Want to take your designs to the next level? Then we’ve got some reading material for you.

Expert trainer and author Jonathan Pickup has updated his two guidebooks: Vectorworks Architect Tutorial Manual, Seventh Edition and 3D Modeling in Vectorworks, Seventh Edition, providing both new and experienced Vectorworks Architect 2015 software users with professional training tools at their fingertips.

Pickup 3D Modeling_Architect Book image

Vectorworks Architect Tutorial Manual explains how to incorporate Vectorworks 2015’s tools into a design-based BIM workflow and how new ways of drawing can increase efficiency, all while taking readers through the basics of the software interface. Readers learn how drawing with objects, rather than lines and arcs, and creating projects using BIM principles can improve their workflows.

“What BIM means is that when you draw something in Vectorworks software, it’s more than just a plan representation,” said Pickup. “Many parts of a Vectorworks drawing are much more than they seem. A door, for example, has a model part to which you can attach information about the door, add door hardware, or even indicate the supplier and cost of the door. This information can be generated as a report whenever you want it.”

The 3D Modeling in Vectorworks text is laid out in three parts to guide readers through the process of crafting a 3D project step-by-step:

Part 1: Educates readers on using the software’s tools to create individual 3D models

Part 2: Reveals how to use these models to create a freeform architectural project

Part 3: Shows the workflow in action, allowing readers to learn to split up projects

The book also contains exercises that feature the new Deform tool, teaching readers the twisting, tapering, building, and bending modes.

“Jonathan Pickup’s no nonsense books, with their easy-to-follow graphics and video tutorials, make his manuals the default standard for training on all the Vectorworks packages,” says Architectural Technologist Stephen J. Scaysbrook, MCIAT ACIOB, of Konstrukshon Ltd. “I love the way that Jonathan teaches both Vectorworks software and drawing techniques.”

The Vectorworks Architect Tutorial Manual and 3D Modeling in Vectorworks are part of Nemetschek Vectorworks’ self-paced training options. For more information and to purchase these manuals for $75 each, visit www.vectorworks.net/training/guides.php.

The texts will also be available for purchase when Pickup signs copies of all his books on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET in the Paris Foyer at the Sofitel Philadelphia Hotel. All registered attendees of the Vectorworks Design Summit are welcome to attend. We hope to see you there!

Are you a student looking for some financial assistance? Or do you work with students whose designs deserve recognition? The second annual Vectorworks Design Scholarship program is here to help!

The submission process is simple. Students from all over the world and across all design disciplines submit their best individual or group project, which may include work completed for a class assignment. Then, they answer three questions, each in 150 words or less, by August 31, 2015, for a chance to win up to $10,000. We’ll announce the winners on October 15, 2015.

“Today’s students are tomorrow’s visionaries, solving all types of design challenges that the Vectorworks Design Scholarship program lets us celebrate,” said Stewart Rom, chief marketing officer at Nemetschek Vectorworks. “We established this program to support their academic dreams by offering financial assistance, and we can’t wait to see the inspiring work that students submit this year!”

Regional winners will receive $3,000 and advance to compete for The Richard Diehl Award and an additional $7,000, named in honor of our company’s founder and chairman. Additionally, winners’ schools will receive free Vectorworks design software, as well as free in-person or virtual training for faculty and students.

Get inspired by last year’s top winning project from University of Pennsylvania graduate student Diego Bermudez, who wowed judges with his submission, “Circasia: Engaging the Creeks,” as well as other winners. Encourage students you know to apply for their shot at $10,000.

Email us with any questions and follow @Vectorworks and #FundMyVision for program updates and submission tips.


When scientists first divided the atom at the end of World War II, everyone knew that “the future” had arrived. This technological advancement affected everything from the economy to politics to art, and architects like William Pereira and Albert Frey began designing buildings that defied gravity or resembled lunar landers. Join us as we explore the age of “Atomic Architecture in America: 1945-1965” in the latest episode of the Art in Architecture webinar series.

atomic arch“The Atomic Age is an important part of the history of American architecture,” says Rubina Siddiqui, Assoc. AIA, Nemetschek Vectoworks’ senior industry specialist of BIM solutions, who co-hosted the webinar alongside her colleague, architect Steve Alden, AIA. “Even though the movement isn’t exclusively American, its impact on the current landscape in the United States shows how even the recent past can have an incredible influence on current design trends.”

The webinar is now available to watch on-demand. Viewers who provide their AIA credentials can take an associated quiz to earn 1 AIA LU.

And don’t forget to register for the next Art in Architecture webinar, “Art Nouveau’s Influence on Architecture,” on May 28 at 2 p.m. ET. Stay up-to-date on future topics in the series by emailing usmarketing@vectorworks.net.

Nothing says spring like landscape design! So, to celebrate the release of new instructional guides Residential Garden Design, Seventh Edition by Tamsin Slatter and Vectorworks Landmark Tutorial Manual, Fifth Edition by Jonathan Pickup, we’re hosting two book signings in the Paris Foyer at the Sofitel Philadelphia Hotel during the Vectorworks Design Summit, and all registered attendees are welcome.

Slatter will sign books on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 and Pickup will sign books on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Both signings will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. And don’t worry about not having copies yet, because you can pick them up at the Summit.

Combined Book Signing Image

In the latest edition of Residential Garden Design, Slatter, a leading Vectorworks Landmark expert in the United Kingdom, highlights best practices for residential garden designers using features found in the 2015 version of Vectorworks Landmark with Renderworks software.

Similarly, in the Vectorworks Landmark Tutorial Manual, experienced Vectorworks trainer Pickup provides a hands-on walkthrough of the concepts and techniques in Vectorworks Landmark 2015 for users of all levels.

See what readers are saying about these must-have guides:

“I found Residential Garden Design with Vectorworks Landmark easy to follow as it leads you through a complete garden design project from start to finish,” said Faith Ramsay, garden designer at My Country Garden Design Solutions. “The book has an encouraging style that builds your confidence as you progress. As an experienced user, I find myself referring back to it for tips and shortcuts.”

Vectorworks Landmark Tutorial Manual cleverly builds on prior learning, and further deepens the knowledge users have of Vectorworks,” said Jan Latham, a landscape designer and CAD tutor at Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) in New Zealand. “Landmark is a valuable tool for landscapers. This manual gives beginners a logical understanding to get started with the software, and shows them how to prepare and present useful information to clients.”

Get your copies of Residential Garden Design and Vectorworks Landmark Tutorial Manual for $75 online at secure.vectorworks.net/estore/training.

Designs have to meet the needs of your clients, but they should also be a reflection of you as a designer. Why else would they have hired you in the first place? Vectorworks software makes adding a personal touch to your projects easy. Watch this month’s new videos from our YouTube channel for quick tips on how to customize your next design.

When you’re creating a site model, accurate elevation and slope information is critical to the placement of your building or landscape design. Luckily, there are many different ways to customize this data. Learn how to control everything from the width of 2D lines to the colors marking the slope angles in this short video.


Speaking of color customization, the video below shows you how to adjust the preferences in your light plot to indicate different mediums with separate color fills. And if you still want some viewports to be black and white, there are even more options for arranging your designs to have black and white and color light plots appear simultaneously, on different sheet layers, or when you publish.


If you have any questions about these videos or your Vectorworks software, reach out to us at tech@vectorworks.net or tweet at us @VectorworksHelp.

By Dan Monaghan, Managing Director at Nemetschek Scia

Architects utilize an iterative design process, making rapid changes to a project based on feedback from all parties involved in a building’s lifecycle. And with the growing trend toward collaborative workflows thanks to the rise of Building Information Modeling (BIM), as architects make adjustments to a design their civil and structural engineer counterparts need to react quickly with their own changes to meet shrinking timelines, pushing them to find new ways to boost efficiency. That’s why Nemetschek Scia is introducing Adaptive Mesh Refinement technology for building and infrastructure design.

Adaptive Mesh 1When engineers receive a architectural model from a designer, they have to convert it to an analysis model and mesh the 2D elements likes walls and shells, as well as lines and nodes. Doing so manually takes up too much time and can drain productivity, especially when you have to conduct a new analysis every time an architect adds, removes, or shifts something in the BIM model. Creating the mesh, testing it, and determining areas of refinement takes up hours of the day and can distract from the completion of the design itself. Scia Engineer software’s Adaptive Meshing simplifies this iterative design process by automatically improving the mesh and adding local refinements. All engineers need to do is input an acceptable error tolerance, a representative load case, and then let the program run.

Adaptive Mesh 2

Scia Engineer’s Adaptive Mesh Technology makes automatic mesh refinements where necessary.

Making the perfect mesh manually takes a lot of time, and you still won’t be able to influence every point, only your chosen refinement zones. And many may not have the knowhow to produce a manual mesh in the short amount of time between when the architect makes a change and when the construction team or the owner needs to see the design. Scia Engineer’s Adaptive Mesh, however, is able to refine every cell individually by comparing Finite Element Analysis (FEA) calculated stress values with theoretically calculated stress/gradient values, allowing engineers to keep pace with designers.

To learn more about Adaptive Mesh Refinement technology and how it can improve your collaborative workflow, check out this in-depth article on engineering.com or visit the Nemetschek Scia website.

Germany-based N2M Architekten is a firm committed to using their passion for design to create architecture that breaks boundaries. And with studios in Xi’an, China and Hannover, Germany, and projects ranging from religious shelters to regional master-planning, N2M is assuredly achieving their goal. One of their recent projects, NaturParkHaus, exemplifies the firm’s approach to design, which blends distinctive architecture with its surrounding context.

890122_Plan 3 Ansichten-Fassadenschnitt-AussenperspektiveThe NaturParkHaus project is a concept for a ranger station inside a nature reserve. Since the environment encompassing the station is integral to its purpose, N2M used the CameraMatch plug-in for Vectorworks software to place their designs directly onto images of the site, creating life-like renderings that show how their concept would interact with its surroundings. “The project site is located directly at the shoreline of a lake,” says Niels Vauth, managing architect at N2M. “We used CameraMatch to imbed our design into the existing, dune-like landscape.”

890122_Plan 2 GrundrissseCameraMatch plays a role in much of N2M’s work, beginning with the creation of draft volume studies all the way to final artwork. “CameraMatch offers us the ability to check and control how our projects would look in reality during each stage in the design process,” says Niels. “The new Cloning tool in the 2015 version is definitely our favorite feature. Being able to scale and rotate clone areas gives us a lot of flexibility.”

Check out N2M’s website to learn more about their work, and visit the Vectorworks Partner Product page to purchase the CameraMatch plug-in.

As part of our worldwide rollout of the Vectorworks 2015 line of design software, the Chinese language joins the family, including localized versions of Vectorworks Designer, Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, Fundamentals, and Renderworks.


“Updates for the 2015 Vectorworks software have been made with designers’ best interests in mind,” said Cecil Fung, managing director of Mad Macs Technology Distributions Limited, the Vectorworks distributor in China. “For instance, the 64-bit feature is beneficial when considering and adopting an improved design solution in China because the geographical scale of projects in the country and the common composition of multi-disciplinary teams often demand the computational and coordination efficiencies that the program provides.”

Mad Macs will host launch events in Guangzhou (April 3), Shenzhen (April 6), Shanghai (April 9), Beijing (April 14), Nanjing (April 16-17), Hangzhou (April 27), and Chongqing (May 6), providing an introduction to new features in Vectorworks 2015 that will benefit architectural, commercial space design, landscaping and planning, and stage and exhibition lighting designers.

To sign up to attend these events, email events.2015@vectorworks.cn or register online.

Inspirational keynote speeches, industry insight, and sneak peeks into the future of Vectorworks software are just the beginning of what you’ll get by attending the Vectorworks Design Summit at the Sofitel Philadelphia hotel on April 27-29. While you’re having fun connecting with your peers from around the world and discussing the future of design, you’ll also be earning AIA LUs and LA CES credits at a variety of sessions that we’ve put together with your educational needs in mind.





Check out the current list of accredited sessions below:

  • BIM – Contractors Fighting the Inevitable, Rob Glisson, AIA, ROJO Architecture (1 AIA LU)
  • Building Urban, David Leven, AIA, and Stella Betts, LEVENBETTS (1 AIA LU)
  • Design Context and Digital Design, Stanley Paul Rostas, AIA, LEED BD&C, IIDA, CNU, Shook Kelley (1 AIA LU)
  • Thinking Through Your Sketches, Peter Exley, FAIA, Architecture Is Fun (1 AIA LU)
  • Using Smart CAD Tools to Complete a Sustainable Site Plan, Stephen W. Schrader Jr., PLA, ASLA, Holcombe Norton Partners, Inc. (1 AIA LU and 1 LA CES)
  • Using a Common Data Environment to Enhance BIM-Based Workflows, Nathan Doughty, Asite (1 AIA LU)
  • Real-time Project Collaboration with Bluebeam Studio, Jeanette Popiel, Bluebeam Software, Inc. (1 AIA LU)
  • Transitioning from General CAD to Information Modeling Workflows, Robert D. Anderson, RLA, ASLA, ROBERT ANDERSON | landscape architect (1 AIA LU and 1 LA CES)
  • Using Vectorworks for External Collaboration, Jeffrey Ouellette, Assoc. AIA, IES, Nemetschek Vectorworks (1 AIA LU)
  • The Small Group Takes on Holistic Design, Michael Klaers, The Small Group (1 AIA LU)
  • Efficient Drawing Techniques for Lighting and Scenic Design, Jim Woodward, Exhibit Logic (1 AIA LU)
  • Site Information Modeling (SIM) & 3D Visualization, Todd McCurdy, FASLA, MORRIS (1 AIA LU and 1 LA CES)
  • BIM for Landscape, Jonathan Pickup, archoncad (1 AIA LU and 1 LA CES)
  • Circasia: Engaging the Creeks, Diego Bermudez, University of Pennsylvania (1 AIA LU and 1 LA CES)
  • Creating and Managing Libraries, Jonathan Pickup, archoncad (1 AIA LU and 1 LA CES)
  • Maintaining a Growing Business While Staying Creative, Steve Alden, AIA, Nemetschek Vectorworks; Dylan Chappell, AIA, Dylan Chappell Architects; and Ron Kwaske, AIA, Office Ron Kwaske, Architect (1 AIA LU)

Our growing agenda also includes sessions hosted by our very own Nemetschek Vectorworks industry specialists designed to expand your knowledge of Vectorworks software. Explore all of the exciting opportunities waiting for you by registering to attend the Vectorworks Design Summit today.

Please note our discounted room block at the Sofitel Philadelphia hotel expires April 4, so make your reservation soon.

Entertainment designers and technical staff gather ’round. We’ve released the latest edition of Entertainment Design: Scenery, Lighting, and Sound with Vectorworks Spotlight, 4th Edition by award-winning scenic and lighting designer Kevin Lee Allen.

This instructional guide provides readers with tutorial-based design techniques applicable to film, television, concerts, exhibits, and more. Allen updated the instructional guide to complement the release of Vectorworks® Spotlight with Renderworks® 2015 software.


Latest edition of Kevin Lee Allen’s guide, “Entertainment Design: Scenery, Lighting, and Sound with Vectorworks Spotlight” is available.


In addition to reflecting the software’s latest features, the guidebook helps readers to use the new Deform tool, create temporary platforms with Stage Deck tools and model supports with Stage Lift tools, directly edit Light Position objects, and work with new rendering styles.

Readers will also be introduced to the Vectorworks Remote App, which allows users to interactively use mobile devices like a remote to view, navigate, and present designs without having to be at their desktops.

“Kevin Lee Allen’s books and accompanying tutorials have been tremendously helpful as I transitioned to Vectorworks as my go-to drafting software,” said Tom Palmer, partner and creative director at Palmer Schwartz Agency. “I can’t think of a better investment in Vectorworks education than purchasing this training guide.”

Purchase your copy of Entertainment Design for $75 at our online store today!