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PVA - Jim

Vectorworks, Inc Employee
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  1. PVA - Jim

    Stair Tool - Pain Points

    The point of this thread is to collect, collate and discuss needed improvements to the stair tool. For the purpose of this discussion, it should be assumed that all changes are possible, up to and including rebuilding the tool from scratch. However, we will leave the decision on how go about it to engineering, instead we will focus on what exists that needs improvement, what exists that does not work at all, and what the tool is not yet capable of that it needs to be in order to satisfy our architectural users specifically. Everything from the creation UI through the final resulting geometry is on the table and mutable. I will collect the items here, and if one or more spread into a more specific and complex discussion, I will split those off into their own threads as needed, but we can treat this overall as a single massive feature request which is not how we normally do wish list items. I, and I’m sure many here feel this issue is important enough to bend the normal forum rules at least for now. The below are in no particular order. Please try to avoid “We shouldn’t do X until we do Y” or “Don't listen to Bob, it should be done the way Charles said!” types of deadlocks, we will let the engineering managers handle implementation and scheduling. What we should focus on here is what is needed conceptually. Section and Clip Cube Appearance: (These issues have been identified and plans have been made to correct them, so we can leave this aspect out generally for the time being.) Length/Height Limitation: It is not possible to create a greater than 2-story or 3-”sided” stair. Users must stack multiple stair objects on top of one another. This is felt to be a regression since Custom Stair was capable of simply adding more platforms and flights to accommodate. Users need to be able to create a single stair objects that can span as many vertical stories as their building has. Railing Geometry: The generated railing geometry is very often incorrect. This is most easily seen on a default U configuration stair, the inner bends twist and warp in an unacceptable manner. Rectangular handrail profiles seem to suffer the worst in terms of bending and breaking randomly near corners, but even round profiles that manage the bends properly are faceted and not actually round which looks particularly bad in renders when using reflective textures. This is compounded by the fact that even when these railing objects are correct enough to be used, it is not possible to apply a directional (usually wood) texture to them as the mapping is warped and bent. Users are limited to solid colors or textures without any patterns at all. To go further on railing geometry, if users choose to disable the rails and handrails built into the Stair tool, they then turn to the Railing/Fence plugin object, which does not acknowledge or interact with the stair tool, making even manual clicking on each tread and platform location to draw out a railing impossible without excessive editing. This makes what would appear to be the most obvious workaround available even harder to work with and both of the above result in users creating extrude-along-path objects with their own custom rail profiles, which of course have to be configured manually each time the stairs core parameters are altered. Users should be able to add their own 2D symbol as the profile for handrail/guardrail/post geometry right in the Stair UI. We could never hope to preempt every possible configuration, so the ability to fully define it from scratch should be handed over to the user. Often, railings are mounted not to the stair itself but to the nearby walls. However, the current stair forces the user to pick one, regardless of whether walls are adjacent to each flight and platform. This is far from the most pressing issue, but the ability of stairs to detect adjacent walls and allow users to override railings on those sides is needed. A decision needs to be made: Will Stair objects contain their railings as part of the Stair plugin, will we offer a Handrail tool that is capable of linking to and intelligently adapting to a Stair object, or will we offer both for different scenarios? In-place edit-ability: Users want and need the ability to select and edit at least some parameters, if not all, while in the 3D drafting environment. Currently, all input must be done via dialog boxes or OIP fields. OIP fields would even be acceptable if it were possible to click or right click on a stringer, tread, platform, or railing of a stair and simply choose “Edit” and be taken right to the appropriate field in the appropriate palette or dialog. Visual Stair Creation: Designers are visual people. There is a reason they don't do data entry as their career. They understand what they can see and touch above many other ways of thinking and expressing ideas. Stairs all now have to start from a predefined simple template, when the opposite is often needed. A drawing mode that allows users to mouse click between the starts and stops of flights, modifier keys to insert platforms, winders or curves, or even multiple click creation where the user defines the depth and angle of each tread would be welcome improvements. The best example I could find of this UI was in Chief Architect where this is the default method of creating stairs. The current methods of adjusting portions of a Stair are limited to distances and angles and it isn't always clear where each value is in the dialog and what it controls unless you confirm the change and hop back out of the dialog which it time consuming, when this method of defining a stair would probably be the second or last choices of most designers. If we want to predefine many of these stair modes, they would best be stored as a Style resource instead, for stamping down standard stairs that only suit standard situations. Not forcing users to always start from these points. We want to encourage creativity and this does the opposite. Preview/Viewing Resulting Changes: It is very difficult to get an idea of how applied changes in the Stair Settings dialog box actually appear. Yes it’s possible to view the stairs in all of the standard views, and this is an improvements over older versions, but it needs to allow free rotation, pan and zoom via the cursor in the Settings dialog. Especially when attempting to correct railing detail issues, a perfect orthographic projection is often not helpful as it obscures the areas users need to focus on. Not only should there be more free view control in this dialog (or, perhaps the removal of the dialog entirely and have changes appear live in the drawing?) but the preview itself should be expandable all the way to full screen as it is in the Image Effects dialog. In either case, there is far too much need to bounce in and out of the Stair settings dialog repeatedly when making changes. Documentation: There are a number of very commonly needed construction drawings required as output for stair filing. Plan view with riser counts, top front and side views with full dimensions, section views, etc. These could be created automatically for users on a defined sheet from a button right on the stairs object info palette and linked so that if the user made updates to the stairs, these viewports would update themselves automatically, or at least allow the suer to update them when ready, but keep them linked so that a change to a single stair object didnt require a lot of manually editing its associated viewports as it does currently. Wrap-around Stairs: There is no clear provision for creating wrap around stairs as are commonly seen on decks, patios, porches and main entrances. These types of stairs are common enough that our default Stair tool should be capable of handling them. Custom Treads: A method of overriding any given tread, especially those at the top and bottom of a flight, needs to be included. Users need to be able to define the shape of a tread manually to allow for not only artistic customization but also to accommodate existing construction during renovation. This would also allow for the aesthetically pleasing gradually-flared bottom treads very commonly seen in high end construction. If a user needed to, they should be able to manually define the plan profile for each individual tread themselves. This would of course necessitate that they be able to disable all automatic limitations that force stairs to adhere to a code. The designer should have this freedom. Stair Types: The current possible configurations are U, O, L, Straight, and Circular. These do not allow for stairs with a continuously variable curve, flared stairs, or S-style stairs that require at a minimum two inner and outer radii. Users are currently forced to cobble together multiple separate stairs to accomplish this and this makes layer and level height changes significantly more time consuming. Texturing: It needs to be possible adjust the texture mapping on rails, posts, treads, platforms and stringers separately, not simply allow users to change which item gets which texture as can mostly be accomplished now with Class Attributes. This is a broader issue that also affects Windows, Doors and more complex Wall setups, but it bears listing. Underside ceilings: It needs to be possible to add a smoothed ceiling to the underside of stair objects. The geometry generated currently on the bottom of stairs is often very polygonal and mesh-looking, and users must manually add the intended flat ceilings to these areas, and manually update them if they change stair, layer or level heights. This is more important than ever now that we have interior panoramics exports and walkthrough/webviews that will have viewers staring right at this geometry as they walk around.
  2. If during installation or when attempting to launch you receive an error involving the msvcp71.dll, msvcr110.dll, msvcr71.dll, msvcr100.dll or a similarly named .dll file, perform the following steps: 1) Uninstall all instances of "Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable" that you see listed in your Add/Remove Programs or Uninstall a Program windows in the Control Panel. (Normally you will have 5 or more of these already installed.) 2) Download and install each of these in the order listed, select the appropriate list for your operating system, either 32 or 64 bit. If you receive an error that one already exists, make sure to remove it via the Uninstall a Program window before proceeding to the next item: For 64-bit versions of Windows: Download Support Files 1 of 7 1_vcredist_x64.exe 5.5 M Download Support Files 2 of 7 1_vcredist_vs2005_x86.exe 2.6 MB Download Support Files 3 of 7 2_vcredist_vs2008SP1_x86.exe 4 MB Download Support Files 4 of 7 3_vcredist_x86_security_update_4053_runtimes.exe 2.6 MB Download Support Files 5 of 7 4_vcredist_2010_x86.exe 4.8 MB Download Support Files 6 of 7 5_vcredist_2012_x64.exe 7.0 MB Download Support Files 7 of 7 5_vcredist_2012_x86.exe 6.4 MB For 32-bit versions of Windows: Download Support Files 1 of 5 1_vcredist_vs2005_x86.exe 2.6 MB Download Support Files 2 of 5 2_vcredist_vs2008SP1_x86.exe 4 MB Download Support Files 3 of 5 3_vcredist_x86_security_update_4053_runtimes.exe 2.6 MB Download Support Files 4 of 5 4_vcredist_2010_x86.exe 4.8 MB Download Support Files 5 of 5 5_vcredist_2012_x86.exe 6.4 MB 3) Once installation is complete, reboot your machine and retry Vectorworks.
  3. This article will be kept up to date with details about the compatibility between Vectorworks and macOS 10.14 Mojave:
  4. PVA - Jim

    Until Next Time

    This Thursday, April 18th 2019, will be my last day at Vectorworks Inc. At least for the time being. It's been my privilege to be part of forum these past several years. Joining Vectorworks in 2007, I've enjoyed the relationships and professional connections I've made here. But due to personal priorities, I'm making a shift to spend time with family. I wish you all the best — thanks for the kind words, the sometimes harsh reality checks, and the honesty shared with me. I have signed up as a Beta tester, so you may very well see me around under a personal account @Jim W and one day I hope things return to normalcy and that I can come back and continue my work with you all again. The rest of the Customer Success team will be stepping in to fill the various roles I filled here, and as many of you have seen, more and more employees participate here daily. I think things will go well.
  5. Vectorworks, Inc. has released its second Service Pack (SP3) for the Vectorworks® 2019 product line. This Service Pack includes multiple fixes and improvements in the following areas: This service pack includes a larger than a normal number of fixes, with many of them focused on the following areas: Section Viewports, Mojave, Spaces and the Scaling of Symbols: Section Viewport-specific: A significant increase in speed switching between sheet layers that contain Section Viewports Corrected a large number of redraw problems related to Section and edit views Section Lines, Elevation Benchmarks and other associated geometry should now appear as expected Improved the effectiveness of Merge Cross Sections Reduced the unusually high number of checkouts needed when using Data Tags in conjunction with Project Sharing and Section Viewports Significantly increased the reliability of Section edit and update functions Mojave-specific: Users should no longer encounter freezes when selecting Extrude Along Path and other geometry types Quality of Pattern export to PDF improved on macOS 10.14 Corrected a number of dialog box and other UI graphical issues Increased response speed of keyboard arrow navigation in text fields Fonts for Wall Data Tags can now be controlled as expected Space-specific: Direct control over space and label component visibility has been restored Creating Space objects should now occur as fast or faster than in prior versions Volume calculations corrected Corrected a large number of stability issues related to Space objects Increased the speed of many operations related to spaces A number of completely new features have been made available to users with 2019 SP3, details on these features can be found HERE. This Service Pack is available for all licenses as a downloadable updater. To install the Service Pack, please select "Check for Updates" from the Vectorworks menu (Mac) or Help menu (Windows). For a full list of fixes and improvements in the 2019 SP3 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.
  6. PVA - Jim

    Hardware Benchmarks

    This article lists all hardware tested directly by Customer Success along with associated scores:
  7. Windows: We do not recommend the use of Windows Vista. Mac: For older versions of Vectorworks, see THIS ARTICLE.
  8. PVA - Jim

    Homemade CNC

    I may or may not have built a CNC machine in my garage. I have odd interests. Figured this was an obligatory calibration test for a first cut: (Riding mower... for scale?)
  9. PVA - Jim


    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.
  10. PVA - Jim

    Updating Graphics Drivers

    Mac: To see what graphics card you have, click the apple at the top left of your screen and choose "About this Mac", then click "More info." System Profiler will open, and you will find it listed under "Graphics/Displays." To check for the latest drivers run Software Update by clicking the apple at the top left of the screen and choosing "Software Update." Windows: Just because a machine was recently "Updated" or newly purchased does not mean that its drivers are up to date. This is less of an issue with Windows Vista and Windows 7 than with Windows XP, but still needs to be checked manually. To check the status of drivers: Windows XP: Click on Start > Control Panel. From this list, choose Device Manager. Windows Vista/7: Click on the Start pearl > Control Panel > System & Maintenance > System, on the left hand side of the screen, click Device Manager. Windows 8/10: Right click on the bottom left of your screen, Control Panel > System & Maintenance > System, on the left hand side of the screen, click Device Manager. Right clicking on the video card's name and choose "Properties"; this will allow you to check the driver date. For this example, the video card's name is "Radeon X1300/X1550 Series" Anything older than 4-6 months is almost guaranteed to be out of date, and you should update it. If they seem like they’re recent, but still not functioning correctly you may choose to uninstall the device, and reinstall with new drivers. Note: The "Update Driver" option normally will not find the most recent graphics driver for your video card. To update your graphics card driver, visit it's manufacturer's website. After locating, downloading and installing the correct driver, you will most likely be prompted to restart your computer, even if no prompt appears, restart your machine. The most common graphics card manufacturers are listed below for your convenience: NVidia: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us ATI: http://support.amd.com/us/Pages/AMDSupportHub.aspx Intel: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/ If after you install new drivers or perform a Windows update and suddenly you begin to experience graphical issues, try "Roll Back Driver." This will go back to the driver you had installed prior to the most recent one, and can take care of problems that arise after an update.
  11. To do it for a Viewport, you should include the Renderworks background as part of the Render Style. View > Set Renderworks Background sets the environment for renders in the design layer side, which I do not use. You CAN control it per viewport as its own setting, but its easy to override that or forget it so I normally advise using it within Render Styles.
  12. PVA - Jim

    How to color-fill in a NURBs curve shape object

    If we did, it would likely be after something happens to address the odd dichotomy of Screen Plane vs Layer Plane. Most likely getting rid of that concept entirely and having all objects exist in real 3D space and having their fills be able to respond to that.
  13. PVA - Jim

    DWG export - not exporting space label

    You should contact tech@vectorworks.net directly about this and have them take a look and these files, I suspect they can show you how to correct it without having to recreate it.
  14. PVA - Jim

    How to color-fill in a NURBs curve shape object

    NURBS curves do not have a surface associated with them so they have no fill. However you can usually use Modify > Convert > Convert Copy to Polygons, then you can compose and assign fill colors to the closed surfaces.
  15. PVA - Jim

    Microsoft Surface

    I have not seen much related to touchscreens. We did a bit of work to bring in touchbar support, but it is not widely used and Apple has so far not seemed like they will bring it to many other devices. On the Windows side, touchscreen machines that adhere to a standard and not a proprietary touchscreen solution are even more rare.
  16. PVA - Jim

    Student License Extension Request

    Your new expiration date is 2019-07-15, however Vectorworks might still say that its going to expire in April until the next time it checks into our activation servers.
  17. PVA - Jim

    VectorWorks MEP

    That's the problem, there were no links, they were physical paper media that have not been printed in decades. If it is not found in the Help, it may not exist anywhere you can get at it.
  18. PVA - Jim

    VectorWorks MEP

    I know they are scheduled, however I don't think they have been created yet. There were much older guides for them but I believe they were only ever offered in paper/manual format and weren't multimedia. I know very little of the MEP tools myself.
  19. PVA - Jim

    Roof not creating a shadow during render

    If you restart Vectorworks, does the texture then block light as expected? If not, reply back with that texture applied to a simple text sphere or other solid object in a sample file attached and I can take a look.
  20. PVA - Jim

    Deleting multiple symbols

    You cannot delete multiple items from that popout resource selector element that drops from the tool bar. You have to use the Resource Manager palette directly. It should allow multiple selection on both mac and windows and should let you delete large selections all at once.
  21. PVA - Jim

    Vectorworks 2019 "not optimized"

    Merged similar threads.
  22. PVA - Jim

    Lit Fog and Glow Textures

    It is not. At the moment, Lit Fog will only acknowledge lights from a Point, Spot or Custom configured Light object.
  23. PVA - Jim

    Student License Extension Request

    Contact your distributor directly for this one, the account looks to be stuck but I do not have admin privileges for that account because of the region it's from.
  24. PVA - Jim

    Image Prop blocks sunlight

    That trick worked for me in Renderworks, did it not for you? In OpenGL it wont be possible as it can't handle complex texture properties.
  25. Theyre the same license type, but Borrowing has to be enabled for the license, thats done through tech support or the local distributor but i dont know if it can be arranged temporarily for a trip.


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