Monday, June 26, 2006

Follow-up From the User Groups

The user group meetings this month were on Site Modelling. We covered how to make a site model from a series of 3D loci, how to make a site model from a scanned image and how to modify the site model when you’ve made it. One of the questions that came up was when I’m using 2D Ploys to 3D Contours why do I recommend using 3D Loci rather than  3D Polygons. My answer was that it makes a better site model, especially when you want to add site modifiers. My friend Don came to the user group and tried out my suggestions. This is what Don said...

I have been trying out what I learnt from this NZVWUG meeting on DTM creation.

Yes you are right. I used the Site Model from Scanned Image method on a set of dummy contours I had drawn. Traced my contours. I selected "Create 3D Loci" option from "2D Poly To 3D Contours". The resulting  DTM of course didn't match the drawn contours at all well. But I could copy the appropriate 3D Loci (i.e. one which had the same Z value as the contour) and paste at reasonable  intervals along each contour. Re-run "Site Mode" and voila a much more accurate DTM.

It seems that you should give far more emphasis to the"Create 3D Loci" option in your manuals and classes. It  just gives you far more control over editing the DTM.

That revelation was worth every bit and more of the $ for Tuesday night. Thanks Jonathon.

So I guess from now on I’ll emphasise the 3D Loci more...

Running VectorWorks on Intel-Mac

I have received my new MacBook, I’ve had extra RAM installed (the max) and a bigger HD (the max also) put in as well. As fa as price goes I reckon that this new MacBook is excellent value for money. As I often say get as much RAM as you can afford. In my case I decided to miss out on the DVD burner and invest that saving in RAM.
VectorWorks does not crash on it as soon as I start it and I have used VectorWorks on my MacBook to demonstrate it at the user groups to do site modelling. There have been others that I know that have found VectorWorks to be workable, which means it crashes a little but not too bad. 
I made a short movie of a house project which took just over 6 minutes to make n my Intel-Mac. The same movie on my Dual G5 1.8GHz took just over 9 minutes to complete. So I’m happy that my new laptop can hold it’s own with my desktop machine. 
I’ve also installed Parallel Systems on my MacBook. Now I have VectorWorks running on my Mac and Windows at the same time (If you want to do this you need to have a windows serial number). Now for the important part, how does VectorWorks run on windows on my MacBook ? It’s very fast. I used it recently to demonstrate site modelling at the User group meetings and it was very fast to use. I’ve also rendered a small kitchen and it was very quick (I think it even uses both parts of the dual core processor). Just be careful when you install parallel systems for the first time, I didn’t create a big enough virtual machine).

Friday, June 02, 2006

Upgrading to VectorWorks 12

When you upgrade to VectorWorks 12, especially if you are upgrading from a older version of VectorWorks (pre-11). One of the major changes that we have been using since VectorWorks 11 is viewports. Viewports are really powerful and will change (should change) the way you draw and set up your drawings. For example, before we had viewports we used to need to use layers with different scales to show the same information at different scales, now with viewports you can draw the information once and use two viewports at different scales on the same drawing. You can have different class settings on each viewport, something that was impossible without viewports.

It’s a bit hard to explain the implications of using ViewPorts in this blog, but if you are upgrading look for a good manual that will explain these new concepts to you. I have had some clients recently that upgraded from VectorWorks 9 to VectorWorks 12 and we discussed how they need to review my Essential manual so that they can get a grasp on the new concepts in VectorWorks 12.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Should You Buy an Intel-Mac?

Nemetschek North America are working hard to bring you a Universal Binary version of VectorWorks that will run on the Intel-based Macintoshes, but it has not been released yet. Information from Nemetschek North America suggests that you should be careful, that Nemetschek North America cannot recommend VectorWorks running in an Intel based Macintosh yet. There is full article at:

So, should you buy one? I think that that’s a tricky question. First your VectorWorks will not run well on it. If you are using other applications like Photoshop or InDesign, they will not run native on your new Intel-mac but the reports so far are that they will run, they just won’t run fast. All the Apple software such as iLife, iCal, iPhoto and Address Book will run native and will be FAST! I checked the Microsoft web site and all the Office applications will work on your Intel-Mac except Virtual PC.

So the real sticking point may be just VectorWorks. It’s not ready for Intel-Mac’s but it will be ready before too long. The version of VectorWorks that will work with Intel-Mac’s will be 12.5. Keep your eye open for it. If you really want to buy an Intel-Mac, go ahead and use it for everything except VectorWorks. Keep your old computer for a little while...