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Vectorworks 2016

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Guest Wes Gardner

Regarding local crashes with Project Sharing (and power failures, etc.) my understanding is that a temp file is created in the background that WILL reconnect/reestablish the flow of data such that info will not be lost.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Another user asked for more details on the company and hardware used to collect the scanning data for the Point Cloud feature directly, but the answer from engineers working on the feature directly I thought would be beneficial for any interested readers:

"We used Trimble MEP: http://mep.trimble.com/services/3d-laser-scanning-service


- The device they are using is the latest one offered by Trimble that scans a 360 degree Field of view in 3 minutes.

- Then using a DSLR camera they take 3 shots (for HDR) at 60 degree rotations with a fish-eye lens which will be merged into the point cloud to add color to the data. These snaps must be taken from the exact same point and height as the 3D capture device.

- They have other models of the device which take about 10 minutes per scan.

- The price of this particular model is ~65K and it uses time-of-flight technology.

- One battery charge was able to get 7 - 10 scans.

- The scans are captured at multiple locations and their sketch-up software will merge them into one dense point cloud.

- The device uses a class-1 laser. the laser has a range of 120 meters and can be extended.

- You can see the results of a scan on the screen of the device after the capture.

- They will provide the final merged color results in .las format within a week or so."

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I was not able to find what file formats they output. It seems as if they have some kind of host software that the scanner must output its proprietary data format directly to, then the file can be exported from there, but in a search of their website I was not able to find a list of export formats.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I'll try to get a specific answer, but as a general rule, for the time being Marionette will only be able to control what scripting could control before, and I believe that it will not include ALL of VectorScript/Python's capabilities at launch, just a majority, but eventually it will include it all.

My knowledge of scripting has remained meager up to this point as we do not offer support for any kind of scripting in Tech Support, but I am attempting to expand my knowledge now that it is being made so much more accessible to the user base.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Delayed-update file sharing utilities like iCloud, OneDrive, Google Drive or DropBox would not work with this, as they could cause you to get out of sync with the original because of their own sync schedules. We would need to directly implement APIs in order to support things like DropBox and Drive sharing, which may occur in the future.

Aww drats. I was almost excited there for a second. I'm an entertainment industry person and most of my collaboration is with people in different cities. Even if we're in the same city we're rarely in the same building at the same time until we load in the show. Multiple users working on the same file is one of our biggest headaches.

File sharing services have made life better, but most of my collaborators have adopted the "football" method.

Who's holding the football? That is only one person is actively using the file at one time so we don't have version collisions in the cloud services. Our biggest wish is to get away from this.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

From another thread on 2016, wanted it make sure the info got into the main one:

Soon my presence on the forums will drop off for couple of months as I dive into release work, then everyone gets to see everything that I've been drooling over.

Also, its very easy (or automatic, perhaps, i'm still learning it) to expose the variables withing the Marionette nodes as part of a plugin object directly in the OIP:


Just for reference, the object above was created and is entirely controlled by these nodes:


Just to clarify, this was ALL possible before, but required coding ability. Since the huge majority of designers are visual people, this method of object creation comes much more naturally to them.

The crossover of Coder/Architect or Coder/Landscape Designer is not an extremely common one, so the users that DID dive into scripting did extremely well and made themselves many powerful tools that they quite often shared with the rest of the community proudly, but Marionette will make this power more accessible to a much broader spectrum of personality types and professions.

Just noticed the picture of the Marionette guts was impossible to read, here's a zoomed in portion (click the links at the bottom of the post):



As you can see, its just made up of simple starting objects, rectangles, sweeps, textures, etc, the same as if you made it by hand. but it creates a smart object that behaves exactly as you want it to.

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Hi Jim,

I too am very interested in Marionette and the sub divs. I have a couple of questions:

1. Does this mean it will be possible to do Voroni stuff like this:

2.Will there be an option to have the scripting viewed in a separate window (like grasshopper) so you can interactively see the changes being made in real time time to the design, or will it be a case of open a pallet, make changes, press update, open pallet again, repeat, repeat?

Many thanks,

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

1) This looks to be using a node that specifically creates or manages voronoi figures, I do not believe such a component exists in our current node library or in Vectorscript/Python in Vectorworks currently, so Marionette would not change that.

2) No dual view yet, (it was one of the first things I wanted when I started editing with it, I'm with you there) you can either have the node network sit on the design layer then run it to generate/regenerate the object it creates, or you can bundle the node network inside a "Marionette Object" and have the values you want exposed in the OIP directly. Simply naming the Input nodes will make them visible on the Marionette Objects OIP, it was simple enough that I almost missed it, It'll need to be covered early in the training materials.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

There will be a workflow for doing so manually, but no there will not be a pushbutton conversion. The systems aren't that compatible and the user has to make intelligent choices when moving to the new system. Most likely the recommendation will be users keep the older systems for existing files and implement Project Sharing in newly started projects, but that's up to you.

The older referencing systems will all still exist, they aren't being replaced by Project Sharing, so older workflows will still persist for users that decide not to use Project Sharing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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:

Any news on thermal rendering?


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I have not heard anything about how these two components interact, or if one was rolled into the other. I've had my head down in video work for the last few weeks, I'll see if they're related and if I can get any additional details.

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Project Sharing...A bunch of questions....

I am wondering if this is the right name OR if I am off on the concept. It seems the usefulness is as much in class, resource, and set management as it is in team sharing. Right now, projects are split up among several files for a couple of reasons. 1 is project sharing to allow multiple users to work on the project at the same time. The others are to keep file size and complexity to a minimum.

While the referencing system is a pain - the biggest headaches we have are with resource and set management. We have to go to 6 different files to print a set. Sometimes it gets confusing on what sheet should be in what file. (Some of our schedules end up in the plans file because they are auto-generated which is confusing.)

How does this handle classes and resources? Do all checked out layers have the same master (global) access to a centralized project library? Is my whole set finally in one place? How do the schedules work? If I am editing the door schedule on a sheet layer, but somebody has the plan design layer checked out - does it still cross sync?

If my hopes and dreams are correct - it would almost make sense to use this system even if you are working by yourself.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Project Sharing create one project file, a VWXP, from a regular file or as soon as you start a new file and enable Project Sharing. At that point, you set permissions in the file, by default the creator starts as an Admin who can change anything and everything the same as if you had just created a regular VWX file on your own in a previous version, but you will be working in a VWXW, or a Working File. If you just "Save" then your changes will only be saved to the working file. If you "Save and Commit" then the changes will be saved to your working file as well as the main project.

When other users open that VWXP, they will also get a VWXW instead. (It seems like there are many copies of one file in my explanation, but that isnt how it actually behaves, dont worry, im just explaining the guts) Since they didn't create the file, they will have the default permissions, which are controlled by the file creator. These permissions are pretty granular and go all the way from the lowly Read Only all the way up to full Admin.

You can create custom permission sets and organize your people any way you like, we didn't want to force pre-made roles on your workflow.

Users can then check out Layers (if the Admin has allowed them to) and leave a note that is visible to all participants in the project explaining what they're doing and why they have it checked out.

If any user Saves and Commits, those changes will be pushed to the project and if any other users then Save and Commit, they will push their changes to the project as well as get any updates that have happened to the main file since the last time they performed a commit.

For scheduling, worksheets in the file will update with whatever the last Committed changes were to that file, the Admin (and any other role you give that permission to) can see what layers were checked out and when things were last committed, so they will be able to tell if their data is going to be up to date or not.

Class and Resource management is also controlled by permissions, you could let everyone do whatever they wanted or scale the control all the way back down to ONLY the Admin being able to modify them, the control is pretty granular.

While someone has a layer checked out, no one else can modify anything on that layer until it is released. However, you have a full log of who checked what out and when, even WHY as long as they left a commend explaining so, which they should:


Theres more to it than that, and my education on the feature has been mainly focused on functionality rather than establishing standard user workflows, but there will be a lot of additional material supplied to users on how to work with it at launch as well.

I hope I was able to answer some of your questions, I probably should have had coffee first...

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