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Seth Thomas

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    Landscape/Scenic/Trade Show Designer
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  1. Every workflow is a bit different and my situation certainly doesn't match yours exactly, but I thought I'd share the auto save procedure I've developed over the years that works very well for me at the moment. I make heavy use of layers to organize multiple versions and various parts of a drawing, and all my symbols remain in the file for the duration of the project. I do mainly trade show design, so most of my jobs are based on show cycles that repeat on a yearly or bi-annual basis. Each cycle is based on the previous unless we're doing a complete redesign, so the 2020 file is a copy of the 2019 file, which was a copy of the 2018 file, etc. I will generally purge the new file of unused resources from the last year, but those resources remain in the old plan, so those act as a backup. For the duration of the project I keep one backup every 15 minutes in the same location as the original. I used to keep more, but because I never delete resources from a file until purging before the next show, there is really nothing to lose. That means if I do experience a crash (which is rare, as I will explain in a moment), I never need to go back more than one backup, therefore is no reason to keep more than one. There is nothing in a 30 minute old backup that's not in the 15 minute version, and if I accidentally purged something I need it's in last years file. So my total backup file size is just that one file. As for crashes, I used to experience them so frequently that I once wrote a haiku about them, but no longer. There are often crashes that accompany upgrades, or anomalous behaviors that Vectorworks is famous for (some time ago my rig crashed every time I selected a blue fill from the menu, though it worked fine if I typed in the RGB number), but those are eventually fixed through a service pack (usually), and we can put those aside. I find that the crashes in our office mainly occur due to the user asking too much of the computer in one shocking moment. That's not to let VW off the hook. They should be able to let you know that you're overloading the system and stop your process without crashing the entire program. But I did find that crashing practically disappeared when I began diligently organizing my file into manageable visibility chunks, used Saved Views to navigate them, and kept my geometry as simple and streamlined as possible. If you ask the computer to manipulate too much geometry all at once, it will likely crash. Ultimately, I find that exquisite organization is the key to a happy Vectorworks experience. I described the details of that in an other thread that I participated in some time ago in relation to keeping file sizes manageable (see link below). Another thing I noticed is that auto saving itself can cause crashes, I think when it tries to save while in the middle of some process. So, auto saving too frequently can be a problem because it creates more opportunities for a crash.
  2. Thanks @fabrica for posting the screenshot. This is exactly what I am talking about. I need to un-check that box.
  3. When I create a sheet layer viewport which displays a mixture of internal design layers & design layers containing referenced viewports, the layers with referenced viewports are not visible when a crop is applied to the sheet layer viewport. When I remove the crop, the referenced viewports re-appear. This is another exciting new feature/bug of VW 2019. Anyone else seeing this, or know of a solution? Right now I'm using a hack workaround to mask what I would usually crop.
  4. Hey @zoomer, Your describing the specific situation I was talking about, and yes, I can see the value there. If I used textures that update frequently and needed that reflected in my drafting, I can see it being very useful. I use references for similar reasons elsewhere. My main point is: Why isn't it optional? and why is it the default? After all this time, to suddenly make it default without explanation is... I was going to say odd, but I guess it's not that odd for this company. I really just want to be able to change it, and I'm wondering if anyone knows if and where this setting might be found.
  5. Whenever I add an image to VW 2019 it comes in as a referenced file instead of importing. This never happened in previous versions. While I can sort of see how this might be useful in some specific situations, it definitely isn't in mine, and I find it quite obnoxious as my job uses tons of graphics. Does anyone know if this is a setting that can be changed and where that might be located?
  6. Just adding to the chorus. This happens to me all the time. I'm running 2019 SP2. Refreshing the view one way or another usually makes things reappear eventually, but having to work around glitches constantly makes my already fast paced, high demand job even more difficult. Agreed, though I can't say I've never experienced this from VW. Things like this happen with every release. Hard to say which version has been worse, but I often describe the latest VW releases as Betas that should have had a half-year of practical testing before release. I'm getting very tired from the very real amount of time I spend troubleshooting when I should be done with my job and relaxing instead.
  7. Thanks @Jeremy Best. VW offers many great mysteries to test my troubleshooting skills, though I would much prefer if it just worked. That's another interesting case. There are many moving parts that can have issues. Sometimes we just have to start from scratch and let go of the desire to know why.
  8. I found another user who had the same problem. Good to know it's not me.
  9. Did you migrate your settings? Check your default compression setting. I just went through this and figured out that if it is set to JPG the rendering turns white, but PNG works. I had a discussion about it here:
  10. It's the default compression setting. It works in PNG mode, but creates a solid white render in JPG mode. I use JPG because they are usually smaller file sizes and we use A LOT of graphics, so I do what I can to keep the overall file size small. When I migrated my settings the first time, it brought with it the JPG setting. Reinstalling initially fixed the problem, but when I went through and manually setup my preferences, it came back. I deduced that it must be one of the settings, so I decided to go through and test them all one-by-one. Fortunately my first inclination was the correct one, and it didn't take long to figure out. Now I can toggle the problem on and off by changing the default compression setting. Glad I know now, but this needs to be fixed. I don't really understand why PNG is an option anyway since it is intended for the web, not for print. If I could get a proper CMYK output from VW I'm sure my prints would look much more like the screen, but I digress.
  11. OK Jim, so I have a clue. I just uninstalled and re-installed 2019 after which rendering worked as it should. The same files that were displaying the symptoms I described above rendered properly. This worked multiple times on both computers. BUT, there is one thing that I did differently. The first time I installed the software I used the Migration Manager to move all my settings across. That is when I had the rendering problems. This time I skipped migrating my settings and everything rendered as it should. It still flashed and made me think it wasn't going to work, but in the end the rendering was persistent. Then I ran the Migration Manager on the newly installed VW and the rendering problem returned. I can't imaging what the specific problem could be, but it has something to do with the Migration Manager. I also tried rendering after installing 2019, but before installing SP1.1. The rendering was OK, but the black squares were there. I discovered that refreshing the sheet by pressing command-4 fixed the black squares, but it also looks like SP1.1 may have fixed this also since I do not see the squares after that update. Another oddity: I'm pretty sure the first time I installed and migrated my settings, VW did not ask to update resource libraries. The second & third times, when I did not migrate, it did ask to update resources. Could this be related? Are the resource library settings stored in personal settings? While I'm super annoyed that I can't translate my custom settings over (because I customize practically everything), I'm happy that I've figured out how to make 2019 work. Hopefully that's a clue you can use to figure out what's going on, and pass along to anyone else who has the same issue. Thanks for your help.
  12. Unfortunately, I do not have permission to send any files. Everything I work on is confidential and I would certainly be fired if I let information leak, even for something like this. I've asked before. Sorry, I know your trying to help, and I appreciate it. I may try an uninstall and fresh re-install.
  13. I've done this on multiple files with multiple machines. I've restarted the application and rebooted the computers. I've also tried re-converting files from 2018 to see if the file somehow became corrupted during conversion. No luck. I have a Mac Pro (Late 2013), 3.5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xenon E5, w/ 16 GB RAM running macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 and a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014), 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 w/ 16 GB RAM running macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 I can't send a screenshot because since the SP1.1 update it never even gets to that point. Since then, the viewport goes completely white when the rendering is complete (I also have to be very careful about sending anything because I work for a very litigious company with a lot of trade secrets, but I will provide as much info as I can). To describe it though: As I'm sure you know, a camera rendering starts in the center of a viewport and renders out squares in a bit of a spiral pattern until it reaches completion at the edges. In my case the final few squares at the edges would remain black, to differing degrees for different attempts. I'll also note that, unlike 2018, my 2019 makes the entire viewport black before the image begins to render, then flashes the entire viewport white occasionally as the render progresses.
  14. Just installed SP1.1 and can confirm that it did not fix the rendering issue I mentioned above, and in fact it is now worse. It now goes straight to a white viewport when rendering is complete and never gives a finished view. Very dissapointing since @JuanP stated that: Three of the five items listed above relate to rendering, and yet RENDERING STILL DOES NOT WORK. I can work around annoying glitches, but if I can't render than the whole program is useless.
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