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3d woes

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I really must re-iterate two things.

one... 3d in Vectorworks is a nightmare primarily because it doesn't relate to how people see things in 3d. It's a simple concept. x,y,z . the earliest 3d programs, execad, autocad (version 8 even) use it and as a new user I latched onto it instantly and started creatng 3d stuff easily. Boolean operations did what you expected them to do.

3d in VW is nightmarish for someone who understands that simple 3 coordinate system because nothing does what you would expect it to do. hell I don't even know what the oblects are that I create or where they are in 3d space. I draw something thinking it's connected to something else and when I channge the view point it's way the hell and gone what looks like hundreds of feet from where I thought it was. What gives. Is there a book somewhere that explains the reasoning beind Vectorworks three dee space?

Item two...

Given that we purchased VW with render works thinking we were going to do some nifty 3d walkthroughs and such of our buildings and given that VW 9 apparently has a much easier 3d system (I wouldn't know how easy), Why should we have to pay another $1500 or so to finally get a 3d system we can understand. Why can't you issue a patch to VW 8.5.2.

Given that VW undertook to make the system easier to use, I assume that they acknowledge the old 3d coordinate system was a bitch to understand, if they even changed the coordinate system. Therefore. They are fixing a problem and we shouldn't have to pay twice for what we were hoping to get the first time

Marketting software is a crooks game, you have to admit, All due accolades to the long suffering techies in here who try to solve our countless problems.

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As a long-time user of VW 3D dating back to MiniCAD 4.0, I would guess that your biggest problem is with snapping. Some really strange things can happen when you move an object in 3D space and think you are snapping to one thing, when the program is actually snapping to some object in the background. Very difficult to control. A program like ACAD or Rhino, which has multiple windows from different perspectives, is a lot easier to follow when working in 3D because it helps triangulate your position.

Here's a technique I use frequently when moving objects around. I try to restrict my moves to the 2 dimensions of the working plane. When snapping, I place a 2D object, such as a 2D locus, in the foreground. When a 3D object snaps to a 2D object, it cannot change its position along the axis normal to the working plane (normally, the screen). This will give you a lot more control. It also helps to create temporary groups, and enter them so that you limit the number of objects you are dealing with.

VectorWorks has its plusses and minuses, but I think its 2D-3D interface is better than most. Best of luck!

[ 05-15-2002: Message edited by: P Retondo ]

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Just to offer a different opinion, I've found VW 3-D interface to be very simple and straight forward. Befor I used VW I tried using 3-d in Acad R13 (1997) and was hopelessly lost. With in hours of exploring VW 3-D I was generating geometry and manipulating them with ease.

I primarily use the top view and side views for generating and placing geometry, this way if I create an object in plan I can snap it to another object and the z value will be constrained. Ditto for the side views.I only use the oblique views and perspective for viewing.

Also I dont see a big difference in how VW handles geometry in 9 verses 8. We have more tools, we can create more complex objects, and the precision is much higher, but the over all procedures are the same.

Good Luck

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It's also possible when reshaping a nurbs surface to control in which axis your are moving with the menu bar. Also it is possible to move just the U or V vertices.

The problems I have is when one changes a view we lose site of the object we are working with. It would be nice if the object remained centere on the screen while we switch views.


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Right Joe, that's why in my own personal experience with many programs and in the ?3D CAD Cup?, VectorWorks ends up among the firsts (and once the first too) and AutoCAD the last ones. Even Minicad 6-7 could do better (or faster) than the AutoCAD of that time.But It?s true , we need a real feedback from the program as far as in which 3d cube we are moving and creating. Microstation is by far the best in this.We really need multiple views and more 3d snaps.

When I started using Minicad I felt I was using a toy but in a month I was able to do beautiful 3d models.

Programs like AutoCAD and Microstation have a very scientific approach toward geometry. So everything is in the 3d space and has 3 dimensions. They are very precise. Vw approach has always been the one of a hybrid situation, 2d and 3d. And this is exactly what makes it faster; the user is like a kid in a playroom touching and moving toys all around himself. I feel you can touch the things with VW and put them where you need instead of wasting time typing a lot and always readjusting working planes. I rather focus on the objects.Still with its idiosyncratic playfulness and own philosophy, VW is more flexible and all in all faster in creating 3d. It?s geared toward the end result (a plot) more then the actual law of physics.

RenderWorks just adds rendering options; it?s 3DpowerPack that adds a lot of tools.I?ll suggest you a great guide : 3D Drawing . . . in VectorWorks from ?The Electric Exhibit?. With that you?ll be able to precisely locate/position any object before creating them. If you really want to, that is.

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I don't care about which program is better and which is playful. All I want to know is how to use the playful little monster. I am stuck against my will with VW and so I am trying to figure it out.

And in spite of all your stuff above, it ain't exactly self explanatory. Nothing in VW is.

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of course thank you all for all your suggestions. I will try what you said and will look up the book you noted. Thank you thank you.

Does Vectorworks have a 3D tutorial or anything like that??

And whats a nurb.

In answer to the contest winning item above. I only know previously I was using ACAD13 and 12 and 9 and 8 and before that execad and I created amazing models of all the buildings I worked on. I could show you some including a nifty little of one of Botta's houses in switzerland with night and day shots. (execad)and animated fly throughs using 3d studio and ACAD 12.

I can't even figure out how to fill a gable in in VW.

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Joe, If you can, go to one of Janis Kent's seminars (improbability.com). The third day is all about 3D. But don't miss out on the first two days. I thought I knew it all and was very amazed at how much I learned. I'm not sure where you are located, but there is also probably a trainer near you (go to the Nemetschek main page and navigate from there). Once you get over the "learning hump" I think you'll find VW's an amazingly powerful, and relatively easy to use 3D/2D hybrid program. BTW, Nemetschek also has training seminars and although I've never attended I've heard only good things! PLC

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Well that's the thing you know. I am over the learning hump. I've been using this thing for 4 years. I can churn out a set of drawings design or Working as fast and as pretty as the best of them. But when there's anything new to figure out, it never comes easy. It's like wading through porridge.

But I'll check out those courses you suggestThanks

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You know what it is?? I just realized. I have been doing this stuff for the past 15 years. I am sick to death sitting in front of a computer screen till 3 in the morning learning how to use the latest version of whatever. Or working on 3 d models to wow the boss. It gets me no where. My boss doesn't even know VW. I am teaching him!! hahahahaha what a laff.

I'd rather be kayaking

See ya later folks tongue.gif" border="0

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Joe, sounds like you need a new boss! About 18 years ago, when my twin daughters were born I decided to "strike out on my own", first as a builder, then as a designer/builder, and now exclusively as a designer. Don't know what the market is where you are, but if you've got the itch you can probably make a go of it. Then you can go Kayaking more!!! Take care, PLC

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