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    Lighting Designer
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    Sydney, Australia
  1. Bruce's response is absolutely correct...but if you don't need to do 3D, you can do what I do. If I have to create a plot with a single truss that has lamps off both chords, I draw the truss using the truss tool (on the Lighting Positions Layer), then draw lines following the chords and convert the lines to Lighting Positions (e.g. US chord & DS chord). I draw on all the lights I need, then when I'm done, I edit the Lighting Symbol positions and make the lines white, then move them to the back so they vanish. The line is still there, just white, but the lights have correct position info, and the lighting position label and info displays and prints correctly.
  2. I just create a gobo symbol for the different lights that have gobos on a plot (so VW and LW count the gobo holder types correctly), insert the symbol as an accessory into the plot, and enter the gobo number into the template field (once again so VW and LW count the gobos required correctly). Usually my symbols are a circle with one letter inside. For example, my standard Source 4 gobo holder has a 'G' inside the circle, while a Selecon Pacific has a 'P' inside the circle. In the case of Pacifics, you need to be very careful as the wide zoom takes an A size gobo and the narrow zoom takes an M size gobo - so I have to work out a way to differentiate between the two when combining both lights on a plot. Basically, my two rules here are that it has to be clear on the plot and be able to be counted separately by VW or LW.
  3. Hello, I am trying to help out a friend, who is new to VW spotlight, print his plot as a PDF. I do this all the time using Mac OSX's Save As PDF feature, and it works a treat, but my friend's drawing will not print as a PDF. It prints as a white page document that has a file size of 1.5Mb!!! The drawing is A1. I can print parts of it to PDF as A4, A3 and A2 size, but when I go to the proper A1 drawing size I get nothing but a blank PDF. This is very unusual. I regularly print VW Spotlight drawings to PDF files up to A0 in size with no trouble. Anyone know a solution or reason?
  4. Here's an interesting discovery... I use a Targus USB numeric keypad while I'm drawing, and I've found that the [ENTER] key on the USB keypad acts the same way as the [ENTER] key used to on the PowerBook's keyboard - so I don't need to press the [ESC] key. I'm using VW Spotlight 10.5 and OSX.2.8.
  5. It sounds to me like this is actually a problem with LW4. If LW4 is recognizing the accessory as such but not displaying it then it is surely LW that has the problem, not Spotlight. Remember, LW and Spotlight exchange data as tab-delimited text, so I can't see how this can be addressed by SL if it is already exporting an item with a 'Device Type' of 'Accessory'. Additionally, LW4 (especially V4.0.2) has importing issues. I have been in contact with John McKernon, who is very helpful in these matters, and he has now released a beta version of LW4.0.3 which is meant to address a lot of these issues. I haven't downloaded it yet, but it is available at McKernon.com. Maybe you could contact him in regard to LW4 not recognizing accessories correctly?
  6. Everyone except this Mac user! I totally agree that Lightwright is the way to go. But if the editable worksheets could sort by Position and Unit number, I wouldn't have to exit the program to quickly enter basic channel, colour, purpose and gobo information. My real dream is that one day, when I refresh instruments, the program realizes when lights have shifted so the position info updates. As yet I continue to dream....
  7. I must admit that I don't seem to have your problems with the Label Legend manager since V10. I've upgraded to V10.5 but I haven't drawn a plot with it yet so I don't know how the label legend manager behaves in the upgrade. In regards to speed, I draw channels and colours on my light plot as that is the standard in Australia. I find the Object Info Palette too clunky for most plots as I average 200-400 lamps per plot. The fastest way for me to generate plots is to use both Lightwright and Vectorworks' strengths. I draw the positions and symbols in Vectorworks, then use the Refresh Intruments command to generate unit numbers. Then the instrument info is exported to Lightwright, where I begin with Position, unit number and lamp type info. From here Lightwright is a much faster way to enter all other data (channels, colour, gobo, dimmers, etc..) then the completed information is imported into Vectorworks and 90% of the plot is complete. From here I just change the odd label legend where required, and add a title block and a key. I even have a little symbol and label legend for set electrics so that updates thru Lightwright too. I used to have odd vectorscript problems with Spotlight V9.5, but the importing and exporting routines in V10 are much more stable.I would certainly recomend this method. If I had to complete all plots using the Object Info Pallette I think I would go mad. There are people who advocate using the editable worksheet, but until it can sort by more than one category then it is very limited in its ability. Lightwright is purpose built for lighting, not an add on to a CAD program, and so is infinitely better for entering and managing the data we have to assign to instruments.
  8. Well, I can't really believe the amount of comment my little problem has caused. I am hopeful that this problem can be fixed in future versions of Spotlight, especially now so many people have commented on having the same problem. I appreciate that Nemetschek does not have to directly reply to posts on this board, but by monitoring it they can surely see what issues are important to users. One of the main reasons for me to draw using Vectorworks is the speed and ease of drawing a plot , and issues like this are dull as they slow down the drawing process. Mirroring is such an important part of CAD drawing that hopefully this problem will be fixed soon. I still look forward to this board being a very useful tool for like-minded users to share information and compare techniques to aid everyone's drafting of lighting plots, and help solve problems. Now, if we can only get them to make editable worksheets sort by more than one category, then maybe I wouldn't rely on Lightwright as much!
  9. I have created a new user in Mac OSX.2.6 for a production I am working on at the moment to keep my own files private. When I open VW Spotlight in the new user, I am prompted for a serial number. Is it OK to use my current serial number? The program is still only installed on one computer - just now being used by multiple users.
  10. The fonts are - Helvetica, 9 point in bold for the Channel, and Arial, 6 point in italics for the Colour. I use VW on my Mac running OS10.2.6, and VW Spotlight 10.1.
  11. I'm having a problem with a current plan where the legend text is not displaying as per the label legend manager. The legends I'm using are imported from other drawings and the font and style settings in the label legend manager are correct. But when the legend is assigned the light does not display the text correctly. When I shift the text manually, it then displays correctly (and prints correctly), but when I refresh intruments, the text returns to the incorrect look. Anyone have any ideas? This is the first time this has happened to me and it is really confusing. I've tried deleting the label legend and re-importing it, and I've tried removing the label legend from the lights and re-attaching it but it doesn't help.
  12. I don't know if this helps, but the multicircuit problems I had after upgrading to V10 Spotlight, were solved by double-clicking on the 'Key to Instrumentation' to edit it, and clicking in blank space to de-select everything. For some reason, the KEY TO INSTRUMENTATION command places a key as a group and selects everything in that group. This means that when trying to convert to multicircuit, the command tries to convert the instruments you selected, plus everything in the key to multicircuit - and an error results. Since finding this out, I've had no problems.
  13. I don't know how to avoid your problem, except to say that I have made up my own 'zipstrip unit' symbol that I use (in combinations) to make up 2,3,4 circuit zipstrips. This also makes transferring to Lightwright easier as there is only one zipstrip instrument type. I also spend a little time these days editing the key to instrumentation once it is created. Given it is a group that can be edited like any other, I usually eliminate the 'have' and 'need' columns (leaving the 'used' column) as most of the venues I put shows into are bare-walls. In your case, you could delete the unwanted zipstrip symbol.
  14. I didn't have exactly your problem with 10.1, mine was that I couldn't convert lighting instruments to multicircuit units. The problem was (and it could be with you) that after converting an older drawing to 10.1, the entire key block, which is a group, was selected. You can't immediately see this. You need to double-click on the key block to enter [group edit], then click in blank space to de-select everything, then [exit group], select your instrument and try to convert again. This worked for me.
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