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Is this right for me?


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I talked to Tech Support today to find out if VW Architect is the right package for me. They were helpful but rather than continue to bother them I thought I'd try the forum.

My goals:

1. To create a "walk through" of a building I'm designing.

2. To place scans (Photoshop, etc) of paintings on the walls of the building being "walked through" and have the walk through do a close up on them and then move to the next room (think "museum").

3. To output this to a file that Final Cut can use (ultimately made into a DVD with DVD Studio Pro).

So, this is what I'm trying to do and Tech Support says it's possible. OK, fine. Now I'm reading the forums and finding complaints about RenderWorks and the speed of rendering. Some posts suggest Cinema 4D but I can't afford two programs.

It seems like Cinema 4D can do all of this by itself but I just can't imagine using it to do CAD related stuff like buildings.

I have a PowerBook 12", 1Ghz G4, 768Mb RAM.

Can VectorWorks/RenderWorks REALLY do what I want to do?

Any suggestions out there?

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You don't need Architect to do what you have noted.

The base VW/RW will do all of this.

RW does not offer all the features of C4D in terms of rendering refinements, but RW is "good for the money" and the convenience of working "inside" the program.

C4D would probably also render faster, but if you're talking about a hi-res flythrough animation, that's going to be "days" of rendering time anyway.

If you want to do animations, Julian Carr's AnimationWorks plug-in (www.ozcad.com.au) is a MUCH better solution than the base VW animation tools for a modest amount of money. (US$150???)

I'm sure others will have more ideas to add,



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Thanks. I looked into the AnimationWorks plug-in. Since I'm really a beginner to all this it didn't "sell" me on the advantages over VW with or w/o the plug-in. I suppose it's best to try VW/RW, see how it works and then after I have some experience with the concepts I'll be able to tell if the plug-in is worth it.

Based on your computer info (550MHz TiBk, 512Mb, OS10.2.8, VW Ind,RW10.5) I shouldn't have any problem with my system.

Thanks again for the suggestions and response.

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Originally posted by Ziska:

VW11 QT export as panorama works fairly quickly.

Walkthroughs in full final render- days and days and days- which you will then have to import into Final Cut Pro to resave with a better cleaner/compression.


Hi Ziska,

Thanks. I have Final Cut Express by the way. I'm pretty sure it accepts identical file formats. Either way a Quicktime .mov is a Quicktime .mov.

Could one break the walk-through up into sections. That is, room by room and then end up with a bunch of walk-through "clips" that Final Cut could then piece together? I realise the transition would be sudden but an extended cross fade would take care of that, no? Smaller files = shorter render times right?

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if you're doing clips and crossfades why not set perspective views and export jpegs? That would cretainly be faster....

I think we're up against my ignorance of 3D and VectorWorks here. IF I did what you're suggesting wouldn't I merely end up with a bunch of stills? If so, not quite what I want.

Am toying with the idea of Cinema 4D for all this due to all the posts that mention slow and difficult rendering in RenderWorks. Still, there are the architectual items in VectorWorks that C4D doesn't have...

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Originally posted by Ziska:


I think Nicholas has the best solution for your problem....


The more I research, the more indecisive I get. But, I relooked at the OzCad animation plug-in and I'm swinging back to VectorWorks again (with the plug-in).

So, with VectorWorks Architect, do I have plants, land and skies available?

How about indoor lighting control?

All in all should I get the Industry collection or will Architect alone give me the abilities above?

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Originally posted by Dario:

IF I did what you're suggesting wouldn't I merely end up with a bunch of stills? If so, not quite what I want.

All in all should I get the Industry collection or will Architect alone give me the abilities above?


The process of making an animation in VW is (like many animation programs) one of making a series of stills (keyframes) and (inbe)"tweening" to stitch them together. In VW you have you take the stills, and tween them manually.

With AnimationWorks you set up a path and various cameras and let it do the work. (I think this is how C4D does it????)

Again, you don't need Architect to make what you have described. You certainly don't need the Ind Series. VW will give you doors, walls, windows etc etc.

RW will give you skys etc, but as far as plants are concerned, I've got the Aust version to which Julian Carr adds various things, so I can't tell you what you'll get in the regular VW/RW.



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I use both VectorWorks and C4D every day and do camera flythroughs. They are both very good programs that will ultimately do what you desire. BUT - VW is a CAD package and it is primarily geared toward CAD documents and has some basic rendering and animating tools. C4D is all about rendering and animating. If your primary use will what you described C4D will be the far better choice. The advantages of C4D are: Better results, far faster rendering, much more powerful animating tools, materials and lighting. The advantage of VW (pertaining to this task) are: easier to learn, lots of stock materials and architectural modeling is faster easier.

As far as plants and other objects go, with C4D you have access to the entire online inventory of .3ds files (www.3dcafe.com for a start), and now with V9, the RPC objects at www.archvision.com.

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Thanks to all.

Still ruminating here...

So, here's the rundown:

Plus for VW/RW (not Architect)-

1. Easier

2. Included elements (doors, walls, trees, etc...)

3. Faster modelling

Plus for C4D-

1. Better results.

2. Better and faster rendering.

3. More control over animation and lighting.

Minus for VW/RW-

1. Slower renders.

2. Limited to Tween type animating unless I also buy AnimationWorks.

Minus for C4D-

1. Seems like I'll have to create EVERYTHING from scratch.

2. No built in elements like plants so I'd have to buy those.

Well, that's how I read it.

Sure do miss the days of MacDraw. Life and expectations were simpler then.

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I agree with Andy M - You really need both VW and C4d, (and the vw exchange plugin).

The result you get using both will be much more impressive to the client. C4d trees, furniture etc are readily available on the net, and those are the props that your client will respond to. I find that clients who need a 3d wlkthrough have no imagination, so you must 'dress up' your models to the max.

Also, as regards to time, I think the workflow in C4d will make for a faster result than you'd get using renderworks, regardless of rendering speed. And when you factor in 'preview renders' to check scaling of materials etc, C4d will kill RW. You will save days literally, before you even start the final animation.

That's my 2 cents ...

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I would also agree with Andy & Mat. Renderworks will upset you (timewise) the first time you try to rendering a animation. Cinema 4D can have spectacular results and is geared toward texturing, lighting and animation. Of course you have to take the time to learn the tool, there are no "easy" solutions despite the unrealistic expectations of others who desire results without work and knowledge, but if you're going to make regular money doing this kind of work, the investment would certainly be worth it.

When I was a student, I had used C4D, Renderworks, Maya, Strata 3D, Form-Z... and the VW to C4D plug-in is the easiest transition between VW and a solid renderer/animator. Like you mentioned, that's a lot of money though and I currently use a $99.00 soluton called 3DTK, a derivative of Electric Image Animation System....BUT, I have to dance through hoops and make all sorts of concessions to get a clean model and I give up a lot in return, including the ability to make quick design changes.....

Now that I just thought about it, maybe you should try Artlantis. www.artlantis.com, it's very easy and cheaper than C4D I believe. It uses a plug-in within Vectorworks like C4D to go back and forth between the programs. Check out their gallery.

[ 09-15-2004, 09:25 AM: Message edited by: tom kyler ]

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