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Amazing VW

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My previous post was written after a few frustrating days and long nights of trying to produce what should have been a simple rendering. After a couple of drinks with friends and a good nights sleep I regret writing at a time when I was not thinking clearly.

My lack of CAD experience and basic drafting concepts and procedures makes learning VW look like an overwhelming task. If it can be used design homes, office buildings, factories, etc, it must be a pretty powerful tool in the right hands. In my hands it has been and exercise in frustration. In the past all I had to do was make a nice picture and everyone was happy. I'm now in the position of having to provide the details of how to construct a concept drawing in the real world. Clearly, I'm in over my head.

As I said in that post I have used various graphics packages for 2d and 3d and have never had this much trouble getting comfortable with the interface. As several people pointed out, all software has its shortcomings and with use one gets accustomed to them and finds workarounds.

I appreciate the comments of all those who replied. Some were attempts to pacify the obviously deranged individual who wrote the original post. Others put me in my place for each comment I made. All were fair in light of my outrageous tirade.

I sincerely apologize for my comments.

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For my part apology accepted, but no need really.

If you want any help when the manual or training guides don't give you the answer please drop a post here, we'll see if we can help.

I was going to save my experience in case you came back with further comments about VW's suitability for the work you are undertaking, but it seems you now realise that, as with all new things from a new software program to a new mobile phone, things work different, designed with different priorities, different perspectives.

I've been an exhibition stand designer for twenty years, before that I worked in graphics.

Being the dinosaur I am I started in the days when we nearly all used drawing boards, tracing paper, artboard, marker pads and magic marker pens.

After seeing what was available many years ago I decide for my needs Vectorworks (Minicad as it was know in those days) was the best for the job. Its capability to create in 3D was the all important factor. Had I wanted to create just working drawing for the Carpenters to build from I'd probably be still using the drawing board.

But that all important "pretty picture" is what starts the ball rolling and for that the move was clearly towards photo realistic computer generated images rather than the hand drawn visuals that had served me so well for many years.

With little or no computer knowledge and experience and even less using a CAD program I remember sitting down in front of the screen one Saturday morning, the wife and kids sent out to spare their ears and I made a start.

After a mornings clicking and tapping I'd managed to draw some shapes. I laugh now at the effort it took compared to what I can do with the software.

But I'm even more amazed at what others can do with it.

It is different, and it does do things better and worse than other programs, just like any software.

I even started using it without rendering, taking my hidden line perspectives out in print, on to the board and used this as a guide for hand drawn visuals. But everybody wants the computer stuff these days, so I export and render in Artlantis.

I create anywhere between two to four exhibition stand designs a week, depending on complexity, in the program, custom built and modular systems.

I also create working drawings which are used to construct these all over the world.

Funnily enough what program I really want to learn more of (amongst others) is Illustrator, so I can improve my graphics. Photoshoping a few logos with some lines of text is not graphical design in my book, certainly not for print ready stuff.

Got to go, deadlines, deadlines. You'll know all about those in the exhibition industry.


Edited by alanmac
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Hook up with another designer or architect who is good at it, and will take a few sessions to go through the basics, help you understand the methods, techniques etc, and will let you stay in touch to get you past the rough spots. Continued use and asking questions (the forum, thehelp line is great, local user groups are invaluable) will give new insights everyday. Good luck and keep at it!

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We have all experienced (and continue to, to some degree) the frustration that you are feeling-sometimes it seems borderline maddening. All the previous advice is very helpful. This is a complex multi-layered program and CAD itself is a challenging skill so you just have to stick with it to start getting the hang of it- read those manuals over and over again and try to have some fun. Your skills will start to take off.

This is the best forum for CAD apps-folks here are very responsive and helpful. I am routinely ignored on the ArchiCAD forum that I am having to learn at a new job. I am sure they all think I'm an idiot for the obvious questions I have asked but learning a new platform brings on a whole new set of challenges. I keep asking though and you should too.

Good Luck

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