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Textures in VW2011

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After a lot of trial and error - mostly the latter - I have arrived at the conclusion, that textures in RW2011 are not, what I had hoped for, and that the leap forward, that the marketing of the new rendering engine seemed to promise, is based on less than truthful premises.

But I have not seen much comment to that effect in this forum.

Are you architect/building guys and girls completely happy with the textures provided with Renderworks?

If not, make a little noise here, wouldya?

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So far the struggle (for us) is to figure out "what was" in VW 2010 and "what is" in 2011. Many textures (Image Based) import and work. Others do not import correctly. We find that there is a lack of Migration information (Two pages so far that cover Glass and Metal) One would assume that such a big jump would come with some examples (Cinema and Maxon are not a start up?) - It is also puzzling to read comments like "The Translucency shaders in 2010 are handled by Backlit in 2011" - with no associated example.

Our work has so far been trial and error (mostly error) - Not what was expected.

General comments on the RW 2011 when we open an existing drawing and render with final Renderworks.

1. We find that Textures are relatively good as we use mostly custom image based.

2. There is a "reversed" image shader bug still with some shapes. (SP3) Based on the render mode.

3. Lighting is completely different, and needs extensive rework. Example: Existing 2010 drawing has a spot light set at 30 that creates desirable color and shadow. Same light in 2011 (existing drawing) needs to be reset to 100 for the same result. Going forward a new logic is required (Again, Would have been nice to read about this, not stumble thru it)

4. Some of the procedural textures do not transfer. Example: Solid Polka in VW 2010 becomes Noise in 2011, although there is a Tiles / Circles that works nicely (But Why?)

5. In testing some of the newer names for Shaders we find that there is little or no variation in the rendered texture for vast differences in basic settings. Another puzzle that we assume someone has an understanding of already. (But, if the original RenderWorks textures are any indication, there will be questionable shaders (Remember the Square transparency shader?) that are simply there and never work. (See examples)

6. Time is Increased, not decrease in 2011. Simply rendering Final in VW 2011 (With an existing drawing) takes 2 to 3 times LONGER than it did in VW 2010. - definitely not what was expected.

Our assumption is: We need to compare VW 2010 Final RW to a variation that is not final, but a "Custom RW" in 2011. The free reference "Renderworks-2011-Getting-Started-Guide" has some good suggestions, but is more a reference for people new to VW with 2011. (ie: not those with existing designs / symbols / textures / strategies looking for specific answers) - Peter

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Hallo together,

I completely understand that those Zen Masters who succeeded in getting good results out of RW<2010 are lost and thrown out of paradise without a Map.

What's dicussed here, is for my opinion a good example how loud marketing, late made decissions, and half hearted changes can make a good and important step look like a failure.

The RW-Textures in the libraries and the Texture Editor are from stonage, so even a

good render engine can't do wonders with them.

The shaders in VW2011 have most the capabilities of the strong C4d Shader engine,

but covered with the interface of VW and without a Manual they just cause headache.

I'm kind of lucky, that I know The C4d Material Manager (a bit) otherwise I would not have been possibilbe for me to create, for example this Mirrorball shader, which is in VW 2010 impossible.


In the Moment working with VW somtimes feels like driving an Oldtimer with a new hightec Ferrari Motor and the "handling technolgy" of a Bobbycar.

Yesterday for example I worked on lightplot in VW2011 and used the Number and Labeltools of Spotlight, and VW became soooo slow in paning and zooming even in 2d..... AUA.

But!!! to do everything by hand would be even more time consuming.

After the implemenation of Parasolids it took .?.Years to get robust 3d snapping.

And the transfer is not yet finished, because the fact, that VW carries on with the wired concept of "Screen Plane drawing" throws ease of handlng and intuitivity completely over board.

A usefull Texture editor, light sources with Caustics , GI Portals .... are already under the hood of RW. I'm shure we get the Key for tresure island soon

Since VW10 (my first Version) VW constantly improved, even if way presnetation and implemetation of new features is hard to digest, I'm very happy with the new (and sooooo long misssed) Layer Plane drawing method and also with RW 2011.

Just some thought's ...

Edited by Horst M.
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Not a lot of noise, it would seem, so I guess I will have to get used to the limitations. Unfortunately I have little use for mirrorballs. I just want decent basic materials, that still look OK in closeups and most of all I want parameters, that relate to the real world. Noise settings like 'Cell Voronoi' doesn't really compute with me. I prefer settings called 'Leather' or 'Brushed Steel' or 'Plaster' etc.

I suspect that the german owners of NNA have intentionally withheld an adequate rendering solution from Vectorworks, so that we are more likely to buy Cinema4D.

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Noise settings like 'Cell Voronoi' doesn't really compute with me. I prefer settings called 'Leather' or 'Brushed Steel' or 'Plaster' etc.

I suspect that the german owners of NNA have intentionally withheld an adequate rendering solution from Vectorworks, so that we are more likely to buy Cinema4D.


Interesting concept ... I always thought that no one really knows what some of those weird shaders do in the first place? (I always remember the "Square" trans shader in the first RenderWorks.) - Peter

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I am also frustrated with the shader descriptions and getting tired of the constant "trial and error" technique. I was happy with the brick render in earlier versions which could be manipulated into a non-repeating pattern. Now that doesn't seem possible with VW2011 ... everytime I render bricks, they are in a repeating pattern. Very frustrating ... are you listening Nemetshek ?

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

To create textures with real world parameters, all you need to do is set your texture size to 100 units, and then 100% = 100 units. So, my drawings are set to mm, making each repetition of a texture 100mm. Bear in mind that the preview you see in the shader editor is the equivalent of one repetition, so, 100mm.

As for strange names for shaders - they come directly from Maxon's CINEMA 4D - you'll find all the same names there and more.

The Renderworks texture libraries contain many textures with the names you need (metals, glass etc.) and can all be edited.

If you want some migration information, I have put some stuff together here, but I would suggest you also look at the Renderworks Getting Started Guide, written by the excellent Daniel Jansensen.



I would like to understand a little more about your brick repeating problem - perhaps I can help?

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creating textures in Vectorworks 2011 is different to Vectorworks 2010 and earlier. The shaders you were used to are no longer there, and the new shaders have many new and different options. You almost have to forget the way you used to make textures in Vectorworks 2010, if you used shaders. If you used to use images, then Vectorworks 2011 is similar but has different options.

As Tamsin says, look at the resources Nemetschek Vectorworks provided, then look at other sources...

we looked at textures this month at our online webinars, and I wrote a manual for my subscribers that showed how to make your own textures, or edit existing textures. If you are a subscriber, download your manual...

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I dug through the drawings that shipped with VW / RW 2011 - when I opened and then closed - each asked ? Do you want to save. I did not find a single native VW 2011 drawing yet (Yet ...) Add to that, most of the textures are image based. (I have collected a few that are not for future dissecting) It is ironic that the architectural Textures (Some of the brick patterns for example) are Image based. (reference: Textures_Exterior Finishes) while a procedural shader named "Bricks" exist. (?)

I think that the ... "the constant "trial and error" technique" ... is the norm since Renderworks was started. (Long for the Stratavision approach?)

Why should there not be a guide to each of the Shader variations (Not each possible setting, just an example for each Shader. Bricks and Pavement are what I refer to as Singular Shaders. Some trial and error is easy. Tiles and Noise, on the other hand, have dozens of sub shaders. This is especially true with Shaders that do not transfer well. (ie: they do not look anything like their VW 2010 counterpart.)

I have lost of struggled to recreate some VW 2010 "Eroded" Shaders in VW 2011

Based on the VW / RW track record, I do not think that anyone knows what the shaders actually do - (I say it again: What was that "Square" Trans Shader in the first RenderWorks?) - Peter

If there any any suggestions on finding info from Maxon - Cinema 4D etc / Let me know.

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Specially all those noise Shaders with the Wired names are descirbed

with sample images in the C4D Manual.

Unfortuantely the manual is in whole 335MB Helpfile Structure....

avvailable for download on the maxon website.

I've been looking for something more comfortable in the Web to at least post the images with the names.

I've asked the maxon support, if I may post the shader part of the manual here.

I hope to be back soon.

Horst M.

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I have found that I get better results at the moment with image based textures

...at the Moment, ja, that's true, because its the most obvious way to produce textures.

and because Users don't have Informations about the shaders.

So, as long as Nemetschek ist too busy to write a profound manual it could make sense to share informations for example by using this Forum.

Without subscription fee ;-)

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I am happy, that there are persons defending the quality of textures in Renderworks 2011. That must mean, that I have not yet uncovered all the posibilities. The Getting Started Guide is a help for sure. Maybe someone will some day produce a 'Getting Finished Guide', which is really what I need, or ? even better ? create and share some quality libraries. The ones, I have produced, are not there yet.

In another thread I challenged users of this forum to produce a good 'brushed stainless steel'. Noone has answered that challenge, which has led me to believe, that it cannot be done. I hope, I am wrong.

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Tamsin: (or others) .... years ago (VW2009 ?) I was able to render bricks of slightly different color in the same wall, and the colors were located randomly in the texture (as happens in real life). (This was not an image based shader). Unless I'm missing something (quite possible) the current RW shaders will always have the bricks repeat a pattern in a predictable way.

If there is a way to render bricks in a random, non-repeating, pattern, please tell me how. Thanks.

(PS: I tried to convert old brick textures (that did not repeat), into new VW 2011 files, but the translation does not result in the same RW texture.)

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In another thread I challenged users of this forum to produce a good 'brushed stainless steel'. Noone has answered that challenge, which has led me to believe, that it cannot be done. I hope, I am wrong.

This is my best bet yet:


It renders slow because of the blur setting.

The file can be downloaded in the texture share forum.

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Noticed that Textures are discussed in different locations depending on the way the topic is worded. Attached is a file with mostly NON image based textures. I dug through those provided by VW / RW 2011 and for the most part they are image based.

There is a huge gap in the Getting Started Guide and the plethora of Shaders and options in the Tile and Noise settings. As these take over for several Shaders lost to VW 2010 it really would be good to have examples. - Peter

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Horst - I dissected the "Spiegelkugel" and find es ist eine sehr magische methode!

Not a Mirror at all, but a light squeezed thru small holes. -Peter


I'm kind of lucky, that I know The C4d Material Manager (a bit) otherwise I would not have been possibilbe for me to create, for example this Mirrorball shader, which is in VW 2010 impossible.


Would you please ask for more information from this person? ... and where is the location of the Maxon C4D manual that contains textre information ? - Thanks - Peter

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You should go for the 11.5 Documentation.

Then check out:

Tile Shader

Noise Shader

... and so on it seems almost endless.

Lumas is a Magic word for Kaare and this Edelstahlstuff.

which is one of the hardest textures to do. I find yours already cool.

I found a Example texture for C4d that has something like 20 Layers....


@Peter: the Mirrorball is faking the reflektion with little holes in the Mirror Tiles and a Lightsource inside the Ball.

Its all done by shaders in the different channels of the texture.

A Tile Shader with Squares in the Bump Channel, And a Tile Shader with a little Circle in the transparency channel, to get the holes for the light to come through....

The real relfections could only calculated by using Caustics.

C4d Render engine can calculate them, but for that u need Light sources that emit photons.

VW2011 doesn't (yet...) have such sources.


And! the calculation of this Caustics costs lots of render time.

So. For a simple Mirrorball in a whole Setup of Lights and Scenery the Fake

was the propper solution.

Edited by Horst M.
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