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bbudzon

Vectorworks, Inc Employee
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Everything posted by bbudzon

  1. Hello all, There has been a slew of problems surrounding video capture cards and Vision. A large part of this is due to the number of manufactures that are out there and the number of proprietary drivers required. Some capture cards explicitly state that they only work with certain software suites. We have been doing a lot of investigation into the capture code to figure out why some devices were working and some weren't. As it turns out, this was more a matter of how the operating system handled the capture device rather than how Vision handled it. What we have found, and tested to a limited extent, is the requirements you should look for in a capture card. First and foremost, all capture cards must be supported natively by Window/OSX; meaning no drivers are required (they can be recommended, just not required). The way these devices work is through a universal driver for video capture called UVC. UVC drivers ship with Windows and OSX so again, no installation required; UVC ships with your OS. Lastly, video can be output in several formats; RGB24, RGBA32, ARGB32, ABGRA32, UYVY422, YUYV422, YUV420P, H264, MJPEG, and many more. Currently, Vision only supports YUYV422 and YUV420P. Once we were able to determine what the Operating System's requirements were for video capture cards, we were able to make educated guesses as to which devices may work. We happened to have a AV Bridge MATRIX PRO lying around (http://www.vaddio.com/product/av-bridge-matrix-pro) that we were able to determine supported UVC. We weren't sure what pixel format it was sending out, but we decided to give it a shot anyway. Turns out, it worked!! We will be purchasing more cards over the weekend that we believe meet the Operating System criteria to test them out. Once we have those cards in house, we should be able to determine that most (if not all) UVC compatible / YUVY422 capture devices will work with Vision.
  2. bbudzon

    Video Capture Cards in Vision

    I can say that I've successfully used my MBP WebCam along with a Capture Card to feed different screens different feeds at the same time. Perhaps, there is an issue with the drivers or something? If you have 2 capture cards plugged into your machine, do other programs like Skype see both capture cards? Is it only Vision that does not see them both?
  3. I just wanted to take a moment aside to stress the importance of using MVR moving forward when exporting from VW to Vision 🙂 MVR has solved a LOT of issues for us with the Vision application. ============================== - For starters, ESC files always had a textures folder next to it which was annoying. MVR has everything baked into the file so no more lugging around extra files/folders like you had to in the past when sharing ESCs! - Next up is the improved rendering quality. Because the MVR file format uses a more standardize backend for its geometry, we can use 3rd party libraries to correct some things at import time. This allows us to enable the "Use Normals" checkbox by default for the MVR file format! ESC Truss: MVR Truss: This is just ONE SMALL example of the improved quality of renderings when using MVR. - MVR also now exports each object uniquely, regardless of whether or not they share a texture! No more exporting each stick of truss into it's own ESC file!! - MVR now names geometry according to the data contained in the MVR! This means that you can name objects in VW and they will come over to Vision with the proper name instead of coming over with MeshShape everywhere! If you do not provide a name, we will default to the name in the OIP. Straight Truss will come over with the name Straight Truss, Slabs will come over as Slabs, Doors will come over as Doors... you get the point! No more giant lists of MeshShapes with absolutely no idea what is what! - MVR contains a unique identifier that allows Vision to detect updates when merging an MVR into an existing MVR document! This means you no longer need to do special exports when you move your truss around. Simply export the entire scene via MVR from VW and merge it into your existing document in Vision. It should auto-update everything for you without duplicating anything! - MVR contains proper local coordinate systems which allows for proper DMX XForm Rotations! ============================== I'll try to field questions here, but I'm excited for you guys to play around with some of this new stuff!!
  4. bbudzon

    Vision 2019 SP3 MVR Improvements

    With a simple extrude shape, you can select the extrude in VW and at the bottom of the OIP is a Name field. Populate that field with a unique Name and export an MVR. When this MVR is opened in Vision, the MeshShape should now have the unique Name entered in the VW OIP.
  5. bbudzon

    Simulating lasers

    @fuberator There may be a few different things you can try. For starters, make sure you are using a very narrow beamed S4 such as a 5deg. Next, bump up your Surface Light Quality to High or Very High in the Application Settings. Next, ensure that Volumetric Quality is at 100% in the Application Settings. Next, try toggling between the old Volumetrics and the new Enhanced Volumetrics. Also, try playing with haze settings in general as "pockets" of haze may make it appear like the laser has "disappeared". Lastly, try making the pinhole in your gobo just a little bit bigger if you are still running into issues. It may just be that it is such a small beam that it turns "paper thin" at certain angles/distances/etc.
  6. bbudzon

    Simulating lasers

    ZOMG @LJ TMS you are a life saver hahahahah I totally forgot we already had this!! Thank you for being such a knowledgable customer!!! 😄
  7. bbudzon

    setting the zoom in vision

    I'm not sure that it is possible to send the Zoom value from VW to Vision. However, to control the Zoom of this fixture in Vision simply select the fixture in the Scene Graph Dock and then open Vision's Software Console. Inside of the console, you should see a slider for Zoom. I believe a value of 255 is 30deg 😉
  8. bbudzon

    Simulating lasers

    Now that we have some customers attempting to do this, I will bring this use case up in our meeting. I'm going to ping @Mark Eli again as he is the one that makes fixtures for Vision. Unfortunately, Vision does not have a way to create/import custom fixtures. We are working on GDTF support in Vision such that you could create a fixture using the GDTF Fixture Builder, but that is not currently implemented. Hopefully, we can put a fixture in the Vision library for you and you can just fetch the content update and use the fixture we've created for you. Otherwise, the best option in your case may be to simply delete the MeshShapes inside of the specific fixture you want to have no geometry. This will not store off in the v3s which is a pain 😞 This also reminds me of a few other "features" that were considered but never implemented... perhaps I can bring these up in our meeting as well. One such feature was the ability to turn off geometry for a fixture at the fixture level (instead of at the global level). Other features that we may need to consider more seriously is the ability to control whether or not lights cast shadows at a fixture level (instead of at the global level). I'm sorry that this workflow isn't the best but you are in uncharted territory hahahah! I'll go with you where no man has gone before, but it may be a rough ride... which isn't to say we can't make this easier in a future release!!
  9. bbudzon

    Simulating lasers

    Sorry, this is specific to the Vision application 😞 I just tried it in Vision 2019 and an optimization we made to Gobo/Color/Animation Wheels broke it! (It did work in Vision 2018, however.) This is why it was never a documented feature 😛 I do think I might know a way we can get it working again, but the reason is broke it was because what we were doing before was very VERY bad for performance. Optimizing the wheels so they only updated when necessary was critical to the performance increases you see with Vision 2019. We may still be able to special case this without hurting performance too bad 🙂 I'll have to dig in the code and see what we might be able to do. Then maybe we can support it for real and we can document it as an actual feature! 🤣 Nevertheless, for a static laser like the OP is trying to do, a pinhole gobo will still do the trick 😉
  10. bbudzon

    Simulating lasers

    You're on the right track! Use a needlepoint gobo for sure. I'd also recommend picking a fixture with a very tight beam/field angle as this (in combination with the needle point gobo) will give you the most realistic result. (And even if you don't need to, try a video file in a S4 gobo sometime, it's really cool!!) It's a little complicated changing geometry of a fixture like you're suggesting, though. You can do it, but it won't get saved off in the file as Vision doesn't expect anyone to modify the fixture content like that. So, you'd have to do it every time you opened the file. Instead, my suggestion (if at all tolerable) is to simply turn off the rendering of all fixtures in your application settings. Unfortunately, this can't be done at a per fixture level and it is only a global setting for the entire document (something we are looking into). Fortunately, this drastically increases performance in Vision 2019 as well. This may be too specific of a request for @Mark Eli, but I'll tie him in just in case. We have some generic emissive spheres but they only glow (they don't emit light). Perhaps it would be good for us to have some generic no-geometry beam-fixtures for users to play around with when "hacking" up Vision to do cool/clever things like this 😄 The other example I had that came up with was creating a make-shift desk lamp in Vision. Having a "no-geometry beam-fixture" would be incredibly helpful in this case!
  11. bbudzon

    Simulating lasers

    Very cool you're looking into this! One thing you may not have known (and may not be applicable in this case) is: just like you can use an image on your desktop for a gobo, you can actually use a video file as well. This can achieve some really cool projector/laser like effects. You're on the right track using a second light at the mirror to simulate the "bounce". My suggestion for controlling whether or not the beam is "on" is to simply use the dimmer channel. You could even patch both lights (the real light and the one at the mirror) to the same uni/chan so that they respond to DMX the same way 😉 Hope this helps and interested to see how far you get with this POC laser in Vision! (I've done this myself btw and gotten some pretty good results!)
  12. bbudzon

    Vision default color temperature

    🤣 I was worried this may be the case... My suggestion here would be to mix and match ESC and MVR to get the result you want. It seems like some things work in ESC and some things don't. Everything that does work in the ESC file format can be exported from VW into an ESC. Everything that doesn't work in the ESC file format can be exported from VW into an MVR. You can then open the ESC and Merge in the MVR (or open the MVR and Merge in the ESC, either way should work). Absolutely. ESC is an incredibly buggy file format and not worth repairing. It will be faster and we believe more beneficial to our End Users to bring MVR import up to snuff.
  13. bbudzon

    Vision default color temperature

    I have seen this before but not quite this bad 😧 Is this happening in both ESC and MVR??
  14. bbudzon

    Vision fixture position mystery

    If the issue is rotational, it may be easier to fix! A little background... VW models all fixtures, regardless of type, to be in the "hung position". Vision models all moving light fixtures in the "floor mounted position" and all other lights in the "hung" position. (...mostly... this is where a lot of discrepancies occur between the two products... VW has always has a standard for modeling fixtures, Vision has not) There are two ways these lights re-rotate to account for this discrepancy. 1. If you are using MVR, the flip happens at import time in Vision. You can try to uncheck the "Flip Moving Lights" checkbox. (Note: If this checkbox is needed for some lights but not others, try merging together two separate MVRs (one MVR that needs the "Flip Moving Lights" option checked and another MVR that needs it unchecked).) 2. If you are using ESC, this flip actually happens at export time rather than import time. In this case, the ESC Exporter checks to see if the type of the fixture in VW is "Moving Head". If it is, it gets flipped. If it is not, it does not get flipped. So you can play around with the fixture type in VW to control how lights are flipped in ESC 😉 I hope this helps!
  15. bbudzon

    Vision fixture position mystery

    Sometimes this is a rotational issue, but in this instance it does seem position based... I'd confirm that the X/Y/Z Position values in Vision (units of inches and Y is Up) align with X/Y/Z Position values in VW (Z is Up). You may need to convert between units of measurement here, but in my experience this usually comes over without issue. My guess is that the issue is differences between the VW/Vision content itself. If this is the case, you can possibly call up the tech support team or the fixture request team and see if they can get it resolved for you. In the meantime, Vision does KIND OF support multiple selection and in this case you may be able to leverage it. Let's assume that in VW the strobes have a Z-Height of 24 inches and they look correct in VW. Let's also assume that this came over to Vision "correctly" with a Y-Height of 24 inches: If all of your strobes in Vision are at 24 inches Y-Height and you need them to be "raised up" another foot, then you can select all of your strobes at 24 inches Y-Height and simply adjust one of the strobes in the Properties Palette to have a Y-Height of 36 inches. This should set all of the selected strobes to have a Y-Height of 36 inches. This was just an example, but hopefully you understand how you can leverage Vision's somewhat broken multiple selections to work around your issue.
  16. bbudzon

    Vision 2019 SP3 MVR Improvements

    This is where you get to see the nasty side of Vision... Vision was never designed to be localizable. Furthermore, the UI was not decoupled from the backend code. Lastly, Vision still does not have a file migrator. What this means is that the UI elements you see in the Property Window are the keys into the backend data for the file format. If we added the string "inches" or "in." or a single quote (to signify inches) to any UI element, it would break file backward compatibility. This wouldn't be an issue if we had a file migrator as we could export to an older format. While there are ways we can change the UI and the code such that this breakage does not occur, it is difficult. What I personally would like to do is to make the file migrator for Vision a much higher priority, despite it not *seeming* important for end users. Not having one prevents us from doing a lot of things and one of those things is adding units to UI fields in Vision 😞 Right now the only way is via the help system. We are looking to improve the What's This system for 2020 which will be nice. But ultimately, Vision needs a file migrator. Then we can start looking into changing UI in a way that would normally break backward compatibility. The next logical step from there is making the UI localizable so the UI text is fully decoupled from the backend data.
  17. bbudzon

    Vision 2019 SP3 MVR Improvements

    Vision's Properties Palette is always in units of inches when referring to distance 😉
  18. bbudzon

    Musical instrument / backline symbols

    Yup! This is the way the Sponza Demo File works if you take a look at that 😉I highly recommend playing around with the textures in VW/Vision to get a feel for things. You can use the images from the Sponza Demo File as a POC. I particularly find the plant textures from the sponza model interesting as they leverage alpha masks and rgb reflectivity maps!
  19. bbudzon

    Musical instrument / backline symbols

    @LJ TMS I'm actually going to pull @klinzey into this part as I'm not as familiar with VW. Alternatively, if @scottmoore would be willing to provide the advanced material images in .png/.jpg format, getting the images out of VW would be moot. Vision takes the uv texture coordinates from the main texture and uses them for bump/reflectivity/alpha/normal maps 😉 So, it should more or less "just work". While it is possible to map each texture onto the object in a different way, it doesn't seem to be common practice.
  20. bbudzon

    Musical instrument / backline symbols

    @scott moore I just wanted to chime in here and say WOW!! Some outstanding modelling here... @LJ TMS One thing that would increase the quality of that still rendering is to check the "Enable Shadows" checkbox! You'll start to get the "full effect" of the content being "on stage" 🙂 There is also a way you can possibly make the content look even better! 😄 I don't have these VW symbols to check the textures, but someone did mention that a lot of these materials are using image shaders and not procedurally generated ones! That is great news for Vision!! Unfortunately, there is a bug causing MVR to only export the main shader/texture image. However, if you can export the advanced shader images out of VW or locate the advanced images on your hard drive (or if @scott moore would be willing to include the images in his package), these can then be assigned in Vision's Materials section of the Properties Palette! So, in theory, you can get Bump, Transparency, and Reflectivity Shader Images into Vision to fully leverage the Vision 2019 rendering engine and its advanced materials!! I'm not sure that @scott moore created normal maps with this content as VW doesn't support it, but if normal maps are available those can be applied in Vision as well! (We are working on the VW bug to get texture exports happening automagically via MVR 😉) I would love to see this content fully leveraged in Vision 2019 for the highest quality and performance and can work with you guys in this thread to make that happen!! Is anyone willing to give this a shot?? Step one is simply trying to get the advanced image shaders onto your desktop or in a random folder somewhere for Vision to use!
  21. bbudzon

    Change fixture type

    We are very sorry for this and realized the missing feature not long ago. I'm trying to get it bumped up on the priority list. Hopefully using MVR makes things a little easier in the short term 😉 I assure you, this is something we'd like to get resolved sooner than later as it has caused a lot of users headache!
  22. bbudzon

    VW to Vision

    I thought maybe I could help out by recording a video demonstrating the workflow of how to set colors on conventionals in VW and how you can send them over to Vision via ESC. When following this workflow, you do not need to worry about making changes to the plot in VW and re-sending it to Vision. So no worries there!! Untitled.mp4
  23. bbudzon

    Texture Reflectivity

    An Alpha texture is like a Transparency image shader in VW. It is a black and white image where black is transparent and white is opaque. Here are a few examples from the Sponza file to give you an idea of what's going on:  Regular Image Texture Shader  Alpha Texture for the Regular Image Another example of a regular image texture/shader  Another example of a alpha texture for the regular image above I would HIGHLY recommend taking a look in the Sponza Demo file's texture folder. Some REALLY cool examples in there 😉 That file uses bump textures, specular textures, the whole 9 yards! 😎
  24. bbudzon

    Texture Reflectivity

    Let me explain a few limitations of Vision 2019 and a few limitations of the Export MVR command in VW.  First and foremost, Vision 2019 does not support "transparency" as you might think of it. Things either either fully opaque (i.e. rendered) or fully transparent (i.e. not rendered at all). Things that are fully opaque cast shadows and things that are transparent do not. The best use case of this is Vision's Alpha Texture (somewhat related to VW transparency shader). Let me provide a good example...  You could model a leaf or a truss with each and every little poly modeled out. This increases quality but severely decreases performance. If you want to get clever with it, you can model out a stick of truss as a plain extrude and apply an "Alpha Texture" to get the "sticks" of truss to appear. The same can be done with foliage, as seen in our Sponsa Demo file (note: Texture Quality must be set to Very High for a lot of the advanced materials to take effect).  No Alpha Texture applied!  Alpha Texture in action! If you look closely, you can see that even the shadows are cast properly and they respect the Alpha Texture. Very cool!! 😎 I stated earlier, this Alpha Texture can be used to create very "performance friendly" sticks of truss or even a chain link fence. I've even wanted to create an example of a rectangle with an Alpha Texture applied to create a performance friendly industrial fan! Next on the list, let's discuss a bug in Vectorworks. Vectorworks currently is not exporting anything other than the Color shader in MVR. If a color is applied in the Color shader, it should come over. If an image is applied in the Color shader it should come over. It skips over the Reflectivity, Transparency, and Bump shaders. We are working to address this as soon as possible. In the meantime, any reflectivity/transparency/bump shader images that you may have in VW can be manually applied in Vision via the Properties Palette (note: Vision does not support procedurally generated textures yet, only images). We are very sorry for the inconvenience and are hoping to get this export issue resolved quickly.
  25. bbudzon

    Texture Reflectivity

    Sure! Bad news first: - Vision does not support procedurally generated shaders. The only kind of textures/shaders Vision supports are in the form of images. - There also seems to be a bug in the MVR/3DS exporter in VW. Even if you do add Image Shaders to all of your various Renderworks Textures, they are not exporting into the MVR. - Vision does not support transparency. It only supports alpha masks which render parts of a mesh as fully transparent and other parts as fully opaque Good news! - We want to get procedurally generated shaders working in Vision, hopefully sooner than later. We also believe that there is a way we can back some of the procedurally generated information in the MVR at export time from VW such that Vision will pick up on at least some of those changes. - We are working towards fixing the bug in VW when Image Shaders are selected as these will work in Vision without issue. - While it may be some time before Vision gets real transparency/translucency in it's rendering engine, Alpha Masks allow you to make some REALLY cool high-quality performance-friendly meshes. The examples I always use are sticks of truss, plants/foliage, and a chain linked fence. Normally you would model these out in their entirety and they would take up hundreds of thousands of polys. But something like a chain link fence could be a simple rectangle with an alpha mask applied such that light passes through it in a chain-link-shaped fashion. Not only does our primary renderer abide by alpha masks, but are shadow map renderer does as well! This means you can use this effect to cast chain-link-shadows onto, say, a curtain. Very cool! When it comes to detailed texturing in Vision, I highly recommend everyone dig down deep into the Sponza Demo file. Look at the textures that are being applied and find those textures on your computer and open them up. Take a look at the bump map images, the normal map images, the reflectivity/specular images, and the alpha mask images. Also, play around with the "Render Normals" and "Render Specular" options in Vision and navigate a little bit around the Sponza scene. This will give you a much better idea as to how image shaders work in Vision and how you can leverage them in your workflow! (Note: I realized I made a detailed post about this with images for examples but it was in the BETA section of our forums. I'll look into posting that here as a follow up to this comment)

 

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