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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Thank you for saying so! It was a lot of pushing internally to shift things this way, it seems to be going well and I hope to keep expanding the program.

Good on you, NM/Vectorworks, for giving a solid preview of some (many?) of the improvements likely to appear in 2017.

*tiny sample of the improvements ;)

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I go back and forth on whether I like some features being held back...

In some ways the 2016 launch was a little disappointing because all the major features were released.

Having 2 Christmas mornings is kind of a smart way to keep up buzz, but my more practical side wishes to know everything so I can better advise my firm and clients.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I don't know if it will ever become possible for us to share everything. We can't think along the lines that we are developing in a vacuum, if you share your entire development process publicly, but your competition does not, you basically hand them a distinct developmental advantage and I can understand the high level concern regarding that.

I think however that we can strike the right balance, giving users a good idea of the direction we want to head so they can make informed decisions at the same time not tipping our hand entirely.

(Fortunately, this year there are significantly more large features that came directly from user requests and my favorites weren't even leaked yet :D)

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
WebView and Virtual Reality (Two semi related things)

- Export a model into a web view that anyone can see and move around in directly and easily, you won't need to know how to use Vectorworks to use it.

- Physically aware objects, you'll bump into walls and doors and columns etc. and not phase through the model strangely.

- This web view can appear on your computer, mobile device, but also a VR headset in a special view mode that splits the view into a left eye / right eye distorted view for use with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or even Google Cardboard..

- A much better replacement for the Vectorworks Viewer. Includes textures colors, backgrounds, all of it in 3D.

This sounds really nice. Does the webview file need to be on a Nemetscheck server or is this a file that I can send to someone and they can view it through their browser? The reason I am asking is that clients may not want their (concept) designs/Intellectual Property to be hosted on 3rd party servers.

Due to this and similar concerns from other users and beta testers, these changes have been made:

You will be able to choose whether to export quickly to our servers, which creates a public non-passworded link that anyone with the link can view. This link automatically expires after 2 weeks, you can create as many webviews as you like.

OR

You can export the file to your disk locally, it will create a folder with an HTML page inside, you can host this on your password protected server, or even just pop it into a cloud storage account so that you can fully control the sharing settings and pull it down whenever you like.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

any information on a browser based VW like Onshape?

I have seen early alpha demonstrations of that tech used with Vectorworks, but it is not something I would expect to see for 2017. Functionally a lot of making that work is already needed for WebView and Nomad, so the development of something like a browser version of Vectorworks would benefit directly from those improvements as well.

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Analytics:

- We will be able to study how and why you use each an every tool and menu.

- We can study the user base’s favorite and least favorite tools all in one place.

- Helps improve performance, we can see your system requirements and track what your machines might be having problems with and allow us to address those concerns directly.

JimW - will the Analytics data show what percentage of users continue to use specific Legacy tools like the Custom Stair? Thanks.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
Analytics:

- We will be able to study how and why you use each an every tool and menu.

- We can study the user base’s favorite and least favorite tools all in one place.

- Helps improve performance, we can see your system requirements and track what your machines might be having problems with and allow us to address those concerns directly.

JimW - will the Analytics data show what percentage of users continue to use specific Legacy tools like the Custom Stair? Thanks.

Yes! Also: 2017 will still include Custom Stair.

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I know that the stuff above is specifically related to an export of a web view ... but the object-collision thing and easy walkaround is something that's missing from basic VW.

In sketchup it's very easy to look at stuff from "inside" - you can drop a little red cross where you want to stand, and you are transported there, with a realistic eye height already set and you can look around and walk around straight away.

In VW, to do the same seems to have to involve going to a menu, selecting set 3d view, possibly setting a working plane to make sure you are going to stand where you expect, selecting the stand point, selecting the target point, and manually inputting an eye level. And then you are ready to walk around but without the collision detection stuff and without automatically changing level as you go down steps and so on.

Just an example of simple stuff that could be made so much easier than it is.

Make sure these have been submitted as wishlist items, that kind of thing can't be picked up without requests.

My point, kind-of, was really that these things *should* be picked up without requests.

What I describe above is a functionality that is a basic feature of SU. It is one of the standard tools in the basic toolbar of the quasi-free version of SU.

Surely it just requires someone at your end with a fairly detailed knowledge of what's possible with your competitors' offerings.

My wishlist request would simply be "VW's 3D environment should be at least as capable and fluid as Sketchup's".

Edited by col37400
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Its a one way process for us Su to VW. We make changes all of the time and the process is certainly not inefficient (is that the same as being efficient?). 2015 was a huge leap forward for us with this process and it works extremely well. Maybe we have more time on our hands than you :)

When you say a one way process do you mean that you keep a fully up-to-date SU model, and each time you make a change to it, this is somehow imported into your VW drawings?

Or do you mean that at a certain stage in the design process you import your SU model into VW, and from that point on, only update the VW drawings?

Either way, surely it would have to be a more efficient process if you could do everything you currently do in SU, in VW instead. The fact that you don't suggests that you currently consider VW deficient in some way.

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By the way...you mention that for example VW can make door schedules and so on. I wonder how many people actually use this though? I think it might be fewer than you think. It's not an especially intuitive process, and many VW users probably work mainly on small projects where the quantities of repeated elements aren't so huge to make it necessarily worthwhile.

Of course I might be completely wrong. But this is why the analytics thing sounds like it could be hugely useful. In fact in many ways of all the new stuff announced in this thread maybe it's the most encouraging, in the longer term at least.

I remember as an intern - working in Autocad - manually cross-checking a door schedule with a plan - and thinking that this felt so arcane, and there has to be a better way. We do not do BIM models - but firmly believe in leveraging the data in the plans. Basically - if you ever find yourself counting anything manually - you are doing it wrong. Not only is it slow - it is just crazy how easily it can be wrong.

This was as true on a small townhouse and apartment projects as it was on the larger condo buildings. Staff can run through a plan make some tweaks - change doors from 36 to 34 inches - never having to worry that they have to go update a schedule. VW just keeps track of the changes. At very least the door number on the plan will always match the door in the schedule.

Doors, Windows, Appliances, Lighting Schedules with automated Wattage calculations, even Millwork schedules - are all things that we now rely on. I highly recommend spending the time to set up your files to take advantage of this. We started with doors - quickly added windows. After that I had staff approaching me with smart symbols they have made to start keeping track of other things because they no longer wanted to be responsible for manually keeping track of this info anymore.

(As you can see I am very passionate when it comes to schedules. )

I should make more use of automated schedules.

In fact as a stepping stone towards this, recently I've started doing schedules inside VW (instead of as spreadsheets in excel or similar).

And yet, I come up against another failing at a very basic level - it seems it is not possible to create proper multipage schedules. As described in this thread:

https://techboard.vectorworks.net/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=218107

Again... the higher level functionality is hampered by something basic.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

My point, kind-of, was really that these things *should* be picked up without requests.

What I describe above is a functionality that is a basic feature of SU. It is one of the standard tools in the basic toolbar of the quasi-free version of SU.

Surely it just requires someone at your end with a fairly detailed knowledge of what's possible with your competitors' offerings.

My wishlist request would simply be "VW's 3D environment should be at least as capable and fluid as Sketchup's".

Make sure that you file requests regardless for now. The decisions behind feature additions are weighed HEAVILY by the sheer volume of requests for a given feature, and that volume is currently taken directly from JIRA (where I place wishlist items and bugs) but not yet directly from the board. Until such time as our tech improves and we can directly channel user board posts into JIRA without human intervention, requests are the only way to get the features you want.

I am not saying your intention is incorrect, I agree that that is how things should be handled, I am simply describing the current state of affairs and how they can best be influenced directly by users today.

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My point, kind-of, was really that these things *should* be picked up without requests.

What I describe above is a functionality that is a basic feature of SU. It is one of the standard tools in the basic toolbar of the quasi-free version of SU.

Surely it just requires someone at your end with a fairly detailed knowledge of what's possible with your competitors' offerings.

My wishlist request would simply be "VW's 3D environment should be at least as capable and fluid as Sketchup's".

Make sure that you file requests regardless for now. The decisions behind feature additions are weighed HEAVILY by the sheer volume of requests for a given feature, and that volume is currently taken directly from JIRA (where I place wishlist items and bugs) but not yet directly from the board. Until such time as our tech improves and we can directly channel user board posts into JIRA without human intervention, requests are the only way to get the features you want.

I am not saying your intention is incorrect, I agree that that is how things should be handled, I am simply describing the current state of affairs and how they can best be influenced directly by users today.

Ok, sure.

I'll file a wishlist request when I get a moment.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Thank you, truly. I know it's time consuming to split apart requests that in plain english would just be summarized as "Make it work like _______ does." but splitting it up and spelling it out really does work wonders for the request process.

I think you and others here will get to see the results of your labors more obviously as things progress here. Again, thank you for taking the time. We're working on many separate projects related to this so that in the future you will no longer need to.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

There won't be any additional features leaked until release, but I will be discussing in more detail a few more aspects of the already mentioned features that haven't been shared yet that I think everyone will enjoy. Specifically more detail about the Resource Manager and how it impacts other tools.

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Thanks, Jim. I will look forward to that. I guess I can wait until September (14th?) for the big news.

I am already trying to strategize about how the new resource manager could be used to make our detail library more accessible. I think it means we will have to convert all of our details to symbols - but that is not so bad if it means that people would be able to search through a centralized database by keyword.

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