New Features in Vectorworks 2015

Vectorworks Graphics Module

Vectorworks 2014 introduced you to its very own Vectorworks Graphics Module (VGM). With Vectorworks 2015, the VGM brings the fun back to your modelling experience with great performance, stability, and unmatched graphical control.

• Wireframe and Planar Graphics Improvements (F, A, L, S, D)
Enjoy faster wireframe rendering and planar graphics, as well as improved spatial relationships in the Wireframe rendering mode.

• View Transition Animation (F, A, L, S, D, R)
Smooth animations have been added to improve the 3D context for view changes.

• Preference for 3D Render Mode and Projection (F, A, L, S, D)
When you transition from Top/Plan to a 3D view, you now have the option to set the default for your render mode and projection, so you can have a seamless, visual transition through view changes.

• Mesh Improvements (A, L, S, D, R)
The import process is more efficient and the graphic result is smoother. Plus, the render quality has been refined.

• Modelling Performance Improvements (F, A, L, S, D, R)
Modelling performance has been greatly improved with new preferences for default render and project modes as well as greater control over mesh objects and more. 

Modernised Visual Performance (F, A, L, S, D, R)
The Vectorworks Graphics Module brings the fun back to your modelling experience with great performance, stability, and unmatched graphical control.



Vectorworks Architect provides powerful BIM solutions to fit your workflow and address your BIM needs, both big and little, as you experiment, become inspired, and design without limitations.

• Curtain Walls (A, L, D)
Glazing systems like curtain walls and storefronts are important features in your designs, but the BIM tools to design them shouldn’t be more complex than the systems themselves. With 2015, you can create curtain walls and storefronts with our Wall tool. While you can manage your glazing systems with wall styles, you can also take advantage of our typical power and flexibility paradigm, enabling you to model and edit directly with the Edit Curtain Wall tool. This tool allows you to grab, move, reshape, and align all aspects of your curtain wall directly. This means you can either create a completely custom configuration or align it to existing geometry.

• New Level Constraint System for Stories (A, D)
Objects, such as walls and wall components, slabs, and columns, can now be constrained to a level without creating additional design layers. This gives you more control with less complexity, refining your model’s organisation. You are able to model wall-to-slab connections with precision and fluidly model elements such as mezzanines and split-level designs.

• Walls (F, A, L, S, D)
The Vectorworks 2015 release includes a revolutionary Wall tool mode: the rectangle wall mode. Not only does this new mode draw a rectangular walled area in two clicks, but with automatic joining and trimming with existing walls, you can also add or subtract rectangular space from existing wall networks. In addition, you can use the Trim tool to remove any wall segment between two joins with a single click. This will allow you to draw, modify, and explore any rectangular wall network in a fraction of the time needed in previous Vectorworks versions or any other CAD application.

• COBie-Facilities Management for IFC Export (A, L D)
As BIM becomes more important to your clients—and not just for project delivery but for information delivery, as well—we provide you with the means to transfer relevant BIM data for their use in facility management applications. The new COBie option in our IFC export filters the proper data from your Vectorworks BIM to support operations, maintenance, and asset management workflows.

• Stairs (A, L, D)
As the functionality of stairs continues to advance with new configurations and features, you can now create more complex stair layouts. You can also set Double-U and Triple-L configurations along with user-defined angles on landings between flights.

• Spaces (A, D)
Space objects now help you manage how information is displayed in your documentation by linking multiple labels to a single space. Because each label is configured and classed separately, you have more control over their leader lines. In addition, we’ve boosted their BIM capabilities with more boundary definitions and the ability to edit the room finish settings directly in a database worksheet.


Technology Interoperability

When it comes to BIM tools, no one matches Vectorworks’ ability to exchange data and geometry during your design process. It offers more choices to import and export your models, your drawings, and your data, giving you the freedom to collaborate with partners, regardless of their preferred technology, and explore ideas using many different tools.

• File Import and Export (F, A, L, S, D)
Import and export support for industry-standard STEP files have been added, as well as improved SketchUp support with the import of textures. Nemetschek have also enhanced their historic, robust support for exporting STL files, making workflows with 3D printing even smoother with less effort.

• DXF/DWG/DWF Improvements (F, A, L, S, D)
Support for your DXF/DWG-based workflows has been improved. In addition to import enhancements to leader lines, line types, and tables as worksheets, there are export features, such as interactive dimensions and precision settings, to complement your ability to exchange high-quality, highly accurate versions of your data in the DXF/DWG or DWF formats.

• Robust PDF Integration (A, L, S, D)
Eliminate the need to edit your PDFs prior to import. Conveniently crop them within Vectorworks software. Take advantage of the option to enable/disable snapping for PDF page objects. Reduce required steps and export files directly into PDF/A format.

*These PDF features are available in Vectorworks Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, and Designer. 


3D Modelling and Rendering

Whether adding artistic flair, creating a style, or refining a look, Renderworks 2015 has you covered. Get ready to turn anything you can imagine into an inspired, sharable realisation of your vision.

• 3D Hatching for Hidden Line Rendering (R)
Textures are now linked with planar hatching. This means you can render in hidden line mode and reveal a simple hatch on your textured wall. The workflow has been transformed for creating elevations and other presentation views by updating a large majority of the default textures in Renderworks to include a hatch that matches each image-based texture.

• OpenGL Improvements (F, A, L, S, D, R)
Nemetschek have improved the styling and control capabilities in OpenGL. For example, you can create your elevation drawings in black and white simply by using the new option to turn off colours. Plus you can turn on shadows and texture effects to enhance your presentation. With Custom Renderworks, remove distracting colour while retaining the bumps, transparency, and reflectivity that give your rendering depth. In addition, you can now create optimal customisation with the expanded Draw Edges option.

**OpenGL Colour and remove obsolete options are available in Vectorworks Fundamentals. Edges, textures, and shadowing are features found only in Renderworks.

• Renderworks Style Artistic Edges (R)
Stylise your rendering and take the sketched look to new heights! Overlay interesting artistic edge effects on top of a realistic-shaded Renderworks rendering.

• New Deform Tool (F, A, L, S, D)
Nemetschek have dramatically refined the direct modelling capabilities of Vectorworks with the new Deform tool, which lets you bend, taper, or create a bulge with practically any geometric object.


Documentation and Graphics Improvements

For 2015, the 64-bit capabilities have been extended to Vectorworks entire product line and delivered a revolutionary graphical experience through our enhanced Vectorworks Graphics Module. Better performance and enhanced stability, plus more than 100 updates and new features.

Clip Cube Caps (F, A, L, S, D)
No longer will your models appear hollow when sliced with the Clip Cube, nor will you be limited to predefined views when presenting. Instead, take advantage of enhanced clarity for on-the-fly demonstrations.

Powerful Text Features (F, A, L, S, D)
Customisable text is a crucial component of presentation and documentation. It is imperative that you have options and control. With this feature, you can assign text styles through classes and set and adjust text styles globally.

In addition to these improvements, Vectorworks also lets you vary tab length and spacing between characters. You can adjust the horizontal alignment of callouts and body text in the Notes Manager. Nemetschek have also enriched callout bubble shadows with pen and fill colours.

Publish Command (A, L, S, D)
The Publish command has been enhanced to streamline the process of sharing your ideas with others. Be in complete control with individualized options for each item in your publish set. Conveniently publish multiple file types, including standard image types, within a single publish session. Have your last used settings remembered and be asked to save an unsaved set. Simplify your file directory by not creating sub-folders if you don’t need them.

Gradient Opacity Control (F, A, L, S, D)
The way you work with gradients has been expanded to include dynamic, powerful options for colour control and transparency for objects.

Support for Retina and 4K Displays (F, A, L, S, D)
Vectorworks 2015 takes advantage of high-resolution displays, such as the Apple Retina display and most 4K displays on Windows.

Detail Callouts (F, A, L, S, D)
Similar to Section Line Instances for Section Viewports, it is now possible to show and control detail callout instances directly within the detail viewport.


Workflow Efficiency Gains

Nemetschek have added tools and enhanced the capabilities of existing ones. By refining workflows to be intuitive and seamless, They’ve also amplified the speed of navigation, drafting, and documentation. Vectorworks 2015 is more powerful, customizable, and agile than ever.

Worksheet Refinement (F, A, L, S, D)
One way the usability  has been improved is with the addition of a menu bar to the worksheet window, resulting in a natural and non-intimidating interface. Other improvements to the worksheet include adding a percentage number format and the IFC4 standard date format.

Help When and Where You Need It (F, A, L, S, D)
The Vectorworks Help System this year has been enhanced with the support of HTML5. Whether on a mobile device or a computer, searching, accessing, and printing help topics has never been more efficient or convenient. The new Help System can be accessed through any preferred browser and is more reliable and easier to use than ever.

Eliminate Mouse Clicks (F, A, L, S, D)
Now, close polygons, polylines, and walls with a shortcut key. The Move Edges Parallel mode of the Reshape tool makes it easy to reshape straight adjacent object edges from a vertex or midpoint. More actions are available through an Object Context menu. Remove and edit constraints, access the Align/Distribute commands, and edit symbols by right-clicking them from the Resource Browser.

Class and Layer Management (F, A, L, S, D)
Classes and Layers are vital in the organization of any Vectorworks project. In Vectorworks 2015, it is even easier to create, manage, and sort these important features.


Site Design Enhancements

Vectorworks Landmark software has long been recognised for its superior graphics capabilities and industry-focused tool sets for site design professionals. Nemetschek inherently understand that your design workflows and documentation styles are as unique and individual as your projects. They therefore strive to provide the best technological solutions along with the power, flexibility, and interactivity you want from your design software.

Site Modelling and Calculations (A, L, D)
Working with site models is now more precise and intuitive. Whether by angle, percentage, or ratio, the varied batter slope option in the Pad from Grade Limits command provides greater control when setting terrain-modifying pads on your site. Plus, a new, interactive feature within the site model makes it easier to identify and correct conflicts within your site model. Lastly, the Landscape Area tool now calculates areas based on the surface slopes of any site model.

Roadway Object Improvements (L, D)
New options for roadways help you achieve greater precision when laying out different street configurations. For example, the Roadway (Poly) tool makes it easy to create and modify straight and curved roadways, while the Roadway Custom Curb object provides powerful editing and joining options for practically any configuration, including roundabouts and complex intersections.

Grade Object Improvements (L, D)
Enhancements have improved the power and flexibility of the Grade tool. Whether your needs are for annotation, measurement, or to simply adjust the location of a low point on a swale, you will maintain complete control and accuracy over the slope of grade objects as distances vary.

Drawing Annotations (L, D)
Drawing annotations and callouts appear the way you want. New custom labeling options have been added for plants and landscape areas, and  the Graticule tool has been improved to make it intuitive and straightforward, as well as show geographical coordinate system grids on your site plans.

Plant Materials (L, D)
Working with plant resources in Vectorworks software has always been dynamic and graphically rich. Visually navigate through plant libraries with symbols, 3D images, and model options via the new viewable directory. The Existing Tree tool has been enhanced, so you can more capably represent and report existing trees in your projects. Finally, take your landscape plans to the next level with the new tight outline mode, making it easy to swap from a sketch-like appearance to one that closely outlines each plant.


Entertainment Design Enhancements

New Spotlight Objects (S, D)
Create all the variations of the stairs, platforms, and ramps that are commonly used in temporary staging construction, complete with details like edging, legs, bracing, and casters, with these new Stage objects. Whenever you want to model the supports for speakers, trusses, and other stage equipment with precision, pull out the new, adjustable-height Stage Lift object.

Flip Label Legend Control (S, D)
The Device Label Legends are now flip-aware. This eliminates the need to create multiple variations of the same label.

Direct Editing for Lighting Position Objects (S, D)
The Lighting Position object now uses the position model geometry directly, eliminating the need to create a symbol first and navigate your way back to the symbol to edit the position geometry. Just select the position and click Edit.

Height for Position Summary (S, D)
The lighting position trim height can now be displayed as part of an associated Instrument Summary, making the Instrument Summary a complete report of individual positions in addition to the report for the entire show.

Pop-up Parameter Types for Lighting Devices (S, D)
Eliminate typos and extra typing when you enter information in Lighting Device user fields with the new customisable Pop-up parameter type.

Objects Enhanced with Element Classing (S, D)
The Soft Goods object, the Beam Angle, Field Angle and Centerline of the Lighting Device, Video Screen, Blended Screen, Blended Projector, Television and LED Screen have all been tweaked so that you can fully control the visibility and look of each element separately with classes.

Improvements to Existing Tools (S, D)
There are many great improvments to existing Spotlight tools that provide more flexibility, and significantly improve your drafting efficiency.


New Content and Mobile Apps

Nemetschek have added a long list of new symbol and texture libraries, as well as introduced new cloud functionality and a new cloud app called Vectorworks Remote!

New Content Libraries (F, A, L, S, D, R)

There are new content libraries exclusively for Vectorworks Service Select members. Content libraries save you time with ready-to-use, high-quality resources that are sure to help put the finishing touches on your designs and presentations.

  • Arroway Textures™ Tiles 02 Textures
  • Arroway Textures™ Image Fills III
  • Arroway Textures™Stonework Textures
  • Prudential Lighting lighting fixtures
  • Landscape S-Details – Drainage
  • Entourage Vehicles 1 – European vehicles
  • Blizzard Lighting
  • Orchestral Layout 3D Symbols
  • HAGS Agito Playground Equipment
  • Stage Risers for Chorus and Band
  • Seating Risers
  • Update to Atlas Sound
  • Update to Phillips Vari-Lite stage lighting

New Vectorworks Remote App (F, A, L, S, D, R)

There is now a new mobile app for all Vectorworks users! The Vectorworks Remote App connects your mobile device to your Vectorworks desktop using a remote connection plug-in. When using the app, you can interactively use the device like a remote to view, navigate, and present your designs without having to be at your desktop. This is great for group reviews and presentations. The list of available remotes in the app vary depending upon which Vectorworks products you own.

Vectorworks Nomad 3D Viewing

Their signature mobile app, Vectorworks Nomad, now supports 3D viewing of your Vectorworks files. Thanks to the Vectorworks Graphics Module you can fly over, walk through, and zoom in and out of your textured and shaded 3D models.

* Content libraries and Vectorworks Nomad are exclusive benefits for Vectorworks Service Select members.

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