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Vectorworks 2016

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You did it. We did it.

It is my great pleasure to share with you all an unprecedented early look at some of the features that will be coming in Vectorworks 2016, nearly half a year ahead of its official release. Due to my current upload bandwidth limits (Hotel wifi, you understand.) I will start with a few snippets and answer any questions you may have regarding them.

Keep in mind, these are NOT the final launch videos you all are used to with voiceover and a bit of polish, this is a raw look at features still being refined and wrapped up by engineering. UI changes before the final release are very likely. Without further delay, the first of a few sneak peeks:

Point Cloud Import

It will be possible to import 3D scans of both the exteriors and interiors of existing rooms, buildings and objects that already exist in the real world:

Subdivision Tool

A completely new way to model organic, flowing 3D shapes with a hands-on UI:

Marionette (Visual Scripting!!)

Marionette, a brand new design tool for Vectorworks, is the first and only cross-platform graphical scripting tool available in the AEC industry, that allows easy and efficient creation of different design variations and intelligent parametric objects:

Energos Energy Analysis

Energos is an intelligent energy analysis module based on the Passivhaus calculation that’s built directly into Vectorworks software, allowing any architect to make critical building performance decisions based on real-time feedback from a building model with a minimum effort to define energy values:

Project Sharing

Vectorworks Project Sharing is a multi-user environment that streamlines project organization management capability, enabling design teams to concurrently work in the same Vectorworks file to document their designs without requiring expensive server software or hardware.

(This vid is a bit harder to follow, questions are welcome!)

Edited by JimW

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More information regarding Vectorworks 2016s OS compatibility:

http://kbase.vectorworks.net/questions/1321/Vectorworks+2016+%96+Operating+System+Compatibility+Announcement

The main points from the above article:

1) We will no longer support Windows XP.

2) We will no longer be supporting 32bit OSes.

3) We can no longer support OS X 10.8 and earlier.

Edited by JimW

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That's it for now. Please let me know anything you'd like clarified or any other questions you have, I'm sure there will be some due to the nature of these previews.

I am able to speak about these features specifically but no others for the time being, rules are rules. Official hardware System Requirements for Vectorworks 2016 are in the pipe to be released early as well, I'll follow up with that once they're ready.

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WOW! Thanks Jim & Dev Team! These are huge additions.

@Jim -

•Is the Subdivision Tool operating with NURBS? Polygon/Mesh? User choice?

• Several demos show structures/objects imposed on interpolated surfaces. In current implementation, Convert to Interpolated Surface fails with most (all?) trimmed NURBS surfaces. Does 2016 allow conversion of more complex surfaces?

@Kevin - Grasshopper arrived as a puppet!

Looks like some serious learning & retraining for me.

-B

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The subdivision is a parametric object that has its own editing tool , it contains a mesh. It can however be broken apart into nurbs or if no holes are added, be maintained as a manifold solid.

I do not know if changes to object conversion as it is bow will be in 2016.

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That looks reallllllyy good! Very exciting!

Subdiv. tool:

How things rotate in the subdivision tool is that how you can rotate all objects now? It seems to work how cinema4d works, more intuitive.

The roof in the subdivision tool movie, how does it get thickness?

Really curious how the holes are made in the cone-like stucture. By hand or scripted or ...?

The same for the wall. Im already thinking how i create drawings from every separate part, and what happens if the client ask to changes a curve a bit. Do i have to redraw everything or can i script/automate it?

Everthing can be snapped on?

Things can be part of auto-hybrid?

Questions questions questions.... :)

But it really looks great, VW is doing a good job the last releases. Hope there are allot of improvements on the architecturetools as well..... ;)

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Grilling the witness about Point cloud -

What scanner or what type of scanner was used in those demos?

Are there point cloud file types to request or to avoid?

Can Vectorworks identify and create surfaces from the point cloud? eg those walls or pipes in the demo - can VWX interpolate or interpret the arrangement of points to create a surface that characterize the plane of a wall or cylindrical shapes of the pipes?

Final few seconds of the demo show snapping a wall onto the cloud. Any comment on which points to pick for that operation?

Was that a scan of Jim W's personal workshop?

-B

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@jim

great work, guys :) really impressive.

i second benson's questions. and: what is the best practice to create walls from the referenced point cloud?

rob

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*Deep inhale*

-The control widget (im pretty sure its being called a widget) that you see in the Subdivision demo is exclusive for the moment to the Edit Subdivision tool. I immediately requested that it be added as a UI for normal 2D and 3D rotation, axial scaling and translation. Its AWESOME to use.

-I did not create the roof example, but I am fairly certain it was shelled to give it that thickness. However, the starting primitives for Subdivisions include both flat shapes and 3D solids, so it could have been started with a torus instead of a planar circle and Shell wouldn't have been needed. There are quite a few varied ways to do similar things with the tool.

-Pretty confident the holes were made with a surface array to make the hole objects, then a subtraction from the original, but I will ask.

-Every surface, edge and vertex can be snapped-to in a Subdivision.

-I haven't tried it with an Auto Hybrid yet, but good question, I'll abuse it and see what happens when I get back to the office.

-I will find out all the details of the scanner used to get that scan. I met the guy that did it but have totally forgotten the name.

-Current file formats for Point Cloud import are .LAS and .PTS though we have been experimenting in tech with .XYZ as well, it may be convertible into other scanning formats.

-You will not be able to convert point clouds into surfaces or anything to start with, but that is the eventual plan, to get the object smart enough that it can attempt to auto-identify walls, doorways, slabs and columns and attempt to recreate at least basic parametric objects automatically. I highly doubt that will be in 2016.

-You CAN snap to all of them, but we are working to make the release smart about which it favors to make wall tracing easier. Right now in 3D it gets too hairy to be accurate but in top/plan its very easy to trace out the outline of walls, since they appear in plan as much denser lines than things that dont go floor to ceiling.

-I WISH that was a workshop I was allowed to play in. Have you seen the Matrix? The control room? Thats my ideal work space.

-Currently you would have to use it as a reference, similarly to how PDFs of hand drawn scans are imported and used to generate plans from in most cases.

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Got excited about the subdivision tool....thought it was to help in road design, drainage, utilities, etc. Drat.

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All looks awesome! Well done for the theme for now.

The Marionette tools seems to be a visual script that creates some object, but is it still linked after it's created, like a 'real' parametric object, so you can change parameters? I'm pretty sure it's that what's been asked for...

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Not being an expert on these things but with Marionette is the code behind it (during the video) python?

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Great news on the subdivision tools before I get to exited I just hope my present machine will be up to the job and that I don't have to upgrade my hardware.....this is exactly the enchantments I need in my modelling....

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Dieter,

Marionette scripts are strung together in a method similar to Grasshopper, Dynamo, Generative Components, etc. However the difference is, Marionette objects (called "nodes") are just sitting in the design layer. They create geometry there also. The script is associated with the results it creates so that if you modify and re-run the script, the old results are deleted and new results (geometry) take its place.

BUT, you can also "wrap up" the script into a first-class parametric object (what we often call a "plug-in object".) By "first-class" I mean that the object can have parameters on the Object Info palette, and that it can (if you wish) be based on a path (poly, NURBS surface or other geometry).

The difference is, a Marionette parametric object doesn't require installation in the workspace, because it always "carries its script with it", so to speak. You can put it in a symbol definition if you like and reference it to any project or share with colleagues.

We are very excited about Marionette.

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apparently the direction of the software applications for creative professionals includes the visual diagram modelling (the uml-principle) before the real modelling takes place.

i encounter this for years already in the animation software (toon boom harmony and animate). in the beginning i was wondering if it wouldn't reduce the artistic input, but i was getting accustomed and pretty comfortable with it (it's called 'network view' in the toon boom software). i learn pretty easily, though.

i can imagine there are many architects around who will have troubles with this (technological) approach, claiming the affected freedom of artistic expression.

we'll see...

rob

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The Vectorworks Design Summit was a great show, met many great people, had some fun, learned a few things and got a first hand look at the crazy new tools for 2016. Subdivision tool by far got my heart pumping.

Again it was great meeting you Jim at the show.

For all those who didn't go...they plan to do this next year. GO!

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Dieter,

Marionette scripts are strung together in a method similar to Grasshopper, Dynamo, Generative Components, etc. However the difference is, Marionette objects (called "nodes") are just sitting in the design layer. They create geometry there also. The script is associated with the results it creates so that if you modify and re-run the script, the old results are deleted and new results (geometry) take its place.

BUT, you can also "wrap up" the script into a first-class parametric object (what we often call a "plug-in object".) By "first-class" I mean that the object can have parameters on the Object Info palette, and that it can (if you wish) be based on a path (poly, NURBS surface or other geometry).

The difference is, a Marionette parametric object doesn't require installation in the workspace, because it always "carries its script with it", so to speak. You can put it in a symbol definition if you like and reference it to any project or share with colleagues.

We are very excited about Marionette.

Thx for the answer. I can imagine several situations for the first way of working on a design layer, like I once had to made a script to calculate a random elevation, with this, it will be easier and it doesn't have to be a plug-in as it's kind of one-of-a-kind thing.

I like the idea of having it a plug-in object, as for some I now make, it will be so much easier to create, thinking of furniture ones etc... Also people with no programming skills wil be able to create simple plugins themself, which will be great. Still I presume that not all functionality will be available compared to coded scripts.

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I think the most powerful thing about visual scripting other than its ease of use is the ability to introduce randomness. That's what I liked when I tried Grasshopper in Rhino and is one of the things I love about Cinema 4D. Most good design is discovered through iterations and randomness + scripting is a fast way to explore those iterations and still meet a deadline.

Kevin

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