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Posts posted by Diamond

  1. Hi,


    As one running a laptop with external display, this is a common issue.


    I have one workspace for when I am working on the laptop screen only, and one for when the external display is connected. The secret is to switch from the external display workspace back to the laptop display workspace before you disconnect the external display. That way, all of your palettes remember their positions.


    (As long as Vectorworks doesn't crash. If it does, it will forget the preferences of the last Vectorworks session. For this reason, it is probably best to change workspaces, and then quit Vectorworks, so it can't forget.)


    Hope that helps. 

  2. To be fair, I do not think a complete overhaul is necessary. It may be possible, but I would be hesitant to suggest that Vectorworks needs a Final Cut Pro X kind of overhaul. A full UI/UX overhaul probably a different product. I think, if Vectorworks wants to push the envelope with UI, it is on mobile devices. If these features take off, translate them to the desktop product in staggered increments. 


    Before this, it would be a good start to give Vectorworks a unified language for all interface elements. Whilst I have mentioned (and been voted down on ;)) on the graphics of the Resource Browser, a better example could be the Subdivsion tools face move arrows. These feel alien and bolted onto to the Vectorworks UI, and a blatant rip-off of C4D. Let Vectorworks be Vectorworks, but let it's visual language be clear.


    In the background, I look at Affinity Designer and Photo, with their desktop and soon to be iPad apps, can't help but think Adobe is up against it. Would love Vectorworks to get to this point – screaming fast on any device, and synced via cloud. Obviously Vectorworks is a far more complex app, with far more legacy baggage. But I suspect this is the future. Wow, BIM is complex!


    Finally, regarding my previous Resource Browser comments, and whilst I not excusing bad UI, as one who has not moved to Retina graphics yet, I suspect these newer elements might look a little better on Retina displays. Cheers.



    • Like 2

  3. I concur. As one who never seems to stop talking about interfaces, I couldn't work out what was going on. With the palette close/minimise buttons and the Resource Browser, opening the app felt like I was seeing a Windows XP/Mac OS 9 hybrid mish-mash. Between that and the app icon colour, I am wondering who signed off on this stuff? Maybe their graphics guys spent all their time on these forums, coz they are wonderfully pared back, yet nicely slick.


    I hope I am not sounding too harsh. I have high expectations of Vectorworks. And whilst the look of a thing may not be as important as it's function, it is these small touches of a thing that increase our delight, and therefore increase our desire to use them.


    It looks as if Vectorworks is attempting to go the Cinema 4D route, where their interface is the same on Mac and PC. Hoping it is just their version of Apple's controversial iOS 7/Mac OS Lion releases. 🤓

    • Like 2

  4. Hi,


    What I tell my team is, "Fanstastic! You broke it, now you get to fix it." (Which is the best way to learn). Unfortunately it is going to get worse (viewports get messed up) before it gets better. But there are some things you can do, to make it fast and relatively painless. 😉

    1. Obviously you need re-arrange your interior elevations, and possibly place them on a second design layer.
    2. So that you have a reference point for your Sheet Layer Viewports, make the viewport crop visible (see checkbox in Object Info Palette).
    3. With the Sheet Layer Viewport crop visible, in viewport annotations of each viewport, place a 2D Loci at the bottom left corner of each crop, and another at the bottom left corner of your elevation. This means, when your move your design layer geometry, you have a two reference points. One for the viewport crop, and another for viewport annotations relative to your design layer geometry.
    4. Once you have rearranged each viewport, you can hide each viewport drop.

    Hope that helps. Cheers.

  5. I can empathise with the challenge you face. I once assisted with IT across our studios in conjunction our IT consultants and a couple of our directors (who are tech savvy). I was the guy who spent three days repairing the server when a drive failed. The problem was that my architectural project duties went out the window. And so I handed it back.

    Now I stick to Vectorworks support. With all of the new features, I feel this is more that enough to keep me occupied. 😉


    We have three studios. Two in Australia. One in Hong Kong. Our Sydney studio is the largest and about the same size as yours. Even if you go to cloud, not everyone is going to have a fibre speed connection. And even if they do, places like China have their Great (fire)Wall to contend with (where they can just turn certain pipes in the cloud off). My original suggestion still stands.


    I am not sure how much you have tested project sharing, but together with something like Dropbox, that may work for your remote projects. I don't know if you could mirror your server to them, and your remote team works off the cloud mirror?


    Hope that helps. 

    • Like 1

  6. Hi Tom. 

    5 hours ago, Tom Klaber said:

    What I am talking about is a hosted server on AWS, Azure, or Google Web Services that would mirror our in-house functionality but simply be housed and maintained elsewhere.

    I welcome you to test l, but even with fibre in excess of 100MB/s, this is going to be slow going conpared with an in house server.


    How many people are in your studio? Do you have any studios in other locations?

  7. On 04/10/2016 at 4:23 AM, Asemblance said:

    It appears to be when the referenced objects are part of a group, I can't snap to say the junction of two lines. If I go back to the original file and ungroup, then update the reference, the snap starts working.


    Precisely my experience.


    Echoing the first post, viewports of viewports also struggle with object selection and snapping.

    • Like 1

  8. What I had not added was that Obviously Vectorworks 2017 has updated it's support for cloud, but how do you keep all of the files in one place without needing a massive hard drive attached to each workstation for all of the synchronised Dropbox/cloud files?


    PS In an ironic twist, only last weekend did I move all of my files into the cloud (iCloud). But I am the only one using my bandwidth at home. 🤓 But that is also backed up on at least two physical drives. Cheers. 

  9. I am happy to report there has been functionality added since Vectorworks 2016. I have been using it successfully to trace over. The two features that come to mind are – :

    • You can now display the viewport as 'Flattened'. This will cause the viewport to remember it's section view and Hidden Line render setting in Top/Plan view. 
    • Additionally, geometry beyond the Section plane can be hidden. This is great for converting to linework or polygons for detailing. 

    Hope that helps. 

    • Like 1

  10. On 04/10/2016 at 1:09 AM, Tom Klaber said:

    I saw that.  Forwarding to the office. 
    The real question is as @lineweight (née col37400) says - is VW really up to the task.  I have done BIMy things - but kept it 2D.  I have done some useful renderings in VW.  But I question if it has the capabilities now to do both.  
    I was at the Summit and listen to lectures from people who do full on 3D - but I really would like to see a full example set of files to examine - really examine what you should expect to get out and what the best practices are.  Short of these example files, I think we are going to be making it up as we go.


    Hi Tom,


    Am late to the party. Sorry.

    Your directors saying, "We are going all BIM," sounds like it could end in tears. Some thoughts – :

    • Start with a smaller project, with a couple of key team members. Have some distinct goals (Eg what are your deliverables? What are your expectations of your consultants deliverables? What does the client expect? What is the reason for going to BIM? Big BIM, or Little BIM? What do you want to get out on of it? And so on.). 
    • Train up those key team members. Have those members move on to train others in the next phase of BIM rollout. 
    • Use Vectorworks parametric hybrid objects as much as possible (Space, Wall, Window, Door, Roof, Roof Face, Framing member, Slab, Column, Stair, and so on). Use hybrid symbols, or auto hybrid objects if the parametric objects are too limited. Use components (think of them as materials, having hatches/fills in plan and section, and textures in 3D).
    • If text is attached to an object, then it can go in the design layer, but if not, put it in annotations. 
    • Learn to export to IFC, and use IFC for checking consultant drawings. 

    On best practices, there is so much more to say. But for now, all the best. It will be a challenge but worth it. Cheers.



    • Like 2

  11. Wow. Where to start?! I can feel a minor dissertation coming on… 😉


    Mac vs PC

    Yes, the Mac hardware situation is a challenge at the moment, but should be updated this month. With the LARGE exception of video cards, Intel have not been helping things with their CPU upgrades.


    But more importantly, what are the overheads in IT costs for switching away from Mac going to be? And what happens if you leave? Your bosses will be stuck with a platform they don't know how to use. Macs cost more up front, but are easier to maintain. If you like PCs that much, it's probably better you move to a firm that uses them. My last day job used PCs, and whilst the people at the firm were great, but the most stable PC I have used is a Mac running Bootcamp (Whilst Windows 7 was a welcome relief, clearly I am in the Mac camp.)


    As far as I can see, there are two reasons for switching to PC – :

    • CUDA/OpenCL,
    • and/or Revit.

    On the CUDA front, Architosh had an article showing how Nvidia was hiring macOS based engineers to assist with improving  CUDA/OpenCL, and so I see this changing relatively soon. Without decent hardware updates for video card rendering based solutions, the last couple of years for CGI artists have been rough, and so I can see why some had to transition. That said, we have been testing external render farm solutions, and they can be cheap. This is one area of the cloud your team should be looking into before transitioning all of your hardware.


    And if you need to be transition to Revit, well that is different story altogether.


    Cloud vs Server

    How about… both?! Even with a fibre pipe, I don’t think it best to run primarily from the cloud.


    At the moment, Vectorworks uses a lot of bandwidth, and is not particularly cloud friendly. (I think ArchiCAD is better at creating much smaller uploads).  Dropbox seems to be the only solution that partially works, and even then, if using Project Sharing, only by pausing Dropbox, and re-syncing at agreed intervals. But that is not going to fly for non-tech types. Which let's face it, are going to be most people in a studio.


    In short, I would say you need to have a server solution (Mac Mini with a Raid drive will do), with both local (a second RAID), and cloud backup (Crashplan, Backblaze, etc). If the primary RAID/server goes down, you can plug the backup into a spare Mac and get back up and going in minutes. Get a good IT firm that is responsible for the server. Set it up the way you like, but make them responsible for managing it. That way, you get to focus on your projects, not IT.

    And if you have to work across studios or remotely, use something like Dropbox, to pick up the slack. This also makes sense as Vectorworks Cloud Services uses it.

    Having learnt the hard way. One cannot afford to skimp on making sure your data is safe, and robust.


    Similar to my comment on external render farms, if there was an area of the cloud to put to use, I would be investigating Vectorworks Cloud Services, and seeing if it can be used for any heavy lifting.


    Hope that helps. Cheers.

  12. As I have said in other threads previously, I like the simplicity and intuitiveness of Cinema 4D multi-view layout. You can choose how many windows you require, and the navigation icons at the top of each viewing pane are brilliant for getting around the model.


    Achieve this, and it would be an amazing first go.

  13. Hi Jim,

    I use the framing member object for many things (besides traditional framing). In fact it is great to create Auto Hybrid objects by turning off the 2D component and just use the 3D geometry.

    When I set the span, the pitch remains the same. Not sure if it is a bug. When I set the length, the pitch of the object is changed.

    REQUEST: Can the length be set without changing the pitch?



  14. Hi Jim,

    Just found an older post.

    I have been closely following what Affinity are doing with their graphics apps, and they are actively looking to port their Mac app to the iPad.

    I could see this interface working really well on an iPad Pro with Pencil. For Mac/PC use I would think it may be too slow (as opposed to keyboard shortcuts). That said, for those that use Wacom tablets, it might be very helpful.

    Also, for the reasons that people use iPads this interface could be helpful at times. An iPad for me generally slower, but I often feel more focussed and satisfied when I complete something on it.

  15. Hi Jim,

    The only time you wouldn't want to do this (and this is just the occasional incompatibility I've seen) is if you installed on something like OS X 10.9 and then tried to deploy to an OS X 10.11 machine, sometimes going across multiple Mac versions things are missed, but as long as its from the same OS to the same OS you're fine.

    What types of things might be missed?

    Thanks for that.

  16. Hi,

    Using Vectorworks Architect Australia, I have seen auto-classing in 2016 break in most cases. In 2015 it was mostly fine. Objects like stairs, spaces and terrain models, that previously worked fine, all broke.

    Hundreds of hours developing a class standard (based on VwArch.sta) for our studios to assist the newer Vectorworks users currently down the drain. Surely this can get sorted out in an upcoming SP?

    Hi Wes,

    I would be keen to know what this solution might look like?


  17. Hi,

    Does anyone know if, when a working plane is active, rulers show units relative to the working plane origin or to the drawing user origin?

    When I test this, with a working plane active, the rulers display units relative to the drawing origin, not the working plane origin. Vectorworks Help seems to say otherwise. What am I doing wrong?

    From Vectorworks Help…

    Based on the current measurement system, rulers make it easier to precisely create and place objects within the drawing. The 0,0 point on the rulers represents the location of the user origin, or of the working plane axes when using a working plane. The User Origin command moves the user origin relative to the internal origin, or moves the working plane origin to that of the layer (see Setting the User Origin).

    Thank you again…


  18. Hi,

    I am willing to be proven wrong, but I am sure roof objects having components is the solution. It is just knowing how to use Vectorworks objects for a given purpose.

    What I recommend is to have a group of component classes. I name ours Component-Turf, Component-Earth, Component-Concrete, Component-Brickwork and so on. If you have more than one concrete type on the project (for example, one for walls, and another for slabs, or one with a different texture), then create more Component classes.

    Personally I think having separate component classes for wall and roofs (for example, Wall-Component-Brickwork, or Roof-Component-Framing) makes life confusing. In the real world, a material is a material no matter where you use it. Better to have them all under the one class heading.

    Also all of these classes can have the correct linetypes, fills, hatches and textures so that they appear correctly in Top/Plan, Section VP, and 3D render. Energy value ratings for each component can be assigned when you create a slab, wall or roof component style. Also each component can work in conjunction with your finishes schedules.

    Hope that helps.


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