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Gilbert Osmond

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Everything posted by Gilbert Osmond

  1. Why is it that Hardscape objects with 3D attributes (such as Pad or Texture Bed) can apply only to the PROPOSED site model? I want to be able to modify the *existing* site with Hardscape objects. I know I can just create separate site modifiers & manage the existing site that way but it seems like extra work. Why not have the same "Apply to: Existing / Proposed" drop-down for Hardscape objects 3D-display as there is for Site modifiers? Is there an easy way to work around this? Thanks.
  2. I still use a tape measure for about half of my site measurements, a Leica Disto D810 for the other half. I looked at Magic Plan for iPad but it wasn't a good fit for me. The Disto D810 does at a lot of value for long distances, inaccessible objects, plan-distance (i.e. horizontal distance with slope already subtracted out,) object heights, etc. In the long run I am *certain* that 3D point clouding, either with laser scanners or with Project-Tango-type camera-based solutions, will replace most or all hand measuring, even down into residential-level architecture & landscape design. It's just a question of time until the equipment cost drops. With laser point scanners most of the cost is in the extremely high precision rotating-part machinery, both the laser mirror(s) and even more so the survey-station 3-axis mount. Perhaps the cost will come down if they can figure out how to move the scanning process into the solid-state realm, i.e. with MEMS mirrors, something along the lines of how they've made DLP projectors better with fewer moving parts. More likely however is Project-Tango style 3D capturing based on multiple cameras & parallax, maybe with a simple laser distance meter built in to augment or cross-check measurements at key points.
  3. I've read through that (previously) in detail. I think my main wish is for wire-frame to become multi-core aware. As follows: When I am working OpenGL mode, pan/tilt/rotate axes all flow very smoothly with my GTX970 graphics card assisting them, even at highest quality settings. Where it still lags is in *zooming* in/out, specifically and only. Here's what I think the problem may be: the GPU is handling any pan/tilt/rotate movements alone because it has the full model loaded into it already. But when I zoom in or out of the model, the wireframe has to be re-calculated for the shift in perspective. Specifically on *zooming alone,* I watch Activity Monitor and see the Mac CPU bounce up to 100% (out of 400% possible, i.e. 4 available cores). If wireframe became multi-core-capable I bet the hiccups & pauses on zoom in/ out in OpenGL mode would disappear. I should note also that this zoom lag is independent of OpenGL quality settings. High or low, anti alias or not, etc. don't make a difference. That confirms for me that the lag is in the CPU as it deals with recalculating the wireframe geometry when zooming.
  4. If you need portability AND you want high-end GPU performance you can do so with an external GPU setup. As you can see over at the TechInferno forums, perhaps the majority of eGPU users are laptop owners. Many of the setups are physically "klugey" with wires going everywhere but there are some with high marks for fit, finish, and portability. (You have to carry around an extra box the size of a large toaster, but with a good carry-case it could travel without too much trouble.
  5. More GPU support would be fantastic. I understand that there are programming & structural issues that may or may not be possible to overcome, i.e. GPUs are not general-purpose compute units. But aside from the GPU question -- I've spent the last day or so carefully observing Vectorworks to learn exactly where it is CPU-bound, and I am pretty disappointed to regulary (*usually* it seems) see VW using only a single CPU core (out of 4 available) when doing basic operations & geometry updates / re-renders. I gather this by carefully watching Activity Monitor: I almost never see VW take more than 100% of CPU, [which means 1/4th of the available 400% figure.] Am I missing something or have I misconfigured something? I've checked all my preferences carefully. Having VW regularly use all (or a configurable number of) CPU cores would yield instant 200-800% speed increases in many operations I would think. If there is a better thread to discuss this in please point me to it, thank you.
  6. Follow-up, here are Cinebench R15 results with the Nvidia GeForce GTX970 external-GPU solution I set up for my Late-2012 Mac Min. (Note, the CPU scores are a bit low because I was running many apps in the background, did not attempt to optimize.) So far the card runs flawlessly in all parts of OS X, including Vectorworks. I hope it's possible to one day move more of the compute-intensive tasks, e.g. hidden-line, polygon, and CineRender (Renderworks) modes onto GPUs.
  7. Updating this thread w/ useful info: I am now running an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, in an external PCIe <--> Thunderbolt2 box, connected to the Mac Mini's single Thunderbolt port. Setup is running natively in OS X 10.10.5, no Bootcamp / Windows. (But reports indicate it can also work in those modes, w/ some caveats.) This solution works with most *any* Mac with a Thunderbolt port. 300% OpenGL performance increase, makes a big difference for using Vectorworks in Wireframe & OpenGL render modes. (But not other modes -- those are the only 2 that benefit heavily from GPU performance as of this writing. Polygon, hidden-line, and of course Renderworks are still heavily CPU-bound.) In VW2016 the amount of detail, esp. including textures, anti-aliasing, edges, and shadows that the OpenGL mode can display is impressive, and since OpenGL is sped-up by the GPU there is a big difference when handling complex models. You can read about the details of my install at the TechInferno forums, where I gathered info before buying my own equipment. This cost about $670 and around 10-15 hours of research & setup time. You could get the same setup, pre-built, for about $1000 from http://www.bizon-tech.com. Caveat emptor, BizonTech is a small / unknown company, basically all they are doing is re-packaging the same parts I listed in my post above and making a few cosmetic improvments.
  8. I had been running a late-2012 Mac Mini with Intel HD4000 graphics on-board -- slower than the Iris graphics in the MacBook you spec'ced. Finally got fed up, did some research and figured out how to get a real external video card to work with the Mac Mini. I am now running an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, in an external PCIe <--> Thunderbolt2 box, connected to the Mac Mini's single Thunderbolt port. 300% OpenGL performance increase, makes a big difference for using Vectorworks in Wireframe & OpenGL render modes. (But not other modes -- those are the only 2 that benefit heavily from GPU performance as of this writing. Polygon, hidden-line, and of course Renderworks are still heavily CPU-bound.) You can read about the details of my install at the TechInferno forums, where I gathered info before buying my own equipment. This cost about $670 and around 10-15 hours of research & setup time. You could get the same setup, pre-built, for about $1000 from http://www.bizon-tech.com. Caveat emptor, BizonTech is a small / unknown company, basically all they are doing is re-packaging the same parts I listed in my post above and making a few cosmetic improvments.
  9. I'm adding a follow-up here: I was having a similar problem where, despite setting all classes and all layers to Visible, and even copy-pasting just the Site Model to a brand-new blank document, I STILL could not see the Site Model Source Data (points, e.g. 3d loci). Solution: Go to Vectorworks preferences, then to the Display pane, and be sure "Display 3D loci" is set to "Always." (I had mine set to "none" previously, so I could never see any of my 3D loci.)
  10. Xfrog.com Although, at the moment it appears they do not offer a native VW format. You can import .3DS or .OBJ files on a case-by-case basis. Importing is fine if you have 10 or 20 plants to import, not so good if you need 300 or 3000 species.
  11. I am considering buying a 3000+ plant library (from Xfrog.com). They do not offer a native Vectorworks format. Their .3DS/.OBJ files do convert nicely to VW 2016 but only with laborious single-file manual importing. Not going to work for 3000 plants. Is there a way to script the import / conversion of many individual .3DS or .OBJ files from within VW? Or a third-party utility that would do this? Thanks.
  12. Interesting, I am having the OP's (original poster) exact same issue in VW2015 SP4 (with renderworks.) I have created a viewport from 2 or 3 design layers, all at the same scale, nothing super fancy. When I go to set the Render options for the viewport, Orthogonal & Cavalier views work fine, but when I select "Perspective" I get the same tiny (~10 or 12 pixels square) box in the middle of an otherwise-blank Sheet Layer. When I change the perspective to "Orthogonal" and do Update the viewport instantly appears as it should. Any further thoughts on this? Should I attach a sample file?
  13. 3D Point cloud import is exciting. I imagine the cost on reasonably-capable 3D laser scanners will drop over the next 5 to 15 years with improvements in technology. I look forward to the last time I need to use a tape measure & LDM for gathering building dimensions and site model data.
  14. Thanks for the info Jim, the link to the earlier explanation helps put this in context. It's good to know this is a high priority. Hopefully in VW 2017...
  15. Thanks for your speedy reply, Jim. In these areas (the many tiny UI refinements -- things like all dialog boxes consistently remembering their size, position, & previous settings) Vectorworks resembles a giant, splendid mansion with some wings and floors in which cleaning and periodic redecorating have been neglected. Leading to a sense of impressiveness but tinged with disappointment and occasional annoyance upon encountering said areas. I should say, though, on the whole VW is fantastically powerful and it is allowing me to work at a level of clarity, specificity, realism, accuracy, and completeness that was unimaginable without it. Please keep up the good work.
  16. Please add the ability to open multiple windows for each open VW file. This has been requested at least several times in the past, probably many more. Seems like very basic functionality that ought to have been included long ago. It is troublesome in the workflow to have only 1 main window per document. To me, UI / workflow refinements of this kind (and there are many, many more VW could use to become a truly polished, smooth working environment) add as much (or more) value for the average user than all the latest fancy BIM, point-cloud, thermal modelling, etc. features.
  17. As someone else mentioned, the problem occurs regardless of what the Units pref. pane is set to.
  18. Greatly appreciate your research and reporting on this. Relieved that I can stick with my 2012 MacMini6,2 and preserve *better* performance than upgrading to a 2015 Mini. No doubt Apple is kneecapping the Mini so they can sell more iMacs and of course Mac Pros. So far my models are relatively simple and I am finding OpenGL rendering for day-to-day work is very fast. If/when need be I will step up to faster hardware. Cheers, S
  19. Appears that the "Fold Marks" option in the "Sheet Border" object display as cm (centimeter) units only, regardless of other document settings. I am set to imperial / inches in all other areas, including printer paper sizes, etc. Am I missing a configuration elsewhere, or is this an inconsistency to be added to the bug-fix list? Thanks
  20. Bumping this feature request. It should be trivial to trim a wall object to a break line (without ungrouping or decomposing anything) but it seems it's still not.
  21. Problem: when editing a Sketch Style, the house-with-bricks preview image does not change or update as setting sliders are adjusted. Steps to reproduce: - Open VW (Landmark) 2015, SP3. - Open a new, blank document. - Go to the Resource Browser - Control-click (left-click) and select "New Resource --> Sketch Style..." - Attempt to change any of the sliders for the sketch style. On my system (see my signature below for OS details,) the preview image does not change.
  22. In some cases pitch is a mild factor, e.g. where there is usually a strong prevailing wind blowing the rain sideways, a steeply-pitched roof will "shadow" one side and reduce catchment amount on it. It would also be good to easily obtain the actual roof surface area for any roof-related construction or repair. Materials estimating for sheathing, underlayment, shingles, etc.
  23. It is becoming more common for landscaping projects to incorporate rainwater catchment systems from roofs. For estimating & planning purposes one needs the total surface area & slope of a roof. It seems like it would be trivial for VW to display this in the "Object Info" panel, the same way areas are displayed for closed 2D polygons, hardscape areas, etc. Please consider making this small improvement. I read some other, older threads about improvising these measurements by going into 3D view and creating a series of 2D plane polygons fitted to the roof faces, then summing these areas. Fine if you have a simple roof, not if you have several complex ones. Also saw another thread on possibly digging this info out of worksheet / database records, tried to do that but the instructions and procedures described were obtuse at best.
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