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Chris Burton

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Posts posted by Chris Burton

  1. 17 hours ago, jcogdell said:

    There are two ways to edit the color of truss symbols

    • if you only need the 2D geometry changed, go to the Spotlight Preferences 'Loads and Rigging' section (in File>Document Settings) and activate the 'Modify Truss Object Color' check box. This allows you to use change the color of truss symbol using either the attribute palette or based on its class.
    • If you want to edit the truss symbol definition itself to create a custom colored truss library then you need to do the editing from inside the resource manager.
      Import the truss symbol or symbols you want to edit in to the active file resources, right click on the symbol and select edit 2D component.
      You can now edit the 2D geometry's fill and line color
      exit the edit interface and repeat the process but select edit 3D component.
      Again use the attribute palette to make the changes.
      Make sure to save the edited symbol with a new name so that you don't accidentally overwrite it if you need to re import the original library version.

    Live data viz works in a similar fashion to setting up a report or worksheet, you have to set up the criteria to define what objects and bit of data it will work with
    for this example make sure you have at least a couple of truss objects of different lengths inserted

    • to access live data viz look for the glasses icon at the right hand side of the view bar and click on it. if its not there use the triangle at the end of the bar to turn it on
    • once you have clicked on the icon select new Data Visualization in the menu
    • You should now be in the New data Visualization dialogue, first give the the new data vis a name
    • Define the object criteria for what is going to be affected, this could be an all objects, by name, by class etc...  There is a long list of options. For a trusses leave this as all objects
    • Now set the display criteria, this controls what data will be colored and how,
      First set the color drop down, this defines the type of data that will be worked with for example object using record or object using parameter. Your choice here defines what options are available in the drop-downs to the right of the colors drop-down. For trusses use object with parameter
    • Use the 2 drop-downs to the right to define what specific bit of data you will color, for this example set the top one to Truss and the bottom to length
    • You should now see several lengths in the list below the drop-downs corresponding to the truss lengths in your file, hit the auto color button to assign each a color override, you may need to check the color settings if only the fill gets assigned a color.
    • Hit ok to save it and exit
    • now click on the dat avis icon and you shuld see your new data visualization in the bottom half of the menu, click on it to activate it. In the design layer the trusses will be colored based on their lengths. You can also use data vis in sheet layer viewports and it will provide a handy legend saying what each color corresponds too

    Here some links to the Vecrtoworks university about data vis






    and the help page





    Thank you *very much*. I'm going to play with this tomorrow.

  2. 17 minutes ago, Michael Schroeder said:

    You could use Data Visualization to accomplish this or edit the symbol


    Could you educate me on the Data Visualization? When I double click on the truss it bonks and I get a message at the bottom of the screen that says "The selected object has no edit behavior".

  3. 20 hours ago, michaelk said:

    I don't think it has anything to do with the way you made the symbol.  Unless you made it a blue symbol with a symbol inside a symbol?  Seems unlikely.


    Open the file you posted. Not sure if it was intentional, but the symbol was inside a group. 

    So if you did a select all the oip would tell you that you have selected one group. 

    Go inside the group and select all and the oip would tell you that you have selected one 3D symbol. 

    The criteria is counting both the group and the symbol. 


    I think that when I originally drew it I made it a Group. And then when I figured out that to give something a height (Z-dimension) it needed to be a Symbol, I converted it.

    I just went back in and took it back to just an Extrude and then created the Symbol. Now it shows up as 1 when I select its Class.


    Many, many thanks!

  4. 21 hours ago, michaelk said:

    You have a group and a symbol, both in the class I-beam spanner.  So you are getting the correct count:  1 symbol and 1 group.


    So you either have to move the group to a different class or add Type is not Group to the criteria.


    For the same reason, make sure you don't have Include components of Symbols checked.  If checked, then anything in the symbol definition that was in that class would also be included in the count.

    Thanks Michael. Please pardon my ignorance, but could you explain to me why I have a Group and a Symbol? Is it because of how I originally drew the I-beam?


  5. I drew this I-beam and when I run the aforementioned "Tools >>> Custom Selection >>> Select Only >>> Select Objects Whose..." Class is this I-beam spanner, the count is incorrect.


    If I run the tool with Symbol as the qualifier, the count is correct. 


    Can anyone explain this to me? Is there something I can do when creating the Symbol, or modify the existing Symbol, to get an accurate count using Class?

    PSI 4x6x75%22 I-beam v2021.vwx

  6. 2 minutes ago, Thomas Peters said:

    It may be helpful if you tell us what you're trying to achieve with a 2-way link. 

    I've got a wishlist item open to be able to bulk edit record fields easily, and I suppose a live-link with excel is sort of in the same train of thought: a mass editing of cells.





    I/we use Vectorworks for entertainment rigging and although we have Braceworks, all of our load calcs are done with an Excel file. I would like to be able to have the results from that Excel file displayed within the Vectorworks file and update as the data in the Excel file changes.

  7. 3 minutes ago, Thomas Peters said:

    Excel files are 'static', as are VW Worksheets. A 'live' link would be a database, in which case, you'll want to look into Database connections: https://app-help.vectorworks.net/2021/eng/index.htm#t=VW2021_Guide%2FDatabase%2FDatabase_connectivity.htm&rhsearch=Database&rhhlterm=Database&rhsyns=


    If you figure it out, please make a tutorial for the rest of us, because we want this sort of functionality too. 

    Thanks Thomas. I doubt if I'm the guy to be able to figure something like that out, but I'm going to take a look. I'll report back if I make any headway.

  8. Is it possible to import a worksheet (Excel file) into Vectorworks, save it into a drawing and then give it the ability to update its data as the Excel file is updated? 


    It's the last bit I'm curious about. I'd like to be able to have the data from an Excel file in my drawing and somehow have it update what it displays as the data in the Excel file changes.


  9. 14 minutes ago, Taproot said:

    It works fine for me in v.2021.  I even finally managed to get all of my pallets to dock on the left side of the drawing window.

    The solution for me was to dock the pallets one at a time.  I found that if multiple pallets were already linked up they were less likely to dock together.


    Once I had the first pallet in the correct position, I was able to add pallets to it (including the attribute pallet).


    Thanks for your reply. I just undocked all of the palettes and tried again. They all dock normally, except for the Attributes, which will not dock anywhere.

  10. 4 hours ago, Nicolas Goutte said:

    Yes, you can do that. Activation will work too. You can just not run both Vectorworks exactly at the same time, but just alternatively.


    (To be sure check that the 3rd letter of your serial number is X. However as far as I know, platform-depedant serial numbers have not been issued for years. see this article from Jim Wilson:




    Thanks very much Nicolas!

  11. I've watched the 'inserting truss' tutorial, but am wondering if there is something similar for attaching lighting instruments to trusses.


    I'm currently trying to figure out the best way to take a lighting plot, that is sent to me with straight truss, and replace that truss with a particular type of truss (insert truss) while having all of the lighting instruments attached to the new truss. Adding the truss and hoists is easy, but I don't know where to go from there so far as getting everything attached so that I can calc the rig.




  12. I know that one license allows you to install the software on two different machines, but can those machines run different operating systems?


    I ask because I currently have a Macbook and am thinking about buying a MS Surface Book 2. At least for a little while, I'd like the ability to run the software on both machines.


    if it matters, I am in the U.S.




  13. 22 hours ago, Pat Stanford said:

    Pulleys come in stock sizes, Belts come in standard lengths. In a 3 pulley setup as shown, at least one of the pulleys has to be adjustable so that you can loosen it to remove an old belt and put on a new belt.


    2D version of Shrink Wrap would be the Lasso mode of the polygon tool. It will have to be redone when you change the pulley locations.


    Set the Tangent snap on and draw lines between your three pulleys.

    Select the Lasso mode of the Polygon tool and draw a "fence" completely around the three pulleys. You will get a new polygon created that is the interior portion of the pulleys and the lines. You can extract the perimeter from the OIP.


    I tried to use the Tangent constraints, put they don't seem to work properly when I move the pulleys.


    You could write a script that would do this. My rough estimate is that it would take me about 4 hours to write and debug this. 1. I don't have 4 extra hours in my life right now. 2. It would take someone without lots of scripting experience 2-10 times longer to write the script. 3. How many times are you really going to have to move the pulleys and how much time are you really going to save by having a "faster" way to do this?



    Thanks Pat.  I'm only ever going to do this once. It was more of an exercise for me to expand my Vectorworks 'skills', which are pretty rudimentary at this point.

  14. In the search through the web, I came across a German company that has a free piece of software that will calculate belt length for multiple pulleys.


    Mulco Belt-Pilot


    I ran the pulleys & dimensions through it that I have in my vwx file and it was close to the same result. The linked software uses metric dimensions and the bely length it calc'd was about 1cm longer than what the vwx files comes up with. Vectorworks shows 869mm whereas the Mulco software came up with 879mm.




  15. 3 hours ago, Gadzooks said:

    Nice sheet @Chris Burton


    I see the problem - I don't think this can be down to (say) rounding - there must be something obvious (surely?)


    You've checked the originator's derivation? Although nobody on that forum seemed to have found fault.


    I've a had a cursory look but I can't see anything glaringly obvious. I'll have more time later. Meanwhile someone far better than me will surely step in.


    This would be like a 1 minute brain teaser for  @Pat Stanford (if you have time Pat)





    I'll spend some time with it today, but first I'll have to learn some math in order to check the derivation.  After I thought I had it completed & functioning, I went back through it a few times, finding a mistake here and a mistake there, so I wouldn't be surprised if the error still sits on my end. It'll be a cool sheet if it eventually functions correctly.

  16. 3 hours ago, Gadzooks said:


    Often the 'simplest' way is to Google the question and see what the (sometimes quite varied) answers thrown up are. There aren't many questions these days where you're asking it for the very first time (unless you're Stephen Hawking - RIP Stevie)


    So, the first answer I get is this.  




    Looks ok? Also looks like you could quite easily transfer the calculation to a VW worksheet with the primary distances and pulley diameters (the 'given' figures) fed in automatically from the drawing. There are others on the web, but I didn't look further. Once you get into whether the belt is 'Vee' etc, I got 😐 


    You may even find someone will provide you with that worksheet! - there's some mighty benevolent guys on this forum.


    Hope this turns out useful for you.







    Thanks for the link. I'm working through it with Excel, but can't seem to get it to mesh with what Vectorworks returns.

    Belt Length, 3 pulley.xlsx

    • Like 1
  17. 5 hours ago, Gadzooks said:


    I'm not sure you can in this scenario B.



    Yes, that would enable you to 'grab' and move the three point contact area with the pulley - which is a very useful option on this tool when the geometry is consistent and just needs relocating. I don't think its as easy as that in this instance, as the geometry changes when the pulley(s) are moved in relation to each other and reshape tool doesn't have the finesse required to incorporate the reshape of a small section all in one action.


    My take on this....





    So, the repositioned pulley has obvious and immediate changes to belt contact, and the changes also affect the 'fixed' pulleys.(I've only pointed out the lower larger one)


    Or have I missed something and I need more coffee this morning!!


    (prob need more coffee anyway 😴)


    5 hours ago, Gadzooks said:







    That's correct. That's what I'm trying to figure out how to do (in the 'simplest' manner possible).





  18. 59 minutes ago, Gadzooks said:


    Yes I remember (hate to admit it)


    There were some teaser files with moving gears and cranks (the files - not me). In those days the simulation was achieved by scripting - something available today and still works (as not much has changed in scripting). The scripts have ©1997, Diehl Graphsoft, Inc. Developed by Tom Urie on them.


    These days you'd probably be directed towards Marionette for the way to achieve this, but here's an old thread on that sort of track...



    Shows most stuff is possible!!

    Also shows theres clever guys on this forum



    Thanks very much.



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