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Teresa Hull

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Posts posted by Teresa Hull

  1. This is similar to some of the requests I've seen in here, but not quite ...

    I think there could be two more columns in Layer Navigation: Lock and Snap

    Lock would make it so nothing in that layer could be modified until the layer is unlocked.

    Snap (which is really "No-Snap Override" in my mind) makes it so that even if "Snap" is on as the general mode, some layers would still not snap. Particularly useful when a drawing contains a DWG that has tons of vertices that you need to see, but don't want to snap to, and you need to snap to other things. As a workaround, I've even gone to making a PDF, importing it (with snapping turned off on the PDF), and using it to draw; but it makes the file big, so I delete the PDF after drawing.

  2. I think it would be really handy to have a Sheet Layer's page size display in Navigation, and also as an option as a field in the Title Block.

    This would probably mean that the user has to define the possible page sizes (and what to display for each):


    Letter Portrait

    8.5" x 11"

    Letter (8.5" x 11")


    In the entertainment industry, I find myself creating different sized drawings for different things (sometimes using custom page sizes) within one drawing. I've seen a lot of different ways that people use the Sheet Number and Sheet Name fields to also display the sheet size info. Let's just give sheet size it a field that the Navigation window and the Title Block can access!

  3. What is the application of the new substring( function? Can someone give me some examples of how / why it is used? I'm pretty sure I'll find it useful, but I don't understand what it's for. I saw someone mention it or use it in a User Group meeting, but I'm now at a loss....


  4. Rick,

    I'm working in an environment where everyone (lighting designer, lighting director, electricians, programmer, board ops) all work in the same drawing so that by the time the drawing is finalized for prep and installation and show, everything is in one file. While your suggestion of duplicating the fields isn't the worst thing ever, it is catastrophic if it is wrong (Dimmer changes during prep, but doesn't get updated to Dimmer Big) once we get on site. For now, it's just safer to only have the info in one field. With hundreds of units, checking for this would not be very fun.

    For now, I'm creating a duplicate viewport with only the labels I want bigger turned on (they are all classed), then scaling the text in that viewport. Not ideal because I can't adjust the label positions, but it works.


  5. This is a very helpful thread. I haven't really looked much at the 3D side yet of Spotlight symbols, but just been using whatever Spotlight ships with. Some of the "gotchas" that I knew about from other versions have been fixed in the recent releases, but I'm finding that there are now new "gotchas". Just need to learn the rules by which Spotlight operates ...

  6. Andy -- I'm happy to adjust my approach; what I'm trying to do right now is figure out how best to make everything play nice.

    It's probably that I'm just being dense here, but I don't think I completely understand how Spotlight decides that a fixture should be a single vs. multi-circuit Lighting Device.

    I'm going to try to explain it in my own words, and please correct me if I am wrong:

    If there are nothing but symbols in the symbol definition, then Spotlight makes each symbol into a part of a multi-circuit Lighting Device. So in my original file that I attached earlier in this thread, the 5-deg was made into a single Lighting Device because the 3D contained more than just symbols (even though the 2D was only symbols); but the 36-deg contained only symbols in the 2D and the 3D, so it broke it apart into a multi-circuit Lighting Device of the three symbols that were in the 2D.

    So, to fix this, there could be any non-symbol object in the 2D or the 3D, and the fixture will insert as a single Lighting Device.

    And if I want to make sure that something inserts as a multi-circuit Lighting Device, everything in the 2D and 3D needs to be contained in a symbol.

  7. I have not made ANY changes to the 3D (other than the copy-replace mentioned above) from the Spotlight symbols that ship with the product. My workflow for creating my library is to start with the Spotlight symbol, change the 2D to what I want it to be, then rename the symbol. I've essentially been doing nothing with the 3D, as I've been concentrating on the 2D and Label Legends for now.

    If the 3D is what isn't right, then I'm pretty sure it isn't right in what ships with Spotlight. FYI, I'm not pointing fingers, but just trying to understand how it all works.

    Thanks for your insight!

  8. Andy,

    The ONLY difference between the 5-deg and 36-deg symbols in the 2D is that the 5-deg has 4 objects in the lens symbol, and the 36-deg has 3 objects in the lens symbol. No groups. No records attached in the 2D.

    Now the 3D is a different story ... Just now I copied the 3D from the 5-deg's symbol definition and pasted it into the 36-deg's symbol 3D definition (deleting the previous 36-deg 3D geometry), and the 36-deg inserted as a single Lighting Device. So there is something weird about the 3D side of the 36-deg that was making it bust into its parts upon Lighting Device Insertion.

    So with the 3D identical, now both are acting the same, but not acting the way Kevin describes that they should (single Lighting Device vs. multi-circuit Lighting Device).

    So it still doesn't explain why now BOTH aren't going in as multi-circuit fixtures, since the 2D only contains three 2D symbols (with no other objects).

    Vicious cycle!

  9. Kevin,

    I am attaching a VW2014 file.

    All classes on. Identical construction. Only three symbols (no other objects) within 2D symbol definition. 5-degree is OK, 36-degree is not. Big Mystery!

    Now, I do understand how to make the 36-degree behave correctly (add some non-symbol object to the symbol), but why isn't the 5-degree a multi-circuit unit?


  10. Kevin,

    That makes sense ... but in practice, it isn't consistent.

    My 36-degree contains:

    -S4 Body symbol

    -S4 575w Cap symbol

    -S4 36-deg Lens symbol

    (no other symbols or non-symbol objects)

    My 5-degree contains:

    -S4 Body symbol

    -S4 575w Cap symbol

    -S4 05-deg Lens symbol

    (no other symbols or non-symbol objects)

    The 36-degree "breaks" into parts. The 5-degree is fine.

  11. I have long been a non-Spotlight AutoPlot user (thanks to Sam Jones). I am converting everything over to Spotlight now that the Lighting Device Parameters are unlimited and can be arranged in the IOP.

    I am basing most of my symbols on the symbols that ship with Spotlight, but redrawing most of the 2D to how I like things to look on the plot.

    Each 2D portion of a symbol contains several 2D symbols (ie. body, lens, cap, etc.) that combine to make that specific fixture type.

    Sometimes, a Lighting Device on the drawing seems to break apart into these different parts. So I can't select the whole fixture, but each contained symbol. Everything is attached, and moves as one fixture, but the Lighting Device info is separate for each part. For example, I select the cap of a S4, and the Lighting Device info is mostly blank. I move the cap, and the rest of the light moves, but still only the cap is selected.

    I have not yet nailed down what I do to "break" the drawing, or what to do to fix it. It doesn't always happen.

    Has anyone else experienced this, and have any advice on what I could do to prevent this as I build a several-thousand-fixture library?


  12. I'm not sure which version has allowed me to do this, but I am thrilled that I can now duplicate a label (Channel, for example) when editing the layout of a label legend. I can put the two Channel labels in different classes (so I have visibility control) and have their appearances be different. Why? So I can make one really big for the LD's plot (since he doesn't care about dimmer, circuit, etc.), and one that is smaller to accommodate all that other info.

    Vectorworks used to not let me do this, but I am happy to report that it now works -- with an issue: If the two labels do not have the same XY position in the label legend, then if one of those labels is adjusted in an instance on the drawing, both labels move to the adjusted position (they will not retain separate XY positions upon manual adjustment).

    So maybe this is a "bug report", or maybe it's a post of praise, or maybe it is a wishlist item, or maybe it's a "hey, didja know you could do this?" post. Or maybe all of the above!

  13. And for added joy:

    5. Duplicate a symbol, or rename a symbol to what the base symbol for the label legend used to be.

    6. Edit the label legend.

    7. Find that the symbol still doesn't show up in the label legend.

    So, now what? There is no base symbol, I can't add a base symbol. Do I now have to create a new label legend?

  14. Ridpath,

    Sorry for taking so long to respond ...

    Before you try to put the light inside the truss, make sure you are correctly creating the line light. Draw a line and "convert line light". As I recall, it was pretty self-explanatory after reading about it in the Help.

    There isn't really a way for me to know why line lights didn't work for you without more information. Did you turn the light "on"? I can never keep track of what renders in what modes, but I'm sure line lights don't render in all the modes, so try several of them. Also make sure the line light isn't colliding with another object (such as the floor), as I imagine this would also make the line light not emit.

    Good luck!

  15. I am creating a new Title Block, and I am trying to figure out how to possibly incorporate Revision / Issue information into the mix.

    In my workflow (I'm a lighting designer in the entertainment industry), when I do a revision, I want the latest Revision information to track to ALL title blocks in the project. As I understand it, the Revision Text currently is only attached to each instance of the Title Block / Sheet Border. Is this correct?

    And call me a fool, but I don't understand what the difference between Revision and Issue is ... As far as VW is concerned, it seems like they are both specific to the instance, and cannot be universal to the whole project. How do others use Revision and Issue information in workflows?

    What I really like about the Revision and Issue information is that I can choose how may Revs / Issues I want to show in the title block. As it stands now, I have 5 fields for the last 5 revisions, and I have to manually bump one off the list once I get past 5 revs.

  16. Jean-Yves,

    Many folks have had luck with Google's 3D warehouse (http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/). Models are free to download, but not all of them are useful for what you want.

    The files are Sketchup, and can be imported into Vectorworks. Often they need to be "cleaned up", so I would recommend bringing the sketchup models into a new file too see what you have. Then, once you are happy with how it looks and renders, save the model as a symbol, and import into your document.

    Others who do this more often may be able to give you more insight as to what versions of Sketchup files work best with VW. I generally find that I download a dozen or so models from 3D Warehouse, and I import them all into VW. I then see which ones are behaving the best, and which ones look like I want them to, then I pick one or two and start to clean them up. Sometimes there is odd geometry in the model, or something else that makes it take FOREVER to render, so I give up on it.

    I'm not sure what version of VW you have ... as a general practice, you should put that in a signature so that anyone responding to you knows what you are using. See my signature for an idea ...

    Good luck!

  17. Simon,

    Odd behavior coming from the "MAC 2K PERFORMANCE "E" Floor" fixture...

    In 3D, the beam doesn't come out of the front of the head, but sometimes it comes out the side.

    The issue doesn't seem to be in most of the other fixtures I played with ...

    Honestly, the whole Spotlight 3D symbol thing is a bit of a mystery to me, so I wasn't able to see what the issue was before VW2012 crashed too many times for me to lose interest.

    I haven't tried any renderings yet, but so far, things look pretty good.

    Thanks again for your efforts!!

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