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At last, I found Vector works. So far, so good, anyway. I haven't tried it much, but so far it feels "Mac."
Excuse me for my sarcasm, but for six months I've been juggling trials of all the bigies: Argon V8, Bonzai 3d, Form Z, Archicad, Autocad, Vue 8, Hexagon, Sketchup, Modo, Strata, Lightwave. Really, they're still in my download file [mostly expired; Strata only gives one download so I only got to trial it once – hey, Adobe, do you want to sell Strata or don't you? See ya' later.]
I'm a mac graphics illustrator person. I've learned the Mac UI, and I love it. But for every one of the big 3d apps, except VW [so far], I've been dissapointed, often disgusted.
Historically, on a mac, if you click on an object, it does something . . . wow! But nearly all of the apps I've tried, if you click on an object, nothing happens because you didn't first tell the curser what you intend it to do. I clicked it to select it! I really don't see anything wrong with that.
For years my illustration programs [Canvas, no longer mac] and 3d application [DenebaCAD, no longer mac], have served me in Mac style . . . when I click on an object, It shows sizing handles and I can stretch it, or if I click and hold within the edge, I can drag it . . . wow! If I double click or pretzel-click, or option-click I can do a ton of other things, but . . . the object DOES SOMETHING! . . . that's why I CLICKED IT! And I don't have to zig-zag all over the screen to tell my cursor to become each of those functions before I us it.
The reason that the Mac UI is so good is that it doesn't get between me and my work. I want to think about what I'm doing and do it, not what I'm doing clouded with all the tricks and "OOps" of how to do it. And after sizing or dragging an object I want the cursor to "Chill out" and not on the next click have my object jump to some other irrational space on the screen, or turn into some uneditable wire frame or jump into the fourth dimension – these have all happened.
It seems that most of the apps come from the position that the user is supposed to have more fun working playing the application "rubics cube" than doing his or her artwork.
I am an Assistant Project Manager and Owners Rep on a 136 million dollar custom condo building on Park Ave, NYC.
I've been using CAD software for about 6 mo and will only work on a Mac in a Windows, ( AutoCad ), World. I inherited VW 11 on a computer I purchased and played with a bootleg copy of VW 12 for a few months before making the legal and morally correct decision to buy it outright.
It's awesome capability, autocad compatibility, and relatively gentle learning curve have allowed me to become productive in record time.
Biggest problem I have with AutoCad is not that I am not compatible with it but that Vectorworks has capabilities that it does not.
To take the cake, the Architect for one of the floors uses VW and I'm the only one on the project that can work on their drawings.
All this in less than 6 months. Thanks for an awesome product!
Very good software! I'm a landscape designer and it will improve my effeciency and planning. The graphics are good. I wish they had more options for low voltage exterior lighting. I got the 6 disk tutorials and they help, but I wish they were a little more in depth. Overall: great price, great product!!
I just purchased this entire collection no more than 3 days ago, and I'll have to say that I am impressed with it! With this software, it has completely freed my company to design anything that can be thought of, and be able to check it before it's even built.... I use AutoCAD daily at my job, and I have found that this completely runs circles around AutoCAD! For years, I have been designing in 2D, trying to visualize what a site would look like, but with this software, as you design everything in 2D, you are automatically creating a 3D design as well (and this is what makes this a potential AutoCAD killer)....
It is very, very easy to use, and the tools that are contained in it are absolutely invaluable! Creating buildings, parking lots, planting plans, and more (and being able to see the entire thing in 3D) is a breeze!
Meanwhile, kudos to Novedge for their great service! I asked for the product by the next day, and they got it to me as promised! The software came as packaged, and RenderWorks was included in the install DVD (as I was thinking the product would come in separate packaging). It works exactly as it is designed to work. If I had to buy from Novedge again, I definitely would! Nowhere will you find this software for the price, and get this quality of service for the money. Buy this, and I believe you will be not just satisfied, but impressed.
I have used AutoCAD for over 10 years along with various other packages (Microstation and ArchiCAD just to name a few) and I must say that I was rather worried that I was too embedded into AutoCAD before purchasing Vectorworks DESIGNER. However, as soon as I got this package into my hands and installed it, I realized that it was beyond anything I have ever imagined. It's user-friendly, customizable, easy-to-use, and best of all, they don't force you to upgrade! It has flawless DXF/DWG translation so you can still use this package with others who use AutoCAD - this package will allow you to do so many more things than any other package will allow you to do. The 3D features and Rendering capabilities are incredible and just phenomenal. You must try it.
Vectorworks is an intuitive, easy to learn, powerful CAD program. The price is also right. It does take some practice if AutoCAD is all you've ever used. The ease, however, of putting together 3D presentations for clients is just what I need as an architect. Unusual forms also seem easy to manipulate and put into drawings that are understandable. This can only help me to do good design, as the program is no longer in the way. I'm glad I purchased this program. I plan to use this as my main program for CAD.
In my first week with Vectorworks I learned that it was possible to get from a dimensioned sketch to a 2-D drawing quickly. The drawing tools, especially those for such common tasks as drawing walls, placing doors and windows, and designing roof systems are powerful and easy to learn.
When constructing simple drawings, the system is pretty good at anticipating alignment choices, presenting good snap choices, so keeping things aligned can be a snap.
The editing tools seem a little less intuitive - enough so that I have frequently found it saves much time to simply delete a mistake rather than edit it. There have even been times when I decided not to make an edit because - after messing with the editing tools for several minutes and making no progress at all - the only solution I could think of was to redraw a very complicated object from scratch.
When it comes to 3-D things seem a little more difficult, but it's one of the better implementations of 3-D editing I've seen. One choice they have made, the use of stories does a good job of placing floors, walls, and ceilings on different layers for editing purposes. And in so doing abstracts a 3-D problem into a series of related 2-D ones. Some of the program's defaults are confusing, though. For example, even though it sets the ceiling height at the default wall height, it sets the roof height to be the same level as the floor. So when it builds a roof it is sitting on the floor. Most framers, fortunately, are smarter than that.
Rendering can be quite good. And there are a lot of methods for rendering, some of which are quite interesting artistic styles.
But there are also some really bothersome problems associated with rendering. The first one is that it will automatically render when you change one minor parameter. Not a problem in wireframe mode, but with highest quality rendering it can mean waiting a lot. Until one learns to use ESC to stop the process.
Antother is that when you render a scene in the higher quality rendering settings, items in that scene that are on a different layer render semi-transparent regardless of what surface properties have been defined for them. Until one knows this, it can be very very frustrating trying to get something to render properly. I think I lost three days to this problem alone.
More frustrating, still, is the implementation of fill colors and textures. Two days ago I was trying to get the color of a wall to change. I worked on it so long that I joked "I could have painted the real wall in less than half the time." Nothing I did changed the color of the wall. In desperation I clicked "restore [something] to default" and suddenly it started working. This is but one tiny example of the massive confusion that enshrouds the management of fills and textures.
The most intuitive implementation would allow one to drag a new texture or fill color onto a surface. But this doesn't work at all. Even though I've managed to apply some textures to surfaces. It's complicated enough that I doubt I'll ever actually be able to explain it. I will tell you that I dread the next time I have to apply a texture that isn't in my menu of textures already.
The designers at Vectorworks need to completely revamp their tools for defining and managing textures. Almost any change would make it better; but it needs a whole new paradigm shift to make it seem both comprehensible and powerful. I recall that dealing with shaders and textures in Infinity 3-D two decades ago was pretty easy and intuitive. I cannot understand why it should now have to be five, or maybe thirty times as difficult to do essentially the same thing.
I have been confused at how to move 3-D models that shipped with the program into a drawing. Again, drag and drop would be an intuitive way to do it. But this doesn't work.
I fear I will need to spend tens of hours more working through the "Getting Started Renderworks 2012" pdf document at Nemetschek.net before I am any good at editing, dealing with fills and textures, and importing models.
Vectorworks Designer & Renderworks is a big package with a lot of valuable built-in features. In a vast number of ways it is powerful and refined. Getting the rudimentary drawing stuff to work is pretty straightforward. Editing is more difficult. Managing the rendering process can, even to someone with some background in the art, seem completely daunting.
Vectorworks Designer & Renderworks 2015 includes 12 months FREE technical support directly from Vectorworks. Nemetschek Technical Support is available to all registered users by fax, by e-mail and by phone from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm EST.