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Create Multicircuit Instrument Available from Resource Browser

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Hi all,

Back again with another situation I have been trying to solve all day. I am trying to create a custom multicircuit light (like a cyc light or similar array) that is available to use from the Resource Browser like those in the default Vectorworks libraries.

So far, my process is:

  • Create three separate polygons (left end, center, right end) that will be the left, middle, and right parts of the cyc light, respectively.
  • Individually convert these polygons into separate symbols. These symbols, again one each for the left, center, and right sections, are then available in the Resource Browser.
  • Edit the symbols in the Resource Browser to include the Light Info Record, making them each their own respective instrument.
  • Place one each of those symbols (or more of the center section if creating a longer array) and arrange them as they would appear in the final product.

From here, I hit a very persistant wall.

  • Using the Spotlight>Object Conversion>Convert to MultiCircuit command does appear to create the desired object; however, it does not make the instrument available in the Resource Browser. To create another, I have to duplicate the light for each instance.
  • Using Modify>Create Symbol command does make the "instrument" available in the Resource Browser; however, it loses all qualities of being an instrument and is placed as a regular object. I have to edit the 2D component in order to access the individual sections.
  • Furthermore, editing the newly-made symbol (of all of the sections together) and adding a Light Info Record makes VW treat it as a singular light, and I lose all access to the individual sections.

Again, my end goal is to create a MultiCircuit instrument that behaves like those in the Vectorworks libraries (See the Altman>Cyc Lights>GC-12 as an example). Any advice or strategy would be greatly appreciated. I am using Vectorworks 2013 SP3 and Lightwright 5.0.25.

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Once you make your final look from the three individual symbols,select all three and save that as a symbol (not a converted lighting object). You should then be able to insert that new symbol as a lighting object using the normal instrument insertion methods. De-select the newly inserted lighting symbol and then deal with the individual sections as you would with any lighting object.

Steve Ross

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Hi Steve,

I appreciate the response! However, when I do as you say (creating a symbol and then using the Instrument Insertion Tool) the fixture created is treated as only one light, instead of three different parts (aka with only one channel, dimmer, unit number instead of three). Also, since it is an instrument instead of an object, the normal Edit command brings up the instrument data instead of the symbol editor, so accessing the three compnents themselves is much more difficult.

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Hi Jason,

I am not sure what is happening in your case, but this is the way I make multi cir. symbols. I have attached a small file to hopefully show this process. The first (CYC light test symbol) is made up from 3 2d rectangles and the 2nd (MR-16 symbol) is made up from 3 2d/3d MR-16 strip light parts.

You can find all the parts in the recourse browser.

Hope this helps a bit,


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I think an really important thing to know about the MultiCircuit function is that it will not work if it thinks that some part of your instrument in not a light. I just played around with 6 S4 pars. If I drew in the bar that the pars were on or even a locus, VW treated the lights as one fixture. If I just had the pars, they were treated as a MultiCircuit.

Here is the file with the two different par configurations:

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Perhaps the problem I am having is caused by me still using VW 2013.

Steve, I tried the same route again, ensuring there was no extra geometry, but it still failed. I actually tried two different routes after I created the three separate symbols; in the first, I made the objects symbols, then converted them to instruments, then made the full cyc light symbol from those three; in the second, I made the objects symbols, edited the symbols and attached the Light Info Record, inserted a new set (ensuring that they were indeed instruments) and then created a symbol from that. However, in both cases, it was unsuccessful. When using the instrument insertion tool, the cyc light inserted as a single fixture. I even did a second round, converting the separate symbols to a multicircuit before making them one symbol, and came up with the same results.

Josh, I again ensured that there was no excess geometry. What are your steps for converting the individual symbols to a multicircuit, are they the same as Steve's?

And Kevin, I guess I could ask if the process Steve and Josh use is only possible in 2014, as I still have 2013. I have double and triple checked that there is no excess geometry.

I thank all of you for the advice and ideas. I'm hoping that this does end up being some stilly mistake on my part. I have attached a file with my process and to show the results I am getting.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

To make symbols you just need to use symbols. There is no Lighting Device involved in making the symbols.

A few things.

First I noticed your geometry was in the layer plane. it should be placed on the screen plane if you want 2D only geometry. This will mess things up later if you edit the symbol.

Take the 3 symbols with the LIR and make a symbol from them.

Now edit that new symbol and add the LIR.

Now use the instrument insertion tool to place the multicircuit symbol.


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