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William McLachlan

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About William McLachlan

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  1. Perhaps this is a spotlight 2010 issue and it will go away in 2011, but: 1) add curtain objects. note that they render gray. (attachment 1) 2) select a typical texture. (attachment 2) 3) note that curtain objects are now shown as some sort of broken polygon, and have become transparent. (attachment 3) 4) return to render tab of OIP, note that textures can no longer be applied "to the selected item" (no screenshot of that). Delete the curtain objects, re-draw, edit in OIP, try again - same results. Restarting the application fixed it...for now. Um...WTF?
  2. Okay, I understand. It makes no sense to me that a lighting device is indellibly linked to a focus point, and can't be panned and tilted at will, and I'd guess I'm the zillionth spotlight user to say that. In my case, with 50 lighting devices that I want to focus straight out from their vertical hanging positions, I'll have to create 50 focus points, then go thru each unit 1 by 1 and assign them to their matching focus points 1 by 1. It's painstakingly slow and wrought with problems like which editing window lets me use a pull down menu the contextual "edit" dialog box) vs. having to remember and type out the name of each focus point (like in the object info palette). So my "problem" has evolved into a "suggestion". I'm using 2010, waiting for our friends at ESPvision to give the green light to update and not have their tools choke. 1) unify any and all palettes, modal dialogs, windows, other places you specify a focus point for a lighting device to both a text field and a pull down menu of existing focus points to select. Right-clicking a lighting device and choosing Edit in the Visualization palette produces a modal dialog box that does not include either the field or the pull-down for focus points. 2) in palettes and modal dialogs that contain the focus point pull-down selection menu and the manual focus buttons and sliders, allow the user a pull-down selection of "manual" to break the reference to any focus point and enable pan and tilt slider use. The application can create a "private focus point" that's bound to the device(s) selected and manually focused, and updated whenever changes are made with the sliders. 3) allow the user to create focus points numerically a) in relation to the light to allow "artistic" look creation rather than 1-for-1 focus point creation for every unit to create graphic lighting looks. Example: Focus point "all up", relative to the unit = 0 deg. pan, +60 deg tilt. 4) add "show/hide beam" to the contextual menu for a lighting device. 5) add "focus light" to the contextual menu for a lighting device, pop up dialog with unified text field + pull down menu + numeric entry field + sliders as discussed above. 6) (and in my mind most important) unify single/multiple editing across all selections/dialogs/palettes/etc. When I'm done beating this file to death I'll put it up for you to look at. I'm having a myriad of problems with it anyway. Thanks for reading
  3. ...and before anyone tells me to "use the focus instruments tool", I've already assigned some of the lights to focus points and aside from un-graying "draw beam" and "draw beam as 3d solid" nothing else changes. I can't: 1) turn off auto update 2) use the update button 3) change beam information with the handles on the beam lines 4) use the Spread or Beam numeric entry fields 5) use the X, Y, Z entry fields or the plane buttons 6) use Look To Height entry (as if I knew what that means) 7) use any part of the pan / tilt section (seriously?!?) 8) use "set light to view" or "set view to light". Sooooooo....now what? I have 50 lights in a drawing that are emitting their beam straight up, and I need them to emit straight out. Focus points won't help, I need to just set a numeric pan and tilt value for the light within the symbol to make the rendering look right. ARGH! wm
  4. I'm assuming I've done something stupid, but when I right click on a lighting device and select "properties", the Draw Beam and Draw Beam as 3d Solid are grayed out. When I right click on a lighting device and select "edit light", the auto update checkbox, beam size controls, pan and tilt controls are grayed out. It seems that no matter where I search and what I change, I can't wake up those options. screen shot of the window attached. what the *(&() have I done wrong?!? TIA, wm
  5. Well, I have to give huge kudos to NNA for getting back to me quickly, and escalating the problem up the chain. They took my file, tried opening it, couldn't, forwarded it on to a senior engineer who works with file structures and the like, he couldn't open it either, so the drawing was lost. They really responded fast, but the answer sure wasn't what I wanted to hear. I spent about 6 hours today re-drawing the drawing. I'm remembering my first serious outing with an application from the past called Design Workshop. One of the coolest 3d drawing concepts ever wrapped up in one of the most unstable, screwed up applications you can imagine. Same thing happened to me with that except it was about 12 hours straight to re-draw the drawing. Okay, fine. Lesson learned. I'll use "back up to a new file" religiously now. I shouldn't have to because applications shouldn't have problems like this, but that's an entirely different discussion. The engineers say "there's not really much there to recover", but there's definitely something there because I can add the corrupted file to the resource browser, and it's symbols and views become available. That's really the only upside to this little debacle. Oh well. I guess thousands and thousands of dollars spent on one of the costliest end-user applications out there doesn't get you any more bullet-proof performance than a $49.00 piece of untested dreck from the shareware or open source cesspool. Just my two cents. And my one drawing for the man-hours of two. W.
  6. Pat, Thank you VERY much for replying to my plea. I agree with you about saving to separate files and am sort of angry at myself for not taking a minute to set that up since the feature is there for us to use. However it's sort of shocking that an "a-list" application like this still has the capability of eating it's own files. I expect open source and shareware to munch itself spectacularly, not an application that costs a great deal of money with a massive user base. Enough editorial for now. I've tried step 1 you detailed above. Upon choosing the file in the workgroup reference dialog box, no layers are found. When testing and poking around choosing other drawings, the layers are found so I'm assuming there's truly a deeper problem with this file. I'm sure the layers were there! I'm reserving the right to not bother with steps 2 and 3 just yet as the file produces the same crash on another machine with a VectorWorks 12.5.2 install ( I own the dongle'd version...I suppose I could try opening it on a PC...), and this morning I got a response from Tech Support at NNA asking me to send them the file, which I've done. Wish me luck, and any other suggestions are welcome. WM
  7. Oh god, I knew this would happen someday. I have a file I've been working on feverishly for hours and hours. I save every 15 minutes, but a lot of good that's doing me right now. I was editing a symbol with a fairly large amount of geometry inside (actually trying to make it simpler - changing out a-19 bulb symbols for simple representative extruded rectangles...) and Vectorworks bailed out. Now after restarts/removing plugins/etc trying to open THIS file specifically crashes Vectorworks. The file used a complicated symbol from another file, and the feeder file with that symbol opens fine. The main file starts to open, draws the frame of the window, then Vectorworks bails out. I MUST RECOVER MY WORK IN THIS FILE. I back up every night to my laptop and to a backup server, but have had to stop that process/rename the corrupted file so it doesn't overwrite the good but almost 24 hours out of date file. Is there ANY way, ANY tool whatsoever, to dig into a file and recover it? Even if I have to send it to the mothership and pay a fee or something. Thank you in advance, William Mc.


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