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Posts posted by squirrelboy71

  1. O.k., we'll try this again. . .

    I am having problems IMPORTING. I would love to find a way to change or import 3d models from OTHER programs so that these models weren't 10,000 3d ploygons. I know VW has powerful tools - I LIKE VW's powerful Nurbs tools. As much as I like VW, I don't have time to model a huge library of furntiure, etc. I have these sent to me from the industrial designers who make the proudct. That is irrelevent; as are all of the pretty fractal models.

    Fred is looking for the same thing in reverse. He obviously likes VW also, and knows all about it's powerful nurbs tools - as he stated in his original post. He doesn't need to be sold on VW; he needs a way to get objects into another program without converting to 3d polygons first.

    By the way Fred, I use Cinema4d for the high level rendering. With the "export to C4d" script, it works very well and retains small file sizes without conversion. I wish it was the same for Strata, but perhaps interest in such a thing will help create the script. Good luck.

  2. Wow. Surprisingly, fractal programming wasn't at the top of my list.

    Unfortuntely, I don't think this addresses the problem Fred and I were having with importing and exporting. Unless, of course, there is a huge library of fractally programmed chairs and tables out there somewhere; or perhaps if VW13 would encorporate a "convert to fractal geometry" command.

    Cool objects, though. They gave me flashbacks to my college "experimental" days (and, no I'm not talking about experiments in CAD). I think there was a lot of Pink Floyd involved. It's very blurry. . . .

  3. Sorry to piggy-back on this topic -- but I am extremely interested in this same thing and I hope someone can help us.

    I have wondered the same thing for a couple of years now; and still can't come up with a good answer. This problem includes when you import all of those wonderful free models from the internet. Inevitably you wind up with a simple chair that has 15,000 polygons and takes 20 min. to render by itself.

    Looking for any clues which might include:

    - tweaking in another program before importing

    - applying any kind of transformation inside of VW

    - third-party software?

    - any secret recipe that has worked for others

  4. David,

    Sorry to chime in on a discussion; but I can comment on the C4D plugin question.

    I was less than satisfied with a units conversion problem that I never could solve. My VW objects import extremely scaled-down; even when I choose feet or inches as my increments of measurement. I think it has to do with the C4D universal environment. I can always easily scale up objects, but it becomes a problem with textures, cameras, and lights -- they all need to be moved, re-scaled and re-mapped. I think another big issue was the fact that my C4D used feet OR inches rather than feet AND inches. Oh well.

    I'm also curious about the success of 3ds import and export, as Bob originally asked. If it works well (for those serious 3ds users) it could be a huge interface breakthrough. I haven't pulled the trigger on VW12 yet, due in part to the fact that I bought the C4D plugin and NEVER use it.

    Thanks for humoring the interruption.

  5. Hi Sofia,

    At the risk of not plugging VW (which I'm personally always doing) I think you should take a look at Sketch Up (http://www.sketchup.com/).

    Your colleague is die-hard ACAD, so you're not going to be able to steer them from the ACAD interace. But trust me, I work in every program mentioned already in this thread, you don't want to get into the more complicated software unless clients are shelling out the cash.

    Sketch Up is designed to be fast and artistic; perfect for small presentation. You can import from ACAD, so your colleague will be happy. Plus it's easy for just about anyone (inlcuding non-CAD people) to learn fast. It's MAC and PC; so everyone can play. Don't worry, it's not one of those "any idiot" programs designed for do-it-yourself use. It's made by 3d professionals with designers in mind.

    I have friends who design for television and film, and they love the software. They can get flashy results or old school architectural sketch results very quickly. As I said, check out the web site. It's worth a look.

    (. . . but I still love VectorWorks!. . . I swear!. . I'm drafting with it right now!)

  6. It's been mentioned that I use a strange method; but here goes anyway. . . .

    The best results I've had (trying to avoid crashing VW, and extremely long import/export times) are attained by exporting individual elements as SAT files. I import these into AutoCAD and scale by .03935. That's evidently the factor by which they are converted. I export them to 3ds MAX directly from AutoCAD. This makes a nice, neat element to use as an XREF file.

    I say that this method has been questioned because others have exported to AutoCAD using the DXF/DWG conversion. However, that method doesn't work very well on sophisticated objects with lots of curved surfaces. The files also usually end up abnormally HUGE.

    I'm not sure, since you don't need to go through ACAD, if you could rescale before exporting. It might be worth a try. Then you could import/export directly between VW and Maya.

    Keep us posted on your successes and failures. I know a lot of people who would love to ditch 3ds MAX if we could find a better program to quickly compile and render Architectural models.

  7. E221b,

    This is going to sound a little crazy. . but I've been dealing with a similar thing. We're using 3ds Max to render sketches and revisions, but VW to develop our master drawings and plates (Renderworks is just sooooo slow.) Our space has been drafted in AutoCAD, as are many of the elements, but I am working in VW. So how do we convert and exchange?

    I create the objects in VW. Export them as a SAT file. Import them into AutoCAD. Whoops! The scale isn't saved! So I scale them at a factor of .03935. Then export them as 3ds files. Now there are several control variables along the way. If you're interested in trying this method, I can let you know how I'm doing it.

    This has been the best way we've found for maintaining accurracy and keeping file size down. I've been cooking this formula for awhile. If anyone else has bright ideas for other ways, I welcome them also!

  8. Thanks for the suggestion, but as I said in the original post, I can't possibly make enough save sheets to accommodate the immense combination of possibilities.

    Don't get me wrong, save sheets are great. So great, in fact, that Autodesk has added a similar function to AutoCAD 2005.

    I know Vectorworks pretty well after several years of using the program. I'm looking for a specific plugin or work-around that someone may have found. All of this stems from a debate in the studio between AutoCAD users and VW users (a typical debate). The aCAD users always point to their control over the layers and classes as a big advantage (they just LOVE their classes). I'm looking for ammunition to fire back.

  9. Yes, archoncad, that's about the closest thing we seem to be able to get in VW. It's exactly what I'm looking for; but we just need that command box to stay open while we work.

    jfmarch; I'm not looking to turn all layers off, grey, etc. I need to turn layers and classes off specifically. Here's why: I work in various studios with designers and producers. They are interested in having me quickly navigate through overlayed drawings. They like to see overlays flip through quickly so they can compare. It's not odd, it harkens back to the days when we would ink draft on acetate and stack illustrations. (Personally, I'm glad those days are gone.) I was hoping for a useful script, plug-in, etc. I haven't been able to find one on any of the usual forums and sites.

  10. O.k., I did the search and couldn't find anyone else looking for this. I can't understand why. It is a nice option in AutoCAD.

    I'm just looking to keep the classes and layers menus open so that I can switch them off/ make them gray/ turn them on as needed. It would help me a lot when navigating someone else through a drawing (but not necessitating 1000 save sheets!).

    Any guidance would be great. Thanks, as always!

  11. Dave,

    Thanks for replying. I don't see a Transluscent Reflectivity Shader, though. Which shader menu is this under? I don't see it under Reflectivity or Transparency.

    I am currently using the Image Transparency shader; my problem is that this allows light through, but does not reveal lighting from behind on it's surface.

    This appears to be a tougher problem than I thought. I can get this to work in other products (which I won't mention), so I'm now wondering if its just not possible in Vectorworks. I might just have to move this topic over to the wish list section.

  12. This is driving me nuts. It's so simple. I've done it a dozen times in other programs. I just can't figure it out!!!

    I need to make a lampshade-type texture. Actually, it's a transluscent paper. I need to use a JPEG image that the client provided. The texture must take light on the front as well as on the back; in other words, I need to see hot spots from back illumination.

    I know this is simple. I know I'm just overlooking something. But I'm driving myself crazy.

    Can anyone just give me a simple recipe before I waste more of our time?


    (This is on the Renderworks board also. But I didn't think it would take a 3d pro to give me some advice.)

  13. This is driving me nuts. It's so simple. I've done it a dozen times in other programs. I just can't figure it out!!!

    I need to make a lampshade-type texture. Actually, it's a transluscent paper. I need to use a JPEG image that the client provided. The texture must take light on the front as well as on the back; in other words, I need to see hot spots from back illumination.

    I know this is simple. I know I'm just overlooking something. But I'm driving myself crazy.

    Can anyone just give me a simple recipe before I waste more of our time?


    (I'm going to put this on the general board, also. Since it shouldn't take a Renderworks pro to set me straight.)

  14. O.k., here's one for the pros out there. I wasted a day trying to do this.

    I have a ramp that is curving in plan (in various directions, like a winding path) as well as increasing in height at various rates along it's length.

    I've tried to extrude along a carefully mapped path, but evidently you can't extrude to a nurbs curve that is nonplanar. Using the 3d reshaping tool is just not accurrate enough. I even tried turning my nonplanar path into a helix-spiral, which at least let me extrude. But the path took a sharp turn and twisted under (not good for those who need to walk on the ramp!).

    I'd be so grateful for the help. Evidently this project is just going to get worse with twisting shapes. I'd love to find a way to do this so that I stop feeling like an idiot.


  15. Not much image data; and unfortunately not a lot of identical truss pieces. My particular problem is with a ton of curved truss specially designed for a prodction; not stock sizes and shapes. (We're talking a TON.)

    And, of course, dealing with a space that has a lot of ornamental detail which we've added into the drawing; such as columns and vaulted ceilings.

    You do make an interesting point, though. I've always wondered about symbols and size, since I usually have to drop in about 500-2000 seat symbols.

  16. Hi everyone,

    As many of us have encountered, I'm working with some 3d files that are becoming pretty huge. I was wondering if people could start throwing out other ideas for reducing the size. The CONVERT TO GENERIC SOLIDS command is great, but not always appropriate. Adding solids together reduces my object number, but takes forever with things such as lighting truss (where there are an extreme number of surfaces).

    Any advice, or typical appraoch, would be great. I know I can't be the only one who gets bogged down when these architectural models grow. Thanks!

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