eDispatch Vol 51

As we gear up for the AIA Convention 2006 in Los Angeles early next month, we have a lot of exciting news to share. We invite our VectorWorks Architect users who will be attending the convention to join us for "Apple and Architecture," an after-hours event we're co-sponsoring with Apple®, Google™ SketchUp®, MAXON's Cinema 4D, and HP. It'll be on Friday, June 9, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., at the Westin Bonaventure. You'll see how VectorWorks Architect works hand in hand with SketchUp and Cinema 4D on real-world, award-winning projects for a powerful end-to-end solution. Space is limited, so sign up in advance at www.apple.com/go/aia06 when registration goes live later this week.

Speaking of award-winning projects, I'd like to congratulate several of our West Coast users who recently won AIA San Francisco Design Honor awards: Mark Horton Architecture for Cloverdale Cabin, Kuth/Ranieri Architects for LEF Foundation Artists' Retreat, Charles M. Salter Associates, Inc. for Defense Council San Francisco Office, and Arkin Tilt Architects for Eastern Sierra Residence.

Another West Coast and VectorWorks Landmark user, Rios Clementi Hale, won an ASLA 2006 General Design Award of Honor for Chess Park. They'll also be presenting at the AIA Apple event, so it's truly an event you won't want to miss. The ASLA also honored one of our East Coast users, Dirtworks, PC, for The Elizabeth & Nona Evans Restorative Garden Cleveland Botanical Garden with the same national award.

Let's not forget VectorWorks Spotlight—you might be interested to know it was used by lighting console programmer Josh Thatcher to design the light plots and lighting continuity drawings, as well as plot and plan the cable sets for the just-released, much-hyped Mission: Impossible III.

We're thrilled to recognize these successes and would like to hear about them from you personally, so we can share your good news with all our users and keep spreading the VectorWorks word.

Sean Flaherty
Sean Flaherty
CEO, Nemetschek North America

VectorWorks Tech Board



Pete Ward
Princeville, Hawaii

3D is key for former Pottery Barn product designer who designs high-end concept houses that embrace the environment for clients in Kauai.

When former Pottery Barn product designer Pete Ward took off for Hawaii to design high-end concept homes, he took VectorWorks Architect and RenderWorks with him. A background in industrial design exposed him to several 3D software programs. But none really offered him the capabilities to achieve what he wanted in much detail. After doing extensive research, he concluded VectorWorks was the only program that could do everything he needed it to do. AutoCAD® didn't even come close.

"After shopping around, I concluded that VectorWorks Architect is the most complete package out there," Ward says. "There's just no comparison. It became obvious to me that people got sucked into AutoCAD because it's the industry standard, and because they became tied to it after the steep investment and learning curve."
3D is key
Coming from a product design background, Ward acknowledges that it was easier for him to catch on to the benefits of designing in 3D than it might be for others who have been used to working in 2D. While he realizes 2D is the "bread and butter" of a lot of architectural firms, he believes the future will see a lot more 3D modeling and photorealistic rendering.

"Working in 2D is a very unnatural way to do things," he says. "Unless you're an architect or engineer, you can't visualize flat plans. When you have clients who are spending millions of dollars for their dream homes, they want to see what it's going to look like, and they might not understand what effect I'm trying to achieve in 2D."

From a designing standpoint, when troubleshooting, 2D just doesn't cut it, he says. "When you're working in 2D, you can't tell what it's going to look like in a different plan view. When you're in 3D, you can toggle and solve so many problems that way, looking at things in different perspectives."
Aloha, VectorWorks Designer
When VectorWorks Designer was introduced, Ward got right on it. He says it's his mission as a designer to always keep current with technology.

He attributes being able to secure his current work with a firm that designs high-end residential work and landscaping by showing them photorealistic output they were not capable of producing.

"When designing very high-end homes, you want a program like VectorWorks Designer that offers the capabilities to do high-end detail work," says Ward. "Landscaping is a big part of the overall design, and it's a huge time and money-saving benefit to be able to take care of landscaping using the same software program. Plus, we can present to our clients the whole picture."
Flood prone zone
Two recent designs Ward completed are located in tsunami zones on the island of Kauai. The fourth largest of the main Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is also one of the wettest places on earth with an average annual rainfall of 460 inches.

He designed one home on pillars to embrace its natural environment. According to Ward, a lot of houses on Kauai do not incorporate footings as part of the overall architectural scheme and effectively end up looking like cars up on blocks. The purpose of this concept home is to show that the foundation of a home in a flood or tsunami zone does not have to be just an afterthought.

"Most of the curves and vertical angles in these designs were done with NURBS modeling and could not be done with the standard VectorWorks Architect tools alone," he says. "In fact, in the case of the ‘Waihina' home, it could not even have been perceived if I had not modeled it in 3D. The whole structure is composed of triangles and looks very weird in elevation view. But in 3D, fortunately people see it in perspective."
Riding the free-form modeling wave
Ward feels the free-form modeling capabilities found in VectorWorks Designer offer enormous potential to create more organic architecture.

"With current developments in the manufacturing of concrete forms and 3D modeling, the sky is the limit," he says. "It's going to be increasingly more important to use a program with no restraints, such as VectorWorks Designer, as the world of drafting fades away and buildings move away from the linear forms it has confined them to. And VectorWorks Designer has all the ingredients for an architectural revolution."
Visit the case studies page on Nemetschek North America's website to read the full story, "Conquering the Kauai Flood Zone with VectorWorks Designer."

How can I create a custom view using real camera parameters?

The RenderWorks Camera tool allows you to create any view using a variety of settings, such as film size, focal length, and field of view.

In earlier versions of VectorWorks, you had to use a combination of the Flyover, Translate View, and Walkthrough tools to achieve specific views, especially interior views. The new RenderWorks Camera tool lets you perform all these steps in two simple clicks!

The first step is to determine the camera location and focal point. Select the RenderWorks Camera tool from the Visualization tool set. (See image 1-1)

Click in the design layer to set the camera location and click again to set the focal point. (See image 1-2) The Camera Properties dialog box opens the first time the tool is used in a session. (See image 1-3) You can use this dialog box to make modifications to the camera settings or, once the camera is placed in the drawing, the Object Info palette has the same settings. (See image 1-4)

To view the drawing from the camera using the camera settings, simply double-click on the camera object. (See image 1-5)

How can I check to see if a resource is named the same as a plug-in object?

You may get an error message similar to the following when using the door or window plug-in object after converting a previous version VectorWorks file in VectorWorks 12.

"An attempt to define a Plug-in Object named "Window" failed because Format with that name already exists in the current document. The entire operation is canceled."

This error message displays only when a resource, such as a symbol, hatch, record, texture, or other item, such as class, script, or viewport name, exists already with the same name as the plug-in object you are inserting, such as door, window, stair, etc.

To resolve this issue, you could go through all of the resources in the file and search for the offending items one by one. If that sounds time-consuming, there's a faster way!

There is a script that allows you to find out what type of object has an offending name and allows you to rename it.

To use the script, download the Find Object Type from Name.vss file to the desktop. Using Stuffit Expander or WinZip, decompress the file. In VectorWorks, select File > Import > Import VectorScript. Locate and select the VectorScript file and click OK. Enter the name of the plug-in object that is giving you the error message, such as door, window, stair, etc. The script reports the object type with the offending name for you to rename.

How can I crop a site model?

You may want to only show a portion of a site model and "crop" the remaining portion. This is easy to do using the Viewport Crop mode. But what if you don't want to create a viewport? A 2D polygon is all you need!

Once you create the site model, change the view to Top/Plan view by selecting View > Standard Views > Top/Plan. (See image 3-1) Select the site model and then select Modify > Edit Group. This puts you in an editing mode. From here, use the 2D Polygon tool to draw the crop lines. (See image 3-2) Anything inside the closed polygon will be visible, and the parts of the site model outside the polygon will be cropped out (invisible). When done, click on the Exit Group button in the upper right corner of the screen. The last step is to update the site model to show the change. Select the site model (if not already selected) and click on the Update button in the Object Info palette. (See image 3-3)

45 Degree Winder Stairs Tutorial

Many users have been asking for a way to make 45-degree platform winder stairs using the Stair tool in VectorWorks Architect. The VWA stair makes winders, but in a "European" style where the tread of the winder is a constant. These stairs, however, do not conform to the widely-adopted "International Residential Code" which serves as the basis for much of US single-family residential construction. To learn how to make these stairs, you can read the entire Stair Narrative Tutorial on our Knoweldge Base website.


AEC Media Covers VectorWorks Support for Google™ SketchUp® 3D Warehouse

After Nemetschek North America announced the VectorWorks Design Series is compatible with content in the new Google™ SketchUp® 3D Warehouse in the press release "VectorWorks Supports Google™ SketchUp® 3D Warehouse", several industry journalists commented on its impact on the CAD community.

AECnews editor Randall Newton says "VectorWorks Gets It."

Ralph Grabowski, editor of upfront.eZine, wonders what this will mean for other Web-CAD interfaces on his WorldCAD Access blog in "VectorWorks First Third-Party to Support Google Warehouse."

AECCafe's Susan Smith interviewed Nemetschek CEO Sean Flaherty in "VectorWorks Design Series Gets a Boost with Google SketchUp 3D Warehouse" in her AEC Weekly newsletter.

Architectural Record's "Record Houses" Issue Features VectorWorks Project

Asian puzzle toys inspired VectorWorks user Maya Lin to craft the kinetic Box House with secret sliding and pivotal panels. A private mountain retreat in the Colorado Rockies commissioned for architecture aficionados, the Box House is positioned up on a mesa 9,921 feet high on hundreds of acres of a conservation easement where it can't be spotted from any other property.

Read an abridged version of the feature article that appeared in April's Architectural Record at Box House.

Spanish-language Telephone Numbers Serve Spanish-speaking VectorWorks Users

VectorWorks users or prospects living within the continental United States who speak Spanish may call a toll-free phone number to speak with a Spanish-speaking representative to ask questions concerning the VectorWorks product line or seek technical support. Nemetschek has also added a phone number for international callers.

In the continental United States, call 877-202-8937 toll free. Outside the US, call 443-542-0730.

VectorWorks Spotlight 12 Donated to Behind the Scenes Raffle Winners at USITT

Nemetschek North America recently donated copies of VectorWorks Spotlight 12 to two winners of the Behind the Scenes raffle held at the 2006 USITT Conference. The Long Reach Long Riders and the ESTA Foundation joined together to raffle off 12 prizes at the annual trade show for entertainment-industry technicians to raise money for Behind the Scenes. Behind the Scenes, an ESTA Foundation initiative, provides grants to seriously ill or injured industry members that may be used for medical care and living expenses.

Read more in the press release "VectorWorks Spotlight 12 Donated to Behind the Scenes Raffle Winners at USITT in Support of Long Reach Long Riders and the ESTA Foundation Charitable Efforts."





May 18 - May 19

JLC Live Southern California

Anaheim, CA

June 2


Hollywood, CA (Booth #512)

Jun 08 - Jun 10

AIA National Convention

Los Angeles, CA (Booth #4149)

Jun 20 - Jun 23


San Francisco, CA (Booth #7441)

Jun 20 - Jun 22

Skills USA Techspo

Kansas City, MO (Booth #423)





Jun 17

VectorWorks Presentation at the Annapolis Apple Slice Meeting

Severna Park Branch of the Anne Arundel County Library
Severna Park, MD





May 11 - May 12

New York, NY

• 3D Modeling and Rendering

May 15 - May 17

Columbia, MD

• Intro to VectorWorks
• VectorWorks Fundamentals

Jun 07 - Jun 09

Los Angeles, CA

• Intro to VectorWorks
• VectorWorks Fundamentals

Jun 14 - Jun 16

Columbia, MD

• Intro to VectorWorks
• Architect Fundamentals

Jun 14 - Jun 16

Toronto, ON

• Intro to VectorWorks
• VectorWorks Fundamentals





May 24

Vancouver VectorWorks User Group

The Lighthouse Church
Vancouver, WA

May 24

Philadelphia VectorWorks User Group

Art Institute of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA

AIA Accreditation
NNA is pleased to offer AIA Continuing Education credit for our seminars. The VectorWorks and VectorWorks ARCHITECT classes are AIA CES certified, so attendees can earn up to 24 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

Spanish-speaking customers:
In the continental United States, call 877-202-8937 toll free. Outside the US, call 443-542-0730..

*We respect your privacy and do not send out unsolicited E-mails. We've done our best to only subscribe those people who have explicitly expressed an interest in receiving news and information about our company and products. Your E-mail address will not be sold, rented, or given to any outside party for any purpose whatsoever. If you feel that you've received this message in error, we apologize. Click here to be removed from the list, or visit lists.nemetschek.net/archives/edispatch-l.html.