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Label Legends and other woes


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My current problem that I've run into is that when I assign a legend to a lighting fixture (containing only channel and purpose info) I have to assign it to the same fixture twice because the first time I assign it it only moves the purpose to the correct orientation, the channel remains in it's default position until I assign it to the exact same label legend again. It's a bit infuriating and time consuming.

And speaking of time consuming I have to mention some things about VW Spotlight. I have been using VW since MiniCAD 6.0 as a tool for drafting light plots. And I have resisted using any form of Spotlight for a long, long time feeling that since I used LW there was no reason to type in information twice. However, since I have been working for designers who put channels on their plot I have tried to use the current version of Spotlight and I must say...it is a horrible add on. VW has been promising a tool that would help designers create great paperwork. And I must admit that I love the drafting side of VW having used both it and AutoCAD. In fact, for CAD there is no comparison. But all the Spotlight features slow down the drafting process to a trickle. It's actually faster to create text blocks that have no connection to the unit and use them for channels and purpose. It's simply faster between all the crashing and bugs with the program. The worksheet, while nice, is almost totally useless as an editing tool. If you want something that will take the place or even supplement LW, why don't you make it act like LW. That would help us all. And speaking of LW, after 3 versions of your software, data transfers between the programs are still almost incomprehensible, and for large projects, unusable. I don't mean to rant except I bought a product that has had many years to perfect it's features and it seems that it still is in it's Beta testing stage. Again, for the most part I love your product but there are many, many things that drive me nuts.

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What version and kind of computer. There were problem early on in V8.5 or V9 with speed but I haven't much of a problem with since then. I use Labels with channel, color, purpose, and unit number. most of my plots are 200-300 units and I don't have any complaints about speed. I am V9.5.2 on a PC with a 1.2 Gig AMD processor and 256 ram.

As far as the VW-LW issue once you have the LW import and export functions automated it isn't too bad and I have a system that makes it bearable. BUT many of us have been wish listing an active live interface between VW & LW for a while. I would bet it is a massive project for both companies. Ideally, with both programs open, all you would want to be able to do is click "update LW" and the paperwork would be udated and "update VW" to do the reverse. Time will only tell if this ever comes online.

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I must admit that I don't seem to have your problems with the Label Legend manager since V10. I've upgraded to V10.5 but I haven't drawn a plot with it yet so I don't know how the label legend manager behaves in the upgrade. In regards to speed, I draw channels and colours on my light plot as that is the standard in Australia. I find the Object Info Palette too clunky for most plots as I average 200-400 lamps per plot. The fastest way for me to generate plots is to use both Lightwright and Vectorworks' strengths. I draw the positions and symbols in Vectorworks, then use the Refresh Intruments command to generate unit numbers. Then the instrument info is exported to Lightwright, where I begin with Position, unit number and lamp type info. From here Lightwright is a much faster way to enter all other data (channels, colour, gobo, dimmers, etc..) then the completed information is imported into Vectorworks and 90% of the plot is complete. From here I just change the odd label legend where required, and add a title block and a key. I even have a little symbol and label legend for set electrics so that updates thru Lightwright too. I used to have odd vectorscript problems with Spotlight V9.5, but the importing and exporting routines in V10 are much more stable.I would certainly recomend this method. If I had to complete all plots using the Object Info Pallette I think I would go mad.

There are people who advocate using the editable worksheet, but until it can sort by more than one category then it is very limited in its ability. Lightwright is purpose built for lighting, not an add on to a CAD program, and so is infinitely better for entering and managing the data we have to assign to instruments.

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I second that. I do all my instrument work in LW after setting up the positions and numbering instruments on the plot and not in the OI pallette unless it is changing small amounts of information.

That is a problem if the LW is generated first. Somewhat backwards from the usual process for most of us.

Do you have the import and export functions automated in LW?? That makes it easier.

It is some what clunky, but the time is saved when you send the basic plot to LW enter the instrument information and send back to the plot to be updated more than makes up for time it takes. It takes me about 15 seconds to do the transfer each way - not so awful.

You might need to review the procees you use and see if you can get set up so you at least can start with the rough plot created, send it to a blank LW enter the info off your orginal LW sheets, send it back to the plot, update, and then you are set up. After that all changes are made on the plot first then sent to LW for information updating.

This help at all?

Jim

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