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Brian Lehmer

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Everything posted by Brian Lehmer

  1. It may be the difference between Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader. Most printing companies are probably using the paid for Acrobat. Most end users have only the free Reader. Anyone else having issues with Adobe Acrobat in particular? I am. I use Adobe CS3 on the same computer that I run Vectorworks. When I export a PDF from Vectorworks and view it in Acrobat it crashes 9 times out of 10. Turning layer and class export on or off makes no difference for me. Same PDF file opened in Reader works fine.
  2. Mike and Ozzie, Thanks for posting those great resources. I'll take a closer look at both of those options when I get a chance. I get by right now without true 3D ornamentals by adding them post render. These could make getting the job done that much easier.
  3. Thom, 3D ornamental grasses are hard to find, especially if you are looking for something specific. Do you have any specific grasses you are looking for? Basic ornamental grasses aren't too difficult to model, you can find some examples here. You would need to buy and download the 3ds file format. In my opinion though that kind of ornamental grass isn't worth paying for unless you are in a bind with no time to create your own. A broad selection of the types of ornamental grasses that I see landscape architects and designers spec is probably going to be very hard to find in a format that works in VW (or other programs for that matter). I would find endless uses for a decent set of ornamental grasses if I could find the right package. If I had the time I'd try to model a set.
  4. Mike, Agreed. I do model grass very frequently and find it to be polygon intensive. The scene I posted above took about 45 minutes to render the full image at 1620 x 1188 pixels, but it took about 180 hours to model and texture. The grass took about 30 minutes to set up. So, for the extra effect it was worth it. That scene had about 14,000,000 polygons in it with the grass contributing just under 1,000,000 of those. Here's a quick stab at it in VW: (Created in VW2010, Here is a VW2009 version also - no idea if this work in 2009.)
  5. Thanks Ray. I am curious now how VW will handle high poly count 3D and this might be a nice chance to benchmark it against what I have been using. I bought VW for 2D work with the hope that I would get some significant 3D mileage out of it as well.
  6. A 3D grass model can be rendered in a 32 bit application, but I'm too new to VW to know how well it would work in this app. I model my grass when I can get a better visual effect from the effort. The preferred method that is used for this (when you see it) is to use hair and fur modifiers. However that doesn't afford me the level of control I like for "instant" analysis of lighting and shadows, and obviously VW isn't built for that. So... The method I've used is to model it from tubes created from hair settings. The resulting 3D model can be saved and exported and then imported into VW I'm sure. I'm curious how difficult such a model would be to set up in Vectorworks as a useful 3D symbol. With the right amount of overlapping spacing a properly sized and shaped symbol might work. I space my 3D blades of grass relatively far apart and texture the underlying surface so as to fill in the gaps. Using a simplified 3D model such as planar objects for this would probably be the way to go. I haven't worked at all in 3D in VW yet -- I'm not sure how it handles 3D from a memory standpoint. If complex models are doable without a lot of trouble then this should be possible. I may try this when I get a chance, especially if there is any serious interest.
  7. For a work around I am going to manually calc values and enter my numbers as text. This isn't great, but I only have a few values that would need calculating in the near term. I have some grand visions of a dynamic worksheet that pulls every value that it can from my drawing, but that could be in the works for a while. Doing the text formatting wasn't as simple as I thought for what appears to be a related glitch. The issue here: I couldn't get my numbers to display as text by using the 'Text' format option or by using quotes. To get these numbers to 'register' in my worksheets as text I am going to use the 'General' format (in the Number tab) and preface each entry with a 'SPACE'. Using this method I can at least get my numbers to fit in the worksheet and graphic. (Incidently, printing a hard copy from inside the worksheet editor reveals odd formatting anomalies such as an unspecified font and incorrect justification.) I've submitted a bug report.
  8. Thanks for confirming. Is there an official way to forward bug reports to VW dev? I'll look into possible work-arounds. Smaller text is out. Wider columns might work, but I'd have to get creative to make 'X' checkboxes. Vertical space is an issue, but if it wasn't I would just stack them and create a set of 2 or 3 columns formatted at the left or right hand side just for those checkboxes. I'll have to give this some thought. I appreciate your input.
  9. I was following the help documentation using the "'SN_' prefix" for inserting the current sheet number into my record set for my title block -- to no avail. Changing it to match the 'syntax' -- if you will -- of the current sheet tite ('_SD' suffix) seemed to do the trick. That is, I used an '_SN' suffix to get it to work.
  10. I am creating a worksheet to place as a graphic spec sheet in my drawing template. Numbers in merged cells are not dispaying in the graphic when they are too large for the "unmerged size" of the single adress cell they are in. That's a rather complex sounding explanation when I read it, but I can't say it any simpler for the moment. Adjusting the address cell disproportionately wider fixes this problem, but that isn't an option for me. I get the overflow "###" in my graphic when I have numbers with 2 or more digits. Single digit numbers will show up in the graphic. The merged cells in the worksheet are large enough to show all of the digits in the numbers I need to work with... except for the "Gallons" calculation cell. Although a 5 or 6 digit number should fit easily, it doesn't. (I say "should fit" because I can fit a 5 digit number in a smaller merged cell group with 'Text' formatting.) My examples below are screenshot composites with red boxes around the worksheet merged cell groups in question, and a blue box around an inset screenshot from the resulting graphic on the drawing.
  11. Yes I had noticed the ability to export classes and layers as PDF layers, which is very nice to say the least. That could be a viable option with some adjustment. The issue I had with it during testing was that I wanted to have all of my landscaping objects in one class, yet distinguish between existing and new landscaping using layers so that I could for example, turn all landscaping off, yet also retain the option to gray out the existing landscaping or show only new landscaping as the case required. The scale problems that I have had occured with the scaling options disabled in the PDF viewer which is why I specifically mentioned those settings as being an aside issue -- however you bring up an important point, which is that the person printing may not be aware of those settings or forget to disable them. If in fact no one is having scale issues producing PDF files from VectorWorks than using PDF seems like it could be a very effective interim solution. I'm Looking forward to making the switch. Should be next week. Thanks for the reply.
  12. I Should have VW 2010 on Monday and my VW 2009 trial is expired so I can't test this out yet. Is the 'Arc by Tangent' a new tool in 2010? I don't recall seeing it before, but if it was there I'm sure I tried it without success initially. I'll take a closer look next week. Thanks,
  13. Interesting. I have used both pdf995 and Adobe® PDF printer with scale issues. This may be due to the way the other CAD software handled printing, but I never had any scale issues when printing to a paper printer. I like pdf995, it's a nice tool. Ultimately I'd like to send my client the VW CAD files so that they can work with layer/class visibilities and interact with drawing items to create their own variations on the fly. Based on your experience it sounds like PDF will do fine in the meantime. Thanks,
  14. The PDF export option will probably be fine in the short term. My demo of VW 2009 included a couple of PDF exports. The samples I created printed fine. Aside from incorrect PDF viewer printing options have you ever had any issues with scale when printing an exported PDF file? I have had inconsistent scale issues when creating PDF files from other CAD software without an export option by using a PDF printer. Perhaps VW's PDF export writes a better PDF file? Thanks for the response.
  15. I've ordered VW2010 and will need to send my files to my client for printing. Is the 2010 Viewer available yet? If so were can it be downloaded? If not, when is it expected to become available?
  16. I've had a little difficulty working with arcs. Specifically creating arcs tangent to arcs. Using the poly tool I can get this done, but if I want to draw tangent arcs end-to-end or from a position on an arc using separate arc segments I find the tangent snap unpredictable. Is there a way to control tangency origin / arc direction? Very frequently my arc start point will snap tangent only to go the wrong way when trying to complete the new arc: I'm new to VectorWorks, and I have only worked with the VW2009 demo for about 9 hours to this point. As an aside, I've found VectorWorks to be very easy to learn and quite capable. I've ordered VW 2010. Any advice on best method to create these arcs is appreciated.
  17. Thanks for the reply and tip.
  18. I am fairly confident that I am going to be purchasing Vectorworks 2009 - after using the demo I think it will fit my needs well. I am still running the demo version of the software. With it I created a title block and attached a Record Format to it with 29 data fields. (The help documentation was excellent.) I did not format the fields to use with Issue Manager and opted to use the VW Fundamentals compatible format. When invoking the 'Edit Title Block' utility from the 'Object Info pallet' on the 'Shapes' tab I only get 28 of my 29 Fields for editing however. I can't seem to find any information regarding a 28 field limit. Is this limit restricted to the demo version of VW2009 or is this 28 field limit a result of something else?
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