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Lighting Accessory tool question

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Hello everyone!

Tell me how to add accessories to the light fixtures. For example: C-clamp to Clay Paky K10?

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A C-Clamp would not normally be classed as an accessory in Vectorworks. Accessories in VWX spotlight are typically Barndoors, Top Hats, Rotators, Irises etc and are attached to the instrument with the Accessory tool.  However, adding a C-Clamp is easy enough to do.


You will need to adapt the original K10 symbol by adding a C-clamp to it, or better still, duplicate the original Vwx symbol and rename it with maybe a (C) suffix. Then you need to edit the 3D portion of the symbol and add the C clamp geometry. In order for the C-lamp geometry to behave with the lighting device tool properly, you need to add the "Base" Part Record to the geometry. There is a section in the help documentation that explains how all of this works. 




I can see that the K10 symbol already has a "Base" part. What you will need to do is add the clamp geometry to the existing ballast geometry by editing the group. From there you can add a clamp (or two). You will need to adjust the Z height of the other geometry though to allow it to fit. When you have done that, exit the group and from a side view, adjust the Z height of the Yoke, Body and Locus to allow for the extra clamp geometry. Sounds complicated but really quick and easy once you have worked out how to do it once.


My advice, in order to get a better understanding of lighting Instrument symbols is to edit an existing ETC Source 4 symbol from the Vectorworks library and take a look at all of the 3D components and see how the symbol has been set up. You could certainly copy the c-clamp geometry from there and paste it into your new Clay Paky Symbol.

Edited by markdd
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Do you need to count C-clamps separately from your fixtures (I hope not, but conceivable), or is counting different versions of the Clay Paky K10 sufficient?  Mark's solution is the best way to go, but if you need to count them separately like barn doors for a shop order or some other reason, you will need to make them a lighting device, by creating a symbol with a Light Info record and attach them to the fixture like you would a barn door.

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OK.  You have options, but...

The first option is probably the easiest and best, and that is do not place the C-clamps in the drawing.  Count the Clay Paky K10 and use that number for your count.  The count will always be correct, and the C-clamps will always be where you need them, because they are not in the drawing.


The second option is to make or find a symbol of a C-clamp and place one on each K10.  They will be easy to count in a worksheet, but...

                  they will not show up in the Instrument Summary, and they will not move with the lights unless they are also selected.


The third option is to use the Accessory Insertion Tool.  As mentioned before you will need to create a symbol with a Light Info record.  This is probably best done by:

                     duplicating a barn door

                     rename the duplication

                     edit the 2D portion of the new symbol

                               throw away the graphic and replace it with your C-clamp graphic

                               while in the edit window, select the "Data" pane of the OIP and select the Light Info Record

                                            rename the 2 Name fields, the Inst Type field, and the FixtureID field

That was the easy part.  Now that you have a useable symbol, use the Accessory Insertion tool to attach a C-clamp to each K10.  In order to do that you must

                    select the Accessory Insertion tool

                    select the C-clamp from the list of accessories

                    for each K10:

                             click where you want the C-clamp to be

                             move the mouse to determine rotation of the C-clamp

                             click to confirm the rotation

                             click on the light you want to attach it to

                             find the next light to click on


The fourth option is to use a 3rd party plug-in to place the C-clamp or any other accessory on multiple fixtures at one time.

                   The 3rd party plug-in is a menu command that is part of AutoPlot Tools for Spotlight

                   To use the 3rd party tool you will still have to create a C-clamp symbol with a Light Info record as described above in option 3

                   it will cost you $35 dollars, but if this is a one time crazyness...

                              The tools have an 18 day fully functional trial period and you could use that to place the C-clamps

                  (full disclosure I am the developer of AutoPlot Tools.)


Myself, I would think seriously about option 1.





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Another good way of doing this would be to add an extra record to your Instrument Symbols. Call it Hardware Accessories?

Create a new record called Hardware Accessories or whatever you prefer

  • Add a Field called "Clamps"
  • Give that field a default of 1

Put all you lighting instrument symbols in one folder and run the command:

  • Menu>Tools>Records>Attach Records
  • Select the folder that contains your instrument Symbols
  • Check Hardware Accessories.

A Hardware accessories record will be attached to your symbols.


You can leave it at that and adjust the default for each type of symbol you have C-Clamps for, or you can add that field to the Object Info Palette. To do that: 

  • Go to Spotlight Preferences and click on the "Additional Default Records" button.
  • Check Hardware Accessories.
  • Then go to back to Spotlight Preferences and click on the "Lighting Device Parameters"
  • Click "New" and add a field called "Clamps" and leave the default field blank.

Close the Spotlight preferences and return to your document. What you will see when you click on a lighting device at the bottom of the OIP there will be a field that says Clamps. You can fill that in with the quantity of clamps you have per instrument. The reason for attaching the record to the symbol is that all subsequent Instruments added to the plot will be pre-filled with the correct information.


You now need to make a worksheet to count the number of clamps in your drawing.


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I like Mark's idea, and it introduces you to custom data fields in the Lighting Device, a hugely powerful feature that can solve many data management issues.

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I was just trying to make a worksheet for that and for the life of me I can't work out how to provide a total at the bottom of a column of data! Should be easy right?


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OK, guys. Thanks for help. I will try all options.

Sam, where I can  download the trial version  AutoPlot Tools?

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       At the top of the home page click on "AutoPlot Tools for Spotlight"

       At the top of the resulting page click on "Go to Downloads"

       pick your version.



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1 hour ago, markdd said:



I was just trying to make a worksheet for that and for the life of me I can't work out how to provide a total at the bottom of a column of data! Should be easy right?


At the top of the worksheet column in row 2 (the database definition row you will see that the column is already counted.  Right click on A2 and select "Sum Values"1831821552_ScreenShot2018-10-07at10_20_53AM.thumb.png.b8c6777d746e277c0c5e38d16014d4db.png


The total will now appear in the data base column definition, A2.  If you need to reference that sum elsewhere, put an "=A2" in a cell that you want to have display the total.



There might be a better way, but will have to ask Pat Stanford for that enlightenment.





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Answered in the other thread. For those to lazy 😉  to check it out, the field is formatted as text instead as a number. Hard to do math on text.

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