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how to work with perspective view


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Tx Christiaan. Indeed the app by itself is not at stake here but how it is to model in perspective view in a (semi) rendered mode.

VW misses out on a major development of the past years. Most recent developments even provide us with real time unbiased render modes making us see what is happening while we are modeling. That means that the impact of light can be seen the same moment you add a beam, daylight opening or wall to your design, change a color or material. On the other end of the scale we have VW's perspective and orthogonal mode which was outdated even 10 years ago.

I have a designers point of view. It would just be great if VW could be more of a design tool than it is today. Then I don't need to export SU or Modo models.

I can of course learn to model in VW again just for the sake of better use of the data. But I am going the other way, improving on the quality of designs, trying to get others involved including clients. Not after the modeling is done but when I am at it. That is only possible if you can properly see what you are doing on the screen.

Well, I am sure VW will go that way to but why so slowly, its not about pretty pictures at all.


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I am sure Francois can make up his own mind. I do not assume he can't. What I mean to say is that much like Stan stated they use VW and find it fantastic they also use SU, Me also. Use what you are comfortable with as that is most likely the best bet. Francois himself stated "I can of course learn to model in VW again just for the sake of better use of the data." I do not know anything of Francios, I am sure he is an incredibly talented designer. I have seen Stans work and there work is quite incredible. I am just a beginner in VW 3D and SU but I am finding benefits to using VW. But thats me! I respect and support dialog and comparisons of other software to help improve the overall VW experience and UI.

I jumped in on this as I stated not to get in the middle of an argument, but the comment from Francois to me seemed a little harsh. If I misread this I do apologize. I get allot out of the boards by reading the problems and seeing the solutions.

Thanks for your time and I'm out.

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Don't get frightened away from these discussions now Bryan, everybody's input is very important!

I think Francois perhaps should just have posted a wish on the Wish list part of the forum, for an UI option similar to SUs and I'm sure everybody would have seconded that without a doubt, however he made the fatal mistake of stating that SU is better than VW (at least that's the way it was interpreted) and that often leads to heated discussions, as it should when many users are generally pleased with their software of choice! :)

On a side note I actually downloaded SU last week and tried to model my kitchen at home, and I hated it, mind you not the UI which was very nice!

Of course one is not objective after a couple of hours with new software however having used most CAD apps on the market I'm not completely ignorant on this, all I want to say is taste plays a very important part when it comes to issues like this, there is no right or wrong........

Edited by Vincent C
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" I do not know anything of Francios, I am sure he is an incredibly talented designer.

What Francois has designed is quite extraordinary and understand his desire for modeling to be visual and direct when making edits. Vectorworks his heading down that path but unlike SU there are many other aspects of the program they have to improve along with this modeling environment. In 2011 they have incorporated some very SU like 3d environmental features and actually improved upon some of them for greater fidelity and control. It may seem like all this is taking some time but having tracked the other BIM and modelers over the last 25 years would say that the pace always seems slow for the end user the designer.

When are we going to get rid of the Screen, mouse and the tablet and be able to use our hands manipulating 3d holographic representations of our designs. Of course then the clients can get their hands on the design and the results may not be what is desired :-)

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Bryan, I'm sorry if I sounded harsh, but it's a line of argument that people have used with me before and it annoys the hell out of me.

When people are making comparisons to other software with a mind to improving VW, they don't want to be told to effectively f off with the passive aggressive "use the other software then."

What I mean to say is ... Use what you are comfortable with as that is most likely the best bet.

I know what you meant, but it's not a valid response to Francios' argument to improve VW perspective view.

Francios is saying "hey, can this aspect of VW be improved? And look at this software as an example." And your answer is basically to say, "no, go use the other software if you like that better."

P.S. did NatureBoy turn into Bryan G. or am I hallucinating?

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Sketchup is just incredible well concieved for architectural modeling.

I beg to differ. Sketchup is great for surface modeling, but can simply not do volumetric modeling. As a result, Sketchup offers no straightforward way to model "the other side" of you design. Either outside or inside, but both: that's a different pickle. And I my book, for architectural modeling you need both inside and outside. For presentation purposes, this might be something else, but for modeling as in "supporting the design process" I think Vectorworks' solid modeling is better suited to pull it off.

Concerning the perspective view and OpenGL support: you hit it right on the head. Vectorworks needs an overhaul in that area. I actually almost got into a fight with an NNA representative 7 years ago when "discussing" that very topic. So it's not new, and they have been aware of it for a long time, it's just that there's so much to change (like in every software, BTW). The fact that people say things like "I don't understand why they didn't change this yet" just shows that they don't realize what else has been done instead.

Edited by BaRa
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All industries are moving to interactive interfaces, if they haven't already. Mechanical Engineering software are leading the way with software like SpaceClaim. Even rendering engines are going that route (look at Octane Render and Thea Render for example). The amount of "setup time" and "test render times" that is saved by adjusting lights and materials and seeing the results in realtime is immense.

Similarly a realtime modeling interface with solid/OpenGL faces in perspective will save tons of time. We would be able to see design issues/conflicts instantly in a realistic perspective view. We would be able to see how Design Decisions impact the model much more clearly. The days of orthographic projection workflow is ancient and wireframe is just dead as a dinosaur.

NemV should take a page off of SU and ArchiCAD in this respect. We need a graphic interface that is more "Designer Friendly". (I'm NOT talking about which is better at BIM.) We need tools like Interactive Section Lines and Marquee View all rendered in Hidden Line, Solid Face or OpenGL. The current perspective "hole" that vw creates, just doesn't feel right.

It was mentioned on an Architosh interview (I think), the 2D objects now (vw2011) are drawn with OpenGL therefore we can see 2D objects in 3D. This should be a natural progession to all 3D objects as well. As soon as a 2D object is "Push/Pulled", the resulting 3D object should be represented in solid OpenGl form immediately, taking on the attributes of the original 2D object-this way we can have hatches applied to 3D objects themselves (that's true 3D).

Can someone please put this on the wishlist, maybe you Francois? I'll definately second this.

Edited by Shaun
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Argh! gotta storm rolling through. Had a great response all worked up. It was a masterpiece.

So as a summary because I am tired.

Not frightened away!

Natureboy was an accident when I started the board it has always bothered me so I changed it.

I do enjoy a good heated discussion about product improvements.

I bowed out because I felt I had nothing more to contribute to the post.

Did not intend to upset anyone.

I will continue to follow along as I always do, You guy's are always informative and at time give me a good chuckle.

Good night. and hopefully the power stays on this time.

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Thats true, but If perspective view is the preferred method for 3D modeling it sure would be nice to have VW do it first for a change.

Now this may be a dumb question but what in your opinion (supporters of perspective view) makes perspective better than what we have now.

Not asking this to be rude, really curious why is it better (in depth)(I do know the most obvious reason)

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Imagine Rembrand using a pencil that takes a few hours to show its effect, or the accelerator of your car taking a few minutes to have any effect. It would not be acceptable.

Since there are recent modelers and renderapp's that render in photorealism in perspective view in real time while modeling, things have changed for designers. Now you can shape and edit designs endlessly faster than before. That's why even Sketchup with its sketchy rendermode has become so popular, far more popular than Revit and VW together (in the world of design).

This has nothing to do with BIM or not. Its about the absolute fact that modeling will become sooner or later a process that alows you to see what you are doing in real time and in the way your model, as its develops, is probably going to look like in the real world, even at the real location on the exact moment in time you want it to see it. Obviously the design will develop over time as well so it will start out in a more or less abstract form without doors and windows but the effects of mass and colors and shades will already be visable.

Also Vectorworks will, one day work like this, or it will no longer exist in the near future. The same can be said about Revit or any other app. I am interested to see what will happen, VW slowly become obsolete, move towards the new 3D or will it catch up in time.

Shaun, I think you also are totally right on this issue, tx.


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what ... makes perspective better than what we have now.

It's pretty simple really: perspective is the closest representation of the real thing (at least how human eyes see the real thing) and therefore requires less cognition. All that's required to understand what you're looking at is two eyes and some experience in the real world.

All other views, even isometric, require higher levels of cognition because they're abstractions. In fact you generally need to learn how they work before you can read them properly.

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but I would argue that the perspective projection is most useful at presentation time rather than during the "model building" process.


The opposite is true. The advantage of axonometric projection?and the reason it was invented?is to be able to present dimensionally accurate technical working drawings of 3D objects. They're also easier to draw manually.

Neither of these advantages make them useful for modelling.

And in fact the disadvantage of them is that they're distorted, which is exactly what you don't want when you modelling.

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Can someone please put this on the wishlist, maybe you Francois? I'll definately second this.

Many beta testers have wished, prodded, and poked NV into removing the Camera Window so we can have a true rendered modeling environment. Some have wanted it to stay the way it is with a rational that makes sense to them. Certain legacy technical hurdles have to be overcome but it would seem that the direction wished for is the direction that NV is heading toward with Vectorworks.

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the only way to do that accurately is with a compass of course... :)

I tested this though on VW and SU and its either 1 or 2 clicks more with SU.

But in SU you can, if you do this action more than only once just activite the geometry and move it along any other geometry with that specific angle. Nice about it is that you don't need to type the numbers. The cursor does not need to be at the moving geometry but could be anywere in space along the same route. One of those brilliant SU UI features. And if you move an object like that you can just type / and a number and you got the desired duplicates diveded along the same route, and if you like to see a few more you just retype the number of duplicates. If those were components you can just rescale one to have a unique component that still remains the same component for edit. VW has this feature just now at 2011. But in SU you can make components unique for a specified group etc.

I know Ariel its a bit of a struggle to you still figuring out how to do a single move. Once you have seriously gone beyond simplistic modeling in SU you will see the seemingly simple UI of SU has deep waters to dive into.

Christiaan, there is no holding up of progress really. Progress goes on at different places all the time. Where there is progress now it will stall some years later. When it does a small group will move on were the progress happens.

That's how I came to MiniCad and later Vectorworks but moved on to Sketchup and now to Modo. We rendered first with MiniCad, later with Stratavision, then to Sketchup and now to Maxwell and Modo. Vectorworks stayed around for 2D since nothing else compares to it, even today. In 3D its no longer an option for our design work. Maybe in a few years all is different again.

But in the world of 3D archviz VW plays no role. And actually in 3D modeling in general VW isn't present. With the current UI in 3D, which is for most the first look and feel of VW I doubt many new users will be attracted. Its a bit of a pity since VW is really a powerful package that could do much better. BIM advantages might draw some to VW also because of its more attractive price and being the only BIM capable package on Mac. But most who want BIM still look at it as using an application that is the same as used by the other parties involved and most likely that is and will be either AutoCad (with BIM module !?) and Revit.


Edited by frv
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Christiaan, there is no holding up of progress really. Progress goes on at different places all the time. Where there is progress now it will stall some years later.

I don't understand a word of that. Progress doesn't stall, but it does?

Anyway, when people successfully push for an aspect of software to remain as it is simply because that's what they know (and not because it's the best way to do it) they're holding up progress for the rest of us. If people successfully push for the status quo with regard to perspective view in VW they'll be stopping the rest of us from taking advantage of a better way, hence holding up progress.

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Ariel, tx for the fix. Are you sure there are 3 commands, I can do it with M and V in Sketchup. In VW that equals to tab, tab, tab...etc.... But to your credit, I like the VW method better the first round, after that SU takes over. So for me these kind of test are a bit trivial compared to working with a client on screen in ortogonal mode or perpective.

Christiaan, you are right of course. Its rather frustrating. But its just natural that at the front things are louder and more risky and also more advanced. VW is no longer at the front and moving just slowly ahead to keep its userbase happy. Sketchup also has this problem now. But you don't need to hang around, and its smart to always be on the market to look for fresh products.

We test new stuff all the time and our work has changed considerably because of it. Without Modo these days we would not have had some of our clients. Progress is hard if you push it onto those who are happy and content. You have to learn to let go, even if it means many years of experience with a certain app.


Edited by frv
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Tx Bohdan. That fixes the idea most have SU is simplistic, but its off topic slightly. I hope this thread is not about how SU works but how to work in perspective mode rendered or not with VW.

I would like to thank all that answered my question on this issue.


Edited by frv
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Tx Bohdan. That fixes the idea most have SU is simplistic, but its off topic slightly. I hope this thread is not about how SU works but how to work in perspective mode rendered or not with VW.

I would like to thank all that answered my question on this issue.


De rien, Francois :)

Actually it is not that much off topic. There are some SU features which would be more than welcome in VW 3D workflow..

- flexible 3D protractor tool

- dtto 3D tape tool

- possibility extract temporary guidelines from existing geometry

.... btw - VW 2011 tape tool can measure distance of points on working plane or distance of their orthogonal projections onto a working plane, this means that distance of 2 points placed on a line perpendicular to the working plane will be displayed as zero :D .. yes,I know about Vectorbits tape tool and use it, but 3D (not only) modelling package deserves true 3D analysis tools ..

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