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Maxweisen

Festoon / String Lights

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Hello,

 

I am trying to make a custom length of string lights, also known as festoons. Attached is a picture of what I am trying to create.

I have done a lot of searching on the forums and google with no solution found. Could someone please explain a technique I could use within Vectorworks or maybe guide me to a symbol that will give me the intended lighting fixture?

 

Thanks,

Max

 

festoons.jpg

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I’ve just modeled the lamps and. Sockets. Added to a string that was an extrude along part. I used a glow texture on the lamps for rendering. In this case they were not attached to a light info record. 

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@Kevin Allen That is a great starting point for me. Another portion I still haven't figured out would be bending the string so that the string light would have some swag to it. Do you have any tips regarding that?

 

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Well the path could be a NURBS curve or simply use the poly line tool for the path. Somewhat depends on the desired end result. 

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@Kevin Allen Okay, I made NURBS curve with the intended swag on the line. I have some light bulb symbols I added to the drawing. I tried using the distribute tool in Spotlight but I am only getting a 2D line. Is there a way to distribute the light bulbs using the NURBS curve I drew? If so, how?

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I use the curve for an extrude along path. But the distro is manual. 

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You could also do the distribution using Edit>Duplicate Along Path. You would need to draw your swag curves in Top/Plan and rotate them into their proper orientation after distributing the bulbs. Duplicate Along Path would give you a lot more control and allows you to preview the results. Here's an quick example file.

 

Depending upon how you're rendering the result you may not have to turn the cord into an Extrude Along Path. I often represent cords using a NURBS curve.

 

Kevin

 

363563539_ScreenShot2018-05-07at8_12_14PM.thumb.png.54f89612c6d80a631238cf5b2bb74cf8.png

String_of_Lights.vwx

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Also, don't forget, depending on your view, scale, and rendering detail, you can do this very quickly with image props.  Once you create an image prop, you can find its texture and edit so that the glow gives off light.

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My pet peeve on these is the "catenary curve". Nurbs curves can't really duplicate the proper swag shape. So do the best you can and know not to plan on it to closely.

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Yes, a catenary curve option somewhere would be lovely. Doesn't have to be a NURBS function, just a 2D function, that can be converted. I have had to plot those cubes with a chain and pencil!

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1 minute ago, RickR said:

Vote it up!

 

Alas, I would if I could, but apparently I voted for it before 🙂

 

KM

 

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Interesting, I just discovered that the ability to draw a catenary was added to the recently released Rhino 6.

 

The solution in VW may be with Marionette since there is an equation for finding a catenary. @Marissa Farrell has anyone tried this that you know of?

 

Kevin

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We've made holiday lights with Marionette, but so far nothing with a catenary (which I just had to look up...) though it shouldn't be hard to pull off.

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Lots of great information here. I really appreciate all of the responses. Thanks

 

- Max

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6 hours ago, Marissa Farrell said:

We've made holiday lights with Marionette, but so far nothing with a catenary (which I just had to look up...) though it shouldn't be hard to pull off.

Awesome! Cannot wait to see the fruit of that labor. A catenary is something I need 4x per year at least, and when it's wrong, it's just not right.

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I agree with J above. Image props generally look more realistic for applications such as this and require far less rendering time assuming that a presentation is a high priority. Creating a hybrid symbol that had classes for both an image prop and actual 3D geometry would be ideal as then you could do whatever you needed simply by toggling a couple of classes. 

 

Simply using a NURBS curve can cause real issues with renderings. I am not sure I can describe the issue, however, it really causes havoc with volumetric renderings. The best way I can explain it is that a NURBS surface always presents to the front of an image even when behind a beam of light. 

 

Extrude along path is a good solution but if you require faster rendering performance, you will find using the Double Line Polygon tool and making your arc out of short, straight sections will speed up performance just like using square tubing for truss chords. I suppose it depends on how many festoons you have, how close they are to your cameras and how prominent they are in the design. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, scottmoore said:

Simply using a NURBS curve can cause real issues with renderings. I am not sure I can describe the issue, however, it really causes havoc with volumetric renderings. The best way I can explain it is that a NURBS surface always presents to the front of an image even when behind a beam of light.

 

Its because NURBS curves are treated like 2d objects and rasterized during rendering. They should be treated like the 3d objects that they are and render like every other piece of 3d geometry. I have flagged it as an issue in the past.

 

Kevin

 

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Hi, this was the String of lights that i was toying with.

Adjust the number of lights and exchange the symbol to your liking. adjust the colors, type etc of the lights. Will look at making one with different colored lights in one string.

Right Click and change the Control Geometry also.

HTH

String of lights.JPG

Striing of Lights.vwx

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Posted (edited)
On 5/9/2018 at 3:01 PM, Marissa Farrell said:

We've made holiday lights with Marionette, but so far nothing with a catenary (which I just had to look up...) though it shouldn't be hard to pull off.

 

On 5/9/2018 at 1:20 PM, Kevin Allen said:

Yes, a catenary curve option somewhere would be lovely. Doesn't have to be a NURBS function, just a 2D function, that can be converted. I have had to plot those cubes with a chain and pencil!

 

On 5/9/2018 at 1:00 PM, RickR said:

My pet peeve on these is the "catenary curve". Nurbs curves can't really duplicate the proper swag shape. So do the best you can and know not to plan on it to closely.

 

On 5/9/2018 at 2:09 PM, Kevin McAllister said:

Interesting, I just discovered that the ability to draw a catenary was added to the recently released Rhino 6.

 

Here's my kick at a Marionette version of the catenary curve using some online formulas. It draws NURBS curves so they are only approximations. (Rhino and some of the other software packages only generate approximations as well).

 

Kevin

 

43094387_ScreenShot2018-05-12at9_52_02AM.thumb.png.16cae1f3b4f0a59765dacf6f9328b42b.png

 

 

Catenary Curve.vwx

Edited by Kevin McAllister
Corrected a problem with the example file where it didn't use the correct number of points.
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NURBS curves rendering as a 2D object is pretty ridiculous. I unfortunately found that out AFTER drawing thousands of feet of railings for a very large job. Seemed like a great way to go about doing that quickly and looked very appropriate when rendering without haze. Once I added volumetrics, it was a disaster. 

 

Keep that in mind if using NURBS for festoons. 

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Extruding a smal circle or hexagon along the nurbs will solve that. But it can  add to the polygon count in a big way.

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If you would like NURBS curves to render properly consider up-voting this wishlist item -

 

 

Kevin

 

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