Jump to content

Need help merging .esc file into Vision

Recommended Posts

Let's say I have a VW file with 10 lights on a pipe over a stage. I "Send to Vision" and now I have a Vision file. I make some changes to the settings in that Vision file, adjust ambience, focus the lights, etc. so now I don't want to lose that file or I'd have to adjust all those settings all over again. But then I decide I want to add 5 more lights on that pipe and change some of the existing fixtures to a different type. How exactly do I do that? I believe that is where I'm supposed to use the Merge command? So I go back to my VW file, add the additional lights, make the fixture type adjustment, export to .esc and then merge into Vision. The new fixtures come in, but so does everything else.


Now I have two versions of the stage, two versions of the pipe, and duplicates of the lights that were already there. Back in VW, am I supposed to hide or delete anything that isn't new before I export to avoid duplicates? VW won't let me just export the lights, I get an error window saying I need at least one piece of 3D geometry that isn't the lights, so now I need to export my new lights and some random piece of 3D geometry that I will just delete in Vision? What about changing the fixture type of the existing lights? If I've already added color, focused them, etc. in Vision, is there no way to update the fixture type? Do I need to delete the old lights and re-merge in the new kind of fixture type and then re-apply the settings and re-focus them?


If anyone can clear this all up it would be much appreciated. thanks!


Link to comment

To my understanding you cant swap fixture types in vision.


For al the other changes you want to do, yes that is the way to do it. My workflow consists in having diferente .esc files for the different things you export. For example, I have one file for the venue, another for the stage, another for each piece of set and one for fixtures and trusses. If I decide to export more fixtures, either I re-export the trusses and then delete them in vision or create some other 3D poly and then delete it.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hey Cory, Gaspar is totally right. I personally use a similar workflow where I keep lights and truss together as one esc and merge in the rest as other esc files. This allows me to tinker with the stage and scenery without affecting the lights. I've even seen some users export each truss to a different esc file, but that seemed a bit overkill in my experience. Also, the truss itself counts as geometry for the Vision exporter.


To make life easier on you during changes, I'd recommend grouping objects that you DON'T want to come to Vision. Grouped objects or objects who's classes are hidden are not exported.  


You can't swap fixture types in Vision, but I would strongly recommend making the change in Spotlight anyway, as that's what you're actually going to have to show to your electricians anyway, and it keeps your paperwork in order. 


If you need to, you can use the "each truss w/ lights is an esc" method, that way if you need to refocus, you only have to do one stick of truss. Also, make sure you use the edit Vision data plugin from Spotlight>Viz>Edit Vision Data. All conventionals going to Vision should have gel and gobo changes made here. 


Hope that helps!

Link to comment
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Just wanted to clarify something Eddy, we changed that grouping behavior. We couldn't come up with a good reason not to export groups, so we changed it to only export items that are marked as Visible in VW. That being said, groups are now exportable which is nice from a VW standpoint, since some people may be prone to group all of the stage geometry together (or perhaps mic geometry and the podium).

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

thanks everyone. makes sense...well in the logic of Vision it makes sense. Still incredibly cumbersome when looked at in context of general ease of use. And just to confirm, I can really only use the "Send to Vision" command the first time I make the Vision file correct? After that point, I need to be exporting from VW and merging into Vision?



Link to comment
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Yep, you would send to vision for the first file, then merge in subsequent esc files. You could also export all of them as esc files, file>open the first, then merge the rest. I don't often use the merge workflow but when I find it necessary, I like to export them all as esc files with a naming convention that helps. "Stage.esc, lights.esc, venue.esc," etc.


As for a video for the workflow, that's a great idea! I'll see what we can do on that end, I'm sure writing up a guide on that wouldn't be too tough. The workflow sounds more complex than it actually is. 

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...