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Mark Aceto

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Posts posted by Mark Aceto

  1. 10 minutes ago, Tanner Shelton said:

    Currently with my workflow, I don't texture at all in Vectorworks. My only items in the resource browser has been symbols. I also don't light or even try to mess with cameras either. And then I do all lighting, cameras, and texturing in Cinema with Coronas material node editor and Corona lights. This way my Vectorworks file is a lot smaller, and others can work on my layouts without having all of the fluff slowing down their computers.


    This right here is how everyone should draw (although cameras are the only way that I know of to outsmart the distorted 3 point perspective in VW).


  2. @Tanner Shelton I'm following that Twinmotion thread like a hawk. Fingers crossed for SP3 TM live sync... 


    Renderworks aka "Cinerender" is just a ported (watered down) version of Cinema that's been gathering dust over the years. I totally get why it existed 10 years ago but if it were up to me, I'd remove it from VW altogether. It does not spark joy. #maintenance-release


    In 2020:

    • The only rendering that belongs in VW is OpenGL and Hidden Line
    • VW should integrate (sync not export) with as many thirty party rendering apps as possible


  3. 20 hours ago, Amorphous - Julian said:

    That’s really awesome to know @Diamond I’ll sign up to follow the news. 


    I’m open to getting C4D + REDSHIFT for our office, but than everyone have to learn another software (C4D) just for rendering our models, it would be so much better if a REDSHIFT plug-in was available for Vectorworks directly.


    Lets hope the guys from Vectorworks will shed some light on this.


    That would be a nice option for some users but for the rest of us, we don't want all of that entourage and all of those pixels ballooning our file size, especially if working in a shared project environment. That said, I don't believe Redshift offers a library of entourage objects (or textures) as it's meant to be a plugin to speed up GPU biased rendering. VW is the tool of choice for building the bones in the design layer, plating it up in the sheet layers, and using the data for everything from worksheets to Bracewurst. Leave the rendering (and entourage) to an external program like Cinema with plugins like Redshift (see also: Lumion, Twinmotion... ). The key word from your original post is "integration".


    • Like 1

  4. 23 hours ago, zoomer said:

    Depends on what realtime Raytracing is.

    Twinmotion or Blender Eevee do "screen space" Reflections/GI only to stay realtime.

    (a mirror won't show anything object behind the camera and such things)


    Blender Cycles is a real GPU renderer, which does real Raytracing and GI like VW RW.

    Still a GPU renderer with raytracing and faster than RW, but far from realtime.


    So far AMD had not the fastest GPUs overall (RTX 2080 TI) but attractive midrange cards.

    That may change soon ("big Navi"), beside that Nvidia's next generation is expected

    to be pretty faster again too.

    Not very important for Apple users as AMD is their only choice.


    AMD has a real GPU Renderer since years which is AMD Pro Render.

    But that is a real Raytracing engine like Cycles, VRAY RT, Octane, ..... so not for real time usage.



    For Real Time Nvidia offers an OpenCL, Vulkan, Cuda, RTX and Optix API.

    With these anyone can develop a Realtime Engine, using any or all of these.

    AMD offers all open standards but of course no proprietary Nvidia stuff like Optix, Cuda and RTX.

    Nvidia RTX API is necessary to use their RTX cores at all.

    If AMD will really offer another kind of special Cores for RT like Nvidia, that needs again a new special

    API to access these cores, isn't very important. Maybe they will do that raytracing compute work

    just do on regular cores.

    The only problem for AMD users would be if all developers would support only Nvidias proprietary stuff

    (no matter if that would be RTX or just Cuda) and nothing else (unlikely), or that Nvidia can offer

    much faster and more effective GPUs forever (let's see).



    But current GPUs are still years away from offering enough power for real Raytracing in Realtime.

    So currently Games with RTX can only choose to use one single raytrace feature - either GI or Reflections.

    And even though, activating that single RTX feature means 40 FPS instead of 150 FPS without.


    I'm basically comparing RTX 2080 Ti to whatever AMD plans to offer in the next year or so for those of us stumbling around in Apple's walled garden.

  5. 5 hours ago, zoomer said:


    Game Engines like Unreal can afford support for Metal.

    So I see not much  problems with Unreal on macOS/AMD in the future.


    Apple support may just have lower priority.



    AMD will support Raytracing Accelleration soon.

    Not sure if AMD will need or offer any special GPU cores, similar to RTX cores

    on NVidia. RTX also runs on NVidia GPUs that have no RTX cores.

    If such special raytrace cores are really faster than standard cuda cores for

    that specific task - than fine.






    My point is that Apple only supports AMD (after High Sierra), and AMD does not offer realtime ray-tracing. When asked about it in mid-2019, AMD pretty much dodged the question, so it sounds like we could expect realtime ray-tracing in 2021 (3 years after NVIDIA introduced it).


  6. 10 hours ago, grant_PD said:

    I would welcome TW as lumion style interactive real time window for working within VW.  After investigating the Unreal engine for a bit, it seems that TM is really just a very light version of Unreal, geared towards architecture.  

    And it does a fantastic job for exteriors, placing entourage and exporting video, hands down.  I realize how important that is for lots of users.  Just not for entertainment users.  


    I worked at a design team that used Unreal Studio (on Windows), and your assumption is fairly accurate. While Unreal Studio is far more powerful, it requires infinitely more tinkering to output the final product. That's where TM comes in by building a front end GUI, specifically for us (not gamers). While our renders weren't as polished as Cinema, they were literal screenshots.


    Also, to clarify, someone above used the term "baked". Real time does not = baked. Baking lights into a scene is more akin to what we've experienced in Cinema/Renderworks. That's also why one of the toughest things to render in Unreal/TM is atmosphere: smoke, fog, beams (of light). It always has that uncanny valley.

  7. January has become my new favorite time of year.


    It's worth noting that VW2020 didn't port the revolutionary Audio ToolSet 2 update from a year ago. And the stock text fields for LED screens are severely lacking compared to the original.


    • Like 1

  8. 2 hours ago, Smatticus said:

    I'm still trying to wrap my head around the increased degree to which the latest versions of VW are using sub part classes for objects... making the actual class assignment of the object as a whole somewhat meaningless in certain situations and respects.


    To help wrap your head around that, turn off hierarchical display. It's really just an organizational naming convention to map attributes/texures. I've actually started using the same organization in my budgets and other documents (Site, Site-Barricade, Site-Restrooms).


    That said, there's one caveat that drives everyone crazy, and I think this is what you're trying to wrap your head around: the "parent" class doesn't actually function as a parent (screenshot attached). The forums are filled with debates, complaints, and workarounds to this bug feature. VW's answer for their Spotlight template is to add a "-Main" class to everything. That also opens up a whole debate of classes vs layers... that has very little to do with mapping attributes.


    Pro Tip: with the "Landru-sourced" tools, I always select the default parts classes except when I'm doing something weird. Sometimes, I'll want to be able to hide a class from a sheet layer, so I'll create a "-Hide" class. This is often the case when I'm masking a projection, tweaking the bases on drapes, using the drape tool for event fence (and completely renaming the default classes "Fence-Scrim" and so on). For clarification, you can change the parent name from "SoftGoods" to "Soft Goods" or "Fencing" or "Nerfherder" or whatever you want, and all the parts class will take it: Nerfherder-Curtains, Nerfherder-Borders, and so on. I will usually make that same name match the class in the OIP ("Audio" vs "None").


    Keep in mind, all of this starts functioning a little like the 0 class in AutoCAD. Every sub/part/class must be turned on for it to be visible.



    Screen Shot 2020-01-07 at 10.02.10 AM.png

    • Like 1

  9. Fingers crossed for Twinmotion live sync in VW2020 SP3 (like Lumion last year). We know it's in the works; we just don't know when (SP3 usually drops in March, and the Design Summit is in April).


    I assume that some of these 3D design/render apps are competitors, so I'm not holding my breath for future integrations with all of them.


  10. 18 hours ago, scottmoore said:

    Perhaps it is just me, however, from a design mindset, it is important to get ideas out of one’s head and into the computer as quickly and accurately as possible. It seems like the initial design process has become overly complicated in service of simplifying the details required after a design has been approved. I find it frustrating and typically just avoid it altogether. 


    That perfectly describes my chief criticism of most new "improvements" introduced over the past few years: death by a thousand clicks.


    To Andy's point: a symbol that's properly classed, should be replaced with the same attributes and in the same orientation. Otherwise, it's "Two steps forward (six steps back, six steps back, six steps back, six steps back)".


    This is why most of the shops and designers I work with don't even use the Title Black Tool (and when they do, they heavily misuse it).

    • Like 3

  11. I don't need to open the file to know this pain. I can live with the logic of replacing a longer stick with a shorter stick (adjusting the assembly for that would be a nice-to-have) but the unrotated 3D orientation of the replacement symbol (a must-have) is what really grates my gears.

  12. On 12/10/2019 at 9:10 AM, bgoff said:

    If you need to move the geo image just click and hold using the Geo locate tool and move to the desired location


    @bgoff thank you! As a VW user since 2012, I never would have guessed to click and hold vs move by points.


    The other thing that threw me at first was drawing a rectangle to create the geoimage. Although that sort of made sense in hindsight (cropping images and viewports), it took hours of trial and error until I randomly noticed a rectangle being drawn in the promo video (must have watched it a dozen times before I caught that).


    I totally get the choices made but some of them break with Vectorworks logic / behavior, and the documentation in the help app is like reading a Jane Austen novel, so a quick video or cheat sheet would be really helpful to get us started with this tool / feature set 🙏


    Continued thanks for making this possible - it's a massive game-changer in the outdoor live events industry 🙌


    • Like 2

  13. I just called sales, and paid for it.


    Here's the lowdown for Service Select members (only compatible with Spotlight and Designer):

    • $600 to purchase ConnectCAD 2020 (perpetual license)
    • $132/year to maintain add-on at time of annual SS renewal (for upgrades)

    So, even though it's not baked into 2020 for free, at least it's less expensive than it was before (not to mention ramping up development in-house).


    Excited to get cracking as I've had my eye on ConnectCAD for years, and finally pulled the trigger!


  14. 1 hour ago, JRA-Vectorworks-CAD said:

    @Mark Aceto Lucky you. Please tell us how you find the new MacBook Pro 16" as I am looking a reason to upgrade my MacBook portable for work on the go, as I still feel Apple make great laptops!


    However, I could not justify even consider the new Mac Pro....So I just bought my first ever PC I have nicknamed "The Beast" as it eats Twinmotion for breakfast, and it has AMD Ryzen™ 9 3900X CPU, AM4, Zen 2, 12 Core, 24 Thread, 3.8GHz, 4.6GHz Turbo processor and a 11GB GeForce® RTX 2080 Ti Graphics Card! All for only £2K+ VAT.


    Its also really nice to be able to max out settings in Renderworks and not worry about time as it chew though 300 DPI renders in final quality. Part of my thinking was that I will use this machine to do my test renders while I develop my presentation for San Diego on " The Art of Renderworks"


    What does anyone else feel about Mac Pro VS specced up PC?


    Sorry for the confusion, I was joking about my future 16" MacBook Pro... now that it's finally available. However, I don't plan to buy one until the next iteration in summer 2020 (when Catalina is stable, I no longer need 32-bit apps, it has the next gen CPU, Wi-Fi 6, a time-tested keyboard... )


    The Beast sounds epic. AMD had some pretty big announcements today too :)


    The new 16" MBP configured with the same specs as my 2019 MBP (8-core 2.4GHz, 4GB VRAM, 32GB RAM, 2TB SSD) costs an unbelievable $1,000 LESS (with mostly newer faster components, improved restored keyboard, physical Escape key, a slightly larger screen)so that gives me hope that the upcoming Mac Pro won't kill buyers with upgrade pricing. That said, the CPU has already been trounced by what AMD is currently offering (especially for your VW 300 DPI renders), so I think we still live in a world where we use a MBP as our daily driver (and take onsite), and config a Windows workstation for rendering.


    Also, they've greatly improved computer trade-in value which really helps everyone who bought a lemon (myself included).


  15. On 10/3/2019 at 10:35 AM, MattG said:

    The only thing maybe more specific to the side of the industry I'm in is 3rd party plugins can bite you if you work up a drawing that goes out and someone at some point wants to adjust something and doesn't have the plugin.  Often times those people aren't super VW savvy and it becomes a tech support call with me or something.  That's my only hesitancy with 3rd party stuff. What is cool is how VW has begun to incorporate things that were non-native plugins into VW.  


    That's also a great way to keep people from messing with your drawing :)

  16. On 11/19/2019 at 9:36 PM, JBenghiat said:


    I believe that pricing includes the Vectorworks Spotlight license, so that's about $700 above Spotlight alone. I think that's actually the same with Braceworks — the quoted price is for a new license of Spotlight with Braceworks.


    What isn't clear from the site is how and how much the cost is to add on one of the additional packages to an existing license.


    Oh boy... Yeah, you're right. There's even a little widget above the pricing menu for Spotlight or Designer that will bump the combined cost of Designer + ConnectCAD to $5,545.


    While the hopes of it being baked into 2020 at no cost are lost, like tears in rain, the new hope is that the cost of ConnectCAD is no more expensive than it was before it was acquired. That said, I need another subscription service like I need a hole in the head.



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