In the previous month we looked at creating a site model, which is great but we will need to modify the site. That is what this manual is all about, Site Modifiers. A Site Modifier is a specific object for changing a site model. A Site modifier can be a range of objects, but their intention is to change the form of the site model. Vectorworks includes a several tools for creating site modifiers. Some tools are designed to create other objects (hardscape, massing model, roads, etc), and they have options to create site modifiers as well. Some tools are designed to report information about the site or they can be used as site modifiers (Stake, Grade). Continue reading
In this session we looked at site modelling again. In particular, we looked at a special case where we wanted to create site modifiers above the site model (it’s actually a construction pad above the level of the site model for drainage). This is probably the first time that we have looked at the concept of site modelling, how it actually works and I’ve drawn an example to show exactly how Vectorworks calculates the contours.
Intermediate – Normally, you have to use a grade limits with a site modifier, but not when use a pad with retaining edge. In this image you can see a pad with a vertical retaining each. At the bottom you can see the red outline itches the pad, and at the top you can see the red outline which is the retaining edge. Vectorworks will create the retaining edge to sit at exactly the right height for the existing site model if you use the command Send to Surface.
In this session we look at site modifiers. We started by looking at a site without any site modifiers at all and we use the technique of drawing simple objects (rectangles) and adding them together to create a polygon. There is a command from the right click (contextual menu) called create objects from shapes. We use this command to turn our polygon into a site modifier.
In the sections we look at the Vectorworks roading tools. Roading is a slight challenge for Vectorworks, and that it’s not really a roading design package (which is a sophisticated topic) but it does have roading tools that can be used to create the majority of the things you need. I kept roading out of the site modifiers sessions so that we could give them adequate time.
In this session we looked at the report from the earlier landscape session, but the users pointed out that the previous report only look for flat objects which is not much use on a sloping site. So the session took the report from the early session in tried to update it so that it would work with objects on a sloping site.
There are several options for site modifying. You can add extra source data into the site model to modify it, and you can use site modifiers like roads (good for roads and paths), pads (good for flat or uniformly sloping areas), hardscapes, landscape walls, 3D polygons, and stake objects.
Each site modifier follows the same strategy. The site modifier has a 3D part the will change the site model and a boundary. The Boundary is a planar shape that defines how much of the site model will be affected. The Boundary is flexible and it allows you to choose the extent of the site modification. If the boundary is close to the site modifier, you will have a steep slope. If the boundary is a long way from the site modifier, you will have a gentle slope.
In the session we looked at site modelling and site modifiers. In particular, we looked at the site model settings to see how to edit the site model labels and crop area using the Reshape tool we looked at a simple site modifier. We used the command Create Objects From Shapes… to convert a simple object into a site modifier (pad).
Using the Offset tool, the pad was copied and converted to a Grade Limits. The pad was set to have a slope and then a polygon was converted to a site modifier and used as the top of a retaining wall. We also looked at creating site model snapshots. Snapshots are very powerful for creating different views of a site model, they update when you update the site model. We also looked at to road tools: the NURBS roadway and the Polygon roadway. These roads can be site modifiers and you can adjust the elevations of the roads to suit the site or to suit the design.
Site Modifiers – After you have created your site model, it can be modified using site modifying tools. Site modifies can be roads, hardscapes, landscape walls, pads, stake objects or 3D polygons. Continue reading
In this session we looked at placing a swimming pool in a site model. We have previously looked at creating a swimming pool (SST_1102) but in this session we looked at how to use the swimming pool to form the cutout in the site model. To modify the site model a site modifier is required and the swimming pool can be used to create it. We looked at the concept of site modifiers (pads and grade limits). After the pool, we looked at creating a plant schedule that would report the plants by category. We have done this previously, but it we decided to go over it again, but this time with reference to VW Plants database, because it is important to make sure that the categories you assign to plants are carried though from the Plants Database. We also looked at the problem of duplicating plants and the conflict with the plant name or plant ID. There is still the question of creating existing plants that you do not want to appear in the plant schedule. If you want to see the plant tag, you have to turn on the option (on plant schedule) and if you do not want it in the schedule, you could use a class for existing plants and make sure that the plants on that class are not included.
In this session we looked at how to create a Site Model by importing a Shapefile and how to use a Hardscapes as a Site Modifier. We started by importing a Shapefile, simplifying it (Simplify Polys command), editing its crop and importing more Shapefiles to create kerbs and buildings. Shapefiles come with various data attached, e.g. 2D objects can very quickly be turned into 3D forms / buildings (Modify by Record command). Placing a sun (Heliodon tool) and having shadows shown in OpenGL. Rotating the plan. Creating Hardscapes (several terraced beds on a slope [Create Objects from Shapes command]) and using Stake objects to the determine their correct elevations. Adding Grade Limits / Pad Limits (Site Modifiers) and editing the Hardscapes. The session also looked at two ways of placing plants on the terraces (Plant tool vs Landscape Area tool).
Intermediate Tip – When you place a road, there is an option to send the station to the surface of the site model. But when you do that, the road might have some steep slopes as it follows the site. Aligning the stations vertically allows you to smooth out the slopes in the road. You can choose which stations are aligned on the settings dialog box.