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Posts posted by scottmoore

  1. 35 minutes ago, Wesley Burrows said:


    This arena in particular was sort of a pain because it was originally constructed in the 1930's and has been renovated several times,  so the DWGs,   and in some cases the hand-drawn original section drawings, did not agree with each other.  Reconciling them in to agreement was an interesting mind exercise.  It took a lot of help from the site survey notes, dimensions and a bunch of pictures.    In any case,  after you have a solid frame work,  it really comes down to time and how much detail you want to put in to it.    I think that Arena as shown above took about a week to model.   I used everything from extrude along a path,  loft surfaces, nurbs, simple extrudes,  add/subtract solids,  extract tool,   to the projection tool and more.    It takes a fair amount of familiarity with the 3D modeling tools available to figure out what might be best to use for a particular task.   Eventually you start looking at real world objects and think about what tools you'd use to model them in real time,  it's a sickness.


    But generally speaking I work from the arena floor outward and upward.    It really helps to have section views for elevations,   but those aren't always available for some spaces so,   I also rely on site survey notes,  and in some cases photos with some educated guesses based on typical dimensions of different construction materials/doors etc. 


    But for a few hints,  you can take a section view of a lower bowl of the arena,  draw a simplified version of it (basically like you're looking at a set of stairs from the side) and extrude that along the path of the arena floor.    Some arena's don't have a lower tier that is the same the whole way around,  so you could do a series of the above,  for each different section.    I've also used the loft surface tool to create the different tiered bowls.     Every time I do it it's a little different,  and every time you learn different ways of doing stuff.   There really isn't a right/wrong way,  it's what works for you.   You kinda just gotta go for it any not be afraid to make mistakes and learn.


    I know that's not exactly what you asked,  but I hope it helps.






    That is a pretty spot-on analysis of how to draw venues. I will add that taking some extra time to turn items into hybrid symbols is pretty much always worth the time. Consideration of classing, class line weight, pen color, fill color and textures can be huge time savers; especially when you decide to change something later on. 

  2. 23 hours ago, SCParker said:

    Hi Ryan,

    I happen to be in the middle of making a series of how-to videos on just this topic. Here's a rough edit covering exactly this. I'll be posting the series soon.


    hth, Scott



    Thanks for the detailed walk-through.  Very helpful.  I've never really used the seating tool so I decided I should at least figure it out after watching your video.  I do have a question and a comment.  


    • It appears the "nudging" a seating section causes it to lose its numbering.  All seats become number 1.  That does not happen if you move a section by a prescribed distance.  Does that seem to be the case for you?  


    • It is a bit of a drag that you cannot modify multiple sections at once.  For instance, if one forgets to use classes, and wants to go back and add that functionality, you have to do it one section at a time.  


    Regardless, thank you very much for the time and effort you put into that.  

    • Like 1

  3. On 6/30/2020 at 10:33 AM, Daniel Dickman said:

    Along the lines of editing 3D symbols... When editing the 3D component of a hybrid symbol, I've recently noticed that I can not select a 3D view from the drop down. Flyover works fine but the 3D view drop down is grayed out. Any ideas? What am I missing here?



    That is not expected behavior.  Not sure what would cause that. 

    • Like 1

  4. On 7/16/2020 at 9:11 AM, Safak Sari said:

    Hi everyone. I need some your help. I'm trying to improve my spotlight experience. But i got a problem. I want to change 3d objects of truss outrigger.Rather than i want to cancel 2 pieces of brace or outrigger. I can't get in the model as this photo. Where i may get a problem. Please inform me.

    Thank you

    Screen Shot 2020-07-16 at 17.04.43.png

    This appears to be a generic solid which offers no real editing options.  Unless someone has a better idea, you will have to redraw the elements.  

  5. I just build them at various tilt angles and insert the symbols I need. Then it’s just a question of rotating the hybrid symbol in plan view to give me what I want. For most renderings it seems fixtures seem to end up in straight and/or fan focuses so this works pretty well and I don’t have to waste any time on focus positions. 

  6. I've abandoned using Spotlight symbols for rendering for this reason.  I developed a series of simple lighting symbols I use for this purpose that solve the beam origination issue.  Still doesn't solve the fall-off issue, but better than nothing and definitely speed up the period of time it takes to get renderings together.  Here is an image of a generic profile, a "sharpy" type fixture and a "Bee-Eye" type fixture to give you an idea.  

    fixture image.jpg

    • Like 1

  7. On 5/6/2020 at 2:46 PM, awlightingdesigns said:

    Thanks everyone for trying to help figure this out. At the time of my last post I pretty much gave up on it exporting correctly as .3ds because of the long standing issues with how Vectorworks handles this process. Maybe someday they will fix it so it works correctly. I have spent the last few months learning more workflow in vwx and using the software for what it was intended. I have found enough work around for now getting my work into 3D as I do a lot of previs. Mainly if an item has a simple 3D option this seems to export ok most of the time. Otherwise I will convert it to mesh and simplify larger meshes. I hope someday this works like it should this adds a lot of time to the workflow. I have to save a separate "converted" file because once you mesh things you can no longer work with them the same way you could when they were objects. Then if I need to make changes it is back to the original, make the change, and then you have to start meshing again- this can take a lot of time depending on the number of objects. I have started learning more in Blender and will try to figure out changing the normals in there. @Ryan Lilly If you have any idea of what to check in Blender or think of where to check/change the normals let me know.


    Have a  good one and I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe during these times.

    My days of exporting into visualizers is pretty much over so I may not be much help, however, I do have a suggestion. The Plug-in tools developed for VWX can be time savers, but can also cause issues as they were designed specifically to be used inside VWX before there was much concern for exporting into anything other than a DWG file. For the purposes of exporting and real-time rendering, you may be better served with direct modeling. Even the most complicated staging surfaces can be created with two simple pieces of geometry: a deck and a face. Working this way avoids any need to understand how the PIO tools are built, allows you complete control over number of vertices, complete control over how textures are created and applied and can be faster overall.  Just a suggestion. 

    a few years ago when we were exporting into MA3D, my team always talked about converting items to generic solids to avoid issues. 

    Perhaps this can help? 

  8. 4 hours ago, Pat Stanford said:

    I believe the change was implements so that Hybrid Symbols could have not only a specific Top/Plan view separate from the 3D model, but also custom 2D views for any of the standard Orthogonal (Front/Back/Right/Left/Top/Bottom) views.

    I’ll have to find a resource that details that concept. Sounds interesting, but it kind of hurt my brain thinking about that!  Currently it’s just about the most frustrating thing ever. 

  9. 10 hours ago, mjm said:

    I hear you @scottmoore 

    It's like a sharp stick in the eye, every time.

    Of course, you'd think I'd have learnt by now…

    I tend to forget every time. I “think” you cannot change the setting until after you select a 2D tool.  It’s yet another item that pulls one away from the design process to deal with pedestrian functions. 

    • Like 3

  10. Sometime back, there was a change in the way one edits a 3D symbol.  I often find myself wanting to edit 3D symbols and typically this involves using some 2D geometry to create new or modified extrudes or simply drawing lines for registration purposes.  The relatively new development (seems like the past two or three versions) is that any 2D elements immediately move to the 2D component of the symbol unless you change your 2D drafting plane to "symbol definition" or (I think) "screen plane".   I would really like for the default for my symbol editing to be "symbol definition" as there are next to no instances where I would ever, while editing the 3D portion of a symbol, draw 2D geometry that I wanted to immediately disappear to the 2D portion of the symbol.  Every time this happens it is "undo", set the plane to "symbol definition" and start over.  If I do not utilize "undo" I'll end up with an errant piece of geometry in the 2D portion.  Is there a preference specifically for this?  

    • Like 4

  11. I would not bring in a venue DWG file into my working file. I always import into a blank file and then spend as much time as I can afford to clean it up. Then I just viewport that drawing (as Pat mentioned a “shuttle file”) into my project file. 

  12. By the way, I would imagine the reason to have the "types of lights" embedded classes would have been more about adding color coding to those types of lights probably based on the preference of a certain shop.  The real issue with the embedded classes was not having a strict naming convention in place prior to development.  A simple number or letter could have solved a lot of the mess.   

  13. And one other related issue; occasionally I’ll have an image based texture with a reflection added. The issue would be the image disappears and the reflection stays. For instance, instead of a nice glossy wood floor, you have a really bright white floor with a sheet of ice on it. 

    Any suggestions? 

  14. Any time you add indirect lighting and high quality anti-aliasing, your render times will be impacted somewhat drastically. I would suggest spending 30 minutes or so experimenting with glow textures. They only emit light if there is another light source in your drawing (VWX does not recognize a glow texture as a light source and as such, the general ambient light from over your left shoulder cannot be turned off) and it requires indirect lighting to really see it. The results can be really great however. 

  15. Greetings. I’ve been running into issues with textures created with images. I typically use a lot of these in my work. For some reason, when rendering on the design layer, certain of these textures will disappear. It often happens every time I render. The solution seems to be to select edit for the texture specific texture to open the edit dialogue box, and then close it while doing no actual editing. 

    this seems to rectify itself once I use a RenderWorks camera to create a viewport on a sheet layer for exporting.  I have closed and reopened files in question, restarted VW, and restarted the computer to no avail. Unfortunately, it is a huge waste of time in the design process. Has anyone else seen something like this?  

  16. Another approach might be to create a linear piece of geometry and apply a glow texture. You would have to render with indirect lighting enabled, but you can create some really smooth linear lighting. It often takes a really high output on the glow texture (sometimes as high as 1000+%) but the results can be pretty great. 

    • Like 1

  17. AMEN MARK!  


    Your comment on Saved Views is spot on as well.  Arguably the most overlooked powerful asset of VWX.   


    One other suggestion for those struggling with the class parade:  If you want to keep the existing VWX embedded classes and still create a template file (you should absolutely create a template file), add some class tags to the autogenerated classes and your specific drawing classes (flown, floor, house, booms, whatever you might call your classes) then add a class filter to select that particular tag.  When you select that filter, all you will see in your nav palette are the classes specifically associated with your lighting fixtures.  


    For me, I've always used my own custom symbols and have a template set-up to accommodate them.  On occasion I have to share my file with other designers and then comes the class parade and none of my saved views, sheet layer viewports, etc. work correctly.  My solution in my updated template was to include all the lighting and BraceWorks classes in my template as well and include all of that information in my saved views and sheet layer viewports.  When I run my LX filter, it brings up all of the associated lighting classes, including my drawing classes, my custom embedded classes and the Spotlight classes.  Now I don't have to be quite as frustrated as I was as it doesn't matter if I amusing my symbols or someone else's inserted symbols from the VWX libraries.  The drawing still works the same.   

    • Like 1

  18. Those embedded classes do serve very necessary purposes even though my opinion is some of the lighting symbol classes are just not necessary. A good way to wrap your brain around the purposes of embedded classes would be installing a BraceWorks truss. The embedded classes allow the end user to choose between simple and complex truss options and other items. Again, the class naming is a little odd (having a class that uses the word “truss” then a hyphen and then “truss” is kind of like including the word being defined in it’s own definition). 

    The separate class for a lens would be ideal so that not only could you use a lens with a glow texture, but it could also change color appropriately  simply changing the “color” field in the OIP or edit fixture window. 

    My personal opinion is that embedded classes should ONLY be used to control the attributes of a symbol selection; what parts are visible, co trolling line weights, pen color, fills, etc. This functionality is spectacular.  It should never have been used as a way to categorize symbols. That is the designer or drafter’s job. Again, in my opinion, the “wash”, “incandescent”, “moving light” etc. classes are completely superfluous and serve no viable purpose, especially now that your profile lights and wash lights might very well utilize LED engines. 

    rant over. 

    • Like 1

  19. I just ran into this as well.  I had my scene set up, with 11 fixtures using gobos.  Adjusted light levels, changed colors, moved focus points, all with no issue at all.  I made one last color change to five of the lights and now no gobos at all.  I've removed the gobos, re-imported them, selected different gobos, refreshed fixtures (selected and globally), restarted the file.  Still no gobos.  Of course, I am on a deadline.  (hard to believe in our current pandemic shut-down)

  20. Lighting instruments, like many other symbols, included embedded classes for control purposes. The easiest way to wrap one’s head around this is to drop in a lighting symbol in a blank document. You will see the specific classes created. The symbol itself can be placed on a class of your choosing. To view it, your custom class must be visible, however, some or all elements of the embedded classes must also be visible. By using this method, you can decide if you want to see the movement radius, the “whip” location, etc. it’s actually pretty useful but I would add that the existing class scheme is dated and a bit of a mess. It’s the kind of thing that starts out as a simple idea and then gets added to, and mucked about with over time so it is what it is. It would take quite a lot for the VW team to change it at this point. 

    One solution would be to create a library file of every fixture you might ever intend to use and, once all the symbols are imported, you can change the embedded class names. I believe there may be some class mapping options now available for this purpose, but if they exist, I’ve not used them. 

    • Like 1

  21. All the above suggestions will work and are spot on. A transparency in front of your LED display will work but I find that I spend quite a bit of time making it look as it should, especially if I am adding a touch of reflection to the plastic. If you don’t need that level of detail, it would be much quicker to blur the image in advance and you can add some reflection to the glow as well. 


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