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Andy Broomell

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Everything posted by Andy Broomell

  1. With a long list of Classes/Layers, I honestly like the 3 columns, as it's really easy to visually scan down the list and tell which things are in what state. If it were all in one column using different icons only, I think it would take longer for your eye to differentiate (especially between a visible eye and greyed eye). I do see some of the advantages of what you're saying, I just worry it might cause more problems than it solves. Perhaps it could be an option to switch between though 🙂
  2. Honestly I don't use Color transparency much, and same as you guys I find that it doesn't show up in OpenGL. Color transparency is not choosing a color to be transparent. Rather, this option blends an additional color into the object when rendered. For example, the two objects below have the same "Color" (blue), but the one on the right has the Color Transparency set to a yellow color. Using white in the Color Transparency options has no additional blending effect. (At least this is my understanding of it; if anyone has more experience I'd be curious to here how it's used).
  3. Are you mixing a color into the transparency? If you're only keeping the color set to white, then you might a well just use Plain transparency instead. Also, one difference to note between the two methods is that the percentages are reversed - for one, fully opaque is 0% and for the other, fully opaque is 100%. But once you inverse the numbers, the transparency amount works the same between the two (when the color is set to white).
  4. Also make sure these first two checkboxes are checked in Document Preferences:
  5. Just want to toss in the notion that the Design Layer scale has nothing to do with getting the PDF scaled properly or drawing objects at the correct size (since you're always drawing in 1:1 real-world measurements). The Design Layer scale is nothing more than a preview scale: you could set your Design Layer to any scale and it doesn't affect object dimensions. It could even be changed after things are drawn. (I know Pat knows this, but just commenting for anyone else who might read this thread). That being said, setting the Design Layer to the intended output scale right off the bat is usually a wise choice 😉
  6. That's definitely an important function. When I've made pano tours via roundme.com I used the replace feature quite a bit. Didn't realize VW Cloud doesn't have that.
  7. I've noticed that too. Frequently I can't rename the active Sheet Layer, for example.
  8. I'm once again curious what the "Perspective Distance" value actually relates to in real life. What is the 'view plane' referred to above (in Vectorworks I mean)? If the view plane were visible or measurable that answer would make more sense to me. Also, I'm not sure what layer scale has to do with it. I'd be thankful for additional explanation there. I realize this parameter changes the amount of perspective, but is it referring to a measurable distance? Or is it a scale factor of some sort? Or is it an arbitrary number? (that's a valid answer). With some playing around, it seems that there's a relationship of 1:1.111 between the Perspective Distance and the width of the camera view at that distance. For example, if I set the Perspective Distance to 10, then 10" away from my camera's origin the width happens to be 11.111" wide. This ratio seems to hold true for any distance and also in other units, though I'm not sure what conclusion can be drawn from this, haha. I'm down the rabbit hole a bit, and at the end of the day it's just curiosity and not crucial. Currently when students ask what that number is I simply say it's arbitrary and there's no reasoning behind it. Hopefully I'm wrong.
  9. Agree on all of the above. Also, some courses have downloadable files to follow along with, while others don't. For example, I'm brushing up on Site Modeling, but there aren't any course files to download for that course and I don't have survey data laying around currently. So I can't really even practice the lesson... Even if I did have my own survey data, it'd be nice to practice with the same file that the video shows.
  10. Can you post a screenshot of what you're hoping to bring in, or perhaps link to the online sites you're talking about? There are many flavors of figures (2D vector outline, 2D raster image, 3D Image Prop based on 2D raster image, or photorealistic 3D mesh). That will help us better address your question. I'm pretty sure you're referring to the Image Prop variety I mentioned above, though I may be wrong. When you make the Image Prop, make sure to check "Create Symbol" then it'll show up in your Resource Manager as well. (Or you can just do View > Create Symbol out of an Image Prop that's already created). After doing this you could drag the symbol in the Resource Manager into any User Library or Favorite file on the lefthand side for future use.
  11. Shadow Catcher refers to a type of texture; it can be applied to any object. In my example above, I drew a large circle and extruded it to a height of 0", then applied the texture in the Render tab of the Object Info Palette.
  12. I think you might be asking how to take an external image of a figure and make it an Image Prop in Vectorworks, which is an object that takes the photo and applies it to a plane in 3D space that can be set to always face to camera. Model > Create Image Prop. The 'masking' depends on your source file, so let us know if you need help there. Help documentation: https://app-help.vectorworks.net/2020/eng/index.htm#t=VW2020_Guide%2FTextures%2FCreating_image_prop_objects.htm
  13. You can also tile multiple pages on one sheet layer. I have one "Render" sheet layer that has any number of tiled pages, each with a viewport aligned to it. Of course that only works if they're all the same size viewport... And yes, that script can be super handy! It exports the correct pixel dimensions as rendered, though one slight annoyance is that it only exports at 72dpi and changes the image dimensions accordingly to keep those same pixel dimensions. But can still be a real time-saver.
  14. I assume he's referring to something like a 3D gumball/gizmo/grabber/widget interface which Vectorworks SORELY lacks. Smart edges are nice for some things, but are not a replacement. Here's an old wishlist topic to upvote: Honestly I think this would be the number one thing that Vectorworks should implement that would be helpful to any and all industries.
  15. VW2020 is still all sorts of poop when it comes to image exporting at accurate sizes. 😕 Because the Export Image marquee is functionally broken, whenever I need pixel-accurate exports I use another method which is more reliable: I typically render with a 16:9 aspect ratio camera, and I make my viewport 16"x9" and line it up precisely with a Sheet that's also 16"x9". That way the viewport perfectly matches the sheet. If I set my Sheet dpi to 120, for example, and hit Update on the viewport, then the number of pixels rendered is 1920x1080 (Full HD). When I go to Export Image I choose "Each Page as a Separate Image" hence me aligning it perfectly. Note that you have to manually type in the dpi you rendered at (120) and the width (16"), but if you do all those steps then it will actually export at the right size! Back to the topic of the marquee, it actually displays wrong numbers TWICE. Here's a screen grab of the above situation which should be 1920x1080: The floating data bar shows completely arbitrary pixel numbers. Then when it returns to the Export Image pop-up, it inserts some other set of arbitrary numbers: It should be smart enough to automatically use the correct pixel dimensions... BTW, it would be amazing to have an actual Picture Viewer like C4D, or a right click option to just export the rendered pixels as mentioned above... But even if those don't come to fruition, it'd be great for Vectorworks to at least fix the existing tool to work as designed.
  16. Yes, I re-create my workspace each year to help avoid the corruption issue and to make sure new tools are incorporated. I should also note that nothing was really "moved" around for the very reason you bring up... When getting outside help it's beneficial for commands to still be in the same menu location. So the main things that were changed include setting up better shortcuts for basic tools, and adding shortcuts to commands that didn't have one to begin with (changing only a few existing ones). I've indeed seen other folks' custom workspaces that are so different than the default that it's hard to talk the same language. I would very much consider this an optimized version of the default workspace, rather than a completely "new" workspace 🙂
  17. Hmm, good question. I’m not sure about individual Light overrides from the Visualization Palette. My guess is no? I typically only turn entire systems of light on or off by putting the Lights on classes and making those classes visible or invisible. The eyedropper definitely does copy “Lighting Options” along with Foreground/Background render settings. But let us know what you find out about Light overrides.
  18. I was recently made aware that not many folks know about this function in Vectorworks, so I made a page about it: https://www.andybroomell.com/create-similar-object I swear "Create Similar Object" saves me so much time every day... 😃
  19. Here's a tutorial I made for creating custom door and window symbols that insert correctly into walls, both in 2D (with loci) and 3D (with Wall Hole Component). LINK: https://www.andybroomell.com/custom-doors-windows-vwx I typically use the parametric Door and Window tools for the first pass at a design, including placement and size, but when it comes to the next phase I replace these with custom-modeled symbols. This gives you full control over both the 2D and 3D representations. If the unit is modeled well in 3D, detailed elevations and section cuts can be taken directly from the model. Let me know if you have any feedback on the tutorial. Hoping to make more over time 🙂
  20. I recently added a page to my personal site to share various Vectorworks resources and tutorials I've created. I'll be adding to it over time, but I'd like to share one of the pages here which outlines my thoughts about customizing workspaces, since the default workspaces are far from optimized. LINK: https://www.andybroomell.com/vectorworks-workspace One of my goals was to increase efficiency and recognition by assigning as many single-key shortcuts as possible to tools that I use often. (For example: R for Rotate). Because I rarely change my snap settings, I don't need 8 keys on my keyboard dedicated to the snapping palette (I can just use the palette itself). I also rarely use the mode bar buttons beyond the first two (U & I) so that opened up additional keys. This allowed me to take control of my keyboard in more useful ways. Take a look at the page above for specific mapping suggestions; I think some of you would appreciate using a workspace set up this way. I also included a zip file you can download and use that contains Designer and Spotlight workspaces that have been customized accordingly. I tried to keep a balance between retaining many of the existing shortcuts that actually make sense (so that not everything is different) while adding and updating the shortcuts that would prove more useful in most workflows. Let me know if you find this helpful, or if there are additional modifications that you incorporate into your workspace. Obviously there will always be variation from one person to the next, but I'd love to see Vectorworks do a bit of an overhaul some day to make the default workspaces more optimized.
  21. Not sure why it's getting turned off, but it should be the very bottom option of the Render tab in the Object Info Palette - "Mesh Smoothing." "Use Document Preference" will use the settings determined in Document Preferences. Or "Custom Crease Angle" let's you type in a number for that specific object (try range of 50-75).
  22. That should be covered with the "Render Properties" checkbox. I use that one all the time - super useful 🙂
  23. Hence my original suggestion of "Save as New Style" (though "Save as Door Style" etc. is also good). But Pat is right, Vectorworks surely has their own take on it all. Regardless, even if phrasing weren't changed, it should at least be made consistent across the tools.
  24. The eyedropper tool lets you filter for particular parameters if you click the Preferences button first:


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