Architect Special Interest Group September 2017 (am)

In this session, we discussed the new upgrade to Vectorworks 2018—should you upgrade right away or shouldn’t you?—and opened up an old project file in VW 2018 to see how it behaved. We also covered some tricks for working with dimensions, the new feature in VW2018 that allows you to work in multiple drawing views, and the updated Detail Callout Marker Tool.

Topics Covered:

  • 00:12    We dove right into the session with a discussion about upgrading to VW 2018. Should you switch right away to the new VW software or not? I shared the rule of thumb that I’ve developed over years of upgrades: If the project that you’re currently working on is getting toward the end and is time critical, continue working on your project in the old VW version. If your project isn’t that complete and doesn’t have a tight deadline, switch to working on it in the new VW version. Since the updated Resource Manager came out, we’ve discussed several times what an advantage it is to have a single library file that contains all of your resources. A single-file library makes it easy to migrate all of your stuff to a new version—it really takes the stress out upgrades! One challenge is that you can’t store stories and levels in a library file or import them from file to file. You can take these from project to project if you use a file template, although it’s very difficult to have a template that applies to all your projects. We discussed what kind of template is the best balance between being simple enough to be helpful and being too complex to do much good.
  • 08:40    We opened up an old project to see what it’s like moving a file from one VW version to another. When you open the old file and VW converts it to the new version, you might have warnings pop up, such as problems with your font mapping or layer links. Otherwise, it’s pretty straightforward. We discussed how best to modify custom objects that undergo some undesired change when they’re brought through—your best friend in such an instance just might be the Select Similar Tool!
  • 16:15    Next, we went over some workarounds when handling dimensions. We turned one of the witness lines into a dotted line—we even tweaked the dimension standard to turn the dimension into a joist marker! These tricks can really help the readability of your plans.
  • 21:32    One of the exciting new features in VW 2018 is multiple drawing views. For example, you can now see the changes appear on the sheet layer as you make them on the design layer. We experimented drawing a line in one view and finishing it in one of the other views! Maybe it would be most helpful for you to have a plan view in one view, the Clip Cube in another, and a sheet layer open in a third. We discussed other ways that this new feature could benefit our VW projects, including experimenting with the new Edit Section In-Place command, which allows you to move objects around right in the section. The old file that we were working with was created before Unified View existed, but we were still able to tweak things so that we could edit in section view. We learned that we had to really watch out when opening up old projects—remember that we’ve really improved on the older techniques that we used to use.
  • 40:28    We finished the session by looking a drop shadows. Putting a white background behind the text can increase the text’s readability. We looked at using drop shadows with revision clouds. This topic reminded us that the Detail Callout Marker has been updated! We changed the line weight of a callout marker and gave it rounded corners, without even using the Reshape Tool—little changes to VW tools can make a big difference. Vectorworks just keeps getting better and better!

Architect September 2017 am
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