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Posts posted by Diamond

  1. Possibly the only way I would ever use a PC is if I only used C4D (for example), and had a Mac sitting right beside it. If I break macOS, I know how to fix it. On Windows,  not a clue (even though I am no Luddite, and have used and dug into the windows OS's over many years). 


    I am obsessed with interface design, in all things. If I am going to use something all day,  I want it to be good.

    I have an Estwing hammer because it is weighted beautifully. It may not be the biggest hammer, but the sum of its parts make it better for most tasks.


    Some Macs may not have some of the specs of certain PCs, but if I am excited to wake up everyday and use a tool that is beautifully crafted, both inside and out, then I am going to end up getting more work done.

    Similarly, working on my iPad may not be as fast as my Mac, but it often feels nicer to do certain tasks. That sense of accomplishment really adds to work satisfaction, and therefore is more productive in the long run.


    As designers, the feel of something is often more important than ticking of requirements. We are engaged in creating experiences of wonder and excitement for our clients. I want that experience while working as well. 


    The point at which experience alone does break down for me with Macs is in the area of video cards required for external rendering solutions. Unless a person is literally rendering Renderworks viewports all day, a Mac for Vectorworks is more than capable. And according to IBMs recent info on their usage, cost less than PCs over their life.


    But if I am motion or 3D designer, and I need to use honking fast graphics cards for external render solutions, then, at the moment I don't have that option.


    The thing Apple does have in their favour is that nearly every Mac has Thunderbolt. Laptops will never be as fast as desktops, but with Thunderbolt as a super fast IO on almost every Mac (& Thunderbolt 3 coming as soon Intel can get their act together), you are already seeing external enclosures with racks of video cards doing that external compute.


    Once again, we are in an odd PC moment because of all of the tech pushing and pulling on each other, struggling to make sense of itself (retina vs pro GPUs, CPU raw speed vs power consumption per watt, and so on). By next year, with the Skylake transition over, many of these limitations should be mostly sorted out, and we should see the cohesion in Apple's lineup return. 







  2. Hi,


    Any idea to get around this?


    When I reference design layers that are set up to use Storeys and  Storey Levels, Stair objects (set to Storey levels in the referenced file) break, and I get a red cross in a rectangle. To get around this problem. I have to override the stair object to take their height 'By Value' and not by 'Layer Elevation'.


    Is there anyway I can fix objects within referenced design layers and level heights attached to Storeys? Thanks.

  3. Hi,


    When I take a section viewport of a referenced design layer viewport, I am having a challenge overriding the linework of object beyond the section plane. Any I idea what i am doing wrong? When I section 3D geometry on a design layer, I don't have seem to have the same problem. Any idea at what I am doing wrong? Thanks.


    PS Okay, it does appear to have a similar issue for design layer referencing.

  4. Back on topic, yes I am extremely partial to the Mac. My first Mac was a Wallstreet Powerbook. I still pick up my MacBook Pro the wrong way because of the apple logo on the front.


    I have had to use PCs at a few points in my career, and I am at the point now that I would quit a job, rather than transition to PC. Same if my work transitioned away from Vectorworks.


    Some people are indifferent to what OS they use. For me, it is more important than hardware, especially with C4D render farm solutions available. Apples SSD speeds are second to none. I love Retina, and can't wait for my next Mac to have it. I can do things faster on macOS. Okay that means GPUs are not great, but I have never been a gamer, and Apple seems to manage the limitations of their hardware pretty well. A great example is my current work laptop. A late 2011 MacBook Pro. Yes, it has been running into limitations, but then I am running 400MB+ project files.


    Now onto the Spring for new desktop Macs. The night is darkest before the dawn…

  5. This is getting onto another topic. But yes, we have found that as well. Certain people can have a sense of entitlement, and they need to kept at arms length.


    The other is to break up IT from Vectorworks and other software support.I  have mentioned this elsewhere – IT and Vectorworks used to be my job. Now just Vectorworks. We have a director who heads up It (10-20% of load), and an external IT company who looks after the server and obscure issues that pop-up. The IT person is n the office for a couple of hours per week.


    Vectorworks support is a job unto itself. If you have key team members as the support people for individual apps, you can share the load. 

    • Like 1

  6. Yes, I agree.


    I think if there was an area that Apple really missed, it was the CUDA GPU revolution. Whist they did get into OpenCL with the Mac Pro, not updating GPUs that supported CUDA in all of that time really hurt them in the pro space.

  7. On 15/11/2016 at 1:22 AM, Art V said:

    Rule of thumb for working with georeferenced files... make sure all origins of all documents are aligned with the internal origin and then leave it alone, that should prevent shifts of the origin, especially if you are referencing files."


    I keep the site files set to survey origin, but each building has it's own origin and it asserted into the site. Our studio employs designers and architects, and wherever I have worked, these types generally struggle with drafting technique. Drawing at right angles is angles is a challenge, and so working to obscure rotated angles may be a bridge too far.

  8. On 15/11/2016 at 3:51 AM, JimW said:

    At the end of the day, I recommend to users the hardware that best fits their needs on the day they ask me about it, and currently I have to push them towards Windows to get the best bang for their buck.


    Until they have to shell out for ongoing maintenance keeping their PCs operational.


    Let's get some real world feedback over the next year on these devices. People have been saying this about Apple's laptops for years, and yet we keep buying them.


    If none of us buy it, they will have to change tack. Remember the Cube?

  9. I think you will find people will move on to something else to complain about. No doubt they are expensive. But between the trade-offs of portability, battery, and retina graphics, Apple thinks these provide the greatest blend of value to most people. And yes, whilst I would like to feel better by having the option of more RAM, I think the mix is generally right.


    I am disappointed they have not updated their iMacs or Mac Pro though. If Apple had have released update iMacs and Mac Pros I think most of the negative comments would have be muted. But they are in a weird world with Intel chipsets, and what inputs those chips can provide (USB-C/Thunderbolt). In fact, everyone is. Microsofts Surface was delayed, if I remember rightly. By next year Intel will provide the low power chips they need that do have 32GB. That said, the Skylake debacle has been ongoing for a couple of years.


    On 15/11/2016 at 3:51 AM, Tom Klaber said:

    I don't know about that.  I think the software needs to do what the software needs to do.  Of course, it should be as efficient as possible, but I do not think VW should slow development or hobble itself just because Apple has moved away from producing equipment suitable for the industry.

    Actually, in today's market I think you will find optimisation is everything. With CPU speeds topped out for the last 5 years, every app dev should be optimising the daylights out of everything.

    • Why have we seen much of the 3D viz industry move to video card based render? Because GPU speeds have been going up much faster than CPU. That will also top out in the not too distant future, and then all devs will be back to optimisation.
    • Why do we see so many cloud based BIM solutions? Because compute is cheaper in the cloud.


    Each pro app is doing so much, it needs to be as efficient as possible. And if it doesn't, it will have it's lunch eaten by another who will. Have a look at Affinity Photo, and look at how much faster it is than Photoshop. And why is the iPhone so much faster on lower specs than most Android devices. Hardware specs are only part of the story.



    • Like 1

  10. Check it in the AEC pull down menu.


    Auto-hybrid is different to a hybrid symbol. It creates an object half way between a parametric object and a hybrid symbol. Very helpful, esp for elements that span multiple stories. 

  11. If the wall is only on one layer, you could create a hybrid (2D/3D) symbol so that it displays correct in plan and 3D.


    Alternatively, if this wall spans more than a floor, create a 3D symbol that is placed inside of the Auto-hybrid. Place the auto-hybrid on both layers, with one displaying 2D only, so you don't double up on geometry.


    With Vectorworks, there are often a number of ways to get to a solution. Which is great, and a challenge all at the same time. Cheers.


  12. Walls cannot be rotated. A long requested feature. But remember we also want them to be viewed in 2D.


    For now your solutions are – :

    • You could model it, and then convert to Auto-Hybrid.
    • Or you could possibly use a Framing Member object for each component of the wall. If the 2D display is set to none, you can also convert these to an Auto-Hybrid object.

  13. 21 minutes ago, rDesign said:

    From this VwKB on Renderworks Hardware Dependencies, it says that Hidden Line uses Multi Cores of the CPU.

    Thanks for that. So I wasn't imagining it.


    My site section VPs could certainly use some of that multi-core love! (Still rocking 2016 until the end of current project).

    The navigation seems to mostly use the graphics card. With the age of the graphics card in the Mac Pros, more reasons to wait.


    Those links are…





  14. I am having a similar problem with the online subscription libraries displayed in the Resource Manager. I cannot right-click or download the individual files, just the resources within the files. Is this the way the subscription component of Resource Manager is supposed to work.


    For my studio's Vectorworks setup, I have downloaded all of the VSS files and placed them in the Vectorworks Library folder, so they are available offline. Can I do the same via the Resource Manager? Thanks.

  15. On 10/11/2016 at 1:12 PM, Josh NZ said:

    First query: Is there any way to add more than just a second field for the ID, eg in the image I have selected Unit width x unit height

    I would also like to have a field for head height and possibly another one such as User Additional Info so that I can enter a lintel size.


    Second query: The ID shown in the image is great for a floor plan at 1:50 however in the elevations which are at 1:100 the text is too small and has the second line of information which isn't required.


    1. Not that I am aware of. Have you looked at  http://www.ozcad.com.au/training/training-videos.php for Windoor tips? Or have you contacted Julian at OzCAD?

    2. Don't think you can change the symbol from one view to another. Have you tried using a text style attached to the 'WD-ID' class and scaling the text between different views that way? Just a guess.


    On 12/11/2016 at 1:57 AM, Tom Klaber said:

    What is that?? Is that Win Door?

    My Window door tag dialog is not nearly that detailed.  

    Windoor rocks... And unless you have an Au/NZ version, you are not allowed to have it! ;) The way I understand it was that Julian used to sell it as a stand alone product internationally, but it was too much to support, and so now just for those down under.

  16. On 17/09/2016 at 5:03 AM, rDesign said:

    My issue with the intention of Cinema 4D being the destination for 'higher end' renderings is that it means having to purchase a license of Cinema 4D Visualize (at a minimum) on top of Vectorworks Architect.

    I have the same issue. As someone who is a documenter, I don't spend enough time in C4D to justify a license just sitting there.


    Looking at the film industry, I have been looking at their finishing solutions that should give a better outcome – and skip full version of C4D route altogether – but unlike a Photoshop workflow, keep the project within a 3D environment to the final image (or movie). In the film industry, they have specialists that all they do is model, or animate, or light, and so on. There are only so many apps we can learn, and wouldn't it be better to learn a couple at a deeper level?


    The solutions I have been looking at are – :

    • Adobe After Effects with it's built in C4D rendering solution via C4D lite (http://www.adobe.com/au/products/aftereffects.html). You can overcome the limitations of C4D lite by plugging in the full version of C4D. But that is what i am trying to get around.
    • Blackmagic Design's Fusion (https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/fusion). Fusion, which is free, and uses node based editing (compared with After Effects' layers based editing). It seems to import all major file formats (FBX, C4D, 3DS, and so on). Often architectural models are very complex, and on large projects node based editing seems to work much better than layer based editing.


    When I have looked at sites like Greyscale Gorilla, they will often get stuff out of C4D as fast as they can into Adobe After Effects for colour treatment and extra effects. After Effects is often faster to render though applying layer effects, than rendering out full models. Obviously After Effects also includes C4D Lite. Is this a better way to go? How much post work do you do on your renders?


    Because we are already modelling in Vectorworks, isn't it better to finish the lighting and texturing in a products like these? Thanks.



  17. 17 hours ago, Art V said:

    The best way to solve x-ref origin issues is to have all origins of all used files to align with the internal origin. This could cause your drawing to end up being far away from the internal origin but in my experience this is the best way to avoid origins/x-ref shifts to occur.

    Whist that might address this bug, it doesn't help when working in a BIM world.


    When you are working with geo-referenced surveys, or surveys using a local datum (often km's away from the site) this is not an option. Each discipline should be working to the survey as the master setout. And what happens if the survey is updated, which is a common enough occurrence on my projects.


    On 01/04/2016 at 2:00 AM, Tom Klaber said:

    We localized the problem. It does relate back to rotated plans. The user origin shifts while in rotated plan - and the act of referencing in or updating a reference then reset the user origin to the rotated position.

    Good to know this Tom. I has suspected it, but had not had time to do further digging. I have noticed this on two recent projects using project sharing, running 2016 SP4. I will run some tests today and see if I can confirm this conclusion.


    Regarding a possible secondary cause of this problem, do you have any objects further than the 4.5km distance from the internal origin? Just checking, because I have found this to be the true cause of all types of underlying Vectorworks problems.


    And finally – to get around this, have you been switching to an unrotated top/plan view, and then updating the reference? Thanks.




  18. On 12/11/2016 at 9:57 AM, Matt Overton said:

    To me everything that constrains your workflow in Vectorworks is single threaded. Rendering can now be backgrounded and can use multi-cores and both machines have quad core or between so you'll always have 3 spare cores mostly ideal.


    From Benchmarks the iMac's tend to have better single core scores than the Mac Pro released at the same time. So for similar dollars, to me at least, the top of the line iMac expected early next year would be better than the base MacPro expected about the same time (assuming both happen).


    Yes, I agree with you – certainly with older Vectorworks versions. I would have thought a 4GHz iMac is generally going to be faster than a Mac Pro. And in their latest Macs, Apple have been doing great work with their SSDs as well, so saving and auto-Backups should be really fast. Just make sure you select SSD, i7 processor upgrade, and get the best graphics card you can (i7 gives you 2 virtual cores for each core. So comparing i5 with i7, i7 should be nearly twice as fast).


    Have a look at the various posts on Barefeats.com. Here is one to get you started…



    I would only look at the Mac Pro if all you are doing all day is Renderworks rendering, and you really need to the 8 or 12 cores. Also, the Mac Pro cant run the latest 5K displays yet.


  19. On 12/11/2016 at 10:01 AM, Tom Klaber said:

    You want a Microsoft Surface Studio...

    It is a great solution, if you can deal with Windows. I would try a Wacom tablet or an iPad Pro to check if you are really going to like this. It would be great for PDF mark up, and sketching, but for the moment, forget Vectorworks. I will often switch to a Wacom if I can feel RSI coming on, but hand shake is a real issue, and they are definitely slower than a mouse.


    On 12/11/2016 at 1:45 AM, Tom Klaber said:

    Mac Pro is terrible value.  The iMacs are due for an upgrade too - if you have to stay on the Mac side - I would try and wait for an iMac upgrade... Though after the MacBook Pro release - I am more convinced than ever that Mac has abandoned true pro users.

    I agree. And in Australia, after $AU to $US conversation, our prices are 25% more than Stateside. I would wait until the March event for new iMacs.


    The biggest changes should be updated video cards, and new USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 inputs (which I hope will mean we can run them as external monitors again - but given some of the workarounds Apple are having to do with Intel chips, I wouldn't hold out for it)


    On 12/11/2016 at 1:45 AM, Tom Klaber said:

    I am more convinced than ever that Mac has abandoned true pro users.

    I think it is too early to say that Mac have abandoned the Pro market. But if they haven't announced something by WWDC next year, then I think we will know they have.


    Architosh outlined a job posting recently by NVIDIA looking for Apple developers.


    Apple have not used NVIDIA graphics cards for some time, and I think the pro graphics industry jumped onto CUDA. Whereas Apple made a big bet with OpenCL, but OpenCL is only starting to come on line recently.



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