Vectorworks Annual Design Day UK 2019

Vectorworks-Design-Day

Date & Time: 1st October 2019 09.30 – 17.00
Location: 30 Euston Square, Euston, London, NW1 2FB

Register Now

Vectorworks Design Day is coming up, and this is a great opportunity to see powerful new workflows in Vectorworks 2020, and so much more.

Explore the future of Vectorworks while enjoying opportunities in the following areas:

• Architecture – Discover how Vectorworks supports the entire design process with 2D, 3D and BIM capabilities. Vectorworks will be presenting project case studies as well as being on hand to show the latest features.

• Interior Design – Learn how to establish a client’s vision using Vectorworks, with presentation boards, immersive panoramas, photo-realistic 3D rendering and augmented reality, while also having the tools required for collaboration.

• Networking – Meet and connect with over 250 of your industry peers, over lunch and through casual networking opportunities. Key personnel from Vectorworks in the USA and UK will be on hand to discuss any questions that you may have.

As an added bonus, customers attending the Design Day are eligible for a Tradeshow Discount (25% off new licenses)!

The venue is a short walk from The Prince of Wales Feathers.

Date & Time : 1st October 2019 09.30 – 17.00
Location: 30 Euston Square, Euston, London, NW1 2FB

Register Now

LIVE ZBrush Sculpt-Off to Start 2019 ZBrush Summit.

ZBrush Summit

Only a matter of days after our 3D Friday event (which you should definitely register for), Pixologic are back with the 2019 ZBrush Summit! Kicking things off is the LIVE Sculpt-Off on Thursday 26th September.

24 contenders, 3 hours, only one champion. Who will walk away with the glorious ZBrush heavyweight belt this year?

You can watch the event all around the world as you’ll find it streaming on ZBrushLive, Twitch.tv, Facebook and YouTube.

From September 26th to 29th, Pixologic will be taking over Hollywood’s prestigious Gnomon School facilities to deliver the ultimate ZBrush experience.

The live sculpt-off will lead into 3 days of presentations, which is a great way for digital artists to connect not only with the Pixologic team, but also with prominent figures across a range of industries. Many of the demonstrations feature assets previously unseen outside the studios, and presented by talented artists using a variety of techniques relevant to real-world applications.

If you’d like to try ZBrush for yourself, contact us today about a free trial!

Vectorworks Free Service Select Offer

Vectorworks 2020

Get a whole year of Vectorworks Service Select absolutely free with the purchase of a new licence or upgrade. The Service Select renewal date will be September 1st for all purchases during this promotion.

Am I Eligible?

Are you buying a new license or an upgrade of v2016 or newer between August 1st and 5:30pm September 9th? Then yes, you’ll get free Service Select!

The offer is not valid for existing Vectorworks Service Select customers. We can only provide this offer for customers in the UK and Ireland.

Using Vectorworks 2016?

If you’re on Vectorworks 2016, now is the best time to upgrade. If you don’t renew before the release of Vectorworks 2020, you’ll need to buy a brand new license as upgrades will no longer be available.

SketchUp 2019 and LayOut Feature Update

We are excited to share some of our favourite features and improvements in the latest product update to SketchUp Pro 2019 and LayOut. 

This release has made SketchUp more intuitive and fun to use with focus on improvements to imagery exports, usability, and a seamless LayOut connection.

New in SketchUp

Professional output enhancements

Exporting images

Exporting 2D graphics, raster files, and animations just got better. You can now control the overall line thicknesses of exported images with the new line scale multiplier, found in the export options dialogs. 

Before this change, line weights stayed the same as the viewport which would make the line weight too small or too large. So, if you are experiencing line weights that are too thick, you can make those line weights thinner. Also, .png images now export with its transparency so you can see what is behind the material while compositing. 

Customisable unit settings

Have you ever needed to use different unit measurements for a model? Now your model can be customised to show different unit measurements for area and volume. For example, in a model of a room, you can use millimetres for the wall and meters for volume. Available unit types: millimetres, centimetres, meters, inches and feet. 

Workflow improvements

Invert Selection

It really is the small things that help your workflow. This new feature will allow you to select anything, then invert the selection of objects. This makes it simple to select items and then perform actions on their inverse. The keyboard shortcut for this will be: CTRL + SHIFT + I (Windows)  or CMD + SHIFT + I (Mac).

Importing files

The days of picking out your import file format from a long list are over. You can now drag and drop ALL supported file types directly into your modelling window. By default, you’ll now see all supported file types available for import. Additionally, the DWG and DXF importers now bring in fewer duplicate and messy edges.

Eraser Tool

Have you ever accidentally erased too much in your model? To make your detailing workflow a little smoother and seamless, we added alt & cmd as modifier keys to remove any unnecessarily highlighted lines that you may have accidentally captured during your modelling efforts.

Section Planes

Cutting a model along a plane so that you can peer inside the model? Section planes now ask the user to name them before placing them in the model. Simply place, then name.

Send to LayOut

You can now send your models directly to LayOut from the large toolset in the left-hand toolbar. If you haven’t used LayOut for 2D drawings before, start taking advantage of it now!

Large Area Imports for Add Location

You can now easily import large sites at full resolution. How can you take advantage of this new feature? Simply zoom out a bit, then select the level from which you want to import. Note that misusing this feature can adversely affect performance in your SketchUp model.

New in LayOut

Professional output enhancements

Isometric dimensioning

It is now possible to make linear dimensions align with an isometric viewpoint. You can now control extension lines, gap distance, and align dimensions with isometric angles.

Auto-text

Similar to “smart labels”, you can now add text to dimensions without breaking the automatic measurement. For example, let’s say you create a wall dimension. You can dimension a wall, add the word “wall”, and the dimension measurement will still update if the wall’s measurement changes. Pro tip: make sure your string has <> in it. For example, ‘Width <>’ will turn into ‘Wall 1.42m’.

Workflow enhancements

Rotating dimensions

Now, when you rotate your object, the bounding box is also rotated with so you can continue to scale in the right orientation. 

Quicker editing

Staying consistent with SketchUp usability, in LayOut you can now hit the return key to edit model views, groups, dimensions, or labels! Just select, press return, and start typing!

Ready to try? Get the free 30-Day SketchUp Trial to see for yourself how these updates can enhance your professional workflows. 

Vectorworks Summer Flash Sale – 30% OFF

Vectorworks Discount

That’s right, 30% off everything including new licenses, upgrades and Vectorworks Service Select on Fundamentals, Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, Designer and Vision.

Vectorworks Discount Offer

Offer expires at 5:30pm BST on July 26th 2019.

This offer is only valid for new purchases of professional licenses. Upgrade eligibility is subject to current version owned. Offer not valid on previous purchases, Service Select renewals, training, hardware or the prorated cost of adding a license to your Service Select contract. This offer many not be combined with other promotions.

Vectorworks Case Study: Ares Landscape Architects

Ares Landscapes

This is a case study by Vectorworks. View the original here.

Ares Landscape Architects Ltd mandates quality in all areas of their practice, starting with the quality of their employees. Led by Directors Ricardo and Ania Ares, the firm is comprised of 20+ members who, at a minimum, hold a postgraduate qualification in Landscape Architecture. Ares’s qualified team members offer consultancy services in all areas of landscape architecture throughout the UK; leading and facilitating landscape design, feasibility studies, Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments, site planning, contract administration, modelling, and community project consultation.

In 2016, the UK government mandated the adoption of BIM Level 2 framework on all public projects; this requirement had a direct impact on the firm’s work in the public realm, particularly on the education sector. Since they serve clients in the public sector, Ares Landscape Architects knew they needed a software program that creates models with associated data — easily shareable in a 3D environment and with other construction disciplines. The opportunity to experiment with a new workflow to meet these requirements presented itself when they were appointed to work on a number of different projects such as the Nottingham College City Hub project, a new educational facility in Nottingham City Centre.

Merging Past and Future

Nottingham College is the result of joining two preexisting colleges — New College Nottingham and Central College Nottingham — developed as part of the regeneration efforts of the Nottingham City Centre. Envisioned for both College students and the community to enjoy, the new proposed City Hub is in close proximity to Nottingham’s public transport system, rail network, and the wider city’s green infrastructure. However, the constrained site needed to account for existing buildings and transport infrastructure, along with the proposed surrounding regeneration projects. They also encountered problems related to the landscape over structure as well as site conditions overall. Additionally, as part of their BIM requirements, the firm needed to collaborate with the wider design team efficiently and effectively.

In order to achieve BIM Level 2 requirements (and to reach their target completion date of May 2020), Ares used Vectorworks Landmark to facilitate the delivery of the project’s BIM execution plan (BEP). According to Sam Bailey, Senior Landscape Architect and BIM coordinator at Ares, using Landmark helped “speed up the time involved in project drafting and data reporting since the two processes are integrated, while providing useful information for other parties involved.” Although they were interfacing with collaborators using different software programs, Bailey claims that “IFC became the common denominator” and by defining BIM requirements out of the gate, the firm could clearly state expectations tied to the IFC models.

“We were loading drawings with intelligent and quantifiable information,” said Bailey. “It was really useful.”

Another useful time-saving step was setting classes in the model file during early stages of the project. “It speeds up the drafting process and takes a lot of the thinking out of it,” Bailey explained. In fact, Ares is currently developing templates that are available across their different office locations as a training tool for junior employees who may be new to working in BIM.

Ares Landscape Architects

© Ares Landscape Architects

From 2D to 3D

For the Nottingham City Hub, Ares fully embraced the 2D to 3D functionality of Vectorworks. Using features such as the Hardscape Tool, the 3D Polygon Tool, and the Plant Tool, Bailey could easily draw, adjust, edit, and replace elements of the model as needed. He could also edit the look of the graphical representation by a simple click of a button, which automatically changes the information attached.

“All of the information is embedded in the object,” Bailey said. “If something should change, such as a plant species, it can be replaced easily.” That same information can then be seamlessly transferred to a worksheet, which Bailey has used for things such as plant schedules, clearly laid out in a table that immediately updates as needed.

And for landscape architects who would rather input plant information manually, that option is available. Bailey and his colleagues can attach data such as the plant’s Latin name, common name, and anything else that the designer or the contractor may need.

Ares Landscape Architects

© Ares Landscape Architects

Import/Export Made Easy

In their plans for a roof terrace, Bailey was able to easily change elevations through design layers — and export it just as easily as one model with those proper elevations left intact. When working with the project Architects, the ability to specify stories in this nature is invaluable.

In a different phase of the project, Ares needed an export option to send files that can be read by other software programs. Nottingham College required COBie data and a Federated Model for their records; the firm was able to submit this information. By using the Object Information Palette (OIP) in Vectorworks, Ares can edit IFC data to ensure it matches the COBie information as required by multiple parties, including Information Managers across the site, the Architects on the project, and the firm’s own landscape architects.

Ares Landscape Architects

© Ares Landscape Architects

Forerunners of the BIM Arena

Ares Landscape Architects was able to meet a government requirement while simultaneously becoming a pioneer in the growing arena of BIM for landscape architecture. Through several helpful toolsets from Vectorworks Landmark, Ares significantly streamlined their workflow with a singular, all-in-one solution. As demonstrated through their work with conceptualizing and planning Nottingham City Hub, Ares proved that integrating BIM is not only possible to achieve expected results, but also has the potential to make a lasting impact on the field — thanks to Vectorworks Landmark.

Student SketchUp for Summer Competition

SketchUp Competition

CAD Software Direct are excited to announce our latest 3D competition with a top prize available for the taking!  Things are a little different this time around because we don’t have the theme or brief…you do!

We want you to send us your course brief and the work you created for it. It doesn’t matter if you were tasked with recreating a local landmark, visualising an interior space, or designing a fresh new product – as long as your project was made in SketchUp it’s fair game.

Student SketchUp for Summer is now open, and to be in the running entrants need to:

Submit designs by
August 30th 2019

Have you built a car, designed a sound stage, recreated a village, or even precisely measured up machinery components for CADCAM? It’s up to you to convince us that your entry is the best of the lot.

We’ll be looking at the composition and geometry when judging, as well as how accurately we think you met your course aims. Any renders you produce are bonus points to impress us even more! Again, as long as it is made in SketchUp, there are no restrictions on plugins or renderers used either. It has to all be your own work though – no downloading from 3D warehouse or other 3D libraries!

Our Perfect Getaway competition last year had some cracking entries, so be sure to bring your A-Game.

Previous Winner Chad Slaney’s Perfect Getaway.

Maybe you’ve made something in the past that you’re proud of, or something you’re already working on just needs some finishing touches – you don’t have to start from scratch. We’re accepting entries for existing work too, as long as you can rightfully call it yours.

Send us the original .skp file, as well as any renders or supporting materials you want us to see. The brief doesn’t have to be much, just let us know the title of your course or module and any details about the aims or expected outcomes.

Submit your entries by emailing us
sketchup@cadsoftwaredirect.com

First place will be given a perpetual SketchUp Pro license worth £547 (including one year of maintenance and support to automatically be upgraded to SketchUp 2020 on release), perfect for taking on your first clients right out the gate. Already got a SketchUp Pro Commercial license and don’t want another? We’ll find something special to send your way instead! You’ll also have your work featured alongside other entries on the SketchUp UK website and instagram for extra bragging rights.

We’re accepting submissions now, so get going, and remember the deadline is August 30th 2019.

Competition closes at midnight August 30th 2019. CAD Software Direct’s decision is final. By entering, you agree for your entry to be featured across CAD Software Direct and SketchUp UK social media channels.

Vectorworks Render Quality – Architect

Vectorworks Render Quality

Unlike a lot of 3D applications, Vectorworks features a high quality renderer built in and included as standard. Whether you’re creating OpenGL, draft or final quality renderings, you’ve got all the tools you need straight out the box.

If you’re ever in any doubt as to just how good Vectorworks renders can look, see below for a selection of renderings created using Vectorworks Architect:

Astor

© Astor | Courtesy of Osar Architects

Astor

© Astor | Courtesy of Osar Architects

Impress clients with your renders by adding realism without big time investment. For example, working with Depth of Field and adjusting F-Stops will create a realistic focus distance and add the right amount of blur to contrast your focal points. Once you’ve worked on your lighting, a bit of lit fog (if relevant to your scene) can add an extra layer of depth as well.

Scott Sports

© Scott Sports SA Headquarters | Courtesy of Itten+Brechbühl AG

A high quality render requires high resolution. Be sure to change the web standard 72dpi to at least 300dpi for quality good enough to print.

Pontoon Dock

© Pontoon Dock | Courtesy of Assael Architecture

Lighting can make all the difference when looking for quality in a render. If you’re willing to exchange a little render time for better quality, enable indirect lighting and ambient occlusion. Glowing textures and lights will bounce around the scene and create a more cohesive environment.

ZAC Masséna

© Hamonic+Masson Associés

ZAC Masséna

© Hamonic+Masson Associés

ZAC Masséna

© Hamonic+Masson Associés

BIM models are often designed for the technical benefits they provide, but these same BIM models can be used to great effect in presentations and visualisations for clients when selling and articulating creative concepts. Vectorworks helps you turn your 3D data into stunning images to win more business.

Villanova Icône

© VILLANOVA ICÔNE |Hamonic+Masson Associés

Buy Vectorworks now at CAD Software Direct.

Vectorworks 2019 – Buying or Leasing

Vectorworks Payment Methods

Vectorworks is the ideal professional tool for architects meeting BIM standards, landscapers designing and planning environments, event and exhibition designers putting on shows – and many more disciplines – but we often get asked “How can I pay for Vectorworks?”

Here we’ll take a quick look at the options available, and the payment methods you can use to get your own Vectorworks license.

 

How many versions of Vectorworks are there?

Vectorworks 2019 comes in a few flavours specifically designed for different specialisations; Fundamentals, Architect, Spotlight, Landmark and Designer.

You can find out more about each version by using the links below:

There are also add-on packages available for Spotlight and Designer; Braceworks – an easy way for rigging professionals to gauge the performance of temporary structures under load, and Vision – a pre-visualisation tool to bring a whole new level of realism to your shows.

 

Vectorworks Payment Options

Up Front Payment

Vectorworks itself comes as a one-off payment for a perpetual license. You can either place an order online, or contact us.

If you’re an existing VSS customer purchasing new licenses, we may need to calculate your new VSS cost pro rata. In this case, it is best to contact us directly.

Vectorworks do not currently offer a monthly payment method, so check below for some ways of spreading the cost.

Business Leasing

We can work with our leasing partner to offer you monthly repayments on purchases over a term of your choice between 2 and 5 years. To find out more and calculate an instant estimate, visit Business Leasing.

You also free to find a leasing company of your own and put them in contact with us.

PayPal Finance

PayPal offer a 0% finance buy now, pay later scheme which our customers find helpful when making larger purchases.

Simply spend over £99 and you get 0% interest for 4 months on that purchase. It’s quick and easy – just check out with PayPal and select PayPal Credit.
Click here to find out more about PayPal Finance.

Credit Card

If you or your business has a credit card, this is another great way of making purchases while staying in control of your repayments.

 

If you’re looking to purchase Vectorworks but you’re not sure which payment method is best for you, just drop us an email or call us on 01206 804984.

 

 

 

Vectorworks Spotlight Case Study: Stagestruck

Vectorworks Spotlight

This is an abridged version of the original case study by VectorworksView the original

Stagestruck started as a technical production company but quickly developed into a full-service agency, mostly serving the corporate events market. With 80 full-time team members, the firm coordinates everything themselves, including concept, design, documentation, and production.

“There are a number of different people involved in any design process we undertake,” said Tom Cordory, head of technical project management at Stagestruck. “We have a team of event producers and technical production managers. Then we have our design team, set construction team, technical team, and content team. We work together through the end to end process from initial design through to delivery.”

Among the different teams, 20-25 of Stagestruck’s employees used a mix of different CAD software: primarily AutoCAD, along with Revit, 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, and SketchUp. However, as their business grew, the firm realised they needed an all-in-one program to better suit their collaboration needs and to streamline their workflow.

They decided to make the switch to Vectorworks.

“We’re still very much in the implementation, learning, and development phases” said Cordory. “At the moment, we’re in the crossover between AutoCAD into Vectorworks.”

 

Image courtesy of Stagestruck.

Behind the Switch 

“The whole process started when we were looking to switch over to a 3D package,” Cordory said. “We’d been working mostly in 2D AutoCAD and creating separate plan and elevation drawings, and that process seemed a little bit silly to us to just be working 2D. It also opened the door for errors.”

Previously, if they updated an elevation drawing and not the plan document, or vice versa, they could potentially run into problems with their drawings. They needed to find a new 3D package.

“We did quite a lot of comparisons and testing between Vectorworks and Revit, because, obviously, moving from AutoCAD onto Revit is quite a simple process because it has a very similar workflow” Cordory said. “It was almost creating a checklist to say, okay, what can Revit do? What can Vectorworks do? What’s the comparison?”

From the results of this structured vetting process, Vectorworks appeared to be on par with Revit for everything Stagestruck needed, in terms of working from 2D to 3D, so once they started to work more intimately with the software, they were quite comfortable making the switch.

“The beauty of Vectorworks is a much more collaborative approach between the technical production managers, the designers, and the set construction elements of what we do,” he said. “We can all work within the same package and still be able to see everything in 3D.”

Stagestruck transitioned via staged rollout.

“Initially, we took the core team, about eight of us, who we knew would pick the software up easily, and tasked them to develop our in-house stock library and our in-house work group library. And we put them all through a training course here,” said Cordory. “We then gave that group time to learn a little bit more, to get hands-on with it, and to start developing the best working processes for our ways of working.”

The firm also invested in several training sessions with the Vectorworks UK office and has more planned for the future. Once employees gained more experience, they planned to incorporate internal training processes as well.

Moving to Spotlight

Throughout their rollout and training process, the various teams at Stagestruck came across several different features they found quite helpful. One of these was point cloud objects.

“The point cloud integration is absolutely brilliant” said Cordory. “We can scan a venue, then produce a 3D point cloud which can be taken directly into Vectorworks; it’s absolutely brilliant for us. It’s those tools that just make everything quicker, easier and more accurate to produce. It’s a lot easier for us to calculate lens throws, compared to anything we were doing in AutoCAD where it was a more manual process.”

Automated reports saved them even more time, allowing quick communication across various teams. In one example, Cordory discussed passing along the necessary number of stage weights from the design team to the set department, then to the production management team responsible for setting up the final event.

“In all, it’s valuable being able to work in one drawing, being able to check parts in and out so different departments can check out different elements and know that we can work on the same drawing at once,” said Cordory. “Essentially, you’re not waiting on someone to finish their edits before someone else can start working on their element. It seems to work really well for us.”

Cordory went into further detail as to how this new workflow compares to what they had been dealing with previously.

Image courtesy of Stagestruck.

“Now, we’re not creating something in 3ds Max and then creating it again in AutoCAD. We’re not creating something in SketchUp and having to recreate it in AutoCAD. It’s very much a more streamlined process,” he explained. “The fact that we draw something once and then we’re able to get everything we need out of it, whether that be technical plans, 3D renders, sketches or output documents — I think that’s going to be the biggest time saver for us.”

Future Directions

“It’s very much been a smooth process — definitely been faster as a transition than we thought it would be,” he said. “We thought we would be six months into this year before we got to the point where had our libraries at a suitable standard that we were happy with, and had everybody trained and happy to use it. But, already three months in, we had already decided not to start any new projects in AutoCAD and just work straight into Vectorworks. So, that kind of shows how easy it is to learn, and the fact that we were able to adapt and change so quickly is great for us.”

They’ve been so quick to adapt that the firm is already looking into trying some of the newer features in the software, such as the algorithmic modelling tool, Marionette.

“We’ve already started to develop a number of custom objects that allow us to have adaptable stock objects, so you just drop it in the object and then we can choose certain things that happen with them. That’s a really big timesaver for us,” said Cordory. “We’re not having to build individual components and change things. We can just have a single backdrop within and then select from the menu how we want it to appear and what’s going to happen with it. It’s a really good feature, one we’re going to keep exploring. We’ve already got four or five other things that we want to start programming. It’s really powerful, really, really powerful.”

In a similar vein, as an events-focused firm, Stagestruck has also started exploring Braceworks and how it can be integrated into their new workflow.

“Braceworks is going to come in our next phase of the rollout — meaning, how we’re actually going to be implementing Braceworks and using that more as a technical planning element. The design team will be more focused on learning more about the modelling and the rendering capabilities.”

Opening Doors Via Vectorworks 

When asked what advice he would give to other firms considering making the switch to Vectorworks, Cordory suggested keeping a structured, solid plan. By presenting this new software with a staged rollout, Stagestruck could maintain productivity for active projects while keeping their options open for future projects they’d like to plan completely in Vectorworks.

“The switch is opening up a lot of doors,” said Cordory. “I think it’s quite exciting for us as a business to know there’s a lot of potential for us to get more out of the software and to grow how we’re working proactively. It’s exciting. We’re excited about it. It’s not very often you get excited about a piece of software.”

Vectorworks is available now at CAD Software Direct.