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James Russell

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About James Russell

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    Set & Lighting Designer
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    Innovative Technology & Creative Design
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  1. James Russell

    VW2019 - Crash on Save (Everytime)

    @Jim Wilson thanks for the reply. I checked their paths, nothing foreign there - a simple Users/Name/Documents structure. One of them overnight has done a re-installation and the problem is solved. I'll keep you posted should it happen again on this machine and will attempt to get a report for review. More the fact that it's currently a 2 from 7 hit rate is kind of interesting. I don't know if this is isolated to the demo or 2019 overall - I would suspect the former currently. Cheers, J
  2. James Russell

    VW2019 - Crash on Save (Everytime)

    Hi all, Hope you're enjoying the VW2019 release...(ish). I'm teaching a series of classes here in the world Down Under. Most of my student get the 30-Day trial in order to partake and then choose their purchase path post-classes. I currently have two students who mid-way through the day are now unable to save work. Here's a list of interesting things happening; Autosaving still works on files they were able to save previously (5 minutes apart - 10 iterations worth as my advised settings) The Save, Command-S and the Save As dialogs don't function, just result in a full program crash instantly. Restarting the computer has no effect. It's as though 2-3 hours into the class their computers now refuse to save documents - new or old! One of them is going to do a re-install tonight although as you can imagine it's incredibly frustrating for them. Has anyone encountered this in any form? Any ideas of things to try? They're both using relatively new MacBooks (2016/17) High Sierra - super standard specs. Let me know! *Sigh* - J
  3. Hi All, I have a client currently who enjoy the concept of the Project Sharing features although wish for them to be used in a more global environment, unrestricted to a project file. They have quite detailed plans of their venues with specific things which should not be moved (diagonal bars, fixed height winch bars, fixed curtains, fixed orchestra pit deads, etc.). Commonly they will send these plans in the .vwx format to either external suppliers or prospective hirers who will send the plans back months later with their proposed changes. The problem is that often these external users will send back a plan with modification to the specific items above (moving grid pieces to locations which do not exist and/or places which have other obstructions, moving the pit to invalid stopping locations, etc). Often these changes go unnoticed until bump-in periods where conflict occurs as both parties believe they are in the right. The ideal would be the ability to password lock layers within the file. The ability to lock the 'Grid' layer for example and restricting the editing functionality, yet still allow class switching. Should the user need to move something in this layer they call in, receive the password and the file is logged with a change to that layer (possibly within the project sharing History). I'm aware we have referenced layers as an option although this has been tried and still required either a) releasing a second reference document or, b) the reference being broken and edited anyway. @JimWlet me know if I'm missing something here. Otherwise wishlist? Hope you're all well, J
  4. Hi All, I'm going a little crazy and need someone to do this bug test for me, two parts; Part One Make a truss. Convert to lighting position. Using Instrument Insertion place a few lamps onto the truss. Raise Truss lighting position to 6000mm in Z. Ensure lights stay on truss from front view. Part Two Make a Truss. Convert to lighting position. Raise Truss lighting position to 6000mm in Z. Using Instrument Insertion place a few lamps onto the truss. Ensure lights are hung on truss (mine aren't!) *Optional extra - try to hang more lights on lighting positions, default insertion is 0mm. Just let me know if your experience is the same. Especially @JimWdo you get this? Hope you're all well. J
  5. James Russell

    Distribute Along Path

    Thanks all for the great replies! @Peter NeufeldI really like this. Surface Array is one of those strange beasts that I often overlook in everyday (or in this case not so everyday) tasks, much like the project tool also. @Marissa FarrellYou tease, haha! I'll have to put my Marionette hat on and dive back in now... Seriously though cool stuff. I'll be sure to place a shot from the completed file here at some stage in a few weeks when I get some time to render. I'm mid-way through a script which I started last week prior to this, if it works I'll add it here for future browsing too. J
  6. James Russell

    Distribute Along Path

    Hi all, Before moving forwards this discussion relates to distribute along path, not duplicate along path. I have an example project for discussion; I have 308 unique 3D object (they are giant letters) which are currently in a tidy line (almost as though they were typed out, converted to polygons and then extruded...). I need to distribute these along a NURBS curve which undulates over some hills. It would be ideal if these remain in the same order they are currently, are evenly spaced and followed the NURBS curve's tangents for orientation. Thoughts? Hope you're all well. J
  7. James Russell

    Objects from Images - Brains Trust Callout

    The Create Animation > Orbital Animation is here: Which I believe every version has. The OpenGL moving animation is done with Animation Works (AUS only?) using the Sliding Object primarily. But as I've said it badly badly needs an update and I would still love to see the code!
  8. James Russell

    Objects from Images - Brains Trust Callout

    @Kevin McAllister- Unintentional puns? I came to a similar conclusion playing with this tool, although has mixed success creating a new item with (or around it) using the fill polygon creating something extrudable. I have had issues with all modes of corners, I would love to see the generation code for this, I have a feeling it just randomly chooses to make new points random(max line length) from the current path and most probably without creative coding probably won't ever be smart enough to make non-self-intersecting creations. @michaelk- Maybe collect those beers when I touch base with@JimWand finally organise a demo of our NFT Augmented Reality tracking at these amazing VW events you lucky ducks get, then I'll have an excuse to come over! +1 to all your points. It was not the crazy animation script from years ago. That was the Create Animation... > Orbital Point mode in OpenGL. Although the attached is for you in particular: OpenGL Cave Animation.mov ^ IF YOU'RE SCROLLING LOOK HERE Created in that mystical plugin (available in Australia by default, do you guy have it too yet?) - Animation works. God can I say if this feature is going to stay as a product valued at $200AUD it needs an upgrade (8 years, no update?). Either that or the source code released so we can finally understand how it exports image files via script and then compiles into a .mov. @grant_PD- For realism I could not agree more. As you'll see in the video above the purpose of this particular design is for a stage set which has a feature wall that automatically comes forwards and engulfs the stage in a cave. Beautiful render by the way. @Alan Woodwell- Indeed. In the general educational perspective we're looking at a process based guide on taking a line drawing and converting it to polygon/workable objects, not just this cave reference. PS - Sorry the render is so rough, I spend a long time getting timing right, not a lot on the symbol looks.
  9. James Russell

    Objects from Images - Brains Trust Callout

    All, One of the things I love about being from the other side of the world from you all is I can ask a question, sleep on it, and for the most part you all bring me overnight answers. Thanks! @markdd- My bad! Hopefully this post explains it better! @Moto2 - Indeed. Trace is the first thing my mind says through years of automation/production pains. But in the interest of education and pushing this program to it's limits I have to go further. <insert Star Trek quotation here > @Kevin McAllister - Now we're talking. I knew you'd enjoy the fur cave. Tracing the outline as above is my instinct. I'm already quite good at it, and it does improve your pro gaming skills at the same time, but in the interest of science... Illustrator - This was my conclusion also, and as you'll see below is probably the best resultant. I think I was impatient with the trace breakdown, more explained below. Rad answer though! @michaelk- I really didn't need to owe you more beers Michael, but since you're here you can earn another. The Plant Line Tool. Oh my goodness. It's amazing but has one fault for my purposes which is the self-intersection of lines when moving to an extrusion. This leads to a question directed mainly at your knowledge-base but also open to others: When you have a self intersecting object, such as the example below, is there a fill/correct function that can rectify an object automatically? As for my current solution: Most of you have probably jumped straight to the (rough - it's late here ok?) video attached but if you're interested in the steps from the raw .jpeg file to semi-completion until next week; Import .jpeg file to Photoshop. Using the Magic Wand Selection or similar break each piece into a layer with a fill. Open the new Photoshop file in Illustrator with all the layers intact. Select each layer and turn on individually. Use the Image Trace function to isolate and create a path for your shape (one button click but it's pretty awesome). Save each of these as a .dwg Import the files into VW, they'll come in as Symbols by default. Command/Control + K those bad boys, followed by an ungroup. Delete all the excess, mainly the background stuff and the self-intersecting fill content (I don't know why it's self intersecting <see my question above>) The remaining polyline is non-intersecting, fill with a colour and a friendly line style. Extrude and position, probably in a new file as this one will be filled with junk. Profit... maybe? I'll keep you posted if more comes of this project but there sure is some interesting questions coming through. Let me know if you're interested in more of this content! Stay safe all, J Rotation_of_Cave.mov
  10. Forum, It's been a while since my last posts, hopefully you're all well! In among other things I'm tutoring a series of very creative Post-Graduate students with theatrical backgrounds. One of them came to me with an idea that currently I can't solve, perhaps some of you out there might. Without a serious amount of tracing we wish to create a structure that looks like this: ... however has the outlines of this: I've tried several things here - Trace Bitmap Commands Layered Photoshop Files in Broken Layers Exporting Paths created in Photoshop to Illustrator to then save as .dwg and open in VW. (Self intersecting geometry during extrusion got me but it's the closest yet!) Now I'm asking for input. How would you approach this and create this series of extrusions? I've included reference files and a .zip containing the PSD with individual layers available. Any input welcome! Stay safe otherwise all. - J Stacked_Layers_Examples_-_PSD_and_JPGs.zip
  11. James Russell

    open gl weirdness

    Does no-one find it amazing that two answers were submitted here at exactly the same time? #quickcommunityresponse #feeltheVWlove
  12. James Russell

    Exporting Double Sided Normals - Taking sides...

    Kevin, I totally agree that exportation has gotten better over these versions, but as Tim suggests it still has flaws evident everywhere. Attached are two of the most basic examples I can make and a complex. You can from these see the very foundation of problems. The first shows the base of an object missing. The creation of this object in VW consisted of creating a 100mm x 100mm Square, then extruding to 150mm, then choosing to export to .fbx. The result seems to be that the base of the object has an inward/upward facing normal, most probably due to the extrusion leaving the planar object and then duplicating surfaces around/above it. The second example is a little trickier (not). Draw a cuboid as above Front Elevation, mirror to the right, export to .fbx. The result is a flipped normal on the polar opposite side. Onto the more complex (not really but compared to the above). The basic bridge shown here in both Vectorworks and then again in Unity (note it is the same result in 3DsMax and Blender). The OpenGL in VW appears fine. The exported .fbx is far from it. Several missing surfaces, most caused by mirroring. Some of them occur within solid subtractions, some within solid additions. I find that only 1 in 5 object that I create in Vectorworks with (appox) 3 translations (be it an addition, subtraction, then addition of solids for example) actually translate correctly. J
  13. James Russell

    Exporting Double Sided Normals - Taking sides...

    Tim, Two cents is infinitely bigger than no cents. I too had found some of these older topics, but none actually suggest a true plausible fix, particularly should this be everyday routine as it's becoming now throughout my testing and development projects. There is functionality in blender to redirect normals from a central point but alas this only works on objects that are purely outward facing. I really need each geometric object, as a baseline upon creation, to be generated with its normals facing outwards, from the centre of lowest common root object. I've attached an image of the most common form of inverted normals occurring on exported mesh objects. Note this object is a test object, in a test scene exported directly from VW. The cabinets shown are taken from the VW standard library. Any other feedback/suggestions most welcome!
  14. James Russell

    Line Type Bug

    MK, There's certainly something sinister going on here. I can replicate your query, with any line type that involves a replicated geometric object. I also noticed that it alters the wrapping of the individual text items around corners, seemingly short-cutting the corner in a way. It doesn't seem to be replicated with dashed styles or normal features. I'd say bug but like small ant sized right? J
  15. Hey superstars of the VW forums, I'm currently working on several random ventures, one of which relies heavily on some exports I'm doing from VW into the .3ds and .fbx formats. My query relates to how VW handles rendering and exporting the normals of a surface. Most of my current exports come out looking like they are missing half their data. On further inspection it's just that the surfaces are inverted, often facing inwards of the object. Even some of the most basic cubes end up with half the sides facing out and half facing in. Have any of you had success with; A) Creating Double Normals, so that both sides of an object theoretical planar surfaces are rendered (yes double surface data I know). B) Reversing Normals, to face them to the exterior of an object. (To push them outwards of a central point) I have tried all the typical formats (.3ds .fbx .dwg .dae) and none of them have export settings relating to this data, nor is there any difference in the outcome. Hope you're all well. J


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