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milezee

Renderworks or Artlantis Advice

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Hello Forum, in our office we have just made the decision to make the move to Vectorworks as our primary CAD software. So there will be 3 of us on the design team learning a new software package, which will be an interesting challenge 😝. We also do a small amount of rendering at early tender stage to support our bids on winning contracts. Not super high end photo-realistic, just nice concept CGI's. We design and fit interior and FF&E packages on large commercial projects. 

So bearing in mind we are switching and learning a new CAD package, my question is this, would using Artlantis for our renders be a little simpler than mastering the Renderworks inside of VW ? Is there more of a learning curve in one or the other?  tia, cheers 

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I don't know Artlantis, but Renderworks does nice, well, work. There is also an augmented reality feature in the VWX cloud, which can put furnishings in rooms.

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@Milezee

I found adopting the rendering to be quite intuitive both for applying colour to walls etc to using the back ground renders.Although it is largely a matter of taste I prefer a more pastel effect rather than full on colour/photorealistic stuff and this can be easily achieved by exporting the resource into photoshop and toning it all down and then reimporting it as a (revised toned down) image. In addition the off the shelf background renders can also be adapted to suit your needs.  The ambient occlusion (lighting options in Custom renderworks settings) and use of shadow via the heliodons add dramatic effect to any render.

 

image.thumb.png.6ed6a2e9b28cb1117d54ece38aa24733.pngHave fun!

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So find a resource eg roof shaker red from VW resource file "Textures external finishes" in the file resource manager, right click extract image, send to your eg project file open in photo shop desaturate & save. Go back to your roof shake red right click/edit, edit the image in the colour option change image and import your desaturated render/image and it should update automatically... 

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16 hours ago, milezee said:

Hello Forum, in our office we have just made the decision to make the move to Vectorworks as our primary CAD software. So there will be 3 of us on the design team learning a new software package, which will be an interesting challenge 😝. We also do a small amount of rendering at early tender stage to support our bids on winning contracts. Not super high end photo-realistic, just nice concept CGI's. We design and fit interior and FF&E packages on large commercial projects. 

So bearing in mind we are switching and learning a new CAD package, my question is this, would using Artlantis for our renders be a little simpler than mastering the Renderworks inside of VW ? Is there more of a learning curve in one or the other?  tia, cheers 

 

I don't know Artlantis so can't compare.

 

But you can certainly get nice results in Renderworks and it is quite flexible in many ways.

 

I find it's very handy to be able do rendering inside the same application as modelling/drawing; it saves a lot of time and tedium compared to having to export models to a different application in order to render.

 

Most difficulties I have with it are not related to it being overly complex, or requiring a great level of technical expertise to get things looking good - they just come down to certain things to do with the UI and workflow that are inconsistent or anti-intuitive (a bit like the rest of VW). I find I easily forget these things in between rendering sessions if I don't use it for more than a few weeks and my solution is to have a set of notes to myself of how to do various things that are otherwise baffling.

 

There's one thing you should be aware of though, which is there is quite a serious problem with Renderworks in that it will unpredictably start rendering entire scenes black, and in many cases this can only be resolved by restarting the program or computer. It seems that not everyone encounters this but enough do that you should be prepared to find it affecting you. It's very unhelpful when you are up against a deadline to have to restart the application every time you want to produce a render. This problem has persisted through a couple of releases and it appears that VW are currently unable and/or unwilling to fix it in a hurry. More details in this thread:

 

 

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thanks for the heads up @line-weight, sounds frustrating, long term bugs aren't the best for workflows. We may purchase Artlantis Studio aswell. From the quick research I've done it is supposedly a quicker learning curve, cheers  

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1 hour ago, milezee said:

thanks for the heads up @line-weight, sounds frustrating, long term bugs aren't the best for workflows.

 

I have to say, right at the moment, I really would *not* recommend anyone switch to Vectorworks from other software because of various long term bugs and a situation that does not seem to have improved over the past few releases. Perhaps not helpful comment for you if you've already made your decision.

 

I really hope that VW sorts itself out over the next couple of years, and absolutely want to see it survive into the future because I've got no desire to learn another application if I don't have to, and VW has a number of very positive aspects when it actually works.. But recently I've been starting to take a close look at alternatives just in case it gets to the point where I'm forced to jump ship.

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@line-weight I've used Rhino3d, Autocad, Keyshot etc for quite a few years, no software is perfect, bugs are always present and occur with new releases, I've been using the McNeel Discourse forum for years (Rhino's forum, its a great community) and bugs are reported daily, some fixed periodically and some still exist 12/18 months later, not perfect but most of the time there is a small workaround, not ideal but the way it is 🧐 

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8 minutes ago, milezee said:

@line-weight I've used Rhino3d, Autocad, Keyshot etc for quite a few years, no software is perfect, bugs are always present and occur with new releases, I've been using the McNeel Discourse forum for years (Rhino's forum, its a great community) and bugs are reported daily, some fixed periodically and some still exist 12/18 months later, not perfect but most of the time there is a small workaround, not ideal but the way it is 🧐 

 

Sure, I'm aware that shortcomings of the software you use yourself are always more obvious than ones with software you don't.

 

I hope you are not disappointed with VW and if you stick around here on the discussion boards it would be interesting to hear how you find it in comparison with the other software you've used.

 

One of the best things about VW is the forum here; it's where I come with problems initially, rather than going through technical support and there are a lot of very helpful folk here.

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@rjtiedeman thanks 👍,  probably a good idea to try seeing as we're just about to buy 7k's worth of VW licenses (a lot for a small company like ours) 😝

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Im also wondering the same here. While I like what VW has built in I often wonder if Artlantis or C4D would speed up workflow in the long run maybe for specialty projects? Most of our renders are often conceptual and subject to a municipality review.  I could see down the line the city wanting more detail and more photo realistic renders in some situations.

 

While Renderworks is great. At times I feel like I have to limit size and quality so render times don't run wild. Seems like maybe these programs render in real time or much faster from what I gathered?

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@HEengineering yes would be good to hear from someone who has used both and to know comparisons between learning curve, render speed and output quality, hopefully someone will chip in soon 👍

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3 hours ago, HEengineering said:

Im also wondering the same here. While I like what VW has built in I often wonder if Artlantis or C4D would speed up workflow in the long run maybe for specialty projects? Most of our renders are often conceptual and subject to a municipality review.  I could see down the line the city wanting more detail and more photo realistic renders in some situations.

 

While Renderworks is great. At times I feel like I have to limit size and quality so render times don't run wild. Seems like maybe these programs render in real time or much faster from what I gathered?

My workflow is to model in VW and then move everything to Cinema 4D for materials, lighting and camera work.  In VW, I turn the model into sheets and plates for bid/fabrication elevations - mostly using Hybrid symbols for almost everything.  In Cinema, I use the Corona render engine and sometimes Octane and sometimes Redshift renderer.  It's nice to have options for the render engine and I find the whole process of moving visuals to Cinema a nicer user experience then RW at a real fraction of the time.  Dig around my site - everything there is done with that workflow and I never wait more then 10-25 minutes for a render unless it is a really large output or contains a ton of glass/crystal for example.

 

There is a cost there and a deep learning curve.  You can get up and running in Cinema quickly, but it can take a while to grok whats going on and getting into more advanced lighting and material setup.  Cinema has a very generous 42 day trial, so I suggest you try it out.  Most of the major render engines have demos you can try too.  While Corona, Octane, Redshift, etc are not realtime engines - the IPR window offers you almost instant feedback so once you light a scene this way, you can never go back to the old way.  You can, however, bridge Cinema into Unreal Engine or Unity if you are looking for real time, but that is a steeper process.  Ask questions.  I teach this stuff around the country, so happy to answer questions.  

 

EDIT - Unfortunately I know nothing about Artlantis, so maybe someone else can chime in on that.

Edited by EAlexander
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12 hours ago, EAlexander said:

 

 

EDIT - Unfortunately I know nothing about Artlantis, so maybe someone else can chime in on that.

@EAlexander thanks for chipping in, nice work on your site 👍. We don't do lots of renders, maybe a few a month, quick concept visuals for clients so we want a balance between cost and learning curve. C4D looks great but is expensive and requires quite a bit of learning from what I understand. Yes I hope an Artlantis user can add some feedback to this thread, cheers 😁

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I actually use a combination of Renderworks, Artlantis and Keyshot.

 

Renderworks biggest advantage is that it's inside VW, so there is no need for conversion. It's well adopted for architectural work with lot's of textures, symbols and resources in that area. Applying textures and getting it right can sometimes be a bit time consuming to get to an acceptable rendering quality, as it lacks a separate rendering window with controllable size and an efficient realtime preview features like the other programs have. Texture mapping can sometimes be a bit frustrating, especially if you mostly work with complex shapes like I do. 

 

Artlantis biggest advantage is that it's comparatively straight forward and easy to use once you get the model imported, and provided that the model is well organized. You get from A to B quickly. I have a comparatively old version, and the rendering quality is perhaps not absolutely top notch but not bad either, and since the realtime rendering gives you quick feedback, it often delivers better result than Renderworks based on the often limited time you have to spend on renderings. Exporting from VW to Atlantis can be done through a plug-in, or using .3DS, OBJ, Collada, etc, which works comparatively well. 

 

Keyshot also supplies realtime previews, which are probably better in quality than the other two, by a long way. Importing works well using a wide range of formats, such as 3DS, OBJ, STL, VRLM, STEP, IGES, DXF/DWG, though a major drawback is it's inability to add and correct normals, which is a huge problem from VW as normals is a bit of a mess in VW. Normals, which is used to create smoothing in renderings (draw a sphere, convert it into a mesh and render in OpenGL and it looks edgy despite being set to smooth), is basically not working as it should for mesh models, and that is also carried through to polygon mesh based model formats such as 3DS, OBJ, etc. Keyshot is very strong in textures, but it feels more oriented towards product visualizations rather than architectural visualizations, so it may not be an option for all VW users. 

 

 

Artlantis VS Keyshot.jpg

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@Claes Lundstrom great feedback Claus, much appreciated. Yes I'm familiar with Keyshot, its a nice render engine, and since KS 6 the ability to render interior scenes is much improved, its what I use on my machine at home for my own work. I think here in the office where I do some design work for a company we may look at adding Artlantis, the balance of price point, learning curve and the fact that we're not doing lots of renders it makes sense. Cheers for the input ☺️, super nice renders by the way 👍

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Used Artlantis for 25 years with vw as my modeller.    Advantages artlantis vast library of models which import into art easily and changing of material shaders quick and easy....real time updates of lighting and shaders.....good batch rendering.....brilliant 3D trees and cars......good price point and easier to learn rendering than render works disadvantages non that I can think of ......

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A couple of examples the overhead done in artlantis clip cube enabled and an interior of a ballroom rendered in renderworks 

F8F4CF7C-DFB8-47B7-B671-16BC087D7605.jpeg

F5456D23-0EB4-4635-BA06-E1E3DBC660EC.jpeg

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