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Changing Symbol Texture

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Hi All,

I have not used Marionette before but was hoping it could help me solve a problem.


I have a lighting symbol that contains several parts that each have a texture applied. 

I want to be able to select, via the OIP for the symbol, a choice of 3 textures that are all in my resource browser. This could either be via a drop down or selection button.

For example...

I want to be able to chose the color of my light symbol (the color of the model not the light emitting from it) from a choice of Red, Green, Blue.

The parts that have the texture applied are always the same color as the other parts so the light would always be one color and not a mixture of colors.


Is this possible?

I did take a look online for something that might fit already but the more I looked the more confused I got 🙂


Any helps appreciated.

Many thanks


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What's the end goal? There might be a better way of approaching this as you can change colors in other ways depending on the stage of your process and need.


As far as I'm aware you won't be able to do this if you expect the lighting fixture to work as a normal spotlight fixture plug-in object, so if you're expecting that level of interaction with the object then the answer is more than likely no. If you're just trying to create a visual prop for renders this is very doable as a marionette object.

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The goal is to be able to change between one of two "default instrument textures" at the click of a "Black/White button" in the OIP for the fixture.

One texture is white and the other is black as the fixture is available in these two colours. These textures are simple default instrument textures that are applied to various parts (but not all) of the fixture.


This reason for looking at marionette to solve this is because I dont want to create two variants of the fixture and I dont want to use the class system as I dont feel that is an elegant or intuitive way to get the best results for user experience.


Ive seen some wonderful things that marionette can do and kind of thought this would be a relatively easy job for it. Maybe I am wrong...but I hope not.



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If these are Vectorworks Symbols, then you will not be able to accomplish what you want. When you change a symbol, every instance of the symbol changes. So if you need to have different instances of the symbol showing different colors in the same drawing, you are out of luck.


The "simplest" option is to make two versions of each symbol, one with each texture and then use the Replace option in the OIP when you need to switch one.


As @AlHanson says, if you need these to be Spotlight compatible then you are probably completely out of luck without making duplicate symbols.


In a Marionette object you should be able to bring in all of the geometry, probably bringing it into two groups inside the Source Geometry and then apply the texture to the parts you want to change the texture on in one group and specify the texture names using a valve node.


But that Marionette object will not be usable as a Spotlight instrument, and if you have a lot of those objects, redraws and renders will be substantially slower than using symbols.


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There is a non-Marionette work around to this, but it's still going to require some configuration:


1) Modify/Create the fixture texture so that instead of being a black color, the color shader is set to use the Object Attribute


2) Modify the symbol geometry fill color to be white instead of black

3) Go into Spotlight preferences and check Modify Lighting Device Color using Object Attribute


4) Change the fill color on the fixtures and it'll take it! Can probably go some steps further if you want to leave the 2D normal and only change the 3D by changing the classes of the fixture as needed and using the 'Modify Only Geometry in the Class' setting in the Spotlight preferences as well.




Edited by AlHanson
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Question: is this something that can be easily solved using Data Visualization in VW2021?  Just set up a couple of different Data Visualizations that look at all of the lighting fixtures and change the texture when the Data Visualization is active.


Below is an example.  I've duplicated the "Default Instrument Texture" and changed the color to white.  Then I set up a Data Visualization looking like this:




Which results in something like this:



Then all I have to do is activate the Data Visualization.  No need for separate fixtures or messing around with classes.  Bonus: you can have as many of these as you need and can change between them with a couple of clicks.  They can also be set independently in viewports.

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@AlHanson Thanks for the info. I had not thought of that.

Sadly that is too much of a workaround as the symbols I am doing are meant for lots of people so whilst it would be OK if it was just me using them I can see it leading to issues asking users of the symbols to do so.


@Jesse Cogswell That wold work if users of the symbols were on VW2021...and many of them wont be.


I feel my best solution is just make the symbols black and hope the user knows the steps to change the colour of the texture.

I will keep my fingers crossed for a more elegant built in solution in the near future.


Thanks for the suggestions though 🙂 

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Another possibility would be to double the textured object and put them in different classes. Then you would just turn off the class for the one you don't want.  But this would only work if ALL of the objects will be the same texture. You could not mix and match.


I keep leaning back to the idea of duplicate symbols for different textures. Wouldn't the facility need to keep separate inventory? So even if they serve the same function they are not really the same thing.

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