OK, I feel as if it’s time for a “Point, Counterpoint” session here regarding this headache that is Rotating Your View In A Viewport I’m at home, so there will be no fancy pictures or illustrations in this post. Most of you are smart enough to follow written directions, so follow along and enjoy.
Now, a disclaimer. Disclaimers are important because they can keep people from getting the wrong impression about the tone of a post. Are you ready for the disclaimer? OK, good, now read carefully:
I am in no way discrediting Dana’s use of the DVIEW twist. It works for her. It gives her confidence. It is not a wrong way, but one way of many ways. I am sharing with you MY way. My way is just that: MY WAY. If you don’t like it, go back to your way. I don’t really care. Just like Dana’s proven the use of DVIEW, I’ve proven the appropriate use of rotating my UCS. It works, plain and simple, and if you follow some VERY BASIC RULES (caps lock on because, really, this is important, people), you too can enjoy success with rotating your UCS. Now, on with the show.
First, an explanation of why I don’t use DVIEW – very simply put, I didn’t like to have to guess my rotation angle. Now, the ALIGNSPACE command (which I’ve used once or twice, many years ago) gives me the flexibility to make it work, much like the method I’m about to show you.
I like to rotate my UCS and align it to an object. Now, I know what you’re saying, because I read it down below: “But Civil 3D objects work in WCS.” True, but I follow one very simple rule, the most important rule that you’ll ever have to know when rotating the UCS: DO NOT ROTATE THE UCS IN MODEL SPACE. This really bears repeating: DO NOT ROTATE THE UCS IN MODEL SPACE. Know why? Because, and I quote “Civil 3D objects work in the WCS.”
See, model space is where you do your design. It’s where you work. It’s where your Civil 3D project lives and breathes. We don’t rotate the view or the UCS in model space, because that really hoses our design process. See, North is always up in Civil 3D. If we change that, then the world goes a little crazy. However, there’s this little thing called paper space. Paper space is your printed document, your piece of paper, your final “here’s what I designed, now build it” tool. Paper space is how we set up how our sheet looks. It is a window into model space. That window is drawn in a layout, and looks into the real world. Now, since it’s a window, we can rotate it, scale it, whatever we need to do with it to make it look all pretty on the paper. Because that’s what it’s really all about, right? All the advanced design software in the world is as useless as a screen door on a submarine if we can’t convey that design intent to a sheet of paper.
So, since Paper Space is my plot, I can change whatever I want there. It doesn’t have to affect ANYTHING done in my model. I don’t import points through my layout, I don’t edit alignments in my layout, I don’t create parcels in my layout, I don’t do ANYTHING that will require the use of any coordinate system in my layout. Why? Because that’s my sheet of paper. I do all that other stuff in model space where north is always up and the UCS is always set to WORLD. Remember what I said above? I’ll repeat it once again since it’s so important: DO NOT ROTATE THE UCS IN MODEL SPACE.
So, with all this background as to WHY I’m doing something, here’s the HOW.
1) Create a layout. Insert your title block, do whatever you have to do with it.
2) Create a viewport. Any size, any shape, this is your masterpiece, do what you need to with it.
3) Figure out how you want to rotate your view to fit on the paper. This is pretty important.
4) Activate your viewport (make it active so you can go into model space).
5) Draw a short line that mimics the alignment of the view. For example, if I want to rotate my view 90Â°, I’m going to draw a line running up and down the paper.
6) At the command line, type UCS. Hit ENTER.
7) At the command line, type OBJ. Hit ENTER.
8) Pick the line that you just drew.
9) At the command line, type PLAN. Hit ENTER.
10) At the command line, hit ENTER once again to accept the default, which is current UCS.
11) Your view will now be rotated. Set your scale appropriately. DON’T FORGET TO REGEN.
12) Deactivate the viewport. Better yet, deactivate it and lock it. (There’s a debate for another day…locked vs. unlocked viewports.)
13) Enjoy your newly rotated view.
Go back to model space now. See if your drawing is rotated. It isn’t. I haven’t changed one thing in the model. Nothing is affected. If I give my drawing to an architect or AutoCAD user, the model is still correct. So, what’s so hard or dangerous about that?