Visual ARQ 3 WIP - Has anyone tried out the new sections yet?

I’ve only just tried out R8 and still have to put more time in. I’m curious if anyone’s tested out the new section tools yet.

I will probably get on the VARQ 3 test list but I won’t have time for that until later in the week. So I’m just seeing if I can get a head start.


I don’t know if I understood you correctly, but do you already have access to the WIP version of VisualARQ 3?

Basically just trying to get a head start before I do get access (I don’t have access yet). And also it can save a lot of time hearing other people’s methods/experiences opposed to starting with zero knowledge.

Sometime within the next few weeks I’ll probably look into it.

I’ve played with the new section tools a little…
Basically, it’s great that McNeel came forth with section styles and tools after a long wait, no doubt about it.
Some findings:

  • Placing a Clipping Section means placing a clipping plane, as an object. It’s not like placing a VisualArq section line point by point. Also, a Clipping Section cannot have jogs, like in VA. However, multiple Clipping Sections can be placed.

  • To get an actual 2D projection of the Clipping Section, a ‘Clipping Section Drawing’ has to be created (second icon in the toolbar). It can be roughly compared to vaPlan/SectionView, but it is not a block (or a group), but a bunch of lines on locked layers. As such, the Clipping Drawing cannot be selected and moved or deleted (vaPlan/SectionViews can, because they are blocks).

  • When the Clipping Section is moved, it’s Clipping Drawings will update automatically (after mouse up). Nice.
    But here’s a problem:
    The initial location of the Clipping Drawing is remembered - the bottom left corner of it’s bounding box, actually. Now, when the Clipping Drawing is seen through a Detail in a Layout, maybe annotated, with 2d graphics on top of the Detail view, and then the 3D model is changed in a way that the bounding box is exceeded, the Clipping Drawing will adapt and probably move, and all the annotations become offset/wrongly placed (because the bouding box has grown, and the bottom left corner is locked in place). See here in the main section tools thread.
    Rajaa Issa is aware of the problem, and said she’s looking into a fix.

  • The Clipping Drawing will show correct line widths, and clipping hatches. It does not yet show elevation hatches (like colors of unclipped objects), much less projected textures (which Sketchup Layout can, btw.)

  • I for my part am not too happy with the approach that 2D projections (Clipping Drawings) have to be placed somewhere in model space. They get in the way, and I don’t want to be forced to sort out good positions for them. They just clutter 3D space. Clipping Sections will even clip their own Clipping Drawings…

If you wonder where the 2D projection should then be placed instead of model space… so am I!
In this post, I try to convey the idea of a new, dedicated 2D space between model and layout space, which would clean up the workflow substantially, imo.

Curious about what you will say about section tools…


Hi Eugen! Nice to hear your take!

I’ve actually already used the integrated section tools in R8. Above in my post I refer to the “new section tools” which I think confuses things a little (sorry about that).

My main curiosity is to hear people’s takes on VARQ 3’s new section tools (VA3 still being WIP): That being any improvements over VA2. Setting up the various styles in VA2 is a little cumbersome and unintuitive. But once they were set up they worked good. With projection hatches I think it will be even better in R8. The included section styles in out-of-the-box R8 work beautifully though.

With a faster computer and vector output, I realize I might simply be able to annotate in paper space. If R8’s layouts are indeed faster I might even be able to do it with my current computer :smiley: . That would allow me to ditch the 2D linework altogether. I’m a bit of a luddite with respect to my reluctance to ditch model-space annotating. As of now however I have a few good reasons for sticking with my modelspace based annotating.

I see. Are there any? Can’t find much on the VA roadmap page.

However, I’m a bit concerned that VA sections and R8 sections don’t play well together. VA has it’s own Section Attributes, as we know, and now there’s Rhino’s Section Styles. Bit of a conundrum. But let’s look at VA3 first, maybe something has changed.

I recall that they were working on projection hatches… But after reviewing the road map I don’t see much relating to sections.

But ya… I think the future would be utilizing a “live” section somehow. One of the only reasons I’m not doing that right now is referencing grids and elevations. If I place the linework at it’s respective elevation in mode space, I can use elevation markers with attributes.

While I’m working away at something else I’ve been pondering ways to pull this off… Which I guess is why I’m asking around and seeing who’s tried out some of VARQ’s new stuff :slight_smile: .

The perfect solution would be to have your grids and elevations as “objects” in model space but be able to “tag” them in paperspace. It’s not that far-fetched but doesn’t quite exist yet.

The basic question where to best put 2d extractions/annotations remains. Model or layout space?
Some time ago a McNeel dev definitely said, the recommended workflow for annotations is layout space.
Now the new section tools produce 2d in model space… (Plus the aforementioned flaw that the 2d section does not even stay in place, to allow for decent annotation etc ).
There isn’t even consensus among McNeel itself. Reason is imo that the current oldschool CAD approach (model/layout) is just not working well enough. It can’t

VisualArq tries to deliver both. VaPlanView in model space, plus working on top of a Detail with hidden mode, in a layout.

@Eugen thanks for your comparison analysis of Rhino8 new section tools vs VA section tools. Very enlightening.
@keithscadservices there aren’t many new features regarding section tools in VisualARQ 3.

We are aware that now there will be duplicated features with the Rhino 8 section styles, and this can bring some confusion for new and existing users. We are still discussing how to deal with that. We will probably synchronize VA section attributes with Rhino section styles, or use the Rhino section styles directly. In any case, we will still keep the VisualARQ section attributes for Rhino 7 users, since VisualARQ 3 will still work in Rhino 7.

I wish I could say a different thing, but projection hatches won’t be included in VisualARQ 3. You can use some of the resources on food4Rhino as a workaround for walls and slabs:

We push our development towards producing all the documentation in the layout space. That means, more of producing the 2D drawings from the real-time model views (in section, plan, elevation, etc… views) in layout space with the Hidden display mode, and less placing tons of extra 2D drawings in the model space, which may get outdated and unsynchronized with the 3D model.

We won’t kill the 2D plan/section view tools, because we believe that people can find them useful, but with the new feature of exporting layouts to dwg, those 2D plan/section views will be less relevant.


Hi Eugen -

Just curious, why do you insist on using that oldschool ACAD approach?

Hello! That’s a misunderstanding. With ‘oldschool cad approach’ I mean this Autocad-like approach with a model and a layout/paper space. A concept of the early 90ies (or 80ies?), where there was no 3d in cad, or the issue of (semi-)automatic 2d extractions from 3d.
I do not insist on this at all!
I just don’t see how a satisfying and clean workflow can be achieved on this basis (Please read above, also Francesc’s comment).

I work also with Archicad (did some Revit, too). These apps have of course a very different approach to layouting/documentation, which I don’t advertise 1:1 - except the fact that some new pure 2d drawing space (with no borders like in a layout) would solve this workflow problem in Rhino.
2d extractions would land in this hypothetical workspace, for annotation/graphics etc., then this 2d view would be placed in layouts,.with a border (similar to Archicad, which is very good in this discipline).
Otherwise we happily continue to clutter model space with 2d content, side-by-side, like in the old days.
Or do I miss something? What’s the official word on this?
Hope this makes sense.

I’m throwing this out for debate. I think we all can agree that documentation/layouting is not particularly consistent in Rhino, is it.

Thanks for reading!

Hi Eugen -

Simply using views and clipping planes and setting up details on layouts to those views and using a technical display mode to generate the drawings.
I personally think it makes sense to highlight and provide feedback about where this workflow hangs.

Resources are limited and asking for fixes or new features in one area is likely to slow down development in a different area… Which is why I was trying to figure out how invested you are in the ACAD way.

If I combined everything I like about the new section styles with VA’s existing stuff we’d have a near perfect solution! I know it’s not that easy though.

Maybe it doesn’t affect anything, but if VA2 won’t work in R8, is there anything gained/lost by having VA3 work in R7? I’m over my head when I’m asking this but doesn’t that make for extra problem solving on your end?

The VA plans and sections do a good job of keeping things synchronized. I just found them to be a little hard to manage. For example, when you create a plan and it takes linework or objects with it that you don’t want. Managing layers became a pain, but, as long as a person comes up with a system its not so bad.
VA’s hidden view is awesome but resource heavy (I’m on an old-ish laptop with a GTX1650Ti 4GB, so not super-slow). It also doesn’t like modifications.
Using the 2D linework allows the greatest amount of flexibility. I can shut off layers and annotate lag free on the 2D drawings. But like you mentioned, managing all those views in model space does get hard to manage.


Hi Wim. It might be me who’s in fact the troglodyte in that respect. And there’s multiple good reasons why I do it:

  • Performance → I get lots of lag in layout space (but there are workarounds).

  • Presentation → I’ve yet to find a decent way to show hidden lines in section views. The only way I’ve come up with so far is to stack 2D section views on top of one another. For example, I will create a clipping plane or VA section where I want the actual cut, but then create another section where I want my hidden lines to show.

  • Flexibility → When I stack the 2D linework I can dictate the appearance better. In VARQ for example, I can either have a solid hatch or a pattern but not both… but if I stack two vaSections… (and it doesn’t really take that long to do if you have a process).

  • Elevation Marks and Grid Lines → If I annotate in model space I can create live (or almost live) elevation marks. And it’s easier to manage grid locations. I know that it’s not far off to have something that manages this for us in paper space but as of now it doesn’t exist. Note that mixing annotations between model and layout is the worst of the worst as far as approaches go.

  • Moving stuff around in layouts → If you have to re-arrange a layout and you have stuff other than just the viewports its common for something to go sideways.

  • Navigation → In model space I can have all my plans, sections, related views close together. This is more of an advantage on a newer project opposed to an older project. I can navigate through my model space (if I’ve kept things organized) much faster than someone can navigate through a Revit project. Note that this might not apply to larger projects.

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Rhino 8’s clipping planes have a “depth” option which brings it very close to what I need. Previously, I was either using two clipping planes, or two vaSections to achieve that:

I still need to play around with R8 some more to see what I can/can’t do.

This is a Revit experiment from recently. I’m getting a good result (and luckily I seem to have retained my Revit ability) but the amount of hassle and compromise encountered helped me determine that my pursuit of using Rhino/VARQ is well worth the effort:

I didn’t save that much time in Revit. And certain parts of the model either took way too long, or aren’t how I want them modelled. So even if I spend a little extra time on a Rhino/VARQ section it’s worth it.

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Exporting the layout to DWG is the hang. (Exporting to PDF I do regularly)
Coplanners ask for DWG export. It’s still like that, sadly.
The DWG exporter should ideally take what is seen in a layout and write a DWG from it that shows it all in Autocad’s (or similar) model(!) Space. With working/editable text, blocks, annotations…
With correct/controllable draw order.

I experimented with the Rhino8 sections and found them to be less useful than VARQ2 sections for the same reasons as @Eugen. But I also am currently using the “CAD” style workflow like you, @keithscadservices since VARQ2 doesn’t quite have the capabilities to capitalize on the efficiencies of a full layout/model drafting workflow.

Once VARQ3 is out, I’m hoping to have a complete discussion on what hurdles still exist for efficient modeling and drafting, from schematic through CDs. But no use until we see the update, since I think we’ll be able to solve a good chunk of them with the new features of VARQ3 and Rhino8.