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Jim Wilson

Vectorworks, Inc Employee
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Everything posted by Jim Wilson

  1. This article will be kept up to date with details about the compatibility between Vectorworks and macOS 10.14 Mojave:
  2. Jim Wilson


    So... Materials, or Building Materials. This is a big one, and a concept/feature we are actively looking into developing. For me personally this is a more difficult feature to properly frame out, as I feel I may lack sufficient industry knowledge to detail what such a feature would include. To that end, I am requesting your comments, concerns and any other input regarding the scope of your needs and how we can best meet them. Now, this is not to say that as of this post we BEGIN developing Materials, talk about this internally has been going on for a long time and many of our distributors (some of them accomplished architects and designers in their own right) have been providing us with wishes and other suggestions, but this thread will concentrate on specific user needs that I will curate and add to internal planning pages for use by engineering since I am sure there will be a great deal. I won't merge the other existing threads since many of them have tangents to things I feel are a bit outside the scope of this feature, so this will be the new home for this discussion. I have pulled input from many existing threads, (Special thanks to @digitalmechanics, @zoomer, @Chris D, @Dieter @ DWorks, @Christiaan and many others whose threads and posts I stole from) as well as from competitors feature lists. Feel free to link in any I may have missed that have missing key points to advance this initial list: 1) Materials must be assignable to any object, 2D or 3D, with the 3D aspects of the Material simply left out of 2D scenarios. 2) Users must be able to not only rely on an extensive default catalog of Materials, but be able to add new Materials themselves from scratch. 3) Materials must be a resource type available in the resource manager with all the current share-ability of current resources via workgroup folders. 4) Users must be able to update a source Material resource and have that push the update to all instances where a Material is used. 5) Materials must include Line Styles for both the 2D and 3D edges of geometry, separate control for section vs non-section views. 6) Materials must include Hatch settings for both the 2D and 3D faces of geometry, separate control for section vs non-section views. 7) Materials must include Tile settings for both the 2D and 3D faces of geometry, separate control for section vs non-section views. 8) Materials must include Textures. 9) It must be possible to generate reports on the volume, weight, density, cost, surface area, exposed surface area, and thermal properties. 10) The same Material needs to be applicable to wall, slab, roof components as well as solids. Duplicates should not need to be created for each type of object to inherit the Material's settings. 11) Materials need to (optionally) have the ability to determine the joins for wall, slab and roof components contextually. Each of these types of joins needs to be user definable. 12) What aspects a Material inherits from the resource should be controllable similarly to Door and Window Types, where users are able to select certain fields that use the Material resource and then allow for overrides for that particular object's particular field value. If I have completely or partially missed the mark with this list, feel free to correct me.
  3. This came up recently in another thread, but I think it merits it's own discussion: I want to do this. Some of our distributors have directly asked us for something similar. The key difficulty I'm running into is: I have yet to find a way to even come close to showing what a "standard" file is. It cant be defined by number of objects, since objects have a broad range of complexity and various types of objects affect performance in various ways. It can't be defined by file size, since a dramatic difference in file size can occur even in two files that have the same geometry related to how cleanly the resources in each file were managed. For instance, a common issue we run into is a report of something like "Sheet Layers Are Slow" which can have a bunch of different causes. The core one I see most often being a user only using a single sheet layer, and then putting dozens or sometimes even hundreds of instances of a Title Block object on it, which will brings things to a crawl. Title Blocks are optimized so that they are only recalculated and loaded when a sheet is viewed, or right before its printed/exported. If ALL title blocks are on a single sheet layer, this optimization becomes worthless and you have to wait for all sheets to update in order to continue working once you switch to that single sheet layer. This means that in order to define performance, I would also have to effectively dictate workflow, something we have not done before in most cases. The general rule in Vectorworks has long been "You can do almost everything 5 different ways, the correct one is the one that works best for you." and I really do love that. But making standardized performance indicators for Vectorworks runs exactly in opposition to this mindset in every way I've been able to come up with. SOME parts of Vectorworks are easy to benchmark, such as rendering speed, which is why you have all likely seen those that I have posted. Those are much more cut and dry, as I can test the exact same scene across different hardware and the resulting rendering time is a direct relation to performance. Things like duplicating arrays of objects, doing complex geometrical calculations etc, do not result in times that vary directly based on hardware performance, since a lot of the slowness in those operations is currently a Vectorworks software limitation and not the fault of your hardware. Until these processes are moved to multiple threads I don't think they will be benchmark-able in a meaningful way. (To clarify, I TRIED to benchmark them in a meaningful way, and got more variance in the completion time based on what other applications were open more so than what hardware I used. ) I would very much like to hear any suggestions or feedback if anyone can see an avenue to approach this that I have missed. I miss plenty. I will not be working on this for some time, but I wanted to go ahead and pop this discussion up and take responses while it was fresh in my mind. I would also like to hear the KINDS of performance indicators you all are interested in so that I can ponder on how best to provide them in a technically simple but accurate manner.
  4. Jim Wilson

    Help with layers

    You may have accidentally moved to the 3D view. Go to View > Standard Views and select Top/PLan. It might currently be on Top.
  5. Jim Wilson


    I need the system profile from that machine please, the above link will get you the steps needed and you should be able to drag/drop it here as an attachment.
  6. Jim Wilson

    Finding or making snap points

    Once you get the chain and snaps made though, this tool may become useful to you: http://app-help.vectorworks.net/2019/eng/index.htm#t=VW2019_Guide%2FAnnotation%2FCreating_Repetitive_Unit_Details.htm
  7. Jim Wilson

    Finding or making snap points

    I mean draw the 3D loci afterwards, separately from the extrusion. I recommend selecting one link and one 3d loci, then using Right Click > Align/Distribute > Center followed by Right Click > Align/Distribute > Center. That should give you a perfectly centered snapping point. Then either duplicate that snap point and move it in 3D via Modify > Move the desired amount relative to the overall dimensions of the object and where you want the snap points to be and then repeat that operation duplicating the center snap loci each time you need to offset a new one. You should only need to do this to one link, then just select that link and its needed loci and duplicate/rotate that into place, then save the two links and their identical snap points as a repeated symbol.
  8. Jim Wilson

    Vectorworks Performance Benchmarking

    This very question keeps many of us up at night. It's a big one. The fact that we also cater to many different industries that use varying levels of information inclusion in their models (For instance, the Entertainment folk have effectively been doing their version of BIM for quite awhile, and certain aspect of Site Design have been data driven since I started here.) and the right answer for one is not always the right answer for all of them. I am very glad for once that the method in which we handle this is above my pay grade, its an industry-wide big ticket question in a lot of ways.
  9. Jim Wilson

    Finding or making snap points

    I think the quickest way would be to add 3D Loci objects at the points you want to be snappable, then with the link geometry and the 3D loci selected, create a symbol. Most likely with the symbol's insertion point being aligned one of the snappable points. That should let you both insert it at one of the snap points if desired, in addition to keeping file size down and letting you mod all the chain links at once later if need be.
  10. Jim Wilson

    Student License - no serial number provided for download

    Did you register with a school in one country but choose your location as being in another? That may have gotten it stuck, but if you emailed your local support however they should be able to correct it, I do not have admin control over that region.
  11. Jim Wilson

    Arcade game/Pinball renderings

    Do you mean 3D models of pinball/arcade cabinets that you would use IN a rendering? I would suggest taking a look at 3Dwarehouse: https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/search/?q=arcade cabinet&searchTab=model
  12. Jim Wilson


    What version and service pack of Vectorworks? Reply back with the following from your machine as well and I can take a look:
  13. It had to be removed from the Styles, otherwise if you wanted one slab transparent and another drawn normally, youd have to create a whole new style just for that purpose.
  14. Jim Wilson

    ever-decreasing performance of Vectorworks

    Please reply back with the system profile I requested as well as the requested screenshot. I did not, what made you think this? If theres a UI element on the forum that confused you, please let me know and I can try to clean it up.
  15. Jim Wilson

    ever-decreasing performance of Vectorworks

    This slowness only happened after installing it on the newer machine, or it was happening before and the newer machine was an attempt to speed things up? The files were fine in 2017 and only slow in 2018/2019? Could you please attach a screenshot of an entire normal sheet layer for one of your files? Reply back with the following as well, please:
  16. Jim Wilson

    VW19 SP2 dramatic slow down...

    Hrmm that isn't screen/layer redraw then. Make sure to have tech@vectorworks.net take a look in that case, might be some stuck geometry slowing you down unduly. 1800 isn't THAT many objects and shouldn't start crawling unless they each have hundreds or thousands of vertices each or something like that.
  17. Jim Wilson

    VW19 SP2 dramatic slow down...

    We can narrow down where the issue is with a symptom like that: Do you get the same slowdowns with Tools > Options > Vectorworks Preferences > Display > Navigation Graphics set to both the top and bottom settings in a quick test? Or does one seem much slower than the other?
  18. Jim Wilson

    Renderworks - Geometry not updating

    This issue was already submitted to tech@vectorworks.net directly, or to your distributor? The forum is mainly for user interaction, it is not a formal support channel.
  19. Jim Wilson

    VW beginner is stuck

    I think of it as my Industrial Cutting Laser.
  20. Jim Wilson

    The Vectorworks Twitch

    NOTE: None of this is intended as any kind of excuse or reason for delay, I simply wanted to give insight into what's going on and how things look internally: Tech now uses teamviewer daily for exactly this reason, it works excellently. This is an exceedingly good list of practices. My goal is to make many of them a distant memory however ūüėČ The message is there, it's just going to take time for the change to get all the way through the pipe. I mean you can certainly do this if you feel it's merited, I don't want anyone paying us for something that doesn't do what they need, but from what I can see that would not make it happen faster. We agree, this is something we are doing more and more often, however it wouldn't be the techs that would go normally. Tech support normally handles issues like installation and driver compatibility and configuration and "basic" usage questions, but they don't have the resources to expand into even moderately complex workflows (Project sharing outside of standard advised practices, interoperability with other packages, working with references that rely on other origin systems, etc) so a lot of that falls on what we have here called Product Specialists. However, these two teams are in completely different departments because they developed independently. We identified this as a problem a ways back and have been working since then to get the two disparate groups more meshed together to develop complex workflows (I use the term "complex" to indicate merely more than explaining wall component heights for instance, its relative.) and create more standardized training content and whitepapers on how we at least EXPECT users to work with the various combinations of tools. I can not open my mouth about the specific things I want to open my mouth about at the moment, I'm in muzzle mode for a pretty damn cool project coming up, but I wanted to deliver as much of an answer as possible at the present time.
  21. Jim Wilson

    VW beginner is stuck

    Deform tool would work, Split tool may also be what you're looking for from an isometric view:
  22. Thank you, that verifies that the issue is likely not one of the VGM-related problems we are currently tracking. Just helps me in my filing.
  23. Thats the one I saw before too! If you could please: The very next time that issue happens, leave that editing mode open and then go to Tools > Options > Vectorworks PReferences > Display and change the Navigation Graphics setting to the opposite of what it currently is, either Best Performance or Best Compatibility (not the middle one, I mean) and tell me if the geometry snap back into place or if it shows the same weird broken offset. Thank you.
  24. Jim Wilson

    Super slow file opening!

    That explains the support issue then. I was worried they just hadn't replied or something, so that's sorted. Tech support reps are mechanics, they can often fix problems, but they dont have the resources to be able to teach users "how to drive". In your case, it isn't just simply "This is being done wrong" because you're in a situation that's becoming more and more common, complex interaction between multiple shops with more data-sensitive files then they had before. This kind of thing is definitely what our product specialists are here for and I'm going to try and loop them in to see if they can get (or already have) best practices for this established. Now, that's of course not ALL you're running into, you're hitting graphical limitations as well because of file complexity, which at the moment has no cure other than "The file must be less complex." which is no good. There is a significant development in the pipeline currently that will do worlds for this, but until I know more details about WHEN we will see it, I'll keep pushing the regular avenues to get a workaround.
  25. Jim Wilson

    Super slow file opening!

    Send me the whole set in 2018 as you have it currently working please. I'll do the conversion here and test on both and see if I can find out whats going on. However, were techs not able to point out why the file was cumbersome, or did they not mention the origin issue? (Im both checking to make sure we didnt have a misstep in support as well as a software issue.) The Purge hang happened to me on Windows, but not Mac, so I'll submit that on its own as a purge command bug with the file i already have.


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