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  • Marionette Tutorials

    PVA - Jim

    Marionette is a brand new design workflow tool for Vectorworks. It is the first and only cross-platform graphical scripting (or “visual programming”) environment available in a BIM authoring software for the AEC, Entertainment and Landscape industries. It enables a user with few or no programming knowledge and skills to create custom application algorithms to explore designs, build interactive objects and streamline complex workflows that may also include functions of the operating system and internet. 

    Graphical scripting will play a significant role in the workflows of the future. These tools, when built into an intelligent information modeling application such as Vectorworks software, present designers with unlimited opportunities to generate, define, build, and explore form and function throughout the design process.

    This series of video tutorials will introduce you to the basics of working with Marionette and walk you through the basics. Many of these videos come with an example file to work from, the associated file for each video should be used by anyone following along with the tutorials, links for each can be found below each chapter:

    You may want to have Vectorworks and the tutorials up on screen at the same time to make comparing the guide to your own file easier. This can be done whether by fitting both to either side of one screen, or by viewing the tutorials on a separate laptop, tablet or mobile device. 

    For even more information, visit the Vectorworks Developer Wiki section on Marionette.

    Part 1 - Nodes and Connections:  



    Part 1 Exercise File


    Part 2 - Math and Wrappers:



    Part 2 Exercise File

    Part 3 - Creating Multiple Objects:



    Part 3 Exercise File


    Part 4 - Object Nodes:



    Part 4 Exercise File


    Part 5 - Manipulating Geometry:



    Part 5 Exercise File


    Part 6 - Modifying Existing Networks:



    Part 6 Exercise File

    Edited by JimW

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    User Feedback

    I have used Vectorworks for 2D, 3D and BIM for many years, and therefore would prefer to use Marionette ahead of grasshopper.

    I have watched all these tutorials and would like to investigate further. 


    I would like to create a building skin the contains the optimum number of holes to provide natural lighting into the building. I have the volume of the building in a simple 3d shape. I would like to simulate sunlight paths to show the amount of natural light entering into the building at any given time of year. Is this a capability of Vectorworks Marionette?


    Edited by y6Lu
    grammatical correction
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    do you want to calculate the exact lux-amount (or what whatever unit you use for that) that comes into the building? 

    Maybe you can share more details and pictures of what you are planing that we can get a better idea of it.



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    I've taken a couple of courses in logic and programming, and I'm kind of new to vectorworks, but I see two possible routes here.

    The first is putting in a minimum and maximum Lux value, a geo-reference and position data for where the sunlight would come from (which would require you to set up a light source that would serve as the sun), select a general shape\ratio of sizes of sides\perimeter for the holes (thickness could come from the wall object), you'll also need to know how far from the edges the holes need to sit, and how far apart you want them;  and set up two layers with both the maximum and minimum number of holes based on that info.

    Another way is to give it how many holes with all pertinent sizing, etc, and getting back a LUX value in the room, which is just a light meter in different corners.  You'd still need many of the components from above.


    Here's what I would do.... ...Seating charts are already built into Vectorworks.  You can use that tool with special object you create (a 3d shape of your holes), and then set the seat counts to change the number of holes per row, and set the vertical distance to change the number of columns.  You'd have to create the LEG and SEAT marks in your shape for VW to use, but it would give you a way to populate the surface instantly, and ctrl\command +Z to go back and do over.  You'd have to get the data from one hole first, placed in different random areas, by subtracting it from your wall, then measuring the light from it, to give you an idea of how big it would have to be to get the right amount of light at it's outer falloff, which should be about 1\3 to 1\2 of your LUX needs for lighting in the darkest part of the room.  You'll also need to know what those needs are for how bright it should be.  Measure where the extreme falloff begins from the center of the beam of light, and set your distance between seats to match that or just a little more than that by up to 4' for every 10ft of ceiling height.  You'll have to create a 2d planar shape that matches your ceiling or wall shape so you can create the seating chart, but once you do, you can align and ungroup the seats, then subtract each one from the wall.  Just remember that you'll have to align the plane of the seats on your surface in 3d, so alignment options would be useful to you for align Left\right\center, top\bottom\middle, and you may have to use the rotate tool.  

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