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NCSMITH

Possible to create own parametric object?

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Hello all, 

 

I'm a newbie to Vectorworks having moved over from other 3D and 2D software. 

 

I need to model some custom picture frames- I have worked out how to do this using the profile along a path tool. 

 

However, what I would like to know is: is it then possible to make this profile/path object parametric so that we can copy/paste it for different size pictures and then input the size frame we need? To make a new path for every picture would be very time consuming!

 

any tips much appreciated :)

 

N

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I think you can do things like that programming in Vector Script or better in a

more human readable way by using VW's visual scripting "Marionette".

 

You will find lots of experts and help in the Forums Marionette Section.

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I'm going to echo @zoomeron Marionette. It's a little easier to get a plug-in object created using Marionette than it is to write it out with Vectorscript/Python and create a plug-in from scratch.

 

I'm pretty sure there's a frame object floating around on the forums here somewhere, let me see if I can find it.

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Here's one, maybe a little more complicated than you're looking for, but might be a good starting place. Let me know if you want to learn more or have any questions.

 

 

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On 9/27/2017 at 3:48 PM, NCSMITH said:

However, what I would like to know is: is it then possible to make this profile/path object parametric so that we can copy/paste it for different size pictures and then input the size frame we need? To make a new path for every picture would be very time consuming!

 :)

Picture frames should be reasonably easy with VectorScript because they are planar and generally rectangular;  non-planar objects are useless as the profile twists and turns. However, choosing the profile is the main issue. Plain rectangles are easy, but using custom profiles stored as symbols may not be. If you are happy to type the profile symbol name, fine, but if instead you want to have a dialog to choose one , you are in trouble. In my scripts for such purposes the script goes to the symbol definition and tries to find an object in the specified class (called, surprisingly, profile) and uses that. 

 

Edited by Urbanist
Clarification

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22 hours ago, Urbanist said:

Picture frames should be reasonably easy with VectorScript because they are planar and generally rectangular

I guess I tried to shoot before loading and aiming.

 

I can’t comment the Marionette proposal; being a puppet master was never a career option so I’ve not even tried it, but if Marionette has built-in functions (nodes?) for selecting symbols and maybe even textures, it might be a good choice. Assuming it does not ever require entering the dark worlds of VectorScript (VS) or Python, where angels fear to tread.

 

If it is for a mere mortal possible to enable selecing a frame profile symbol and even an image (texture or maybe image prop) in a Marionette object’s Object Info, go for it! In VS even one means easily hundreds of hours of frustration and despair with the arcane syntax and inadequate documentation ; whether Python is easier, I can’t comment. From some examples I have seen here, I’ve gathered that in Python one uses VectorScript function calls. The fourth option is C++, but even with the SDK (software development kit) one relies on libraries defined by Mr. Vectoworks. In VS perfectly working functions are being all the time removed with little advance warning, rendering your Plug-ins useless. As they sing, ”Wise men say, only fools VectorScript.”

 

In case of VS at least, the first thing to consider is the main user interface and the desired working mode. Whether you wish to hang your Pictures at the Exhibition as points, lines or polygons. Point and line can be hung in the plan view. This is what you need to decide when you say Create a plug-in object (or whatever the phrasing.)

 

From what you wrote one can assume that your pictures are rectangles and defined by overall frame dimensions. So, a Point object seems to be quite appropriate. In plan that can be shown as a line or be more complex, if required. It is possible to have interactive control points to define the width graphically.

 

A Line object would by default interactive as comes to frame width. 2D polygon is not a relevant choice and 3D polygon is (at least was) so problematic that I can’t recommend it, but theoretically it would allow you to draw any shape in a 3D-view, but this would always be interactive, you could not just give dimensions as you do with a Point or Line, which are fundamentally Plan view objects. 

 

You need  to define how your PIO interacts with walls in the same way as you do with symbols. 

Edited by Urbanist
Typo fixed

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