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Dave Donley

Fast Interactive 3D Rendering in 2014 and the VGM

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I'll be waiting to get my own hands on it before believing how big these improvement really are. Architosh is nice and all but they're not in the business of critique.

Mind you, if it's right, it's exactly what we've been asking for on the OpenGL front.

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Mr. Frausto-Robledo hit the nail on the head with the things that have been done for rendering in Vectorworks 2014, when reading this article I thought this guy really "gets it". The new OpenGL and VGM implementations send a message about VW engineering, our capabilities, and future direction.

Indeed OpenGL rendering was completely re-written for this release, but we did not stop there. In Vectorworks 2014 you have not just fast viewing operations, but a sophisticated 3D shaded modeling environment. One thing that I realized while working on this was that VW already had a lot of 3D capabilities like 3D snapping and 3D smart cursor things, but that these are not evident when seen in wireframe as much.

The line about fast interactive light aiming and shadows is correct as well - OpenGL performance in 2014 is unlike any previous release.

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If I'd ever seen anything critical of VW on Architosh I'd be more inclined to take it at face value. He's just reporting what NV have told him right?

Interesting none the less. I've just learnt not to get excited about VW improvements until I've tried them myself!

The new OpenGL and VGM implementations send a message about VW engineering, our capabilities, and future direction.

This is good to hear. It better be good. ;)

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Christiann,

The 2014 Modeling environment, what with the Clip Cube, Perspective View, New X-Ray Select in 2d and 3d and now the OpenGL environment speed the user can create 3d content very Quickly! All this along with the Design layer visibility control allows users to effectively work on only that with which they intend to impact.

Having had the opportunity to use the software can attest to the significance of the improvements. If you are a user that is doing any 3d in Vectorworks this is a must have upgrade.

Regards,

Stan

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Christiaan,

Upgrades for our project types have worked well, but we attempt to keep all project files only a version or two back. 2014 is much better than 2013 when upgrading.

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Is the default for 3D editing now a perspective view? Or is it still in what Cinema 4D would call Parallel view. Do these improvements of a constant rendered view carry across to other fixed views (ie. Front, Right, Left etc.)?

Kevin

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The default is still the same as in the previous versions. The document starts in Top/Plan. If you switch to Right Iso for example the initial 3D view is still wireframe.

The layer still sets the render mode, so if you set your design layer to OpenGL then the front etc. views will show that way. Only when switching to Top/Plan does the render mode change away from OpenGL.

That said, OpenGL once invoked is persistent for the lifetime of the session/document. If you switch to Top/Plan to do some things then back to OpenGL all the unchanged 3D geometry is still available. I.e. you do not see the "Geometry" progress bar every time you make a change in 3D.

The OpenGL model is also used for RW and Hidden Line. So if you use the Flyover or Walkthrough tools in RW mode you will see OpenGL instantly instead of wireframe. This helps with light aiming and shadows, OpenGL and RW co-exist in the design layer nicely. In Hidden Line you can do a flyover or walkthrough and see an interactive hidden line rendering for these operations, due to the new implementation.

The 2014 fast interactive display/VGM feature provides high performance, quick persistent 3D modeling changes, integrated 3D graphics for tools (tool graphics don't look like a 2D overlay on the 3D model anymore), and surface-based picking and snapping instead of edge-based like previous versions. If you do any 3D modeling in VW you will enjoy this feature very much IMO.

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Hi Dave, would you say the VGM is Accelerated by GPU or CPU or code optimization or a combination of these.

Eg; If it benefits from GPU's would an NVidia SLI setup be of use for our future hardware upgrades?

Edited by Fritsch

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It's reassuring to see NV developing its own core technologies; ensuring they're not reliant on others to innovate.

My sentiments exactly, let's hope this in its turn at least means substantial improvements in stability/compatibility in the latest release.

I think mainly:

- no more choppy zooming.

- no more render lags/ half empty screens etc. in panning, rotating, orbiting etc.

- stability in dwg import....

Edited by Vincent C

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If you switch to Top/Plan to do some things then back to OpenGL all the unchanged 3D geometry is still available. I.e. you do not see the "Geometry" progress bar every time you make a change in 3D.

So the 3D objects are just being cached then? Let's hope memory usage is done right then and that very large 3D models can be handled...

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So the 3D objects are just being cached then? Let's hope memory usage is done right then and that very large 3D models can be handled...

In testing I threw massively complex 3D models at it (the file sizes ranged from 300MB to 2.5GB for the heavy testing) and it was still able to handle them without screeching to a halt.

The speed seemed to only be limited by the graphics hardware of the machine I was testing on, no longer would I hit Vectorworks' ~2.5GB memory limit and then see a crash.

There is a pause the very first time you render in openGL in a particular file, but after this period where the geometry is cached, switching between wireframe/opengl took only a heartbeat and the more of the model I had already pointed the camera at, the faster I was able to move around. The testing was mostly with the walkthrough tool in a perspective mode to put on as much pressure as possible on the OpenGL rendering.

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Hello Fritsch:

With not-old sub-$200 video cards you should get acceptable performance without having to link two cards together with SLI. That said there might be frame rate improvements from linking two cards together, assuming the video card was the bottleneck.

The increased performance comes from optimizations all along the rendering process, including on the video card. VW 2014 is smart about what data it gives to the video card and how the data is organized.

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One needs to remember that smooth, fast, fluid and stable rendering of hidden line and openGL graphics has been the norm for a few years now with some of the other mainstream CAD packages.

Good to hear the graphics deficiency (bug) has been addressed in any case.

Now waiting to see what the real features are in 2014.

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Hello Kizza:

So is the new OpenGL modeling feature going to help you decide to upgrade to 2014? If your .sig is correct, why are you still using 2012?

IMHO the new 3D shaded modeling environment is a huge feature of 2014, I do not agree with you that it is not a real feature. I am biased of course because it has consumed my and other engineers' lives for the past year of development. Sorry if you do not feel it is worthwhile.

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The new OpenGL and VGM implementations send a message about VW engineering, our capabilities, and future direction.

This is good to hear. It better be good. ;)

It's good! :)

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I want to be positive about it, but I'm a bit confused. Yes, OpenGL is definitely faster in the editor window. But I really want to be able to choose and work in a render mode without having to invoke it again each time I switch to Top/Plan and then back to a 3D view again (i.e.. the editor window default is OpenGL for any view except Top/Plan). Am I missing something or really the rendering engine has changed but the editor workflow hasn't?

Kevin

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Just downloaded 2014 and I have to report. "Out of memory" on my first test file built in 2013. I have a Mac Pro with 32 Megs of ram. I am not out of memory. I will test the file for bad objects and retest but I will not be switching my work over to the new software.

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I really want to be able to choose and work in a render mode without having to invoke it again each time I switch to Top/Plan and then back to a 3D view again (i.e.. the editor window default is OpenGL for any view except Top/Plan). Am I missing something or really the rendering engine has changed but the editor workflow hasn't?

I don't understand why they haven't implemented this. It's been asked for on this forum without contention. We asked for it on needleandmortar.com and I asked for it in person when I met with the team. Good default settings continue to be a real problem at NV.

That said, OpenGL once invoked is persistent for the lifetime of the session/document. If you switch to Top/Plan to do some things then back to OpenGL all the unchanged 3D geometry is still available.

Dave, it doesn't even do this. When I switch to a 3D view, invoke OpenGL, then go back to Top/Plan, then back to 3D view I'm back to wireframe again.

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