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Posts posted by Diamond

  1. Hi Jim,

    Can you please tell me any issues I might be causing for my team by creating a Vectorworks installer for our studios?

    The way I go about this is to do a clean install of Vectorworks on one machine, and from that create a disc image containing an Automator script that copies into the same respective location on each machine;

    1. The Vectorworks app with our special sauce (that is, our templates and modified libraries),

    2. Vectorworks preferences (from the users Library/Preferences folder),

    3. Some files and folders from the user Library/Application Support/Vectorworks folder.

    As far as I am aware, this is the only way to be able to roll out correct line endpoint styles, and back up prefs for the whole team. Also makes it much easier to roll out to 30+ machines, allowing for a general studio support member to run the installer.

    Is there any way copying these user prefs could be causing problems on other machines? Is there another way to set user prefs without tainting them on a single machine first?



  2. Hi Jim,

    I have also been having issues with cameras in SP1, 2 and now SP3.

    1. Edit camera through sheet layer VP, change camera view to Top/Plan (press Command-5), then select Activate camera view. The camera number in Shape tab of Object Information Palette is renamed.

    2. When camera is directly over/under view point. For example, camera height 3000/-3000 Look to Height 0 doesn’t work.

    Thank you for any clues as to how to fix this.

  3. Agreed. The fact that users have separate logins for Service Select. the Community Board, Student Portal and then having to re-enter their contact info for webinars and various events as above is not how we should be doing things.

    I think it would be good to have the option to tie them together, but it not be mandatory. I wouldn't want my Community Board ID to be tied to my day job. People often move between larger practices and becomes a challenge to manage. But for one man shops, I can certainly see the appeal.

  4. Hi Jim,

    On installing Vectorworks, is there any danger in having a master Vectorworks application folder with custom templates/presets that I copy from server to machine? What about Vectorworks preferences as well? (For arrow styles etc?) (with the exception of the license registration pref files).

    We have many machines that need to be deployed and it hasn't been an issue for previous releases. Thanks.

  5. For example - having class(es) into which you can put 3d objects that you don't want to see in plan view, because they don't render properly in 2D. That's not going to work once you're trying to share drawings using a uniform classing system that will allow models to display correctly regardless of the sotware package used to view/modify them.

    I have a workflow/class structure that overcomes this. More to announce soon-ish.

    That is something to think about for sure. What I'm not sure about is the separation VW provides for Top/Plan View (2D) and Top view (3D), meaning, should it be rid of in near future and shift to all 3D mode is the question. For now it is nice to have a different representation of objects in 2D plan and 3D view but it is against the idea of drawing/modeling things once. So yea, I think I can pick a side as a conclusion and be penchant for 3D modeling all the way.

    Whilst I see the logical conclusion of this argument, part of the power of Vectorworks is it's 2D presentation strength. For hybrid 2D/3D schematic design, landscape, interiors and masterplanning nothing else can come close. If it did just go 3D all the way, why would I stick with it? Wouldn't ArchiCAD or Sketchup or some other be better solutions?

    PS Who is CSI and what is Omniclass class structure?

  6. Hi Guys,

    I had same issue with stair presets moved over from Vectorworks 2015.

    I have been in contact with my local distributor (after sending files, the bug was able to be reproduced), who in turn has been in contact with German devs. I was told this will be fixed for 2016 SP3 ANZ (Australia and New Zealand version).


    PS Also auto-classing for this object seems to have broken with 2016 as well.

  7. Hi Gester,

    You make a good point regarding the non-editability of IFC. At a recent product demo for Solibri, a speaker noted IFC was the only file format that would be able to protect a studio's intellectual property.

    That said, architects have very different needs to the various consultants or suppliers that are engaged as part of the project team. Three points;

    1. We sculpt the building to suit our designs. As a part of that, getting prelim versions of consultants models that we can edit in a format that Vectorworks can natively edit, cuts down the time taken in the design iteration process.

    2. Bringing in IFC files from consultants for design review, clash detection etc slows Vectorworks to a crawl. Having Vectorworks convert IFC into a native format/geometry would take much of this grief away — rather than the mess of 3D polys that are currently created.

    3. I am seeing more suppliers creating their product object libraries as IFC files. As architects we need to bring them into our files. But if Vectorworks either; creates rubbish IFC conversion; or due to Vectorworks place in the market, we only have the option of Revit, ArchiCAD or IFC; or if the original object is drawn in a less than satisfactory manner — we end up re-drawing it all again anyway.

    I understand the purpose of IFC to protect the I.P. of each team member, and control versioning etc, but if Vectorworks could read and export IFC natively, it removes much of the friction created by limited interoperability, without overstepping IFC's mandate.

  8. Hi Gents,

    Thank you for your replies. I sympathise with the challenges you each face.

    In response;

    The Super Format: Currently IFC.

    Contains only Data and Information, no software instructions.

    Is supported, organized and developed by ALL parties

    -Zoomer, I really liked your suggestions regarding a 'Super File Format' that is, IFC (or a form of) that Vectorworks can read natively, import and translate into Vectorworks objects, then save out again to be able to share with other parties. This would save a huge amount of time, as well as reduce file size.

    The three projects shown simply reinforce my prejudices about what "BIM architecture" ends up looking like.

    -Col37400, I know what you mean—Francois's designs are by no means cutting edge in terms of form when compared to Calatrava, or Foster. But many people do not want that kind of design. For folks living in Texas, a house that exploits the local environment will most definitely change their life, even if it never never appears on the cover of architectural review. Maybe after Francois had collected his data, he could have used that to take his design to another level.

    And as digitalmechanics signature suggests "you cannot manage what you have not measured", more information is better when making decisions. Many architects design with their gut, but from my experience, esp working with some of the best environmental engineers on the planet, these gut instincts are often very wrong.

    That said, the BIM based designs that make the headlines in Australia, are well designed projects where the leading design and cost savings that come from BIM are key factors in their development, construction, and maintenance.

    "Tyranny of Sheets" is clearly seen here.
    -digitalmechanics, is there someway you can export out 3D loci for the surveyor for project setout? I often receive survey info with 3D loci. Can it go the other way?

    Also I understand you wanting to get rid of sheets. But what happens if the surveyor reads your info the wrong way because his software imports it the wrong way? I am on your side, but these are the kinds of questions we need to solve going forward, and are common to most projects I work on.

    Some other notes:

    -In order to have 3D objects display better in plan, I have been having success with the Auto Hybrid object.

    -It seems like we need to have the ability for pure 3D plans, to be able to have SLVP settings that are similar to Auto Hybrid objects.

    In fact add to that one added feature, (for elevations and section VP's as well) to be able to set line thickness as for objects beyond the cutting plane. Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary outlines for groups of objects that are close (e.g.<1m), medium (e.g. <2-5m), and far away (e.g. >5m)—the distances could be overridden. The linework within those groups could be set to a fine line detail setting.

    -Instead of Floor objects, perhaps you should try the Slab Tool. These days you can mix it up with components. Roof Objects candy this as well now.

    -Also I use the Framing Member Tool for all manner of structure. I have even used it for concrete slab beam thickenings. Also when I need just 3D steel members that I will use within an Auto Hybrid object, I will use the 3D steel profiles in the Detailing Toolset.

    -With the stair tool, due to the infinite permutations this is where parametric objects break down, but maybe in time Marionette can bridge the gap. I can see an active marketplace for these kind of Marionette objects, like Sketchup has the 3D Warehouse.

    Thanks for the great back and forth. Extremely thought provoking.


  9. Hi Jim,

    This is a really old thread, but worth another try.

    Another idea on this taken from some feature of Auto hybrid objects defining what can be seen beyond and behind the cutting plane.

    Just as sections can define what depth of view they show, why not define what thickness objects show up as in the viewports?

    -Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary outlines for groups of objects that are close (e.g.<1m), medium (e.g. <2-5m), and far away (e.g. >5m)—the distances could be overridden.

    -The linework and 3D hatches within those Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary object groups could be set to a fine line detail setting.

    -I would add in the ability to set the outline of an opening (e.g. window outline).

    -Also I would add the ground cutting outline as this is usually shown thicker than the cutting plane of objects.

    All of these could be assigned to classes.


  10. Yum cha is from Hong Kong/Canton, and is like a Cantonese version of Spanish Tapas.

    According to wikipedia Yum Cha literally means "drink tea" in Cantonese and refers to the whole meal, whereas Dim Sum refers to the wide range of small dishes on offer.

    Samosas, as in Indian? We made some curry pies from the left over turkey meat, and they are good!

    Scottish and Chinese. What a combo! Szechuan haggis? Whisky duck? ;)

    Burns Night? Please translate? As in, "kick the tyres, and light some fires?…"

    Now I am hungry!

  11. A side note—Nemetschek has just purchased Solibri. From Architosh.

    With Nemetschek mostly leaving companies autonomous, I think this is more good than bad. But my gut instinct tells me, as this thread has been discussing, it would be better to see companies like Bluebeam and Solibri merged into a next generation data display solution to get the best from both, and transcend current limitations. Once again, I keep coming back to a BIMx type solution.

  12. Hi Col37400,

    Have followed this over from another thread. I think you mentioned you are running an older version (v2011?) of Vectorworks. If so, I would recommend upgrading. The 3D features added since then, as well as interface improvements are significant. Objects like Roof Framer, Auto-hybrid, Subdivision objects, components to slab and roof. Also as someone who used to advocate upgrading every second release for average users—and whilst I have not run the numbers recently—a VSS subscription worked out cheaper than upgrading every two to three versions.

    On to drawing set up, it comes down to how many layers you are happy working on. I use saved views for each plan level, as well as saved views for RCP's, and 3D views (esp if I am creating a walk through). Also using Command-Up/Down Arrows, you can switch between layers quickly.


    For this loft level, I would split it into at least two. One for the roof, and one for the walls, floors, etc. As I like splitting parts of each level up with layers, I would add another for RCP/ceiling fixtures as well.


    You may choose to place objects on visualisation/3D presentation classes that can turned off in plan. If an object is not for 3D presentation, but for BIM modelling, you can either turn off it's class(es), or place it on a layer that will now be shown on that view (e.g. a ceiling layer—as stated above).

    2D/3D Hybrid

    For Vectorworks 2011, the setup above would require some 2D work on the walls layer, but prevents the confusion of cutting through roof objects (doing this would introduce either geometry double ups, and/or further workarounds in order to not have weird cut lines to the roof plan).

    If you had a more recent version of Vectorworks, you could draw the roof in pure 3D (unfortunately you cannot use hybrid objects like roof, or floor in an Auto Hybrid object, but you could convert them to 3D geometry) and use the Auto Hybrid command to create a hybrid object.

    This object has different abilities for viewing; 2D and 3D, or just 2D; for the cut plane; above cut plane; and below cut plane. Also you can duplicate an object, and so as not to double up on 3D geometry, change it to 2D only mode, place it on another layer (like your walls layer).

    Auto Hybrid Power Tip Often I will create a 3D symbol for objects like complex eaves, beams or trusses, and convert the symbol to an Auto Hybrid object, and duplicate the object to show in the many many variations and layers I want to show it on. This way, if I update the 3D symbol, it will update across all instances of the Auto Hybrid objects referencing that symbol. Rock'n'roll! ;)

    NOTE: Please don't make the mistake of creating symbols of Auto Hybrid objects. Vectorworks doesn't like it, esp when exporting the geometry out of Vectorworks. Instead, as described above, make the symbol from the 3D geometry inside the auto Hybrid object. Capisce?

    Final Note

    Whilst the clever workarounds like creating section viewports from elevations are great thought exercises, sometimes the best way to get around the 2D/3D display limitations of Vectorworks is to simply draw in 2D. If you don't want some of the 2D to show in your 3D views, maybe you could place the 2D objects on the screen plane and turn off Display Screen Objects in Unified View settings.

    Hope that helps. :)

  13. Classic advert!

    Regarding the weather, we are in the other direction too! Usually in the high 30's (80's to 100+ in the old scale). Today it is a balmy 25 deg C (77 deg F). Although down In Melbourne they have had temps in the high 30's and 40's this week. Lovely! ;)

    Whilst it is traditional to cook all of the northern hemisphere goodies, like turkey, pork, and lamb roasts, we also go in for the seafood (prawns and lobster) with salads. And to really mix things up, my wife and I have taken to having yum-cha for the various in between meals as well. Nice.

  14. “the people… have seen a great light…”

    A shout out to all of you on the Vectorworks Community Board. If not for you, and my local Vectorworks distributor, troubleshooting Vectorworks, CAD, and BIM related issues would be a great deal more challenging! Thank you all.

    Given that tomorrow is Christmas day, I wish you very a safe, joyous, and restful festive season. Especially for those dealing with the busy-ness of events, family, and friends. And for those who do not celebrate Christmas, I wish you a peaceful closing to 2015 and a great start to the new year.

    Here is to a rocking 2016! :)

  15. I apologise. I seem to have killed this thread! :) Getting back on track, I would like to know how you are drawing...

    Mike (DigitalMechanics) – Are you modelling in pure 3D? (that is, no parametric objects). If so, I can understand why you want to dispose with sheets! ;) Your video (www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6yLrdsgquM) comparing pure modelling to parametrics has got me thinking. More on that later.

    Col37400 – What parametric objects are you using at the moment? What are you struggling to get your head around that is preventing you transitioning to 3D?

    Micha (Zoomer), Christiaan – What types of projects are you working on? What parametric objects do you use?

    Christiaan – in the threads, I see amazing examples of your work from time to time? What parametric objects do you use? What freeform 3D modelling do you use to supplement parametric objects?

    I look forward to reading your replies. Thank you.

  16. Yes, the

    BIM creates challenges. But I am sure the consensus is that it is worth it. In short, I think we need to educate our clients to the benefits of BIM, overcome legal requirements (which would mostly go away if we educated our clients better), and arrive at new tendering, contracting models (Once again, if we educated our clients better, I think this would be relatively easy).

    Further to my outline above:

    1. Let's not forget. BIM can exist in 2D information as well as 3D. Even if the end game points to 3D.

    2. Architecture tends to require great variability.

    For specialised services, high level of detail, due to limited suppliers, industry standards etc. make for a possibility when every component is detailed, right down to bolts and rivets. Maybe this is also the case for architects who repeat the same details over and over, from project to project. But for many, this will never be the case.

    3. One reason for architects not having a high level of design (LOD) is that we need to rely on other suppliers and consultants, and them achieving relevant code/standard requirements. How you document often relates to liability. Much of the information in our designs is for our own information and design, not a performance spec. If you watch Francois Levy's latest webinar at Novedge, he is extremely clear in pointing out, the BIM data he harvests is for his own information, and not as a performance guarantee. If the client wants that, they need to engage the relevant consultant. (http://www.novedge.com/webinar/178).

    4. I think where you have a partnership-like relationship with contractors this works wonderfully. But often, due to tendering processes, relationships can often be more adversarial than partnering, esp if project managers are attempting to drive a wedge between the architect and the client.

    5. Regarding apps like Affinity, I think all of the incumbents (Vectorworks, Revit, ArchiCAD etc.) area are all looking over their shoulders not knowing where it could come from, and have the view that they need to paddle as fast as they can to prevent this happening. Even though Adobe just had their biggest profit year ever, one can't help but think that apps like Affinity are going to cause them grief in years to come.

  17. I think I can see what you are saying.

    Generally IFC is for architects and consultant coordination and clash detection, as well as facilities management. I wonder how well it works for surveyors?

    Sounds like your client needs access to the clip cube (to generate/view model and sections (similar to BIMx), as well as a way to insert georeferenced survey points (or at least points in space relating to a predefined grid) that speak back to the survey equipment, similar to what Autodesk is advertising.

    Well done. You are living close to the metal that is for sure. :)


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