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PVA - Jim

Vectorworks, Inc Employee
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Everything posted by PVA - Jim

  1. PVA - Jim

    ready to make the plunge to Mojave

    I personally recommend waiting until 2019 SP3 if you haven't updated already. I am still getting reports of the last Mojave issues with SOME people on 10.14 and 2019 SP2 but not all. SP3 should be out very, very soon.
  2. 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.
  3. PVA - Jim

    Trouble Texturing Cor-plast

    I THINK I cover very close to that in this video: https://www.vectorworks.net/training/2016/getting-started-guides/renderworks/Gsg-2016-r11-backlit-and-glow-texture You would use Backlit for the transparency I think and then using the corrugated plastic texture for the image shader would get that patterned translucent effect. EDIT: I think Stephan Mönninghoff explains controlling it further in the second half of this video:
  4. PVA - Jim

    Hardware Benchmarks

    True. It'll be more accurate than R15, since Vectorworks 2019 uses R18. BUT: I can already confirm that Vectorworks 2020 will indeed use the R20 engine.
  5. PVA - Jim

    Hardware Benchmarks

    Cinebench 15 has now been updated to Cinebench 20. I'll be rebenching any of the hardware I still have access to. However, they elected to remove the GPU testing portion, so it is now only useful as a Renderworks benchmark so I may change how this all is set up entirely 😞 Notes on the differences directly from Maxon: TECHNICAL INFORMATION Cinebench R20 uses a much larger and more complex test scene than R15, requiring about 8x the computational power needed to render it. The test also requires about 4x the memory. Therefore, R15 and R20 results cannot be compared. Cinebench R20 and Cinema 4D R20 incorporate the latest rendering architectures, including integration of Intel’s Embree raytracing technology and advanced features on modern CPUs from AMD and Intel that allow users to render the same scene on the same hardware twice as fast as previously. Cinebench R20 provides improved benchmark accuracy for current and next-generation CPUs to test if a machine runs stable on a high-CPU load, if the cooling solution of a desktop or notebook is sufficient for longer-running tasks to deliver the full potential of the CPU, and if a machine is able to handle demanding real-life 3D tasks. Cinebench R20 does not test GPU performance. Cinebench R20 will not launch on unsupported processors. On systems lacking sufficient RAM to load the test scene, a warning will be displayed and the CPU benchmark will not be executed. Background tasks can significantly influence measurement and create diverse results. It's always a good idea to shut down all running programs and disable any virus checking or disk indexing but it's impossible to eliminate all background processes. Modern operating systems perform various background tasks that cannot or should not be disabled, even though they could have a minor influence on the results. Test results can vary slightly because it's impossible to disable every background task of the operating system. These tasks are one factor that may have a slight influence on measurements. Also, modern computers and graphics cards dynamically adjust clock speeds based on environmental conditions like power and temperature. For instance, processors will reduce clock speed when running too hot to allow for cooling and prevent damage. With many modern processors, the reverse is also true. They are able to overclock themselves when the temperature is low enough. Therefore, a system freshly started in a relatively cool environment will typically run faster than the same system that has been performing benchmarks for several hours in a heated office.
  6. PVA - Jim

    Dimensions causing crashes

    Then most likely this issue is the Mojave bug that we were able to put a workaround in for for SP3. No public date for it yet, but should be within the next few weeks.
  7. PVA - Jim

    Boomerang/Pan functionality gone from Space Bar

    If you close all other applications then relaunch Vectorworks alone, does the boomerang functionality return?
  8. PVA - Jim

    Printing problem

    OH! Missed that part, that one is easy: File > Page Setup and uncheck Show Page Breaks on the left. It'll always break based on the physical printer it thinks you have connected.
  9. PVA - Jim

    Printing problem

    Print to PDF is OS controlled, not one of ours. But if you use File > Export > Export PDf (as long as it isnt just Fundamentals which couldnt export PDFs back then) you can choose to export the entire printable area as one single page.
  10. PVA - Jim

    Printing problem

    Should be File > Page Setup, then check Choose size unavailable in printer setup and from the dropdown menu just below that, click Other. You should then be able to configure any custom page size you want. If youre on a Mac you can set this to One Printer Page and instead use Printer Setup to manage the custom sizes of your pages. I believe the steps are here too:
  11. PVA - Jim

    help please. Not snapping regardless of settings

    If it is isolated to one machine, (barring any other applications that deal with screen UI that might interfere, but i would expect that to then cause the problem on all files on that machine) then this is the more invasive procedure that may help, follow the instructions included to back things up first, but dont restore the backups until youve tested to see if the issue still occurs:
  12. PVA - Jim

    help please. Not snapping regardless of settings

    That is very strange, if you can, send the stripped file to tech@vectorworks.net and they can take a closer look. Files are kept confidential however through tech support, and they will destroy their copy right away after troubleshooting if needed.
  13. PVA - Jim

    help please. Not snapping regardless of settings

    Sometimes, disabling ALL snapping options in the snapping palette, restarting Vectorworks, and then re-enabling the options will reset this. If this does not work, please let me know.
  14. PVA - Jim

    Renderworks STILL rendering black box, et al

    Solid white can be a few different things, if you restart Vectorworks and rerender and it works fine, then thats definitely a bug. However if you aren't actually getting white but just completely transparent and devoid of geometry on a white background, that might be something different. The next time that occurs, can you place a brightly colored rectangle or something like that behind the solid white viewport and tell me if you see the viewport as solid white or if there are portions that are just empty?
  15. PVA - Jim

    Renderworks STILL rendering black box, et al

    As far as I have seen, there is one remaining black viewport issue in 2019 SP2 and that is related to the Tools > Options > Vectorworks Preferences > Edit > Default Compression setting being set to JPEG. Setting this to PNG should alleviate that particular problem if thats whats causing it, but in 2018 there were more unfixed causes. I no longer get any black viewports or renders myself at all, however my issues stopped at 2019 SP1 and some others are still experiencing the one related to compression, which means as we suspected there was one symptom with multiple causes.
  16. PVA - Jim

    Blue Glitch when moving cursor

    Your machine looks to only have a Intel(R) UHD Graphics 620, which is below the minimum GPU specifications for Vectorworks: https://www.vectorworks.net/sysreq?version=2019
  17. PVA - Jim

    2d circle tool crashing VW2019

    Try the odd troubleshooting step listed here and let me know the results please:
  18. This is the absolute key to these add-on rendering solutions, they can take you incredibly far for a minimal time investment. I love working with rendering engines and playing with materials but not everyone has the luxury of time to experiment with and learn them. You can go much further into photorealism with a formal rendering package, but not everyone wants or needs to go that deep.
  19. PVA - Jim

    Dimensions causing crashes

    It can be, if you are able to alleviate it by doing the very strange troubleshooting step of undocking your Object Info palette and leaving it simply undocked, then this is a known bug that will be corrected in 2019 SP3. I believe however that there are other steps support will want to perform on that machine as well.
  20. PVA - Jim

    2019 version getting distorted

    I need the system profile SPX itself attached, please.
  21. PVA - Jim

    Dimensions causing crashes

    Get in touch with tech@vectorworks.net directly for this, especially if you are using macOS 10.14 Mojave.
  22. PVA - Jim

    Mouse wheel zooms/scrolls too fast

    It's certainly working fine for me here now, are you having trouble with it?
  23. PVA - Jim

    2019 version getting distorted

    Reply back with the following from your machine please:
  24. PVA - Jim

    Viewport "Styles"

    Would you think that request would coincide with this one?
  25. PVA - Jim

    Large Cumbersome PDF files

    Specifically discrepancies of the appearance of geometry in Vectorworks vs the direct PDF output. I think the cleanliness part also related to exactly what we output and not just visually, for instance there are situations where exporting to PDF creates a very heavy file because it includes many stacks of the same vertices sometimes, far more than would be needed to cleanly display per-layer. Sometimes these are what is ballooning the filesize and sometimes not.


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