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in General Discussion
Posted January 26, 2012
Posted January 6, 2012
I think part of the challenge for the software stair engineers is when does a circular stair become a spiral stair? If you ask York Spiral Stairs, they'll say their double helix stair, with a 12" inside diameter, is a spiral stair.
I want a spiral stair more in keeping with what the IRC had in mind when they wrote the requirements that define minimum tread depth and min. tread width. Typically this type has a central column, usually made of steel.
I believe the old Circular Stair tool, a legacy item now found in the Building Shell
folder (accessible when customizing one's workspace) is misnamed and should have been called the Spiral Stair tool. It can do both a center post or a double helix though you must draw your own center post. This tool is rather rudimentary in its choices. Stairs extend to zero. It has been set out on an ice flow. Wave goodbye.
The new Custom Stair tool can do circular and winder type stairs down to an inside diameter of 8", as I found while trying to get the tool to go to 4" in order to fit to a common steel column diameter. There is no check-option for "spiral stairs" within this tool.
It would be nice to have the Custom Stair tool able to extend spiral type stairs to a smaller diameter. I'd even make my own center post.
Posted January 5, 2012
Thanks, Mike! I did add the old Circular Stair tool as I said in my first post but since a spiral stair is quite regular, modeling it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. YouTube has several videos of other people doing similar things in other CAD programs although many authors equate circular with spiral.
The circular options in Custom Stair (v.2012) will only allow an inside column diameter of 8". Any input less than that number generates an Errorscript message requiring a restart of Vectorworks as the Settings selection on the OIP ceases to respond.
I needed a 4" diameter column to match an existing stair. This is a very common pipe size for spiral stairs.
But really, as we all know per the International Residential Code, a circular stair is not the same as a spiral stair: we need a spiral option.
Thanks again, Peter, for taking some time to help out.
Posted January 3, 2012
Was your computer plugged in at the time or rendering on battery power? Silly question except it happened to me.
Posted January 1, 2012
Circular, yes, but not spiral. At least I couldn't get the radius to reduce enough to create a spiral configuration using the circular settings of the Stair or Custom Stair tools.
Posted December 31, 2011
There are four stair tools if you include "Circular" and "Simple Stair" that can be found in the Tools>Building Shell folder (v.2012). These will not show up on your workspace as they are designated as Legacy tools although they are not in a Legacy folder but mixed in with other active tools. To access them you have to customize your workspace. I had to dredge out Circular Stair to do a spiral stair that was clunky but good enough. Shouldn't have to have insider knowledge to be able to draw a spiral stair.
Posted December 22, 2011
Check to see if Apple will warranty the card as they did with my 4 year old MacBook Pro. Labor and materials, no charge.
Posted December 19, 2011
You could use--if you have v.2012--Artistic Taper Thick Black, then add a wash image behind it, if you like, and turn on an HDRI background just for fun.
I personally much prefer to explode* my model and clean up lines, changing weights to suit me, and perhaps this is, in part, what your asking about.
Your question though, had to do with display-type renderings, not something you do on the fly, right? Open GL is the one to use when developing your model. Almost all other modes require a wait. If you want ultimate line control, print your model in Hidden Line and use transparent paper and get out your watercolors and brushes and give it a personality all your own. Or maybe turn all lines to a light dash, print on water color paper and use a water-soluble printer ink that dissolves when painting over.
To see an example of Artistic Taper Thick Black, go to:
and click on image 6.
*The topic of exploded lines is too large to get into here and in fact there are good reasons to try to not do so since it goes against NV Best Practices. In my personal practice I find that the high time-overhead of classing everything, together with completing the model beyond what is needed takes more work than I'm will to commit.
Posted December 11, 2011
Sometimes the roof polygon that gets tacked out from corner to corner ends up with non-paralell lines for a variety of reasons. To keep everything square I draw a series of rectangles--assuming that is the general shape of your structure--and then use Modify>Add Surface to get a perimeter that is dead-on square/parallel. The roof will usually generate using this trick.
Posted December 4, 2011
There are over 6500 views of this thread and I take that to mean there is either a high level of interest in BIM OR there is a high level of frustration in that there is no discussion anywhere within on the topic of the thread title: Stories.
Zuken, are you Tamsin's twin? You look just like her. I love your sly smile!
Posted December 4, 2011
Edited December 4, 2011 by Tom G.
The symbols, which must be in Vectorworks format, must be placed in the Library within the Vectorworks Folder in one of the sub-folders that seems most appropriate. Then, using the Resource Browser and the command "Add Favorite Files", you can import those symbols into your drawing file, select them and place them into your drawing.
But first the .vwx files you bought holding the symbols must be readable by Vwks 12.5 or newer. If the symbols were made by a newer version of Vwks, someone else must convert those symbols backwards to 12.5 OR, if the symbols are older than 12.5, you should use 12.5 to convert the older file forward into that version.
When you bought the symbols, what was the caution stated as to what version those symbols were originally designed for?
Posted December 2, 2011
I'm using a MacBook Pro manufactured between 2008-2009 running 2.5 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 6 Gig Ram, NiVidia GeForce 8600M GT and am happy when rendering in v.2012. For stills, I typically use HDRI backgrounds, with a medium amount of plants/trees (xFrog image props) around the entries, rendered in High settings in Custom Renderworks which might take 20 minutes for an end-of-design-cycle, full-on-everything rendering. Fly-arounds in OpenGL with everything set to high with ground volumes, some plants and furnishings, NO HDRI backgrounds, render in maybe an hour to 50 minutes. Fly-arounds in high settings for Custom Renderworks without or especially with HDRI will require you to schedule a vacation of several days to a week if you want the loveliest output.
For general getting-around the-drawing I experience no lag (stair tool not experimented with at this time), updating of files happens lickety split. No complaints with zooming or nudging.
Don't get me wrong, I have a list of gripes, but lack of speed is not among them.
In fact it was my printer. The HP 130nr showed rough textures--those from
the roofing and that of the driveway--spilling slightly over their edges. Other elements throughout the printing field maintained their borders. Odd.
My Canon Pro 9500 prints properly.
Thanks for your indulgences.
Posted November 24, 2011
MUCH more stable than 2011 but still had a few crashes.
v.2012, SP1, Mac OS 10.6.8, 6 GB memory
2.5 Ghz MacBookPro
Posted November 24, 2011
Edited November 24, 2011 by Tom G.
Tamsin notes that the setting checkbox (to see it, dbl click on the Stacked Layers or Unified View icon) to show or don't show the page boundary on Design Layers is no longer accessible there in v.2012. Where has it been relocated to, or has it been fixed in place to always be visible or is it fully controlled by Page Setup?
Posted November 23, 2011
I'm going to retract the post above until I can get fresh inks in my best printer
and retest the image that has been giving me problems since, when zooming on the exported screen image, I don't see "pixel bleed", as I called it. It's very likely then a printer issue.
Posted November 22, 2011
Edited November 22, 2011 by Tom G.
I'm in Vwks 2012, SP1, Mac. I have a model with an HDRI sky and a sun. Everything looks great and so far I'm processing the image exactly as I have in past versions of Vwks. I have set my VP to 300 dpi, saved the image out to my desktop as a jpeg at 300 dpi and proceeded to print on very good paper on a pretty good printer which, under 2011 and back, has printed crisp 3D images. What I'm seeing of my exteriors rendered in 2012, in Renderworks Style>Realistic Exterior Final, is that I'm getting pixel bleed of roofing onto my gable ends, for instance, and even image bleeding slightly outside the border of my print area. I've tried two different papers, one made specifically for the HP printer. I tried using Custom Renderworks while keeping Blur set to low. It prints the same. I'm printing with my highest settings on the HP printer (DesignJet 130nr).
I really like the general feel of the photo and a little blur adds to the effect. I'm just not sure what to make of this consistent bleed across certain high contrast edges. Oddly, the sky prints clean but the gravel driveway shows a ragged line where the gravel pixels seem to stray outside the print boundary. Anybody experience something similar?
Posted November 21, 2011
I was having problems in v.2011 when doing orbit point fly-arounds in Open GL in which the movie seemed to have no content--it was blank. Trying it in a different rendering mode would then work--taking much more time to produce, of course.
Now, having upgraded to 2012, that problem seems to have gone away.
Posted November 13, 2011
Edited November 13, 2011 by Tom G.
"Basically, I'm ready for the change to Revit"
Jershaun--don't be a stranger. Be sure and come back to the Board and bash Vectorworks every now and then, just for old times sake.
Posted November 13, 2011
I took screen shots of my existing tool arrangement while in the workspace editor in v2011. Then, as I rebuilt a new custom Basic Tools palette in v.2012, I had a visual template which really helped me get back the tool arrangement that I've come to prefer.
Posted October 16, 2011
From the list:
"Vectorworks crashes when trying to push-pull"
A good one to have fixed.
The CAD program used apparently can model smog.
Posted October 12, 2011
Edited October 12, 2011 by Tom G.
Great video and thanks--again--for posting these as they are the best way ever to show how to use tools.
I haven't changed my mind from earlier posts where I said new users and others could benefit from an exploding model or, as someone else said, and you touched on, being able to change lines one at a time ala Revit.
The context of the user must be considered. DWorks is able to teach others in his group how to properly class and maybe more importantly, since he works in a group, how to maintain class discipline. He says that in order to do this better, more classes are often required. As the original posters on this topic make clear, there is much confusion on how to properly class. My point is that the newer user--without expert help at their elbow, should have a means to work from the simplest classing system possible and then, once they have enough knowledge to create a credible model, advance and add classes as needed.
If the new user draws in the correct line weight from the get-go, most of their issues are resolved. Drawing a sections will not necessarily require every line of every window to be manually changed. If they are out-of-class and draw a window or a door at too great a line thickness, no big deal if they have a means to an easy change which currently they do not. Add to this the demand of the system that pushes the model to be complete--again because line changing is tedious--and you have a critical mass that is hard for a lot of users to get past.
I said in my reply to DM that classing is the best way to go and so we agree. But where I am cautious is in encouraging the overlay of an expert's opinion onto the overloaded backs of the new user who does not have an expert to guide them in adding enough to go forward, but not so much to cause them to bail.
Looking forward to your next video.