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Sketch Mode exclusion in 11.5 ???

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As long as we are getting well off topic I will chime in. VW's new Sketch rendering mode is vastly different in function than SketchUp. SketchUp is intended for rapid predesign and schematic design in an interactive 3d world. It is aimed directly at architecture and is very similar in purpose (but an evolutionary milestone ahead) to the old ModelShop and the seemingly dormant DesignWorkshop.

You can do most of what SketchUp can do in VW, but at a huge cost of efficiency. SketchUp has rendering, callouts, dimensioning, etc., but while you could put together working drawings in SketchUp you would be foolish to do so. You could do working drawings in FormZ too, but that doesn't make it a good idea.

I don't think that VW's Sketch mode is intended for designing. It is a presentation tool. SketchUp can squiggle lines too, but again, it is more for presentation.

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Michael - re your comment:

When advised by my VW CAD suppliers they said that Architect is not worth the extra ?300 odd unless you are perhaps American and it would be best to spend the money on Sketch Up and save some money.

How many hours of your time is ?300? Five or less I would have thought.

The implication that Architect is too American is a nonsense!

- The Americans build with exactly the same building elements we all do: floors, walls, roofs, doors, windows stairs, cabinetwork etc.

- They annotate and dimension their drawings the same way we all do. (Albeit with an archaic measurement system and different terminology).

- They present their designs to clients as we all have to.

Where is the big difference that makes Architect useless in the UK. I do work for an English architect and have never found any of Architect limits what needs to be done anymore than it does here.

The only plug-ins which present some differences are the NNA door and windows, which are primarily aimed at framed construction. With very little effort however you can set these up so that they are to your requirements. You can also create libraries of items if you wish to overcome this problem.

Yes some of the parametric plug-ins don't have features which we would like. For example:

- more functionality with doors and windows, but this can be overcome with OzCAD's WinDoor for around US$180.

- winders on stairs would be nice, but these can be modelled manually if you have to.

Where are the paremetrics in SketchUP? You have to model everything manually. And then start again in another program when it comes to documentation time.

OzCAD the Australian distributor customises Architect for our market, and adds value with features they have developed. You should be asking why your UK distributor is not doing this.

As for the comment - this just illustrates their lack of knowledge about the product they are selling.

[ 03-08-2005, 11:28 PM: Message edited by: mike m oz ]

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alan - I was just answering your points and I am not going to labour it again but if you read it again maybe you will get the answers without me having to repeat myself again.

travis - I would love to spend a day learning more but I have over 5 years experience of using VW and just done a whole day one to one with an authorised VW trainer and still the elevations are poor. Also I have over 20 years experience of working with autoCAD and Microstation so I know the differences and prices. My postings on this, re elevations, show that is is well below expectations. Perhaps something 11.5 should of cleared up?

I am not going to say anymore about Sketch Up as their sales in comparison to VW Architect proves the point. NNA have missed an opportunity which I think we all agree on Sketch should have been in the standard VW 11.5.

Mike - my point exactly, there is no uk or european version of VW or Architect, frame construction is a small market here, where are the windows and doors for Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings? Where are the plug ins to popular manufacturer doors and windows?

My practice is small so ?300 here and there for that bit of extra software mounts up and so it has to be the right decision and do the job. Also I have worked in large practices and none of them use Architect as it costs too much per machine. All work is done 2D predomantly with autoCAD or occassionally with VW. Presentation and 3D work is done in other none VW programmes.

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Architect has components in it which will boost your productivity and allow you to do more:

- The project setup routines create all of the design sheets, classes, standard views and viewports for you.

- Custom wall types can be created and saved for easy recall.

- Sites can be easily modelled with the built in DTM.

- There are more plug-ins and symbols.

- Annotation is quicker with the additional tools provided, and you can develop your own notes database the way you want it.

- Tools for the creation of all types of schedules are included.

- Issue manager turns a chore into a straightforward task.

Why don't you try talking to Jonathon Reeves about Architect - he is a very capable user and is listed on the CU site as being a reseller. He will be able to give you sound and informed advice (your current mob sound like they know very little about nothing).

My English architect friend was also initially frustrated by the lack of UK door and windows, but we overcame this easily with WinDoor. With WinDoor you can save 10 different types of doors or windows with the characteristics as you want them, and then recall these by selecting the appropriate one from the menu. This makes the selection and customisation of a unit for a particular circumstance relatively straightforward.

Having the tools is only part of the jigsaw though - knowing how to use them efficiently and effectively is critical.

In my experience this is where most people's frustrations come from. The program is now fairly complex and no longer as intuitive as it used to be when it was much simpler (hopefully NNA are working on making the complex aspects of program more user friendly and intuitive).

To realise the potential of the program most of us need all the training we can get, and fortunately there are very good self help resources available with the NNA Training CD's and Jonathon Pickup's ArchonCAD Limited training manuals. Invest in one or both - you will get a significant return on your investment.

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Hate to be a killjoy people, but I'd like to get this thread back on track.

In particular I'd like NNA to make some response to this.

I'm not being bloody-minded, or just plain whingeing here; when I (can afford to) upgrade my system I'll get this feature so it's not as if I personally will miss out.

I have been an advocate for VW for as long as I've been using it, and have convinced the faculty where I teach part-time to expand it's use. I want to see VW expand and "succeed".

However;I teach in the Design department, in particular Furniture and Product Design. None of the Industry specialties offer ANY advantages to us to speak of.

In fact the Landscape Architects that I design childrens playgrounds for don't see that Landmark will offer sufficient benifits to justify the additional cost. but that's another story.....

I see this issue as being central to the directions that VW will take over the next few years. I genuinely want VW to flourish, and in particular, I want VW to service my profession as well as it services the "other four".

So.. NNA; can you explain why Designers should either

1/ buy a whole lot of stuff that's useless to them, or

2/ be denied a significant Design presentation tool that YOU think is appropriate to OTHER design proffessionals.?


[ 03-09-2005, 04:34 PM: Message edited by: propstuff ]

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I agree. Good advice falling on deaf ears anyway in my opinion. Let's move on and back to the crux of this topic.

In my opinion the following options as I see it will happen or need to happen not to just keep existing users on board but to increase Vectorworks presence in the CAD marketplace.

As already discussed and I think those not served well by the existing industry versions and using the foundation, standard version, whatever you want to call it, are looking for the features so clearly of use to all to be included in this version.

Despite comments that these are a reasonably small costs, you are simply not going to get people to pay for industry versions with one or two features to add to their toolset for the money involved, knowing the targeted users of that version gain so much more for their money.

If there is other "industry" sectors that could do with a dedicated version of Vectorworks and there is a market for it then NNA through its sales and marketing reaserch should be either aware of it or searching for it.

If to do this would prove too complex, result in high overheads, development costs, fine just go back to offering the one program.

Some would say, why are you complaining, its simple just buy the Industry collection, which really is what VW was before the change to Industry Collections.

Fair comment but it was not the users that made the changes, so in creating this targeted markets NNA have created the "have and have nots" of the user base.

Would the users of one Industry version buy another Industry version just to get a couple of other features they could use, I don't think so.

It is without a doubt people are becoming more demanding in their choices, more aware of what the market place has to offer.

They are also under pressure in their own chosen profession to compete with rivals for work. Increased levels of presentation techniques, job costing and analaysis, the cross over in technical skills to achieve these results.

The whole world is getting more complex but we ironically want simplier solutions to solving and addressing these complex issues.

If a product does not offer what is required then people will either put pressure on their supplier, in the hope of getting it or look towards third party solutions to achieve what they need.

My clients always want more. I have to increase my skills, my services to remain competitive. Computer generated photo realistic renderings etc. are just one consequence of a changing market place. If I was still only able to create hand drawn visuals I'd have gone out of business years ago.

The danger for the supplier is that in looking beyond what they currently offer the customer may also formulate a solution which eventually excludes their product from the workflow completely.

If the customes are having to purchase additional functionality then the value of the original product will also start to diminish in their eyes.

I know that NNA are not complacent, and try to add value to their product upon each upgrade, but lets be honest they are doing it because the market place demands it. Nobody is going to be happy paying for upgrades that just fix bugs in software they already paid for.

They need existing users to want to upgrade to provide a source of revenue along with the income new users bring in, who again will be the upgraders of tomorrow. Nothing wrong in that, its business, the same as I have to keep my clients happy for them to keep coming back to me.

I like Vectorworks, want to stay using it and continue to spread the good word about it.

It's not as if the things we want need extra development as they exist already just a better approach to what should be in the standard version.

Sorry went on a bit;~)


P.S. Nearly forgot, can we have sketch mode inthe standard version please.

[ 03-09-2005, 06:49 PM: Message edited by: alanmac ]

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