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Benson Shaw

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About Benson Shaw

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    Vectorworks Addict

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    Public Artist
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    Seattle, WA USA

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  1. Benson Shaw

    Key commands, short cuts

    A reference to shortcuts in another post reminded me reminded me of a Vectorworks game I once concocted to list a few key commands and their functions. Similar to the old USA TV show Concentration (How old IS this guy?!) File attached just for fun. Each square in the grid is a stack of two, one presents a shortcut keystroke (or several), the other shows function or use of the shortcut (defaults, not custom mappings). Click to select a square then press Cmd B (Mac) or Control B (Win) to Send it to Back of stack thereby revealing the function. Click again to select the top one and send it back to reveal the key command, or click another square and send it back. . . Do you know them all? ⌘⌘⌘ Vectorworks key commands are myriad. We are running out of keys! Many single character key strokes invoke a vwx or a system command (b=occlusion defeat, u=tool modes. x=select tool . . .). Same for single or multiple keys combined with Command(⌘), Option, Shift, Control or combos of those. There are a few 4 finger salutes. Haven't seen any 5s yet. The convention for representing shortcuts demands we use upper case letters (⌘B) while the actual command keystrokes use the lower case (⌘b). Not sure why. Not my fault. -B ShortcutGame_v2018.vwx
  2. Benson Shaw

    Moving an object

    @Kevin McAllister - Is that a custom mapped key command on your system? On my system Cmd/Cntrl M opens Move dialog box. (default shortcut). VWX default 90° rotation shortcuts are: Cmd/Cntrl L = rotate selection 90° counter clockwise. Center of rotation is geometric center of the objects. Shift Cmd/Cntrl R = rotate selection 90° clockwise. Center/Axis as above. Notes Axis of rotation is perpendicular to the screen. Therefore, rotations are often performed in Top/Bot, Left/Right, Front/Back views. Rotations in other view planes should probably be made on saved working planes or saved views corresponding to that rotation. Otherwise, once the view is changed, the rotation parameters can be difficult to repeat or undo. Modify>Rotate>Rotate 3d = opens the Rotate 3d dialog with field for angle and options for center, axis and plane. -B
  3. @lupin - Today, I updated to OS 10.13.6 High Siera. Copy/Paste seems to work as usual on my MBP. Couple things that do work 1. Select (highlight) characters in an OIP field via drag or multi click>Copy>Click in vwx drawing or into other test based software>Paste. Result Text from clipboard is added to the vwx drawing as a new text box. Or, the other way 2. Dbl click to edit a vwx text box>Drag to select the text (highlights orange)>Copy>Click to place insertion bar in OIP or in other software (edit:>Paste). Result: Text from clipboard is displayed in OIP field or other software. Couple things that do not work: A. Copy text from any source>Select (single click) an existing vwx text box>Paste. The Paste action in this scenario does not put text inside the selected text box. Instead, a new text box is auto created and text from the clipboard displays in the new text box as 1 above. B. Select an existing vwx text box (single click)>Copy>Click in OIP to place an insertion bar in a data field>Paste. In this scenario, nothing is pasted. Same nothing in other software (eg text editor). If the desire is to add the clipboard text (eg selected from OIP) to an existing text box in the drawing, then the target text box must first be opened to edit (dbl click). If needed, click again to relocate the insertion bar. Then Paste. In this scenario, the clipboard text (eg from OIP) is placed in the target text box at the insertion point. HTH -B
  4. Benson Shaw

    Trainings in/near Seattle?

    Hi, @cleonidas - Welcome to the Forum and to the wide world of Vectorworks. Next Seattle Vectorworks User Group meeting is Sept 28, 12:30 to 3:30. Here is the announcement link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/seattle-vectorworks-user-group-meeting-tickets-49551292249 Please join us if convenient. Attendees usually include one or two veteran Spotlight users. Networking with local users is often a great training and support option. Vectorworks now has a local representative, Jeff Gering, who can provide contacts and schedules for Vectorworks, Inc training as well as local schools and training programs. His job title emphasizes arch and LA, but he is knowledgeable about the Spotlight module, too. Feel free to contact him: JEFF GERING REGIONAL ACCOUNT MANAGER ‑ ARCHITECTURE AND LANDSCAPE TEL: 888.646.4223 ext. 433 JGering@vectorworks.net Also, check your Forum PM -B (Seattle User Group Leader)
  5. Benson Shaw

    Units...need more control

    wished often and over many years. Continues to be an extremely valid wish and an extremely important feature missing from Vectorworks. -B
  6. Benson Shaw

    Design layer viewport source question

    @Kevin McAllister - Great idea with the symbol! It avoids the whole issue of dvlps. Workflow would be to have each site as a symbol with an instance of each of them master layer. Place another instance of each symbol as the only object on a new layer - separate layer for each symbol. There could be some auxiliary layers or classes with site grid utilities, and other items that pass through or encompass the entire area. @HEengineering Does the request for "converted to auto cad" mean each site as a separate file? The Vectorworks export dwg dialog has an option for exporting each layer as a separate dwg file. (might require some fiddling with the class and layer set up to get the relevant part of the site grid into each file) -B
  7. Benson Shaw

    How to Model a Sloped Driveway / Parking Area?

    @EJW - Your pdf did not attach. But there are a couple common techniques One way is to create a Roadway, perhaps the NURBS Roadway version would be a good choice here. Roadway tools are in the Site Planning Toolset. I think it defaults to Roadway T in the tool palette which shows a little triangle at right side of text to indicate that there are more versions. Click/Hold the Roadway T (or whichever version is showing) tool bar icon to expand the menu. Drag over the one you want and release the Hold. Roadways are complex smart objects which combine site modifiers such as pads and grade limits, plus a bunch of parametric controls and options. These roadway elements combine to modify the Site Model surface, display a road which is made of a chain of segments. It works with other features of the site model, such as cut/fill, contour adjustments, etc, etc. It can be edited, and sections should be good, but there is lots to learn to make it work seamlessly. Another way is to place a pad, or series of pads showing the plan projected shape of the road, curb, retaining walls. The pads can all be at same z level or can have stepped z or slopes - however is convenient. Then model the road, curbs, walls, etc with solids modeling tools. This makes easier edits, but misses the cut/fill and some other advantages of the integrated Site Model/Roadway tool approach. HTH -B
  8. Benson Shaw

    Tree size

    @ed209 Hi. Welcome to the forum! Depending on what you are trying to do, there are at least two approaches. This is common with Vectorworks. Lots of ways to get where you want to go: Some background: A. A Vectorworks Plant is a resource (available in the Resource Manager) which is derived from its Plant Definition. Vectorworks has a giant library of generic plants and species specific plants and trees. The Plant Definition is comprised of: • A symbol containing the 2d and 3d graphics that appear on the drawing, • The plant data attached to the symbol (common & scientific names, coloration, etc), • Controls for insertion, rendering, size and placement options, etc (count, spacing, density, randomization, . . .) of the symbols. The various elements of any plant definition can be edited. User created plant definitions can be added to the plant list. B. To experiment, open a new vwx drawing file and work in that. Click to acitvate the plant tool. Choose from the pull down menu a plant you want to place (eg the BET or Basic Evergreen Tree), and click several times in the drawing area to place some trees. Your drawing now contains several instances of the plant symbol. Now to change the size(s): 1. To change (customize) the spread (overall diameter) and/or height of a single instance or a selection of instances already placed on the drawing: • Select the plant(s) you want to resize. • In the OIP, click the Plant Settings bar (near the top of OIP). • The Plant Settings dialog box opens. • Click the Size tab on left side of the dialog. • Click the Custom Spread or Custom Height button. • Key in desired parameter(s) in Spread and/or Height fields. • Click OK at bottom of dialog to accept the new value(s) and exit the dialog. Result: The selected plant(s) is/are resized to the new values. If the plant symbol has both 2d and 3d components, both the 2d and 3d components of the selected plant(s) will be resized to the new value(s) in the drawing area. A plant instance can be resized as often as desired. 2. To change the spread and/or height of ALL non customized instances of a particular type of plant, those already on the drawing, and future instances, the Plant Definition must be edited: • Select an instance of the plant on the drawing & click the Plant Definition bar located about midpoint of the OIP. . . .OR . . . Right click the plant symbol icon in the Symbols tab of the Resource Manager & choose the Edit Definition option. • The Plant Definition Dialog box opens. • Click the Insertion Options tab from list at left side of the dialog. • Adjust the Spread and Height values as desired. • Click OK button at lower right side to accept the new values and exit the dialog. Result: Non custom instances of that plant already on the drawing will resize to new values. Customized instances will retain their custom values. Instances of this plant placed in future will display the new values. Post again if more info needed -B
  9. Benson Shaw

    Adding stakes to Site Model

    @olgab Right click the site model. A dialog box appears. Choose Recreate from Source Data (or Edit Source Data in earlier versions) Work with the stake objects as needed. Drawing area will have an orange border. Accept the edits by clicking the Exit button @ upper right corner of the drawing area. In newer versions, a dialog appears warning that previous edits to contours will be lost. This refers to edits made via the Edit Contours Existing/Proposed options in the site model right click dialog. Experiment with a simple site model so you understand the dialog which warns that edits to contours revert to original when you exit the Recreate from Source Data. -B
  10. Benson Shaw

    scale problem with imported file

    Hi, Olgab - Glad you made the import work. Some things you should know about Vectorworks. Hopefully you have discovered most of this already. Vectorworks Design Layer = AutoCAD Model Space Vectorworks Sheet Layer = AutoCAD Paper Space Vectorworks Viewport = AutoCAD VPORT English version of Vectorworks Help has a list of ACAD/Vectorworks equivalent terms . Not sure about Polish version of Vectorworks Help. Here's the link to English version: http://app-help.vectorworks.net/2018/eng/index.htm#t=VW2018_Guide/DXFDWG/Vectorworks_Equivalents_to_AutoCAD_and_Revit_Terms_and_Concepts.htm Vectorworks Design Layers can be user defined at any scale. Layer scale of any layer can be changed by user at any time (Edit in Organization or Navigation Palette). This does not change the dimension or relative position of the objects shown. What does change is the way line weights are displayed and whether the objects fit within the intended page size. Common practice is to set layer scale to same scale as intended viewports. This way while working in a design layer, the page border can be toggled on/off to show whether the site plan will fit in the page and the line weights will look same as the line weights in a corresponding sheet layer viewport. Vectorworks (edit 08/21/18) design layer scale objects are always calculated at 1:1 scale, but are displayed on screen at layer scale of choice. The layer scales in the drawing do not all have to be same scale. There are advantages to having related layers (example site and building model layers) in same scale because they are often displayed together in 3d views. The Unified View feature (in the View menu) allows design layers to display and respond properly together to 3d view changes. Design Layers displayed in different scales would not seem correct. OK, there is lots to learn. Post any questions here as needed. Forum participants will help. -B
  11. Benson Shaw

    scale problem with imported file

    Hi, Olgab - Welcome to the forum! The following assumes the import occurs in a blank vwx file - no previously created geometry. Note that typically, additional dwg imports in this vwx file will create a new layer. One new layer for each import. Also note that it’s risky to import into a project file! Best practice is to import into a new blank vwx “shuttle file” or import each dwg file into a separate new, blank vwx file. Get scale, etc. right in the import file, then, if needed, shuttle the imported geometry into the vwx project file via reference or copy/paste. Just a guess, but you may have chosen km for your import (because that's your preferred scale?) when the dwg file was actually created in cm. VWX scans the dwg and shows how it interprets the dwg units in top section of import dialog. vwx usually gets it right. Lower in the dialog is the section to show the imported geometry on the vwx page. Choose your intended scale if you know how the geometry will fit on the page you are using. DWG file should then import as desired. If it didn’t import as desired, you have two choices regarding correct dimensions/scale. • Delete everything and Reimport (or start with a new, blank vwx file) with different import dialog parameters based on what you found in the first import. • Or, rescale the imported geometry in the vwx file so it has correct dimension/scale. Here’s one way: 1. Measure an imported object with known dimension in the existing import to determine required scale factor. Eg factor of 100,000 to scale up 1cm to 1km. 2. No need to select anything. Or some objects can be selected. 3. Modify (up in the vwx menu bar)>Scale Objects>Symmetrical 4. Enter the scale factor (from step 1 above) 5. Enable options for Scale Text and Scale Entire Drawing (this will be checked and gray if nothing selected) 6. Click OK to accept and exit the Scale dialog. 7. A second dialog may appear asking if you are sure you want to rescale the entire drawing. 8. Accept. 9. Wait while the drawing rescales. 10. Test/measure to verify things area correctly scaled. Rescale again as needed. If this doesn't help or doesn't work, continue asking here. We'll figure it out. -B
  12. Benson Shaw

    Dimension Symbols

    ^ What markdd said. There are some stupid workarounds (none fully functional), but first some blather: Dimensions associate only with 2d objects (see the hint in Document Prefs>Dimensions). Dimension objects in a VP annotation space do not associate unless the VP is set to Top Plan. Every object drawn on a sheet layer or in the annotation space of a sheet layer viewport is a screen plane object, or at least behaves same as a screen plane object. Sheet layer Dims to not "follow" the view when changing VP to iso or other 3d view, but . . . Strangely and uselessly, Annotation space dims properly created/associated with 2d objects in TopPlan remain associated when the VP view is changed to 3d. The dim snap points are no longer aligned with the Design Layer object (these dims are screen plane objects, so do not move or change perspective as the view changes), but the two way functionality remains - In the Annotation space, change the dim value (dbl click the dim or use OIP) to change the 2d object's size. Or, in the Design Layer, change the 2d object's size and the Dim in the annotation updates. OK, a partially functional workaround: Create a new dimension class (duplicate the original or create a whole new class). Name it DimsDL or similar. Enable Use at Creation. Assign pen color red or other to differentiate from standard dims. This can be changed later as desired. In the Design Layer (DL) set a view that will correspond to a likely VP view you will use. Set the drawing plane to Layer. When hovering over 3d planes, the Automatic plane will be available. Draw dimensions of the 3d objects (in the DL) and change their class to the new DimsDL class. Apply the Dim tool in Unconstrained mode. Cursor cues will indicate z direction when needed. These dims "move" appropriately with view changes but are not associated. They do not update when the object sizes are edited - unless snapped to 2d objects in TopPlan. So if a 3d object is resized, the dim needs to be adjusted, too. But, the class can be turned off which makes them disappear as needed from the DL, but they can be made visible in the VP via the class overrides. If you have several 3d views, with objects obscuring the dims, several new DL classes might be necessary (DimsDL StageLeft, DimsDL StageRight, etc) which means managing visibilities. See? Stupid workaround that doesn't really work. There might also be some worksheet way of doing this where object names and dims are indicated as generic text labels with on the DL (eg Scrim1 H, Scrim1 W, Scrim1 L each with attached record), the worksheet shows Scrim1 H = 20', etc. The z and other values can be adjusted on the drawing, in the worksheet, in the OIP record pane. But I never worked out how to do that. Lets keep associated 3d dims in the wish list! -B
  13. Benson Shaw

    PDF Page snap anomaly

    I found a PDF Page anomaly. Probably a bug with a strange and easy workaround. The Setup: •Import a pdf with vectors. •Same result if Drag/drop or File>Import>Import PDF •Enable the OIP option for Snap to Geometry. •Verify that the snaps are working •Duplicate (cmd D) the PDF Page. •Note that the Snap option is enabled in the duplicate. The Bug: Snaps to geometry in the duplicate PDF Page are not working, even though the OIP option is enabled. Toggle the option off/on does not cause enable the snaps. The Workaround: Copy/Paste the duplicated PDF page. (delete the Dupe if desired) Snaps in the Copy are working as expected. Notes: 1. The snap dead duplicate(s) can be ungrouped and the underlying vectors are available as expected. 2. Same results if PDF crops are in play. Cropped duplicate has no snaps (except the perimeter crop points). Copy/Paste of the cropped duplicate snaps as expected. -B PDF Snaps.vwx
  14. Benson Shaw

    need help with odd roadway texture

    Without the file this is just a wild guess. I think that floral texture is the default texture for a Texture Bed (maybe as mentioned by @HEengineering it's also the None class texture and this is a None class object). Sooooo, could it be that there is a second site modifier, in the form of a Texture Bed, under the road? To test: A)Duplicate the file with the problem road. B) In the duplicate file, Delete the road object. C) Is the floral area still there? Select it and note OIP object type. Note: Most site mods can be selected in the Wire Frame view. Most (all?) have a 3d locus in their wire frame view which is another selection point if the mod is reluctant to select. If dbl site mod is the issue, then, in the original file, delete the texture bed, or if it's needed, change its attribute to some desired texture or to solid fill of choice. -B
  15. Benson Shaw

    Worksheet =Area curiosity

    @Nicolas Goutte - Thanks for comments and research! I agree that the extrude source object is the difference and likely the main reason for this little mystery. I have no experience with C++ or the SDK. Those links to the ISDK show some evolution in C++ by stating that the Calc prefix(?) is "being obsoleted" in favor of the Obj prefix for the Area and Surface Area functions. So maybe part of this anomaly is legacy or artifact from the early days of Vectorworks. Perhaps =Area is a database function intended for 2d objects prior to the adoption of full 3d workflow. Returning the area of an extrude source object was/is an unintended result. But, I'm speculating. Doesn't really matter. It's a small bonus for me, and I find it interesting. -B