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Tom Klaber

Vectorworks with a Pen

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I am lobbying my company to get me a Microsoft Surface Studio.  I think the form factor will go far to pushing toward a paperless office.  The big sell is shop drawing review by hand - like on paper but while staying in a digital workflow.  It could be good for hand sketches.  

 

My question is - how would it be to use Vectorworks with the pencil?  Is there any scenario where that makes sense?  Does VW even recognize the pencil?

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In my personal opinion we do not handle pen input well at all. Tablet input defaults to Freehand Tool (so, just polylines, nothing intelligent) and when not using Freehand it simply handles like a mouse cursor. It WORKS just fine, but it becomes very obvious very quickly that we do not take advantage of the key features of pen/tablet input.

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Yeah... 

My gut reaction is that the pen input might be a fun way to draft (if all worked well), but I am not sure how it would with building a model.   Maybe the pen shape is too obvious and closing my mind off about what it would be to model with a pen.  


I think that the space mouse is a better direction to go. 

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I have a Wacom gizmo.  Works fine, but like Jim says, it's just another way of using a mouse.

 

Helps sometimes with RSI issues.

 

 

mk

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Agree.  I have the Wacom tablet to relieve my wrist of prolonged work issues.  It's great for that but I had to fiddle with the Win OS and the driver to get the handwriting recognition to turn off, and there are still some issues with the right click over objects.  I think that the pen is going to be a big thing in the future, with touchscreens and all.  I'm not sure how software developers are allowed to mess with it, but I could see it being very useful for things like:

Smoothing out hand drawn lines (thinking callouts or even free form sketching)

Recognition of drawn objects and converting them into symbols/PIOs.  I'm thinking of the elevation marker, 2d door symbols, all of which can be drawn pretty fast ( and not having to go to the tool bar, select it.....)

Filling in title blocks by hand 

  Right now it seems very much controlled by the OS, and I would like to see more control by the software. 

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Hi, one way is if you have Adobe Sketch for your Ipad you can input the pdf of the shop drawings. mark them up with your finger as the stylus or a stylus pen and export them out. This app is free if you have Photoshop.

This image was a sketch over a photo with my finger as the stylus.

Attachment-1.png

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Whilst the pen input would be limited for Vectorworks, if you can use it marking up PDFs and sketching, then it is could be a win for the paperless office. I would think it is going to be of more use for designers and project leaders (who tend to be less tech savvy) rather than documenter/draftsperson types.

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14 hours ago, Diamond said:

Whilst the pen input would be limited for Vectorworks, if you can use it marking up PDFs and sketching, then it is could be a win for the paperless office. I would think it is going to be of more use for designers and project leaders (who tend to be less tech savvy) rather than documenter/draftsperson types.

 

 

Yeah.  I the Surface Studio is the direction workstation desktops are going to go.  Either as an all in one - or a tower powering a touch monitor with similar swiveling capabilities.

 

Sometimes it is nice to look at the screen traditionally, but for some tasks, bringing the screen down and interacting with the content on your desk is better.

Even for myself, and feel I am relatively tech savvy, there a  bunch of tasks that I prefer to do by hand than on the screen.  I see this computer bringing back the drafting desk.  I would be surprised if Apple does not come out with something similar in the next two cycles. 

 

The Vectorworks pen hope was a long shot to try and make it a more compelling investment - but it was a stretch.  Mental Canvas is a better selling point.  

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I am also very interested in getting back some haptic, like we had with ink pens and paper long ago.

Moving large distances by hand may not look very comfortable and I am not sure if that would work

for me, but watching your hands like in the past while working sounds interesting.

 

That is why I tried 3DConnexion Enterprise to get some command haptic. It doesn't work for me.

 

Would like to test a surface studio or wacom screen.

I think I would like the new Mac Book screen bar.

 

Unfortunately not CAD,

but I was impressed from :

http://www.loupedeck.com

and

https://www.daniel-hertrich.photo/lightroom-workflow-optimieren-bildentwicklung-mit-einem-midi-controller/

or

https://www.slrlounge.com/3-modular-lightroom-controllers-suit-post-processing-needs/

and am thinking if there couldn't be any knob and slider devices useful with VW in any way ?

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I have used the Wacom tablet for many years with their stylus, initially for tendon problems (completely resolved after moving from the mouse), and have also tried working with VW on a touchscreen.  The Wacom stylus is totally equivalent to a mouse, if not better.  The problem with working directly on a touch screen is lack of left and right clicking.  If someone knows of a device that will do that, I would love to know about it.  Once that technical hurdle is dealt with, I can see touchscreen being totally viable.

 

I see that Surface will "right click" with a prolonged touch, but I don't think that cuts it.

Edited by P Retondo

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I think working on a touch screen with CAD for me would mean any kind of Pen.

Like iPad Pro.

Even on a large Tablet and some further Wacom seasons many years ago,

the Pen's 2 buttons set to LMB + RMB were mandatory for any kind of work.

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Now if that could be truly 3D and incorporate smart elements - I am on board.

I am having this faint sense that technology is going to advance to a point where the industry can actually regress back to its roots.  Drafting height tables w/ computers that can switch between hand drawn inspiration and precise

 

mouse inputs.  

I love the image of the square on the ipad screen.  

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tom Klaber said:

I love the image of the square on the ipad screen.  

 

Wireless ...

 

From the comments section :

 
What brand/type screen protector do you use?
Stef S no specific brand Just go to any mobile shop or accessories shop and ask for ( glass base) scream protector Don't use the plastic based one as it will have scratches.
 
Thanks!
Edited by zoomer

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52 minutes ago, zoomer said:

 

Wireless ...

 

 

 

 

Or virtual?  

Controlled with the Surface Dial or similar.   The Dialer then could morph into a verity of drafting tools - pen would then snap to the virtual square.

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Is such a weak and outdated soon Surface Device capable of collaborating with an

external Machine. The weak GPU just controlling the Display and doing some File IO.

While using more current and powerful multi CPU+GPU for calculations, Cuda and

those things with fast connections like TB III ?

Edited by zoomer

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3 minutes ago, zoomer said:

Is such a weak and outdated soon Surface Device capable of collaborating with an

external Machine.

 

I do not understand what external machine you speak of.

The Surface Studio is certainly lighter on the specs than I would have liked, but I think if it is as popular as I am guessing it will be, they will be updating yearly.

I am skeptical of the Dial - it's pretty gimmicky - but it should certainly be able to handle a virtual drafting kit. 

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I mean that you will put a workstation beside that is able to handle cooling without

sounding like a vacuum cleaner. Maybe one of the price worthier setups that you

can replace every 2 years for a better one.

While keeping the monitor and its surface for a decade or so.

Edited by zoomer

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34 minutes ago, zoomer said:

I mean that you will put a workstation beside that is able to handle cooling without

sounding like a vacuum cleaner. Maybe one of the price worthier setups that you

can replace every 2 years for a better one.

While keeping the monitor and its surface for a decade or so.

 

Yeah - I think you are right.

The all-in-one form factor is not that interesting to me.  The desire to squeeze a desktop into the iMac form factor and now the Surface Studio is a odd to me. If the machine is not portable - then there is no need to save every millimeter - yet - Apple - and now Microsoft - are putting in Mobile chipsets into desktops - to create totally unnecessary form-factors.  I would be so much happier with an Imac that is 2" thicker - or a now a studio with a base that is 2" bigger - that runs cooler, is easier to upgrade, and contains options for full powered gpus.

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The good news with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 is that Wacom could finally do a HiDPI screen that has their tablet surface. With NVIDIA looking for apple engineers with OpenCL / CUDA experience, I am hopeful we will see a Mac Pro containing tech that could drive a screen like this.

 

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But more importantly for Vectorworks, they already have the space to experiment with a tablet surface. And that is on their iPad app.

 

Make sketching on it great first. Get the UI right, then add a basic set of tools we architects use.

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All of the other physical widgets shown earlier in the thread, are used for very specific editing modes, with no where near the complexity faced by most Vectorworks scenarios.

 

Does anyone know of a CAD system that does perform well with a stylus or other physical input device?

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4 minutes ago, Diamond said:

With NVIDIA looking for apple engineers with CUDA experience, ....

 

-_-

 

Quite an exotic combination. There may not be that many available.

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Yes, I agree. But at least they are looking in the right area. We can hope right? ;)

 

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15 minutes ago, Diamond said:

All of the other physical widgets shown earlier in the thread, are used for very specific editing modes, with no where near the complexity faced by most Vectorworks scenarios.

 

Have you something special in mind what you can't imagine ?

 

As many Apps that get crowded because of complexity use a tabbed Layout where you

have tabs for specific workflows to switch. Similar like creating a bunch of Workspaces in VW

and switching between these.

A lot of editing needs to be done directly at Objects of course.

And there may be alternatives to scrolling through hundreds of Classes.

 

I'm quite picky on mouse speed to slow or not precise enough but could imagine full arm

movements if things are "connected" to my fingers and directly under them.

Also i never use the 3DConnexion feature of a virtual NumBlock on screen, as long as there

is a much better physical one on my keyboard. But if it is under my fingers on a screen,

such as I use my iPad onscreen keyboard ...

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