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Photometric Report?

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Hey all,

I've been a theatrical/event lighting designer for a while now, but I've been transitioning into more architecture and landscape lighting lately.  I'm trying to wrap my head around the photometric grid and photometer tools in spotlight.  I was wondering if there was a way to export the information from them into a report?  I'd like to be able to show min/max footcandles, average, etc for a given area.  I assume if I pull the data into a spread sheet I can just build some formulas to do the mathematics, but I'm not sure how to get the data for each point into a report.

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I tried playing around with this earlier this morning.  Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a way to get the information out of Vectorworks.  Because the footcandle value isn't reported to a parameter or record, there doesn't seem to be a way to pull the information in a database worksheet or report for either the photometric grid or with a single photometer object.  It would really require adding something to the plug-in object coding to output that information to a record field so that it can be pulled in a report.  Unfortunately, that would need to be something Vectorworks to add since all of the built-in plug-ins are more or less locked down.  You could try filing it as wishlist item, I don't think using Vectorworks as an architectural lighting designer is truly viable until that work is done.


Something also to keep in mind, the photometer objects in Vectorworks aren't great for true footcandle calculations since they don't take other geometry into account (objects blocking light such as walls), don't work with IES files in custom lights, and don't take bounce light into account.  For footcandle calculations I use AGi32 made by Lighting Analysts.  It can do basic renderings (built-in textures are not great for photo-realistic renderings), calculation summaries based on zone, and has a huge database of fixtures as well as a way to build fixtures off of just an IES file.  It's a bummer having to use another software and getting your model into AGi32 takes some work (it does allow .dwg file import and can work with Sketchup, but it really requires reconstructing your model in AGi), but I think it will have more of what you are looking for.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hi djobbins


Yes the current tag and worksheet solutions are not available because they require a symbol or plugin object that has data associated to be able to extract that information. The photometer in this case is the extracted information.Based on the candela value and the distance from/within the draw beam graphic. It also calculates Field and beam angle.


It would be great to get some idea of how you would like to view this data, we have looked at Dialux and lighting analysts solutions but it would be great to facilitate this workflow directly within VW, Any comments added here I will add to the feature request.



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Having done architectural lighting for more than a few years, don't trust VW photometrics. They are quite limited and unrelated to the rendering engine. 


There are several good programs that do just what you want. AGI32 is the big name. Dialux and Relux are free but well done as they are vendor supported. These all can take VW models, through some finagaling. Reports and far more are built in! 

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