cadmovie1504_01 – Rendering – Part 01

Vectorworks and Document Preferences

There is not a set of preferences that just deal with rendering. There are Vectorworks preferences (effecting all your files) and Document preferences which may have an effect over the look of your rendered views. The Vectorworks Preferences are preferences that affect every Vectorworks file, unlike Document Preferences which are only stored in the current document. You might find that these preferences have already been set, but it is a good idea to check through these to see if these preferences are the way you like. Continue reading

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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Interactive Workshops September 2014 (1409) – Introduction to Textures

2014-09-26_10-08-03If you are going to present your work in a rendered way, textures are fundamental. Putting textures on your models helps your clients to understand what materials you are planning. Textures have a lot of power, but if you haven’t created textures before you might find this power confusing. These sessions focus on understanding the basics of textures rather than focusing on some really cool or powerful tricks. There are four basic parts to textures (color, reflectivity, transparency and bump), so in the sessions we try to look at these parts individually and at the end of the session bringing all of them together to create a texture.

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podcast 194 – Surface Hatches in Textures Vectorworks 2015

Vectorworks 2015 has made huge improvement to textures. Textures can now have a surface hatch. The surface hatch will only appear when you view your model in hidden line rendering. If you set up your surface hatches correctly on your textures, you will see the normal part of the texture when you view your model in the rendered view, and you’ll see the surface hatch (the lines) when you view your model and hidden line rendering. The feedback from my clients so far is that this is a huge improvement. If you watch this movie you will see one scene where you can see some viewports and hidden line rendering and one viewport in OpenGL rendering, all using the same textures from the same model, but giving completely different views of the model.

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cadmovie860 – What’s New in Vectorworks 2013 – Part 10

Non-Blocking Rendering – I have several projects with high quality rendered viewports. When I want to render these viewports Vectorworks locks up and I cannot do anything until they are finished. Non-blocking rendering allows me to carry on working while these viewports are being rendered.

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SST_1110 – What’s New in Vectorworks 2012

You may not want to upgrade, you may not be able to afford to upgrade, but I still think you should read about what is new in Vectorworks 2012. There are several important changes to 3D modeling that will change the way you think about 3D modeling. Amongst them are automatic working plane and new modes in planar objects.

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cadmovie748 – What’s New in Vectorworks 2012 Part 14

Renderworks Style. I am a real fan of these new Renderworks styles. It will make it much easier to create your individual styles for rendering. Renderworks Styles are created as resources and are therefore available in the Resource Browser. Hence they can be copied into other files.

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Creating Hedges in Vectorworks

My friend Bill has been playing with this new tool that he found on It’s called the Siepe (Hedge) Tool. From the same author of Frangisole plugin. When I first looked at this tool I wasn’t sure that I could find a use for it.

But Bill has been playing with it, and he showed me how useful this could be.

Here is the scene with a small house and all my rendering is set up but the background and foreground just look a little plain.

So here’s my suggestion. Use the hedge tool to fill in the foreground. The way the hedge tool works, is that it uses several polygons and two textures to create the look of a hedge. You don’t have to use all hedge, you can add a flower texture if you want. You could use two different greens to give you a hedge with a green effect rather than flower effect.

Here is the same scene with a hedge around the back of the house as well. I think the hedge tool is great for filling in the background quickly.

The tool is $25US, which I was happy to pay. This tool only needs two clicks to place a hedge.

In this image I created a low hedge that mimics a buxus hedge border, with wildflowers inside, all created with a few objects from the Hedge tool, about two minutes work.


Creating Siding (Weatherboards) in Vectorworks 2010-2011

I found this great plug-in on the vectordepot web site, called the Frangisole (sunshade). This tool is designed to create simple sunshades.

The interface is really easy to use. You draw a line to define the length of the sunshade, and use the Object Info Palette to change the number of horizontal parts, the height, angle and width of the boards.

If you tilt the boards to the correct angle, you can make siding (weatherbords). If you use some simple solid modeling, you can cut out the frangisole for doors and windows.


To see it in action, have a look at this short youtube vid.


Subscribers to Vector-workout Subscription will find a detailed movie for this plug-in in the July manual.