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My wish: VW2020 to have no new features. Please.

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I don't think the answer is one or the other. I think we need to combine the two methods more. We need to be able to directly model parametric objects, as we can with the Curtain Wall Tool, reducing reliance on dialogue windows, but keeping the intelligence (such as a stair knowing it needs to stop and start at floor level and knowing when a riser is too high).

Edited by Christiaan
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Christiaan,  yes. I'm thinking that vw needs to be build the opposite way that it is now (which is plan centric with 3d added in by OIP)

 

if it was cleaned out, started with direct modeling...then start to add in tools or things that would allow for some parametric control... that would be great.

 

i understand that if i direct modeled an entire floor and wall, then it needed to be extended by 20 meters... it would mean that i would need to move everything by hand.

 

but that doesn't scare me.  when things are too automatic then you get removed from the material you are handling & miss things.

 

by moving everything over piece by piece or sub-section then you can see what is really happening with the 20m move

 

entering some data in the IOP to widen a star does not adjust the framing around the stairs.  so i need to do that anyway so why not just fix the stairs too 

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2 hours ago, digitalcarbon said:

JimW,  the above videos are the focus.

 we are doing only 2 things:

making 3d content (with information)

or

assembling 3d content  (with information)

 

then 

 

we publish for others to harvest any info they want (sheets, worksheets, plans, sections, etc)

 

the new IM paradigm. 

 

I've watched those two videos you posted, and in principle I do agree with much of what you're saying.

 

I think everything you're saying is true working at a certain level of detail. However, at least in architecture, we are often working at a mix of very different scales. Sometimes I might be worrying about a 1:5 detail to do with how a window frame meets an insulation layer, sometimes I might be doing some floorplans for a feasibility study which need to basically work but which will not be presented at greater than 1:200 scale.

 

At 1:200 or 1:100 scale I think parametric windows, stairs and doors make lots of sense. It doesn't matter if the window in the model is not exactly the same as the particular system that will be used in the end. I probably won't even know at that stage what the eventual window product will be. As long as it's approximately right in terms of frame style and so on, it doesn't matter. Same for stairs - doesn't matter if the railings aren't quite how I want them. What does matter is making sure they basically work - in terms of tread sizes, floor to floor height, headroom and so on. Parametric stairs, even the highly imperfect ones in VW, save me lots of time compared to what I use to have to so, working out all this stuff manually and constantly cross checking between plan and section.

 

Since I've started doing things in 3D a lot more, I've found that I tend to use the parametric tools at the start of a design and then they often get replaced with direct-modelled components as the level of detail progresses (say, 1:50 and beyond). Sometimes they'll survive to the final level of detail, if they happen to be able to generate what I want, or if they represent a non-critical part of the design (for example, windows in an existing part of a building that's not going to be altered). But largely I find that very few survive to the final level of detail.

 

Now, you may say that my talk of 1:200 and 1:100 and 1:5 is irrelevant in the "new IM paradigm" you imagine, and you might be right, but I think that paradigm is going to be a long time coming, especially in the building industry. It's not just about the drawing software but the way projects and contracts are run and those things have a lot of inertia. I'd love us to get to a point where I build the model and others "harvest" the data... but I doubt we're going to get there in my lifetime (I would be please to be proved wrong).

 

The step between producing the design, and making it into paper sheets that communicate it, is crucial, and the way I see it, VW currently has some big problems facilitating this. It's set up for a 2D workflow, which works well. It's also got some pretty good 3D modelling capabilities, as your videos showcase - but making those models into conventional 2D drawings is a weak point. I've made posts about this in other threads so won't go on about it.

 

I agree with Christiaan - parametric objects are useful, and so is direct modelling. The flexibility to use a bit of both is good. A lot of problems seem to arise when trying to use both in the same drawings. Too much of the parametric stuff, as well as the way top/plan works, originates in 2D world.

 

 

By the way, your point about the time taken to direct-model something being time that you might need to understand it anyway is a very good one. It goes back to what might be seen as old-fashoined ideas about the importance of being able to draw well - because if you can't draw something you won't ever really understand it.

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Attached are some screenshots of a "work in progress" model I'm doing at the moment. I would not have attempted to build something like this, in 3D, in vectorworks, a couple of years ago. I'm glad now, though that I put the time into getting my head around using vectorworks in 3D. This is partly inspired by many of your videos, digitalcarbon. I now use it in quite a similar way to what you show, and am finding it very useful as a design tool. Absolutely nothing in this model is a parametric object - it's all modelled from scratch.

 

Like I say it's a great as a design tool, especially for tricky, complicated stuff with a lot going on in 3D. The problems come in trying to translate all the info in this model into conventional drawings. As it happens, this project is not a normal one because it's my own house and I'll be doing the building work. So I don't need to make it into formal plans and sections. But even translating it into plans/sections for my own use is frustrating. For some things, working it out in 2D is still teh best way. For example the geometry of those slightly complicated stairs. But can I easily produce a plan section from the model, that I can then trace in 2D? No I can not. The clip cube is nice but can I take dimensions off the sections it produces? No I can not. So, to check a headroom here or there I need to manually make a section using a clunky viewport system, and scale off that. And sorting out all these kinds of things, in my opinion, is more important than introducing new tools.

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 17.16.38.jpg

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 17.17.48.jpg

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 17.18.31.jpg

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 17.20.12.jpg

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1 hour ago, digitalcarbon said:

nice work.

 

yes measuring can be tricky

 

are you using 3d space navigator? 

 

Yes I am. Again, partially based on watching your videos. One of the best investments I've made.

 

Still doesn't work 100% smoothly with VW though (see multiple threads on here)... but I hope more people start using them and things improve.

 

 

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Yes it needs improvements.  

 

If if I can say a little more.  I see the value of parametric. 

There was a revelation made in the 1970 by a bunch of people at zerox parc regarding how to make computers simpler to use.  

They discovered that all humans know how to "reach out and grab" something.  We learn this when infants and it never leaves us.  

 

So all 3d modeling, measuring, grid lines, etc should be "reach out and grab".   When we have to turn away to look at a panel of some sort,  OIP for example,  we lose that "reach out and grab" experience.  We then become programmers.  "Input here produces out put there."  And things get abstract.  

 

so it seems, (JimW) that the closer VW gets to "reach out and grab" (parametric or not) the easier and more fun the experience will be..

 

the focus JimW and the rest of the people taking the lead at VW,  is "if it's not fun then it's not right" 

 

print that out and post it in the office. 

 

The people who who made the space navigator work and OpenGL and the current graphics of VW...made VW fun.  Keep doing this.  

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@line-weightYour two posts above perfectly encapsulate many of my views on things like 2D vs 3D, my frustrations involving the two, and how we 'make it work'. I design almost entirely in 3D, but still need to produce 2D drawings (which isn't going away in my industry any time soon, nor do I think it should). Both 2D and 3D both have very legitimate places within my workflow.

 

I think that the integration between 2D and 3D is one of Vectorworks' strengths and a major selling point compared to other programs; I simultaneously feel that it is one of its weakest points that needs way more attention as it relates to actual workflows. While these seem to be contradictory statements, both are true.

 

Over time I've thankfully become intimately familiar with many of Vectorworks' idiosyncrasies related to the above, involving numerous workarounds and manual fixes... weird Section Viewports, converting copies to lines, plane issues, and so forth. While in many ways I've "adapted" to these idiosyncrasies, I see less experienced users hitting roadblocks in the program which makes me realize how much easier and more intuitive many aspects should be. 

 

Posting on the forum is helpful, of course! We all continue adding our thoughts about what's good and what's not-so-good (although sometimes it's difficult to clearly explain what the underlying problem might be - there are a few issues I feel apathetic about even attempting to explain). I almost wish I could just record a day of me working in Vectorworks to help show the program's engineers what's actually involved in one user's real-world use. It's all the little things that add up to our frustration. But I also know that my frustration arises from my love for the program and all the things it allows me to do (not the least of which is to provide me a steady income). I just hope 2018 includes mostly fixes and improvements to existing elements. Brand new tools are great, but I find myself barely using them compared to the bread and butter of the program.

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4 hours ago, Andy Broomell said:

 

I think that the integration between 2D and 3D is one of Vectorworks' strengths and a major selling point compared to other programs; I simultaneously feel that it is one of its weakest points that needs way more attention as it relates to actual workflows. While these seem to be contradictory statements, both are true.

 

 

I know what you mean, I think.

 

One of the consequences of moving to a more 3D-centric drawing process, for me, has been a decline in the quality of the 2D output I produce. I describe a significant part of this problem here:

 

 

There's not been any comment from anyone from VW and it leaves me wondering - is this even recognised as a legitimite issue? Are these problems even possible for the developers to anticipate, without closely observing people's actual workflows? I know what you mean about feeling like you want to record a day of you working in VW, to send to the development team.

 

On something I was working on last week, for various reasons, instead of producing elevations from a model, I went back to the "old" way, drawing them manually by projecting from the floorplans. Yes it was slow and tedious. But I also felt "in control" again. I had full control over, literally, every single line. The feeling of fighting the system to get output that's something like what you want is not a nice one, especially when it's that output that your clients and others judge you by - the public face, if you like, of your design work. Do the VW developers get to experience that feeling? I think maybe not, because they don't necessarily know when they are producing something that is going to have to be fought.

 

I think that as more of the drawing process becomes "automated", it becomes more and more crucial for the people designing those systems to be very closely aware of the details of how people actually try to use them, out in the wild.

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As to producing plans, elevations & sections.  They come in clean and accurate due to direct modeling.  However,  I need to set the VP to render OpenGL and not hidden line because the render time is so slow.   The plus side is that you can read the labels I have on the objects and the color helps to explain what is going on.  But if someone insisted for hidden line, then I would be sunk.  Of course the project was a 19 acre site.   

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I'm following all of this with interest, but not convinced. I think I need to try it to find out.

 

Funnily enough I also have a model of my own place (a refurb), that I also built myself. I've been meaning to update it to run PHPP calcs on it through Energos. Maybe I'll have a look at modelling it without parametric objects too.

Edited by Christiaan

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6 hours ago, digitalcarbon said:

As to producing plans, elevations & sections.  They come in clean and accurate due to direct modeling.  However,  I need to set the VP to render OpenGL and not hidden line because the render time is so slow.   The plus side is that you can read the labels I have on the objects and the color helps to explain what is going on.  But if someone insisted for hidden line, then I would be sunk.  Of course the project was a 19 acre site.   

Maybe I should have a try using OpenGL for elevations and sections.

 

Plans don't work very well using direct modelling, because drawing conventions for plans use a lot of symbolic elements that a straight slice through the model doesn't know about. It won't give you door swings (even if it's a parametric door object), arrows on stairs, and so on. On the other hand, parametric objects + top/plan view has significant shortcomings and doesn't really work for roof spaces and so on. So, currently my floorplans are produced using a messy bodge of clipped viewports (some sectional some top/plan) plus a load of corrections added in annotations layer.

Edited by line-weight

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21 minutes ago, Christiaan said:

I'm following all of this with interest, but not convinced. I think I need to try it to find out.

 

Funnily enough I also have a model of my own place (a refurb), that I also built myself. I've been meaning to update it to run PHPP calcs on it through Energos. Maybe I'll have a look at modelling it without parametric objects too.

 

I'm interested to know if Energos really works - especially once you deviate from standard wall objects and so on. I've not tried it because - based on nearly all other new VW tools recently - I suspect I'll spend a load of time getting to understand it up to the level where I find that it doesn't work for what I want to do.

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I thought this thread might be a good place to quote this from @JimWin the "teaser tuesday" thread

 

Quote

(We are now more often focusing on improving existing tools and not letting them fall to the wayside after their initial fanfare, giving items 2.0 and 3.0 feature sets in subsequent releases.)

 

He put in brackets but it might be the most encouraging thing I've read on here this year. Let's hope it's really true!

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1. Speed/Stability

2. Speed/Stability

3. Speed/Stability

4. Speed/Stability

5. Speed/Stability

6. Speed/Stability

7. Speed/Stability

8. Speed/Stability

9. Speed/Stability

10. Speed/Stability

11. then start to add new things

12. etc

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a bit more

11.Gaming UI & Direct Modeling/Editing

12.Gaming UI & Direct Modeling/Editing

13.Gaming UI & Direct Modeling/Editing

14.Gaming UI & Direct Modeling/Editing

15.Gaming UI & Direct Modeling/Editing

16.Gaming UI & Direct Modeling/Editing

17.Gaming UI & Direct Modeling/Editing

18.Gaming UI & Direct Modeling/Editing

19.Gaming UI & Direct Modeling/Editing

20.Gaming UI & Direct Modeling/Editing

21. NOW start to make OIP/Parametric tools.  BUT THESE CANNOT UPSET IN ANY WAY ITEMS 1-20

 

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just for clarity, the update of the Resource Browser was a good example of improving speed.

 

take the same people who moved that forward and put them in charge

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13 hours ago, digitalcarbon said:

a bit more

11.Gaming UI & Direct Modeling/Editing

 

 

 

 

Wasn't 2017 tabs enough of a UI regression without going for 8Bit inspired fonts and garish oversized buttons? 

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Gaming UI is more of an idea that usage should be fun & enjoyable...easy & intuitive...like "first person" games (ex: Portal)

 

if navigation in 3d, creating in 3d & editing in 3d was equally as fun, then people would be beating down the doors to use the software.

 

then split the harvesting of data to another "universe"  where people can harvest 2d plan (ex: Top/Plan), 3d walk thru, sections, clipped cubes, BOM etc

 

but the 3d universe is fun & free of the worry like "if i use a tool for the model, will it look good in Top/Plan view but bad in section?"

 

 

 

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Yes, at the moment we have to expend a lot of energy worrying about how to build the model so that a half-usable top/plan view and or sections can be generated.

 

But of course it should be the other way around - the processes that extract the information from the model should be designed to extract from a model that is built in a way that makes sense from a building-the-model point of view.

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ha! exactly...

 

them..."can i get a plan & section of that?"

 

me..."gulp, well...er...ah...yea sure..."  panic panic...render render...crash crash...(4hrs later...) "here is your plan"

 

them..."and the section?"

 

me..."oh...right....ah...yea sure..."  panic panic...render render...crash crash...(2hrs later...) "here is your section"

 

 

 

i feel much better knowing that others are experiencing the same thing... 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Matt Overton said:

 

Wasn't 2017 tabs enough of a UI regression without going for 8Bit inspired fonts and garish oversized buttons? 

So sadly true. And, the fact that, order to get  readable filenames on a tab it must be apparently 24 characters or less and in this century, that limitation is worse than passé and frankly, inexcusaeable.

 

Even a tooltip or hover tip would be helpful. Not the best solution, but in the interim…

 

Not even gonna talk about how visually unattractive the tabs system is (also, sorry, gotta say it again, how ugly the resource browser colors are)

 

Who knows which milestone project below is V1 and which V0?

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 8.53.03 AM.png

Edited by mjm

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7 minutes ago, mjm said:

So sadly true. And, the fact that, order to get  readable filenames on a tab it must be apparently 24 characters or less and in this century, that limitation is worse than passé and frankly, inexcusaeable.

 

Even a tooltip or hover tip would be helpful. Not the best solution, but in the interim…

 

Not even gonna talk about how visually unattractive the tabs system is (also, sorry, gotta say it again, how ugly the resource browser colors are)

 

Who knows which milestone project below is V1 and which V0?

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 8.53.03 AM.png


Make sure to wishlist this! Need the weight from the community, votes included, to help guide development.

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Just now, JimW said:


Make sure to wishlist this! Need the weight from the community, votes included, to help guide development.

Thanks Jim, will do.

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For Vectorworks 2019 the best thing that could possibly be done is to make all the existing features work properly. This would relieve a great source of stress to me and many others. There are currently outstanding bugs that cause section generation to fail, constraints don't always perform correctly, some worksheet functions don't do anything and this is just what I've personally uncovered in the last month or two. Please concentrate on quality for the release of 2019.

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