Architect Special Interest Group May 2019

In this session, we looked at cameras: activating and deactivating cameras, using cameras to create viewports, and copying cameras from one file to another.

Topics Covered:

  • 00:10 Opening a file with 3D models, we explored the challenge of copying a camera from one file to another while getting the same perspective in the two files. We created a camera and examined the Activate/Deactivate button in the camera’s Object Info palette, as well as the Match Current View button. Many people get confused about when the camera is activated or deactivated—one way to know is to pay attention to whether the blue “photo holders” are at the corners of the screen. Another way is to control the camera from the Visualization palette. After we set up the camera, we copied it and used the Paste in Place command to duplicate it in a duplicate file, which allowed us to obtain the same perspective as in the original file. It’s easy to forget that if a camera is activated and you change the view, the camera’s view will also change.
  • 10:48 We went through the steps for creating a viewport from a camera view. This can be especially handy for a cover shot. Vectorworks doesn’t allow you to copy a viewport from one file to another. However, Vectorworks will let you copy a group to another file, so we simply grouped a viewport and copied it to the other file. Occasionally there are problems with this workaround, but it’s a great trick most of the time. Grouping a viewport is also helpful when you need to resize it to fill a certain portion of a drawing but you’re not sure what scale the new size should be. You could find the scale by trial and error, but grouping the viewport allows you to click and drag to change the size—and the scale in the Object Info palette updates accordingly. We discovered that while it works well to duplicate a viewport, Vectorworks doesn’t like copying a viewport with a camera. After we tried it, the camera couldn’t be modified. The challenge was to find a workaround. We ended up duplicating cameras in the design layer and then turning them into viewports. This method still gave us two matching camera viewports.
  • 29:05 Someone was having the problem of things jumping around when using snaps. There are some options: You could reinstall Vectorworks, not from a copy but by using the installer; you could open Vectorworks Preferences and hit the Reset button; and you could remove your user folder and then start one from scratch. If none of these steps fixes it, there might be something wrong with your computer. You could try using a plug-in mouse if you’re using a Bluetooth or wireless mouse. You could also change the setting for your Navigation Graphics from Best Performance to Best Compatibility. We reviewed the possibility of setting up scripts to control turning snaps on and off—to save you from clicking so much!
  • 41:51 To end the session, we went over how I lined up the vertical and horizontal lines of the exterior panels on a house with the windows and doors. The trick was that the exterior panels weren’t rendered using a texture! I had created a layer of grouped extrudes—using the Extract tool on the walls gave me polygons to extrude—that I could line up with the building’s openings.

Architect May 2019

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