Just lately, I have been teaching several users who want to move from using a workflow to using Building Information Modelling (3D workflow). In the past, I had several users who would say “I want to get to the under my belt first then look at 3D.” This suggests that 2D is a productive method and that 3D is a luxury. This completely misunderstands the way Vectorworks creates drawings. 3D is not a luxury, it is an intrinsic part of the modelling/drawing process.
When you use Vectorworks effectively the 3D components are easy to create, they will create your drawings, and when you update the model it will update your plans, sections, and elevations. Not only is this fast and easy, it also saves lots of errors.
Energos is a system in Vectorworks that allows you to look at the overall energy consumption of your project. It includes the summer and winter climate and it uses the building elements in the file to do the calculations.
This means that you have to use a full BIM model to create your project you have to have a Heliodon for the climate data, spaces for the volume, heating systems, cooling systems, and shading on the windows.
When you have all the data, its is quick to create the Energos report. This manual will be looking at how to create the building elements, how to add the energos data to these, how to choose which building elements should be included in the energos calculations, how to add the heliodon, and how to control the Energos Project Data.
The manual for Project sharing is now available in first draft.
Some projects need more than one person to work on them. Maybe the project is large, maybe the deadline is short, but either way, you need more than one person on the project. Normally, you can only have one person working on the file at a time. So, you could divide the file into parts, you could divide the file into parts that you can reference, or you could set up a system that shared all of the information. Either way, it is all about sharing information on the project – Project Sharing.
Subdivision modelling is a new area for Vectorworks. It was introduced it Vectorworks 2016 and it will allow Vectorworks to create extremely complex smooth curving shapes.
Subdivision services have been around for some time as a computer technology, but not implemented in computer programs very often. The subdivision surfacing techniques employed by Vectorworks have been developed by Pixar Inc. and Vectorworks are using their system.
DRAFT- In this manual are going to cover setting up an Alteration and Addition project. I sometimes call these renovation projects, but as someone recently pointed out, renovation suggests repairing. This manual is really about setting up an existing building which we can then amend to suit.
We will start with a discussion about measuring an existing building. There are several ways to deal with this:
In this manual are going to cover the concept of creating a building takeoff report. In order to do that we are going to cover the basics of creating worksheets (which is the technique we need to use to create a report). We will also look at designing a building takeoff, because while Vectorworks has the ability to report all the information you require, it doesn’t know yet what information that might be.
It is most important that you understand the concept of using worksheets. We have covered worksheets and other manuals, and I will not be repeating some of that information, but I will be covering enough for you to understand how a worksheet is designed to be used.
Rendering is a fun art of using Vectorworks and in the past we have covered lighting (1502), but we covered it from the point of view of interior and architectural lighting. This manual is about exterior lighting, which suggests that we should be looking at nighttime lighting for architectural and landscape projects.
This means that we have to think about our rendering from a completely different point of view. Instead of trying to make sure that everything is visible, we’re trying to create a mood. We have to consider things like the moon, the night sky, the lights on the building, the lights inside the building, street lights, garden lights, et cetera.
At this time of the year it’s a good time to wrap up the old year and plan what you are going to do next year. At the Archoncad website we like to do the same thing – we wrap up all the topics we covered this year and we plan what topics are important for next year. Wrapping up the year with a review of all the sessions from this year allows users to catch up on anything they have missed. I create a lot of blogs, movies, tips, and manuals – so it’s easy to miss something. This session is useful then to go over the most important topics and make sure that everyone knows what we covered.
At the Vectorworks Design Summit (April 2015), they announced that Vectorworks 2016 would include a new visual scripting language. This new scripting language is called Marionette. This is what Wikipedia says about visual scripting languages in general:
In computing, a visual programming language (VPL) is any programming language that lets users create programs by manipulating program elements graphically rather than by specifying them textually. A VPL allows programming with visual expressions, spatial arrangements of text and graphic symbols, used either as elements of syntax or secondary notation. For example, many VPLs (known as dataflow or diagrammatic programming) are based on the idea of “boxes and arrows”, where boxes or other screen objects are treated as entities, connected by arrows, lines or arcs which represent relations.
Every year we get an upgrade to Vectorworks. Usually we get a few exciting features, some features that don’t look very exciting but a very beneficial, and many small corrections to existing tools. This year is no different.
For Vectorworks 2016 we have five major new technologies:
We will be covering these technologies in detail, probably later in the year or early next year, but in this manual there will be a brief overview of these technologies.
As well as these major changes to Vectorworks there are also some subtle changes to the interface. Often, these changes do not seem very dramatic, but history shows us that these changes tend to make it easier to use Vectorworks, making us more productive.
Vectorworks has annual upgrade cycle. This means that every year you’ll have to get used to Vectorworks being updated. But what does this mean? In simple terms, You will be working on an older version of Vectorworks and then you will have to update your project and start working in a new version of Vectorworks. Vectorworks 2016 includes a new Migration Manager that will help you to migrate your default content, workspaces, and libraries from your old versions of Vectorworks to the new version. However, if you have not arranged your libraries, workspaces, and default content correctly, the migration manager will be of little use to you. Continue reading →
This manual is the last manual on the series on site modelling on site modifying because the roading tools quite often used as site modifiers. Don’t forget to refer to the previous two month’s manuals (1506 and 1507) for more information on site modelling. This manual looks specifically at the six different roadway tools:
The Roadway (NURBS)
Roadway (Custom Kerb)
Thelast two tools are very powerful and most of the manual will focus on those.
In the previous month we looked at creating a site model, which is great but we will need to modify the site. That is what this manual is all about, Site Modifiers. A Site Modifier is a specific object for changing a site model. A Site modifier can be a range of objects, but their intention is to change the form of the site model. Vectorworks includes a several tools for creating site modifiers. Some tools are designed to create other objects (hardscape, massing model, roads, etc), and they have options to create site modifiers as well. Some tools are designed to report information about the site or they can be used as site modifiers (Stake, Grade). Continue reading →
A site model is a way of looking at 3D data (spot levels or contours) in a way that allows you to see complex 3D models and 2D representations. VectorWorks uses the 3D information to create the models based on the data to help you understand the 2D and 3D nature of your site.
First you have to put in 3D data, such as spot levels, contours or surveyor’s file. Then you ask VectorWorks to create a site model from this data. VectorWorks uses a set of algorithms to analyze the information and then creates the 2D and 3D representations. The algorithms can be thought of as a set of mathematical assumptions that are used to calculate the 2D contours and 3D model. Because of these assumptions you may get some odd shaped contours, or 3D models that don’t look as you expected. A Site Model is not reality, it’s a mathematical model of the data you give VectorWorks. Better data – better Site Model.
Roofs in Vectorworks are powerful, but most users do not understand how much they can change and edit the roof. The purpose of this manual is to show you how flexible the roof is, and what to do in complex situations.
If you are an architect it will be unusual to create a building that does not have a roof. If you are a landscaper then it is useful to create a simple building with a simple roof that reflects the building that you working with. Roofs in Vectorworks can be made from walls or from planar objects (rectangles, polygons, etc.). You need to have this shape to define the extent the roof.
Rendering is one of the fun parts of using Vectorworks. Rendering is where you bring together the lighting, the textures, and the rendering settings to create the kind of visual presentation that you want. Vectorworks has a huge range of options when it comes to creating your rendered views. Do not forget to look at the manual on textures and the lighting manual before you start to render your project. You have to do all that preparation work first. Continue reading →
Building Information Modelling is a powerful way of dealing with landscape information in Vectorworks. There is a lot of talk about Building Information Modelling (BIM) in relation to architecture, but not a lot of talk about BIM in relation to landscape. The principles behind BIM can be used to speed up the production of your landscape projects and drawings.
One of the important aspects of BIM is that you can attach information to objects that may not be printed (non-graphic information). For example, a plant object will have not just its plan representation, it will also have a 3-D representation, it can also have plant data attached to it, and you could also create your own data and attach that to the plant. One of the discussions I have had with landscapers is the ability to attach to each plant the amount of water that it needs for irrigation or being able to attach the embedded energy for each square meter of concrete.
Lighting is the most important part rendering. I always say that good lighting can make a mediocre model look great, but poor lighting can make a great model look terrible. It’s really important to get good quality lighting on your model.
This manual will be looking at the different types of light sources you can put in your model along with the other lighting options. Putting in the correct light sources and managing them is fundamental to showing your model in the best possible way..
Design layers are one of the fundamental organizing concepts in Vectorworks, They are used to break the design into manageable chunks but they should not be confused with classes. Use design layers and classes to create the structure for the file which enables the creation of drawings using viewpoints and sheet layers.
I believe it is very important to learn to draw walls regardless of your profession. I believe that walls are useful for architects, landscapers, set designers, and engineers.
If you’re doing architectural work, then it should be absolutely clear why you need to use walls to draw your projects, but that’s making a large assumption on my part. The reason I assume that you should be using walls if you’re doing an architectural project has because walls do such a great job of creating the 2-D plan and 3-D part of your buildings. I know some clients would rather use rectangles to draw their buildings rather than learn how to use the walls properly. This might be all right to create a sort of plan, but it certainly will not help you if you want to create a BIM project. Walls on the other hand can replicate the look that you want in plan, but they will also create a 3-D part that you can use as part of your BIM project.