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Posts posted by Taproot

  1. @Boh Like Pete, I use hybrid symbols as well.  It's pretty quick if you create the 2D part of the symbol by using the 'Covert Copy to Polygons' (hidden line) command while the 3D object is selected in plan view.


    I find 'hidden line' views to be slow and problematic.  Wall join issues and minor errors in VW rendering create fragments that can require masking or a  lot of time to fix.

    I pretty much always use hidden line in combination with open GL textures for elevation views.  The textures help show the geometry even if the line fails.


    Also - check your Document Preferences > Mesh Smoothing with Crease Angle.  I typically have mine set to 70.

    While it likely doesn't apply, if you are having trouble with curves, I have found that tweaking that setting can positively (or negatively) effect the rendered result.

    • Like 1
  2. @Snowbunny That may be the case.  Try "Set by Image" and then drag the two points of the line (you may have to zoom in to see it) to the full extent of the image and set the value to a real world approximation of its size.  Then in the "Edit Texture" dialog, Set the "Object Size" to the same value.  The latter setting is really a preview of what your texture is going to look like tiled, so you can set the zoom distance by how its size differs from the "Edit Image" size. 


    If that doesn't work, try applying the texture to an object and see if it works in the file (and at what level of zoom). 


    If that doesn't work, try re-importing the image source file as a different file type i.e. JPG or PNG (different from what you did the first time).


    Good luck.

    • Like 1
  3. Yes, even those of us who studiously figure out the idiosyncrasies can't manage to make some of these tools work consistently.  It shouldn't be this hard. 


    Given what I know now, I'm almost inclined to just insert doors as cased openings and then use symbols for my custom door leaves.  That way I can maintain better control over the objects and scaling.  Obviously scheduling becomes an issue, but I might give it a go anyway.



    • Like 1
  4. @techdef I think that would be a difficult one to plan for.  Doors and windows would need to be aware of where they are relative to the finish floor.  So, what happens if you have a step up in the building and the floor is now 6" taller, but the wall extends 18" below the floor level (to match with the other exterior walls)?  The problem just gets kicked down the road a bit.


    I often use the same technique you do - extending the base of my walls down an extra foot or so to cover the floor system.  For what it's worth, in the OIP the door height will show up as an offset from the 0' datum in the following image it's -1'-0".  I find it pretty easy to adjust the height to 0 (or whatever I need it to be) as part of the door insertion process.  Perhaps you already use this technique, but if not, it might be helpful.






  5. 3 hours ago, tekbench said:


    1. The Roof Tool. I'm having a tough time deciding if this is a tool that is useful for complex designs.

    The existing roof is a super simple hip roof. Building is square, so no ridge. Just 4 hips, coming together at a point. In the living room, we're putting in an acoustic ceiling (recording studio style with 2x6 joists and rockwool, not a typical office drop ceiling) below the existing roof. Having a hard time integrating my roof 'parts' with the roof tool created parts. Couple questions for the group:

    *If you draw custom rafters, blocking or joists, do you use extrudes, solids, Polys, lines/groups or some other item as your main go-to? this is basic US Pine/fir/hemlock 2x6 and 2x4 framing material we're using. Nothing special.

    *Is there a preferred way to create custom rafters/blocks/joists that better works with the Vectorworks Roof Tool?


    The roof tool is more of a helper than a tool.  I usually use it for hipped roofs at the beginning and then explode it into roof faces for more detailed work.  For a pyramidal roof, you could use it this way or model each roof face and then duplicate at 90° to complete the 4 sides of the roof.  I prefer to work with roof "faces" rather than the roof tool.  I typically model a 1" thick roof face which is equivalent to 5/8" ply + 3/8" roofing.  I can then texture the top with the roofing texture and the bottom with a plywood texture.


    Once you have a roof face, go to the menu: AEC>Framing>Roof Framer.

    That will create rafters, purlins, etc using the framing "helper."  It's not a smart command, in that there's no telling where it will start the layout from, but it will match rafters to the right pitch etc.  My advice is to use it to create your basic framing components and then manually adjust the layout, overhang lengths, etc.  Once you have one face done correctly, you can group and copy the members to the other 3 sides of the roof.  If you need to create custom framing members. The "Framing Member" tool is versatile and allows for easy adjustment on the fly.  If you want more control, you can go with an extrude, but they are harder to manipulate later.


    I have my framing members set to classes for texture mapping.  For wood members, I use textures with a fine enough grain where it doesn't really matter which way the texture is oriented (it's a crapshoot).  For locations where grain direction IS really important, I make two different textures (one rotated 90° from the other) and apply them to the respective surfaces where they look right.





    3 hours ago, tekbench said:

    2. Solid paneling on stud walls as a final surface feature. We're using pre-finished Birch panels as finished wall.

    *I'm using .5" thick 'walls' as the panels. This method seems 'heavy' and a little bit clunky. How do others typically do this? There are a number of cutouts, subtractions and flush fit things in the panels, so it's not just a plain slab of ply oriented on the wall. The grain direction in rendering also seems to have a mind of it's own. I can sometimes get the grain to orient properly, but sometimes it wont. (select OIP, Render tab, rotation) Panels that were walls and are now 'solid subtractions' are rotating properly. Some others are not. 


    Why not use a multi-component wall with a stud cavity and a 1/2" thick paneling component?  Or, are you modeling each stud?




    3 hours ago, tekbench said:

    3. The door tool.

    *It seems totally useful. And at the same time, well, fairly complicated to do simple things. Like paint one side of a door pine, the other grey. seems like I'm missing the boat on this one. What 'best practices' are people using for custom door skins/colors?


    @fabrica explained this one.  In the Door Settings > Classes you can control the appearance of panels, rails/styles, etc. separately.


    3 hours ago, tekbench said:

    TIA. I appreciate it all. any comments are more than appreciated.





    VW can do anything you want as long as you're willing to fiddle with it long enough. 

  6. @salwa.abt@gmail.com 

    Make sure that in your preferences you specify a location and a saving interval time for a backup file or file(s).  That way, if something goes catastrophically wrong you can go back a little ways in time rather than have to recreate a lot of work.  Personally, I save version files all along the way so that I have solid backups to return to if needed.


    I can't comment as to why your textures disappeared, that is a query for tech support.  However, stairs are challenging as the individual elements (risers, treads, etc) are controlled by settings deep within the stair tool.  So, you need to set them there. 


    I do find that textures sometimes need to be toggled to actually apply to an object.  As in:  Apply the texture and no change is evident.  Then, apply a different texture and undo it and often the correct texture will show up. 

  7. This topic comes up steadily over time, but as my texture libraries mature, I'm always on the lookout for the best available resources to add to them.


    This past year, I finally went beyond DIY and free resources and made a "donation" to https://www.sketchuptextureclub.com/

    It cost me about $13 USD and provided me with access to the site for the year.  I have no affiliation with them, but I can definitely say that the investment was worth it. I've downloaded hundreds of high quality seamless textures and really improved the quality of my 3D renderings as a result.  The other plus is that new textures are added over time, so it's not just a static set of files...


    I'm not looking to be redundant to other posts on the forum, but if you've discovered other great resources please add your 2 cents.



    • Like 1
  8. @Boh From my experience, you have the right approach.  One trick / tip I would offer is to create a library of standard components:  Returns, extensions, uprights, etc.  Instead of trying to model everything as one polyline / nurbs, simplify the operation.  That way, your angled rails can be a simple EAP.  Your miters won't match perfectly, as returns will be horiz. and rails will be sloped at 1:12 ±, but it's generally close enough that the error disappears in the line weights.



    • Like 2
  9. 7 hours ago, Christiaan said:

    This kind of categorisation could also be done with Tags.



    I've experimented with tags, but since users specify the tags, it's really like adding keywords to a post rather than any kind of big-picture structure.

    I imagine that it could work with a closed system - where the tags were selected from a pre-defined list.  The trick would be in making the user interface friendly enough to use as there could be a thousand+ different tags.  I would imagine an automatic search on entry so that a list of tags that matched the spelling would pop up upon entry.  That assumes, however, that everyone has a detailed name recognition of all of the tools, menu commands, etc...


    I don't know that I have a better answer, but I do appreciate the increased transparency with the software team and the efforts to respond to user requests ... and I feel that the existing feedback system is woefully inefficient.


    @unearthed I think the users and the shareholders already have the common goal of seeing the software succeed.  We're all investing significant resources in that direction.  My observation is that the process of including the users in the enhancement and development of the software is under supported and under-utilized. 

    • Like 2
  10. @techdef  Your post gave me just enough motivation to make it through the stuck point to success.  I don't know why empty folders weren't showing up before on Dropbox, but they are now.  I was also flummoxed by the inability to shift between "local" and "online" locations for our files.  Everything was initially setup to "local" and there was no way to switch them ... so online workgroup folders wouldn't function properly.


    It turns out it was a glitch in Dropbox.  After making the "smart sync" changes in the dropbox settings I had to shut everything down and restart the computer before the settings would take effect.  Now - everything seems to work!  So, if anyone else gets stuck ... the solution is the tried and true - turn it off and back on again.


    I appreciate the collective wisdom that Dropbox is the best all-around cloud option.  Thanks.

  11. @ChollyO  I think you can probably achieve what you want within worksheets.  From your description, it's a little hard to visualize what your preferred solution is.  Perhaps post a screen capture of a mock up of what the text would look like.


    If the issue is just compactness - i.e. the long worksheet is too big to manage and read, you could just modify the cell formatting so that the text is rotated 90° and run vertically.  That would make it a lot tighter.


    If you wanted to take it a step further for readability, you could then rotate the worksheet on the page 90 degrees and get clever ... i.e. put the column titles at the bottom (below the database rows) and have the database row sort from bottom to top so that when viewed it appeared that the whole thing was designed left to right ...   I'll attach some images to convey the idea, but you can riff off of these ideas and likely get to where you want to go.


    Your worksheet with text vertical:




    Worksheet with text vertical but worksheet is rotated 90° on the page and titles are at the bottom...




  12. Just create a window plug in object to the specs of the window in the dormer.  Then Modify > Create Symbol  to turn it into a symbol.  You can then insert the "Symbol" into your roof to create the dormer.  Or you can just model the dormer from walls and roofs.  The auto-dormer is fast but has some limitations.

  13. My hands down favorite is <escape> 2x in a row.  That allows me to exit the text tool and other stuck operations.  I use it ALL the time.


    Another good combination is the toggle keys for the mode groups.  Found in the workspace under "keys" I have both the first and second mode groups set to a button.  That allows me to quickly change the behavior of tools while I'm drawing rather than having to navigate to the top bar each time.


    @Matt Panzer 's recommendation about forward and back is a good one as well.


    Right click and "undo" are also classics...

    • Like 1
  14. The challenge is that if you have any objects in the eliminated classes in other files (like your libraries for instance) you will have to remove them remove them there as well.  Otherwise, when you import objects that have the extraneous classes assigned to them, they will automatically be added back into your new file.


    We're in the process of doing this very task ... and it means going through each library file and converting it to the new class structure.  @michaelk 's solution is the best one out there. 

  15. I've read through most of the posts on Cloud implementation on this board, but still don't have a comprehensive idea of what works and what doesn't.  It would be great if VW could make some recommendations or at least rate the different platforms available based upon compatibility, ease of use, etc. 


    I've been impressed with the speed and ease of using the VW Service Select libraries and now that we're working remotely, setting up a Cloud solution makes sense.

    My Goals:


    1) Implement a cloud based Workgroup Folder for all of our templates, standards and libraries

    2) Upload our project files to a web storage location so that it can be accessed from anywhere.

    3) Project Sharing is not yet a need, but I am mindful that it one day could be, so ... a solution that can eventually work with that functionality.


    I am in the process of trying to achieve the above with:  iCloud, Dropbox, and Google Drive.

    I keep running into problems, so I am continually moving between them trying to find one that works for all of our needs.


    From what I have read among other users is that Dropbox or OneDrive is better for project sharing.  (We don't have a microsoft account, so that one isn't presently on our list).


    iCloud works well for the workgroup folder - by keeping a copy of the data locally and then syncing it to the cloud.  It's fast and effective, but I have more fiddling to do - namely to get my staff to use a Company apple ID rather than a personal one.  That is a logistical challenge, but feasible.  iCloud is not a good solution for the project file storage, without some hacking.  By default it stores copies of the online data in your USER folder - which in our case is a small SSD drive and doesn't have ample capacity.  It looks like an external disk can be specified as the storage location, but who knows what havoc might break loose if that disk isn't properly mounted or recognized by the CPU.


    Dropbox has good integration with the system and behaves as a secondary (offsite) drive.  However, It appears unwilling to copy empty folders - which doesn't bode well for VW's required file structure.  Is this a problem?


    Google Drive functions more like a backup location than a fully integrated drive.  I haven't been able to figure out how to include a file path to the drive from VW to be able to use it for a workgroup folder.  Is there a way to do this?


    For those of you who have figured out a good working solution, a quick post of what service(s) you use and any tricks that you needed to get it working would be appreciated.


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