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Posts posted by SamIWas

  1. Hey guys,


    I've been doing a lot more scripting over the "break" and am running into some new challenges, but ones which I think are easy.  I'm just missing that one little thing.


    Say I've created an extrude and want to assign an existing texture to it (I'll get into having the script create textures later).  What is the code to just say "Assign texture 'Blue Noise' to the extrude I just created.  Something like the following:

    **AssignTexture(oh,'Blue Noise');***

    (the part in asterisks is just the idea of what I'm trying to do)


    I've looked at the function reference guide, and everything I find seems to refer to texture refs using LONGINT.   How can I assign a texture to an object by name?

  2. 1 minute ago, scottmoore said:

    I've abandoned using Spotlight symbols for rendering for this reason.  I developed a series of simple lighting symbols I use for this purpose that solve the beam origination issue.  Still doesn't solve the fall-off issue, but better than nothing and definitely speed up the period of time it takes to get renderings together.  Here is an image of a generic profile, a "sharpy" type fixture and a "Bee-Eye" type fixture to give you an idea.  

    fixture image.jpg


    Yep...I got ya.  I still want my symbols to be able to take on Spotlight info, so I'm making them "hybrid" symbols for now.  They have a  spotlight light in them, but for some renderings, I'll turn that off and turn my visual light on.

    Curious...how do you focus them?

  3. I've been working on some objects with a fresnel lens, and am using an imported image texture for the lens.  The texture is applied to an extruded regular 16-sided polygon (edges will be hidden with other geometry).  I've tried numerous different mapping styles (auto-align plane seems to work best) and tried drawing just at center or in place.  I've had mild success if I draw at the drawing origin, but if not, it's a crap shoot.  


    The image below contains a rendered fresnel. The last time I worked on this file, the lens was centered and looking great (after spending FOREVER getting it centered).  When I opened it again, the texture was offset.  The second image shows several polygons with the texture appleid.  All three have exactly the same texture settings, but they're all wildly different.  I've tried with both the Z-origin option on and off, and it's just killing me.


    Is there something I'm missing, or does Vectorworks just randomly plop textures on wherever the hell it feels like?  I'm used to Cinema 4D where texturing is a breeze.  And this is precisely why I typically don't texture my 3D models...I just don't understand how Vectorworks determines texture coordinates.




  4. 2 hours ago, C. Andrew Dunning said:

    Sam -


    The Symbols the Spotlight Lighting Device PIO uses do not contain Light sources - and, yours shouldn't, either.  The PIO code is looking for the 3D Locus that is top-most in the stacking order - more than likely at the fixture body pivot-point - to use as a reference as to where to place the Light source.  (I have multiple Loci in my fixture Symbols - all assigned to the NonPlot-Loci Class - Insertion Point, convenience snaps, pivot point(s), etc. - and all works just fine because of where they each are in the stacking order.)


    There really isn't a way around the large lens/small source issue.  Making the lens glow will fix SOME of that but projected beams will still show the difference.


    Thanks, Andrew.  This is exactly what I thought.  I have added light sources into my symbols for visualizations not related to stage looks, and put them into a class of their own so I can turn them off at other times.  They're bright enough to glow the lens, but not bright enough to put much out on stage.  One s the Spotlight default light and the other is my custom one.  The spotlight one looks ridiculous, even moreso when the pivot point isn't in the center of the head!



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  5. I'm getting deeper into modifying my 3D fixture symbols.  I want to make sure I'm correct in the thought that Spotlight lighting fixtures contain a default simple spotlight, and that's it.  You can't really customize that light too much?  I've gotten some results I like by placing a spotlight object inside the fixture, but then it's not controllable from the visualization palette.  I don't mind the automatic light for some things, but when it's a tiny spot in the middle of a large lens, it looks ridiculous.  Trying to find the best balance.


    What are others doing?

  6. If you are looking to import patch info into an existing plot, you'll run into the problem of spotlight not knowing which info goes to which instrument.  If you want to just import data, and have lights placed via the 3D coordinates from MA, this is possible, but will likely not place actual symbols since exported fixture names might not match symbols in the document.  In short...yes, it can be done.  But, it's not straightforward or automatic.

  7. 9 minutes ago, Andy Broomell said:

    Not sure why it's getting turned off, but it should be the very bottom option of the Render tab in the Object Info Palette - "Mesh Smoothing."

    "Use Document Preference" will use the settings determined in Document Preferences.

    Or "Custom Crease Angle" let's you type in a number for that specific object (try range of 50-75).


    You got me!  I knew I had seen the mesh smoothing option before in the OIP, but I thought it had been under "shape".  So, when I didn't see it, I figured something was wrong.  It was in the render tab.  That seems to have fixed it.  Thank you!

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  8. I am modeling some objects and importing meshes for some parts that I don't want to model in VW (I don't want to lose all my hair).  The mesh imports just fine and looks great, but I need to change the class of some of the meshes.  While this works, it doesn't change the underlying structure's class.  This means that the mesh is essentially two classes, which is undesirable. But, if I go into change the internal class, the mesh loses smoothing settings, and looks bad afterwards.  I trued using subdivision, but it smoothed things way too much.  There is probably a way to deal with it, but wondering if there's anyway to change the underlying class of a mesh without destroying the smoothing angles?


    Right is the imported mesh, while left is after changing the class inside.


  9. I like the new DMX addressing options in Spotlight, especially the new Universe/Address field.  I have always preferred my printed DMX addresses to have three digits, so that a fixture with universe 4, address 86 would come out as 4/086 (or 4.086 in my format).  But Spotlight automatically changes digits to only what is required.  For me personally, it just doesn't look as good.  

    Maybe just a checkbox in Spotlight settings with an option "Use 3-digit DMX addresses" and an update to the code to display it would be helpful.

    • Like 1
  10. 6 hours ago, Sebastiaan said:

    hi @SamIWas


    I wonder if this is a workaround:  


    try to make the extra legends that you need in a blank file. Less than ten at a time. 

    And then import those into the file you are working on. 

    maybe that will keep them from breaking. 


    I will probably try that tonight.  I can make  the label legends fine.  It's editing their settings later that becomes an issue.  Luckily, this is not something I have to do very often.   

  11. On 1/9/2020 at 3:30 PM, klinzey said:

    We believe this happens in some file contains more than about 10 Label Legends in the document.

    You should see the fix in an upcoming service pack.



    Well, I hope that service pack comes soon.  I'm in a different file now, and started creating label legends from scratch.  Once I got past that "about ten" limit, the new ones started failing.  2020 isn't going to be very useful if I can't put legends on my fixtures.

  12. 5 hours ago, Sebastiaan said:

    I think in the meanwhile a workaround could be to duplicate them in the recourse manager in stead of in the legend manager. Could you try that? 

    I have done it both ways.  The resource manager is where I duplicated them first, and found them broken.  So I tried from within the manager.  That also did not work.

  13. In VW2020 SP 2.1 on a mac,  whenever I duplicate a label legend, it breaks inside the label legend manager.  I can still arrange legend through editing the 2D components.   But if I choose the legend in the manager and try to edit the fields, the base symbol is blank and selecting it says "The resource list is empty".  When I cancel out of the window, there is a vector script error which says "Error on line=1: _1979  _1982  - Index outside array limits."


    It appears that label legends can no longer be duplicated then modified.  This is a serious workflow issue for large files.

  14. Running 2020 SP2.1 on a 15" MacBook Pro using 10.14.6.


    Back in the day (like 2008-2011), I had dozens, if not hundreds, of custom scripts all nicely organized and quickly accessible via the document or object context menus. Things that greatly accelerated my workflow. 

    As time has gone on, I've been cutting those things back with each release, and stopped writing new ones, as fewer and fewer seem to be "allowed".  2019 seemed to fix some of the issues, and I could put a few more custom scripts in the object context menu.  But now, in 2020, it's a complete s**tshow.  The same workspace menu layout (built from scratch, not imported) that I had in 2019 is a mess.  Some scripts run, while others don't, and it appears to be completely random.  Two which are supposed to bring up a small dialog asking me to input a number, instead open various plant dialogs.  


    This has been an ongoing problem for years, and has never been rectified after several contacts with VW.  There also doesn't appear to be any real guide as to how many custom menus you can put in before things simply stop working.


    EDIT:  I have fixed this a little by deleting a bunch of menu items from standard menus that I don't use.  But, that shouldn't be necessary.

  15. In certain Spotlight numbering operations and some AutoPlot tools, the cursor changes to a target of sorts, and can pick up symbols or snap to points.  Is there something in basic scripting that makes this happen?  I am not near the level of "event-based" scripting yet.  I have some scripts I want to write which would require this, but I don't know how to toggle it.

  16. I haven't created one, but it should be fairly easy to do, depending on how much detail is desired.  Just  a flat with basic framing?  Not hard.  Adding all the hardware and braces?  A little harder.  Adding a stand?  Even harder.

  17. On 3/26/2019 at 5:27 PM, Sam Jones said:

    Indeed you do need to update the control points.

    I'm curious though.  I don't understand what you wish to achieve.   Perhaps you have an exact placement in fixture relative coordinates you want to assign to fixture labels in a new, old, or someone else's drawing.


    My idea was to be able to move them up or down by a certain distance.  



    You are going to find this a tricky script to pull off.  


    Indeed...I decided it wasn't worth the time since it involved parsing a multi-line text string.



    From the my understanding that I just described, using your own imported Label Legend and assigning it to the fixtures or using Copy Altered Label Legends seems like the way to go.


    I did start using "copy altered label legends" for now.  My only issue is that it doesn't appear to work on 3D legends.  I have not yet looked through the code needed to work on those. 

    I do like how yours is able to select the source fixture after running the script.  That's a thing I need to learn how to do.



    On the other hand, maybe you just want to have some fun trying to script it.



  18. 1 hour ago, C. Andrew Dunning said:

    You might want to check out AutoPlot Tools For Spotlight.  Included is a "Copy Altered Label Legends" script that allows you to copy an altered layout from one Lighting Device to other selected fixtures.  Pretty spiffy script...


    Thanks!  I've seen that one.  Had a little different idea in mind.  I've figured out where the label positions are stored, but they're in a long text string and not separate fields, so now I need to look at how I can manipulate that text string effectively.

  19. I assume that the Control Points for label legends are buried inside the Lighting Device or some other record somewhere, and thus able to be manipulated.  I have found 8 control points which I am able to pull into a worksheet and view, but they don't appear to have anything to do with label legend field locations.  Does anyone know if there's a syntax which would allow a script to move a certain label point for a range of selected fixtures?

  20. I just started in 2019, and stumbled across the feature with the ability to group fields in label legends, which is amazing.  I've been wanting this forever, especially with the ability to add text such as a universe/address divider.   And, they behave nicely with the "adjust flipped text" option. 


    However, the grouped fields do not appear to behave as expected as par as position goes.  Looking  at the attached image, you'll see that the ungrouped fields move as expected to hug the bottom of the fixture (but don't work right when flipped).  The grouped one flips text as desired, but stays in the same location relative to center no matter how big the fixture is.  I assume this is not how it should function.


    It would also be great if the group could auto-center so that the label was always centered on the center point of the group, no matter how wide it becomes.  For instance, if your universe is 4, the group will be a different width than if it's 24, and the label will be slightly offset.  This is far less important than the position.


    Hopefully, this can be fixed in the next service pack.  I'm thinking I'll deal with the position for now.



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