In the session we looked at three main topics; whether it’s better to use classes or layers to divide up your design for scheduling and presentations, getting plants to locate at the correct elevation on a site model and solar studies. When it comes to a complex landscape plan it’s important that your plan is graphically correct and allows your client and contractors to clearly see the plants that they need to. This might mean using classes with different visibilities to create the viewports you need, it might mean using layers to divide your project up and do areas for scheduling. Whether you use layers or classes will depend on your project and what you’re trying to achieve. It should be easy to place plants at the correct elevation on the site model, provided that you are using plants or landscape areas and whether or not your site model has been correctly made. Solar studies came up again because they very important in some areas. These were recently covered in another online session in much more detail.
Topics Covered: To place plants on different classes or on different layers?
- There is no clear cut answer, it all depends on the project. If a landscape project is done in several stages, then most probably using different layers (for each stage) is the better way to go about it as each stage includes many different objects (plants, hardscapes, landscapes, etc.)
- creating a Hardscape Area and changing its settings
- using the Reshape Tool to alter its shape
- placing a tree
- placing shrubs underneath its canopy
- ISSUE: how to make shrubs visible that are placed under a tree canopy?
SOLUTION with classes:
- Double click to edit the tree. Duplicate parts of the tree canopy, assign them to a new class and change their graphic attributes. This new class can now be turned on/off as required together with the various classes of the original tree attributes
- creating a viewport of these plantings
- making a copy of the viewport. In this copy, turn off the classes of the canopy as desired
- HINT: make sure that the graphic classes of the plants/shrubs underneath are set to None (double click to edit them) or create a specific class for them. Otherwise their attributes will also be turned off together with the tree canopy.
SOLUTION with layers (and viewports):
- create a separate layer for shrubs and one for trees
- change the layer options to Show / Snap Others
- move the shrub to its layer and the tree to its layer
- revisit the earlier created Viewports (we only need one)
- change the stacking order of the two new layers in the viewport to make the shrubs visible (they are now on top of the tree canopy)
- HINT: do not forget that you can tick/un-tick ‘On Plant List’ for any plants placed. This will list or not list that plant on any worksheets.
3 rules for classes:
- to control visibility of objects
- to control graphic styles of objects
- to control objects for scheduling / reporting
3 rules for layers:
- to structure file
- to control different scales
- to control scheduling / reporting
CONCLUSION: If classes work better for your project, use classes – If layers work better, use layers.
Placing plants at their correct elevation on a site model
- before placing plants, make sure that if you work with different layers (and have made them visible) that you have turned on ‘Unified View’ as well
- using the Send to Surface command (to bring the Hardscape Object to its correct location. Hardscape Objects can also be used as Site Modifiers)
- turning on/off ‘Textures’ in OpenGL render
- only had a brief look at it, but check out either:
- ‘SST_1208 Creating a solar study in Vectorworks‘ or
NICE TO KNOW (Windows machines):
- compress the mouse wheel and you are in the Pan Tool
- hit the CTRL key and compress the mouse wheel and you are in the Flyover Tool