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willofmaine

Marionette Hopeless

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Having seen the incredible potential of Marionette, I've spent a tremendous amount of time with it.  But it's been one issue after another.  I realize I'm on a steep learning curve, and certainly plenty of my issues can be attributed to that, but, I'm pretty sure a disproportionate amount of them are due to the bugginess and general dysfunctionalism of Marionette.  Among other things, I'd had high hopes for Marionette as a way to overcome some of the bugginess and general dysfunctionalism of Vectorworks itself, but, I guess not.  Saving Marionette objects as PIO symbols just results in failures.  Fine.  I'll just copy and paste them from one file to another; who needs the Resource Manager?  One work-around after another like that, on and on.  But, somehow, I finally managed to finish my door trim Marionette object, and it's working beautifully!  Good to go.  Back to my project, where I place it in a symbol.  And try to change its parameters.  But, yet again, things go awry (see attached screen movie).  This is very discouraging; I'm getting ready to give up on Marionette.

 

 

22-Marionettes_Hopeless-1708-020W.mov

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And every time I exit the symbol that I've put this Marionette object into, Vectorworks freezes for 15 seconds.  When I edited the wall hole component from the 3D component, following each and every of several steps to modify an extrude, Vectorworks froze for 15 seconds.

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The first thing I notice is that you used Real type input values instead of Dim type. That means that the values will not work well across files with different units.

 

It looks as if perhaps you created the Marionette in a file set to Inches and now are trying to use it in a file of Feet & Inches. When it recalcs you are getting a very different value than you expected.

 

Don't give up yet. It can do what you want, but you have to tell the dumb computer EXACTLY what steps to take. Close is not good enough for a stupid machine.

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Okay, thanks.  I tried replacing all of the "Real" nodes with "Dim" and "Int" nodes, but it didn't seem to make much of a difference.  Default input numbers keep randomly changing; that happened.  Then, when I changed one of the textures, the entire Marionette object disappeared.  And, either way, Vectorworks freezes for 15 seconds after exiting the symbol.

 

Attached are two files - one with the "Real" nodes, and the other with the "Dim" and "Int" nodes.

 

And, step by step, what I'm doing (in either file):

1.) Run the network.

2.) Note that the groups created are the correct size (36" x 80") per the default input values.

3.) Delete the groups.

4.) Wrap the network.

5.) Convert to object node.  

a.) In file 23, the height is randomly changed to 1 (in the OIP; the input node is still 80)

b.) And in file 24, the thickness is randomly changed to .039" (in the OIP; the input node is still 7 1/2").

6.) Copy the Marionette object, and paste it into the righthand ("Test") symbol.

7.) Update the incorrect OIP values, and increase the width to 64" and the height to 84".  ((Currently, at this point, it seems to be working as expected, and not generating the huge opening size as in the video.  It's consistently inconsistent...)).

8.) Try changing the textures in the OIP (it only disappeared once; now it seems possible to change the textures...).

9.) Exit the symbol, and wait while VW freezes for about 15 seconds.

 

 

 

 

 

23-Marionette_Hopeless-1708-020C.vwx

24-Replace_Real_with_Dim_Nodes-23.vwx

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5 hours ago, Pat Stanford said:

Don't give up yet. It can do what you want, but you have to tell the dumb computer EXACTLY what steps to take. Close is not good enough for a stupid machine.

 

Well, not that it applies to this topic on Marionette, but I read somewhere that artificial intelligence could never beat human stupidity, so my hopes are not that high. :)

 

But this need to tell exacly what steps to take is probably the bigger stumble block for those trying to use VW scripting or marionette and having trouble with it as one needs to know how VW does things, and it is not only the steps but also the order of steps to take that matters sometimes. It can take a while before that gets solved. The logic behind programming is not necessarily matching my way of logical thinking.

Edited by Art V

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6 hours ago, willofmaine said:

  Then, when I changed one of the textures, the entire Marionette object disappeared. 

 

This can sometimes happen if you choose a texture that isn't already in your document. The list of textures gets reordered which can change where the object is looking for the texture, that's why on your next attempt the texture updates correctly.

 

Right now there's not a good way to get around this if you're using that node, other than always selecting textures at the top of the list (the ones that already exist in your document)

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Also, I'm not experiencing 15 second waits, maybe more like 2 or 3 seconds, and this is just because when you exit the edit mode the Marionette object has to redraw. Any time you change any parameter on this object, the whole starting object is deleted and then redrawn. This also cannot be worked around at this time.

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I think the issue with the height and thicknesses changing is when you number your node names to order them in the OIP.

Although ordering in this way is possible, it's not officially supported. 

When I removed the numbers to order the nodes, the values stayed as expected when converted to a Marionette object.

 

You can still use those, you'll just have to fix them in the OIP after you convert to an object.

 

I'll throw a bug in for this and see if we can do anything about it. 

VB-146474

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5 hours ago, Art V said:

 

Well, not that it applies to this topic on Marionette, but I read somewhere that artificial intelligence could never beat human stupidity, so my hopes are not that high. :)

 

On August 29, 1997, Marionette became self aware...

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3 hours ago, Marissa Farrell said:

 

This can sometimes happen if you choose a texture that isn't already in your document.

 

I tried to replicate the steps I took prior to this issue, and can't recreate it, but, I'm pretty sure the texture was already in the document the one time that this did happened...

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3 hours ago, Marissa Farrell said:

Also, I'm not experiencing 15 second waits, maybe more like 2 or 3 seconds, and this is just because when you exit the edit mode the Marionette object has to redraw. Any time you change any parameter on this object, the whole starting object is deleted and then redrawn. This also cannot be worked around at this time.

Whether I change a parameter or not, it takes 15 seconds (though I'm not sure what you're saying: a Marionette object always recreates itself, or only if something's changed?...).  And I have plenty of computing power, so I don't know why it should take so much longer for me...

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In 2017 the object will reset each time you move the Marionette object as well as any time you edit a parameter in the OIP as well as any time you enter the script edit container.

In 2018, we have an option that suppresses the reset on move.

 

I'm also uncertain as to why it would take longer for you.

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3 hours ago, Marissa Farrell said:

I think the issue with the height and thicknesses changing is when you number your node names to order them in the OIP.

Although ordering in this way is possible, it's not officially supported. 

I'm pretty sure I picked this method up in one of Sarah's webinars, or maybe a Vectorworks tutorial.  I knew it was dysfunctional for anything over ten, but, had no idea it wasn't officially supported.  What, then, is the official method for ordering inputs in the OIP?...

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Just now, willofmaine said:

What, then, is the official method for ordering inputs in the OIP?...

 

At this time there isn't one.

There's hope that the numbering method WILL be the official way to do this, but right now it hasn't been officially tested internally, which is why users that use it sometimes hit problems like this.

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1 minute ago, Marissa Farrell said:

In 2017 the object will reset each time you move the Marionette object as well as any time you edit a parameter in the OIP as well as any time you enter the script edit container.

In 2018, we have an option that suppresses the reset on move.

I'm mostly working in 2017 at this point, but experimenting in 2018 a little I did encounter that suppression option.  It seemed to work for duplicating a Marionette object, but, as soon as I changed a parameter, ALL of the parameters reset to the defaults, and I was back to square one.  So it kinda seems like only a small step in the right direction: why can't a duplicated (or I guess moved) Marionette object just keep all of its PIO parameters, even if a few specific ones are subsequently changed?...

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3 minutes ago, Marissa Farrell said:

 

At this time there isn't one.

Oh, okay.  I guess it helps to at least know that that's what's happening.  I'd probably keep using the numbers, and just update the OIP as necessary.

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Okay, in the attached (VW2018) video, I've deselected "Reset on Move" (to suppress the reset, right?) and when I duplicate (which I assume is the same as "moving") the Marionette object after changing its width, indeed, it retains that new width.  But if I then change the height, ALL of the parameters (including my new height) seem to return to the defaults, and it's necessary to start all over again.  It seems that, ideally, it should just work like any other PIO, such as a Door, which you can move or copy and then continue to change parameters in the OIP without affecting any of the other parameters...

 

 

26-2018_Parameters_Reset-25.mov

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So I gave it one more try in my project file.  I figured waiting 15 seconds is faster than manually updating the door trim for each different door size (for the door trim I'm using combinations of scaled 3D symbols combined as solid additions).

 

To overcome the inability to individually number Door PIOs when they're used as symbols, I'm instead using symbols (which are a combination of Door PIOs and custom trim geometry) within Door PIOs (with the "Use Symbol Geometry") option.

 

In the project file where I'd replace the solid additions with the Marionette object inside the symbol, the first time I clicked on the Settings for a Door PIO using the symbol, Vectorworks just crashed.  The next time, it took 55 seconds to call up the settings.  And I had to wait anywhere from 20 to 40 seconds after doing anything in the Settings dialogue box (such as selecting a different symbol, updating the PIO size, clicking on "Okay") before I could do anything else.

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2 hours ago, willofmaine said:

 

On August 29, 1997, Marionette became self aware...

So I can say "OK Marionette" and it will self-write the script for what I ask it to do?

Wonderful :D

Edited by Art V

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@willofmaineWhat you are seeing appears to be very different than what most other people are seeing.

 

1. Are you sure you are on SP1 of VW2018?

2. Did you install the SP directly over the original install? If so, consider deleting the original install and starting from scratch.

3. Try creating a new user account and trying to run VW and the Marionette from there. If it runs there, then you have some crud somewhere in your user account.

 

Not fun, but better than fighting gremlins.

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I've got VW2018 SP1, but mostly I'm working in 2017.  Generally 2017 has been a nightmare of graphics and speed issues compared to 2016, and 2018 seemed to offer no escape.  Default VW preferences, new user accounts, system profiles, etc., have all been tried with Tech Support.

 

I thought maybe I'd just try using straight-up symbols, with linked text for door numbers, in lieu of the system described above (the drawback being that in order to generate a door schedule, ALL doors would have to be symbols, whereas the system above allows using a combination of Door PIOs that do and don't use symbol geometry).  But, experimenting, the second or third time I changed the size of the Marionette object within its simple symbol, it simply disappeared.  I deleted everything else in the symbol, and "Select All" would find the Marionette object, but only in the OIP.  Otherwise it had no actual, physical, visible presence in the symbol.

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4 hours ago, Art V said:

So I can say "OK Marionette" and it will self-write the script for what I ask it to do?

Wonderful :D

Only if it's interested in doing what you want it to do.  But, you gotta' go back to 1997 first...

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6 hours ago, Marissa Farrell said:

There's hope that the numbering method WILL be the official way to do this, but right now it hasn't been officially tested internally, which is why users that use it sometimes hit problems like this.

@Marissa FarrellUm, okay, so.. I went ahead and removed all the "ordering" numbers from my input nodes.  Not only did this seem to prevent any random changes to the default values, but, much more significantly, I was able to option-drag-duplicate Marionette objects without them resetting(!) (as in, like, I guess the reset suppression option in 2018 wouldn't even be necessary(?)...).  Hopefully this is not an anomaly...  See attached video, which shows it working exactly as I would hope it to.  Vectorworks 2017 file also attached (wow, is it just me, or do Marionette objects take lots of memory (file size)??...).  Anyway, thought this might be of interest to you... maybe there's more to numbering nodes than just random changes to default values?...  

30-Numberless_Inputs-21C.vwx

31-No_Reset_with_Numberless_Inputs-30.mov

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Even in this simple file created from scratch, the objects created from the network with numberless nodes don't reset, whereas the ones created from the network with numbered nodes do...  And, also, moving, as opposed to duplicating, doesn't seem to cause either type of object to reset...

 

 

32-Numberless vs Numbered Inputs-00.vwx

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