Landscape Special Interest Group August 2018 AM


In this session, we looked at changing the graphic attributes of hardscapes and how to control their elevation, including the difference between project and layer elevations.

Topics Covered:

  • 00:12    We opened up a file with a building, site model and hardscapes. The challenge was that the hardscapes were not see-through in a Top/Plan view, and no matter what we changed, we couldn’t seem to change their look. We looked at our class settings—some were created by Vectorworks when I imported objects and some I had created. When I add classes, I try to group similar ones—site plan objects together, site model objects together, etc.—so that I can turn off groups of classes that I don’t need to look through, making my list of classes easier to sort through. Even after going through the classes and options in the Hardscape Object Settings dialogue box, we couldn’t uncover what was determining the hardscapes’ graphics.
  • 17:42    Another challenge was that one of the hardscapes didn’t go to the site surface. The hardscapes were on a design layer called “Landscape”—typically, I leave the elevation for the landscape layer at zero, relative to the ground plane, but this time, we decided to put it at the same elevation as our building to see how it affected the hardscape. We discussed the difference between “project elevation” and the elevation of the design layer. The project elevation is determined by the site model and the layer elevation is determined by the design layer settings. “Elevation” in the Draw 3D section of the hardscape’s Object Info palette is based on the project elevation. Whether you choose Pad Modifier (Top of Slab) or Pad Modifier (Bottom of Slab), Vectorworks always measures the elevation of a hardscape to the underside of the object. We discussed how to get objects to the elevation that you want, whether starting from the building elevation or zero. The Send to Surface command will make many objects sit directly on the surface of your site model, but not all. You might have to do some mathematics to get objects to the right level.
  • 39:33    For me, a simple way of handling object elevations is to have everything in the house work off of the slab elevation and everything outside of the house work off of the project elevation. Elevations aren’t automatically measured to the top or bottom of symbols, such as the landscape bench in our project. For symbols, it depends on how they were built, where the insertion point was placed. If you’re creating a symbol, always think beforehand how it’s going to be used. On a section of fence, you’ll want to put the insertion point on the outside bottom edge of the end post. That way, when you add other sections to it, they’ll line up easily. For a table, you might find it best to use the center as the insertion point. For a light fixture that will go on a wall, you’ll probably want to use the back middle. As always, a bit of forethought can uncomplicate and speed up your workflow!

Landscape August 2018 pm

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