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ChadL

Custom Projectors for Video Screen

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Just got my new version of Spotlight 2011 in. I was wondering if there is a way to use my own symbols in place of the generic projector symbols provided with this tool. In an ideal world I would like to be able to select from the 8 different projectors we have, and also only have the lens we have as options in the lens menu. Is this possible?

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Chad -

A short answer to both of your questions is "Yes."

Adding projectors:

"Video Screen" and "Blended Screen" (and our VS4 versions) both look in the "\Libraries\Defaults\Video Screen\Projector Models" folder for projector models. That folder might be in your program or user folder structure. The video tools will "see" any properly-formatted projector models in Vectorworks files in that folder.

In creating your own models, take a look at the stock projectors that are included. You'll want to be sure of a few things:

1) Note how the stock models were created relative to their insertion points. For example, the X and Y I.P. is at the center of the lens and the model "sits" on the Z plane.

2) Your models MUST have the "__VS-ModData" record attached w. valid values in the "height from floor," "Lens To Top," "Lens To Bottom," "InsPt To Back," and "InsPt To Front." fields. Again, refer to the stock models.

You can do similar things w. stand and television models.

You might find the manual found on http://www.landrudesign.com/VWPlugIns.htm to be helpful as-well, as the Spotlight and Landru Design tools share much of the core functionality.

Adding lenses:

1) Open the VectorScript Plug-in Editor (under "Scripts" in the "Tools" menu).

2) Find and select the "Video Screen" or Blended Screen" item.

3) Click the "Parameters" button.

4) Scroll down to and select the "PJLens" item (#46).

5) Click the "Edit" button.

6) In the dialog that opens, click the "Choices..." button.

7) In the dialog that opens, add your lenses to the list. Make sure you follow the formatting of the other lenses (for example, a .5 lens would be 0.50).

8) Click "OK," "OK," "OK," and "Done" to get back to your drawing.

Your lenses should then be available to you.

1 note here: You may want to back-up your Video Screen and/or Blended screen PIO files before and after you do this, just in case you make a mistake and to preserve your efforts, should a VW update overwrite your files.

I hope this helps.

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Hey Andrew,

Thanks for the tips, they work great!

Since I was into customizing all the list items I thought I would try to do screens too. This way the screen would be on the pull down list instead of putting in custom screens. I can't seem to find the file to edit for this. Is it possible?

Thanks,

Chad

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Chad -

At this point, the stock sizes are hard-coded and can't be edited. That being said, if you want to drop me a P.M. w. the sizes you'd like to see added I'll see about getting them put on the wish-list.

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Andrew,

I'm trying to do something similar with the audio tool.

I've made a hybrid symbol, added it to the genericspeaker.vwx, copied the ATS-SpkrModData to my custom speaker object but I keep getting a "The symbol you've selected does not contain valid speaker data and will not be kept." error once I try using it with the plugin.

Edited by Chris Gentry

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Chris -

Would you make sure that the record is attached to the Symbol with no geometry selected? That particular error dialong only pops up if the tools don't "see" that record attached.

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Hello Andrew, Team,

I have followed all of the instructions posted here, I have banged my head and all I get is, this symbol is not a valid projector item. Can you please look at the two Barco W8 projectors in my projector models file and tell me what I haven't done, Thanks so much!

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Hayden -

The fix is actually pretty simple (and subtle): The word "projector" in the attached record needs to be all lower-case. The word in yours is capitalized.

I hope that helps...and have made a note to make this a non-isue down-the-road.

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Hello Again Andrew,

I have been playing around with this today, I removed the stock standard projectors from the file because we will never use them, I have now created the rest of our stock of projectors. Now when I start a new file and try to use the video screen tool, no projector appears at all and the symbol in the OIP says "Please Update this Item"

When I click update all I get is "Error: _2782 _2783 - Cannot take sqrt or log of a negative number"

if I change to another projector model andthen back again this seems to have corrected itself, any insight? thanks again, your a life saver.

Edited by Haydenovative

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Hayden -

I just tested your file and all seems to work as it should. Would you make sure you put it in the "\Libraries\Defaults\Video Screen\Projector Models" folder?" Unless it is there, the video tools won't see it.

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Hello Andrew,

One quick thing I'd love for you to add to the wishlist.

Currently when using the L/R Shift you must enter the physical distance and the horizontal shift? is shown below. We would also love to be able to see horizontal shift as a percentage of the screen surface as all of our projectors tell us what the maximum percentage of shift is for that particular model, this would help heaps with pre-production. Thanks heaps.

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Hey Andrew,

I have just followed the above post regarding creating custom lens lists. I edited the choices within the PJLens (Which wasn't #46 for me, it was in the fifties)after entering my lens list and removing those that we don't own I press ok, ok, ok but when I place a projector I still get the full unedited list. If I go straight back into the same choices menu none of what I have entered remain, I have the whole list again. Am I missing a simple save button or something of the like?

Thanks for your time.

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Make sure you launch VW as an administrator(right click on the icon, run as administrator). If you don't then it won't allow you to change those files.

Edited by ChadL

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If having Administrative rights doesn't fix the problem then the plug-in file is probably set to Read Only.

You will have to fine the plug-in in the plug-ins folder and change the read-only attribute.

I don't think 2012 warns you that the plug-in is read-only when you try to edit the parameters.

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Currently when using the L/R Shift you must enter the physical distance and the horizontal shift? is shown below. We would also love to be able to see horizontal shift as a percentage of the screen surface...

Are your projector spec limits given in terms of the percentage of the surface as-a-whole or in terms of center-to-edge? Also, if any of those specs are available in electronic format, would you mihd e-mailing me a copy of one of them?

Thanks.

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Hello Andrew,

Here is the specs for our projectors, Like I said it would be handy to see the shift percentage to see whether or not what's in the drawing will be achievable on site. Thanks heaps.

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So it totally was the administrator thing, Thanks so much ChadL and I was able to make it work on my machine.

I work in an office with four other VW users and when I updated the "projector models" file with our projector models I just have each of them change out their file with the new one and voila.

I updated the lens list like we discussed inside of the "projector models" file and shared them around, only they didn't get the lens update. Its likely I'm looking at this all wrong, are the plug-in editor changes I made localised to just my computer? or are those changes saved within the file.

If it is localised, is there a way of sharing that aside from re typing it on everyone's computer?

Thanks Heaps Guys!

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Here is the specs for our projectors, Like I said it would be handy to see the shift percentage to see whether or not what's in the drawing will be achievable on site. Thanks heaps.

Thanks. Those images helped to answer the questions I had.

I've actually been spending time in that part of the code recently and adding the percentage calcs shouldn't be too difficult.

If you'd like, let me know (through e-mail) if you'd (and, enyone else reading this) like to join the Landru Design mailing list. It is an invitation-only list we use to let our users know of new realeases, updates, fixes, etc. (like the addition of another way to communicate projection offset). This only pertains to the Landru Design version(s) of the tools, but at least you'll know when your wish has been granted. (For what it's worth, this is an announcement-only list and we don't average even a message a month...)

I updated the lens list like we discussed inside of the "projector models" file and shared them around, only they didn't get the lens update...is there a way of sharing that aside from re typing it on everyone's computer?

You'll need to share the "Video Screen.vso"/"VS4-Projection.vso" file (found in your "Plug-ins" folder) with the other users. 2 things:

1) The stock Vectorworks tool requires Spotlight or Designer to work. The Landru Design version doesn't care.

2) Whenever you upgrade (either version) your changes (additions and deletions) will be lost. You'll need to edit the list again.

I'm curious: what lenses were missing?

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2) Whenever you upgrade (either version) your changes (additions and deletions) will be lost. You'll need to edit the list again.

This is why I have created a .txt file that has my lens info in it, so every time I have to redo it, it is a simple copy and paste.

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Thanks again Andrew, Your amazing!

As for the lenses, there wasn't any lenses missing but what I have done as far as culling the list and making the lenses projector specific is more about eliminating the opportunity for a design to be drawn up and submitted only to find that the lens selected in the drawing and what we have physically available differ.

This as well as the lens shift fix is an exercise in fool proofing for our account managers that are really under the pump. Thank you all so much for your input on this.

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Hello Again Gang,

I have a new one. Management have asked me to come up with a way that a projector might list its lens selection as a label in 2D plan. By this I mean something along the lines of a lighting label to be attached to the 2D symbol of the projector. This is something we annotate on EVERY drawing and it would be great if I could make something auto-update. Any clues?

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Hayden,

From the brief research I've done on the Video Screen plugin it seems to have options for these kinds of labels.

Right down the bottom of the OIP there's a 'Text Options' button which allows for labels such as Lens Information and other bits and pieces.

Tried to pop open the plugin itself to have a peak if you can create custom ones but doesn't seems so.

Does that help? Let me know if you need more.

J

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