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Venue With Multiple Setups

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Heya Team,


We are having a bit of a conundrum and I suspect someone here will have a nice simple workflow to help solve this. We have an in-house venue at Sydney Opera House and it is a venue that does corporate breakfasts, weddings, small conferences, graduations, everything. 


Currently, we have a template file with a few base setups that we start each new client setup from and we save it into the job folder for each job. We would like to create efficiencies where we are not drawing the same (almost the same) setups over and over and are trying not to have 300 layers with every permutation of setups because it will always be bespoke.


Has anyone worked in a similar fashion and could suggest a way to have this work with taking the least amount of time to draw each setup, and perhaps manage previous setups well? Id like to hear from anyone who might be bale to help. Thanks so much!

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Guest Beckstorm

So, I used to have a folder broken out into different files when I did a bunch of work in Washington DC.  I would regularly hit 6 Venues, and each had between 3 and 4 normal setups.  You might try the same, folder for this event and that event, then subfolders for stage on this wall stage on that wall and so on.  


Another option it to make a base file, and files for your different setups (things that are always the same) then you can make them reference files and add on the bits that are unique to each event. 


Past that its Layers and Classes and Saved Views.  


Hope that helps

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Layers, Classes and Saved Views, 


Classes for different options and saved views to toggle their visibilities. File save as template. Then once project signed off, delete classes (check delete objects) completely.


All the best


Tom W

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What about reference files? I once worked on a collaborative project where we each had our own file that was then referenced in a master file. This way, we could design whatever we wanted in our own layers and classes and then in the master file you just switch on the referenced files as needed (in their own layers i believe). The master file would have the main structures and your subfiles would be the bespoke designs. 




Maybe its way off, just a noobie hunch...

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Referenced could work. providing people are evangelical with filing.  I think a layout within the same file is easier to edit Or you could also duplicate a layer and rearrange in the event of  a slightly more unique version of your standard setup. The other idea I had was to make the whole layout a symbol?



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I second (third? fourth?) the reference suggestion.  My gig has base looks per stage with frequent redresses or swing sets, and the referencing is working nicely for us so far.


It's also easier/safer to manage imports from other departments' CAD (Rhino and AutoCAD, mostly); we're keen to keep those updates somewhat airgapped from our lighting work. If you're getting stuff from clients/tours, you might want to give referencing a try if only for that.

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When you import a layer (in the new layer dialog), you have the option to import all the layer's objects, so you could have one template file for the venue, and another template file with all the various configurations. This is slightly cleaner than deleting the layers you don't need.


If the objects for the standard configurations are all on the same layer, you can select them all and create a symbol, enabling the option to convert to group on insertion. This has the added benefit that if you come up with a new configuration, you can create a symbol and use the Resource Manager to export that symbol back to the master file.


The above suggestions assume that each configuration is bespoke and that you will make adjustments for every project.

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