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jmanganelli

Speed Modeling Enhancements?

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Hi Jim (or to whom it may concern),

 

Is there any intention to improve the ability to speed model with Vectorworks?

It seems that the vectorworks 3d modeling tools and workflows are pretty good and pretty comprehensive, but could be much more optimized for speed modeling than they currently are. 

 

Alternatively, has anyone come up with really useful shortcut key arrangements and/or UI customizations to improve the speed of speed modeling in Vectorworks?

 

 

For reference, I modified the right-click menu in rhino to have sets of tool palettes in the right-click menu, and it lets me model very fast in rhino. 

 

image.png

 

I have customized my vectorworks object context menu and am trying to get as fast in vectorworks as i am in rhino but it is difficult to do so at the moment.  The functioning of the tools forces me to move the mouse away from the objects on which i'm working in order to select modes or settings.  Can these settings be built into the dynamic tool tip so that if, for instance, I right-click on the push-pull tool in my object context menu, then the dynamic tool tip autopopulates with the icons to select which of the three push-pull modes I want to use?  This would keep me from having to move my cursor up to the top of the viewport and it would allow me to stay in more of a very fast flow of modeling.

 

image.png

Edited by jmanganelli
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1 hour ago, jmanganelli said:

Hi Jim (or to whom it may concern),

 

Is there any intention to improve the ability to speed model with Vectorworks?

It seems that the vectorworks 3d modeling tools and workflows are pretty good and pretty comprehensive, but could be much more optimized for speed modeling than they currently are. 

 

Alternatively, has anyone come up with really useful shortcut key arrangements and/or UI customizations to improve the speed of speed modeling in Vectorworks?

 

 

For reference, I modified the right-click menu in rhino to have sets of tool palettes in the right-click menu, and it lets me model very fast in rhino. 

 

image.png

 

I have customized my vectorworks object context menu and am trying to get as fast in vectorworks as i am in rhino but it is difficult to do so at the moment.  The functioning of the tools forces me to move the mouse away from the objects on which i'm working in order to select modes or settings.  Can these settings be built into the dynamic tool tip so that if, for instance, I right-click on the push-pull tool in my object context menu, then the dynamic tool tip autopopulates with the icons to select which of the three push-pull modes I want to use?  This would keep me from having to move my cursor up to the top of the viewport and it would allow me to stay in more of a very fast flow of modeling.

 

image.png

Love this. Between this idea and added gumball function, that'd be slammin'. But please, first lets make VW work reliably. 

 

Edited by mjm
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@mjm a gumball would be such a great yet simple addition, @jmanganelli just added VW to our software in the office, long time Rhino user though, I get what you're asking for 👍

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I agree @mjm and @milezee that the gumball is also very useful.  Between the gumball, about a dozen or so shortcut keys, and the right-click context menu, I almost never have to go to the perimeters of the screen when I'm speed modeling. 

 

One of the nice things about how the rhino palette customization works is that it is all just drag and drop.  You can create a new palette, drag and drop any tool icon onto it, save it once configured, and then assign it to the pop-up context menu.  It is simple and quick and easily reconfigurable.

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A longstanding gripe of mine that the modifiers one needs to get to whilst modelling are not easily retrievable.  Yes, there are the U,I,O,P keys to modify some tools, but they change according to the tool, forcing me to look up from where I'm working.  

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On 12/29/2018 at 1:27 PM, grant_PD said:

A longstanding gripe of mine that the modifiers one needs to get to whilst modelling are not easily retrievable.  Yes, there are the U,I,O,P keys to modify some tools, but they change according to the tool, forcing me to look up from where I'm working.  

 

Yes, this! And because tools have modes, users have to remember what the last mode was (or look at the mode bar to check). Then comes a long mouse movement to a small button or shortcut cycling though modes. Such bad design. 

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We spoke VERY shortly about this in the 2018 Summit keynote, but this kind of UI element in general is something we very much want to include among some other things like the gumball.

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That's great! Please don't forget about keyboard shortcuts as part of the UI design process. The existing Vectorworks shortcuts are totally nonsensical. They were based on mapping the default, two-column, vertical, MiniCAD tool palette onto two horizontal rows of a US-based keyboard. Users can customize shortcuts, but it's a significant undertaking and it is difficult to move from computer to computer or help other people in the office. Vectorworks is complex and it should have a more sophisticated method of keyboard shortcuts. Two suggestions:

 

1. For all of AutoCAD's failings, the command line is very fast and intuitive. Want a circle? Start typing C-I and AutoCAD will autosuggest circle. Additional options are right there and can be entered without taking a hand off the keyboard. Rhino does this as well. The command line looks offputting, but it could be implemented in a more modern way. A popup akin macOS's Spotlight, for example.

 

2. Don't understate the power of muscle memory. Current tools are based on modes, which means that a user must either (a) remember which mode was used last—which may be a few minutes ago, or a few days ago—to know what the next click will do or (b) look at the mode bar to confirm which mode is selected. Both methods are slow and increase cognitive load. It would be far faster, for example, to hit C for circle by radius, CC for circle by diameter, CCC for circle by three points, etc. While there are a few more key presses, it becomes very fast and intuitive and the user never has to remember or look away.

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@ThreeDot yeh the command line is great, both in Autocad & Rhino3d, simple yet really effective way to model 👍

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@Jim Wilson, thanks.  Great points, @GeoWH.  I don't think this requires significant UI changes, though you could take that route.  But if you don't want to make significant UI changes, I think that it is possible to make customizable palettes or offer a beta UI experience or offer popup context menus.  The Foundry has been working through workflow and UI upgrades for MODO, and I think they have handled the entire process of developing, introducing, testing, and getting feedback very well.  They've engaged the users, gotten buy-in, made it an open process, and cultivated user fans.  McNeel, too, developers of Rhino, also did a great job with developing the gumball and making it an overall good experience with the community.

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All of the suggestions on this thread are great. But it feels to me like (despite the very best efforts of people like Jim Wilson) VW need to step up the resourcing of usability improvements/updates by something like an order of magnitude before there's the slightest hope of these kind of improvements being made in the near future. I'd love to be proven wrong and see a general UI overhaul happen in the next 2-3 years.

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