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Chief Architect


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Draw some exterior walls that completely enclose a space (if you go counter-clockwise you?ll be reminded that you should have gone clockwise, and you?ll be given the opportunity to reverse the walls). Click on a wall and a temporary dimension appears where you can type a new dimension to relocate/stretch walls automatically. Draw some interior walls to create an inner space or two. Click on one of the spaces and? it?s a ?room!? As a room it can have it?s own finishes, ceiling, base, chair rail, and crown, distinct from any of the other rooms. Move a wall, and the room and especially its moldings all adjust to the room?s new shape.

Beautiful; I?m very impressed with everything I saw during a limited opportunity with Chief Architect?s trial version.

I know that VW and CA both have their plusses and minuses. Correct me if I?m wrong, but in a nutshell, VW leaves CA behind when it comes to powerful flexibility and, from what I?ve read, 2D graphics. But when it comes to production speed, CA with its heavy emphasis on an object-based (?PIO?) environment leaves VW behind? at least when it comes to residential, and residential that is maybe of a more ?typical? variety.

But I have to say I?m feeling a bit frustrated looking at upgrading VW with CA out there. I think there are two big questions I have:

One, are the plusses of VW and CA all mutually exclusive? I don?t know why VW couldn?t have room objects like those in CA and still retain all of its powerful flexibility. It?s as if VW picks up where CA leaves off, rather than incorporating all that CA can do and then going beyond that.

Two, clearly an object-based environment can work very well. Why do VW?s PIO?s remain so excessively buggy and/or dysfunctional? I don?t think I need to mention stairs? And windows? Make a symbol out of a window, and the interior and exterior finishes get switched with each other (at least in 2008). And why in the world is the sill depth set with respect to the inside face of the wall? At least there?s the ?work around? of being able to type in a sill?s depth for each and every different wall thickness. But wait? in 2011 it seems like doing THAT flips the interior and exterior finishes? If you want a 6 over 9 Lite window, it seems you have to model it. (Though in all fairness, as far as I can tell, WinDoor and CA also can?t accommodate different sash sizes?). Okay! I?ll stop now?

I wish we could have the power of CA and it?s apparently stable and certainly productive objects incorporated into VW, along with VectorWorks? powerful flexibility. I suspect the classical capitals (see attached) that I?ve created in VW aren?t likely to happen in Chief Architect?


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The thing is that Chief Architect is extremely good at what it has of pio's, BUT when you need something that isn't standard, It's a hell to get it good.

So if you build all standard houses, go for Chief Architect, but if you have all wierd and difficult constructed houses like we have, you should go for Vectorworks. You have to do some things manually AND a big PLUS is that you can script some things if you really have to use something much. That last one is the reason I fell in love with the program (besides the grafical power.)

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NVwks can take a big step forward by

1. Buying Interiorad and rolling it into Designer.

2. Improving workflow so setup isn't so daunting for the beginning user or those used to programs that aren't tailored to multi-person, industrial, commercial style projects. There, they expect you to suffer for your art.

3. Improve tutorials, webinars, manuals, etc. for this segment. Or include Jon's books as part of the price and be done with it.

4. Improve objects and textures--we want more, more, more. Don't expect a new user to be taking photographs and making their own or trying to learn import of someone else's poorly scaled objects with missing textures. And why do we still have console tv's in the Residential Furniture folder? Dodge Neon? Really? The residential segment needs to be freshened, then bulked up, in my opinion.

Having said that, I left CA partly BECAUSE I hated having to make each space conform to the requirements of the RULES (for instance, each enclosed space triggers a raft of options including informing the roof as to what shape to take).

But really, willofmaine, do you think, after mastering the creation of the capitals in your enclosure, that you'll be happy with CA? I think you have too much power already to go back to simpler days. Nice work, by the way!

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Thanks for the responses.

Maybe I should look into scripting. I think the reasons I haven't pursued it so far is that VectorWorks itself has always taken a fair amount of time (though less so now that I'm much more proficient with it) and my very limited experiences with programming (scripting?) have been that it can be very time consuming and, probably most of all, I'm just not sure what you can do with VectorScript. 'Just' automate activities? Or create parametric PIO's (such as a window with a 6 over 9 double hung...)?

Thanks tguy, I'm glad you like the capitals. And the more I read, the more I'm convinced that you're absolutely right - I can't give up the power of VectorWorks. I just wish the PIOs were more capable, or at least stable.

So, I think like Martin in his thread comparing VW and Archicad, VW is the one...

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