Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Vectorworks Tip Retaining Wall

You can create a retaining wall on a site model by using a couple of site modifiers. They can be pads or contours. 

The important part is to make sure that you use a grade limits to control the extent of the site mode change. 

Friday, April 07, 2017

podcast 225 - Nudge

Nudge is where you move objects a small amount using the shift+arrow keys. it can be useful, but watch out if you need to measure the objects.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Introduction to BIM for Landscape Course

It has been a while, but I have decided to start face-to-face courses. I used to have these courses on a regular basis in Auckland NZ. I am starting with the first course late March 2017. It’s already sold out, so don’t worry about the short notice, but I am planning on running these courses every three months. Use this contact page if you would like to book for this course.

There is a lot of talk about Building Information Modelling (BIM) in relation to architecture, but not in relation to landscape design. The principles behind BIM can be used to speed up the a production of your landscape projects and drawings. This course is an introduction to using BIM with Vectorworks Landmark and it has been designed to teach you the concepts of BIM and how to use the Vectorworks Landmark in the most productive way. It has all been brought together in a concise face to face course.

Introduction To BIM Course

It has been a while, but I have decided to start face-to-face courses. I used to have these courses on a regular basis in Auckland NZ. I am starting with the first course this week. It’s already sold out, so don’t worry about the short notice, but I am planning on courses every three months. Use this contact page if you would like to book for this course.

BIM Introduction Course

Many people talk about BIM these days, it is an important way to create drawings. This course is an introduction to using BIM with Vectorworks Architect and it has been designed to teach you the concepts of BIM and how to use the Vectorworks Architect in the most productive way. It has all been brought together in a in a concise face to face course.
In this 2-day course you will draw a simple two story project that will teach you the basics of BIM. We will start with first principle and work through creating a Building Model that will allow us to create plans, sections, and elevations. We will progress through site modeling, solar studies, rendering 3D views, internal room elevations, and details.
By the end of the course attendees should be able to create a Building Information Model and create drawings from it.
The course is limited to 7 people max, BYOD. 

Course Outline:

Day 1

Session 1 – Setting Up the Project

In this session we will set up the project using Design Layers, Stories, and levels. As well as setting up the project we will also start to create a library and template so that in future projects we will have an efficient way to get started.

Session 2 – Concept Modelling

In this session we will start to create our project using techniques to create the site model, property line, surrounding buildings, and the bulk and location of our project.

Session 3 – Creating the Building

In this session we will use our concept model to create our building using wall styles, slab styles, and roof styles. These styles to the Stories and Levels so that when changes are made to the stories, the walls and slabs will automatically update.

Day 2

Session 4 – Creating Doors and Windows

In this session we will create doors and windows for our project using styles. These styles will allow the windows and doors to be created efficiently and saved to our library. We can also use these door and window styles to create a door and window schedule.

Session 5 – Internal Fixtures

In this session we will fit out the building placing fixtures in bathrooms, kitchens, adding stairs, and adding additional furniture and fixtures to the plan.

Session 6 – Drawings

In this last session will create our drawings. We will create a site plan, floorplans, sections, internal elevations, details and detail referencing.

Additional Information

This course is an intensive course for learning Vectorworks architect. You might think that there is a lot to go through in a short space of time, and you would be right. In order to give you as much background information as possible at the conclusion of the course, you will be given online courses (value $280 plus GST ) that you can refer to for further information. Included in the cost of this course are the following online courses:
  • Vectorworks Fundamentals
  • Vectorworks Architect
  • Vectorworks Architect Asia
  • Vectorworks Site Modelling.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

How Well Do You Know Vectorworks?

I get a lot of questions from users about my web sites. They want to know if they should join my subscription web site, or whether they should complete one of my courses first.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

epodcast200 - Create Dimension Standards

When you create a Dimension Standard you will find that it is only in the file you created it. Unlike other resources, Dimension Standards cannot be exported to your library. They also do not appear in the Resource Manager. However, you can import Dimension Standards from  another file.  When you create a dimension standard there is an Import button on the dialog box. If you click on this button, you can navigate to the file that has the correct Dimension Standard. When you choose your Dimension Standards, they will be imported into your current file.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

epodcast199 - Create Similar Object

When you are creating your projects, you often want to create more objects like to ones you already have. You could copy an paste an object, but then you have to move it and edit it. The Create Similar Object command sets the same tool, class, and tool settings as the original. This allows you to move a new location and start using the correct tool instantly.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

epodcast198 - Slab Drainage

Vectorworks 2017 introduced Slab Drainage. There is a specific tool to use to create the drainage. This tool has several modes that allow you to add a drain, edit the location and direction, connect drains together, and edit the valleys. The slab drainage can change the entire slab, or it can taper a component of the slab, but it only works with slabs.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

epodcast197 - Select Similar Tool

I use this tool a lot to select a group of things that are similar. You can define how similar they are. They could be the same class, the came object type, or a combination of these. You can save your favorite settings so that you can recall them easily.

Read more..

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

epodcast196 - Door With Custom Height Sidelight

If you are using Windoor, you can use the vertical divisions to create a full height door with ½ height sidelight next it. With the standard Vectorworks doors and windows you can’t create this object using the same technique, but there is a way to do it. create the door and sidelight that you require and make sure that the jam of the door in the sidelight overlap.  Select the door and window. Make a symbol from them.
When you create a door, choose the option to use Symbol Geometry and use your door symbol. This allows you to use the door object and add it to your schedule.

Friday, February 10, 2017

epodcast195 - Keeping Viewports Rendered


When you open a file, you sometimes find that all the viewports need updating. This can be frustrating and time consuming. There are a few things you can try. You can enable the Viewport Cache or you can convert the viewports to bitmaps. 


Thursday, February 09, 2017

podcast 224 Align & Distribute

You can use the contextual menu to activate Align/Distribute.

podcast 223 - Roadway (Custom Kerb)

Of all the roads available in Vectorworks, this is the most flexible.

podcast 222 - Adding and Using WebBroswer Favorites/Bookmarks

Saving Favorites/Bookmarks makes it easy to return to a page on a web site. This movie tries to show you in a simple way how to save these.

Podcast 221 - Exporting web view using Vectorworks 2017

In November 2016 my subscription workshop will be looking at creating an interior design project. As part of the project I wanted to show people how they can export the design so that other people can look at it, and Vectorworks 2017 has a facility for exporting your design as a virtual reality project (called web view). This movie is an introduction to using web view with Vectorworks 2017. You will see how you can view the project, export the project and then view this this a web browser..

2D Timed Exercise Version 2017

I was asked to draw this simple house as a timed exercise to compare drawing techniques with other prorgams.  You can see the Autocad version here:

Bamboo Spark

I often use the Bamboo Spark to take notes in meeting and when I am training others. the great thing about it is that you write on regular paper and the Spark then sends the electric version of your notes to your device. The Bamboo Spark software works on your iPad or android device.
It is a great utility for recording your notes and you can use it with Bamboo Paper to colour your notes and sketches.

Podcast 220 - Creating Downspouts With Vectorworks 2017

A few months ago I covered Roof Accessories with my subscription group. I covered using Extrude Along Path… to create the downpipes (downspouts), but I did not cover this plug-in. This plug-in is a very quick way of creating your downpipes (downspouts) few models, and it is also free from this website ( you Andrea this is a great utility!

Podcast 219 - Sketching on an iPad using Procreate

Using an app like Procreate does allow you to trace over a photo, but I prefer to sketch over the photo so that it is not a direct copy. I used to have great drawing tutor (Pat Hanley) that kept telling use to focus on the “Big Issues” when drawing.

You can read more about this here:

podcast 218 - Apple iOS 9 - WiFi Assist

One of the new features of iOS9 is WiFi Assist. this tells your phone to use cellular data when the phone is connected to a low quality WiFi signal. This will mean that your phone looks for the best signal whether it is WiFi or cellular.

Podcast 217 - Microsoft Word Tips - Styles

When I create documents using Microsoft Word, I always make sure that I set up my paragraphs using styles. Styles allow you to control the font, size, justification, et cetera. They are very powerful and they are easy to apply.

podcast 216 - Full Screen Window Macintosh Yosemite

I recently upgraded my computer to Yosemite. I have a habit of wanting to see my drawing window full-screen. However, when I click on the green button to make my drawing wonderful screen I have been losing my menubar. In this movie I will show you how to change this. I am sure that many people know this trick already but when I found that I was very happy.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

epodcast194 - Interactively Scaling a Viewport By Dragging


You can't change the scale of the viewport by interactively scaling it (using the selection tool  to drag the corner).  But you are allowed to do this to a group. If you make the viewport into a group, then you can  and interactively scale it.


Friday, February 03, 2017

epodcast193 - Plants and Row Spacing


Vectorworks 2017 introduced a change to the plant spacing. in the past your plant spacing was a specific number and that was it. Now, plant spacing can be a specific number or it can be "Best Fit." The idea of best fit is that Vectorworks will try to put as many plants as it can using the spacing that you have specified,  but it will always place plant start click and at the end click. As well as that, Vectorworks added the option to have the row spacing different from the plant spacing.


Thursday, February 02, 2017

Archoncad Vectorworkout Subscription 10 Years Old!

10 Years Old!
Who would have thought. When I started this 10 years ago the internet was still new, the idea of online training was still in its infancy. Now, it is everywhere. I started this subscription service with a few members and now we have hundreds of subscribers.