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Jon Howard

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Everything posted by Jon Howard

  1. Excellent- thank you. I thought it must have been a limit, but could not find that in VW help. Am rendering it now. Jonathan
  2. Is there a maximum number of light sources allowed in a model? I want to check shadowing in a display case, created by objects on shelves, from the display lighting at the top of the case. To do this, I have created 36 duplicate light sources in the top of the case model to mimic the individual LED heads at 110mm centres. They are simple light sources, set at 100% output with an 80 degree spread & 30 degree beam. No matter what I do, only the first 8-9 light sources will turn 'on' in the render - the others stubbornly refuse to show any light output even though they are identical & duplicated from the first fixture & have all of the same settings. I have tried rendering in variety of ways - the attached image is in OpenGL. I have made similar renders before in VW2020 of other display cases, but have never had this issue before. Is there something I am missing?
  3. Thank you for the responses. I set the anti-aliasing & indirect lighting to very high, soft shadows & blurriness to high & environment lighting to medium for this render (everything else left the same). The results are so much better, thank you. The downside was the render time went from around 5 minutes to 120 minutes(!). I assume I'll need to find some settings in-between these two extremes to give me a faster render with acceptable results. Light test - linear & spots3.pdf
  4. Hi, Thank you - previous settings for this was 'From render mode', so I changed the setting to 'Very high'. However, this has made very little difference to the appearance of the output.
  5. One of the reasons for learning to use Renderworks properly is so that I can use my client's 3D designs to analyse my lighting positions. I tried to illustrate this in a recent discussion about a display case in a museum project that had a shelf; it was pretty obvious from a section that we'd have shadow issues under the shelf, but I thought it would be good to be able to demonstrate that with a quick render to the client team. I attach an output of my model here. The front lighting comes from two spots, arranged as per the light track positions in the room, and the spot settings of 10˚beam/20˚ spread to mimic the fixtures' performance. Under the overhanging elements of the case, I placed two linear fixtures that I made with the linear light tool - and set the output of the strips to 4000 lumens (an arbitrary value). The colour temperatures of the two types of fixture are deliberately different (3200K & 5600K)Light test - linear & spots.pdf so I can see where each light source is going. My query is why has the spot fixture got such a nice smooth beam performance, whereas the linear fixture is producing a lot of 'noise' & pixellation? The render was set to final quality, as I wasn't sure which value to adjust in the custom settings. Thank you for any pointers in improving this. Jonathan
  6. Hi, Thank you for the thoughtful answer - and I read your post on the bugs in rendering; really useful. I am finding workarounds for the differences, like selecting the final quality in Renderworks from the View palette, for example. The key issue is whether I am doing it 'right' - I am a very long-term VW user (from MiniCAD days), and I know I have some really bad habits built up over the years when drawing in 2D, and I wanted to avoid that now I am trying to learn to render properly. I also agree the demo file is potentially 'buggy' - just trying to draw a camera in the 3D view, as described as the second step in the 'cameras' demo, causes my copy of Vectorworks to jump all over the place - the camera seems to suddenly leap to about 100m away from the building. I'll keep on with the courses & try to work out where the changes have been made; it's frustrating, as it just slows the process down, so it would be great if VW could update the content to match the latest versions of the software. Now I have started to render with lights, I have some further questions about that, but I'll post those separately. Thank you, Jonathan
  7. Is the Vectorworks University rendering course completely broken? The downloadable example file is in 2020 format, but the accompanying video appears to be referring to tools and operations that I find completely different in VW2020? For example, I have got as far as the rendering viewports example on a sheet layer. The tutor is asking me to select 'high quality render' in the 'resource browser' palette. Isn't the 'resource browser' now the 'resource manager', and if so, the 'high quality render' option is not one of the resources I can find. I note from the tutor's screen that he is using VW Designer 2016 - a software version that is now 4 years out of date. Isn't this module completely obsolete now? If it is, where can I find some up-to-date resources about this topic?
  8. Hi, Thank you for this, but this does not solve the issue: if I select that setting, even my annotations are now in black & white I want to annotate the architect’s background in a colour, so that my annotations stand out., and the solution is to rather messily edit the previous classes, although this does not help when the viewport includes objects that are symbols (which they nearly always do). Jonathan
  9. We have six VW seats in our office, and are all finding VW 2017 is becoming very unstable. I am having repeated crashes on my laptop (MacBook Pro running 10.12.3) & iMac (10.12.1). There seems to be no obvious function being used that causes the crash, just a sudden failure, and other users int he office are reporting similar sudden crashes. Also we are having extreme problems with the Object Info palette across all users: - Object Info palette disappears from the screen, even though it is still ticked in the Palettes menu. Unselecting & resecting it does not cause it to reappear. The solution is to quit the problem & restart, leading to several minutes of lost work time as the program restarts. - Object info palette minimises to just the top window bar & cannot be expanded again. There seems to be NO solution to this one. - Object info data disappears (boxes are empty of all object information) & the only way to solve this is to save the drawing, which causes the boxes to re-populate with the information. These repeated problems are making us very nervous about using VW with some of the larger BIM projects we are about to start work on. Is this instability something that is known about?
  10. Thank you - that's pretty much how we're doing it. I am then sending them back the reduced file, with my information added, and they are copying my layer back into their mega-file.
  11. Outstanding. That does the trick, perfectly. Thank you very much - fifteen minutes from posting the issue to having a solution.
  12. Thank you for the quick reply. Yes, I imagine that would work, but then how could I go back to the appearance of the drawing? I may not need to, but it would be good to know that the information was still there, just switched off. I thought the whole point of referencing was to allow me to bring in drawings that may be updated later. If I have to manually edit the drawings before or after referencing, it's adding a lot to the workflow.
  13. Is there a way to use a referenced drawing in black & white only? I want to bring in the architect's backgrounds into my drawings as a reference, then annotate viewports with my own information (position of light fixtures etc.). To make my own drawings clearer, I want to set the architectural drawings to black and white only, then annotate them with my information (position and shape of light fixtures & circuit references) in a colour, so that this information stands out on screen (but still gives me the option to print everything in black & white) However, if I set a viewport to black and white (in the Advanced settings), then all annotations are automatically black and white, too. If I go back to the referenced drawing, and set the document preferences to black & white, then this seems to affect the on-screen display of that file only, as when I then reference or update the drawing into my file, all of the class/layer colour information faithfully returns & I am back to where I started. This is maddening me; surely there must be a simple way to display the referenced drawing in black and white, without manually editing the architect's file to set all layers & classes to black and white & I am just missing it?
  14. I am still having issues with a design client who wants to share exhibition design files with me (I provide the lighting design for their exhibitions). They usually want to send me a single project file, which contains all of the drawings, and usually requires several referenced drawings (the building walls, base build information and so forth). As they are designing 3D exhibitions, then scans or .jpegs of the objects or artworks are included. The upshot is the file sizes can often reach 800-900MB. For me, only adding a layer of lighting information to each drawing, this makes the files unwieldy & slow to use. At present, the simplest work around for the designers is to export the relevant drawings to me in .dwg format, which I then convert back to .vwx to use. This is clearly silly, and we are now beginning to wonder why we don't just all convert to using Autocad to cut out the middleman. Is there a way the designers could export the drawings that I need in a simple manner without all of the detail that they want to keep? The process of stripping this detail out for them is deeply tedious, so they just send me .dwgs. Why can't Vectorworks offer such a similar feature that reduces the file size, without us needing to invoke a third-party process?
  15. I am working through the getting started guide & having great problems with the soft goods tools. I have created my border, as per the GSG. I have duplicated it four times, as instructed. 1. When I align & distribute, I am left with a large gap at the rear of the stage that is clearly uneven to the distribution. 2. I cannot change the border to a curtain with centre opening in the OIP. I have changed the function to 'curtain', the Z value to 0', and the height to 24', *but* the drop down menu option for opening refuses to activate, and remains greyed out. 3. I have then tried to copy the curtain to create legs. I have used the 'Move by points' command, and set the L value to 3' & the angle to -90˚. However, when I hit return twice, it creates another 60' length border, and I am unable to edit the length in the OIP. Any ideas what is going on here - particularly the curtain function. I simply cannot get the 'opening' menu to become active. Jo.
  16. Is there any way to limit the silly file sizes generated on conversion from .dwg files? Yesterday, I received a 456KB file from a client, showing a small section of an airport. On conversion to Vectorworks 2013, the file equivalent was 112MB. This is absolutely ridiculous, and made the file too unwieldy to use. Not surprisingly, my client is telling me to use Autocad. Is there anything that can be done in the conversion process to prevent this?
  17. Thanks for the answers. The problem is basically my client either a. forgets to send me the referenced files or b. doesn't send them, as it makes the transfer too large - in the example above, the base file they are sending is 350MB. I can't believe that none of the referenced information is present in a file of that size, but without the reference files being present all I get is the outline of the museum and all of the (now blank) design sheets they have prepared. What I would really like in VW is a 'snapshot' button, that sends the file with the referenced data *as it was at the moment the file was saved*. The 'snapshot' could then know that it was saved one-time, and not go looking for updates. A useful wish list item? The workaround at the moment is for my client to export their .vwx file as a .dwg (which reduces its size by 2/3rds, incidentally) and for me to re-import that back into Vectorworks. How stupid is that? I hope Nemetschek reads these threads, because it's pretty clear where we're going. If I need to use Autocad to work in Vectorworks, why bother to re-import the file back into Vectorworks? I might as well just carry on in Autocad. Which my colleagues are already pressing me to do.
  18. I am having tremendous problems with a design client, who sends me very large exhibition drawing files. They tend to use referenced files for items like the building the exhibition is in, plus various separate exhibition areas. They need to send me the file for me to add my layer of work, and tell me they are 'purging' (I assume they are deleting the links, since the 'Purge' command does something different) all of the referenced layers before sending the files to me. However, on opening, I am always told the links are missing, and if the drawing continues to open, I have none of the information I need. I am trying to get to the bottom of what they need to do, but simply, if they ticked 'Save referenced files to cache' before saving it & sending it to me, would that solve my problem, or simply should they send me all of the referenced files? I don't understand why Vectorworks doesn't have a package command, similar to the Autocad function that puts all of the drawings and references into a single archive to be sent, or have I missed it? Jonathan
  19. Signature updated, but someone needs to look at the user forms.
  20. I recently installed SP1. Since then, I have been suffering massive stability problems with my copy of VW 2011. If I try to open a file sent to me, produced in VW 2008, my VW immediately crashes after importing the file. I have even tried importing the file into VW 2009, and re-saving it before opening it in 2011, but it still crashes upon opening. I am ahead of my clients at the moment, most of whom are still running 2008 or 2009, so this problem is a major headache for me. Is this a known issue, or is this unique to me? Jonathan
  21. Thanks, chaps. I may suggest the partition approach if he is really keen to run ProTools on the laptop. The solution to this problem (for VW, at least) was to get a set of Tiger-friendly dongle drivers from our Vectorworks supplier. Once loaded, the dongle came back to life and VW runs again. He'll have to put his musical career on hold, and get on with his work instead...
  22. A colleague has installed ProTools on his G4 laptop, which also runs VW11.5. The OS is Tiger 10.4.1. Unfortunately, ProTools uses a hardware key, similar to the MacHASP dongle we have on our European copies of VW. This has seriously conflicted with VW, so that when you launch VW the dongle is no longer recognised, and part of ProTools tries to launch. I have uninstalled ProTools, and relaoded the dongle drivers, including the 'Forced' package. I have also tried re-loading the BSD subsystem. All to no avail. At best the red light comes on on the dongle when the laptop starts up, but rapidly goes off again. The dongle can be seen on the USB bus in the System Profiler however. Much as I understand Nemetschek's need to prevent copying, hardware keys, just for some markets, are a royal pain. Jonathan
  23. I've now checked with our A'cad operator here, and the mini test .dwgs we're having problems with *do not* contain any hatches. One drawing is only a circle and a box of text, yet still causes the crash. Would you like me to send you the files? They're really very small. Jonathan
  24. OK - Is it possible to get VW to ignore the hatches? What happens on the Critical error is that VW crashes & shuts down. With OS 10.3.3 at least the system doesn't hang, but it's not very elegant. Jonathan
  25. Yes - using OS 10.3.3. Regards, Jonathan


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