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Jim Wilson

Vectorworks, Inc Employee
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Everything posted by Jim Wilson

  1. Today’s teaser item (or perhaps one and a half items?) is one of those underdogs that won’t likely get much commercial attention, but any regular user of Vectorworks will notice and appreciate it immediately. In Vectorworks 2019, we have transitioned Sheet Layers over to the Vectorworks Graphics Module. This means that highly complex or dense viewports will now be drawn much faster than before, and that speed will scale up with your machine’s graphics capability. A lot could be said about this feature, but a direct video demonstration works best: This enhancement is a direct response to the calls for improvement to speed and reliability of Vectorworks, and the most recent in the development we have seen in recent versions: 2015 - VGM OpenGL Graphics 2016 - Planar Objects and Wireframe added to VGM 2017 - VGM Top/Plan and Multithreaded final views 2018 - Multiple View Panes 2019 - VGM Sheet Layers and On Demand Tessellation On Demand Tessellation is a neat little upgrade that has one goal in mind: To return control to you as quickly as possible. I mention it here along with VGM Sheet Layers as it uses the same underlying technology to draw objects on-screen far more quickly than in Vectorworks 2018 and it’s other single threaded predecessors. On Demand Tessellation is a complex feature, but it is relatively simple to explain: instead of waiting for all geometry in the view area to be drawn before returning control to the user, it starts drawing objects either one at a time or in groups, very rapidly, all the while allowing you to directly alter objects or the view, without waiting for the previous redraw to complete. This feature on its own will be the most obvious in dense files with either large number of objects, or complex sets of containers that slowed previous versions down. When coupled with VGM Sheet Layers, it benefits heavyweight architectural DWG imports and light plots specifically in our testing here. We see a few more future performance improvements in the future of VGM, which Vectorworks engineering is already working towards in future updates. They intend to draw all selection/preselection highlighting and tool graphics with the VGM, and explore the possibility of splitting drawing and geometry calculation tasks to take full advantage of multi-threaded machines. We will be hosting a live Facebook session to discuss each of the items we share in Teaser Tuesday posts. Here’s how it will work: the teaser will come out on Tuesday (Wednesday if you live on the front edge of the world!) and then you can post questions about it on Wednesday in the forum, through direct messages, or on our Facebook post. On Thursday at 2:00 p.m. ET, we will answer your questions live on the official Vectorworks Facebook page . If you can’t make it, don’t worry, we’ll also be transcribing the answers and posting to the forum too. Feel free to ask any questions you like related to the feature that was just teased. This format is an experiment for us, so we also welcome any feedback or suggestions for the format, as well. We plan to share Teaser Tuesday posts and host live Q&A sessions each week leading up to our launch of Vectorworks 2019!
  2. Well, in that case if it IS in fact the redraw of those lines, then yes it would indeed be sped up by this enhancement.
  3. My first quess would be no, however to clarify; you don't mean the "Fullscreen Preview" option in a render style, do you? That will start a low res version of the image that slowly resolves into a fully render scene rather than the bucket system that renders full quality from the center outward.
  4. @Andy Broomell Does this apply to all viewports or only ones that are in Top/Plan or Hidden Line? For example, what about a 3D view in wireframe? Yes. Anything displayed on a Sheet Layer, including annotations and other elements that aren't viewports. @zoomer Will this enhance 2D DLVPs too ? Technically yes, but not because of 2019. DLVPs were drawn by the VGM in prior versions. However, On Demand Tessellation will improve the speed of 2D DLVP redraw. @Mark Aceto The name of the game has been to find the fastest single-core clock speed available, so could you elaborate on multi-core improvements in 2019? For example, what tasks will take advantage of multiple cores that didn't before? As of this year, the improvement is to displaying ANYTHING on the Sheet Layer. ODT separately means that now the overall rating of the CPU can be used to judge it, So your Cinebench score will be a much better indicator of performance than just the single core clock speed. Is there a limit to the number of cores that can be used? Technically yes, but this is limited by how many cores your operating system can use, not by Vectorworks. So if you have 88 cores (I think this is the limit on Windows 10), it will use 88 cores. @Patrick Fritsch Wondering if this will help when the "hunting" of surfaces when using the Push/Pull tool? Not directly related to these features no, but we are tracking that issue and suspect we can fix it separately from these improvements. Scott Barnes: Jim, can you please let us know what hardware specs you are using when showing these demos? Lenovo Y720 - 1080p display with a GTX 1060 GPU with an Intel Core i7 7700HQ 2.8Ghz @Kevin McAllister Do Auto Hybrid objects take advantage of this? Exiting an Auto Hybrid is one of the slowest VW operations I know of. No. Unfortunately the core of the slowness in Auto Hybrid objects is related to sectioning and geometry calculations. However, this is in our pipeline, bringing geometry and sectioning operations to multiple cores. Do operations previews (for example the preview when you're rotating an object) take advantage of this? Currently the previews often default back to a bounding box and I assumed it was because there wasn't enough redraw power. These are called Tool Graphics internally, and they are not adding to the VGM by this task or in 2019, but they are marked to be integrated into the VGM as well in later versions. @cberg This is awesome! Might there be other benefits associated with the switch of the sheet layers to the Vectorworks VGM? 😏 Specifically, would this enable viewports to be updated in a multithread fashion, or perhaps continuously? These features do not specifically address viewport updating or sectioning operations, but in the future we plan to not only make those operations multi threaded as well, but perhaps even remove the concept of Updating viewports entirely.
  5. Jim Wilson

    Light shining through objects

    Oh I hadn't testing RW with the original, just after I striopped everything but the flared shroud. That screenshot looks close but yeah, not perfect. I'll test that too and see if its a geometry bug or a opengl bug.
  6. The livestream will start at 2PM EST, about 2 hours-ish from the time of this post, please feel free to add any more questions here now, or in the live chat during the stream if you come up with any others! After the stream, i'll be back here to list off all the answers we ended up giving live. Questions can be related to anything we've teased so far, so VGM Sheet Layers, On Demand Tessellation, and Class and Layer Filtering or anything you feel is directly related to these features or their intention. Seeya there! Semi related note: We've been thinking that if this and the rest of the teasers go well and get a good turnout, this would be a good format to keep sharing portions of development, to address common tech issues, or to provide additional training. Something monthly or bimonthly most likely. What do you all think of that? Anything you'd like to see? Sort of a Vectorworks user-centric news program, less about marketing and more info for the daily driver in Vectorworks.
  7. Jim Wilson

    Light shining through objects

    This is absolutely a bug, but I have no idea what could be causing it. I boiled it down to simply the flared shroud sweep object and the light, and the shadow is still incorrect, regardless of the texture applied to the shroud, so it isn't a cast/receive shadows thing. Same thing with a new light object. Same thing if i extract the faces of the sweep and build a replacement out of nurbs surfaces, its almost as if the shape alone baffles openGLs shadow calculations. The other thing that makes me think bug, is that in Renderworks it behaves exactly as I would expect, and that while openGLs light calculation is much more primitive than Renderworks, this is certainly something that openGL should be capable of. Definitely submit a bug, ill chime in on it.
  8. By the way! @Chih-Pin is the mastermind behind On Demand Tessellation, I just deliver the good news, he makes it from scratch 😉
  9. Those are commonly called "Tool Graphics" internally, and no they aren't on the VGM yet. That and Selection Highlighting are the next two big ones. Auto Hybrid, as @AndrewG stated, isn't really affected as much as you might hope. It DOES speed up the redraw phase of them updating, but their main delay is geometry calculation, so while they would benefit a little bit, i doubt itll be as huge an improvement as the scenarios I demoed were.
  10. Sorry to disappoint, but I just opened up the file and used Select Similar on a few key element types to get a general count. Apologies, I know of no automated inventory, unless the engineers have been holding out on me?
  11. Jim Wilson

    "Contracting/shrinking" objects

    You are most likely looking for the Offset tool:
  12. Jim Wilson

    2019 Hardware Requirements

    We will do both, we did it last year a bit as well, where we listed the minimum requirements and then what wed recommend from experience. So in the 2018 article the Minimum Hardware Profile is the system requirements, and then the High End Profile is what wed suggest for heavy duty work. If that isnt what you meant, or it wasnt clear enough, please let me know, I can directly affect how we share that info and I'm open to suggestions on how to make it as clear as possible. I know its a lot of tech jargon.
  13. The sheet layer itself has 6 viewports from multiple sources, but the main one is the plot itself as expected. ' 125 Lighting Devices 58 referenced hybrid symbols (many containing hanging positions or lighting devices in addition to the above) 58 2D only symbols 28 Groups (primarily with text and 2d geometry inside) 34 assorted polylines with something like 3800 vertices total (estimated) Not the heaviest file I've ever encountered, but one where the delay was nearly all in the screen redraw, not related to any specific object or geometric slowness.
  14. Jim Wilson

    2019 Hardware Requirements

    Not yet, but we should be able to share them shortly. If you're in a hurry though; they are not much different (if at all) from the 2018 system requirements, we bumped them up over the last two years already. The only major difference I am aware of is that we should still be able to support back to macOS 10.10, we didnt have to drop all but the last 2-3 OS versions on the mac side as we have sometimes had to do.
  15. We debated having this as a separate teaser, but these two items really do go hand in hand. The below demonstrates On Demand Tessellation, which is a very large step in moving Vectorworks to being completely multithreaded. ODT basically splits up tasks to be handed off to the VGM into multiple CPU threads, meaning you don't just have to wait for that one single core to do everything before you can get working again. Its now going to draw objects using multiple cores. This does NOT mean that the actual geometry calculations like add/subtract solids or duplication are multicore yet, those are still in the pipe, but a lot of the perceived slowness in previous versions, as you can see from the demo, were delays in simple redrawing of existing geometry. We will be taking questions both about ODT and VGM Sheet Layers in tomorrows livestream, but again feel free to ask any additional questions here as well, both will be checked!
  16. I have! but we decided since the livestreaming is new we'd hold off for the first few. For instance, in this next one we plan to use a common game streaming utility to show the presenters, the demo video itself for anyone who hadnt seen it, and the Vectorworks UI live interchangeably. We'll keep ratcheting things up to see what works and what helps/hinders.
  17. Our teams here at Vectorworks, Inc. paid close attention to the wishlist requests and other forum communications this year, and we heard you loud and clear — you want improvements to the quality, speed, and usability of the software and its existing capabilities. To give you a taste of what we’ve been working on for the next release, Teaser Tuesdays are back! The first item we are sharing, which should be of interest to pretty much all of you, is a user interface improvement that I already miss instantly when I need to hop back to old versions: Class and Layer Filtering, combined with a new Class and Layer Search. This video showcases a key improvement to the software as a whole, to solve for a challenge for which many of you had long adapted to a less than optimal workflow. What I personally like about this improvement is not only the functionality itself, which is instantly useful, but also how well planned out the feature was from the start. It includes search and default filters and the ability to tag classes and layers, then search for those tags. It’s so simple! You will also have the ability to create custom filters to be displayed among the default ones, making it easy to quickly call up a set of items and then refine the results further if needed. AND these filters can be saved and shared between files, meaning these preconfigured filters can be attached to your templates and included in company standards. Now for something NEW! We will be hosting a live Facebook session to discuss each of the items we share in Teaser Tuesday posts. Here’s how it will work: the teaser will come out on Tuesday (Wednesday if you live on the front edge of the world!) and then you can post questions about it on Wednesday in the forum, through direct messages, or on our Facebook post. On Thursday at 2:00 p.m. ET, we will answer your questions live on the official Vectorworks Facebook page . If you can’t make it, don’t worry, we’ll also be transcribing the answers and posting to the forum too. Feel free to ask any questions you like related to the feature that was just teased. This format is an experiment for us, so we also welcome any feedback or suggestions for the format, as well. We plan to share Teaser Tuesday posts and host live Q&A sessions each week leading up to our launch of Vectorworks 2019!
  18. We want to bring the same UI there, to font lists (especially on the Windows side) and a few other places as well. I think there were some other mentions of viewports being searchable, but feel free to post any other locations that would benefit from this search system. It does not, we kept this box much simpler. Ideally, Filters would be used for the AND/OR functionality with this new UI. However, I expect lots of feedback when it goes live and we all get to hammer away at it to see what it does well and what it could do better. I do not know of a hard limit, in a test here I was able to get to 50 and was not stopped. I didn't try more than that. The way the UI for managing them is built, it looks like it could handle quite a lot. Also, the video if anyone didn't catch it on FB: (If you mute it, it's like i'm trying to cast a spell with my hands!)
  19. Nope! You can view it without needing an account, you just can't ask a question in the live chat. Feel free to ask your question here and we will address it in the video. (No signing away your firstborn to Mark Z required 😉 ) I just posted the last one in the previous teaser thread, please let me know if it gives you any trouble viewing it.
  20. Keep the questions coming! Going to try something a little different this time: I'm gathering together all the questions we get from this post and other social media lines and see if we can get the lead engineer of this feature to answer the questions live in our stream on Thursday. If not, you still get the consolation prize of yours truly 😉 I'll post all the answers here right after the stream and then answer any subsequent questions after the fact the same as we were doing before.
  21. Jim Wilson

    New MacBook Pro any issues ?

    Before anything else, I recommend JUST disabling the Grass shader in your Renderworks style and try another render, I suspect that much grass would dramatically increase render time. I normally only use the grass shader on elements that are very close to the camera, rather than the entire site.
  22. Jim Wilson

    New MacBook Pro any issues ?

    Working over a network can definitely cause that, I refrain from doing so entirely. Depends what phases of the render were taking the most of the overall time, if its sitting on "Geometry" for awhile, that can't be sped up very noticeably by the CPU, but if you post a screenshot/sample file I can take a look and offer some tips to shave render time off.
  23. Jim Wilson

    Jim's t shirt

    Does there HAVE to be a third thing, though?
  24. Vectorworks, Inc. has released its fourth Service Pack (SP4) for the Vectorworks® 2018 product line. This Service Pack includes multiple fixes and improvements in the following areas: Significant overall application stability improvements Corrected issues related to user origin shifts, roof plans, and document settings Several quality improvements for Marionette workflows Multiple improvements to the performance and stability of Project Sharing Several IFC import and export improvements This Service Pack is available for all licenses as a downloadable updater. To install the Service Pack, please click here or select "Check for Updates" from the Vectorworks menu (Mac) or Help menu (Windows). To learn more about the fixes and improvements in the 2018 SP4 updater, please visit this page. Contact us at tech@vectorworks.net if you have any technical questions or problems during this process. Please note this Service Pack is currently available for all non-localized English versions. Respectfully, Juan Almansa Customer Success Director Vectorworks, Inc.