Usually, the more time you spend on a rendering the better the output, but you typically can’t afford to spend multiple days finishing a single image. Understanding how to balance time and quality in your rendering workflow is a key to success. This training series will help you understand how to save on time while still producing high-quality renderings by investigating the full capabilities of Renderworks software.
We’ll start off by explaining OpenGL, the main rendering mode you’ll work in, and its different options and views.
Let there be light in your renderings. This next video will take you through different lighting options, from ambient lighting to using the Heliodon tool, demonstrating both how to use them and when each type should be applied to your project.
Now that you have some well-lit renderings, try exploring the different types of backgrounds and how they affect the coloring, lighting, or general mood of your renderings.
Ready to make some textures of your own? Follow along with this next video to learn how to create and edit textures.
If you’re finding the texture mapping controls to be limiting, learn how to get around this by using an unexpected tool in this video.
Mapping textures that show directionality can be tricky. In the following tutorial, learn how to successfully map these textures to 3D geometries.
If your textures are falling flat, add some noise and displacement to give your rendering more depth.
Gone are the days of duplicating thousands of blades of grass for renderings. This video will demonstrate Renderworks software’s solution to this common rendering situation.
Let’s make your renderings glow. Explore glow textures in Renderworks software and how they can be applied to achieve a neon or fluorescent lighting look.
Learn about the rendering modes and styles of Renderworks software in the next tutorial, as well as the impact each can have on your output.
Make sure your detailed renderings shine by watching this final video about when and how to render with caustics.
Now that you’re well on your way to becoming a rendering expert, be sure to take your next step on this journey and sign up for our upcoming webinar, “Visualizing Success with Rendering Software,” worth 1 AIA LU. Even if you can’t make the live airdate on August 16, register anyway and we’ll send you think link once the presentation is available on demand.
In our latest success story video, we explore the projects and workflows of New York’s oldest architecture firm and the third oldest in the United States, King + King Architects. From Crouse College at Syracuse University to the National Grid Building, the team at King + King has had a long history at the forefront of design, a spot they maintain today through their forward-thinking outlook on adapting to advancements in architectural technology. Watch the video below to discover how they’re using BIM and advanced 3D modeling techniques to pioneer the future of incredible structures.
Many homeowners lack the outside perspective needed to visualize the full potential of their outdoor spaces, which is where Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) President-elect Danilo Maffei, APLD, PCH, of maffei landscape design, LLC and his 26 years of expertise come in handy. In his day-to-day work, Maffei provides creative direction and design solutions for private, residential, public, and commercial properties, focusing on blending existing and new materials to make the most of any available space. In the Builder and Developer magazine article, “How to Capitalize On Underutilized Landscape Space,” Maffei illustrates that he practices what he preaches through his own project experiences.
One of Maffei’s clients owned a historic Highland Mede residence in Chester County, Pennsylvania and found that they didn’t have sufficient level ground to expand seating as their family continued to grow. When Maffei stepped in to renovate, he suggested moving and adapting the grill that the family congregated around by elevating the countertop height approximately eight inches, creating seating space.
Rendering of the Highland Mede residence. Image courtesy of maffei landscape design, LLC.
For another project at the former home of T.V. personality Dr. Mehmet Oz in Greenville, Delaware, Maffei transformed a dysfunctional parking lot into a more efficient, aesthetically pleasing parking lot. The original layout didn’t allow for more than two or three cars to occupy the space without trapping in the other cars. Additionally, landscaping had been an after-thought for the current family of “self-proclaimed non-gardeners,” so Maffei proposed a more functional parking lot with a convenient entry to the house and converted the previous parking spaces to a garden.
The shifted guest parking lot in Greenville, Delaware. Image courtesy of maffei landscape design, LLC.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out the latest issue of Builder and Developer Magazine, we recommend flipping through their July/August 2016 issue and giving Maffei’s article on page 62 a read. To see more of the firm’s projects, visit maffei landscape design’s website.
We’re always excited to learn more about unique applications of our software, from designing bicycles and perfume bottles to acoustics, which is what led us to John Murphy from Events Scaffold Resources, Inc. Murphy is the mind behind scaffolding structures at events like the X Games, Dew Tour, and the ESPYs, and uses Vectorworks Spotlight software to make it all happen. After starting out as CAD operator for architecture firms, he transitioned to a field that he admits is a bit out of the norm. “I really enjoy this work,” Murphy says. “I’ve studied all forms of drafting and this is just such a unique discipline.”
Ramp designed by Events Scaffold Resources, Inc. for X Games Austin. Photo courtesy of John Murphy.
When the recession hit back in the late 2000s, Murphy found himself out of a job. He began searching for new applications of his drafting skills when he stumbled upon a drafting opportunity at a scaffolding company for the festival and event industry and decided to give it a shot. “I figured, I love music and concerts, and all of the other types of events we provide scaffolding for, so I sent in my resume,” he reflects.
Now after working in the scaffolding industry for over five years, Murphy loves his job and the daily challenges it presents him. He likens the process of designing and drafting these structures to a puzzle; he has to gather all the pieces and fit them together per a client’s needs. “I have fun with it,” Murphy says. “My favorite projects are the bigger, more complex structures for VIPs, like at the X Games and Dew Tour. Those are just really fun to build. It’s the best when these events are here in Los Angeles because I get to go out and help put together structures that I drafted. Being a part of that physical process and seeing the results is just like, wow!”
Upon entering this new line of work, Murphy was asked to switch to a new design software: Vectorworks Spotlight. After solely using AutoCAD for 20 years, Murphy was ready for the change, and it only took three months of training with a Vectorworks expert from his company to be comfortable with the software and take off the “training wheels.”
Drafts of X Games Austin ramp in Vectorworks Spotlight. Image courtesy of John Murphy.
When discussing the benefits of transitioning to Spotlight, Murphy had this to say, “I was blown away by the 3D capabilities of the software, especially by the final render quality. All of our clients want to see the structures in 3D before we put it together, and the 3D construction is a lot more user friendly in Vectorworks software. I would definitely tell people that it’s worth getting into. If you’re thinking about making the switch, just go for it!”
Rendered 3D model of GoPro Structure for X Games Los Angeles. Image courtesy of John Murphy.
As part of our commitment to supporting young talent, Vectorworks and our Swiss distributor ComputerWorks AG sponsor the Foundation Award program in Switzerland. We are proud to announce that JOM Architects in Zurich, Switzerland has won this year’s award that supports young Swiss architecture firms. The firm is led by three agency partners, each with different backgrounds and focuses, who combine their design philosophies to demonstrate the productive potential of heterogeneous mindsets.
The jury evaluated the submitted projects alongside each firm’s self-description. Entries were judged based on each firm’s ability to articulate their design philosophy and why it matters. JOM Architects clearly articulated the design values they stand for in both projects and description, winning the Zurich-based office the first prize.
Now in the award’s seventh year, the number of entries to the program continues to grow with each consecutive iteration. “We are proud that over the last few years the Foundation Award has been a stepping stone for many talented architects, since it is the only award in Switzerland to promote young entrepreneurs in the building industry,” said Andreas Kling, CEO of ComputerWorks Switzerland.
Guests enjoying themselves at the Foundation Award ceremony.
The awards were presented by Rubina Siddiqui, product marketing manager – architecture at Vectorworks. Siddiqui is an expert in BIM applications, and you may know her as the co-host of Art in Architecture webinar series. As she was in Switzerland meeting with customers to learn more about their use of Vectorworks software, she took the opportunity to personally hand over the awards at the ceremony.
Rubina Siddiqui presenting the second place award to Lilitt Bollinger.
JOM Architects believes in developing strong concepts through dialogue and translating them to the built environment. Michael Metzger, Philippe Jorisch, and Stefan Oeschger of JOM won the award for their design of two projects, the first being the conversion of the “Villa Seeblick,” an Art Nouveau house in St. Gallen built in 1908 by Anton C. Buzzi. Within the existing house, JOM designed two new duplexes and refreshed the three intervening floors. And as the building was located on a prominent slope, the firm also designed an elegant bridge to serve as the new main entrance from the road.
Michael Metzger, Philippe Jorisch, and Stefan Oeschger (left to right) of winning firm JOM Architects
The second project submitted was a multi-family house in Wetzikon. Standing noticeably on the street corner, this multigenerational house serves as a replacement for an 85-year-old building.
Multi-family house in Wetzikon
As part of the prize, art-tv.ch produced a video profile of JOM Architects, where the winners speak about their work and firm. The following video is in German; you can adjust your closed captioning settings to see an auto-translation in English.
lilitt bollinger studio
The second place winner, lilitt bollinger studio, was founded in the end of 2013 and works in architecture, products, and crafts. The focus on products and crafts comes from Lilitt Bollinger’s background as a designer and bag maker where she experimented with form, materials, and systems. In the field of architecture, she wants her office to focus on designing “small and beautiful” buildings and conversions.
The jury was impressed by her “strong personal relation to each task, place, and construction” that showed in her submitted projects: an apartment conversion in an old wooden house on Lake Brienz and a residential house in Obstalden.
The second place award, valued at CHF 4,000, was awarded to Lilitt Bollinger.
Jaeger Koechlin Architects
Third place was awarded to Jaeger Koechlin Architects. Patrick Jaeger and Ariel Koechlin submitted several projects, including a kindergarten in Wildenstein to be built in 2017. As emphasized in their design philosophy, the two believe it is essential “that spatial qualities of built architecture are created by conceptual – abstract ideas.” Their sense of space and materials, and their convincing presentation of projects, was admired by the Foundation Award jury.
Jaeger Koechlin Architects won third prize, worth CHF 3,000 (from left to right Patrick Jaeger and Ariel Koechlin).
Find out more about the winners here. The application deadline for the next Foundation Award is April 30, 2017.
Dive into this month’s Tech Roundup with two new tutorial videos.
First, make a splash with your renderings. Take the plunge into this video that shows you how to use displaced textures and render settings to achieve realistic water caustics.
Next, pick up a few pointers on converting PLY files to formats that are compatible with Vectorworks software. This video will walk you through using MeshLab to convert your PLY point cloud files to point cloud or solid mesh file formats that can be imported into Vectorworks software.
With more than 624 acres of rolling green hills, 8,000 trees, and hundreds of gardens, the Arlington National Cemetery’s serene surroundings pay tribute to the 14,000-plus veterans and their family members who rest there. The Virginia site also provides a sense of peace and comfort to those who come to mourn their lost loved ones. As a result, the maintenance of these grounds is an important undertaking, which is why the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) hosts the annual Renewal and Remembrance service event and why we have graciously participated for the past seven years.
The Arlington National Cemetery
Celebrating its 20th year, the July 11 event gathered approximately 400 volunteers to partake in the landscape industry’s largest day of service in the United States. Practicing professionals in the lawn care industry came from near and far to volunteer and donate resources, taking time off during their busiest season of the year to pay respect to our nation’s heroes by sharing their expertise and rolling up their sleeves to give back.
Roughly 400 volunteers gathered at this year’s event. Photo courtesy of NALP.
Most volunteers are practitioners from the lawn care, landscape design, landscape installation, site maintenance, irrigation, or arboriculture industry. They are joined by affiliated professionals and family members, who, in turn, receive a unique, hands-on education about the positive impact of landscape management. For example, through this year’s children’s program, kids were able to get up close and personal with the Spanish-American War Monument to learn about its significance and to plant native perennials around it, as well as participate in the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The son of Eric Gilbey, PLA, Vectorworks’ product marketing manager – landscape, was busy planting. Photo courtesy of NALP.
The event kicked off bright and early with an opening ceremony featuring six speakers: Chairman of Renewal and Remembrance John Eggleston, Acting Superintendent of the Arlington National Cemetery Katharine Kelley, Arlington National Cemetery Chaplain Joe Mason, NALP President Brett Lemcke, Got Your 6 Executive Director Bill Rausch, and Weed Man USA’s Phil Fogarty.
Got Your 6 Executive Director Bill Rausch spoke during the opening ceremony. Photo courtesy of NALP.
While each speaker focused on different topics, they all centered around one common thread: gratitude. And, one thing NALP has made apparent over these last two decades of Renewal and Remembrance events is that they are grateful for all who serve our nation. We are also so grateful for NALP to offer us this opportunity to partner with them to give back.
After the ceremony, volunteers split into teams to cover several sections of the cemetery. Their scope of work included phosphorous application, aeration, irrigation installation and repairs, tree cabling and lightning protection, and landscape and hardscape projects. Teams used push spreaders and walk-behind aerators to allow application and aeration in tight areas and between tombstones. Our team was responsible for phosphorous application for the duration of the event.
Claire Masters, Vectorworks’ marketing coordinator – entertainment, is shown hard at work.
While there are many heroes who work behind the scenes of the event to help make it happen each year, we wanted to name one individual in particular, our own Eric Gilbey, PLA, Vectorworks’ product marketing manager – landscape.
Some Vectorworks employees snapped a quick selfie with Gilbey (in orange) before they got their hands dirty.
Gilbey has been closely involved with event logistics and has served for the past three years on the Renewal and Remembrance NALP Committee as the transportation and greeting champion. With the support of his fellow committee members, he was responsible for the organization and day-of configuration for getting volunteers where they needed to be and back again. As of this last event, Gilbey now serves as the vice chair and in 2019 will become the chair of the Renewal and Remembrance Committee responsible for coordinating this event with the help of NALP’s staff.
“As a landscape architect, I design spaces for people which evoke a sense of the place and create meaningful experiences. I can’t think of a better way to directly give back and pay respect to our nation’s fallen warriors and patriots,” said Gilbey. “I’m glad our contributions to the Arlington National Cemetery’s landscape can help family and friends of lost loved ones feel welcome and uplifted as they visit and remember.”
If you’re looking to present, collaborate, and provide feedback more easily with clients, colleagues, and consultants, then we have your answer: Modelo, our new partner product and integrated plug-in.
As the fastest real-time, web-based 3D model communication tool in the AEC industry, Modelo is a browser-based platform that allows architects and designers to upload, present, and share their 3D Vectorworks files (VWX). Viewers of these files can then leave feedback and markups, which are archived for later review, without even needing to install any software.
“In today’s highly competitive market, the ability to quickly and effectively communicate about a design in 3D with clients and collaborators is of the upmost importance,” said Jeremy Powell, product marketing director at Vectorworks. “Our partnership with Modelo puts powerful, web-based collaboration tools in the hands of designers and architects so they can easily transfer designs right out of Vectorworks software into Modelo for intuitive design review, no matter their location.”
Modelo offers designers several workflow-enhancing features, including the ability to:
Visualize 3D models directly through their internet browser.
Share specific, presentation-ready views directly with clients.
Create comments on 3D models for internal team feedback.
Jump into Virtual Reality (VR) with mobile devices and Google Cardboard.
Switch to presentation mode for clean, curated tours of designs.
Cut real-time sections and measure in 3D space.
Access models via mobile- and tablet-optimized browser interfaces.
Control user permissions across their projects.
Modelo has three account options to suit a variety of firm sizes, including Free, Studio, and Enterprise. For more information about pricing, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Modelo’s pricing page. Aspiring designers and architects in the academic community can also take advantage of Modelo’s free or trial version to achieve the same collaborative and communicative opportunities.
The plug-in is currently available for Windows users of Vectorworks software only and is compatible with Google Chrome and Firefox web browsers.
Discover other companies, developers, and products that we’ve teamed up with by visiting our Partner Community page.
Vectorworks is proud to support innovative young designers and honor the creative visionaries who have paved the way for their success; that’s why we’re sponsoring the Young Talent Architecture Award (YTAA), organized by the Fundacío Mies van der Rohe. European institutions of higher education have until July 29, 2016 to recognize their architecture, urban planning, and landscape design students by registering and nominating their best projects from the 2015-2016 academic year.
To better understand the legacy of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s, the namesake of the award’s founding organization, we sat down with Ron Kwaske, AIA, principal architect of the Kwaske Collaborative.
Kwaske’s architectural upbringing was shaped by Mies. Being one of the last students who studied under Mies’ curriculum at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Kwaske deeply understands and appreciates the visionary’s ideas about education. “I benefitted from such a beautifully logical architecture education,” he says. “All of our disciplines were related, so if we were studying steel in our technology class, we would be designing a steel building in studio. The applicable nature of our education removed some of the myth surrounding fictitious studio projects.”
Mies is an icon for many reasons, but Kwaske argues that the most defining and relevant aspect of his legacy is his concept of putting off-the-shelf materials together to create beautiful and lasting buildings. Kwaske says that these simple materials, combined with common sense construction practices and the know-how for assembling a building, are the ideas that produced Mies’ iconic buildings we admire today, including where Kwaske studied architecture, Crown Hall.
When asked about his favorite work by the famous architect, Kwaske chuckled and said, “It’s a highly irregular one, but fitting.” When Mies was building the Chicago Federal Center, an associate was detailing the benches. When Mies saw the highly detailed drawings for the benches, he instead drew a rectangle and instructed them to go out and buy a huge chunk of granite, polish it, and put it on the ground. “This is true — I think about that story every time I extrude a rectangle in Vectorworks software,” he says. For Kwaske, the anecdote exemplifies Mies’ ideas of rational and clear design, keeping things simple and beautiful, and using readily accessible materials, the same principles that drive the Kwaske Collaborative.
Mies van der Rohe, namesake of the foundation that created the YTAA.
Reflecting on the YTAA, Kwaske is excited to see an award for students that is tied to the Mies name. “I would like to see far more of his goals back in education,” he says. “Without the basic principles that I learned from school, I’m not sure how architecture students are expected to succeed.” Today, as education becomes more design-focused, Kwaske laments that young designers might not be as capable to be hands-on in all aspects of their projects, something that Mies greatly valued. He asks, “How can you become a designer if you don’t know how to put a building together?”
Being associated with the Mies name is a great opportunity. Kwaske says that the award would be a tremendous asset to any young designer approaching architects and firms that admire the icon’s process. “If I had won this award as a student I would have thought, ‘Wow! I have arrived,’” he says. “I mean, if this were on a resume that came across my desk, let’s just say that it would go to the top of the pile.”
Make sure your resume rises to the top of a potential employer’s pile and have your professor register your school for the YTAA. Learn more about the award, here.
Worth 1 AIA LU and available on demand, the webinar leads you through how to push, pull, mold, manipulate, and prepare objects for physical prototyping. You’ll also explore the effects of each subdivision sub-mode and control to create unprecedented shapes that can be exported for 3D printing and physical modeling.