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Trouble with rendering...is it a bug or just me?


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I'm having a little trouble with rendering. My Vectorworks 2016 is up to date. This problem has been happening before but now it is getting on my nerves! I'm not sure if it's a bug or I'm doing something wrong.

So, I would import an image to a rectangle that I would place on a wall to act as a backdrop. I would then put objects, in this case, glass shelving in front of the backdrop. Everything is good and gravy until I do a final quality render, and for some reason the glass texture (in this case the default Glass Frosted RT) would not show up on top of the backdrop. I made sure the backdrop is in the BACK ("Send Object To Back"), and yet it still appears to be ON TOP of the glass texture.

I hope this made sense. Thank you in advance for any help!

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Yeah I made sure it was imported properly, but still having an issue... Here I uploaded a couple images to give a better idea on what I'm seeing.

This is the view in OpenGL


This is halfway through a Final Quality rendering


And this is after rendering is done


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Ahh gotcha misunderstood the question. What are the parameters you have for the glass texture? The default glass and transparency settings are a bit too clear, you may want to darken absorption color and/or increase refraction. Also, make sure you are adding lighting to the scene, glass in Renderworks won't look proper without something other than the default lighting. Without shadows glass renders strangely.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Actually, with this situation classes and layers wouldn't be good enough. It kind of needs some sort of intelligent per-line control of style, or a manually selectable kind of annotation that let you toggle the style of each line in the viewport separate from the actual geometry.

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Added a point light and boosted refraction/set a dark absorption color, and something funky is still going on. It seem like right before the render is done it looks great (other than the backdrop skewing a bit), but once the render is done the glass is gone. And even the shadows don't appear on the image.

Right before render completion




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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

There was still a 2D rectangle with an image fill for the backdrop, thats what was causing the weird appearance mid-render and making the glass not appear as expected. I deleted the rectangle, then used the Attribute Mapping tool to tweak the texture you correctly applied to the walls Right side.

After doing this, the render came back far closer to expected, however the absorption and refraction changes i suggested earlier weren't needed, so I reset them closer to the default glass appearance.

The VWX file with my edits is on its way back to you, let me know if thats closer to what you were looking for.

(Another small tip: when using large blocks of glass or other transparent material, giving the edges of those solids a slight chamfer or fillet with the 3D chamfer or fillet tools goes a long way towards improving their appearance and it will play with the light and shadows a bit more like your eyes are expecting to see in a semi-realistic render. "Blur" also helps the appearance but it is IMMENSELY render-time intensive, only use it if you're sure you need it.)

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Thank you so much for taking the time to do all that. Yeah I had no idea that’s what I was doing wrong this whole time. And thank you very much for the tips. Great suggestions. As you can tell I’m still a little new to this ball game.



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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

No problem at all, it would have driven even a pro nuts without knowing what to look for. I'll check and see why such a strange hiding of transparent textured objects happened because of the presence of a 2D image filled object. Using image fills in 3D renderings isn't recommended for a number of reasons, but that shouldn't be one of them.

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