Interactive Workshops March2016 (1603) – Alterations and Additions

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In these sessions we are going to cover setting up an Alteration and Addition project. I sometimes call these rennovation projects, but as someone recently pointed out, rennovation suggests repairing. These sessions are 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:
manually measure the project:

  • laser measure and manually record
  • laser measure connected to tablet
  • measured electronically with iphone
  • subcontract to surveyor

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Interactive Workshops February 2016 (1602) – Building Takeoff

Cover ImageIn these sessions we looked at creating a building takeoff report. In order to do that we covered the basics of creating worksheets (which is the technique we need to use to create a report). We also looked 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.

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Interactive Workshops January 2016 (1601) – Outdoor Lighting

1602, Outdoor LIghting, archoncadRendering 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.

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Interactive Workshops December 2015 (1512) – Wrap-up for 2015

SST_1512For several years now the last session of the year always reviews the topics we have covered during the year. This is a great opportunity for subscribers to catch up on any topic they may have must and to ask questions about it. I also like to use these sessions to have a look at the topics that uses would like me to cover next year. I usually have a couple of ideas for topics, but it’s a good idea to make sure that I cover topics that the users really want.

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Interactive Workshops November 2015 (1511) – Marionette

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Vectorworks 2016 includs a new visual scripting language called Marionette.

Marionette works by connecting nodes together with wires. The data flows from left to right, from one node to the next down the wire. Each node does something simple and then passes its output to the next node. To create a script, you drag and drop the nodes to create a series of steps, at the end of this you get the object that you want. It might look complex, but once it is set up you can look at different variations by editing any of the node inputs. Each node is a Python based script (allowing you to edit the script) and you can turn the marionette object into a plug-in object if you want.

Some other CAD programs have had this kind of visual scripting language available for several years, and the feedback from the users is that this is a very powerful way to create your designs. It might look complicated to use this technology, but it does mean that you don’t have to understand the programming language, you just have to understand what simple steps you want your objects to go through. You might say that it will allow complex programming for everybody.

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Interactive Workshops October 2015 (1510) – What is New in Vectorworks 2016

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:

  • Energos
  • Project Sharing
  • Point clouds
  • Marionette
  • Subdivision Modelling

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.

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Interactive Workshops August 2015 (1508) – Roading

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In the sections we look at the Vectorworks roading tools. Roading is a slight challenge for Vectorworks, and that it’s not really a roading design package (which is a sophisticated topic) but it does have roading tools that can be used to create the majority of the things you need. I kept roading out of the site modifiers sessions so that we could give them adequate time.

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Interactive Workshops July 2015 (1507) – Site Modifying

There are several options for site modifying. You can add extra source data into the site model to modify it, and you can use site modifiers like roads (good for roads and paths), pads (good for flat or uniformly sloping areas), hardscapes, landscape walls, 3D polygons, and stake objects.

Each site modifier follows the same strategy. The site modifier has a 3D part the will change the site model and a boundary. The Boundary is a planar shape that defines how much of the site model will be affected. The Boundary is flexible and it allows you to choose the extent of the site modification. If the boundary is close to the site modifier, you will have a steep slope. If the boundary is a long way from the site modifier, you will have a gentle slope.

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Interactive Workshops June 2015 (1506) – Site Modeling

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. When you create a Site model Vectorworks will make an Object that can show one type of information in a 2D view (2D contours) and a different type on information if you are in 3D view (3D contours or extruded contours etc.). Using this hybrid object is a good way of combining the 2D contours and the 3D site model into one object. If you are used to earlier versions of Vectorworks then this will be a very different way of working. The Plug-In Object allows you to turn on or off the existing and proposed site models.

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Interactive Workshops May 2015 (1505) – Roofing

Cover ImageIf 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 outline of the roof.

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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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Interactive Workshops April 2015 (1504) – Rendering

Cover ImageRendering 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. 

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Introduction to the Archoncad Website

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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Interactive Workshops March 2015 (1503) – BIM for Landscapers

Cover ImageThere is a lot of talk about Building Information Modelling (BIM) in relation to architecture, but not a lot of talk about Building Information Modeling 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 3D representation. It can also have plant data attached to it, and you could create your own data and attach that to the plant as well. 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.

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Interactive Workshops February 2015 (1502) – Lighting

Cover ImageLighting 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..

We start out by looking at the lighting options such as environmental lighting, ambient lighting, and background. These are important to give your overall scene the correct tone and shadows. Next we looked at the different types of lights that you can apply to your model. Using the correct lighting and managing it settings is crucial if you want your building is to read correctly. Finally, looked at bringing all of these techniques together to light a scene using a viewport. You could divide lighting into two main components, Lighting Options and Light Sources. Light Sources the lights that you place in the scene to light the project. There are several types of like source that you can add, each one for a different visual effect. Lighting Options control all the other aspects of the scene.

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What is the Archoncad Website all About?

image061This is a short introduction to the archoncad website. We will be looking at the resources that are here and how to use them. If you are new to my website you may find that this introduction will allow you to get a lot more from this website.

There are several manuals, movies, podcasts and library files here. This webinar will help you to find where things are stored and how they are tagged.

Please register for the Archoncad Website Introduction Webinar on Mar 16, 2015 9:00 AM NZDT at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5359338897038500097

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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Interactive Workshops January 2015 (1501) – Stories, Layers, and Levels

Cover ImageThese sessions followed the online manual and covered the topic of Stories, Layers and Levels. Design layers have been around for a long time, stories have been around for a few years, but levels are new to Vectorworks 2015. The purpose of these sessions was to cover the topics in the manual and make sure that the attendees understand the concepts. 

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Interactive Workshops December 2014 (1412) – Wrap-Up for 2014

image015At the end of each year we traditionally have a wrap-up of all the topics that we have covered. This gives us an opportunity to have a look at the manuals that we have covered this year as well as changes that we have made to the website or other parts of the subscription. In previous years we have used this opportunity to look at the manuals as well as what topics we should cover the following year, what changes we should make to the manuals and what new special-interest groups we should be thinking of.

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Interactive Workshops November 2014 (1411) – Introduction to Walls

2014-11-12_20-20-10It doesn’t matter if you are creating architecture, landscaping, set design or 3D modelling, drawing walls is important. The purpose of this manual is to cover all of the major techniques of drawing, editing, and managing walls. You might think that drawing walls requires nothing more than a couple of clicks. While you can certainly draw walls with a couple of clicks, there is a lot more to walls than that. These workshops looked in depth at how to draw, edit and manage walls.

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