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P Retondo

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Posts posted by P Retondo

  1. LW, got to love your passion!  I tried the camera once a couple of versions back, and didn't think it was doing enough to warrant mastering it.  And I do a lot of perspective views and animations.  I hope Jim and VW are taking your point about simplifying and making more intuitive not just this item, but everything about the VW user interface.  Don't get me wrong, I think VW is superbly intuitive as it is, but the parts that work really well make us want everything to be like that.

    • Like 1

  2. I've been working with a Wacom tablet for years -  model PTZ630, which is probably no longer available, but I'm sure there is an equivalent.  I configure the lower "click switch" to be left click, the upper to be right click.  I find that mapping a tablet of this size to about 50% of the screen is most effective.  No problem at all with v2016, or v2017 so far.  Faster than a mouse.

  3. I have used the Wacom tablet for many years with their stylus, initially for tendon problems (completely resolved after moving from the mouse), and have also tried working with VW on a touchscreen.  The Wacom stylus is totally equivalent to a mouse, if not better.  The problem with working directly on a touch screen is lack of left and right clicking.  If someone knows of a device that will do that, I would love to know about it.  Once that technical hurdle is dealt with, I can see touchscreen being totally viable.


    I see that Surface will "right click" with a prolonged touch, but I don't think that cuts it.

  4. I agree that extrudes are the fundamental VW 3d object, and it would be great if one could assign a fill to extrude surfaces, especially so they can be seen in Top/Plan like many other objects.


    While we are wishing, I would like the 2d "primitives" of extrudes to be more context-sensitive so that they can be edited more powerfully.  Specifically, when entering an extrude edit space the 2d object should present itself in "screen orientation" instead of, sometimes, from the sides, regardless of the current view orientation.  Also, if the viewpoint is aligned to the extrude's original working plane orientation, the 2d primitive should be presented in exact relation to the objects around it, instead of some arbitrary location that is no longer relevant if the extrude has been moved, mirrored, etc.  This would allow us to edit the primitive accurately in relation to surrounding objects.  Say a contiguous object has been reshaped, and we want to edit the extrude to still be contiguous.

    • Like 1

  5. The XML or .txt file might be in the same area as your Workspace folder:


     username/AppData/Roaming/Nemetschek/Vectorworks/2016 (or version #)/Libraries/Defaults/Notes


    Or it might be the default file, which is in the same relative place under the C:/Program Files directory.


    You can customize the filename and the place it saves to when you set up your Keynotes preferences and/or in the User Folders tab in VW preferences dialog.


    If you are not using a database, I'm not sure how that works - there might be something created or loaded automatically, I've never looked into that.

  6. Pat, not to be argumentative, but I've written a great deal of C++ code for machine control.  Only a portion is done from scratch, objects and great chunks of code (modules) are already written and invoked in a single line.  I don't belittle the complexities of the task, just saying that for a CAD program that has been around for 25 years or so, it would not seem too high a bar to take a fresh and possibly innovative stab at how basic parametric objects work.  We have no idea, or at least I don't, how VW sourcecode is put together.  The handles we have through the scripting utilities are probably just toys compared to the resources the core programmers have access to.  But it would be a big job, no doubt.  Debugging and testing probably 75% of it!


    I like zoomer's idea of working into an object bit by bit.  That's kind of what I'm driving at, a process more aligned with how creative design is done.

  7. OK, RJ, here is my algorithm for a graphical interface for stairs parametric object.  Once the object is created, the parameters are stored and available for editing in a dialog box.  

    • User creates a series of 2d closed shapes that represent the treads and landings
    • Click on each tread in sequence starting with the lowest tread to create an ordered list - we can't expect VW to know the sequence of the treads for every conceivable stairs configuration.  Option for whether top tread is at upper floor level or no.
    • Define the floor-to-floor height.  After this step, everything else is automated except for dialog box user interventions.
    • Extrude each shape an initial amount, then based on the ordered list define their Z values to create an evenly spaced set of treads.  Label each shape internally as a "tread"
    • If the user edits the tread thickness parameter, adjust
    • Prompt to create a profile for the tread nosing, which creates the tread overhang & nosing shape.  Extrude and add to each tread based on the known front face.  If the tread face is non-linear, extract a curve from the edge and extrude along path.  Note that once the sequence of treads is formed into a list, the location of the appropriate edge is also known.
    • From the same extracted curve or line, offset and close to form a plan-view riser shape, and extrude each.  Parameter for riser/no riser, and riser thickness is created.  Label each shape internally as a "riser" for application of class and/or texture.
    • Automatically create 2 or 3 stringers that fit to the underside of treads and backs of risers.  Option to edit thickness, depth, number, and whether the stringers are outside the treads.  Based on geometry of tread and riser edges.
    • Based on geometry of tread nose corners, create a NURBS curve and offset to code railing height.  Prompt for user to supply a shape for the handrail, and extrude along path.  Label shape as "handrail" and create parameters for number, height, and relationship to edge of stair.
    • Dialog box has option to create another tread or treads and add to the sequence, or to delete a tread or treads.

    This will not cover every conceivable stairs, but it will be a start for more options than we now have, and note that once ungrouped it is a set of extrudes that can be edited.


    It would be nifty if the sequence of treads could be created just by dragging the mouse over the shapes and allowing snapping to order the list.

  8. Mohammad, Alan is correct (as always!), but for me it is less time-consuming to just draw the section in 2d based on the 3d geometry, which I take from the old "Cut 2d Section" tool.  Otherwise you have to put in all the structure in 3d objects, and get the various class settings for the section viewport, etc., to be just right.  Even then, the last time I tried it there were graphical shortcomings that didn't quite make the grade.

  9. Yes, Peter, that is exactly what I do as well!  I guess we could try our hand at Marionette, but unless I have a lot more time on my hands that I expect, that isn't likely.


    26 minutes ago, CipesDesign said:

    I can draw the sectional profile and extrude so much faster than the &^%$ dialog (one of the worst in VW's). So that is often what I do. The huge bummer is that the sill is not attached to the window!! 


  10. Don't get me wrong, I love parametric objects.  But as the name implies - "parametric object" is a term straight out of coding - it is a software design concept, not an architectural (or engineering or theater design, etc,) design concept.  The danger is that as designers we can be steered and nudged by the assumptions of the code engineer.  At what point do the design professions become captives of categories and limitations imposed by engineers with a different set of experiences?  CAD should expand our creative capability, not limit it!  CAD saves enormous amounts of time and creates great efficiency, but it should not limit those economic incentives to a standardized design palette.


    Speaking for myself - I know others might differ - I find the mind-body connection in design works best when I have a pencil or pen in hand, and I have complete freedom to engage with abstract form without the intervention of more mechanical concept containers.  On the other hand, I want to go to 3d CAD as soon as possible to lock in precision and to look at things as they truly appear in 3d, as opposed to my hand-mind guesstimates.  My ideal parametric object, to get to the point, would be one with a graphical interface.  Take a stairs, for example.  I really don't want to design from a window with pre-selected options and a tabular, sequential arrangement requiring the input of numbers & checkboxes.  What I want is to draw the stairs in plan, then have the parametric take over to generate a 3d object that can then be edited with precision, allowing revision & further input as to tread thickness, tread overhang, construction type, etc.  I can do that manually, so I reckon there is no reason a parametric object couldn't be designed which would do the same thing but way faster and with greater power with respect to revisions.


    Another example: door and window sills.  We shouldn't be limited to the sill assumptions of the VW window object, which are based on windows from the 19th century.  The sill could be an extrude, defined graphically by the user and saved as a type, instead of by a sill input window with 7 or 8 confusing parameters.  Same with window jambs, which almost never are rectangular prisms these days.  I'm sure I could go on, including the limitations of door types, the fact that "overhead" doors are incorrectly modeled not to overlap with the jambs, etc., etc.

    • Like 4

  11. On 11/21/2016 at 11:07 AM, line-weight said:


    Sometimes - well, very often - I want to place something relative to the model's 0,0,0 instead of the layer's 0,0,0 or the Auto-hybrid's 0,0,0. That's all.


     Yes, lineweight, I agree completely with your idea that there should be an option to paste in place either 1) relative to the Z–height settings of the layer being pasted to, or 2) relative to the Z height settings of the layer being pasted from.  That way, in the case of 1) you could duplicate objects from one layer to another to replicate them on a different story, or 2) move objects from one layer to another without having to adjust their height.  

    • Like 1

  12. I don't have time to read through this thread thoroughly, but to toss in my 2 cents' worth:  1 - "BIM" is a bit of a misnomer.  What most people mean by "BIM" is 3-D modeling.  Embedded information, which is the real meaning of BIM, is not seen on screen and the term seems to have nothing to do with the topic at hand, except to give it a certain cache.  2)  Layers are for selective visibility, and getting rid of them would do away with a major capability of VW.  Having both layers and classes gives us more control.  I can't imagine anyone who really knows VW would seriously consider getting rid of layers.  3)  I'd say that if you can't handle layers, just use one - except that you would lose the "story" capability.  I find stories problematic anyway because when you paste an object from one to another, it doesn't account for the Z level baseline of the layer being pasted to, and appears at the wrong height.  So I don't use stories, but from a logical point of view, as others have pointed out, it would be more sensible to tag objects as belonging to a story whereby they would augment their Z value by that story's height relative to the 0 datum.  I can understand why VW engineers originally set up the story capability as linked to a layer, because that's how 2d was being done - different levels of a building were sorted by layer into separate floor plans, and this was being done before there were sheet layers.


    I do agree with the basic premise that it could be possible to model the whole building on one layer if we had appropriate ways to output horizontal sections mapped to floor level sheets, and if there were a more logical way to handle the "story" parameter.  At the same time, I for one would find it very inconvenient to be unable to isolate sets of objects by layer.  It would get to be an unholy mess to see anything.

  13. Iso,  here are the things I would check first: do you have this problem with other file types, especially in that same folder? Are the vectorworks files in question marked "read only" when you open the properties dialog box for the file?  Create and save a new file to that same location in vectorworks – does that file have the problem? Do you possibly have an issue with an administrator name or password?


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