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Chris Kaiser

NOTHING WITH THIS SOFTWARE IS EASY OR USER FRIENDLY!

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Posted (edited)

I couldn't imagine being more frustrated with a software, I've been trying to do a simple landscape planting plan and its making my hair fall out!

Why do they make everything so difficult???  and their answer is to read through the help manuals which are EXTREMELY difficult to follow, or else, pay $150/ hour for training.

Completly disapointed in my decision to buy this software.  I'm sure the moderator wont approve this post.

Edited by Chris Kaiser

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Talking from my own experience: intro formation 8 hours to get used to the interface. The rest came with sleepless nights, work and forum.

I worked with archicad and revit and I give you a friendly advice: don't expect better than that

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And it is possible that you and Vectorworks just don't "think" the same way.  There are a number of programs that I find unusable simply because I think about things differently than the designers and it means I am frustrated at every turn.

 

If that is you and Vectorworks, see about returning it and switching to something else. Vectorworks in the US offers a 30 day full refund policy.

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@Pat Stanford This reminds me of my rocky start with Vectorworks due to some technical issues that took awhile to resolve.  I seriously considered seeking the refund and abandoning ship.  Glad I didn't, even with all of the significant outstanding support issues.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Pat Stanford said:

And it is possible that you and Vectorworks just don't "think" the same way.  There are a number of programs that I find unusable simply because I think about things differently than the designers and it means I am frustrated at every turn.

 

If that is you and Vectorworks, see about returning it and switching to something else. Vectorworks in the US offers a 30 day full refund policy.

I think you are right Pat, It's likely that I just don't think the same way as this program.

I've done the essentials training, watched countless youtube videos and had some one on one training.

For some reason I'm just really having a hard time with the learning curve.  Everytime I think I'm on the right path some new roadblock pops up and I'm off to youtube again for what seems like hours. I don't even know how to communicate what is going wrong or what questions to ask.

I honestly wish I wouldn't have created this post, but I can't find a way to delete it.

 

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No problem Chris. Everyone on the board has been through something similar. We try to be open and honest.

 

Sometimes we are "too" helpful. Since we like the program we want everyone else to like it also, so we try to offer solutions.

 

If you want/need to use VW, you are in the right place to get the help you need.

 

But only you can decide if VW is the right fit for you.

 

Are you coming from using other CAD software? If so, the best thing you can do is try to forget what you know about them. If you expect or try to force VW to work the same way as something else you know you are in for a lot of frustration. If you take VW for itself and the way it works, it can accomplish almost anything.

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@Chris Kaiser I'm one of the oddest thinkers out there - it's a feature! I'd learned using ACAD and the switch to VW was painful, even now (well I'm on v2012 but recent Q's here seems little has improved) it's not where ACAD was 15 years ago - fence select  / cmd calc. Rhino still needs a few more years on the stove, form-z is well form-z. BriscsCAD is amazing but I don't want to switch now as $. 

 

BUT VW has something most / all AFAIK - a built in (basic) spreadsheet, it can make very small pdfs (with a little wrestling), and it's a good program to layup files from multiple sources (XREF equiv a bit crap not withstanding). Something else VW has is a fantastic forum, - I always want a good forum with a new program, else I walk away.

 

I'm traditional in some ways, a lot of pencil  before drawing, often using sketchup for quick models, tend only to use vw in 2D mode as my landscapes are unique from each other; a lot of in-file similarity, but little project crossover .YMMV.

 

I'm a tiny company but do some big projects with this thing, many km across, half a million plants, a lot of pages. But I use a lot of other software to build landscapes, horses for courses really.

 

Start simple and ask lots of Q's here.

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Posted (edited)

I'm also curious which CAD you came from, if any. Most CAD software is complex, but especially those that can model and document the entire built environment.

 

I would say the hardest thing about Vectorworks for me over the years has been its flexibility. I don't actually like that there are so many different ways to achieve a specific outcome. But of course this flexibility is also a strength; if there is not a specific feature to achieve something there's almost certainly another bunch of ways to get the job done. The way to get the most out of this equation is to develop good habits, or in the case of a whole practice, good office standards. That takes time.

Edited by Christiaan
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The main "wall" that I faced was the interface. First time you open a new software, you get that reaction "I don't know how to even start with it". This is why the first training is so important. As soon as you get to know how to "assemble" a model, things start to get natural, like in any software. But sometimes we are so used to the regular CAD / Sketchup, etc that it is difficult to get rid of those routines.

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I have to agree with all of the above.  The frustration is over the top I pic up piles of hair off my desk.  But once you get a handle on something it works well.  I was sold because a few of my local colleague's use it, love it and say its the way to go.  Some of my high end tech savvy clients who I have discussed my frustration say pretty universally is with features comes complexity.  Both of learning and how to make the features work together.  I have the 2d pretty well down.  I have been at my desk for the past month learning the 3d...I'm not there yet but gaining on it.  For perspective...I took basic autocad back in the day.  It was a semester long 2x per week class at the local community college just to get the basics down.  Here's a trick that just dawned on me the other day.  You can take a screen shot video of your work so as soon as you learn something do a video for yourself so you can go back to it when you forget how.   I do suggest the training it helps turn the lights on VW trainers are very knowledgeable.

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Posted (edited)

I would second the vectorworks university courses. You can select specific chapters in the more advanced courses and site design modules that will help a bit, and search for tutorials on generating reports and the like much easier than via youtube.

 

I'm also learning and it can be frustrating - but I think that getting over the hump for learning the planting tools (which I'm also doing right now), I'm looking forward to the capacity of the tools which are really the best out there in terms of whats geared towards landscape archtiects/designers.

 

Another bonus is that vectorworks staff actually respond to user requests at various levels, both for new features and problem solving. Coming from the AutoDesk world, where landscape architecture is an obscure profession, this is super nice.

 

 

Edited by Poot

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