Vectorworks Design Summit Day 0

I arrived very early today after a 30 hour trip from Napier, New Zealand. Of course i was very tired, and although I thought the travel didn’t affect me, it did.  Here I am having a hot bagel for breakfast in the sun with Marilyn, the NZ distributor. Not in this photo is my friend Neil (from Canada) whi joined us. I was so tired at the end of the day i forgot that we had breakfast, and i introduced thm to each other again. 


After breakfast we went on various tours around Philadelphia. I went on the bus tour and learned a lot about the history of the city. It is the place where the Declaration of Independance was written and signed. Later the Constitution was written here. The tour give was a lot of fun, and afterwards we went for a local delicacy, Philly Cheese Steak. 

I was really fortunate to be invited to the distibutors dinner. I met many of the world wide distributors, they are a fun group of really hard-working people. After a while i had trouble remember all the names…

Vectorworks Tip #253 – Attribute Palette – Line Types – Local Mapping

image099Use the Attribute palette to adjust the line type settings of complex line types to suit the current situation. Click on the Line Type Settings button on the Attribute palette to edit the settings and change the local mapping of the line type.

Vectorworks Tip #252 – Site Modeling – Site Modifiers – Polygon Road

image097The Polygon Road tool is the road tool to use if you want to create a road that has the typical straight-curve-straight road look. Because this is a polygon road, you can reshape the curve accurately using the Reshape tool.

Vectorworks Tip #251 – Plants – Creating Custom Plant Classes

image094As well as the default classes for your plants, you can also create your own classes to control parts of the plants. In this image, you can see several other classes that deal with plants but are not the default classes. I use these classes to control the visibility of my plants, allowing me to create concept drawings and construction drawings from the same plant by changing the class settings in the viewpoints. This saves me a lot of time redrawing plans.

Architect_068 Architect Special Interest Group April 2015 (pm)

image107This session focused on using classes, using class attributes, and using the default attributes. In particular the session looked at what the None class is used for, what type of object should be assigned to the None class, how do you set up class attributes (the graphic attributes assigned to classes), how do you use the class attributes on objects, how are the default attributes set up and controlled on the Attribute palette. There is some confusion about using classes (especially the None class) so this was a good opportunity to look at these questions. We also looked at how we can use classes with symbols to speed up the drawing process.

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Vectorworks Tip #250 – Curtain Wall – Concept

image092Vectorworks 2015 introduced a new type of wall – the curtainwall. For many years users have been asking for a wall type that would be able to create curtain walls for commercial buildings. Now we have it. There isn’t a special tool to create curtain walls, it is just another wall type.

Elevation Maker Updated to 2015

A user has pointed out that Elevation Maker 2010 no longer works with Vectorworks 2015 SP3. That was a surprise to me and it turns out that they were right, and the error is because Vectorworks has changed some of its code, which required updating of my plug-in’s code. The Elevation Maker has now been updated and is called Elevation Maker 2015.

I have updated the plug-in and I have added it to this page….

Architect_067 Architect Special Interest Group April 2015(am)

Screenshot 2015-04-14 at 19.23.30This session focussed on when to make a break from the 3D model to 2D drawings. The discussion started as we were discussing what to cover in this session. It was a great example of needing to be at the session to get the best from it. We did start the recording and go back over most of the important parts of the discussion, so you can see most of the discussion in this movie. We covered the Detail Viewport command, when you can use it, and when you can’t. There are times that the Detail Viewport cannot place the detail references where you want them, and time when it can.

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Vectorworks Design Summit April 27-29 2015 (one week to go!)

Next week the Design Summit hosted by Nemetschek Vectorworks will start in Philladelphia. This design summit should be really exciting. I was looking at the Keynote addresses and there are going to be some amazing presentations.

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Vectorworks Design Summit April 27-29 2015 – Session 2 Creating and Managing Libraries



Jonathan Pickup, Author and Director of Training, archoncad

Wednesday 4:30PM – 5:30PM

It is tempting to think that you only need to have one library file for all your resources; however, this is not the most effective way to use CAD software. Learn Pickup’s approach for storing default content resources, so they appear when you want to use them.

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Vectorworks Design Summit April 27-29 2015 – Session 1 BIM for Landscape



Jonathan Pickup, Author and Director of Training, 

Tuesday 2:00PM – 3:00PM

BIM isn’t only for architecture; rather, its principles can be used to speed up the production of landscape projects and drawings. Attendees will learn to attach to a model, for example, the amount of water each plant needs for irrigation or the embedded energy for each square meter of concrete.

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Vectorworks Tip #248 – Site Modelling – Site Modifiers – NURBS Road

image096The NURBS road is useful for creating a smooth, curving road. It is also very useful in that you can adjust the elevation of each station point. the other road types allow you to edit the start elevation and slope, but the NURBS road is more flexible when editing the elevations.

3D Modelling Special Interest Group – April 2015

image105In this session the attendees wanted to look at modeling a simple greenhouse (Glasshouse). This project is reasonably straightforward and requires the understanding of some 3-D tools and commands. For example, the command used most to create this object is Extrude Along Path… This command is extremely useful for creating objects that follow a path shape.

At the start of the movie this command is covered in detail, using an example that has been troubling one of the attendees (the capping on a balustrade). This part of the movie is useful because it explains the concept behind Extrude along Path. After this we start creating a greenhouse using Extrude along Path, the Push/Pull tool, and the Move By Points tool to create duplicate objects. Another useful technique covered in this movie is the Automatic Working Planes. This concept needs some explanation, so we briefly covered what is the difference between screen plane, layer plane, and working plane.

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Introduction to the Archoncad Website April 2015

When users join this web site, it’s possible that they might find the extent of the information on the site daunting. I have been using this site for years (after all, I created it), so I know my way around. But what if you are new? I thought it would be nice (and useful too) to have an online session to show all the new users around.

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Vectorworks Tip #247 – Plants – Default Plant Classes

image095Many of the plant objects that come standard with Vectorworks have a class structure already. You could call this the default class structure for plants. Generally the outline of the plant is on a specific class (Plants-Component-Outline) the color fill is on a specific class (Plants-Component-Color Fill) and the line work is on a specific class (Plants-Component-Interior Linework). Having parts of the plant on different classes allows you to choose which parts you want to be visible in the various viewports.

cadmovie1504_15 – Rendering – Part 15

Batch Render

This is the trick to make sure you do not tie up your computer when you want to be using it. After you have assigned the lights, cameras, models and textures, and you have used the Render Bitmap tool to check everything, you can set up batch render jobs for your computer to work on while you are out on away from your computer at building site or a  meeting or even overnight while you are asleep.

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cadmovie1504_14 – Rendering – Part 14

Render Bitmap tool

Adding extra lights makes rendering slower. If you add bluriness to a texture, it will make the rendering take longer as well. This has the effect of locking up your computer for 10 or 20 minutes at a time. This is not a great use of your time and it complicates decisions in regards to rendering. If you need help with textures, refer to the earlier workshop or kindle notes on textures.

The answer is to render small areas of your view with the Render Bitmap tool. When you render an area with this tool, the result is a bitmap. You can leave the bitmap where it is, or you can move it. Sometimes I have several images in the drawing as I try to sort out out the lighting, textures and lighting options.

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cadmovie1504_12 – Rendering – Part 12

Renderworks Style

A Renderworks Style is a way of creating a saved set of rendering preferences, in a way that you can recall these when needed or store them in the library so that you can access these preferences in any project. A Renderworks Style is a resource that is available in the resource browser for importing, exporting and editing. Renderworks Styles are very productive way of keeping your rendering settings easily accessible.

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Vectorworks Design Summit April 27-29 2015

On April 27-29th  in Philadelphia, PA., Nemetschek Vectorworks are hosting the Design Summit 2015. This is a fantastic opportunity to get together at a special event with people who share your belief and passion and using Vectorworks. There will be several keynote presentations, breakout sessions that cover specific topics, and engineers and trainers will be available for one-on-one sessions.

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