Teaching Vectorworks in High Schools and Universities

I was talking to my friend on the konstruckshon web site yesterday, and he reminded me that schools, colleges and universities are now getting ready for the summer holiday. They start again in September. If you were a teacher wanting to teach Vectorworks in your school, university or college, then you need to start planning your courses.

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How Important is good Training?

I have just been on a road trip to visit some clients for training. It’s turned out to be a very interesting trip. I visited one client who still using Vectorworks 11.5. I don’t mean Vectorworks 2011 (two years old) I mean Vectorworks 11 from 10 years ago.

The interesting thing for me was that they are not even using this version of Vectorworks effectively…

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Archoncad Newsletter – Upgrade Your Training, not Your Software

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As CAD users we are all encouraged by salesmen to look at their competing products. One of my customers had a demonstration recently of another product and called me to say “I think I am going to change” Naturally  my reaction to this was one of surprise.

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I’m Constantly Surprised by Vectorworks

 

I’m constantly surprised at what Vectorworks is able to achieve. There seems to be nothing that Vectorworks cannot do. A few months ago i blogged about a case study that Nemetschek Vectorworks had produced on one of my clients (icebreaker). They have really taken to Vectorworks (and my training) and completely changed the way that they do business. Continue reading

Repetition is Important When Learning Vectorworks

Prior to running my Vectorworks courses online, I used to run them in a classroom. At the time it seemed like the best thing that I could do. I was aware at the time that repetition was important, and the way the courses were structured, it allowed time for the attendees to practice, while I would circulate the room, helping any users that were struggling. Continue reading

Icebreaker Breaks New Ground

I was really pleased to see this case study about Icebreaker. Icebreaker has been a client of mine for some time, and so I was really pleasing to see Vectorworks do a case study about how they have implemented the training I have completed with them.

The case study is worth reading. It is amazing to see the changes the icebreaker have implemented by using Vectorworks. It has really changed the way they design the shops, price them, report on the clothing in the stores, and present their proposals to their clients.

Icebreaker started with a new sales team leader, and he wanted to know how best to put Vectorworks in place. To start with, I had him attend one of my Essential Tutorial courses so that he would learn the basics of Vectorworks in a structured way. Next we set up a series of ten online sessions that would allow us to work through one project, implementing Vectorworks in a way that they had never seen before. Icebreaker set out several things that they would like to achieve with Vectorworks. Not only were we able to achieve these things, but we were able to do much more.

I thoroughly recommend downloading and reading this case study. I hope it will change the way you think about Vectorworks.

If you would like to change your business like icebreaker did, please get in touch with me, I know I can help you.

 

Not eBooks, vBooks! vbooks are the best way to learn Vectorworks

Some people describe my manuals as eBooks.  I am not sure this really describes my manuals.  I think the eBooks sounds like an electronic book with lots of words and pages. My manuals also contain a lot of video.  So I think of my books as being Video books (vBooks).  I think this describes my books better.

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Back to School with Vectorworks

It is nearly Spring where I live, which means that it is Fall in the Northern Hemisphere, and time to get back to school. If you want to learn Vectorworks to use in school, you have several options. Nemetschek Vectorworks has a student portal . This allows you to get a free educational version of Vectorworks, and there are several free manuals to download, along with a video library.

Short Sharp Training for Vectorworks

Every month, I have an series of inline webinars for my subscribers. Over the last 5 years we have covered well over 40 topics, and often I get clients wishing that I would repeat the sessions. I have been asked several times if there is a way to attend just the sessions you want.

There is a way for Vectorworks users to join just the sessions that they want to. The system is called Sort Sharp Training. This system allows you to attend one session at a time. The classes are on line, with only a few people in each class.

You get a PDF manual to accompany the session, so you can read along, or print the manual and make your on notes. The manuals have all the step-by-step instructions, allowing you repeat the techniques you learned in the online session. Over time, these build up into substantial library.

Each session is self contained, so you can attend one, or several sessions. The sessions will repeat each month, and we will be adding sessions as they become requested.

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Vector-workout Guide to Productivity 2011

I have called this the Ultimate Productivity Guide for Vectorworks, and the reason I say that is that it has all my tips and tricks for using Vectorworks in one place. There are over 180 movies with a total running time of over 5 hours.

Changing your productivity in Vectorworks could save you five or ten minutes every day. Five minutes a day is thirty minutes every week, or 2 hours each month.
But it is not just about saving time, it’s also about having more enjoyment and less stress when you are drawing. Some of these Productivity techniques only save you a click or two, but they save you a lot of thinking, which, at the end of the day, saves you a lot of brain-work.
I have organized the guide into a series of sections, with each section dealing with a topic. There are about 19 topics, and each topic has a few, or several movies.
For example, Dealing With Roofs. There are 19 movies dealing with many aspects of dealing with roofs.
Many of my clients love this part of the manual. They keep the manual on the desktop, and then open it when they have a issue with roofs. They dip into the movies to find the solution, then carry on with their work. In a situation like this, it can save them a hour of mucking around.
The Vector-workout Guides are movie-based manuals. This means that they are movie rich, without too much reading. When you click on the bookmark on the left, or on the table of contents, you can see the page of the manual.
There is only a small amount of reading to do, the large image on each page is the movie. Click on the movie and it begins to play. This is like have a tutor whenever you need it.
I’ve Just had an email from a satisfied client:
  • I just finished your VW Architect 2010 Productivity manual; wonderful! I’m absolutely “hooked” on your help; thank you very much! You’re a natural-born teacher. – Judy
185 movies, 05:05:10 total running time

Vector-workout Guide to Quick Conceptual Design

Earlier this month, my Vector-workout Subscription covered quick conceptual design. I felt that this is a very powerful area, and I wrote a lot about the session on this blog, so please visit that page for a long description about this.

I have expanded on these notes and combined them with my earlier manual on Residential Conceptual Design, to create a new Vector-workout Guide to Quick Conceptual Design.

This manual covers all the steps from editing your workspace to make Vectorworks quicker to creating a solar animation movie of the project.

Briefly, Vectorworks is very powerful in the early stages of a project. We can use Vectorworks to check our building areas to make sure that the project of this size and bulk, can be placed on the site. This is very effective for small complex sites, and for larger commercial projects where land coverage is important.

Once you have the building area, it is a simple task to add the cost of the building. This can be completed in a short time, so you can see if the project is acceptable. This is like a short feasibility report, where you can tell the client the rough (very rough) order of costs for a building of this area and level of quality.

Using massing models, you can check the sun and shadows on the project, to see if you will have the spaces you think you want.

You can import or create a 3D site model and use this to create 3D planes that show you the restrictions on your site. This is a quick visual way to see how close to the boundary you can build and what height is allowed in the project location.

You can use space objects, or 3D modeling to create a 3D concept model. 3D modeling is now very quick and powerful if you use the Push/Pull tool and working planes. So, I have added these techniques to the manual.

As you model, you can check the model against the site restrictions, and create solar studies for different times of the day, and days of the year.

The Vector-workout Guide to Quick Conceptual Design covers all this, and it covers it with a movie-based format. This format makes it easy to get the information quickly, without a lot of reading.

Buy the manual here…

Review of this manual posted here…

Vector-workout Subscription – More Online Sessions

We have been building up the number of subscribers in the Vector-workout Subscription. This is really pleasing. I have been running this service for over four years now, and we have now got to the point where we are getting all the online sessions filled up.

Ever since the service started, we have had online meetings (workshops I call them). I initially started with 3 online sessions each month, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at different times of the day, so users can choose what suits them. This month there are so many users wanting to be in those meetings, it seems time to introduce more online sessions. So In April I will be trying out sessions Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, still at different times of the day. These sessions are designed for everyone, from beginner onwards. I always create a manual for these sessions, so you can follow the topic, and so you have something you can come back to.

A few months ago, I started a new type of session called Beyond Beginner. These sessions are not for experts, but they are not for beginners, and they focus on questions and answers around a topic. I’m happy to report that these sessions are becoming as popular as the workshops. Initially I started with just two Beyond Beginner sessions a month, but from April that will be increasing to three sessions a month. So, you will be able to find a session on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Check out the calendar here…

Join Vectorworking.com

Vectorworking.com is an independent online community for Vectorworks users. It has forums, events, blogs, and so on. The community has been set up by a friend of mine and I want this community to grow. There are nearly 1000 members, and we need more.

Please visit http://www.vectorworking.com/ and join. Once you’ve joined, add me as a friend.

Quick Conceptual Modeling in Vectorworks 2011

I have many clients that use other programs to start a conceptual model, but I believe that Vectorworks is very capable at conceptual modeling. Not only that, if you can start your model in Vectorworks, you can carry on with Vectorworks until the project is completed, saving you all that re-drawing time. Conceptual models can be spaces, volumes, (and with the new planar objects and Push/Pull tool in Vectorworks 2011, and shapes that can be changed quickly.

In this webinar, I will be creating a quick site model with 3D building constraints. I will create a quick conceptual model and link this to the site. There are ways to do this so you can edit the model directly on the site to make sure you maximize the concept for the sun, the 3D constraints and the adjoining properties.

Read more and book now…http://www.novedge.com/webinarseries/?WebID=16

Progress on Vectorworks for Museum and Exhibit Designers

The Vectorworks course for Museum and Exhibit Designers is going really well. The attendees are getting heaps out of the course and having a lot of fun as well. We are 3 sessions into part two of the course. We have imported a DXF/DWG file from the Internet, rescaled it to make it accurate.

Now we have converted it into 3D. Vectorworks has some really quick tricks for converting the plans into a model. I rendered this in Renderworks, and was really amazed with the rendering, the light looks subtle. We will be looking at rendering soon, but I wanted to see what we have created so far.

The course has almost finished now. All the online teaching has been completed, but the students decided that they wanted time to finish off the projects and be graded on their work.

The students have really enjoyed this course and they have made fantastic progress. I’m very happy.