3D Modelling Special Interest Group – September 2014

2014-09-29_10-54-11In the special interest group we had a couple of users who like using SketchUp for 3D modelling rather than Vectorworks, so we looked at how to use Vectorworks for 3D modelling in the same ways that SketchUp does it. I don’t use SketchUp for 3D modelling because I like Vectorworks and I find it very powerful, but I wanted to help people who don’t use Vectorworks for 3D modelling understand how quickly you could create a garden setting.

Topics Covered:

3D viewing options

  • Vectorworks 2015 viewing preferences
  • changing the view from top/plan to a 3D view
  • understanding the difference between a perspective view and an orthogonal view

Modelling in SketchUp vs Vectorworks

  • instead of using the wall tool, you could draw walls using a double poly line tool and then the push/pull tool to extruded it
  • using the push/pull tool to modify 3D objects
  • layer plane, screen plane, and working plane (automatic working plane)
  • layer plane options
  • manual for Introduction to 3D modelling includes a chapter on working planes
  • using an automatic working plane to draw a rectangle
  • using the new rectangle to cause a depression in a 3D object using instant push/pull
  • changing the OpenGL options to improve the quality and add lines to the edges
  • using rectangles with instant push/pull to fill in planter boxes
  • using the K key to close polyline based objects
  • using instant push/pull to extrude the object in 3D
  • adding textures to 3D objects using the Resource Browser
  • adding text to your model using automatic working planes
  • creating text in 3D to follow a path
  • don’t copy your old workspace from an old version of Vectorworks into a new version of Vectorworks, you will lose the new commands in the new version
  • creating a pergola using the rectangle tool with automatic working plane and instant push/pull, then copying the object with the move by points tool
  • when you create an object this way in Vectorworks it ends up as a solid object, not as individual planes when you do it in SketchUp
  • creating a beam to support the pergola, again using the automatic working plane, instant data bar activation
  • creating a column using the automatic working plane from the bottom of the beam
  • using the new Deform tool in Vectorworks 2015
  • editing the underside of a pergola Rafter using an arc tool to remove part of it
  • using the Deform tool to bulge the column and twist it, but using the B key to activate x-ray mode so that you can snap to the top of the column
  • using instant push/pull to modify your design using arcs
  • punching a hole through a wall using instant push/pull
  • using the push/pull tool to edit the faces of an object (which users suggest is better than the SketchUp push/pull mode)

Tool Highlighting

  • Vectorworks has a concept that highlights the object that the tool is able to work on. This works on objects like lines with the joint tool, but it also works on faces with the push/pull tool

Plants for 3D

  • changes to the Existing Tree tool in Vectorworks 2015
  • assigning a class to the existing tree canopy which now includes a semi-transparent texture that makes the existing tree look more like a real tree
  • changing the irregular canopy size to change the shape of your existing tree



6 thoughts on “3D Modelling Special Interest Group – September 2014

  1. Question Jonathan; I am gleaning out of your 3D Modeling SIG from last september, how to delete solids. I wanted to create a fireplace from an irregular stone mass. So created the mass, then created a 3D object resembling a Rumford fire box and subtracted it from the stone mass. Two things happen when I do this: one is that the fire box shares the Render texture (stone) that I gave the mass, and two, in top plan view it becomes void of any fill and I can not seem to apply one.
    Can you suggest how I can give the “void” – firebox – a different texture, and what I can do about the lack of fill style???
    Thanks, Richard

  2. When you subtract a solid, you do end up with one object, so the hole will get the same texture as the rest of the fireplace. If you want the inside of the firebox to have a different texture, it has to be a different object. Use the Extract tool to extract the faces of the inside of the firebox, then texture those. You might want to extrude the faces after you extract them, and maybe add the solids together to make a single object.

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