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Phil hunt

Vectorworks 2017

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Unfortunately, I 100% disagree. I don't think anybody is arguing that Vectorworks has to be able to do anything or everything. I think most are saying quite the opposite actually.

Right now it looks like the philosophy is to add new features but as long as they get close to good enough, development stops and they move on to another new feature and the old one gets abandoned. Where as I believe that you make sure what you already have is maintained to be best in class before you develop new features.

To be honest. I am not sure if Vectorworks is best in class of anything. If anybody knows of one, I would be really curious to hear what some are. Many of the tools haven't been maintained for over 20 years. For example, look at the handrail tool. Do you really think that anyone doing cutting edge "VR" would use that tool? If the answer is no, why then move on to something like "VR"

In my case, I use renderworks because I do presentation work. Although nice, I never asked for caustics and new shaders. All I keep asking for year after year is to "fix" the basics. Although, I really want to use subdivisions, I can't because it is not possible to texture properly. The mapping tools are beyond archaic to the point where free 3D programs are far superior in this regard.

This is a perfect example of the almost good enough approach. Surely, when creating the subdivision tools, somebody over there must have tried putting a texture on a model and said oh boy... Do they not know that they are selling renderworks as part of vectorworks. How do they expect us, you know the guys they suckered to pay for this add on to deal with this. I guess the decision must have been, oh well its good enough. NEXT... I just don't get how something like that can be ignored.

Telling me to use C4D is a cop out and if that is truly the case, then renderworks should either be killed off or should be free. I use renderworks because my workflow requires quick turn arounds and I have changes flying around several times a day. I have no time to go back and forth between programs. That is why I chose the best workflow that works for me and I PAID for and also PAY for MAINTAINING RENDERWORKS. I understand that its not suppose to be even close to the level of C4D but not being able to independently scale (stretch) a texture on a xy axis in this day and age... Really? Not being able to texture some of the objects you create... Really? But instead of that, l am going to get cool VR. Really? I just don't get the continuous haphazzard choice of development. Again lets learn to crawl before we run.

Jim... I just want to add, none of my frustration (and boy am i truly frustrated) is directed towards you. Sometimes, I think you are the only one that has a clue over there (you should get a raise). I really appreciate everything you do and your future plans sound great. I sure hope they work because the powers that be could really use yours and the communities guidance.

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Your criticism is legitimate, and honestly, I really do have to filter some of my opinions here because of my representative status. You should hear me argue in favor of many of your points made above in meetings when the public isn't able to hear ;)

This is one of those times where not being able to talk about specifics of development drives me nuts. I think you are going to see a positive change in direction this time around. A LOT of the tasks are "2.0" versions of tools and commands, where we went back and made varying levels of revisions to how old systems worked and added new capability where it ws lacking before.

The Project Sharing upgrades was the only publicly revealed case of this happening, I know a lot of you don't use it since many of you run one-person shops, but sales has to go after larger firms as well and this has been priceless in not only landing sales with them but keeping them coming back. We heard that checking out just layers was too restrictive, that storing on a local server and not in the cloud was inadequate, and that more intelligent alerts were needed and rather than developing something completely new, we went back and tuned everything up as requested.

This "2.0" mindset was not limited only to Project Sharing, but I can't talk about the other ones until release.

The CEO was actually a little concerned early on that we didn't have ENOUGH whizzbang new features (Don't worry, Support and I talked him out of that concern, muahaha) if that is any indication of this years focus.

HOWEVER, the directional change this year was great, but one that I consider nowhere near enough. I'm pushing for more transparency, more feedback, more addressing of long-standing issues and probably above all else: Speed and Reliability.

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What do you disagree with?

Sorry for the confusion J Lucas... I must have pressed the wrong reply button and the quotes did not get included.

I disagreed with Jim's reply to a post I made and Jershaun 100% agreement to that reply.

While I would of course prefer Vectorworks be made capable of doing anything and everything that a designer may want, management has to pick their battles when it comes to feature development. We are electing to work on giving users tools that do not exist anywhere else in any industry rather than trying to beat specialized software packages at their own games.

I agree 100% with this statement. Vw shouldn't be trying to reinvent the wheel rather use other software for features they don't have, especially (but not limited to) the software already in their stable.

Thanks for your feedback Jim.

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Thanks Jim. I know your thoughts are similar to mine in a lot of regards and I know your hands are tied and your mouth gagged (lol, sounding like the wrong kind of forum). I look forward to seeing all these 2.0 tools. In saying that, I think my rant may have been a little premature. My biggest gripe for 20 years has been mapping, so when you kinda alluded to it not only not happening in 2017 but probably not in my life time, I snapped.

I also know you are very busy so I will do my best to bite my tongue until the release. Who knows, If I see that a significant portion of development went to getting the basics back up to par as you say, I will end up pleasantly surprised. Then all I have to do is hit "like" button a million times under the new texture mapping improvements Wishlist and I will be a happy camper.

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There's actually some great discussion going on in this thread. I agree with many of the things being said on both sides. I some times wonder if a lot of the trouble has come out of the yearly upgrade cycle and the question are there enough "whizzbang features". You only need to look at recent releases of C4D to see they couldn't sustain the pace they had been adding them at. This years upgrade is downright boring. The whizzbang should probably be measured across two upgrade cycles and probably aren't the features that should be promoted in advance. They're not really targeted at the existing user base.

Right now it looks like the philosophy is to add new features but as long as they get close to good enough, development stops and they move on to another new feature and the old one gets abandoned. Where as I believe that you make sure what you already have is maintained to be best in class before you develop new features.

Lots of these - Text Styles, fractions, tracking, Auto Hybrid, Drawing Coordination, Layer Plane/Screen Plane to name a few. There's also a lot of inconsistency because approaches have been changed at various times - e.g.. I can renumber Section Viewport drawings in the OIP but other viewports need to be renumbered by selecting the Drawing Label in its annotations.

To be honest. I am not sure if Vectorworks is best in class of anything.

I HATE this marketing speak. I got into a heated email exchange with VW marketing a few years ago about this. Which class? What's the comparison? My beef at the time was with 3d modelling tools. I was drawing a comparison to Form Z, a solids modeller in a similar price bracket. It had so many more features than VW had at the time and my point was that it was clearly best in class when it came to 3d modelling.

Overall I feel like the ship has been slowed, turned and is now starting in a more positive direction. And there's no question Jim has been a big part of that.

Kevin

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I suppose the marketing folk like to use "Best in Class" for us since there is literally no other software package in our "class". We do such an unusually large array of different and somewhat unrelated things, lol.

FormZ is a good example, its focused tightly on 3D modeling and knocks the crap out of Vectorworks in a lot of pure 3D modeling showdowns, but if you asked it to spit out a window schedule from what I understand it would just blink at you. But nonetheless, since it's close in price it invites direct comparison. Especially when in the automotive industry "Class" is generally tied to price.

(However, you will absolutely hear my voice say "Best in Class" in some of the commercial segments. Marketing writes the non How-To portions. Brushed my teeth extra hard to get the taste out afterwards.)

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I suppose the marketing folk like to use "Best in Class" for us since there is literally no other software package in our "class". We do such an unusually large array of different and somewhat unrelated things, lol.

This means VW is competing in a variety of different classes... not necessarily that its creating its own class :-)

In my business I coined the term the multi-useless place. This is a theatre that was made to do a little bit of everything instead of one thing well. The result is a space that does nothing well....

Kevin

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THAT is the pitfall. Jack of All Trades is a great strategy only as long as you make sure you don't let yourself become the Jester of any. Which in some cases we have let happen. (Lookin' at you Texture Mapping and Stairs.)

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I also want to point out that Jim is not the problem ;)

I hope he will be the solution soon.

I 100% agree with Altivec. Or with other users.

And it doesn't look like there would be a problem with user base because

every individual users wants completely different things. It looks more like

the majority has the same problems with VW.

And I can't imagine that this has only recently changed and wasn't available

the other 25 years before.

Comments were always quite clear on the forums since I joined.

If there has been a serious interest the opinions have been heard.

I think in about 6 weeks we will know more.

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JimW, are we still manually updating hidden line viewports in 2017?

I agree with many of Altivec's observations, except that I accept that higher end rendering should be passed onto another package, but I would insist that the C4D-VW pipeline be rock solid. We as a micro studio are expected now to provide more renderings of our drawings so this becomes ever more important to us moving forward.

I think that when you become aware of the competition and what they offer, you see more clearly where VW needs to spend their development resources. Some users here (eg Kevin McAllister) are very proficient at using VW and other packages - the shortcomings become glaringly apparent and frustration grows.

I've played with a demo version of Archicad 20 over the last two days. VW on steroids!

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It looks more like

the majority has the same problems with VW.

Prblem is though, nothing is done about them.

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1.

except that I accept that higher end rendering should be passed onto another package, but I would insist that the C4D-VW pipeline be rock solid.

2.

I've played with a demo version of Archicad 20 over the last two days. VW on steroids!

1.

100% agree.

2.

Regarding that VW DE tells that VW BIM is far superior over Archicad's,

I should try the demo after 6 years again too.

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2.

Regarding that VW DE tells that VW BIM is far superior over Archicad's,

Sorry Zoomer, I haven't had my coffee yet - I'm not sure what you mean by this post

Edited by Kizza

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I am confused.

So you spend time on the link between VW and C4D. That's a given as it has been mentioned several times. As you know my single biggest issue is texture mapping and I raised this again and again in relation to the SUB-D tool.

I couldn't wait around so I spent time learning Bodypaint and I am comfortable with this now. Albeit the route back into VW is quite poor.

So your strategy is to push me to C4D to texture. So now I am in C4D why do I need the Sub-D tool in VW? The modelling tools are much more advanced. Hang on why do I need the limited shaders in VW......and so on.

I simply don't get it

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JimW, are we still manually updating hidden line viewports in 2017?

Kinda, they now by default will update when you print or export so that you don't need to think about it, but only if they're out of date. You can do this with Renderworks viewports as well but it takes much longer.

We are ALMOST to the point where Hidden Line rendering can be done as live and quickly as OpenGL, but not quite, we still have to drop some things like surface hatches, transparent textures and wall stacking line correction while in motion, quick sample:

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I agree with many of Altivec's observations, except that I accept that higher end rendering should be passed onto another package,

Just for the record. I never implied that renderworks should do "higher end rendering" I agree that this should be passed on to C4D if like you said the transfer back and forth is rock solid. All I am saying is that the basics (what's already there) should be fixed.

Caustics and VR = High end rendering

Being able to properly place a texture to an object = basic functionality

My point is why waste development time on advanced features such as caustics and VR if presentation or high end rendering is not the direction VW is going. Sure the glass sitting on the table will look amazing but the chair beside it with a patterned fabric looks like something that came from mars because a basic texture can't be applied to it.

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I am confused.

So you spend time on the link between VW and C4D. That's a given as it has been mentioned several times. As you know my single biggest issue is texture mapping and I raised this again and again in relation to the SUB-D tool.

I couldn't wait around so I spent time learning Bodypaint and I am comfortable with this now. Albeit the route back into VW is quite poor.

So your strategy is to push me to C4D to texture. So now I am in C4D why do I need the Sub-D tool in VW? The modelling tools are much more advanced. Hang on why do I need the limited shaders in VW......and so on.

I simply don't get it

That is a fantastic question.

The current line of reasoning I have heard is this:

Vectorworks with Renderworks gives you enough tools to get you WAY beyond plain 2D graphics and elevations, but it does not do it as easily or quickly as dedicated rendering applications do.

Subdivision is functionally not useful IF you have and use Cinema4D, its modeling tools for raw 3D geometry are simply superior. Period. But the large majority of our userbase doesn't yet use 3D fully so many of them never hit that. You and I and many here push Vectorworks way further than average, so we feel the sting when you hit a wall like we currently have with Texture Mapping.

Now to clarify since this was mentioned a few times above, I am NOT letting the mapping issue slip into the category of "This can be handled by other apps" specifically. I do feel that full UV unfolding and image painting is extremely complex not only to implement but also to use (its hard for most people to get their head around even in the best rendering software) but a perfect example of how to solve this without getting crazy is ArchiCAD's surface painter. They have a dead simple UI that just lets users click on faces and then map that face individually. That would solve half the problems currently inherent in texturing work in Vectorworks where you're limited to ONE mapping type for a whole object. I feel not necessarily EXACTLY this method, but something similar may be the way to go to cater to power users while not introducing a huge amount of engineering overhead for a disproportionately small (but honestly, growing) segment of users.

This is also another place where Analytics comes into play, once 2017 starts flooding us with information about how users are using Vectorworks and what tools and modules they work with, I will have hard numbers to swing like a club when I'm in meetings about "What do users want?" rather than having to play the assumption game.

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Sorry Zoomer, I haven't had my coffee yet - I'm not sure what you mean by this post

And I always thought your day would start many hours before mine ;)

I could bring in some quotes from the forum but that wouldn't be fair.

As you know my single biggest issue is texture mapping

If I remember correctly that has finally reached the responsible developers.

And we heard that there is an ambition to better C4D exchange even in

2 directions, I think your wish and many other improvements will fall out

as a side effect for compatibility reasons.

Ok, until now the role of RW is really dubious.

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I can explain why we got Caustics and VR before things like Texture Mapping were fixed quite easily:

VR does not affect any other aspect of Vectorworks. Even if it was completely broken in a SP and couldn't be used at all, the Door tool would still work, the Rectangle tool would still do it's job. It is an extremely low risk, high market visibility feature. It was low hanging fruit and they chomped at it.

Caustics wasn't designed by us, it was added a few versions ago by MAXON and was, in engineering person-hours extremely easy to implement. Not as simple as flicking a switch, but important enough to interior scenes realism that it was picked. Again, this feature has no chance of breaking anything that already exists in Vectorworks, it is kind of a safe island that has no risk of hurting anything else.

When engineering finally makes the call and goes hitting Texture Mapping with a stick, it will affect EVERY object in every document that users textures in any way. It runs the risk of altering the appearance of existing documents when users upgrade to the next version for instance, a path that is seriously watched and protected whenever possible, we never approve of a software upgrade changing a user's file appearance. When it happens, it gets the hammer as soon as possible.

Understand that I by no means intend these to be justifications for why we haven't upgraded important tools over multiple versions, just so that you can get an idea of the motivations behind the choices we've made.

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currently analytics doesn't tell you that I popped into C4D and back again because it's .OBJ on the return journey?

Yes I project what I do onto the whole user base and assume they must all be doing the same thing.

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currently analytics doesn't tell you that I popped into C4D and back again because it's .OBJ on the return journey?

Right now, it'll tell us you did an OBJ import or export, as well as tell us if you use Send to Cinema4d but ONLY if you have gone to Tools > Options > Vectorworks Preferences > Session > Error Reporting and set it to "Send crash details and usage patterns" (I think thats what 2016s is called it has a new name in 2017 and more options for how much you send) and that isn't on by default.

So while we are getting some feedback for 2016 users, it isn't as widespread as it will be in 2017 where that option is mentioned in the installer UI and on by default, which means most users will have it on since many people don't ever touch the installer settings at all.

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I do feel that full UV unfolding and image painting is extremely complex not only to implement but also to use

+ 100

But I don't think that users that ask for UV Mapping are really thinking of a

complete UV unfolding system.

But the most basic projection mappings like planar, cubic, cylindrical, spherical, ...

should work. And these are quite rudimentary currently in RW and uncomfortable

to use.

Plus some fake or workaround options to allow path extrudes and such to

be mapped reasonably looking for landscapers.

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I can explain why we got Caustics and VR before things like Texture Mapping were fixed quite easily:

On the other hand,

someone touched the cameras to add new features and now I can't use them

anymore for a whole release cycle.

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I can explain why we got Caustics and VR before things like Texture Mapping were fixed quite easily:

On the other hand,

someone touched the cameras to add new features and now I can't use them

anymore for a whole release cycle.

Please remind me about this or point me to the thread where we were ( im pretty sure) talking about it before in a few weeks, I want to chase it down further. Half the people I was working with report cameras now working fine in 2016 and the other half are seeing issues after sp4 that they claim didn't exist. No point in filing things until Sept but I don't want to forget about it.

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