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Robert Anderson

Vectorworks, Inc Employee
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231 Spectacular

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  • Occupation
    Independent Vectorworks / BIM consultant
  • Homepage
    practicalcyclist.blogspot.com/
  • Hobbies
    Vectorworks, Bicycle commuting, Choir singing
  • Location
    United States

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  • Skype
    r0bert_anders0n

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  1. When I was looking at the Vision Pro "demo", I kept having deja vu to the old "Knowledge Navigator" video from 1987. I remember John Sculley, kind of sheepishly, saying at the end of the vid, that Apple wasn't ready to ship it yet. The Vision Pro is a most impressive technology stack, and it reflects Apple's typical in-depth problem discovery and anticipation of solutions. And, it will ship next year. It remains to be seen if it will be truly successful, at least until it reduces in form factor from "ski goggles" to "sunglasses" (a la WIlliam Gibson's 90s novel, Virtual Light, which came out about the same time as Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. I think they can be deemed co-inventors of AR.) But the amount of work that has been done, and the problems anticipated and solved, is pretty phenomenal.
  2. Here is a good discussion of LLMs (Large Language Models) that suggests indirectly why they won't be successful with, say, Vectorscript. (Hint, they'er not "lossless.")
  3. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but I wonder if it would truly save time. You'd pass it an example script, then get a result, then fix and debug. It might work for small changes, but then small changes are easy to do manually—a Catch-22 to be sure. I suspect that the universe of VectorScripts is just too small for ChatGPT to really gain any expertise in the syntax. (Unlike web code and plug-ins for big sites like Wordpress, for which I've read ChatGPT can do competent plug-ins out of the gate.)
  4. I was curious to see what ChatGPT knew about VectorScript. (SInce "VectorScript", unlike "Python", is a pretty unambiguous language name.) I prompted the following: "Write a Vectorworks plug-in using the VectorScript language that creates a parametric pyramid of any size." Here's what it produced (in under a minute): Now, the code is rubbish, of course. It gets its inputs a little mixed up as to types, it seems to confuse the Str2Num() with RealDialog() calls, and it has a little trouble with the sequence of Cartesian coordinates in the Poly() call, among other things. The code won't run, but interestingly, to a casual reader, it kind of looks like a real VectorScript. When I was a kid, back in the mid 60s (pre-historic,) I read a book called Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine by Abrashkin and Williams about a precocious boy who thinks he can get a computer (mainframe at the time) to do his homework for him. ("Lazy programmer", indeed!) Turned out to be more work to write the code to do the work than just to do the work. I'm not sure why, but looking at the code that ChatGPT produced made me think of that kid-lit.
  5. So, I was wanting to use a LaPeyre alternating tread stair in a project (you architects will probably be familiar with these). LaPeyre has a nifty little 3D file generator on their site, just enter the style of stair and the floor to floor height, and download the file. I noticed that they had a number of 3D file formats available, so I downloaded a bunch of 3D file formats that Vectorworks would support. I include below a couple of shots of the stair geometry, the overall, and a blow-up. You can see it is fairly detailed geometry. With an eye to optimizing file size (without having to do the labor of actually simplifying the geometry,) I did some imports. The results are found in the file list show below. A couple of observations: The fastest file import (almost instantaneous) is the Parasolid (X_T) file. It imports as a generic solid. The X_T import is the only one that produces a solid. I proceeded to convert the generic solid into other forms of Vectorworks geometry, just to see the results. The mesh conversion is not too bad (second best overall.) The smallest file (by quite a lot) is the STL. It creates an optimized mesh in Vectorworks. (The image above is the STL import, so you can see it is quite decent quality.) So, if you want speed or have to have solids, use X_T. If you want to optimize file size, use STL. As always, your mileage may vary. And of course, the source you use may not have all these formats. Hope this has been helpful!
  6. Hi @drelARCH, I have gone back and tested this with sheet-layer viewports (plan-type and section-type). What I find is that plan style viewports show and hide just fine, but section-type viewports require refreshing to show up again (they can be selected by marquee and then refreshed using the OI palette). Please confirm that this is your experience and let me hear. I will be making a v2 of the tool to handle a minor bug (NIL click) and would like to fix this also, by providing a little more info to the user.
  7. drelARCH, what do you mean by "out of control"? The tool was intended to "declutter" 3D scenes (this is the reason it was requested). How is it useful to hide viewports? Are you trying to work inside of a viewport? I will add code to detect an active layer being a sheet layer and return an alert in that case. Easy enough. But I'm not understanding your desired use here...
  8. Hi all, I was asked earlier today by a client if there was a simple tool that would hide objects by clicking on them but didn't have the complexity or constraints of the Visibility Tool. I created the Blindfold tool, a very simple tool that will temporarily hide objects that are clicked on. I say "temporarily" because these are not persistent hides that are saved with the document. To show all the stuff that you have hidden, simply double-click the tool. Simple. I wasn't sure if something like this already existed, but a very lightweight hide tool seemed like a handy thing. The VST is unencrypted. It's less than a page of code, for an event-enabled tool. So you know it's really simple! I added a simple video that shows it in action. Unzip, install in your user plug-in folder, and add to your workspace. Enjoy! UPDATE: I have attached version 2. No big changes, a click on empty space (no pick) will produce an alert and not an error. Also a user-informative alert if you hide a viewport that may need refreshing on re-display. Sometimes less is more... blindfold.mp4 Blindfold.vst.zip Blindfold-v2.vst.zip
  9. This would probably best be handled using Marionette objects. They are very easy to make.
  10. It's very easy. I assume your logo is an image. Two steps: Use the Set Working Plane tool (3D tool group) to set your working plane to the desired face of the wall (you don't have to be exact with origin or anything); Select your bitmap object (it will probably be on the "Layer plane" or the "Screen plane" - look at the "Plane:" value, which is the third control on the Object Info palette when you have the bitmap selected) and set its plane to "Working Plane" (which is the active 3D plane you just now defined.) Now you can just drag around your image until it's positioned properly on the wall.
  11. Here's a pretty stunning tile pattern from the floor of the oldest restaurant (ca. 1917) in San Antonio, TX — Schilo's Deli. I've always admired this "snakeskin" pattern and am pretty sure it is unique. If you're visiting San Antonio, Schilo's is a must. PS: I put this in "hatches" because there isn't a thread for "tile resources". schilos.vwx
  12. The axes of extrudes are pretty much by definition normal to the profile plane. You can get your desired shape with a loft. Convert your hexagon to a NURBS curve, duplicate it, then loft the two shapes together. (You could alternatively do a vertical extrude and then a solid subtraction or intersection.)
  13. Usually, curves define the perimeter of a surface for the "create surface from curves" command. It sounds to me like you're wanting to create a lofted surface. Look up the topic "Create a loft surface" in the online help.
  14. Jon has it right. You need a NURBS surface for the base of the array. Use the Extract tool in surface mode to easily pull it from another shape.
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