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Chris D

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Posts posted by Chris D

  1. What's interesting about the responses in this thread are that there are as many opinions on the perfect workspace as there are users...so I guess that means the best UI is a highly customisable one...

    There are a number of things that AREN'T customisable in the VW interface at the moment, that prevent me from setting up my workspace how I'd like.

    1. Tools can't be associated with tool preferences. Indeed the toolsets toolbar can't even be placed at the top, at least on a Mac, as file windows open behind the toolbar. A fully docking workspace that respects toolbar positions for file windows is required.

    2. View options can't be grouped with Navigation. The Working Plane / Current View / Render Mode settings are all only available on the top toolbar. If View Options were available on a palette they could at least be placed with the Nav palette.

    3. There is no practical way to avoid the duplication of having Classes/Layers listed in two places on screen which is wasteful. The current drop downs on the top toolbar indicate the current class/layer but are not fully interactive so the Nav palette is required too. I'd like feedback on the current class/layer at the top of the Nav palette (like in the mock up).

    4. Attributes can't be associated with the Object Info Palette. Even the ability to amend the shape of the stupid little Attributes palette (landscape instead of portrait) would help so at least I could dock it sensibly at the top of the OIP.

    5. The 'chrome' on the Snapping palette stays stubbornly at the top, even when stretched out to 1x8 wide. If the chrome would jump to the left side only when stretched out, I could place this palette at the bottom of my screen where I'd prefer it, without wasting space.

    These 5 wishes would be relatively simple to implement and would allow me to set up a much more productive workspace...without upsetting everybody else in the process...

  2. Is this the new interface for Vectorworks 2013?


    I sure hope so...the old interface is a mess, with tool options separated from toolbars, view/navigation settings all over the place...and that stupid little Attributes Palette..

    The new one seems to be really tidy:

    - Tools at the top, along with tool options

    - View/Navigation on the left

    - Object Attributes and Info on the right

    - Toggles at the bottom

    Let's hope we see this arrive in September!

    ...of course this is a mockup...feel free to comment on it

  3. For an example I received some complicated electrical layout DWG files today that were badly classed. I needed to select only the lighting fittings which were just drawn as circles of a certain diameter....but of course I had to do it manually for each and every floor level. This isn't even smart CAD let alone smart BIM.

    You could argue that the electrical engineer was at fault, but as usual I need the information today, so complaining about their drawing technique doesn't help me...what I need is powerful software to help me.

  4. This tool is going to become really important. The faster and more powerful it is the better.

    Going forward it seems the higher level objects are well covered, so in the progression towards BIM the Custom Selection tool will actually be very useful.

    This is almost a case of going back and adding the missing functionality to low level objects.

  5. I'd also like to be able to Custom Select geometry by dimensions, such as select all circles of 600mm diameter.

    It seems you can currently select by field value of intelligent objects, but not for basic objects such as rectangles, circles etc.

    I'd like:

    • Line by Length
    • Circle by Radius
    • Rectangle by Width or Height
    • Regular Polygon by Number of Vertices
    • Polygon by Area
    • Any Object by Rotation

    and so on.

    I'd also like upper and lower bounding selection e.g. select all circles between 500mm and 700mm diameter.

  6. It would qualify as a BIM application if out of the box you could build a relatively simple building model in 3D, using architectural objects, and get both 2D drawings and intelligent data out at the other end.

    It wouldn't qualify as a BIM application if the architectural objects are so limited that you had to model a majority of the building in primitives because the architectural objects are half baked, therefore the objects are dumb and the data attached (if any) is useless and your 2D drawings still require more than a modicum of manual drafting before issue.

    For me, it seems the balance is still with the second of these options at the moment.

  7. Basic half baked essentials:

    We now have a slab tool that can be associated to some walls in some situations.

    We have window and door PIOs that work well in plans and elevations but not in schedules.

    We have 3 stair tools that sometimes work in certain situations.

    We have drawing coordination for sections but not plans.

    We have a roof command that does only 3 types of standard oldfashioned (Macmanshion) roofs. + Roof face command as an 2nd rate enhancement that doesn't work with skylights, windows, no gutters etc.

    We have walls that can have a texture and fill but not a hatch on the surface.

    We have walls that are vertical and straight or round no more no less....with autojoin capability but in most situations need to be unjoined and joined anew in a very specific fashion to work and move one of them means starting all over again.

    That basically encompasses all basic BIM elements...not one is simple, complete and intuitive.....what gives?

    I've been using Vectorworks since 2003....ten years next year. The slow pace of change I've witnessed since then (glacial) needs to be remedied if VW is to become a BIM application (it is NOT yet).

    It is crunch time. Make or break time. Either VW improves quickly or we will be forced to look for alternatives...painful as that will be.

    NV Inc is small and they obviously have a small pool of software engineers who can only bite off small chunks each year. They need to pool their resources with the wider Nemetschek group to improve their efficiency and speed up the improvement.

  8. The new stair tool seems to be an improvement on the old one. Not sure why we now have two stair tools. Anyway, some fixes/improvements are required to the new stair tool for UK use:

    1. Pre-set regulation standards

    UK building regs have several stair applications with different governing parameters and it would be nice to have these as presets.

    These currently are Doc M Public Building, Doc M Apartment Block, Assembly Building, Commercial Building, Domestic, External, External Doc M. These 7 types are being consolidated next year (2013) so it would be a useful time to get the new standards incorporated into VW. The draft of the new comprehensive stair regs are published here:


    2. Independent guardrail height for landings

    As far as I can tell you can't make the guarding on a landing higher than that for the flights, which doesn't satisfy UK regs which require 900 guarding to flights and 1100 guarding to landings (except for domestic stairs).

    3. Localisation of terminology (for UK version)

    Railings = Balustrade

    4. Fix the Frame Bars

    You can turn off the side members of the balustrade framing but you always get a vertical frame bar right next to a post which isn't required

    5. Posts stopping short

    If you don't have a Top Rail on your Guardrail, but you do have a top framing member, the Posts stop just short of the top framing member, instead of stopping just above it which they should. An offset of 25mm (or user controlled) may help

    6. Populate the OIP!

    The old stair tool had too much info on the OIP, but the new one has far too little (everything is inside the Settings dialog). You need at-a-glance info in the OIP at all times when a stair is selected, such as the level it is tied to, basic tread, rise and angle etc. This makes errors far easier to spot when navigating a file.

    this list isn't exhaustive...just my first impressions...

  9. Thanks for the tip on VSS support.

    I do have my background render setting on Very High detail, but it's still fuzzy at less than 2400dpi. I know it isn't to do with low res textures or anything because it's fine in the Design Layer - although do you need to match the JPEG resolution of your original texture source to the intended output DPI ?

    Your example file seems to be less fuzzy than mine but it could be your foreground hidden line render providing the sharp lines - if you zoom on the brickwork it's noticeably less crisp than if you zoom in on a brickwork texture in a Design Layer

  10. I want a BIM forum. I want NV Inc staff to answer questions on BIM workflow too. This is important.

    They should spend less time on hyperbole in their marketing videos and more time establishing a proper BIM workflow in their software.

  11. I can understand NV Inc staff not monitoring these forums but why can't I get an answer to this most basic question:

    Can Vectorworks produce 2D elevations at 1:100, in colour, from a single building model?

    BIM test number 1. Result = fail.

    Next question - do we switch to Revit?

  12. Only been rendering planning elevations so far.

    It's planning elevations we can't replicate. We've always done our 2D drawings in colour using hatches...but of course hatches don't work in 3D (grrr)...so we have to use textures...but textures don't render cleanly unless to set the sheet DPI to 2400...

  13. I've got other more essential issues to bitch about....

    But this is a show stopper - how are people generating 2D elevations from a single building model?? It just isn't practical. This is how the BIM model is supposed to work - you generate 2D info from an intelligent 3D model, but VW can't even do the basic stuff out of the box..

  14. I'm interested in where Vectorworks is going in the medium term and whether we're going to stay with it or whether we will be forced to move to Revit.

    I think this all hangs on a complete change of strategy by Nemetschek to consolidate it's BIM software (Allplan, ArchiCAD, Vectorworks) into a single platform big enough to compete with Revit. This would obviously be expensive and difficult in the short term, but necessary to avoid fragmentation of the huge investment needed to keep up with AutoDesk.

    This document sort of hints at a strategy like this:


    Nemetschek is market leader in Germany and parts of Europe, ahead of Autodesk, but the Revit juggernaut is certainly looking strong in the UK. Nemetschek has a strong portfolio of software, but it needs to be far more interoperable with common file formats, common platforms, single object types etc.


    I couldn't care less about backwards compatibility to be honest, it's future compatibility that we're looking for, so we're prepared to go through the pain of seeing VW and ArchiCAD merge into Allplan if that's what it takes to have a single international package that can compete with Revit.

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