In this session, we looked at the benefits gained from using the Design Layer viewport.
- 00:19 We looked at a proposed project and discussed the advantages of using Design Layer viewports versus using Vectorworks Stories. The project involved four sets of mirrored units. Using Design Layer viewports would allow us to duplicate the units and assign a different elevation to each unit. Using Stories would require units to be stacked on top of each other. Because Stories don’t allow side-by-side units at different levels, you end up rebuilding each unit instead of simply duplicating them.
- 07:15 The challenge was reconstructing a multi-unit site from the drawings we had in an efficient, quick way—the “smart” way. Importing the site plan into our file, we created a design layer for the site plan and added Stories—to get our levels—for the single unit that we would mirror and duplicate. Scaling the floor plans, we build the walls for our lower level, before duplicating the walls up for the second and third floors.
- 15:37 We mirrored the space we had built to get the other side of the unit. After creating a Design Layer viewport, we duplicated the viewport down the row of units, giving us all of our houses. Next, we changed the elevations of the units, having them slope down the site.
- 21:34 The site had a second row of four sets of mirrored units. However, the units in this row had a slightly different layout from those in the first row, preventing us from simply duplicating the layout of the first set. This presented us with a challenge: Vectorworks doesn’t like having two sets of stories lining up in the same 3D space. After some reflection, we decided to just get rid of the stories and use design layers to set the levels. Using labels “Type A” and “Type B,” we could distinguish between the site’s two rows of units. We proceeded to construct the initial unit for the second row. Once finished, we mirrored it, created the Design Layer viewport, and duplicated the viewport down the row on the site plan. Next, we built a roof that would work for the units, constraining the top of the walls to the roof by using the Fit Walls to Objects command.
- 32:33 Having finished the two rows of units, we could really see the benefit of building the units this way! Each time we made a change to our original model—adding windows, putting in doors—the changes would show up in all of the units on the site plan. This method—using Design Layer viewports—is a much quicker way to be able to visualize a project! Stories work really well for a single, large commercial building, but they don’t work well for projects with more than one apartment or building with various floor heights. By contrast, the Design Layer viewport allows duplicating changes across multiple units, while granting flexibility for different building elevations.
- 38:56 Because they are Design Layer viewports, you can also copy and paste them in different configurations on the site plan to see if more units can fit on the site—move them around, test things out and see if there’s a better way! The Design Layer viewport allows for this kind of exploration. You can also quickly put in a Heliodon and do a solar study!
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