VisualArq vs Layout

Does anyone have experience with SU Layout? Can you give me an assessment of the strength and weaknesses of both? Both seem at a glance capable of great output but the question really is - How many hoops do you have to jump through to get there?
Thanks. Kris

Some input - take with a grain of salt as I’m not a heavy user of either, Layout more than VisualArq.

Very much apples and oranges. VisualArq is a plugin that organizes architectural data (floors, slabs, doors, etc.) in a similar fashion to Revit. Conversely, Layout is kind of a graphics arm of SketchUp. As far as graphical capability Layout has some distinct advantages over Rhino when it comes to output - primarily because it can generate perspective views as vectors (Rhino can only give you raster images) or as ‘hybrid’ which gives you profiles as vectors and fills as raster. But if you’re looking for a program that will give you control over floor heights, section planes and other architectural elements, Layout won’t help you at all.

Hope that helps in some way.

Thanks for your comments. How about ease of use with respect to updating scenes/views and control of line weights? Its seems all programs have great things about them and also things that make you wonder if the programmers ever tested producing real world output. Its always a question of what are the net advantages.

I am not familiar enough with VisualArq to comment (although I hope someone who knows the program will chime in).

Layout is a different program than SketchUp. It’s not like Rhino where you’re viewing the model / scene through a viewport . Layout is linked to SketchUp and you can set it to automatically update as the SketchUp model changes but most users choose not to do that because it slows the program down. Essentially you set up ‘scenes’ in SketchUp and then open them in Layout. When you make a change to the model in SketchUp you update the scene manually in Layout (by right clicking and choosing Update Reference). You have three types of output - raster, vector and hybrid (hybrid is raster with vector profiles). You can expand your graphic range in Layout by exploding the model - then you have a image that is no longer linked to the SketchUp model and cannot be updated but it’s an image that can be manipulated in many ways, just as though you were working in a graphics program.

Dimensions and annotations kind of suck in Layout.

Download the demo and try it out. I’m not sure ease of use would be at the top of the list. I use it when I need a clean, sharp edged vector image which I can’t get out of Rhino. V6?

I appreciate your comments. I am partly familiar with Layout and some of it’s limitations. I use SketchUp as part of my regular workflow but am exploring Rhino as a replacement (because of it’s ability to use Sat files). I have the VisualArq demo now and will work through it. With regard to the VisualArq tutorials, there is a lack of detail on a lot of important stuff. I was hoping to get some comments on how easy or not, VisualArq was like to work with to produce actual construction document output. Line weights, hatching, sections/scenes, text, graphics…the ease of use handling of these is important. Any further comments would be a help. Thanks.

If you could report back once you’ve gotten more familiar with VisualArq, that would be appreciated. I had the demo but then had to go away and got snowed under with work and never quite got a sense of it.

I understand how it organizes architectural data but that isn’t important to me (I’m in retail display). What I would like to know is if it improves on Rhino’s output capabilities - can it generate perspective vector images? As you’ve listed above - is there better control of line weights and fills, annotations, etc.?

VisualARQ generates 2D drawings (Floor plans, sections, elevations, opening elevations, etc.) from a 3D model in Rhino. The 2D lines of these drawings have the same attributes (line weights, colors, layers, etc) of the 3D geometry they represent. Since the 1.8 version, it is possible to assign section attributes to Rhino geometry as well. You can watch this feature in this video:
When it comes to add annotations, dimensions, texts, etc… on these drawings, you can use the Rhino drafting tools.
In Rhino’s Page Layout you can decide either to display per Detail view, the 3D model sectioned from a specific Level, or that Level created as a 2D Plan View. The advantage of showing the 2D Plan view is that you will be able to print it as vector output. This video also shows you how to organize the drawings in page layouts:
I hope this brings some clarification on this topic with regard to VisualARQ.