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    Assistant Lighting Designer
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    Miami, FL
  1. Yes, I was referring to Cast Lighting's WYSIWYG program. It appears from their documentation that when exporting a DXF/DWG file the text fields will export as text fields, but they're not showing up that way in Vectorworks. Does anybody have any experience with this? Thanks!
  2. Has anybody had consistent success importing DXF or DWG drawings that have been exported from WYSIWYG? I've receieved a couple files that have been exported as DXF's and all of the instruments, text blocks, etc are drawn as individual lines. I'd like to be able to get all of the lighting symbols to at least come in as symbols/blocks, with the text as editable text fields. (Obviously it would be great if Vectorworks could import the drawing and have Spotlight recognize all of the WYSIWYG data) Anybody have any suggestions? Thanks,
  3. I had problems using the grey text labels, our HP 750c+ plotter didn't make them clear, especially when a fixture was rotated off 0?/90?/180? Thats why I prefer to use the graphical ellipsoidal fixtures for that very reason. When you have 300+ fixture on a plot, all that grey text blends in, but the slashes always stand out. Just my personal preference...
  4. Nope, you're not doing anything wrong. That's just how it does it. Annoying huh? It would be nice if that got fixed one day... I use the Lightwright import/export functions to get the proper information updated into the plot. It's much faster then editing every unit.
  5. I'm wondering if anybody knows why the following happens: When using an instrument symbol that references another symbol without any change from the original; for example the graphical Source 4 fixtures that come with Spotlight, and you insert the Etc Source 4 36? symbol (that is just the Etc Source 4 body masquerading as a 36?), the Obj Info palette shows no data. It is kind enough to tell you that it actually inserted the Etc Source 4 body symbol, instead of the Etc Source 4 36? that you actually wanted in the drawing. Now you can get around this issue by adding some graphical element to the 36? symbol. It doesn't even have to be visible. As long as there is some difference, it will insert the proper symbol and drop in the correct Light Info record information. I'm using the Etc Source 4 36? symbol as an example because it comes broken straight out of the box. Any symbol based on the same idea will also do this... But why? And more importantly, can it be fixed? Or should I say, will it be fixed?
  6. When I use just an arrow and drop it onto the PAR symbol, I usually have to play with the arrowhead and line settings to make it look right. Try making the line longer and the arrowhead smaller. Once I have what I want, I turn it into a symbol so I can drop and rotate it however it needs to be.
  7. Miguel- As the ALD down at Florida Grand Opera in Miami, I deal with the same sort of headaches that you mention. FGO has both Autocad 2005 and Vectorworks Spotlight 11.5. Except for the designers that still use pencil and paper, most of our designers work in Vectorworks, but one or two work in AutoCad. Like Steve B. mentioned, I have found that almost all lighting designers (especially the ones working out of NYC) use Vectorworks. Though sometimes the translations between AutoCad and Vectorworks can be tiresome, I have developed a pretty good workflow with the Technical Direction department, which uses Autocad. Try importing the CAD drawings into VW using different settings. Sometimes I find that I need to play with different import options just to make everything work right. Also, I find that just because a designer uses Vectorworks, they don't always use the Spotlight features 'properly.' I often have to go thru and clean up the plot so that I can transfer data smoothly between Lightwright and Vectorworks. When you update your venue drawings you can do them in either AutoCad or Vectorworks, as long as you pay attention to how each file type exports to the other. In the end, you'll probably find a need for both Autocad and Vectorworks. They both will draft a light plot, but they go about it in different ways. Contact me if you have any other questions. (jgoss@fgo.org)
  8. I generally just drop a symbol on top of each PAR, often attaching them as an accessory so that they stay with the PAR. However this can create a problem when moving data between LW and VW. The other solution that I have tried with some success is using Unicode characters. It can take a little bit of work to set it up, but it allows you to use the field of your choice, and you can treat it like any other label legend field. Here's what I did: Go to Microsoft Word and in any document, go to the Insert Symbol menu command. This will bring up a symbol dialogue box. I use 'Monotype Sorts' characters 214 and 215, also known as Unicode characters 61654 and 61655. This gives you a up/down and a left/right arrow. (If you want a diagonal arrow, there are some other choices) Once you find a character you like, go ahead and insert it into the Word document. Then copy this symbol from Word into a text block in Vectorworks. You will then need to put your label legend field of choice (I use User Field 1) into the label legend you use for your PAR cans. Then edit your label legend, place the field where you want it on your lighting symbol, and change the font to be Monotype Sorts (or whatever font will correctly display your arrows). After exiting you will need to copy the appropriate arrow into the field for each PAR can on the Object Info palette. (Or you can set up a keyboard shortcut to make it quicker) It will display as something different on the palette, but should display correctly on your PAR can. There are other ways of achieving the same end result (like creating separate PAR symbols for each lamp axis, or creating different label legends with an added graphical element for each lamp axis variation), but this puts the arrow in the label legend and doesn't clutter your file with lots of unnecessary symbols. hope this helps
  9. I also am able to use VW 11.5 Help in Safari 1.3. Next time you try wait a little bit - sometimes it takes ~30 sec for the Java to load and VW Help files to display. Because the help file uses Java, make sure you are running the current version. (Software Update should take care of that) One other thing to try is to go the VW Help folder (Applications/Vectorworks 11.5/VWHelp) and make sure the webpages located there opened into Safari, instead of IE.
  10. Have you tried opening the .txt file in Excel or any other spreadsheet application? I often open the files in Excel just to make sure all of the data coming out of Lightwright or Vectorworks is the data that I want to be moving - and is correct.
  11. From my experience with workgroup references the origin of referenced drawing will match with the origin of your open drawing. I haven't found a way of telling the referenced drawing to center on a particular spot that is not the origin. Hope that helps...
  12. Here are 2 things to try: Delete your preference file. It's located in user/library/preferences/ You'll have to re-enter the serial numbers, and reset any other preferences you have... The other more drastic option is to delete your existing installation and re-install. Most times this will fix it. These may not be the best options in your particular scenario, keep poking around these Tech Boards, maybe you'll come across a simpler 'duh!' solution
  13. Though the Source 4 Revolution does not show up in the Vectorworks Resource Browser, you can find the Revolution in the Field Template Soft Symbols. Check out FieldTemplate.com.
  14. Kevin- Does this known bug only affect accessories, or does it affect other instruments in a file that has accessories? I've had problems when importing/exporting information to & from LW4 where the Spotlight ID's get mixed up and no longer correlate to the proper instruments. Which obviously makes transfering the information difficult.
  15. quote: Originally posted by michaelk: I'd also like to know if you can choose which instrument symbol is used in the Active Label Legend. Sometimes is chooses a reasonable fixture, but sometimes it chooses the symbol for a practical or an inkie. If you set the label legend that you want to be active in the label legend manager (by selecting the label legend, then clicking "Set As Active," this label legend will show up in the Key to Instrumentation. I've noticed there is some pattern to how the instruments are sorted in the Key, and after playing with a new blank plot, I've discovered that you can drop your lighting instruments onto the plot in the order in which you want them to appear in the Key to Instrumentation. This also works for accessories. Though this is a silly way to go about doing things, one could 'cheat' the system by creating a template that had all of your symbols already dropped in your plot in the order that you wanted. When you were ready to insert your Key, you could just delete those original symbols, and the ones that were still on the plot would be sorted and counted properly. I'll have to see if this actually works....I'll post back if it doesn't. (Obviously any lighting symbols that aren't in the plot won't go onto the key) For future updates, a lighting symbol sorting maintenance feature would be nice. [ 01-22-2005, 04:21 PM: Message edited by: JGoss ]
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