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Is the 'Nomad' app still alive and does anyone use it?

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8 hours ago, thecadman said:

There are different requirements for the 2D sheet view compared to the 3D model view...

Perhaps we can chime in with suggestions for both? 

Would that help @inikolova ?

 

Sure. I will take all suggestions! 

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Posted (edited)

Ideally as a minimum

- can load complex models (within reason)

- replicates saved views accurately, including when I use them to set class or layer visibility

- if it's based on openGL then replicates what we see in VW itself as much as possible, so that I know that once I have things looking how I want on my main computer, they'll look the same in the Nomad view. That means, similar options for whether textures are shown, whether edges have lines drawn on them, etc etc

- navigation has an option that someone with no 3d experience can understand, use and not become frustrated by. So I can hand over a tablet to a client and they can look around the model, or I can email them a link and they can look around the model.

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9 hours ago, line-weight said:

but it's the least bad out of a choice of bad options

 

Have you tried creating a virtual tour out of linked panoramas, using the Vectorworks Cloud Services presentation feature on the web portal? I think it is a great option to deliver a walkthrough experience without complex navigation. I have only heard good things about it so far.

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14 minutes ago, inikolova said:

 

Have you tried creating a virtual tour out of linked panoramas, using the Vectorworks Cloud Services presentation feature on the web portal? I think it is a great option to deliver a walkthrough experience without complex navigation. I have only heard good things about it so far.

 

Do you have a link to something that explains what that is and what it does?

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@line-weight,

 

This is a link to the Help article: https://cloud.vectorworks.net/portal/help/pages/create-presentations/?app=WEB

Also, when you sign into cloud.vectorworks.net, go to My presentations on the left panel. You will see a Sample presentation. Click on it to view the slide view. Click on the Tour example slide. Click on the pins to move from one panorama to another.

 

Please leet me know what you think about this functionality.

Screenshot 2021-04-13 at 15.06.35.png

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2 minutes ago, line-weight said:

...navigation has an option that someone with no 3d experience can understand, use and not become frustrated by. So I can hand over a tablet to a client and they can look around the model, or I can email them a link and they can look around the model.

 

 

This is VERY important.

 

I think stock 3D Viewer in Windows 10 is a really good example.

Just works as expected: pinch zooms, two finger pans, one finger flyover.

Both on a trackpad or on a touch screen

Easy Peasy!

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11 hours ago, Jan-Burger TROOST said:

Nomad was/is meant to be used as an extension to the program. Interaction could/should be improved, agreed. But unless we’d have VW as a web app or virtual machine, it’s too heavy to run on mobile. For now… 😇

 

I'm far from a computer expert, but I run complex apps on my ipad that are probably equally computationally complex as the typical Vectorworks session.

Maybe we'll get lucky when Vectorworks is optimized for the new apple hardware.

 

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26 minutes ago, Kevin Allen said:

I also like to use Theasys for walk throughs built using VWX Panorama views.

 

Have you tried the Vectorworks Cloud Services presentations? From a quick look at Theasys, it seems very similar to what Tour slides can do, just with a bit more advanced features.

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I have also experimented with thee VCS Presentations, but I'm usually wanting to include links to video, documents and the like. The end result being a virtual meeting or trade show.

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Just now, Kevin Allen said:

I have also experimented with thee VCS Presentations, but I'm usually wanting to include links to video, documents and the like. The end result being a virtual meeting or trade show.

 

Good to know why you are not using it. We can add other supported file types to tour slides the next time when we release enhancements to Presentations. I have already heard this wish, so it is already on my list. 🙂

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2 hours ago, inikolova said:

@line-weight,

 

This is a link to the Help article: https://cloud.vectorworks.net/portal/help/pages/create-presentations/?app=WEB

Also, when you sign into cloud.vectorworks.net, go to My presentations on the left panel. You will see a Sample presentation. Click on it to view the slide view. Click on the Tour example slide. Click on the pins to move from one panorama to another.

 

Please leet me know what you think about this functionality.

Screenshot 2021-04-13 at 15.06.35.png

 

Thanks. I've had a look at this and I think I understand how it works and how I might use the 'Tour' feature.

 

In some ways it's a version of what I already do, except that I will use renderworks viewports, set out on sheet layers. An example of this, which is one that's currently work in progress and happens to be open in VW right now:

 

377799185_Screenshot2021-04-13at23_05_24.thumb.jpg.ac4c529f5be67e0ea4657381e9fc1805.jpg

 

I often set up a kind of walk-through storyboard like this. The reason I like setting it out on a sheet layer is that I can then add bits of text, and mix in plans and sections as I want. Of course this means that the viewer's "walk-through" is controlled by me in some sense by determining the order in which they see the views. This can be a good or bad thing depending on the aim of the presentation. Sometimes I will print these sheet views out on paper and take them to a meeting (I still quite like having stuff on paper on a table for certain types of meetings) and then I'll email PDF versions as a follow-up. Sometimes I'll also have a tablet with me, and I'll have some of the renderings loaded on there so I can show them too, because the image quality usually looks better on a screen than on paper.

 

I can see how I could adopt this to the cloud services type presentation. I can see advantages and disadvantages. I can see that it could be useful to email a link to the "walkthrough" presentation and that it would be a way for clients to explore a design in their own time hopefully without getting lost. Maybe I will experiment with this some time.

 

That said, the panorama-based navigation, that is from static image to static image, doesn't quite match what can be gained from a true 3d walkthrough. A good walkthrough can convey quite a lot - even if the model itself is quite simple. It can do some of what you can do with a physical model - you can change a set of drawings and static images into something where someone without the ability to read drawings can suddenly understand and 'feel' the space.

 

This is why it's frustrating that the Nomad app doesn't work - because if it worked well, it could do all this. Actually, for me, being able to easily move around is more important than the actual render quality - so OpenGL standard graphics is fine as long as I can have a bit of control over the appearance. For this kind of thing I don't really want high quality photorealistic renderings because I'm often using it at early design stages to convey a general sense of things relatively quickly.

 

I dunno how much of this is becoming somewhat redundant with the development of things like Twinmotion though. I've not fully explored the possibilities there. I think it would be important to make sure that the Nomad app (or 3d web view stuff) wasn't just duplicating something that third-party apps can do better.

 

For me there would be an attraction if Nomad pretty much just allowed me to throw my working VW model onto the cloud, and then view it on a tablet or elsewhere without making any further modifications. It would look the same (so, once I'm happy with it on my desktop, I know I'll be happy with the Nomad version) and all my saved views would be there, which I'd already have worked out and I could therefore quickly show what I want (for example, different versions of a design which are viewed by switching on/off certain layers or classes).

 

By way of example on the graphics/appearance front, below are two screenshots. The top one is my working model in OpenGL in VW on my mac. I've got certain things set up according to my graphic preferences. Below is much the same view in the cloud services "web view" generated from the same model. The geometry is all the same - but you can see the graphic quality is not. I might be comfortable showing a client the top one (because it's as I want it), but not the bottom one (because it's not as I want it). And that's a big reason why I've not really used this (along with the not-quite-easy-enough navigation).

 

600333595_Screenshot2021-04-13at23_25_44.thumb.jpg.af3c19ccd3c43b15cf3e21136420f917.jpg

 

1401659287_Screenshot2021-04-13at23_25_55.thumb.jpg.07ee04cd3aa8d80ebfba86ba2e1bdcb4.jpg

 

 

I hope this is all of some use.

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@line-weight,

I really appreciate the time you took to describe your workflow and the way the new 3D model viewer in Nomad should work. It does help a lot!

 

Regarding the difference of appearance, it seems like you have draw edges turned on in Vectorworks and not in the web view. If you use the export Web View menu command in Vectorworks to generate the 3D model, there is a setting for Draw edges. Try turning it on and see if you can get a closer appearance. Unfortunately the automatic generation of the 3D model on the cloud doesn't allow you turn on this setting. So, I think your feedback also indicates that the Cloud 3D model generation should be configurable the same way as the local export.

I notice a slight color difference as well, but I think this is due to the lighting conditions. Light sources that are available in the Vectorworks model are ignored during the export to web view. Instead, a default overall lighting scheme is used for basic visibility of the rendered objects. So, preserving the light sources also seems important to you, as it affects basic appearance.

 

Best regards,

Iskra

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12 hours ago, line-weight said:

- navigation has an option that someone with no 3d experience can understand, use and not become frustrated by. So I can hand over a tablet to a client and they can look around the model, or I can email them a link and they can look around the model.

 

11 hours ago, hollister design Studio said:

This is VERY important.

 

I think stock 3D Viewer in Windows 10 is a really good example.

Just works as expected: pinch zooms, two finger pans, one finger flyover.

Both on a trackpad or on a touch screen

Easy Peasy!

 

Navigation is number one. If navigation doesn't work everything else is for the birds. 

  • I don't know what the current default Flyover mode is in Nomad (centre on User Origin?) but it should be the equivalent of VW's View Center Mode. Having to spin, pan, spin, pan, spin, pan, is madness.
  • Walkthrough mode should work like any basic 3D game. I shouldn't have to try and set myself down on ground/floor to start. And Nomad should understand solids, doors, gravity, stairs, etc.
  • In addition to the basics noted by others above, two things that really need to work are default views and Saved Views. Nomad needs to be a bit smarter and know that we don't want to look at a blank screen, and especially our clients do not want to look at a blank screen. Perhaps the ability to modify default and Saved Views directly in Nomad would help? And sync changes back to Vectorworks? Maybe the ability to hide certain Saved Views from clients etc. 
  • And the Reset button for resetting to default view is fine but there also needs to be Fit to Objects button.

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6 hours ago, inikolova said:

@line-weight,

I really appreciate the time you took to describe your workflow and the way the new 3D model viewer in Nomad should work. It does help a lot!

 

Regarding the difference of appearance, it seems like you have draw edges turned on in Vectorworks and not in the web view. If you use the export Web View menu command in Vectorworks to generate the 3D model, there is a setting for Draw edges. Try turning it on and see if you can get a closer appearance. Unfortunately the automatic generation of the 3D model on the cloud doesn't allow you turn on this setting. So, I think your feedback also indicates that the Cloud 3D model generation should be configurable the same way as the local export.

I notice a slight color difference as well, but I think this is due to the lighting conditions. Light sources that are available in the Vectorworks model are ignored during the export to web view. Instead, a default overall lighting scheme is used for basic visibility of the rendered objects. So, preserving the light sources also seems important to you, as it affects basic appearance.

 

Best regards,

Iskra

 

Yes, in this case I simply uploaded the file and it was automatically converted so I wasn't given an option to set edges to be drawn. Useful to know for the future though.

 

And yes I think there needs to be control over the lighting. The model in VW contains a few heliodons, although I have them all switched off when I am just working on the model in OpenGL. So I don't know if they get exported and switched on, or whether there is just a different background lighting active in the web view. Either way, it results in colours looking different.

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I just tried exporting with edges drawn.... but the result is not the same as what I see in VW. Also, the edges all disappear whenever I move around, and then reappear afterwards.

 

414769023_Screenshot2021-04-14at09_54_00.thumb.jpg.a32193ee4a2d6258f2d0d53b8af07dbc.jpg1591645647_Screenshot2021-04-14at09_57_52.thumb.jpg.285c7e08410dfdf8664eec37043be422.jpg

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By the way - going back to walkthroughs and what you can do from inside VW - this video un-intentionally demonstrates just how bad the built in walkthrough tool is. It's not just that Vectorworks crashes several times through the tutorial - when the actual walkthrough is played it's a complete mess, lurching and jumping all over the place. There's no way anyone sensible would consider this something suitable to show to a client. You can watch a walkthrough being generated around 48.10 in.

 

A few months ago I tried out making some walkthroughs. I ran in to various difficulties, then watched this video that actually shows someone having most of the same difficulties that I had, and finishing with an end result that was similarly bad to mine. No doubt with enough time sunk into it, something usable-ish could eventually be generated but this is really a half baked tool.

 

 

 

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Just wanted to give @inikolova and Dave Donley a big thankyou for their enthousiasm during yesterday’s Open House breakout sessions. It was nice to have the conversation we had & talk about new possibilities for Nomad and other new VW-stuff on the horizon!

 

We sometimes have a tendency to mumble & grumble here, I know — but I was happy to share ideas for over an hour with the two of you. So: THANK YOU!

 

Cheers, JB

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@Jan-Burger TROOST Back at you JB, thank you so much for coming and talking to us, it is a pleasure to have these events and talk to our users about how we can make an impact for you!

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@inikolova just a small thing I forgot to ask in our OpenHouse session: will there soon be support for ‘other’ cloud services in the Nomad app? We’d like to connect the students OneDrive’s to your cloud services the easiest way for them. 

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Hi @Jan-Burger TROOST,

I am collecting requests for other third party cloud storage integrations, but we do not have anything lined up for implementation yet. I will talk to the team to see if we can fit another integration into our schedule, but I cannot promise anything at this time.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks @inikolova I know a lot of (design) educators here that use Office 365. For sure adding that link to OneDrive files will make some 2k interior design students (and their teachers… 😇) happy!

Edited by Jan-Burger TROOST
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