VectorWorks problem is being discussed in the ControlBooth Lighting and Electrics forum; Ok, so I know this may sound like a stupid question, but I have been working on VectorWorks recently (have ...

1. VectorWorks problem

Ok, so I know this may sound like a stupid question, but I have been working on VectorWorks recently (have had it for a week) and I can't seem to change the height of a lighting batten. I have been following along with this tutorial, but adapting things so it looks like my stage, and not his pretend stage. So far, I haven't run into any problems until this.

I have the rest of the stage drawn with all the walls and curtains, and stuff, and then the tutorial says that to make a batten, a good way is to use the double line tool, and so I did. Then I made it into a symbol, and then used the "Lighting Position Object" tool to place it on stage, converted it into a Light Position, and then I used the "Inst. Insertion" tool to place a Source Four on it, but I cannot change the Z coordinate of either the Source Four, or the batten. They are both stuck at Z=0, but in the tutorial, he easily changes the Z coordinate of the light.

What did I do wrong?

2. Re: VectorWorks problem

Originally Posted by Schniapereli
Ok, so I know this may sound like a stupid question, but I have been working on VectorWorks recently (have had it for a week) and I can't seem to change the height of a lighting batten. I have been following along with this tutorial, but adapting things so it looks like my stage, and not his pretend stage. So far, I haven't run into any problems until this.

I have the rest of the stage drawn with all the walls and curtains, and stuff, and then the tutorial says that to make a batten, a good way is to use the double line tool, and so I did. Then I made it into a symbol, and then used the "Lighting Position Object" tool to place it on stage, converted it into a Light Position, and then I used the "Inst. Insertion" tool to place a Source Four on it, but I cannot change the Z coordinate of either the Source Four, or the batten. They are both stuck at Z=0, but in the tutorial, he easily changes the Z coordinate of the light.

What did I do wrong?
As I have zero use (currently) for 3d, I can't answer except to say that one good resource for all VW Spotlight problems is Nemetcheks own VW forum at:

Vectorworks SPOTLIGHT - Vectorworks Community Board

I would suggest joining and re-posting on their forum, lot's of folks who know this program backwards hang out there.

Steve B.

3. Re: VectorWorks problem

I'll do that. Thanks. I didn't know they had one...

4. Re: VectorWorks problem

Originally Posted by Schniapereli
Ok, so I know this may sound like a stupid question, but I have been working on VectorWorks recently (have had it for a week) and I can't seem to change the height of a lighting batten. I have been following along with this tutorial, but adapting things so it looks like my stage, and not his pretend stage. So far, I haven't run into any problems until this.

I have the rest of the stage drawn with all the walls and curtains, and stuff, and then the tutorial says that to make a batten, a good way is to use the double line tool, and so I did. Then I made it into a symbol, and then used the "Lighting Position Object" tool to place it on stage, converted it into a Light Position, and then I used the "Inst. Insertion" tool to place a Source Four on it, but I cannot change the Z coordinate of either the Source Four, or the batten. They are both stuck at Z=0, but in the tutorial, he easily changes the Z coordinate of the light.

What did I do wrong?
I'm not at the computer with VectorWorks at the moment so I can't confirm this, but I'm pretty sure its due to the fact that a double line is a 2D shape, not 3D. So you won't be able to set the third dimension of height (Z) on that. But I see no reason why the instrument shouldn't be working. You're using the default symbols that come with VW, correct?

But as Steve said, go visit the VectorWorks forum and I'm sure there will be some people there who can help you out.

5. Re: VectorWorks problem

I don't have VW on my home computer, so I can't check this out right now, but. . .

I think the problem is that the object you're using is a 2D object and has no z value. First make sure you're in top/plan view. What I'd do is draw the batten w/ the double line tool (make sure it's preference are set to create a polygon, not just lines). Then extrude the polygon by 2" or so. This gives you a rectangular 3D solid. Sure, you could get picky and make it round like a pipe, but this does well enough for me. Then select in and choose modify>make lighting position. Then you give it a name and all that, and tell VW to track it's data as a lighting position. You should then be able to give it a z value (or go to a side view and drag it up).

Also, make sure when you place a light you use the instrument insertion tool, otherwise you end up inserting a symbol that's not recognized as a light.

Let me know if this helps.

Nick Kargel
www.youwantwhatproductions.com

6. Re: VectorWorks problem

It needs to be a 2D/3D Hybrid symbol in order to be placed in 3D space (aka the Z height that you can't get).

Quickest way possible to make it a hybrid symbol, as long as you don't care that it doesn't appear to be the actual pipe in 3D space:

Go to Vectorworks -> Preferences Make sure Offset Duplications is off.

Take your 2D symbol of the pipe, duplicate it, and with your duplication selected: Modify -> Convert -> Convert to Nurbs.

Highlight both the original and the new portion (they should be on top of each other) and then create your symbol and insert it following the steps you mentioned. You will now be able to insert your Z height and any instrument placed on that pipe will have take on that Z height and automatically assign its position to whatever you called it.

7. Re: VectorWorks problem

So, here is an update on what I tried, and then what finally worked.

I reread the tutorial, to see if there was something that I missed, but I had done everything it said to do and it still didn't work. I know the tutorial was done by a guy using a Mac, and I wouldn't suspect it to make a difference, but I don't really know.

Then I tried just extruding the 2" wide double-line, and then converting it to a lighting position. This made the most sense, but when I did it, the text label for the electric appeared, but the double-line just vanished. I tried it a whole bunch of times, but I couldn't get an extruded double-line to stay visible. I don't know if that was just because I have an older version, or I still did something wrong, or whatever, but it didn't really work. (And I know kicknargel wasn't at a computer when he gave that suggestion, so I don't know if that usually works for him, or he just hasn't done it in a while...)

So, then I tried what they recommended on the VectorWorks forum.
I drew the batten with the double-line tool 2" wide and then extruded that 2".
I then drew, right on top of it, another double-line the same length, but did not extrude this one.
I grouped them together, converted it to a lighting position, and it worked perfectly.

(His exact post in reply to my question was
"You probably do not have a 3D component to your lighting position.

When you create your lighting position you need to have a 2D and a 3D element, group them, and then convert to a lighting position.

You can modify your existing lighting positions by editing the 3D component of the symbol in the resource browser and adding a simple extruded line or rectangle.")

8. Re: VectorWorks problem

Pretty much right on with what I said...my personal preference is just on a standard line rather than the entire width of the lighting position...but then again, I draft in 18" centers with locus points for easy attachment into my 2D portion.

9. Re: VectorWorks problem

Originally Posted by bdkdesigns
Pretty much right on with what I said...my personal preference is just on a standard line rather than the entire width of the lighting position...but then again, I draft in 18" centers with locus points for easy attachment into my 2D portion.
Oh, looking back at your post it looks like the same thing, but beforehand, I didn't understand the Convert to Nurbs thing, so I didn't want to confuse myself.
(I had literally only 2 days of experience with it)

(forgive my noob-ness to VectorWorks. I am but a humble peon...)

10. Re: VectorWorks problem

OK, I was just playing with it. A small point--the problem was probably that you didn't have a 2D component. So if you look in any 3D view, you see it, but if you look in top/plan view (distinct from top) it goes away because this is a hybrid view that looks at the 2D component of symbols rather than the 3D component. That's how you can get the lights to look like actual lights in a 3D view, but as drafting symbols with labels and such in top/plan view.

The short story is, I was wrong, and Schniapereli got it right.

NURBS, as I understand it, is a way to create a 3D object from anything. So it'll take a line and make it a 3D object. I think it does this by sampling points rather than being defined by mathematical formula--in other words the object would have a "resolution" (like a bitmap). Um, don't take my word for that, though.

Nicholas Kargel
You Want What? Productions INC
scenic and lighting design and construction in Denver, CO

www.youwantwhatproductions.com