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Neil Barman

Vectorworks, Inc Employee
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Posts posted by Neil Barman

  1. Just to confirm, are you trying to import the image in VW2021 as your forum signature indicates or do you have the current version (2022) of Vectorworks?


    I had not heard of the ECW file format before. It is an interesting one... It appears to be a propriety format developed by a company called Hexagon Geospatial. (More info here.) It does appear to have the ability to contain very high resolution images. (For what it's worth, in my experience it's not unusual that aerial images commissioned by cities do sometimes have higher resolutions than images that cover the entire planet – It is in the best interest of the jurisdiction to pay the considerable cost for such local a imaging service as it helps examine and document the area they govern.)


    Thank you for providing the source that you're working with. I downloaded one fo the ECW files and gave it a try in Vectorworks 2022. When I open a brand new file and I don't geolocate the Vectorworks file first, then I import the ECW file, the imported image appears to geolocate well for me. (Incidentally I did not need to use the "All types" option for the file. VW2022 recognized ECW as an image file.) The image import options I used are below. (Note the Georeferencing settings.)




    The ECW image arrived and, based on what I see in Vectorworks' rulers, it seemed to be geolocated. To check this, I activated the Geoimage tool. Right away the geoimage tool produced a base geoimage for me for me to select my target area. The ECW file is the square image in the centre, everything else is the preview Geoimage. This looks nicely geolocated to me. 

    ECW file plus geoimage preview.png


    Because I didn't manually geolocate the file myself, this indicates to me that the image's own coordinate system was successfully used fo the geolocation process. The ECW file appears to be at the correct scale too.


    I then created a geoimage of an area larger than the ECW square so that I could see how the resolutions compared...

    ECW square on Geoimage.png



    Zooming WAY in (to compare the resolution of the these two aerial images, I see the image below. I didn't expect that the geoimage would get close to the ECW file but I was pleasantly surprised. The ECW resolution is higher, of course, but I could certainly work with the geoimage if the ECW wasn't available.

    Geoimage compared to ECW.png


    I hope that hearing what I did and seeing the results helps.


    • Like 4
  2. On 11/17/2021 at 9:22 AM, May_Mal said:

    Thank you, that worked. 


    As a practice we did actually have a bespoke workspace we all got used to using and therefore we migrated. 

    Certainly, that makes sense if you have a heavily modified workspace that you don’t want to rebuild from scratch. Considering this, when you and your team install a new version of Vectorworks, definitely make some time to incorporate new tools and commands into your migrated workspace.

  3. 23 hours ago, trashcan said:

    Your example of the buggy DWG is a great one! You have to know WHAT is causing a crash in VWX, and that can be a lot of effort. Then you have to figure out a work around. You still need that Civil Engineer's data - so are you going to ask them to repair it? Or are you going to redraw it? Can you repair the file yourself? And there are a lot of things that could be causing the crash. Where do you start? Or a messed up plug-in object, or symbol! You have to put the time in to figure out all those problems. If VWX is aware that certain things can cause crashes, perhaps it should warn you after some kind of programmatic audit (I.e. "the DWG you imported has bad geometry and could cause Vectorworks to crash, would you still like to import the file?"). There are other programs that do this kind of thing. 

    While I will let my colleagues address the software engineering side of things, and tech support can update you on the status of any issues you’ve submitted to them, I did want to clarify about the civil engineering file I mentioned…


    It actually didn’t crash Vectorworks. But it “choked” Vectorworks. This may not be an official technical term, but importing and trying to navigate/use the file effectively made Vectorworks appear unresponsive. I have learned from time in the software that this doesn’t typically mean that Vectorworks is incapable of dealing with the file but rather that it is working extremely hard on the file. I probably could have left Vectorworks to work on the file but right away this was a sign to me that there was something wrong with the file – Vectorworks should not have to work that hard on a well made base drawing arriving by DWG.


    Instead of getting frustrated with the file and spending my time trying to excavate what I needed from the file, I simply requested a new file, letting the sender know what I had received in the first place so I didn’t get the same thing again. (My guess is that the sender just wasn’t that experienced at exporting files and didn’t check what they had exported before sending it.) A new file was sent and I was able to import it and use it easily.


    So, though it would be great to have Vectorworks alert me that I had been sent an unnecessarily complicated file, in this case I could just tell that I shouldn’t bother struggling with this one. A “distant early warning” system for other known or easily-identifiable problematic objects would be great though. If you would like to contribute to such a system possibly being created, please submit a description of how you imagine the system working, and especially what you would expect it to identify, in the Wishlist section of the Forum. I can guarantee it won’t be built tomorrow, but feedback from users does contribute to development when work is done on features and enhancements.

    • Like 1
  4. That's great that you are liking publishing to Vectorworks Cloud Services. It certainly is handy.


    It's true that some unsupported characters in file or folder names cause sync issues. For anyone who comes across this threads and wonders that the characters are, here's s screenshot that will help:


    Screenshot 2021-11-20 at 12.10.35.png

    • Like 2
  5. @trashcanand others, if you are experiencing crashes/instability with Vectorworks 2022, have you contacted technical support?

    If not, please do.

    Posting here on the forum is totally fine for commiserating with others, but it may not lead to a solution for you and it doesn’t necessarily let us know about an issue that needs fixing. 

    Typically crashes & instability relate to

    - operating systems

    - hardware specs

    - bespoke files containing problematic objects

    and it would be good for you to be in touch with technical support so they can help determine what is going on for you.


    For an example of a problematic file, I found that my 2022 SP1.1 choked hard yesterday… but it was on a civil engineer’s DWG imported into a new, blank file. Upon inspection, the DWG was an absolute mess – and most of the mess was 80,000,000 ft from origin. Of course that file was going to be problematic.


    Aside from that v2022 has been running great for me. I demo and do training sessions on it daily without issue. If you’re having an issue with the software, don’t hesitate to get in touch with technical support so they can sort it out with you. 


  6. Thanks for sharing! being able to work with the exact file you are using makes providing recommendations MUCH easier.


    I see that you have already done several of the things I was thinking of suggesting, such as using Shaded (rather than hidden line), with no colours, Ambient Lighting up to 100, etc. This is a good start.


    I tried some additional tricks with greyed layers and PDF output, adjusting object/layers/class opacities, etc but none of these got where I was hoping to go.


    A couple of techniques that did make for lighter edge lines...

    - On the sheet layer, apply image effects to the 3D view viewport and slide "Shadows" all the way to the left. That will effectively lighten the "dark areas" (i.e. the lines) as much as possible. (This one lightened the edges a little bit.)

    - On the sheet layer, a white-filled rectangle set to 80% opacity over the entire 3D view viewport. (This one lightened the edges a lot and you can adjust the opacity of the rectangle to suit your needs.)


    Hopefully one of these techniques will work for you. 


    3D garden for hand render - Images effects Shadows to 0.pdf

    3D garden for hand render - White mask set to 80pct opacity.pdf


  7. 9 hours ago, Eamonn said:

    How would I change the cursor settings within VW itself? There are different way to present and use the cursor?

    Any cursor settings that you can change within Vectorworks would be within the Vectorworks Preferences > Interactive.


    Keep in mind that since your computer's cursor is primarily an operating system "tool", some of the ways you may want your cursor to behave or appear may be treated to the OS and not Vectorworks. For example, when I present on my Mac, I use either Mouseposé or Presentify to highlight the location of my cursor wherever it is on the screen no matter what application I'm showing. Since this is applied across all applications it is not a Vectorworks-centric function.

  8. 16 hours ago, Alexis Hart said:

    It is now late 2021 and the tool is seemingly yet to be improved. I am just starting out in VW and the first thing I wanted to do was create a site plan.  I have spent hours trying to convert survey data to VW for a site plan (tried bearings and azimuth). I am about to give up. 

    Hi @Alexis Hart, welcome to the forum 🙂


    This thread is about using the Property Line tool – More info here, including a video explaining how to enter bearing and azimuth data if that is what you have been given to work with.


    However I wonder if a property line is what you’re trying to create since you mention that you’re working with site survey data and hoping to make a site plan


    Typically I have used site survey data (arriving as a .csv file) to generate a site model. A site model will give you 2D contours for the site when you view it in top/plan view and 3D model when you view it in a 3D view. (Here is a link to the help page on the overall Site Modeling topic – Start on that page and then follow the link at the bottom of it to explore related tools, commands and processes.)


    To use site survey data to create a site model, you would use the “Import survey File” command. It’s not difficult to use the Import Site Survey command but it may take a few steps back and forth between a spreadsheet editor, depending on what you were sent by the surveyor. (Sometimes .csv files need a bit of tidying to get them ready for import.) More info about the “Import Survey File” command here and I have a video about the process here.


    I hope this info helps.


    Also, since you are brand new to using Vectorworks I strongly recommend doing the Core Certification course so that you can acquire the fundamental skills and knowledge for using the software. The course is free, has quizzes to assess your progress, and it will benefit you on every project you do in Vectorworks going forward. To find out more, click on the certification badge in my forum signature below.

  9. @Matt OvertonCould you shed some more light on your software and hardware setup? For example, which SP of v2021 are you running? Which operating system are you using? What are the basic technical specs (RAM, VRAM) of your computer? Knowing this info may help answer. (And adding the info to your forum signature will allow it to show up below every posts you make.)


    I’m also wondering how much free hard drive space you currently have?

  10. 5 hours ago, EdM said:

    Is anyone else finding this is becoming so disruptive literally freezing every 15 mins. 

    At Pat mentioned above for another user, it sounds like you are part of a small minority of users experiencing this. This is definitely not the normal behaviour of the software. It would be best to contact the technical support team and have them assist you.

    • Like 1
  11. On 11/10/2021 at 3:46 AM, May_Mal said:

    After updating to Vectorworks 2022, some of us in the office cannot access the unified view option. Any ideas why?



    Based on your screenshot and seeing the “New” menu next to the Help menu, it appears that you replied Yes to the “would you like to migrate” question when you first ran Vectorworks 2022. Since Unified View functions have been changed (as bcd mentioned they are on by default) in v2022, your migrated workspace tried to “connect” to the unified view commands but could not.


    Unless you specifically intended to migrate forward a heavily modified workspace from a previous version of Vectorworks, I would recommend using one of the stock, default workspaces. These will be laid out and arranged as the software engineers intended. If you would like to make some modifications to a stock workspace, it’s typically best to duplicate the workspace, give it a unique name, then edit that duplicate.

    • Like 1
  12. 3 hours ago, jeff prince said:


    Thanks for the suggestion.  I can see my input here and elsewhere is not appreciated by Vectorworks.

    Quite the contrary, @jeff prince. Feedback is always appreciated, but you may find your feedback has more impact by considering the language & tone of the feedback. Having a positive approach to encourage change is always better than taking a negative stance.

    • Dislike 1
  13. On 10/11/2021 at 4:54 PM, E|FA said:

    Except you can only vote "nice to have", "important", or "critical".  Shouldn't there be a way for the user base to let VW know if an option is "not needed by me" or other neutral or negative input?

    I’d say your best way to express your lack of interest in a feature, in the context of the public roadmap, is simply to not provide any feedback on it.


    Instead, I’d recommend putting positive energy and constructive feedback towards the features/topics that do interest you and would benefit your work. That way, your perspective can contribute to how a feature is developed.


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