Newbie question - how to manage viewports in Layout?


#1

Hi all,

First-time poster here! I’m an architect with 15+ years of working with AutoCAD, but over the past 4-5 years have had a lot of fun starting to use SU as an SD modeler for clients–I’ll put the existing drawings into CAD, import the plan into SU, extrude up, make a wireframe diagram, then print it out and throw trace over it for hand-drawn sketches. Clients love it :). But I’ve seen enough about SU and LO to make me interested in throwing out CAD and using SU+LO for the whole process.

As I delve into the details (using Michael Brightman’s book and also referring to sources online), I’ve got my first questions.

It seems really cumbersome to “manage” viewports in LO. How can you tell at a glance (a) how many viewports you have on a page; (b) what order they’re stacked in? Is there a way to “turn on” the boundary of a viewport to facilitate grabbing it? How do you maneuver through viewports if you have 2, 3, 4, or more VPs all of the same size, all stacked on top of each other? I hit on the idea (not original I’m sure) of creating different layers for each VP (e.g., “site-exist-heavy”, “plan01-new-light”) and that seems to help (turn them off or on), but it still seems really awkward.

Following on this question: if one was to use this layering scheme, the number of layers quickly adds up, depending on how many VPs you have on a page. Would it make sense to have several different LO files, one for plan views, one for elevation views, and so on, just to keep the # of layers at a manageable number?

Thanks much!!!
Andy


#2

You can’t really tell other than perhaps counting things that would only appear in a single viewport. Well, if you know you only have one VP per layer, you could drag a right to left selection box over them and see how many layers get blue dots next to their names.

This is what I do for stacked viewports and I find it works well. You can say you invented it if you like. :wink: You can turn layers on and off or you can lock them. I think with practice, you’ll find it isn’t really as awkward as it seems. Keep the Layers inspector open so you can quickly switch layer states and which one is active.

You could split the LO project into multiple files but then you need to make sure you open each one and go through it when you need to make changes. I think managing multiple LO files would be more difficult and prone to error than managing a few layers. My suggestion would be to use layer names that can apply to more than one stack of viewports. It might be that you could also change what you are showing in your scenes in SketchUp to allow you to get away with fewer layers in LayOut.


#3

Hi DaveR–thanks a lot for the feedback/affirmations. I think I just need to flounder around for a while longer in LO to get comfortable with it. I also find that there seems to be noticeable lag time when trying to window around VPs, re-rendering VPs, etc. I probably need to twiddle with settings to optimize…


#4

Those are likely related to the graphics card and it’s drivers. You should make sure that the drivers are up to date, the card is set to handle SketchUp by default and so on.

Rendering in Hybrid and Vector can be slower than Raster anyway so it’s better to delay setting those slow render modes until you’re ready for output. Also consider limiting what is shown in the model space in sketchUp. Not just what shows in the view but in the entire space. There’s generally little need to display content that is behind the camera position or outside its field a view. You’ll find rendering goes faster if you don’t have those things shown in SketchUp.

As an example, I create highly detailed furniture models for construction plans. When creating the scenes that will be used for the viewports in LO, I turn off the layers for the parts that can’t seen.

In the 3/4 view of this low boy, the layers for the back and the internal parts are turned off. In the front elevation view, even the sides and rear legs are not shown.

You can probably find your own strategies for reducing the amount of stuff that is being shown and has to be rendered.


#5

The jagginess also depends on the complexity of your model.

If you follow Dave’s advice (pretty much standar practice) and distribute a VP per layer remember to stack layers from bottom up as that is the draworder in LO.

To solve the jagginess what you can do to speed things up considerably is to lock VP’s Layers. It’s of course also very useful to make sure your careful work with viewports isn’t ruined by accident.


#6

[quote]It seems really cumbersome to “manage” viewports in LO. How can you tell at a glance (a) how many viewports you have on a page; (b) what order they’re stacked in? Is there a way to “turn on” the boundary of a viewport to facilitate grabbing it? How do you maneuver through viewports if you have 2, 3, 4, or more VPs all of the same size, all stacked on top of each other? I hit on the idea (not original I’m sure) of creating different layers for each VP (e.g., “site-exist-heavy”, “plan01-new-light”) and that seems to help (turn them off or on), but it still seems really awkward.
[/quote]

Here’s what I’m doing as a start to manage several viewports on the same layer. I have grouped the viewport with the nametag. I can ID the SU scene and grab it individually. But, cannot tell what the front to back arrangement is without experimenting.
One big limitation is that AFAIK a LO group cannot have items on different layers within it. If it could, then one could create these sort of nametags for many items on the screen/ page, then turn off the nametag layer for printing /presentation. (Maybe I’m mistaken).
The separate layers (as suggested) would be a way to manage, but without a better layer manager, it’s cumbersome.


#7

This is a new feature in LayOut 2016.


#8

Hi CarlMDB–that’s ingenious! If I’m understanding your comment, you create little nametag symbols and attach them to each viewport, and put them on a separate layer that can be turned off when printing (pwe jespizua’s follow-up comment)? Perhaps to ID them by layer, you could just add a character at the end of each nametag label, like “-0”, “-1” etc.?


#9

CarlMDB doesn’t have an issue with printing as the tags are out of printing area.

I like to have all my viewports exactly the same size because if I change scales they will juxtapose right.

If you want to use this tag system you can tag each viewport in different places instead of tagging all of them at the same corner.

That will allow you to identify them and still have them the same size.


#10

I am using LO2015, so I don’t have the multi layer group available. I created the offset view ports because I wanted to select the viewport without selecting the tag ( due to the layer management limitation). I created the layer “Import Organization” to put the tags on.

With group:layer control (in LO2016: jespizua) it will be easy. I hadn’t thought of tacking the leader tags on in a vertical list, should be a better way to go. This is why it’s good to talk with people and socialize, the group is smarter than the individual.

However, I now have the Sonder book on the way, so will be ascending to another level shortly. I believe it has something to do with mind control…


#11

You’ll be moving up so high, you’ll need supplemental oxygen. :wink:


#12

Included in the package price, right?


#13

It’s in the box. Don’t let it run out on your shoes. :wink:


#14

I was wondering how you download oxygen…


#15

Download oxygen with STEAM…

…comes with bonus water…


#16

You’re working for Sketchup and Steam? I heard it’s a powerful service, I only used it for Half my Life2…


#17

So, i had this same problem, how to select one of multiple stacked viewports.

As posted above, i have put them on separate layers. This way, i can see which viewport is selected, but still, to select one consistently, i had no solution for that.

Now i found out:
In the layer-manager’s context menu for each layer, there’s an option “Select Entities” which will select everything on that layer… so, here we go, that’s how i do it now.

Or, is there an even cleverer way?