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Event?Theatre Seating -- Is there ANY Information on this?

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7 minutes ago, TheatreG said:

Hi Kevin,

 

Thanks ! When I right click on the seating layout I can only choose "Edit path", but that works the way you described !

 

Concerning the problem you have with the number of seats: Do you have  "Use Center Of Row As Origin" activated ? Try to dectivate it, maybe this helps.

 

Regards, George

Hi George,

 

These differences are because I'm using Create Seating Section and you're using Create Seating Layout......  :-) I can tell this is going to be confusing going forward......

 

I assumed after reading your last example yesterday you tried Create Seating Section command but I'm not sure you did in the end. Your OIP screenshots still read "Create Seating Layout" at the top. Here's what the OIP looks like for a Seating Layout object. The command is in the Event Planning menu.

 

Screen Shot 2016-11-22 at 8.16.05 AM.png

 

Kevin

 

Edited by Kevin McAllister

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Hi Kevin,

 

You are right...so far I have only used the "Seating Layout" tool. Sorry for the confusion !

 

Regards, George

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This offset was to account for the chevron function, with out this in testing chairs would be pushed far outside the boundry box.  We are currently looking into better options for improveing  this functionality.

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2 hours ago, BrandonSPP said:

This offset was to account for the chevron function, with out this in testing chairs would be pushed far outside the boundry box.  We are currently looking into better options for improveing  this functionality.

I'm not sure that I understand. What is the "chevron" function?

Thanks,

Kevin

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10 hours ago, Kevin McAllister said:

I'm not sure that I understand. What is the "chevron" function?

Thanks,

Kevin

Chervron function is the Angle pane in the Create Seating Section dialog. There you can chevron your seating section object in different angles. Here is an example:

Capture.JPG

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7 hours ago, AsenValchev said:

Chervron function is the Angle pane in the Create Seating Section dialog. There you can chevron your seating section object in different angles.

 

Interesting. Thanks for the example. Here's my thoughts from a user perspective -

 

- Create Seating Section needs to respect the boundary and always fill it with the maximum number of seats. The command works by choosing the boundary, so to ignore it would be something I would bug submit as an end user. Also I'm always going to have to add the extra seats manually. Every producer I know will want to fit in as many audience members as is legally possible.

- Right now, neither command (Create Seating Layout or Create Seating Section) respects the boundary. Not respecting the boundary is the biggest complaint I've seen about the Create Seating Layout command on these forums. In their current form one overshoots and one undershoots.

- While I know some industries may use "chevron style" seating, personally its not something I've had much if any need for in my 20+ years of theatre and event work. I may not be the target audience for this tool however.

- In playing around with the Create Seating Section command I wondered whether it might be more powerful if the "focus" function were made more versatile. It seems like the focus defaults to 45 degree increments right now. Perhaps it could be based on a line instead of a point and be used to set the seating to any angle, essentially replacing the separate "angle" parameter. The part I like about using the focus point approach is that it respects the boundary. It is still missing seats but I suspect that's related to the limitation imposed by the chevron function. Here are two examples of what the tool currently creates - C is using the focus point to angle things to 45 degrees while D is using an angle of 27 degrees. C makes me much happier because its a more predictable result.

 

Screen Shot 2016-11-23 at 8.14.13 AM.png

 

I appreciate your consideration,

 

Kevin

 

 

 

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Kevin, we are currently investigating in almost all of the problems you have described in your last post. Even now I am working on an algorithm for filling the boundary with seats. And the purpose of the algorithm is to respect the boundary and fill as much seats as it could. Thank you for your feedback and if you have any further questions, feel free to ask.

 

P.S. I am the main developer of the Seating section command.

 

Asen

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Hi Asen.

Thanks for your message and your participation in the forums. I appreciate the followup. Its great to hear that the current version of Create Seating Section is being improved upon.

Cheers,

 

Kevin

 

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Dear all,


 

Playing with the "Seating Section" tool (VW2017/Event Design) I finally succeeded in creating a curved seating layout that is mirror-symmetric to a centerline, but I still have to deal with some strange and/or surprising decisions Vectorworks makes:

When creating a curved "Seating Section" based on a rectangle the whole resulting seating layout seems to be offset by 360mm up along the Y-axis. The blue snapping box that should symbolize the focus point is placed on the original center line of the rectangle, but that position is off-center to the seating and therefore is NOT representing its focus point. Moving that blue snapping box along the X-axis DOES move the focus point, so there seems to be some kind of link between the blue snapping box and the focus point anyway.

 

VW2017 seating section curved 20161129 1st step offset.png

 

Besides the fact that "Seating Section" is not respecting the boundary, the arrangement of the seat symbols still seems inexplicable to me. With the origin resp. the insertion point of the chosen seat symbol exactly mid-front of the seat and a seat-width of 540mm I would NOT expect Vectorworks to arrange the seats along an imaginary curve some 30mm in front of the seats.

 

 

VW2017 seating section curved 20161129.png

 

 

My settings in the "Arrangement" box:

 

VW2017 seating section curved 20161129 arrangement.png

 

 

A detail of the two offsets (360mm resp. 30mm):

 

 

VW2017 seating section curved 20161129 detail.png

 

 

Any help would be appreciated a lot !

Regards, George

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@TheatreGIn trying to sort through your layout it seems I discovered another bug. I needed your seat size which I tried to take from the dimensions under the seating symbol in your Arrangement image. Turns out its not giving the correct dimensions..... Below is my symbol and what it shows in my Arrangement box. Its flipping the Depth and Height its showing the user. I guess this error could possibly extend to the calculations as well. @AsenValchev@BrandonSPPcould one of you confirm this is a bug and file it? Another issue is that the default seat symbols aren't set up to be used with this command (Event Chair Stacking for example is set up backwards. I edited it in my example and had to mirror the position to correct it).

 

Kevin

 

Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 9.03.50 AM.pngScreen Shot 2016-11-29 at 9.04.16 AM.png

 

 

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Hi George,

 

1 hour ago, TheatreG said:

When creating a curved "Seating Section" based on a rectangle the whole resulting seating layout seems to be offset by 360mm up along the Y-axis. The blue snapping box that should symbolize the focus point is placed on the original center line of the rectangle, but that position is off-center to the seating and therefore is NOT representing its focus point. Moving that blue snapping box along the X-axis DOES move the focus point, so there seems to be some kind of link between the blue snapping box and the focus point anyway.

 

I think this is entirely related to the fact that the seating section is never drawn from the centre. Its always drawn from the left/right or clockwise/counterclockwise. Because of this the centre seat is not aligned with the focus point. The focus point also seems to relate more to the boundary, which also doesn't directly related to where the seats end up in the layout (e.g.. the seats aren't laid out centred in the boundary).

 

1 hour ago, TheatreG said:

Besides the fact that "Seating Section" is not respecting the boundary, the arrangement of the seat symbols still seems inexplicable to me. With the origin resp. the insertion point of the chosen seat symbol exactly mid-front of the seat and a seat-width of 540mm I would NOT expect Vectorworks to arrange the seats along an imaginary curve some 30mm in front of the seats.

 

I tried to recreate your layout using the details in your post but wasn't able to do so. There's some variable I don't have. Did you edit your boundary and change its size after initial creation? I started with an 8000 x 7000 boundary. As I narrow it, reducing the 7000, it gets closer to your layout. However what I get is not symmetrical  like yours.

 

I think the offset is related to the algorithm NV are using to create the layout. I've noticed that as I move the focus point along Y towards what would be the centre of the layout it becomes more symmetrical. But if I get to close to the perceived centre the whole layout starts to shift. Its a big annoying that the focus point isn't snap-able so I can get an accurate read on things. Where the seating lands also seems to be completely independent of the initial position of the boundary. It seems to use the boundary once, during the initial running of the command, and then it internalizes it and relates everything to some other locator its created. Its frustrating that when you Edit the Boundary its using a separate co-ordinate system instead of being edited in its original context in my drawing. How would you ever layout related seating sections accurately. Often the aisles are fixed and you're trying to layout seats between them.

 

Not sure if any of this helps you but hopefully NV will consider some of these issues in further development.

 

Kevin

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Hi Kevin,

 

You are absolutely right with the flipping debth and hight of the seating symbol in the Arrangement box. Good find!

 

Besides that the seating symbols themselves which came with the library seem to be a source of faults. The dimensions of the 3D component don't match with the dimensions of the 2D component, and the drawn parts of both components seem to be not 100% centered. I discovered this issues using the "Event Padded Theatre Seat" and also using the "Event Bleacher Seat".

 

After editing the "Event Padded Theatre Seat" and setting the insertion point to the front center of the seat I made another "Seating Section" layout to see if I can reproduce a symmetrical seating layout using this symbol. And yes, once again I got a symmetrical seating layout, but still with the same restrictions and "buggy" issues as mentioned before.

 

 

As I am not sure what kind of variable you could miss when trying to reproduce my simple design, so I will try to explain what I am doing step-by-step:

 

First I draw a rectangle with the dimension 7 by 8m with the centre of the rectangle exactly on the zero point of the X and Y axis. To be able to control the position of the boundary I copy-paste this rectangle to its original position.

 

With this rectangle selected I use the "Event Design" > "Create Seating Section" tool and pick the centre of the right-hand side of the rectangle as the Focus Point.

 

When the "Arrangment box" pops up I choose "curved" instead of "standard" on the upper left button, fill in the row spacing of 950mm, and set the "Distance measurement" to "Front Leg to Front Leg".

 

The resulting seating layout is centered, but again with an offset along the Y-axis. In this case the offset is 341mm instead of 360mm as before (maybe due to the use of a different symbol with different dimensions ?).

 

The last step is to move the whole seating layout down along the Y-axis (in this case by 341 mm) to compensate the offset. I have NOT edited the boundary at all.

 

Here are some screenshots of this layout and my settings:

 

VW2017 seating section curved 20161130.png

 

VW2017 seating section curved 20161130 Arrangement.png

 

Seat symbol 3D.png

 

 

I am happy with getting a centered layout, but I am still unhappy with some issues of the "Seating Section" tool:

 

1. The curved seating layout does NOT respect the boundary

2. The "Seat Spacing" settings seem to have have no effect on the seating layout. I would expect that "Seat Spacing" settings would do the same as "Absolute Seat Spacing" does in "Seating Layout". Besides the option to choose extra space between the seats IMHO also an option to choose LESS space would be useful to finetune a seating layout.

3. For unknown reasons the last row shows a gap in the middle

4. IMHO the "Focus Point" definetly should not create any offset at all and should always be on the centre line, especially in case of a curved seating layout.

 

Regards, George

 

Edited by TheatreG

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5 hours ago, TheatreG said:

 

After editing the "Event Padded Theatre Seat" and setting the insertion point to the front center of the seat I made another "Seating Section" layout to see if I can reproduce a symmetrical seating layout using this symbol. And yes, once again I got a symmetrical seating layout, but still with the same restrictions and "buggy" issues as mentioned before.

 

I am happy with getting a centered layout, but I am still unhappy with some issues of the "Seating Section" tool:

 

1. The curved seating layout does NOT respect the boundary

2. The "Seat Spacing" settings seem to have have no effect on the seating layout. I would expect that "Seat Spacing" settings would do the same as "Absolute Seat Spacing" does in "Seating Layout". Besides the option to choose extra space between the seats IMHO also an option to choose LESS space would be useful to finetune a seating layout.

3. For unknown reasons the last row shows a gap in the middle

4. IMHO the "Focus Point" definetly should not create any offset at all and should always be on the centre line, especially in case of a curved seating layout.

 

Regards, George

 

Hi George,

 

Thanks for all of the details. I managed to get a layout close to yours though interestingly the "Event Padded Theatre Seat" is a different size in my library. I think the variations we're seeing are directly related to how the command works with the symbol's bounding box. Some thoughts about your points -

 

  1. I completely agree that it should. It should also be aligned with the original boundary and not offset.
  2. I think the seat spacing in the curved layout is set by an angle the algorithm calculates, not by a measurement between seats. It varies on every row in my layout (see image. my measurements are to a locus at the centre of the seat symbol) and this is the way I've laid out curved layouts manually in the past (using Duplicate Array set to polar and choosing angles). A fixed spacing will work as you get further from the focus, but up close the front corners would always clash.
  3. The gaps are strange. Its almost like the depth of the seating front to back is bounded by the boundary object.
  4. I agree. The focus needs to relate to the boundary and its centreline. Perhaps there needs to be a left layout, right layout and centre layout.

I know there is ongoing development with this command so hopefully some of these concerns will be addressed.

 

Kevin

 

Screen Shot 2016-11-30 at 10.05.45 AM.png

 

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7 hours ago, TheatreG said:

1. The curved seating layout does NOT respect the boundary

2. The "Seat Spacing" settings seem to have have no effect on the seating layout. I would expect that "Seat Spacing" settings would do the same as "Absolute Seat Spacing" does in "Seating Layout". Besides the option to choose extra space between the seats IMHO also an option to choose LESS space would be useful to finetune a seating layout.

3. For unknown reasons the last row shows a gap in the middle

4. IMHO the "Focus Point" definetly should not create any offset at all and should always be on the centre line, especially in case of a curved seating layout.

 

We definitely appreciate the feedback. Just a few thoughts:

 

1. Curved seating should respect the boundary and this is something we are looking into. In the original implementation, we were worried that performing 4 checks on every seat would be too slow. Especially in very large seating sections that may contain 1000's of seats. Our solution to this was to use the center point of the seat instead, limiting the number of checks per seat to one. Unfortunately, while the center of the seats were guaranteed to be inside the bounding box, the legs of the chairs were not. We had considered putting in a default offset, but I'm not sure this made it into the release.

    Possibly the most important part of this point is that this bounding box offset can be controlled through the "Allowable Distance Past Boundary" field (which can be positive to push seats out, or negative to pull seats in). Try tweaking this value to get seats closer to/further from the edges of your seating section. Not ideal, but hopefully it will provide you guys with a workaround. We are investigating what would be required to remove this offset entirely and perform a real check on all four corners of the chair, but it may slow the tool down significantly (which I guess is better than never getting the seating section you want!).

 

2. "Seat Spacing" for curved seating, specifically, is a minimum spacing value, not an absolute value. In our original implementation, the spacing for curved seating was absolute. However, this caused the seating section to not align along the edges. This is mathematically impossible. If all seats are along an arc and they must be spaced exactly the same distance apart, you cannot guarantee they will align on an edge. To make matters worse, because each arc has a different radius, each row will align to each edge differently. This made it almost impossible to get a "pretty" seating section.

    So basically, in order to make the seating section look symmetrical, we HAD to treat this as a minimum value and not an absolute value. We could look into adding absolute value spacing to the curved seating, but if you guys saw what we did during development, you'd never want to use it :P It was pretty ugly... Much prettier when it aligns along those edges for you.

 

3. The reason the last row shows a gap in the middle is because of the check that occurs when placing a seat. In the current implementation, if the center of the seat is not in the bounding box, it simply isn't placed. In this case, almost all of the seats in the last row fit inside the bounding box, but the few in the middle didn't.

    There are two ways to address this. The most obvious solution is to reshape your bounding box, dragging the left edge a few inches, so these seats can now pass the check and fit inside the poly. The other option is to use the "Allowable Distance Past Boundary" that I specified above. The downside to this method is that it applies to all edges. The reshape will only add more seats on the edge you extended.

 

4. This is definitely appears to be a bug. We will look into getting a fix together to address the issue.

Edited by bbudzon
Clarification

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1 hour ago, bbudzon said:

 

We definitely appreciate the feedback. Just a few thoughts:

 

1. Curved seating should respect the boundary and this is something we are looking into. In the original implementation, we were worried that performing 4 checks on every seat would be too slow. Especially in very large seating sections that may contain 1000's of seats. Our solution to this was to use the center point of the seat instead, limiting the number of checks per seat to one. Unfortunately, while the center of the seats were guaranteed to be inside the bounding box, the legs of the chairs were not. We had considered putting in a default offset, but I'm not sure this made it into the release.

 

Thanks for sharing. Its fascinating to learn some of the behind the scenes thinking about how something like this is developed. It sounds like the process checks whether every single seat is within the boundary or not which is surprising to me. Given that the tool draws from one direction to the other I would have assumed it figures out how to place the first seat in each row, calculate the length of the row arc that falls in the boundary and then divides that by the seat spacing to approximate the number of seats.Then you would only need to check the last one or two seats against the boundary. If a section was symmetrical and started at centre, you'd only have to check one side.

 

(Regarding the notion of very large seating sections containing 1000's of seats, I think this ties into a bigger discussion about who this tool is intended for.)

 

1 hour ago, bbudzon said:

    Possibly the most important part of this point is that this bounding box offset can be controlled through the "Allowable Distance Past Boundary" field (which can be positive to push seats out, or negative to pull seats in). Try tweaking this value to get seats closer to/further from the edges of your seating section. Not ideal, but hopefully it will provide you guys with a workaround. We are investigating what would be required to remove this offset entirely and perform a real check on all four corners of the chair, but it may slow the tool down significantly (which I guess is better than never getting the seating section you want!).

 

Its valuable to know that "Allowable Distance Past Boundary"  can be both positive and negative.

 

1 hour ago, bbudzon said:

2. "Seat Spacing" for curved seating, specifically, is a minimum spacing value, not an absolute value. In our original implementation, the spacing for curved seating was absolute. However, this caused the seating section to not align along the edges. This is mathematically impossible. If all seats are along an arc and they must be spaced exactly the same distance apart, you cannot guarantee they will align on an edge. To make matters worse, because each arc has a different radius, each row will align to each edge differently. This made it almost impossible to get a "pretty" seating section.

    So basically, in order to make the seating section look symmetrical, we HAD to treat this as a minimum value and not an absolute value. We could look into adding absolute value spacing to the curved seating, but if you guys saw what we did during development, you'd never want to use it :P It was pretty ugly... Much prettier when it aligns along those edges for you.

 

This makes complete sense to me and is how I would manage a layout manually.

 

1 hour ago, bbudzon said:

3. The reason the last row shows a gap in the middle is because of the check that occurs when placing a seat. In the current implementation, if the center of the seat is not in the bounding box, it simply isn't placed. In this case, almost all of the seats in the last row fit inside the bounding box, but the few in the middle didn't.

    There are two ways to address this. The most obvious solution is to reshape your bounding box, dragging the left edge a few inches, so these seats can now pass the check and fit inside the poly. The other option is to use the "Allowable Distance Past Boundary" that I specified above. The downside to this method is that it applies to all edges. The reshape will only add more seats on the edge you extended.

Interesting. This makes sense and is a place where I would like to be able to manage what are essentially orphan seats. It would be more likely I would remove the entire row or change the boundary to curve on the back edge to fit them in if my aisle requirements allowed for it.

 

I appreciate all the information.

 

Kevin

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Kevin McAllister said:

Thanks for sharing. Its fascinating to learn some of the behind the scenes thinking about how something like this is developed. It sounds like the process checks whether every single seat is within the boundary or not which is surprising to me. Given that the tool draws from one direction to the other I would have assumed it figures out how to place the first seat in each row, calculate the length of the row arc that falls in the boundary and then divides that by the seat spacing to approximate the number of seats.Then you would only need to check the last one or two seats against the boundary. If a section was symmetrical and started at centre, you'd only have to check one side.

 

This would work _most_ of the time. We will have to tweak your seating section a little to meet the requirements of the point I'm trying to make, but it will show you potential problems in only checking the last seat.

 

Imagine a circle going through your last row. Now imagine that that circle _almost_ touches the edge of the bounding box but doesn't actually touch it. What we end up with is essentially one arc segment instead of two. Now whether we check the center point of the seat or all four corners, if we only checked the last one/two seats of that segment, you'd get those middle seats of the back row strutting out of your seating section and then you guys would wonder (as would I if I were you) why we aren't obeying the boundary. One potentially solution involves special casing arcs that are close to an edge so this doesn't happen, but this gets terribly complicated when you introduce holes/convex hulls (think donuts and U shapes, better yet think Swiss Chese lol).

 

There is definitely room for optimization of the checks for inside the boundary, but there are a lot of weird edge/corner cases that force us into choosing a fork in the road. Some people will be happy those seats are strutting out of the seating section because they didn't want two back rows. Others would be happy that it split the back row, because there truly isn't room for those seats on that particular arc (you can always custom place seats by clicking "Edit Seating").

I'm hoping that as we continue working on this and getting feedback from you guys, we will be able to improve the workflow to support all of the cases you guys need, hopefully mitigating some of those "damned if you do damned if you don't" type of bugs.

 

 

Quote

Interesting. This makes sense and is a place where I would like to be able to manage what are essentially orphan seats. It would be more likely I would remove the entire row or change the boundary to curve on the back edge to fit them in if my aisle requirements allowed for it.

 

You could absolutely curve that edge so your seats would fit. I would think this would be one of the better solutions. Perhaps the main point I wanted to make, however, was that you can control "orphaned" seats to some extent by using the "Minimum Number of Seats Per Row" limit value. In your example above, you could set minimum seats per row to 6 and the back row (which is probably actually two row segments) should be removed. Unfortunately, this variable is global to all row segments (in curved seating) and it would also remove the first row in your example (all rows with 5 seats or less will not be placed). This was mainly introduced for curved seating as a perfect square with a focus point in the center often ends up with 2 seats in every corner (or something like that).

 

 

Quote

(Regarding the notion of very large seating sections containing 1000's of seats, I think this ties into a bigger discussion about who this tool is intended for.)

 

Unfortunately for me, I don't pay much attention to who this tool is for (ok, that's not entirely true!). So, I apologize if accounting for 1000's of seats in a seating section is kind of silly. Figuring out what you guys need is more BrandonSPP's job :P I get to argue with Brandon about how every possible feature that can be implemented should be supported and he scales me back hahahahh So when I started on all of this I wanted to support S-shaped Swiss-Cheese-Holed Curved seating sections that have been chevroned 15deg and rotated in world view 90deg and are large enough to cover a WalMart parking lot ;) Oh and don't forget alternating row offsets! I want it to do it all, and all at once! But in all seriousness, that's where your guys' feedback comes into play too. If you guys aren't making seating sections that big, we can do things like beef up the algorithms so they are smarter, albeit a little slower.

 

 

Edited by bbudzon
Clarification

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On 11/30/2016 at 2:44 PM, bbudzon said:

This would work _most_ of the time. We will have to tweak your seating section a little to meet the requirements of the point I'm trying to make, but it will show you potential problems in only checking the last seat.

 

Imagine a circle going through your last row. Now imagine that that circle _almost_ touches the edge of the bounding box but doesn't actually touch it. What we end up with is essentially one arc segment instead of two. Now whether we check the center point of the seat or all four corners, if we only checked the last one/two seats of that segment, you'd get those middle seats of the back row strutting out of your seating section and then you guys would wonder (as would I if I were you) why we aren't obeying the boundary. One potentially solution involves special casing arcs that are close to an edge so this doesn't happen, but this gets terribly complicated when you introduce holes/convex hulls (think donuts and U shapes, better yet think Swiss Chese lol).

 

There is definitely room for optimization of the checks for inside the boundary, but there are a lot of weird edge/corner cases that force us into choosing a fork in the road. Some people will be happy those seats are strutting out of the seating section because they didn't want two back rows. Others would be happy that it split the back row, because there truly isn't room for those seats on that particular arc (you can always custom place seats by clicking "Edit Seating").

I'm hoping that as we continue working on this and getting feedback from you guys, we will be able to improve the workflow to support all of the cases you guys need, hopefully mitigating some of those "damned if you do damned if you don't" type of bugs.

 

This is super interesting. Thanks for sharing all the information. While the idea of having a one size fits is appealing I wonder if the tool is trying to account for too many things. Its sort of like when theatres are designed as multi-use spaces which is often the case. In the end they usually don't serve any of the uses very well at all.

 

On 11/30/2016 at 2:44 PM, bbudzon said:

 

You could absolutely curve that edge so your seats would fit. I would think this would be one of the better solutions. Perhaps the main point I wanted to make, however, was that you can control "orphaned" seats to some extent by using the "Minimum Number of Seats Per Row" limit value. In your example above, you could set minimum seats per row to 6 and the back row (which is probably actually two row segments) should be removed. Unfortunately, this variable is global to all row segments (in curved seating) and it would also remove the first row in your example (all rows with 5 seats or less will not be placed). This was mainly introduced for curved seating as a perfect square with a focus point in the center often ends up with 2 seats in every corner (or something like that).

 

 

Makes sense too. In this case though I would delete the orphan seats in the back row manually or change the boundary. When I think orphan rows, I tend to think of 3 or less. People usually attend shows in pairs at a minimum. The only place you'd have a single seat is for an usher and front rows with a limited number of seats can be a problem since often they are used for wheelchair seating  which can take out multiple seats.

 

On 11/30/2016 at 2:44 PM, bbudzon said:

Unfortunately for me, I don't pay much attention to who this tool is for (ok, that's not entirely true!). So, I apologize if accounting for 1000's of seats in a seating section is kind of silly. Figuring out what you guys need is more BrandonSPP's job :P I get to argue with Brandon about how every possible feature that can be implemented should be supported and he scales me back hahahahh So when I started on all of this I wanted to support S-shaped Swiss-Cheese-Holed Curved seating sections that have been chevroned 15deg and rotated in world view 90deg and are large enough to cover a WalMart parking lot ;) Oh and don't forget alternating row offsets! I want it to do it all, and all at once! But in all seriousness, that's where your guys' feedback comes into play too. If you guys aren't making seating sections that big, we can do things like beef up the algorithms so they are smarter, albeit a little slower.

 

Good to know! Sounds like the Create Super Seating Section command to me :-)

 

Kevin

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I'm using the student version, and I'm stuck with 2016 on my homework machine, but 2017 in the classroom.  My projects have been gearing toward setting up theatre seating as well as the truss\lighting and stage set.

I was having a problem getting the stagger to work properly.  It was always offsetting from the outside tables to the edge, and when I realized what was happening, I made a few adjustments.  The spacing between the tables is calculated edge to edge (specified by the distance in the original dialog), while the distance between seats is calculated from the center of one chair at a table to the corresponding center of a chair at the next nearest table, or from far leg at floor to top of chair back to the adjacent chair.  I was able to measure the distances, and they are the same.  The stagger works, but it's not perfect.  Remember that you'll get your original spacing along the outside of your framing area.  I put 5feet distance at the start, and there was 5 extra feet all the way around.

Here's where things get bushy.  I need to be able to expand one row either direction.  I went ahead and added a square 1.5 times the size of the row to one side and blended it with the original shape.  This put in another table but didn't make any adjustments to balance or center anything.  I repeated it for every row, and the adjustment is a bit random, but it will expand the number of tables.  The only recourse I had was to extend some rows left and right by .75 the distance of a table, and at least .5 the distance down (To the edge of the next table), which did adjust the positioning slightly, but at random, and in many cases extended the way I wanted.

Studying the whole interface further, I find several SECTION identifiers that might be of use.  Most tutorials focus on using a single seating section and then cutting holes in it to make aisles.  When you have multiple sections, you should be able to overlap them and combine the shapes the same way you cut holes.  This means you can set one or two rows, then combine them, copy\paste and combine them.  The seats *should combine their numbers, then select the whole object and number everything as you see fit.  I haven't tried adding so many sections together, but so far, I've tested adding shapes together to adjust the mapping.  Combining shapes of the mappings should work in a similar fashion.

Also, if you have several sections of seating, or rows or whatever, you are almost always better off separating them in your drawing.  You can then output their locations in different colors\styles for easier use by Concierge or Ushers.  I've tried this logic.  I ran it by a performing arts group, and they liked it.  The idea that early buys can get better seats, season ticket holders can get a great view, and VIPs or larger donors get a special seat was perfect for their purpose.

I hope some of this is helpful.

Edited by HalDavis

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On 11/30/2016 at 5:44 PM, bbudzon said:

Unfortunately for me, I don't pay much attention to who this tool is for (ok, that's not entirely true!). So, I apologize if accounting for 1000's of seats in a seating section is kind of silly. Figuring out what you guys need is more BrandonSPP's job :P I get to argue with Brandon about how every possible feature that can be implemented should be supported and he scales me back hahahahh So when I started on all of this I wanted to support S-shaped Swiss-Cheese-Holed Curved seating sections that have been chevroned 15deg and rotated in world view 90deg and are large enough to cover a WalMart parking lot ;) Oh and don't forget alternating row offsets! I want it to do it all, and all at once! But in all seriousness, that's where your guys' feedback comes into play too. If you guys aren't making seating sections that big, we can do things like beef up the algorithms so they are smarter, albeit a little slower.

 

 

I am one of those people who you are making this tool for! I work within Hotel and Exhibition spaces all the time, and since they usually start as big rectangles, there's no holes bared for what people do within those spaces!  O.o 

Having to layout a couple thousand seats is usual for me, and I would imagine anyone working in Vegas, Orlando, Chicago... and that's just i the USA. 

 

I'm glad to hear this tool is being improved, and I also appreciate the info from behind the scenes of your algorithms. 

 

Thank you for your work!!

 

Kevin Lawson

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