Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Creating a Gable roof with Vectorworks 2010

This is the starting shape for the roof, the plan of the walls. We want a roof with two roof planes, and a gable to the left and right.

This post has been moved here...

Creating a Dutch Gable, or Truncated Hip?

I have been on a Vectorworks chat list lately, and the users were asking about making a Dutch Gable.

Vectorworks will make one easily if you start with a standard Vectorworks roof and edit the roof plane.

This post has been moved to here...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Books are cast in stone, ebooks are wet clay

I have been listening to This Week in Google with Leo Laporte, Gina Trapani and Jeff Jarvis. Jeff Jarvis was talking about books in the old days of scribes and moveable type. He said that errors used to occur and so errata became a common way for correcting mistakes.

It seems to me that books and manuals like the ones I write, are not designed to be updated each month. Once the books have been proof read and sent to the printer, they will not be updated.

At the moment, I am updating my four major tutorial manuals so they will be ready for the next update to Vectorworks. Once completed, they will not be updated for another year. In this way these manuals are cast in stone (not easy to update).

Ebooks can be updated easily, and downloaded when you want them. If I make an error in an ebook, I can correct it and make it available to everyone. In this way an ebook is not cast in stone, it is wet clay (easily editable).

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Monday, August 09, 2010

New Kindle Announced

Amazon has announced a new kindle device. This is a development of the 2nd generation Kindle device, which WILL be available in NZ, with WIFI only.

They have improved the screen, memory size, speed, button location and they added WIFI. I think these are great improvements, especially the WIFI. (this image is from the amazon web site). The overall size is slightly smaller, making it even easier to carry around.

Now that there are several Vectorworks manuals available for the Kindle, you have a good reason to buy one.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Vectorworks Manuals Available online at UK Amazon store

I have just found out that you can now get Kindle books on Vectorworks at the amazon store in the UK.

If you go to and search for Vectorworks in the Kindle store you will find several kindle books.

Kindle books can be read on your Mac, PC, Kindle, iPad, iPhone and Android phone. One of the things I love abut kindle books it that you can read the same book on all these different devices, but you only have to buy the book once.

spam bastards using yousendit...

I always get spam emails and sometimes the bastards use my domain name to spam others. Today a got a new spam that I nearly opened. The subject line used to make it look like a genuine message for me.

When I checked the email, it was not to my correct address, so I was cautious, and I deleted it. 

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Creating A Renderworks Background Makes Such a difference

I'm writing the manual for my online user group, I write a different manual for them every month. This month I writing about Rendering and Lighting.

I was showing the local Vectorworks salesman the difference a Renderworks background can make, and he was so surprised, I thought I could share it with you. When you create a rendered view without a background, you end up with a distracting white background.

Use the Resource Browser to create a Renderworks background.

One of my favorite Renderworks backgrounds is the two color.

I use a very dark blue for the first color, the top color. And I use a red or orange for the second or bottom color. This can make the background look like a sunset.

Assign the background by dragging the background from the Resource Browser to the rendered scene. 

When you render the scene, the results are much better, and I think this is a huge improvement. 

Now, all you have to do is add a few image props of people and trees, add some street furniture and the results are really great. The bus stops in this image is from the 3D Modeling in Vectorworks 2010 manual from the Vectorworks web site. The textures and image props I covered in my user group notes a couple of months ago, which will be available on line shortly, and this month, my user group is covering lighting and rendering. You can join here....

Sunday, August 01, 2010

eBooks on the iPad - with movies

It has taken me a little while, lots of research and help from my friend Steve Scaysbrook at to find the answer, but I have done it! I have found out how to embed movies into eBooks!

I think this is a fantastic break-through. You can now buy Vectorworks training manuals in eBook form, with movies in them. you can carry them around on your iPad, and watch the movies when ever you want. The great thing about the eBooks on the iPad, is that it is like having a book next to you. Instead of changing applications on your computer, you can keep the eBook open on your iPad and then look at the computer screen, back to the iPad, back to the computer screen and so on.

The manuals have a table of contents page that shows the cover and table of contents. The chapter headings are links to the chapters in the manual. So if you tap on a chapter, you are taken to the correct location.

When you get to the chapter you want, you might see a movie. Movies are shown in the body of the manual and they look like an image, except that the movies have a play button in the center.

When you tap on the play button, the movie starts. You can pause, fast forward or go back over the movie. With movies they don't call this fast forward anymore, the call it scrubbing.

If you pinch the movie to zoom, the movie becomes full screen, especially when you have the iPad in landscape mode.

In full screen mode ii is easier to scrub the movie forward and back, pause and play the movie, and even change the volume.

When the movie finishes, you are taken directly back to the eBook, so you can carry on reading.

I have not had success getting my eBooks on the Apple iBookstore, but there is a way around this. iTunes allows you to add eBooks to your iTunes library by dragging and dropping a downloaded eBook to the library.

Once it is in the library, tell your iPhone or iPad to sync all books. Every time you add a book to your library, it will be added to your device on the next sync.

The eBooks are very handy to carry with you. The manuals are stored in the iBooks application. Just tap on a book to open it.

You can buy my eBooks here...