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P Retondo

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Posts posted by P Retondo


  1. Dear all,

    This bulletin board is an extremely valuable resource, which is why I have continued to follow it for several months. Not only does NNA check in now and then with important information, but the users have supplied me with invaluable and intelligent advice, warnings, and perspectives for the future of the application. I would hope that a few occasions of intemperate expression on the part of some do not spoil anyone's appreciation of the discussion, either at NNA or among VW users.

    Both users and NNA engineers should spend more effort expressing appreciation for the time spent by each other on this site. It would be nice if NNA could respond more frequently, but I am sure we all understand that they are spread thin. It would be equally nice if users would think twice about venting their frustration with the program and the software engineering process in a way that might create bad feelings. Software is not an easy thing to create, especially in a real world with budgets, deadlines, and marketing. That said, I think we all know how it feels to use an imperfect product day in and day out.

    Let me ask both "sides" the following question: how much would it be fair to pay for a program that was significantly more useful, bug-free, and responsive to user requests for modification? I'm now a grad student, but used to work in architectural offices and managed the CAD systems there. I'm positive that my former firms would have paid 2-3 times as much for a program with improved capabilities and productivity. Is there a way to increase the ability of NNA to hire more programmers without threatening the base of new users attracted to the initial buy-in price? For example, would architects and engineers be willing to pay extra for a subscription that gives professionals faster fixes and access to new features that others would have to wait for the next release to get?


  2. Open GL rendering in VW 8.5.2 gets slower as the program is used. I just timed this phenomenon: a rendering of a complex design takes 13 seconds when the program is just opened. After a couple of hours of working in VectorWorks, the same rendering takes 34 seconds. After quitting and restarting the program, it again takes 13 seconds to render.

    Does anyone know why this happens, and does anyone know if the problem has been fixed in 9.0?

    VW 8.5.2

    Win 2000

    P4 2G/768 MB


  3. quote:

    Originally posted by stella:

    I don't know if 9 has it, but I would love to see a 'fence' option in trimming, like in AutoCad, where you can select a cutting edge, then draw a line through a number of objects, all of which will trim back to that edge. It can be a bit of a pain having to pick each object to trim if there are a lot of them!

    Stella,

    I'm a bit confused by your mention of both "fence" and "line / edge", but the following would apply to either kind of trimming object:

    In VW 8.5 you can select a trimming object (line or polygon)and use <Ctrl + T> to trim all lines or arcs that intersect it. Use a group to exclude objects from being trimmed. A circle or an arc will only trim lines.

    In VW 9 there is no <Ctrl + T>. However, as with VW 8, the "Intersect Surface" and "Clip Surface" tools will do substantially what you are looking for. You control the objects to be modified by selecting only those objects to be trimmed, plus a polygon or circle that serves as the "fence." The fence must be the "top" object (<ctrl + F> to bring it to the top).

    The "Intersect Surface" cuts the selected objects at the polygon or circle that is on top - with lines, only the interior portion remains, but for other types you have to delete the original. Arcs are converted to closed polylines. Clearly this could work better, but the tool was not really intended to do a trim.

    The "Clip Surface" tool deletes the portions of all object inside the "fence."

    VW 8.5.2 and 9.0.1

    Win 2000

    [This message has been edited by P Retondo (edited 10-07-2001).]


  4. quote:

    Originally posted by Andrew Bell@NNA:

    Extrudes are for true 3-D objects, where they can be rotated out of the X-Y plane, and thus there is no relationship between the ground and the extrude's "local" 2-D space.

    Andrew,

    I have offered the same complaint as Archken in the past. The lack of congruence between a 3D extrude's current position and the coordinates of it's 2D ancestor is truly a huge missed opportunity. The 2D/3D interface does not work if this relationship cannot be maintained.

    The same problem holds with solid additions and subtractions. The way the program works now creates a huge waste of time. What's the big deal with rotation in 3D space? This is what computers are good at. When you enter an edit window for an extrude, the 2D shape has to appear in some 2D coordinate space - why not the space that aligns with the current view and current location of the extrude?

    What we want to do is this: when viewing an extrude normal to its extruded face, we want to be able to enter the edit window and paste in place a copied 2D object. Then we can edit the extrude's ancestor shape accurately using that pasted object.

    Similarly, when editing a solid addition or subtraction, we want to be able to paste in additional or substitute objects from the main coordinate space. Since currently the edit window puts these ancestor objects in the position they occupied when the boolean operation was performed, we cannot do what we need to do.


  5. Stella,

    Someone else told me how to do this, so now it's my turn! Create a new layer at the scale you want, and use layer linking (under the View pull-down menu) to create an image of the layer or layers you want to display. Each linked layer is a separate image, which can be unlocked and moved to any position (x,y,z) you want on the sheet/new layer. Unfortunately, the only way to show just a portion of the information on the linked layer is to create a mask (a white rectangle with a rectangle clipped out of the middle to make a "window.")


  6. Does anyone know the status of a fix for the following version 9 bug reported earlier in these forums: stretching a 3D object by its center handle gives an erroneous result?

    This is the most serious bug I've seen reported, and I have not seen anyone from NNA acknowledge it.

    By the way, this error seems to result only when stretching up or down (relative to the screen), not side to side. Further, it is inconsistent - the error is likely to be different when redoing the exact same operation. Try this test: extrude a 2" wide x 6" high rectangle. Place an 8" high rectangle beside it, and attempt to stretch the solid using the bottom or top center handle to the 8" dimension. Redo this several times. The results I get for the y dimension of the solid were as follows: 8.17", 8", 8.084", 8.348", 8", 8", 8.17", ... . Note there is some kind of quantum effect here, perhaps related to pixel size. This behavior seems to be affected also by zoom factor and whether "constraint to grid" is selected. To get the craziest results, do not constrain to grid.

    VW 9.0.1

    Win 2000

    PII 333/192

    [This message has been edited by P Retondo (edited 10-04-2001).]


  7. quote:

    Originally posted by MikeB:

    Matthew

    Yes, I know what the screen symbols mean. If I get the diagonal arrow and the screen hint says "point" at the end of a wall the constrant will not be Vert. or Horiz. but slightly off. If I get the diagonal arrow and the screen hint says "corner" at the end of the wall the Vert. and Horiz. constrant will be correct.

    This might be a Mac bug. In my Windows version, it does not seem to be possible to get both the stretch cursor symbol with the "Point" screen hint. When moving from the "Corner" screen hint to either side of the wall, I get the "Point" screen hint and the stretch cursor consistently changes to the cross cursor.

    "Corner" does not seem to have particular geometric meaning in this context, but holding down the shift key to constrain stretching works properly.

    VW 9.0.1

    Win 2000

    PII 333/192


  8. Matthew, Donald,

    I believe the issue here may possibly have to do with the Mac version of 9.0. In my windows versions, 8.5.2 and 9.0 behave the same (as Matthew says), and behave exactly the way Donald wishes (per his description of 8.5.2 Mac).

    VW 8.5.2 and 9.0.1

    PII 333/192

    Win 2000


  9. quote:

    Originally posted by Stereo:

    The lines become straight when the actual viewpoint and eye are on the same height. If you want to look at an object that is high up like a roof if you stand in front of a house - you just stretch the marquee until you see that object - and do not change the viewpoint.

    To gather these threads together, the question becomes: How can you reset a perspective so that the viewer height and the "Look Toward Height" are the same, thus making all vertical lines vertical? You can use the Walkthrough Tool to change your view "angle" (i.e., look up or down at the scene, and move viewpoint up or down, using <ctrl + mouse> ), but I know of no process that allows us to reset the viewer height and "Look Toward" parameters. This would be very useful.


  10. quote:

    Originally posted by SeanFlaherty:

    Which do you think would aid your drafting more?

    1) A single click extend tool (maybe a mode) that extends one line at a time to a selected boundary (a la 8.5).

    2) A command that takes all of the selected lines/walls and extends them to a boundary that you click on after picking the command.


    Sean, thanks for asking a great question! 2) sounds attractive, given that you can zoom out after creating the selection set to find the object you want to extend to. The one problem to be worked out would be if the user selected an illegal object to extend. This could be handled the way some 3D boolean commands are handled, by giving a warning and automatically excluding the illegal objects.

    Having this tool in no way negates the important advantages of having the new Connect/Combine tool. It would be great to have both capabilities.


  11. Donald,

    I'm confused - the Trim Tool (scissors icon) seems to behave as it always did, and requires the user to click on an object before it is trimmed. Are you referring to a different trim tool?

    I agree enthusiastically with the suggestion on the save prompt. It is nothing short of annoying, but I leave it on because annoyance is better than losing a bunch of time if I get lost in my work and forget to save often enough.

    VW 9.0.1

    Win 2000

    [This message has been edited by P Retondo (edited 09-01-2001).]


  12. quote:

    Originally posted by Robert Nichols:

    The strategies you suggested for positioning elements with precision disappointed me a bit ...

    Robert,

    On the other hand, AutoCAD (don't know about ArchiCAD) doesn't have the "Move" command allowing you to precisely define a relative movement.

    I'm surprised no one has brought up this one: using any of the handles on an object, position the cursor over the point until you see the "cross" symbol. Click to grab the object and drag (holding down the mouse button) to any location. Screen hints tell you when you have "homed in" on the location you desire. This is functionally the same as your "click - click" vector.

    PS, NNA: the complaint about moving walls after resizing them is one of my pet peeves, as well. Wouldn't it be easy to set up three buttons, similar to the 9-button array we see in the info palette when resizing other kinds of objects, so that we can fix the part of the wall (center or either side, at the user's option) we want to stay put when changing its thickness?

    [This message has been edited by P Retondo (edited 08-29-2001).]


  13. quote:

    Originally posted by Andrew Bell@NNA:

    Are you working on a Mac? I've been doing a decent-sized project with several solids on a PC, and while solid computation isn't instantaneous, the speed wasn't slow enough to be an issue

    Andrew:

    I have solid booleans that take 30 seconds or more to compute in VW 9.0.1 (timed at 8 seconds in VW 8.5.2). If we have to do this kind of thing to get lines showing the interesection of all solids, it's too slow. Consider that you will have to go in and edit all of these complex objects every time you want to change one, and wait each time for the calculation to be completed.

    Thanks for your participation in this forum!

    -Pete

    VW 9.0.1

    Win 2000

    PII 333

    192 MB RAM


  14. If you are an AutoCAD user, one way to think of it is this: layers in VW are used to organize multiple drawings from a single file - something you do with Paperspace in ACAD. Classes are used in order to do what AutoCAD does with layers: to classify and organize the drawing components. In strictly pragmatic terms, since you can save a "sheet" or "view" using both systems, classes augment the ability to refine what you see on the screen. They allow you to exclude from view certain items in a visible layer. Classes "cross" layers, allowing you to craft custom selection routines to modify things en masse that exist on different layers. You can also modify the attributes of things using classes - like if you want to change the lineweights on all your circuit diagram lines, if you happened to assign a class to those things, you can just go into the class menu and edit that class. Again, this is one of the things you do with layers in ACAD.

    [This message has been edited by P Retondo (edited 08-27-2001).]


  15. Andrew,

    Good work! Actually, the preference should work the other way around. We hardly ever want the extra lines, and almost always want things to look the way Archken suggests. Go Archken!

    The lack of lines showing the intersection of solids, as per his earlier suggestion, is a constant problem. It is possible to get them to show up if you perform an actual boolean solid addition - but that doesn't work with walls and roofs (?), and not very convenient with the solid modeling of other kinds of objects - especially now that we have the accurate but slow VW 9.


  16. quote:

    Originally posted by rcarch:

    layer links work great for alot of things, but the one thing it cant help is if you have a detail sheet with multiple scales in it. if you use VA like i do, then you have to have lots of detail sheets at different scale, and then spend the time editing the saved sheets to pull up the correct layers.

    As Carl says, you can set up a sheet with multiple layers at different scales. But, as I read your question, it seems that you are already doing that. Your problem seems to be with having to changing your saved sheets for some reason. I would suggest that you should have a standard detail sheet setup which has one layer for each of your possible detail scales (e.g., layers "Detail 1 1.5", "Detail 1 3", "Detail 1 6", Detail 1 Full", etc.). Then, to add or move details around, you wouldn't have to add a new layer - just create, or cut and paste, the drawing into the layer you already have. I have used a separate layer for all drawing titles, so they can be standardized at one scale, and set up my drawing titles as a symbol, linked to records, for easy editing of text strings. If you are used to ACAD Paperspace, you have to discard your assumptions about the ACAD function of layers and realize that one of the major roles for layers in VW is to set up sheets or views.

    I think you are pointing to a difficulty with the "Save Sheets" utility, at least in versions up through 8.5.2. When you add or delete a layer, it can play havoc with ALL of your sheet setups. I have learned to make any new layer "invisible" at creation, otherwise it can pop up in sheets you didn't want it to. It seems as though the program could manage changes to layers more thoroughly.

    [This message has been edited by P Retondo (edited 08-13-2001).]


  17. NNA, I think you should pay for two days of Archken's time to sit down with you and show you, with his own projects as examples, exactly what he is talking about. I don't doubt that it would be difficult to implement even the simplest-sounding aspects, but I am intrigued.

    With respect to version 9, I have been working with 9.0.1 (Windows) for a few weeks, mainly to do some work to illustrate an academic paper. My feeling is that it is much more stable and bug-free than the comments on the bulletin board would make it seem, although I haven't used many of the production-drawing tools yet. For one thing alone, Archken, you would find it worthwhile: you can assign many more keyboard shortcuts since you now have <Ctrl + shift + >, <Ctrl + Alt + >, and <Ctrl + Alt + shift + > options. Also, the tool palettes dock to the top or side, which makes your workspace much less cluttered. You may use RenderWorks or some other 3rd party rendering program, but the Open GL rendering mode that comes with VW 9 is a great improvement, both in terms of allowing a range of options and much better interpolation. There are a bunch of other small things that I'm not mentioning.

    BTW, two minor picky points: setting up 4 linked layers to show different views of the model doesn't seem to be too much of a burden! Also, the use of the term "realtime" - I think "automated" is what you're thinking. "Realtime" refers to the ability of a computing system to perform calculations fast enough to keep up with real events, as opposed to it having to spend 20 hours, for example, to create a video that takes 2 minutes to view.

    VW 9.0.1

    Win 2000

    PII 333


  18. Like Paper space ... almost. I've discovered that line weights remain constant in the various scales in a linked layer, just as they would if you changed a layer's scale, different from printer scaling. Fortunately, there is an option to scale text.

    Scaling lineweights is handled adequately, but inconveniently, in AutoCAD. To implement a Drawing Setup utility, scaling lineweights should be automatic, with an option to set the scale factor. It would be part of that dialog box.

    Any reaction from NNA to these ideas? I've heard lots of AutoCAD devotees say that the lack of Paper space functionality is their major reason for not liking VectorWorks. Their other argument is that they like xrefs.


  19. DomArch,

    The behavior you describe sounds like a bug, or possibly corruption of some kind, although I can't imagine what kind of corruption would cause Auto join to spontaneously select a distant wall to join to. In Auto join mode on my platform, you have to move the cursor close to the wall you wish to join to before it becomes highlighted. You might check your snap radius in VW Preferences, in case a number like 500 got entered there - a long shot! You've probably already done it, but I'd reinstall the program, and delete and re-draw the problematic wall(s).

    Toggling the Auto join function, using the <Ctrl> key for example, would be an excellent feature!

    VW 9.0.1

    Win 2000

    PII 333


  20. quote:

    Originally posted by jodawi:

    I'll add this to the buglist if it's not there already.

    Thanks for responding. It is not entirely a bad thing that the entity shows up on the screen under these circumstances. At least you know that the paste was executed! If I may suggest, the way to improve the situation would be to launch a dialog box that says, "You are pasting an object whose class is not visible. Do you wish to make this class active? -> Yes, or Cancel." Automatically activating the class, as you point out, would make the object selectable. Then, we would have the ability to assign a different class to the object, which is often what you end up wanting to do.

    [This message has been edited by P Retondo (edited 08-05-2001).]


  21. quote:

    Originally posted by jodawi:

    In order to see the objects in a group or symbol, they must be in a visible or active class, and the group or symbol itself must be in a visible or active class

    Jodawi,

    This is generally true; however, when you paste an object into a saved view context in which its class is invisible, the object does appear on the screen. You just can't select it.

 

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