object.
Assigning Textures Using Classes. If you set up your file early on to use textures for specific classes that you want to texture then you have an advantage when it is time to assign the textures. By going to the classes dialog you can then texture all the objects of a specific class.
I saw a request on a community board recently. The Vectorworks user wanted to select a viewport, and use the Object Info Palette to change the layer and class visibilities, on the same dialog box. It’s not currently possible to do this, but there is a workaround, and that is to use the Organization Dialog box.
At this point, I have used the background as much as I need. For a while it will be easier to change the layer options, and make the background invisible. You can use the Navigation palette to do this.
Creating Layers and Classes for Counting. We are going to create worksheets to count information. There are several ways to count information, using line color, line weight, and so on. But for what we want to count, layers and classes will do.
Before you set up the drawings, you need to set up the classes for objects that you want to turn off, or texture.
You can control the graphic on a massing model, but you can not use the Attributes Palette. The graphics on a massing mode are controlled by the classes on the massing model.
Set up the Layers. Start by setting up the layers for the project. You will need at least one layer for each floor of the building, a layer for the lower roof, upper roof and foundations. Foundations on an old building can be tricky to draw, unless you have some detailed and accurate drawings to work from.
Class Standard. This file is stored in your Vectorworks user folder. It should contain all the classes you would want to use on any project. It should have the correct class name and graphic settings (line color, weight, texture and so on).