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PVA - Jim

Vectorworks 2016

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I first want to commend the vectorworks team for some amazing stuff in this release. Lots of new stuff that I couldn't even imagine.

But:

I know everyone is going around saying its missing this and its missing that and I know its not your fault and that you can't answer this any better then you've answered everyone else:

For the last decade I've been requesting and waiting update after update for that magical day where we get can some basic functionality in texture mapping.

We have all these new fancy ways of modelling and all these cool new effects (which I love by the way) but now lets texture them. Clearly when making your marketing material someone realized holy cow, we can't make a texture look good on these models unless its just a solid color. All I'm asking for is independent x y z scaling found in even the most basic decades old rendering programs. How to this day vectorworks management believes that only having symmetrical scaling on one axis is not archaic is beyond mind boggling to me.

Its just not this one feature. To see development in niche things such as point cloud when basic functionality remains in the stone age is very frustrating. As the saying goes, learn to walk before you run.

I'm at my wits end requesting these basics and I promised myself if I didn't see improvements in at least one of them in v2016, I would start looking at other alternatives. It just appears VW and me are not going in the same direction and after over 20 years, its time for us to go our separate ways. I truly appreciate you running these boards and I thought that I at least owed you my thoughts.

True, a lot of the texture specific feature requests have not yet been implemented. Many people are not concerned with this, but others (myself included) want to see greater control. Many users currently use the Vectorworks/C4D hybrid workflow because of exactly the issues you describe, which certainly isn't inexpensive to maintain and ideally, we would want everything all in one package. It's sort of our thing.

I'm sorry to see you go, but good luck! I hope we advance enough to win you back one day.

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Hi

Looks like a lot of nice new features, but got to agree with Altivec, it would be preferable, rather than focussing on new niche tools, a focus is made on fixing and or adding basic functionality that has been missing for some time. Others can probably list a lot of items, but for us architects, why do we still wait for sloping walls to be added? and the number of times people talk about the stair tool...then there's 3D hatching - when adding hatching to walls & roofs, there is no option to individually specify the start point for the hatch on each surface. This basically means we often can't use that feature.

Thanks

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when adding hatching to walls & roofs, there is no option to individually specify the start point for the hatch on each surface. This basically means we often can't use that feature.

And that's my MAIN problem with a lot of features, they are cool, but they always mis some stuff that make them not usable... Like those wall things that can't go at a corner.....

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Thanks for the reply Jim, Unfortunately you didn’t get rid of me yet, I am sure its going to be a long process to find and learn new software. Who knows, maybe this is the best it gets and you’re stuck with me. LOL

The response that you gave me “many people are not concerned with this” is exactly what I presume the person calling the shots does think and thats why I am banging my head against the wall.

I’m sure Vectorworks is different things to different people so its very easy to hide behind that excuse. But, I believe I am a prototypical user for the modules I use which are Architect and Renderworks. I do 2D working drawings and 3d presentations for clients.

So for your comment to stick, it all comes down to the question, what is the purpose of this Renderworks thing that I am paying for? Maybe its me that doesn’t understand this product. I believe the sole purpose of it is to create nice presentations, is it not? I also thought Renderworks was C4D’s little brother in terms that they are technically both used to make presenting your work nicer. I’ve tried the dedicated rendering export/import game for over a decade and this time eating process just dose not work with my workflow. This is why I went the Renderworks route instead of going with C4d. I understand I’m giving up on some render quality and features for the sake of production speed.

So the question comes back to me, Am I asking too much from Renderworks. To answer that, lets strip this right down to the basics. Isn’t the principal objective of a rendering program to wrap textures around 3d objects? If so, how can it be me that is asking too much. If I were asking for caustics, I could understand a response of, You can get that in C4d, but I’m not, I am asking for the basics? How can the basic principal of texture mapping be so flawed and ignored for so long. To illustrate my point, I was going to try and recreate that red chair you guys have in your marketing material but I didn’t have to go too far in to show what happens. I applied a patterned fabric texture to the object and the image below is what I get and there is no option of controlling anything.

This is what you guys deem non concerning acceptable results for the people that are paying good money for a so called rendering package add on. You are telling me that these users are not concerned with having to do everyday work arounds to disguise the textures that cover 99% of their scene like I have to do. They are not concerned with the ability to scale textures independently in x y z directions because they enjoy going into photoshop to re-stretch images like I do. Instead, these people are more concerned with getting that 001% of extra realism with caustics, chromatic aberration, bloom effects, etc… Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these effects too, but at this point, its the equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig. All the cool effects in the world are not going to hide that ugly texture job I just showed you.

How about spending some time on the animation tools. PRESENTATION in one form or another is a core foundation of this software that almost everyone does. The reason you don’t hear complaints about the current animation tools is that its beyond unusable so nobody uses it. Instead of using resources on Point Cloud which I’m sure the two people that will use it will be ecstatic about don’t you think enabling a new method of PRESENTATION such as functional animation would be used and appreciated by many more users.

Anyways, my point of all of this is not to bash the software because most of the program is exceptional. I’ve used this software for decades and I’m very passionate about it. I am hoping that you can pass my message on and that a light in a decision makers head will finally come on, and they will say. I’ve got an idea. Why don’t we fix some of these important basic issues.

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Bummer. I just posted a little piece echoing Altivecs sentiments and it didn't get posted. Oh well. Not going to retype that out.

In short I was saying perhaps the next release could just focus on some of those basic, core functions we all want, rather than the glitz and the glam. Make the stuff already there, better.

That texture result by the way Altivec is indeed awful. We want people to focus on the "Chair" not the weird texuring that is not at all acceptable.

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Perhaps (following Altivec's post) that the next release a year from now should just deal with the everyday stuff that many have been posting on here on the forums.

There is cool stuff in this latest release, and it will help many with their grand creations, but there is stuff like Altivec is getting at that is far more basic and needed to make all that cool stuff worth it. Like it has been stated, there are features in other software that has been there for some time and it is possible to get them.

A part of me thinks I shouldn't be so negative just after getting the latest release. Being thankful is a big part of my life. But this is also a forum for pushing boundaries, sharing ideas, advancing our work and getting that work done. I don't know if other software out there has got it as good as we do (Forum wise) with Vectorworks. Forget the bling, bling and make the core rock solid.

Back to work.

Cheers

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Altivec: Sorry, I was going by this line:

It just appears VW and me are not going in the same direction and after over 20 years, its time for us to go our separate ways. I truly appreciate you running these boards and I thought that I at least owed you my thoughts.

I don't WANT you gone, I just took that as goodbye.

It isnt that consideration isnt given, but we have to take usage of the software into consideration as well. For instance, the "intention" of Renderworks has always been to provide a built-in solution for renderwing within the drafting program itself, something that required multiple packages all over the place for a long time. Our goal is to be able to do many things fairly well, and a lot of the time, that comes at the price of not being able to do everything as well as everyone else who are normally focused on one or two aspects of design.

But even here on the forums, this is not representative of our entire user base. We have huge numbers of users in Japan, China and various other countries that do not visit these forums because of the language barrier and they make requests directly as well through other means. We have users who never render in 3D ever. We have users like you that are focused on excellent realistic renderings and then others recently who posted about the Stair tool in particular being the area that they wanted the most focus on.

If we didn't implement a specific feature, it doesn't mean we saw the request and threw it away. Any request is considered and judged and held against the risk/reward of other features of varying complexities to implement and all of that is then compared to the resources we have available. There is no simple answer to "Why is the thing I asked for not in the software yet?" or I would absolutely give it to you.

I can answer How, and SOMETIMES When if its already on the map. Most of my job is explaining How a feature works/workflow should be done, but the Why of development is out of my range.

I wish you could see the internal discussions here of what features are going to make it in and what aren't. There are dozens (approaching now, hundreds, lots of hiring recently) of extremely passionate people here that push for advancements in every direction. No matter which we choose, some people will be extremely happy and some will be left feeling ignored. I hate that you and others here are in the feeling ignored camp, but please know that you are never forgotten and that you have champions you will probably never meet, due to the nature of working at any large company.

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I would agree that the natural progression of the subdivision tool is to allow it to be uv unwrapped so it can be textured properly. As it stands all the modelling work is wasted unless you want a single solid colour applied.

I appreciate you can't have everything though.

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It is my sincere hope that with the advent of the way more organic types of shapes that you can now create without spending hours on NURBS editing, that more attention can be given to texturing such surface, which is where Renderworks hurts the most for me at the moment. Now that creating smooth flowing shapes is easier, more users may rally around wanting Renderworks to be able to texture them.

It IS possible to map per surface at least in some way, as we do it in the background for OBJ and SKP import that includes textures. You'll notice that one of the mapping options for those is "Imported" which maintains surface-specific mappings of textures for each surface or 3D polygon that is imported. I want to bring that control directly to the user for geometry that they created, rather than making them round trip it into another package that can already do it.

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I asked a while back to expose the uv map for imported and hopefully it can be done sometime in the future.

For now the best/cheapest workflow on the mac is to round-trip to SketchUp (in other words free).

Here is an image of a simple pillow created in VW and the textured and placed back into VW. The only issue was the collada export which left a hole in the mesh which I had to fix in Sketchup.

Edited by barkest

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Thanks for understanding everyone. There is a balance required for posting on boards like these of making the tone serious enough to show your frustration yet not come down as whiney or self righteous. Its hard to know how people will take your post. Like I said I love this software and I am not angry. I’m more so frustrated because the one thing I need never gets fixed and I’m being forced to leave the software I love.

Jim, I do have some programming background so I completely understand that the process of choosing what to do next is very complex. its impossible to make everyone happy and I know sometimes what looks simple to users affects a huge code base.

I will even go a step further than you and say most people that use Vectorworks don’t do any rendering at all. My problem with this is that you guys decided that Renderworks is a stand alone module. If it were included in fundamentals, I would completely understand that if the majority isn’t using a function then don’t make it a priority. But because Renderworks is a stand alone PAID add on, it should be treated as its own entity. I would think that close to 100% of the people that use renderworks are using it to render. So us people that are paying for it, don’t really care that jane in japan doesn’t own it. We should be treated as the crowd that wants to do rendering and that you are charging us separately for this service.

Thanks guys for the tips of exporting/importing in to SketchUp. I never thought of that as a work around and will try it out. But that right there is what’s sad about this and proves my point… People that paid for a professional rendering module need to export their objects into a free noob program to do basic texturing. How can that not be embarrassing to whoever heads the renderworks (not vectorworks) department. This is the equivalent of not having a line tool in fundamentals.

If this were the first year I mentioned this, I wouldn’t be as defeated as I am but every year I wait at upgrade time with anticipation that this is the year they clearly understood what a big deal this is. Only to be left with my yearly yell of, ARE YOU KIDDING ME! This is why I say we are going in different directions. If year after year, they can not see how big of a flaw this is to the RENDERWORKS module, then we don’t see eye to eye and its me that must move on. I need to upgrade to something like SketchUP. (just kidding, but in a way not really)

Anyways. thanks for putting up with my rant and counselling me. I feel a lot better now that I got that off my chest. I will go back and plug away playing with the awesome new stuff. (Oh BTW. although VW15 was not too bad on stability, this one has so far been rock solid, not one crash yet)

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Thanks guys for the tips of exporting/importing in to SketchUp. I never thought of that as a work around and will try it out. But that right there is what’s sad about this and proves my point… People that paid for a professional rendering module need to export their objects into a free noob program to do basic texturing. How can that not be embarrassing to whoever heads the renderworks (not vectorworks) department. This is the equivalent of not having a line tool in fundamentals.

My sentiments exactly. We have never been more in agreement on a topic.

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This is my second VW Update,

so I'm not disappointed, because I did not expect too much.

I'm not happy with 2016 though.

This is again a feature/effect driven update.

To be honest I could live well without ANY of the 2016 features.

Although, a little part of those I welcome.

But the most important problematic areas and weaknesses of VW's

existing tools, that I criticize since the 2014 version,

weren't even touched in the current update.

That problems exist over years doesn't give me much hope that it will

get better in the near future.

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But the most important problematic areas and weaknesses of VW's

existing tools, that I criticize since the 2014 version,

weren't even touched in the current update.

That problems exist over years doesn't give me much hope that it will

get better in the near future.

All we can do is keep telling them what features we need to get fixed, otherwise it will never happen.

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A bit of genuine dismay about the new 2016 features so far here and that some basic drafting tools need properly sorting out. How about if we agree a list of maybe 10 for VW to look at as a matter of priority, I'm referring principally to VW Architect as that is what Minicad was derived for it seems to me so we need it to be true to it's origins. My beef is the stair tool and the folding door tool, also the roof tool. Perhaps between us we can agree a list and put it to VW??

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That problems exist over years doesn't give me much hope that it will

get better in the near future.

We got 3D hatches after about 10 years of bitching :grin:

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I agree with Altivec.

I would suggest NemV not spread themselves so thin. Even a huge corporation like Autodesk thinks smart. By this I mean, Revit can also do some presentation work but you don't see Autodesk directing Revit at visualizers. They would rather lead visualizers to 3DS Max because they know 3DS Max is the best tool (in their arsenal) for architectural 3D presentations. They would rather provide a solid connection between Revit and Max. Therefore the Revit team can concentrate on BIM and the 3DS Max team can concentrate on what they do best.

Instead of wasting resources, NemV should stop developing Renderworks, integrate it into architect and make use of what's available to them. Connect the model to Cinema 4D and release ALL control to C4D. C4D is made for presentations and animations so why not take advantage of that? NemV is just doubling up on work.

Maybe if NemV, starts to think smarter, they can be more productive and we the user don't have to wait 10 years for important features. Also, new features won't be half baked eg. Project Sharing. Vw's project sharing will not cut the mustard. Multiple people need to work on any part of the project at the same time even if it means in the same area and same level simultaneously. Instead of doubling up on work (renderworks/c4d) new and old features need to be fully thought through.

Instead of adding new half baked features, there is a ton of work to do on existing commands/tools like the stair tool for example. It needs to be researched on how it's constructed from country to country, what components make up the stair-not only tread and riser but handrails, supports, profiles, etc. 2D outputand user control.

I would say stop being a Jack of all trades, it's time to choose 1.

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I agree with Jershaun as I stated something similar above in this thread.

"Perhaps (following Altivec's post) that the next release a year from now should just deal with the everyday stuff that many have been posting on here on the forums.

There is cool stuff in this latest release, and it will help many with their grand creations, but there is stuff like Altivec is getting at that is far more basic and needed to make all that cool stuff worth it. Like it has been stated, there are features in other software that has been there for some time and it is possible to get them."

Good things come to those who wait, but it seems many have been waiting for some time. Guess we need to keep on pressing.

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I like Cadplan / Andrew's idea. VW should let the users directly decide the next 10 significant upgrades/improvements.

First through a nomination process and then through a vote.

My first nomination is for the ability to see and manipulate the 3d model in at least two viewport views simultaneously.

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Instead of wasting resources, NemV should stop developing Renderworks, integrate it into architect and make use of what's available to them. Connect the model to Cinema 4D and release ALL control to C4D. C4D is made for presentations and animations so why not take advantage of that? NemV is just doubling up on work.

I strongly agree on that.

I do a lot of visualization and therefore use professional tools like Modo and Cinema.

The only reason I bought RW was that is so deep into VW that many important

VW functions do not work without it. F.e. FBX export, DXF Export of Wall Components ....

It isn't that useless to be able to render directly from CAD though.

(If you could get your images out)

But unfortunately the "Send to C4D" is completely broken since 2014 and does

not allow you to simply do all render settings in C4D and refresh your geometry

because it overwrites all work done in C4D.

Plus, Materials used multiple by Classes, are exported multiple times.

How could you control them in C4D

(beside that, as a one time export, it works quite good, with Cinema only)

But same as the way FBX exports good geometry, all your Class/Layer Order

gets lost and the each single object separate export doesn't work well in 3D Apps.

DXF keeps Class/Layer structure but geometry is bad. Vertex points aren't welded

and you can't weld them later by object when objects are touching.

And the very important Extrudes still have a flipped top face.

As these are used in Tools like Stairs, Windows, Doors and Walls, all these aren't

usable.

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I'm hoping that with the current proposed forum upgrade, which will allow a more integrated likes/voting system for posts, that it will be much easier to extract crowd intent in the future than it is currently. Right now we just use the "+1" system in support of posts and as a way to bump useful wishlist/bug threads, but there isn't any good way of quickly at a glance extracting whatever the most +ed or "Liked" posts are.

It might seem like a small change, but anything that allows more organization and intelligent views of user feedback, desire and intention would benefit feature planning.

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In addition to the proposed 'likes' and voting on posts, the ability to create polls would also be a welcome addition to the new forums. Polls are possible in the current forum (see the FAQ) but it looks like they've been disabled.

One other thing that Vectorworks, Inc could do to help address the annual hue-and-cry that 'Features X-Y-Z were not addressed' would be to email a simple survey to every registered Vectorworks license holder asking:

"What are your Top Five wish-list items / features / improvements for future releases of Vectorworks ?"

  • Put the top two responses into the "pipeline" with a higher priority intending that they will be included in the next version.
  • Email this survey every year right after releasing a new version.

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Polls will be back, currently I think only admins/mods can make them but that shouldn't be the case once we get things cleaned up and upgraded.

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Jim:

Man I thought I was bad, but now I feel completely vindicated. I suppose bling sells, functional software upgrades to basic tools to make the program work better, not so much. Oh yeah and then there's that whole stability thing....

DEATH TO THE STAIR TOOL!

-J

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