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It looks like we're not the only ones excited about VectorWorks version 11. From what I hear, all the stops on our National 11 Tour have been filled with animated discussions of our great new product. The traveling has just started, so if we haven't come to your city, we might be there soon. Check our schedule for upcoming events, and keep in mind that we add new tour stops all the time www.nemetschek.net/news/events.html#tour

We love hearing about all the great things our users are doing with our software. Whether it be at a user group event, trade show, or even by phone, we encourage you to tell us how VectorWorks is helping you work. Every month, we include a profile column highlighting a firm, architect, or project. If you'd like to see yourself in that column, please contact linda@nemetschek.net. We're constantly impressed by how our users discover new ways to harness the power of VectorWorks.


Richard Diehl, CEO, Nemetschek N.A.

Richard Diehl
CEO, Nemetschek North America



Moonrise Ranch (Fischer, Texas)
Francois Levy Design Studio (Austin, Texas)

Built around two relocated rooms of an historic cabin, this house is a synthesis of history, the land, and the owner's profound sense of place. Designed to be only one-room deep in most places, the house is in complete harmony with its site. Its hull-like curved roof, cedar colonnades, deep porches, and palette of natural materials create a sense of well being and quiet beauty.

The design of the Moonrise Ranch residence was inspired by the form of the nearby hills overlooking the flood plain, above which the house is perched. The Blanco River, located close to the house, and its tall cypresses growing midstream together suggest the organic form of the roof: both hull and barn.

The house was organized around a two-room cabin which had been moved onto the site about ten years previously: a log room built in the 1840s and a frame room added in the 1880s. The rooms were separated and moved 500 feet to their present site.

The design attitude with respect to these cabins was not that of the historian; rather, they were treated as found art to be reinterpreted within the context of the larger architectural project. The log cabin served as the living room for the new house, minus its original fireplace (a replacement fireplace was added). The frame addition was reinterpreted as the new kitchen. The dog run became a dining area.

The rest of the program hinged around the cabins in the sense that the new construction was also "of the site," arranged to take maximum advantage of landscape and light. Much like the cabins, each interior space was articulated as a separate mass, so that the experience of the house is of a village under one roof: powder room and stone-lined, sky-lit shower, small bedroom with a bath of its own, master bedroom and bath combined in a common space.

These room arrangements were built off of the central high gallery running parallel to, and as high as, the exposed spine of the roof. The composition terminated in the rounded double-wythe stone wall of the open master bath, with its centrally-drained floor, wall showers, organic tub and hearth, and graveled outdoor shower. The insertion of a four-story tower with commanding views of river valley and hills held the composition together and asserted an otherwise subdued composition held strictly below the tree canopy. The experience of the project thus extended far beyond the confines of the property.

All of the available volume was deliberately opened up beneath the long spine of the roof. The resulting interwoven volume formed a continuum, exposing the "bones" of the whaleback roof from a variety of vantage points, and allowing light to penetrate deep into the interior.

Functionally, the series of high spaces draws tempered air from the deep shaded porches surrounding the interior to be naturally vented by the tower. The project’s sensitivity and responsiveness to its climate and site creates a bond between old and new. The inhabitants are intimately and phenomenologically linked to the natural world. Not only does the house incorporate the toil of previous generations, but its climactic response is inspired by the past. One might imagine that the life led here is reminiscent of that of the settlers, an experiential sympathy with earlier inhabitants living in an earlier world.

To learn more about Francois Levy Design Studio and Moonrise Ranch, visit them on the web at:

What can I use the Leather Shader for?

The new Wrapped Leather Shader is a powerful shader in RenderWorks 11. The settings included with this shader provide the flexibility to create a variety of textures. Not only can the shader be used to create leather surfaces, it can can be combined with other shaders to create dried mud textures, gravel textures, and even water textures. (See Image 1a)

Two notable settings that control the appearance of the leather shader are Irregularity and Curve Amplitude. The Irregularity parameter changes the appearance of the cells that make up the leather pattern, from perfect squares to irregular polygons. The Curve Amplitude parameter changes the look of the cell borders, from straight to curvy.

A gravel texture can be created by using the leather and granite shaders together. The granite shader colors should be set to be the same or very similar.

A mud and dried mud texture can be created using the leather and marble shaders together. The marble shader should be set to low detail. (See Image 1b and 1c)

A water texture can be created with the leather shader alone. To get a water texture with larger waves, increase the Fold Detail parameter setting. Smaller ripples are achieved by decreasing the amount of Fold Detail.

How can I save viewports so they are always rendered when I open the file?

Viewports can be rendered in various rendering modes. The viewports can remain rendered when saving and closing the file; this allows the file to re-open quickly, with the viewports already rendered, but also significantly increases the file size. For this reason, a new preference called Save Viewport Cache has been introduced in VectorWorks 11. This setting provides the flexibility to toggle between rendered and non-rendered views. (See Image 2a) This preference is located in File > Preferences > Document Preferences, on the Display tab. When Save Viewport Cache is selected, all viewports will be rendered when a saved document is opened. When Save Viewport Cache is deselected, all viewports will be in wireframe view when a saved document is opened. The viewports can be rendered using the View > Update All Viewports command.

How can I see other viewports when editing a specific viewport?

When editing viewports, especially when creating annotations, it is useful to be able to see other viewports on a specific sheet layer. The ability to see other viewports on a specific sheet layer helps in coordinating note placement across multiple viewports. To display the other viewports, select Show Other Objects While in Groups in the VectorWorks Preferences dialog box. This preference is located in File > Preferences > VectorWorks Preferences, on the Display tab. (See Image 3a)


Nemetschek North America Announces the Availability of the VectorWorks 11 Software Developer's Kit

Nemetschek North America announced the release of its VectorWorks 11 Software Developer's Kit (SDK). The VectorWorks SDK is a C++ development environment in which VectorWorks users, resellers, and third-party software developers can create custom add-on solutions that expand VectorWorks' core CAD capabilities. It is available as a free download from the company's website.

Two New Training Manuals Available for VectorWorks 11

Nemetschek North America announced the release of The Essential VectorWorks Manual and The VectorWorks ARCHITECT Tutorial by veteran VectorWorks user, Jonathan Pickup. Both manuals are exercise-based, which lead users through the essential concepts in VectorWorks and VectorWorks ARCHITECT exercise by exercise. Each exercise is designed to teach users to navigate the programs through practicing the demonstrated tools and techniques.

Lighting Designer Michael Keller: On Tour with VectorWorks and Aerosmith

Read how lighting designer and VectorWorks user Michael Keller helped Aerosmith kick off its Honkin' on Bobo tour.


Michael Nardini

Share your drawings with the world! Send us your images and renderings, and we'll post them in our Gallery. Plus, we'll send you a spiffy VectorWorks latté mug as a special thank you.

Email your submissions to webmaster@nemetschek.net.

Take a look at current submissions on our website here. We'd love to showcase your 2D drawings, so please send us pictures of your plans!





June 10-12

AIA Expo

Chicago, IL (Booth #843)

June 16-18


San Francisco, CA (Booth #417)

June 21-23


New Orleans, LA (Booth #110)

October 22-24


Las Vegas, NV (Booth #821)

October 30-November 2


Salt Lake City, UT




June 16-17

Columbia, MD

VectorWorks Fundamentals Only

June 22-25


VectorWorks Fundamentals & Hands-On 3D

July 12-15

Columbia, MD

VectorWorks Fundamentals & Hands-On 3D

July 27-30

Atlanta, GA

VectorWorks Fundamentals & Hands-On 3D

August 12-13

Columbia, MD

VectorWorks Fundamentals Only

August 17-20

San Francisco, CA

VectorWorks Fundamentals & Hands-On 3D

September 7-10

Columbia, MD

VectorWorks Fundamentals & Hands-On 3D

September 13-16

Boston, MA

VectorWorks Fundamentals & Hands-On 3D

September 21-24


VectorWorks Fundamentals & Hands-On 3D

October 11-12

Columbia, MD

VectorWorks Fundamentals Only

October 19-22

New York, NY

VectorWorks Fundamentals & Hands-On 3D

November 9-12

Los Angeles, CA

VectorWorks Fundamentals & Hands-On 3D

November 15-18

Columbia, MD

VectorWorks Fundamentals & Hands-On 3D

December 9-10

Columbia, MD

VectorWorks Fundamentals Only

AIA Accreditation
NNA is pleased to offer AIA Continuing Education credit for our seminars. Architects can earn 16 learning units by attending the VectorWorks Fundamentals course, and 16 learning units by attending the VectorWorks Hands-on 3D course. For additional information, contact marketing@nemetschek.net


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