Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Renderworks?

Renderworks® is an add-on available to any Vectorworks® product, allowing you to create high-quality, photorealistic and stylized, non-photorealistic rendered models for stunning images and animations, directly in Vectorworks software. It is suitable for all design industries, no matter what kinds of projects you handle.

2. What is the advantage of adding Renderworks to Vectorworks?

With Renderworks, rendering your model is easy since you won’t waste time exporting and importing between Vectorworks and separate visualization programs. This is because the Renderworks functionality is completely integrated into Vectorworks software. It works seamlessly to allow you to visualize your work throughout the design process, producing clear, accurate renderings, and stunning presentations. Renderworks uses the same technology as CINEMA 4D by MAXON Computer, and the results are breathtaking and easy to achieve.
Renderworks is known for helping design professionals create beautiful designs with the look of hand drawings. Instead of a photorealistic representation of the model, you can choose from a number of artistic options to develop a multitude of manual effects.
Renderworks offers great flexibility for creating both hard- and soft-edged shadows, depending on your needs. Your rendering time is proportional to the quality level desired, as well as the quantity of light sources, level of model detail, and complexity of geometry, which require more rendering time.
Any Vectorworks product with Renderworks provides the ability to create videos of orbital, path, and solar animations. If needed, Renderworks also provides a high-fidelity integration with CINEMA 4D to create more complex visualizations and more sophisticated multi-object animations.

3. What is the difference between OpenGL and Renderworks rendering?

OpenGL is mostly used for fast, interactive rendering and medium-quality previews while you work. OpenGL is a faster rendering option than Renderworks and is processed directly from your video card. Renderworks produces higher-quality renderings by performing intensive lighting calculations to represent reflections and transparencies, as well as the interplay between light and materials. Using Renderworks is the best way to produce photorealistic images.

4. Should I buy Vectorworks with Renderworks or CINEMA 4D?

Renderworks is fully integrated into Vectorworks, so it works seamlessly to allow you to visualize your work throughout the design process, producing clear and accurate renderings. If you need to take your designs to an even higher level, our shared render engine allows you to smoothly export your Vectorworks model directly to any CINEMA 4D product, giving you access to the same features used to create many of Hollywood’s blockbuster movies. The CINEMA 4D software’s vast array of material settings and light types allows you to create dynamic images that can also be fully animated.
Please speak to your local Vectorworks distributor about available discounts and programs for purchasing both software packages.

5. How do I purchase Renderworks?

Renderworks is available to design professionals all over the world as an add-on for Vectorworks products. It is available in more than 85 countries and has been localized into nine different languages, including German, Norwegian, Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. The English version is available worldwide, alongside localized versions, through our international distributors.
In the United States, you can purchase through our online store, or for more personal attention and help with any questions prior to your purchase, contact our U.S. Sales team at 1-888-646-4223 or via email at Outside the U.S., you can find a distributor in your country, or region, by visiting Vectorworks Worldwide or by sending an email to with your inquiry.

6. What’s included in my purchase of Renderworks?

Your purchase entitles you to free service pack updates for the current version, Getting Started Guides, and basic technical support. All users also have access to the Vectorworks Knowledgebase for more technical information about their products, as well as the Community Board for peer-to-peer support on a wide range of topics.
At no extra charge, we’ve included with your license libraries with thousands of textures representing such materials as wood, masonry, stone, metals, plastics, to name just a few.
While you are not obligated to upgrade with each new version of the software, you may do so for only a fraction of the original cost of a new license. We encourage our customers to consider purchasing a Vectorworks Service Select membership to further enhance the value of their purchase.

7. What is Vectorworks Service Select?

Vectorworks Service Select is an annual subscription service that provides guaranteed best pricing for upgrades and added access to preferred technical support and additional online learning resources, including an extensive, on-demand learning video library with tips, tricks, and tutorials. You’ll also receive discounts for one-on-one and group training to boost your productivity and expertise. In addition, you’ll have access to download even more high-quality generic and manufacturer-specific product libraries, and high-quality textures, image fills, and shaders including Arroway® Textures, RINN‚Ñ¢ textures, and landscape tile fills,to name a few. Last, but not least, you’ll get exclusive access to Vectorworks Cloud Services.

8. What is Vectorworks Cloud Services?

Vectorworks Cloud Services provides users with the ability to store and synchronize project files to a cloud account, allowing multi-point access and sharing. Vectorworks files with sheet layers will have PDFs automatically created when uploaded. With Nomad for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire, you can access the resulting PDFs and mark them up with notes and basic drawing elements, sharing the results with external partners.

9. What can Renderworks offer to students and schools?

Students around the world have free access to Vectorworks Designer with Renderworks, which combines all the functionality of Vectorworks Landmark, Architect, Spotlight, and Renderworks into a single application. Many educational institutions throughout the world have already incorporated the solution into their labs and curriculums as a powerful, flexible, and complete design tool. For more information about student and academic initiatives in the U.S. and throughout our international markets, please visit our Education webpage. You can also visit our Student Portal to set up an account, download the software, and start your design education journey with Vectorworks software.

10. What are the system recommendations for Vectorworks with Renderworks?

Windows: Windows XP SP3, Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, or Windows 8 operating system; QuickTime 7.7.0 to 7.7.3; 4GB or greater RAM; Pentium 2GHz or better processor; 1280x800 or greater monitor resolution; 512MB VRAM or greater; and support for OpenGL v2.1 or greater for the best video card performance.
Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later operating system; QuickTime 7.7.0 to 7.7.3; 4GB or greater RAM, Intel Core 2GHz or better processor; 1280x800 or greater monitor resolution; 512MB VRAM or greater and support for OpenGL v2.1 or greater for best video card performance.
For the most current and update technical information, please visit our Knowledgebase.