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Spring is right around the corner. In the tradition of rebirth and renewal that comes along with it, I'm happy to announce the arrival of VectorWorks 11.5. Our developers spent the winter months hibernating behind their computer screens laboring to complete the latest version of our line of products for the March 1 release date. We've been listening to your requests, and we're excited for you to put it to work.

Version 11.5 has a lot of enhancements and new features that you can read about on our website. But there's just one I'd like to mention and invite you to try out for yourself: the new sketch technology within VectorWorks ARCHITECT, VectorWorks LANDMARK, VectorWorks SPOTLIGHT and VectorWorks MECHANICAL. And we're very interested for you incorporate it into your work and see your results.

In fact, we're hoping a lot of you will enter our design competition, so we can proudly exhibit some of your best efforts on our website for all to see.

This spring is also a busy season for trade shows. If you're planning to attend JLC Live in Providence, RI, later this month, be sure to stop by our booth for a 90-minute test drive of VectorWorks ARCHITECT and see for yourself some of the new features and enhancements in version 11.5.


Richard Diehl, CEO, Nemetschek N.A.

Richard Diehl
CEO, Nemetschek North America



Media Environment Design
Kihei, Hawaii

3D modeling and rendering capabilities in VectorWorks ARCHITECT help high-end home theater designer eliminate errors, reduce design time, and shorten review process

Media Environment Design (http://www.medesign.tv) is in the business of designing high-end home theaters. When president and owner Sam Cavitt decided to relocate his business to the Hawaiian island of Maui, VectorWorks proved to be an essential asset—not only increasing his quality of life, but increasing the quality of his work.

Cavitt sets high standards for design to give his clients the ultimate home theater environment. His firm's goal is to seamlessly integrate acoustics and performance characteristics with the aesthetics of superior interior design. A long-time VectorWorks user, he found the 3D capabilities and efficiencies of VectorWorks ARCHITECT ideally suited for his needs.

Creating specialized objects with VectorWorks
"The phenomenal thing about VectorWorks is that it has a lot of wonderful details I use, but I'm also able to create the specialized objects I need for my industry using VectorWorks," says Cavitt. "So once I know all the vectors of all the locations in the room for ideal speaker/listener/room interaction, I place all the objects I've created in the model, and I end up with a model that shows me exactly where everything needs to be."

Streamlining design reviews with 3D renderings
More and more, since he moved to Hawaii, Cavitt is using 3D renderings to conduct design reviews via videoconference calls. Not only can his clients see exactly what they're going to get, but he also finds the process to be more efficient than face-to-face meetings.

"Previously, I'd show clients concept elevations, talk about how we'd change some of the elements and redline them," he explains. "That's great if you're in a conference room in front of someone drawing lines on paper. But now I project 3D renderings onto a life-size screen in an audiovisual showroom, so my clients can see my design to scale on a 9-foot screen. This gives them the ability to see things in a more realistic view, which I've found to be an extremely useful technique, because we tend to do fewer revisions. I've also found design reviews to be shorter when I show them 3D renderings. Since we're on the phone and on the computer for a limited amount of time, we tend to get right down to business."

Solving the case of the coffered ceiling
When unexpected changes during construction occur, such as when clients request changes, VectorWorks 3D modeling capabilities solve the problem quickly and easily.

When one client decided to change the initial ceiling from a fiber optic ceiling with a platform for the projector in the center to a much more elaborate coffered ceiling in keeping with the elegant décor, Cavitt was presented with an engineering challenge. He had to design a lift to accommodate the odd-sized projector—so the projector wasn't visible when it wasn't being deployed. Because the client wanted a nine-foot screen, the projector had to be a set distance from the screen for peak performance. And there was a limited amount of offset, which meant the projector had to be a certain amount of space from the center of the ceiling. So the challenge was to get the scale right for the coffered ceiling while making room for the acoustical equipment in the coffers and the projector lift to fit in the available space.

Cavitt used VectorWorks to create the grid that represented the coffered ceiling his client wanted. He created 3D rectangles, sized them and laid them out, then edited them into coffers that appear in the final design.

"I used the Extrude Along Path tool to extrude the molding profiles around the ceiling coffers, and it saved me a lot of time, which was crucial, as we were already into construction on the project," he explains. "I couldn't imagine doing this type of thing without VectorWorks. I probably would have been able to create the coffered ceiling without it, but not without a lot of extra time and aggravation.

"With VectorWorks, all the pieces fit right together the very first time," he concludes. "The beauty of working in a 3D environment to solve challenges like these is I can experiment with conceptual changes and see how they affect everything else."

How do I use the new Sketch feature in VectorWorks 11.5?

The new Sketch rendering feature in the VectorWorks 11.5 Industry Series products gives your 2D drawings and 3D renderings a non-photorealistic, hand-drawn look. This feature can be applied to just about every object, including symbols, hatches, and plug-in objects.

By default, five sketch definitions are created once the sketch rendering feature is executed the first time. All sketch definitions are stored as resources and can be found in the Resource Browser. (See image 1-1) Each sketch style can be edited or created directly from the Resource Browser, just like other resources (See image 1-2), or by selecting View > Rendering > Sketch Options.

Select the default sketch style in the Sketch Options dialog box. To apply that sketch style to the current design or sheet layer, select View > Rendering > Sketch.

Read the full tutorial about Sketch in our Knowledge Base.

What are the benefits of the improved Freehand tool?

The Freehand tool has been revamped for VectorWorks 11.5. This improved tool allows you to control the smoothing of polylines, create fewer vertices, and edit polylines, polygons, rectangles, circles, and arcs more easily .

The new Freehand tool preference gives the option to specify the degree of smoothing. (See image 2-1) The higher the smoothing, the smoother the curve, and fewer vertices will be created. The Freehand tool can also be set to no smoothing to revert to the legacy Freehand tool functionality.

Read a full tutorial about the Freehand tool in our Knowledge Base.

Does the VectorWorks 11.5 update also recognize custom workspaces?

The VectorWorks 11.5 web updater will not automatically recognize custom workspaces on computers running the Windows operating system. This means VectorWorks 11.5 won't recognize the workspace until a small change is made.

After running the web updater, Windows users will need to go to the VectorWorks 11.x folder and open the Workspaces folder. The custom workspaces are listed. Change the .vww extension to .qtr. Once this is done, the workspaces will be recognized by VectorWorks 11.5.

Do I have to insert a light in the drawing before rendering?

VectorWorks 11.5 introduces a new feature – automatic lighting. VectorWorks 11.5 automatically inserts a light into a drawing for you if no light source is detected. A light source no longer has to be placed in the drawing to get a productive rendering! Even better, as the drawing is rotated, the light source follows the camera. This means objects will never be dark; there will always be a light source projecting onto the objects in the drawing from the angle of the camera.


VectorWorks 11.5 Product Line Now Available

As part of its ongoing strategy to provide customers with the latest technology and improvements, Nemetschek North America has updated its entire line of VectorWorks products to version 11.5. VectorWorks, VectorWorks ARCHITECT, VectorWorks LANDMARK, VectorWorks SPOTLIGHT, VectorWorks MECHANICAL, and RenderWorks all boast notable productivity enhancements along with new functionality. This update is available to all current VectorWorks 11 users as a free Web download, or it can be obtained on CD for a nominal fee.

Paul Pharr, CAD Manager, Nemetschek North America, stated, "The 11.5 series of VectorWorks products features many improvements in overall stability and functionality, but the highlight of this release is the new hand-drawn sketch effects which give precision 2D drawings an unconstrained, sketched appearance. This new must-have presentation tool is in direct response to user requests to create presentations that look hand drawn, and it is available in VectorWorks ARCHITECT, VectorWorks LANDMARK, VectorWorks SPOTLIGHT, and VectorWorks MECHANICAL."

Free Viewer Now Available for Download

A free Viewer that has been updated for VectorWorks 11.5 and its Industry Series as a benefit to its customers is now available for download. The Viewer enables those who do not own the program to view and print projects created in VectorWorks, VectorWorks ARCHITECT, VectorWorks LANDMARK, VectorWorks SPOTLIGHT, and VectorWorks MECHANICAL.

"The Viewer for 11.5 enables collaboration between designers and clients during the creative process, as well as the ability to print projects created using VectorWorks,” said Paul Pharr, CAD manager with Nemetschek North America. "We're pleased to be able to offer our users technology that allows them to perform their jobs more efficiently.”

The Viewer lets an individual open a VectorWorks file and make use of the viewing tools and commands, such as the Pan and Zoom tools. As the Viewer can be used by anyone who does not own VectorWorks, this not only benefits clients, but it also allows service bureaus to print VectorWorks files for their customers. To download the VectorWorks Viewer, visit www.nemetschek.net/downloads/vectorworks/viewer.html.

VectorWorks International Artistic and Sketch Rendering Design Competition Call for Entries

It's time to put your best sketch forward. Enter the VectorWorks International Artistic and Sketch Rendering Design Competition by May 1, 2005, and get the chance to win an Encad T200+ Printer or an HP DesignJet 110 Plus Thermal Inkjet Printer, as well as free publicity for you or your firm.

New technology within VectorWorks enables you to create drawings and renderings that look like they've been hand-sketched, not computer-generated—in a click. So you can impress your clients with presentations that look like you drew them by hand.

And we'd like to give you a chance to put sketch to the test.

All you have to do is enter some of your best drawings or renderings created using the artistic rendering capabilities found in RenderWorks and the new sketch rendering technology found in our latest 11.5 release by May 1, 2005.

Enter by May 1, vote for your favorite between May 16 and 31, then watch the VectorWorks International Artistic and Sketch Rendering Design Competition website to see who wins on June 1.

Go to the VectorWorks International Artistic and Sketch Rendering Design Competition website for complete details.

New On-site Custom Training Serves Your Specific Needs

Nemetschek North America together with our exclusive training partner Resolve Software Solutions now offer new custom training options to meet your needs. Whether you need one-on-one instruction at your desktop or would like your entire staff to be trained, we'll work with you to design a curriculum that's tailored to your firm's needs. If you're looking for more in-depth training, you can get training on the VectorWorks product you work with most.

We're also offering custom training for educators in the academic setting. If you're an instructor and would like to help getting your students up and running on VectorWorks, we can help.

For more information and pricing, contact us at 410-290-5114, ext. 671, or training@nemetschek.net.





March 10-12

Computer Using Educators

Palm Springs, CA (Booth #115)

March 16-18


Seattle, WA (Booth #122)

March 17-19

USITT Stage Expo 2005

Toronto, ON (Booth #385)

March 18-19

JLC Live New England

Providence, RI (Booth #237)

April 6-8

TICE TechED International Conference

Pasadena, CA (Booth #338)

April 6-7

Residential Design Show

Boston, MA (Booth #246)




March 8-11

New York, NY

• Intro to VectorWorks
• Architect Fundamentals
• RenderWorks Fundamentals

March 14-17

Columbia, MD

• Intro to VectorWorks
• Architect Fundamentals
• RenderWorks Fundamentals

March 22-25

MIami, FL

• Intro to VectorWorks
• VectorWorks Fundamentals
• RenderWorks Fundamentals

April 5-8

Chicago, IL

• Intro to VectorWorks
• VectorWorks Fundamentals
• RenderWorks Fundamentals

April 12-15

San Francisco, CA

• Intro to VectorWorks
• Architect Fundamentals
• RenderWorks Fundamentals

April 18-21

Columbia, MD

• Intro to VectorWorks
• VectorWorks Fundamentals
• RenderWorks Fundamentals

AIA Accreditation
NNA is pleased to offer AIA Continuing Education credit for our seminars. The VectorWorks ARCHITECT course is AIA CES certified, so attendees can earn up to 32 CES learning units. For additional information, contact training@nemetschek.net.


Call us at 410-290-5114 to speak to Customer Service or Technical Support.

Fax us at 410-290-7266. Visit us on the Web at www.nemetschek.net.

For ordering and pricing information, call 1-888-646-4223, or E-mail sales@nemetschek.net.

E-mail questions about upcoming shows, User Group events, or any marketing concerns to marketing@nemetschek.net.

E-mail your technical questions, solutions, and wish list items to Technical Support at tech@nemetschek.net.

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