In this session, we reviewed the primary site modifiers—Contour, Pad, Grade Limits, and Pad with Retaining Edge—discussed changing the User Origin and working with external reference points, showed how to place fences on the surface of a site model, and turned a sketch into an Image Prop for a conceptual presentation.
- 00:16 First, we discussed the general concept of using site modifiers. To illustrate this, we experimented with adding a Contour to our site model. To change the elevation of part of your site, Vectorworks needs to have 3D information about the change—provided by using a site modifier such as a Contour or Pad—and know the extent of the change—provided by using a Grade Limits. We added the Contour to the site model by clicking on an existing contour line, making a line to show where the proposed Contour should go, clicking on the existing contour line again to finish. This reshaped the contour line, as well as affecting the surrounding grades. This is where a Grade Limits is useful. You can draw a 2D shape that will work as a boundary for the contour change in 3D. We ran into a problem because our Property Line was also acting as a grade limit, so we turned that off. Double-clicking on the Grade Limits allowed us to modify it. The strategy with changing elevations on a site is that you need a 3D element to define the cut and a Grade Limits to limit the amount of the change. Remember to update your site model to see the changes.
- 08:16 Next, we looked at using a Pad on the site model. We rechecked the Grade Limits setting for the Property Line so that the effect of the Pad would travel all the way out to the edge of the property. You can easily create a Grade Limits from a Pad by using the Offset tool. The closer the Grade Limit is to the Pad, the steeper the slope. Landmark has the Create Grade Limits from Pad command, which allows you to tell Vectorworks the slope that you need—for example, a 45 or 25-degree slope—and it will calculate how far out the Grade Limits should be to get that slope. It will give you a consistent slope.
- 14:28 By using a Pad with Retaining Edge, Vectorworks can calculate how to give a good slope to the edges of the Pad. We want the Retaining Edge to match the existing terrain. The Send to Surface command will recognize that you’re using a Pad with Retaining Edge site modifier and will ask you whether you want to elevate the Retaining Edge to the site surface, fit the retaining edge or elevate the Pad. The effect that you should get is the same as if you had offset the Pad 1mm, giving you a very tight, steep edge. Don’t forget to use J-click to select one object from multiple objects. You can have more than one Pad inside a Grade Limits—that’s how you can create steps in the terrain.
- 24:22 How do you get your building to be at the correct elevation? You can change the building elevation by adjusting the elevation of the Design Layer that it’s on. You can use the Move Page tool to center the page over your drawing, even when your origin/reference point might be 50km away. If you import a drawing and choose “Center first import, align all subsequent imports” under the Location tab, then Vectorworks will preserve the imported file’s coordinate values by shifting the User Origin and align subsequent imports with the User Origin. This can be helpful if your site needs to have an external reference point.
- 29:10 If you’re using Fence symbols, the Send to Surface command can help place the symbols on the surface of your site model. Remember that it’s the insertion point that Vectorworks places at the surface elevation. If you’re using the Railing/Fence tool, placing your fence on the surface of the site model is more challenging. The Send to Surface command won’t work. While the Railing/Fence tool does have a 3D Line Mode, you need somehow to see where to click on the surface of your site model. Viewing your site model in a wireframe view can help you see the 3D facets on the surface, which you can click on to create your fence. You will need to go in and change the settings for most sections of the fence because Vectorworks typically creates both beginning and end posts.
- 38:27 The session ended with a discussion about using 3D models of animals in projects. There are incredibly detailed models that you can import into Vectorworks; however, we talked about whether it might be better to use a sketch—just to give an idea of the size and bulk—if you’re only presenting the concept stage of a project to a client. The best way to put a sketch into a model is to use the Create an Image Prop command. You can import your sketch as the Image Mask, with the Transparent Color Mask rendering everything that’s black as see-through. We turned it into a symbol and sent it to the surface of the site model, bringing our concept presentation to life without giving it unwanted detail.
Landscape April 2018 am