Wishlist: Plan/Sections Views Print Colour by distance from cut Plane

When drawing Plan or Section Views, Depth is a useful tool to cleanup the drawings but it is too abrupt (things from one point just disappear, and you lose contact with the levels below or geometry at the back, in sextions).

What we propose is setting the Print/Display Color of sectioned/projected geometry, according to distance from Cut Plane, in Section or Plan Views.

This can be achieved by letting the user select a “fade” colour (ie. white, black, or other, depending on use), to which the original colour of the object will fade, or a new gradient map will be created and plot colours (or display colours) will be assigned to.

Two fade distance options should also be available:

  1. Fade Start Distance
  2. Fade End Distance

plus 3. Fade Start Colour (select from Rhino Palette popup, or Objects Colour) and 4. Fade End Colour.

Colour Calculations using a fade colour should be easy and will provide a splendid outcome.

This could even apply to Line Weight, by setting a user defined Weight reducing factor, ie. 0.5 would mean reduce line thickness from 0.3mm to 0.15mm when fade end distance is reached.

All the above could apply in Viewport Level (Live, according to selected Level) or only within placed Section/Plan Views (according to the level selected in section/plan view properties).

Keep up the good work VisualARQ team.


Hi @flatform thanks for this feature request! we had it already in our wish list, but all these details you provide are very useful. I hope we can work on it someday. I’ll keep you posted.

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Thanks for considering. I provide the .gh that i prepared yesterday to test functionality, which works somewhat ok (yet very slow).

It provides two methods of elevation calculation, one by Bounding Boxing per Element and Object Volume Centroid and another by Object Level, since i saw that VA somewhat assigns objects correctly (even breps). For some reason, Bounding Boxes were a bit more accurate, maybe because some walls were extending to more floors. Ideally i would not take the centroid but the top level of the bounding box, just to be on the safe side, which is now accomplish by the Fade Start Distance set a bit “lower”.

This is the reason that walls assigned to a lower level but extend above the cut plane are rendered faded, while they should be black. So calculating based on the top most point of an object is ideal.

For slanted objects, that is a conversation. Since gradient lines are very niche and not support in many software, i have used splitting the curve into multiple lines and colouring the individual lines per Z elevation in the past. Works really well, especially if the user can selected ie. the max height of splitting, like when creating Contour Sections. This could be done only for non planar curves but would require extracting the curves in 3D space first, then colouring them (you know this technical stuff way better and there must be a less cpu expensive solution).

Print_Color_By_Distance_From_Cut_Plane.gh (39.9 KB)

In the script above, only Elevation is used and Cut Level is ignored for simplicity. It would make a very small difference in most cases, excluding very tall levels, so it could be taken into account with an on/off switch.

Fade Start colour is important too, because you want the first objects to change colour (fade) abruptly, so the viewer can understand that “far” is starting, and then fades gradually. In buildings with many floors and varying floor plan geometry, it creates a very informative and pleasing result. Sections will not work with the specific script but i guess it would be easy to convert it to normal to cut plane instead of Z based.

Hope you find something useful in the script.

Working on it arose the questions below:

  1. How can we make an automated dropdown list of ie. Building Levels? (now it is done through indexing, it would be nice to have it automagically)

  2. How can we bake a plan view through scripting (now we bake from right click/bake, Human plugin bake does not seem to work)

  3. VA Geometry pipeline should be able to list Buildings and Levels?

Closing here, keep up the good work.