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Patrick Fritsch

Maxwell Render...

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Has anyone used Maxwell Render to create stills from their Vectorworks models? I'm thinking of going this route but since they do not has a VW plugin the workflow will require an export as 3ds model from VW to be able to import into Maxwell Render. If anyone has used this workflow I'd be interested in any good or bad comments about using VW w/ MR.

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Maxwell is extremely accurate therefore the price you pay for that accuracy is time. It takes a lot of time to render an image.

VW 3ds export is terrible. Sometimes objects are left out but the main thing is updating the model in Maxwell Studio after the model has changed. VW renames objects inside the 3ds file therefore updating the Maxwell Studio file isn't accurate eg. objects that were deleted in VW, STILL show in Maxwell Studio.

I have a copy of Maxwell Studio 1.7 but I use VrayforC4D.

HTH,

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Thanks for the heads up J. I tried out the sketchup plugin yesterday and it boiled my CPU from a cool 30 deg. C to 78 in an couple minutes. I have a cooler master case with 8 fans on an i7 CPU so it's another concern for me now.

On a parallel note, is there a nice way to get VW files out to Sketchup 8 Pro? I did a 3ds but the roof was at the wrong Z height etc?

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As I said, vw has a terrible 3ds exporter. VW seems to be more and more un-usable after the parasolid engine implementation.

I think your best bet is to export to C4D using the "Cinema 4D Export" command and then from C4D, export to sketchup or other software but then again C4D also has a plug-in for Maxwell. Not sure if this helps :) [sorry]

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I agree that VW does not stand up to it's marketed capabilities, I've just strated using it and I'm not impressed. Which is the main reason I do not want to put all my eggs in one basket by going w/ Renderworks or C4D. I may not stick to VW if the next release is not a serious game changer as my Service Select upgrade is up for renewal after 2013 release. I'm a "smart sized firm" as they say (ie; one man show) so it's easy to flip flop to other platforms...I may just go back to my Sketchup/2d CAD workflow for a while.

With all the "workarounds" the quantity take-off capabilty is useless, which is what I was hoping for as I do a LOT of estimates for General Contractors. In the end, a quick and dirty sketchup model can extract all the quantities I need to plug into my spreadsheets.

Just sharing my thoughts and experience.

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I find the c4d/vw thing to be pretty good. c4d is a really fast renderer, and can render in the background whilst you work in vw, which is efficient.

Renderworks is not a bad compromise for people not willing to invest in a rendering program, the drawback being that you can't run renderworks while you are drafting.

I'm curious as to why Maxwell Render became your choice for rendering, is it just the one you know best?

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Patrick, I am curious what in VW is not what is marketed? I also am a "smart sized firm" and after playing around with many cad choices settled on VW. I will even go as far as saying that after I had VW for a while I looked again due to disappointments. After some time though I have come to really enjoy working in VW and Renderworks. It is my bread and butter. I also have many other platforms which to work with but now find myself relying almost solely on VW. The issue that I see allot of people bring up is they have worked in Sketchup or some other software and have a good grasp on that, then with a move to VW it's not the same. It doesn't mean its wrong it is just different. As for your quantity take offs these are done through worksheets and yes they are quite difficult sometimes but once they are generated the way you would like its great. VW is definitely not a system that you pull out of a box and magic happens but with some time you can do almost anything.

That almost anything part means that VW is always improving. I know my rambling sounds like a sales pitch but the main thing is it does work and works well for many "smart sized firms" if it does not work for some then sorry to hear that, we all have different methods.

I would though like to know some of the specific issues, as we all would. Viewpoints from new users are what can help improve VW. They do listen (even though sometimes it doesn't feel like it) and posting is always good.

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@Brian my issue with the take-offs in Vectorworks is that when you have to model a component from scratch because the PIO does not do it or does not exist, you end up with a mix of object types and the modeled stuff won't show up on a spreadsheets with the other PIO's. Their may be a way around this but it's most likely too time consuming and will just make me feel like i'm testing a Beta program for the fun of it when i'm actually trying to make my bread and butter efficiently. I don't do any extravagant architecture so I expect a BIM package to be able to draw a simple bungalow construction without "workarounds" or excessive user input to format takeoff estimates...after all theee year of development BIM is still broken and i'm loosing faith for a short term promise.

@Grant, I have not made any definite decision yet that was the reason I posted to get opinions. Maxwell attracted me for it's super realism (similar to Octane Render that I also use but that's a beta program), easy enough to use, initial and upgrade costs are low and lastly like I mentioned above I may not stick to Vectorworks after the next release so an independant renderer that can be used w/ many BIM/CAD packages would be a more flexible choice.

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I agree with your issue about PIO's. I wish that VW was much much easier to comprehend when it comes to pulling data out of objects, setting up objects so that data can be pulled out of them, etc. Couple that with an aggressive campaign of education and you've got a winning formula. As it stands now the system is hard for anyone interested to grasp, and the forum for education is somewhat slim (especially in my field).

I think maxwell's stuff looks great. I think I've found my match with C4d, as it's just an easy to use piece of software.

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The issue that I see allot of people bring up is they have worked in Sketchup or some other software and have a good grasp on that, then with a move to VW it's not the same. It doesn't mean its wrong it is just different.

The challenge with VW, from a switcher's perspective:

1) lack of training documentation and education options

2) little or no documentation on workflows, especially related to workarounds.

For the above two reasons, the switch to using VW is more arduous that it should be (for the new user).

It is an enjoyable program to work with, once you get your head around the workflows.

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I will agree with the workflow issue. That really took some time to figure out. Once figured out though it has been allot of fun.

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I've got vw's workflow figured out. NemV's definition of BIM is twisted and I hate it. One can get a model done ready for rendering (in vw) very well, however getting a model ready for BIM is totally useless. Getting the model to render out of vw (VrayforC4D, Thea Render, Octane Render) is also becoming a real fight if not impossible. See Attached files-vw, in it's current state is unusable.

VW is becoming more and more difficult to play with other software whereas Revit has plug-ins that work with Lumion, Twinmotion, etc. With Revit2013, it has native compatibility with 3ds Max 2013. Also, 3ds Max has numerous well intergrated plug-ins. This makes the combination of Revit+3ds Max unbeatable. Unless vw2013 is more Revit-like and better integration with C4D, vw2012 will be my last upgrade. :(

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At least for me, a big help would be a "send to vw feature in c4d". That way the programs could be more integrated.

I'm taking note that I am not the only one to suggest comprehensive and aggressive education from VW with regards to their product. I know they are not the big boys, and that one can't expect that manuals will show up at bookstores overnight. I'm pleased to see the direction that their service select portal is going in but there needs to be more.

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Well this conversation has evolved from a basic question into a very interesting topic. I keep hearing echos in many posts along the similar lines of what people have said here, personally I think the frustration and disatisfaction comes from the fact that NNA does not ever chime in and let us patient users know what their developpement road map is. I know some stuff has to remain confidential from their competitors but stuff like saying " yes we will make a VW workflow bible shortly" is not something the competion cares as most have theirs already...unless they have something to hide...like the software will never be what most hope it could.

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