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Complex Vectorworks Objects / Unused Processors = Bug?

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I've been struggling to get some hidden line rendered sheet layer viewports to render in a project file. The project has some decorative gates with a fair amount of detail but I haven't had any slowdowns while working with it in the design layers. After many failed attempts at rendering the viewports (Vectorworks crashing, I assume because I was impatient and crossed in and out of Vectorworks) I sent the file to my Vectorworks distributor to see how to solve the problem. They took at look at the file and gave me some ideas on how to make it more efficient and told me when they had left the viewports rendering for a long time they would actually render.

As part of my exchange with them, they asked about the processing power of my machine. I was reminded I have a top of the line Retina Display Macbook Pro - top processor, maxed out memory, solid state drive. I realized I was being asked to simplify my file so that it can render yet three of the four cores of my processor sit idle while rendering a hidden line viewport. The failure in this equation is not on my end, but on Nemetzchek's end. Five years after implementing a new modelling core they still don't support modern chip architecture. I must admit it seems ridiculous even to me. My old Macbook Pro that I retired in October had two cores and it was made in 2008.

I feel like the failure to use all the processing power available should now be considered a bug. I will be bug submitting it for Vectorworks 2013 and I would encourage others to do the same. This needs to change and is more important than any other improvement that can possibly be made to Vectorworks.


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  • 5 weeks later...

searching on the site i found your post

you are right to be upset about the "single thread" "non 64bit" VW13 is working. by my standard, it is an evident lack of vision not to urgently work on that problem from the developer.

it took the alliance with Cinema4D in the render section to give us full multi threading and 64bits, which increased dramatically the performance of raytracing and radiosity.

but everything rendered in other format than raytracing and radiosity is not realized by the C4D engine and therefore very slow.

i have a dream machine, a 12 cores mac with 32 gig of ram and a quadro 4000 card and even with that, if i do a line render on a 150MB file the computer is on his knee asking me to end is misery!

when i asked them about that, all i had as an answer was that "who creates 150MB files anyway?..."

so for now, the only thing to do is keeping asking for multi threading and full 64bits and multiple windows like any decent 3D sofware out there and hope someone will listen and do it...before we die!

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I was at a client's yesterday & this topic came up. He showed me a rather simple Sketch-up file, rendered in open GL that one can move about pretty simply; in, out, rotate ect. Then he showed me a simplified version in VW & it works more or less the same in Wireframe, but try the same moves in open GL, one gets lost, and as Zal said, the computron is on its knees.

VW needs to better, because if VW is to be taken seriously in a BIM world, as more & more clients are demanding interactive walkthroughs, not just set pieces. If VW doesn't make this a possibility, other software will eat its lunch, take its pocket change, give it a wedgie & we VW users will either be buggy whip producers, or have to move along.

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i don't think the size of the file is the issue here. my projects are almost always in the 100-200 mb range, using symbols, simplified geometry, and whatever else i can think of.

vw is being very slow to catch up with current computer capability. multi-threading and 64 bit have been at the top of the wish list for some time now. c4d, revit, archicad, rhino, and others have all made the switch. vw?

as i have said before, in my work including planning, landscape architecture, and architecture, vw--though not perfect--has the best features. but, functionality is another story. i am currently (as time permits) testing c4d, rhino, and archicad as an escape plan in case vw does not step up soon. yes it will be more expensive, but i need to stay competitive.

however, i like vw. hopefully they are listening and doing what they need to do to make us satisfied.



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i am very happy to see that i am not the only one who think that multithreading, 64-bit, better openGL and multiple window must be the APEX priority at VW.

and for those at VW who are likely to think that if we end up with 200MB file is because we do not know how to model, well here is the news: my 200MB file are super stripped down to minimum, meaning the least possible complexity in modeling with the least poly, sweeps and extrudes with the minimum resolution, textures to minimum, etc.

i do 3D/animation/rendering in other soft since many years and for me it has been a MUST to strip down to minimum, in short, i know how to be efficient in 3D.

When i work for example, with Strata 3D, whatever i do, i always see 24 processors (12 cores x 2 threads(hypertreading)) to full 100% when i work or render.

it is the same with Adobe Master Producer Suite.

With Adobe, there is also another advantage that VW could capitalized big on.

it is CUDA. With my Quadro 4000, you must see how fast encoding a video or rendering in AfterEffect is. IT IS SO FAST THAT I AM AFFRAID TO EVEN TOUCH THE CASING OF MY COMPUTER, afraid of being burned by it!

the difference between an Ati 5770 an the Quadro, in rendering in after effect is 8x minimum!

that is because they came up with Mercury Engine which uses the 256 cores of the quadro to render to screen.

that should be so AWESOME if VW could come up with that! OH! God, let me take my breath for a moment....;p

and from my point of view, even with those annoying problems, i very much like VW to model and will be very sad if they do not do something about those things because there is other great cad packages out there that begins to be very interesting, integrating 3D, nurds, simulation, etc. that will bias us, buyers, when it comes to buy a cad package for a definite amount of $$$.

so VW team, think of it!

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee


My apologies if you felt alluded, I did say "many users" not "all users". Through the years I've seen this as a common mistake for large files size. I've also found that there is not one single package solution that will satisfy everybody's needs they all have its good and bad. VW is always working on improving, some issues take longer than others but they are on the ToDo list.

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no offense, my critics was not to you but targeting all the support people who say "oh my god..." when i say that i am working on a 150MB file all in 3d.

it so silly, in 2013, thinking to put out a cad software that do all those 3d stuff and not using it because no computer can support it, even high end product.

but hey, i have been using this soft since early days of mini cad on mac and still using it and still proud of using it instead of autocad or inventors or solid works.

i have always used macs for working because with them you concentrate on work and not on the machine your on.

and we have to look at what i am saying, more like a wish list than free criticism.

and i also know that, to code what i asked for, in a complex piece of soft like VW, is more than ripping an mp3 on an ipod, so it is a perfect case of "easy to say, no so to do..."

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