Tuesday, July 26, 2011

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.


Friday, July 22, 2011

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.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

How Vectorworks Can Help Your Business

I have just received an email from a Michael Erkkinen of Webnash Design-Build ( showing how effective Vectorworks is for presentation.  I like Mike's work, he designs and builds traditional new england colonial buildings with high performance envelopes and mechanicals. While they look like traditional buildings, and they use some old building techniques, they also use some new building techniques, they are heavily insulated and they often feature solar energy.

This image is the rendered image that Mike has created for his clients. Mike did not always create rendered views of this quality. For me, it has been encouraging to watch his presentations become more sophisticated as he learns more about Vectorworks though the Vector-workout Subscription. He has found that he gets his clients to commit to higher quality buildings now. He uses the renderings to show the clients the project at the schematic stage, and he rarely uses orthographic drawings (plans and elevations).

Here is the image of the partially completed building. One of the problems with traditional plans and elevations is that the client is not really sure what they are getting. The way Mike renders the concept, the building is what the client agreed to, leading to satisfied clients.

Creating a Paving Plan

This month the Vector-workout Subscription is looking at creating a paving plan. This looks like it is a totally landscape topic, but you would be wrong. In order to use a tool like the hardscape tool, you have to learn how to control planar graphics.

This session will start with a look at the planar graphics, and there are several of those. Learning to control line weights, dash styles, custom colors (and a custom color palette) hatches, images and tile will be useful to all Vectorworks users.

There are 4 webinars this week, so one of the times should suit you. If you are a subscriber, you can book here. If you can't make it to the webinars, you can still down load the manual (about 80 small pages) from the CPD Manuals page.

If you are not a subscriber, you can still join here.