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Michal Zarzecki

3D data corrupt in plant symbols

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Hi all.

I am hoping someone would be able to help me with this one.

 

I have created my own plant catalogue for a project (eventually, after many hours of trial and error). Then I batch-created Plant Styles from it and assigned my 2D symbols to them. Unfortunately, upon insertion, the Plant objects disappear. When I tried to edit the Plant Style, notification appears with information that the symbol's 3D information is corrupt and a 3D locus will be used instead. Well, I didn't even bother to assign 3D representations to them styles for now, so that's a second surprise (first was that the blocks/ symbols used as graphics were 2D). The funny thing is, that when I try to Edit 3D component of any symbol, the editing window opens but there is no content. The symbol is not dubbed hybrid 2D/3D symbol, so I don't get what it is all about.

After leaving the symbol definition, it actually works. It seems that the program requires to open up the symbol definition to rectify it in its own way. Now, I have almost 100 plants there. How can I batch-rectify this? Can I replace symbols for all the plants at once? Or, do I need to recreate the styles from the catalogue again with different symbols?

I needed to postpone my submission because of that, so I am trying to get that resolved over the weekend. 

Does anyone have any clue or advice what to do?

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@Michal Zarzecki Lots of stuff going wrong in your description.  It sounds like you did not define the plants correctly during the batch creation.

Disappearing symbols is probably a class problem, either with your active class or the class(es) used in the symbol definitions.

If you didn't set a 3D representation for each of the plants during the batch process, what did you select?

I don't know how you could batch correct this, maybe you should recreate the plants by starting over and insuring all settings are to your liking prior to issuing the command?

 

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Hi @jeff prince.

 

There is definitely nothing wrong with the visibilities - I checked. Plus, it starts working after i open the 2D component edit and exit it. As if VW needs to acknowledge something.

22 minutes ago, jeff prince said:

If you didn't set a 3D representation for each of the plants during the batch process, what did you select?

In Style creation, I assigned the 2D graphics and left the 3D be. This must have been my grave mistake. The default says "Copy from symbol". There was nothing to copy from the 2D symbol. 🤦‍♂️

Shame there is no way to batch-rectify this. I will do it from scratch. Fortunately it's only minutes. 

Do you happen to know if there is a way to import not only the botanical data, but also the spec, i.e. the NPS infor, ref code/ abbreviation etc? I have a whole xls file with a complete specification of my plants. I don't want to edit each style separately.

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2 hours ago, Michal Zarzecki said:

Do you happen to know if there is a way to import not only the botanical data, but also the spec, i.e. the NPS infor, ref code/ abbreviation etc? I have a whole xls file with a complete specification of my plants. I don't want to edit each style separately.

 

I don't know how you would do that using just Plant Styles.  Hopefully someone with the knowledge will chime in.

Where do you intend on storing that data inside the plant style?

 

Personally, I use a customized version of the Filemaker VWX plant database to manage information such as that.  Filemaker Pro (now known as Claris Filemaker Pro) allows you to combine datasets such as yours and map the data to appropriate fields in the master database.  You could then use the FMP database to populate the plant style's data as was the procedure prior to "Plant Styles", but you have to have a copy of the FMP software and know how to use it to avoid disasters.  I haven't fallen in love with the VWX notion of managing plant data with Styles because it is limited, especially in regards to creating custom plant information sheets, managing photos of the plants, and the 'drag and drop' utility of pulling images from the plant data sheet into other software.

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7 hours ago, jeff prince said:

I don't know how you would do that using just Plant Styles.  Hopefully someone with the knowledge will chime in.

Where do you intend on storing that data inside the plant style?

I didn't catch what you meant here.

This extra information is stored under Plant Data section of the style. It combines the botanical data from the database and other information, such as Height at Purchase, Girth, Root Protection etc. See below.

501272825_Screenshot2020-08-16at09_17_07.thumb.png.08350ab375c0d474edf74dcdb67e4428.png

 

I considered KeyScape much easier to use when it comes to hard and soft landscape planning, execution and specification. Import from external sources is dead simple as well. I have a feeling that with VW everything just takes ages (endless clicking) to set up anything.

Anyway, it seems that I need to edit those styles one by one 😩. "Very useful" this import from a spreadsheet - from all the data I have, I managed to import barely the name and category 🤦🏻‍♂️

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18 hours ago, Michal Zarzecki said:also the spec, i.e. the NPS infor, ref code/ abbreviation etc? I have a whole xls file with a complete specification of my plants. I don't want to edit each style separately.

 

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8 hours ago, Michal Zarzecki said:

I didn't catch what you meant here.

This extra information is stored under Plant Data section of the style. It combines the botanical data from the database and other information, such as Height at Purchase, Girth, Root Protection etc. See below.


So where do you plan on storing and managing the data you mentioned?  In a bunch of Excel files?

 

“spec, i.e. the NPS infor, ref code/ abbreviation etc? I have a whole xls file with a complete specification of my plants. I don't want to edit each style separately.”

 

I don’t see any fields for the data you are interested in present in the plant style record, so where will you map it to?

Are you intending on attaching a custom record to do that job OR add to the default plant style record system?

I don’t see any advantage in organizing plant data in multiple places.  I stick it all in one database and serve it from there since VWX kneecapped Plant Styles in terms of capabilities to both manage and display data.  Someone needs to remind them that this notion of Styles to manage objects is a good one, only if it allows us to do our work quickly and easily.

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On 8/16/2020 at 5:37 PM, jeff prince said:

I don’t see any fields for the data you are interested in present in the plant style record, so where will you map it to?

Jeff, as per my previous post.

The Plant Data area of Plant Style provides information beyond the plant's botanical and horticultural records.

On 8/16/2020 at 5:37 PM, jeff prince said:

I don’t see any advantage in organizing plant data in multiple places.

It's not about organising data in multiple places. You mentioned that you use FileMaker Pro, but we don't. Rather than producing [complete] Plant Styles one by one, I would like to be able to import them from whatever spreadsheet, external database etc. What I can import to the Data Base now, is the botanical information. This is fine for creating our own thing in the office, but we need it to translate into styles and these include specification information on top of the botanical data. For the time being, the Schedule area of Plant Styles is very limited with one record of Plant Size. We actually had a good conversation about it with @Tamsin Slatter and @Katarina Ollikainen last year.

If such comprehensive import and mapping is not possible, then it would be worth reviewing the matter and anticipate enhancement. I am just hoping that I am missing something in the process.

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@jeff prince , I do appreciate your time and help. And I think you did point me out to what caused the corruption of the 3D data, which was the main point in this thread. However, we don't seem to be on the same page when it comes to the data base. I explained what I wanted to achieve - import data from external list/ spreadsheet to batch-create complete Plant Styles. By complete, I mean with both botanical data and specification (in the Plant Style referred to as Plant Data, see screenshot above). If you feel that any of your questions have not been addressed within the posts, do let me know. So far, it seems that one can only import data that is consistent with any VW Database records that have VW prefix (e.g. VW Category). Other data can be mapped during the import process, but these would not be saved in a custom catalogue and hence cannot be imported/ converted to a Plant Style data.

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@Michal Zarzecki No worries.  I guess I just don't understand where you intend on storing some of the custom data within the plant style.  If a field does not exist within the plant style that you can populate with your custom data, will you just stick it in one of the predefined fields such as "comment 1" within "Plant Data" or will you stick it in "Schedule Comments" in "Schedule" for example?  Or will you attach an additional record format to your plant objects to handle this?

 

I wonder if I'm missing out on some hidden feature that allows you to create your own custom fields within a Plant Style.  If it exists, I sure would like to know more about it.  

 

That being said, I see no current viability in managing my plant catalog in Vectorworks.  I need to have that information available for easy use in other workflows such as printing plant information sheets, retrieving photos for use in illustrations and emails, etc.  Hence my fondness for a Filemaker database and the occasional sticky note.  So easy to learn, even a landscape architect can do it 🙂  It's not as much fun as design, but neither is feverishly hunting for information in the vast piles of debris that adorn most design studios or their computer networks.  Once you go down the path of databasing your reference data, you start using it for all kinds of other business operations and analytics.

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@Michal Zarzecki 

I totally missed this image you posted and feel like I'm missing out on something.

How did you get those Fields to appear in the plant style, mine look nothing like it and reflect the typical VWX plant database like this:690861172_ScreenShot2020-08-20at9_17_00PM.thumb.png.8673630d9849b47f673374ccf3866c17.png

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Hi @jeff prince

I think that's the source of our misunderstanding. Yours seem to be limited to the botanical data. It might be because you use Vectorworks Designer, whilst we went for Landmark. It might be more comprehensive.

See below a screenshot from the mapping exercise when importing an Excel file to the Vectorworks Plants Database:

image.thumb.png.371dfdc5ac733e9e53e5c1ac386ecb12.png

Note that some have VW prefix and others have none or NPS.

The ones with VW will definitely go to the catalog, so would ones without any prefix, I think. But none of the NPS ones seem to do. These ones can be found in a VW Landamark Plant Style under Plant Data.

So, what I needed to do when working on that project, was to go to all styles, one by one, and add my own ID, root protection info, girth for trees etc. Quite tedious. I am speaking to Hannah at VW next week, so maybe I will learn something new. So far, it's been trial and error (which is quite costly when working on a project).

To save time, I just resorted to specify everything in one record which lives within the Schedule area - Specified size. This can be imported. The problem is that the text within Data Tags doesn't wrap. So, when you have a lot of info in that one record and you want to annotate it in a drawing, this gets really long and arranging tags around the drawing gets really difficult, time consuming and as a result inefficient. I am hoping that programmers will eventually code it to be more flexible (discussed in another thread).

Actually, having pasted that shot here, perhaps changing the Target to a custom database would allow for integration of all needed fields 🤔. I shall see next week.

 

I hope this clarified a bit where that misunderstanding came from.

 

Then, I do understand what you are saying about data bases, because I am a table freak - I always needed my data to be organised and comparable. During my bio studies, I used to produce tables with everything, botanical families, comparison of species within the same genus, systematic groups, anatomical features, enzymes - you name it. And I would also like to have a DB with plant info and images for easy reference. For what we use in the office, I produced a custom font that represents plant features - for easy illustration of benefits in our reports. Perhaps I need to have a closer look at that Filemaker - sounds like you mastered it and it's very useful.

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@Michal Zarzecki This is humorous.  I thought you were directly importing data to a plant style.

It appears as if you are actually using the Plant Database (which is Filemaker Pro based) to populate your Plant Style, as the dialog box you posted is just that.

Mystery solved.

I only know enough to be dangerous when it comes to Filemaker.  Fortunately, that is enough to be mildly effective at using it.  You can create new fields using a spreadsheet and import them into the plant database using the import field mapping tool, note highlighted field below :)

Like I said, I prefer using FMP to do such manipulations...I find it hard to trust VWX when it comes to manipulating the FMP database after having some issues that went unresolved by VWX tech support and prior to buying FMP.

 

129884079_ScreenShot2020-08-25at8_29_52PM.thumb.png.f52fbc7369695ab166ef9ed1ad96f800.png

 

By the way, Designer includes everything Landmark does, and then some 🙂 

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