Advanced Wall Modifications


Justin Lange, editor at Projection Lights and Staging News invited Kevin to blog at Pro Light Space, Justin’s go to site for professional lighting designers, and lighting technicians. Thanks to Justin, and Pro Lighting Space, I am cross posting Kevin’s blog entries here.


Kevin blogs at Pro Lighting Space on Vectorworks. I see that look on face – oh great yet another Vectorworks blog – now before you click away, let me explain. Kevin’s posts are on things you wouldn’t necessarily find in a standard “How to” post. He digs in and talks about features, short cuts, and ways of doing things a little differently. This is for experienced Vectorworks users. Kevin gears his posts to lighting designers, but we set designers should be paying attention, after all, no matter how good your set design is, if it’s not lit properly you’re missing the sexy. Let’s face it, if you want to sell your idea for the greatest set ever, you have to add lighting, it’s the sizzle. If your rendering isn’t sizzling sexy, you’re going to loose out to the designer that’s figured it out. Don’t be that person. Read Kevin’s posts.


Since we’ve discussed adding tools and commands to the workspace, let’s look at some of the things that can be done with wall objects, beyond making simple walls.

Here’s a simple one, one of my favorites; using the Round Wall tool to make a curved ramp. Sure, this could be modeled, but not this easily, not this quickly, and not with all of the options available using Wall Styles.

Select the Round Wall tool from the Building Shell toolset. Select the first insertion mode on the left; Left Control Line Mode. Click on the tool preferences and set the width of the wall to 48″ and the height to 48″ that’s 1219.2mm if using metric. Of course, if you were using metric, you might also like to round off to something like 1.2m. but I digress.

Click to insert, drag down and tab into the Floating Data Bar. Set the distance to 96″ (2438.4mm) and set the angle to -90° and then click to insert. Drag counter-clockwise and tab back into the FDB and set the angle to 270° and then click to insert. You can build this wall in a plan view or an isometric. The Wall Tools create hybrid objects.

Two clicks, almost done. You should have this:


One more step. Select the Wall and select the Reshape Tool from the Basic Tool Set, switch to the left view and select the control point in the middle of the wall, drag it to the ground. You should have this when rendered.


You could also have tabbed into the FDB and set an elevation, and you can also apply a wall style to affect the finishes and the detail on the wall.

So, what else?

I drawn a simple 12″ thick wall, 10′-0″ tall and 20′-0″ long.

I’ve drawn a rectangle adjacent to the wall and gone to the plan view and selected both objects. I then selected the Wall Projection Command which I’ve added to my workspace. I’m generally using the defaults here. I’ll come back to the other options in other posts. I did set the offset to -24″ so my projection isn’t the same height as my wall.

and I have:

The projection will have the same attributes as the wall.

I can do the same kind of thing with the Wall Recess Tool, plus I can go one better. I can make a simple niche n the wall using a 3D extrusion that floats in the wall’s space. Of course, I can also do the same with a 3D object used as a Wall Projection.

One more thing, let’s looked at Stepped Walls. Using a similar basic wall (selected), I’ve gone to the Create Stepped Wall command which I have also added to my workspace. I’ve set a number of steps t even step this wall into a ziggurat. Running the command will increase the wall height by 5′-0″ so, start with a wall height that allows for the addition.

There’s obviously a fair amount of exciting stuff that can be done with these tools. All but the Round Wall are included with the Architect package. Obviously also, there are ways we can delve further into each tools, but that’s another day.

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