[Responses from Vectorworks staff are shown in boldface.]
Max Kozak:Welcome to the Press Q&A Chat! Sean Flaherty, Biplab Sarkar, Theresa Downs and Lisa Lance are here to lead the chat and provide you with the best answers to your questions. Let’s get started!
Matteo Neustadt:are there any questions and answers here, or can't i just read them?
Theresa Downs:Please go ahead and ask questions, you are the first one here.
Brad Holtz:It seems odd to have the Q&A running before we've had a chance to see the presentations.
Brad Holtz:Is there a flow to view the presentations? Should we pick and choose? What are your expectations?
Randall Newton:Was the increase in demand for Mac software consistent across all geographies? all products?
Theresa Downs:Sean and Biplab are here to answer general questions, and then you can visit the other rooms to ask more specific questions.
Sean Flaherty:@Randall, there was a general increase in Mac demand
Sean Flaherty:I don't have the break-down by product handy
Randall Newton:Be careful, Theresa, Brad just might get in his car and drive to your office.
Brad Holtz:Can you elaborate on how you differentiate VW from Revit and uSTN?
Randall Newton:@Sean but your overall impression is demand was up in most or all segments and geos?
Brad Holtz:Actually, I'm looking for a good restaurant near you for my son's rehearsal dinner - but that's another topic.
Sean Flaherty:@Brad, we focus on design freedom and horizontal integration across design industries. In BIM in particular, I think we allow a much range of geometry to be included in the model.
Sean Flaherty:@Randall, yes, definitely across geographies. I think Apple is penetrating widely with their retail and app store push now lifting all markets. My feeling is this also extends across our product line.
Brad Holtz:Can I interpret that as focus on Architectural Design as opposed to Design Documentation and Execution?
Brad Holtz:where the others focus on DD&E much more than AD?
Andrew Neilson:Can we insert symbols into floor/slab objects?
Sean Flaherty:@Brad, I wouldn't agree with that statement because for years the market was focused on documentation and we consider that a key strength
Sean Flaherty:We find the workflow in other BIM packages to be very restrictive in what and how they allow you to model
Randall Newton:AutoCAD LT is now in the Apple App Store, as the most expensive item there. Any comments about VW and the possibility of selling in the App Store in the future?
Sean Flaherty:I think until model freedom is achieved, BIM will continue to be a contractor/owner technology
H. Edward Goldberg:Have you added an energy model analysis yet?
Nathan Stolarz:Have there been any improvements made to multiple user collaboration within VW2012?
Biplab Sarkar:Andrew symbols cannot be inserted on floor/slab currently. But you can do solid modeling operations with floor/slab object.
Sean Flaherty:@Randall, the app store is something that we're not strongly considering right now. I think it isn't served well by products that integrate so deeply into customer workflows
Randall Newton:@Sean Autodesk admits LT in the App Store is a bit of an experiment.
Sean Flaherty:@Randall. We will watch, but BIM/CAD is complex and I still think benefits from an expert channel
Biplab Sarkar:@Ed, we do energy analysis using Open BIM (IFC)
Brad Holtz:Then I'm not clear on how best to describe where your strengths are relative to the strengths of the other systems. Your clarification would be helpful.
Andrew Neilson:Are there any improvements to Worksheets that you can elaborate on?
H. Edward Goldberg:As usual, in my opinion, the VW team has the best graphics in the industry.
Biplab Sarkar:@Andrew, many of the worksheet character size limitations, sum sort limitations have been removed.
Randall Newton:As usual, Ed has an opinion. LOL.
Steven Gertsman:Just curious if there is a way to find out what the computer system build was used for the presentation showing the open GL shadow addition to the program.
Sean Flaherty:@Brad: 1) best modeler in the AEC business, 2) best presentation capabilities (transparency, NPR, etc) 3) best integrated renderer 4) support for openBIM and a workflow that includes solutions from other vendors
Steven Gertsman:It seemed rather instantaneous when they went from one render type to another. was it just a time lapse or system used?
Biplab Sarkar:@Steven, we recommend a graphics card with 1GB VRAM and 2GB RAM for OpenGL shadows.
H. Edward Goldberg:@Randall: my opinions are based on 35 years as Industrial Designer, Architect, and Educator.. Yours?
Randall Newton:@Ed. Just pulling your leg a bit. Good to see you here.
Brad Holtz:Then I'd like to know (perhaps offline) where you see the strengths of the others.
Steven Gertsman:What was the video of the rotating render view with active playback screens? was that using the cinema 4D optional purchase program?
Randall Newton:@Biplab Can VW take full advantage of GPUs?
Sean Flaherty:@Brad. Sure, I can follow up with you later with more details
Biplab Sarkar:@Randall - yes we do for 2D Navigation and OpenGL rendering
H. Edward Goldberg:What about Structural and MEP?
Biplab Sarkar:@Steven - that was the new Heliodon object I think.
Kevin Gaughan:It seemed based on the Keynote address that most of the effort was put into updating VW Architect in VW 2012. Were Spotlight and Landmark put on the back burner for this release?
Randall Newton:Autodesk today announced their Revit IFC Export code is going open source. Does this have any effect on you as a rival vendor with interest in IFC?
Sean Flaherty:@Ed. We have been working for a couple years on structural analysis integration using Scia, MEP with DDS. You can see more on our BIM in Practice page. We also sell Scia in the US (Dan Monaghan runs this division)
Sean Flaherty:BIM in practice: http://www.vectorworks.net/bim/index.php
Lisa Lance:Kevin - there are many updates to Landmark and Spotlight in this release. I'll send you the top features list for Landmark with more information.
Andrew Neilson:VW is very competitive price wise, but I'm concerned about the reliance on 3rd parties to provide full features (AR, Deckworks, Windoor, InteriorCAD) adding all these products is cost prohibitive, are there any plans to simply incorporate these superior products.
anthony frausto-robledo:Are there any plans for further or built-in energy analysis into the BIM part of Vectorworks?
Steven Gertsman:@Biplab - is that a new add to the program that will come with Spotlight? or is it another outside purchase?
Biplab Sarkar:@Steven - it is part of all the design series products.
Steven Gertsman:@Lisa - could you please send me the updates for Spotlight as well?
Sean Flaherty:@Andrew, we have been integrating many of our 3rd parties, but we also encourage the development of customized solutions. Without them, we couldn't meet the needs of our customers around the world in all of our industries.
Brad Holtz:Other than energy analysis, what aspects of sustainability are incorporated into VW2012?
Lisa Lance:@Steven - yes, I'll send you the Spotlight information.
Biplab Sarkar:@Anthony - Unfortunately we do not have anything to anounce now.
Steven Gertsman:@Lisa - Thank you.
H. Edward Goldberg:@Brad: I think energy analysis is done outside the program... Yes?
anthony frausto-robledo:is the latest Cinema 4D rendering engine inside this release of Vectorworks?
Biplab Sarkar:@Anthony - yes.
H. Edward Goldberg:I think you can export to GBXML yes?
Sean Flaherty:@Brad. We think good design leads to sustainability in most cases. Our collection of solar analysis tools (including the new heliodon to help specify site issues) are very rich in this release. We also have a lot of features to support the Sustainable Sites Initiative, though these aren't new for this release.
anthony frausto-robledo:Can you explain what prompted the modifications to the push-pull further? Maybe I missed this in the keynote but is it fair to say that it's more SketchUp like now?
Thomas Klaber:Can 2012 take advantage of 64bit processing
Steven Gertsman:@Biplab - Are they going to give beginners training on the Heliodon during this Launch Webinar?
Biplab Sarkar:@Anothny - we wanted to provide instant push/pull at the point of creation.
Sean Flaherty:@Thomas, Renderworks is fully 64-bit, which handles the biggest consumer of memory (rendering)
Biplab Sarkar:@Steven - yes.
H. Edward Goldberg:Where on the site do you explain heliodon?
anthony frausto-robledo:Are there any new file format collaboration support related to the entertainment use of this product? Like FBX? Or any other key new export/import support?
Jonathan Lucas:How is energy effeciency done with VW using IFC?
Ralph Grabowski:IN the presentation, you noted that Mac sales increased by 17%. What is the current Mac/PC market split?
Kevin Gaughan:Could we talk more about the VSS Program? It seems like it is very similar to the Subscription Model that Autodesk started a while back. However, after that, there were many complaints about Autodesk putting less effort into their updates, since people were essentially already signed up to get them anyway
Kevin Gaughan:How is VW going to ensure this is not the case.
Sean Flaherty:@Ralph, we have cross-platform licenses so it is a fluid answer, but we're slightly more than half Mac overall
Theresa Downs:You can view a demonstration on the Heliodon tool here: http://www.vectorworks.net/2012/new_features.php OR you can visit the "New Features Video" tab inside the press room.
Jonathan Lucas:I ment: How is energy efficiency modeling done with VW using IFC. What energy modeling program accepts the IFC import. Do you have examples?
Biplab Sarkar:@Anthony - we focus on IFC and Lightwrite for entertainment.
Sean Flaherty:@Kevin, I don't think there is an easy answer to this question but we'll have more VSS related announcements later this year that will demonstrate our investments
anthony frausto-robledo:You are supporting all the way back to version 12.x. Is there some specific reason why that far?
Sean Flaherty:@anthony. many customer requests, including one of our largest Japanese customers
anthony frausto-robledo:Do you guys have any plans for exporting to new popular renderers, despite the excellent C4D built-in option? There are several options out there and many top CAD programs are tapping into such things as GPU renders in particular.
Biplab Sarkar:@Anthony - we have plans for it.
anthony frausto-robledo:I'm thinking in particular tools like Luxion's KeyShot, Bunkspeed, modo, Maxwell and others...
Biplab Sarkar:@Anthony - and C4D supports a number of other renderers.
Randall Newton:@Sean, speaking of Japan, do you have enough business there to comment on market trends. Other vendors say they were surprised by demand following the big earthquake.
Andrew Wise:Lisa, just joined the chat, when you can could you also send me the spotlight update list. Thanks!
Sean Flaherty:@Randall, we have been surprised that Japan continues growing for us. Part of this may be the strong yen, but also their incredibly rapid rebuilding process. I am amazed how quickly they've tackled infrastructure projects and maybe this contributes as well. I'll be there on Monday and can tell you more :)
Sean Flaherty:@randall, BTW, Japan is our largest market
Lisa Lance:I will, Andrew.
Andrew Wise:Thank you!
Randall Newton:@Sean, can you share % of business is Japan?
Sean Flaherty:@Randall, by unit is 1/4 to 1/3 depending on the year
anthony frausto-robledo:Noticing that your new Stories feature brings parametrics to your BIM geometry model at a different type of level, are there any plans for more generative parametric features like that?
Mike Nelson:2d orthogonal drawings on paper are the backbone of the the design/construction industry. Yes, these can be created via BIM but based on todays presentations I feel as thought the the 2d workflow that many users still adhere to has been shoved in the corner. What assurances can be made, if any, that a 2d workflow is still a priority with engineers at NVW?
Biplab Sarkar:@Anthony - yes we plan to.
Jonathan Lucas:Is there a companion energy modeling program for VW that works with the IFC export from VW? Any project examples? Any plans for this?
Prabhath Witharanage:Why don't you not planning to take middleast market? There is no office. No support team located.
anthony frausto-robledo:At SmartGeometry 2011 it became obvious that Rhino is a very popular tool for cutting edge design. This type of numeric-oriented generative modeling is interesting. Are there plans to push a bit in that direction? Any Rhino integration options in this release?
Sean Flaherty:@Mike. 2D is still important to most of our customers, even it some of it is generated from the model. We *have* to work on it to keep our customers happy.
Biplab Sarkar:@Anthony - well you can use IGES, SAT for Rhino interoperability but not 3DM right now.
H. Edward Goldberg:@Sean: as you have seen, energy analysis is an important subject. VW seems late to the market.
Sean Flaherty:@mike, it is not so sexy to advertise 2D improvements but I think you'll find many improvements in this release
Lisa Lance:@Prabhath, you can purchase from the U.S. (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we also have a reseller in Jordan: Marwan Ziadat Managing Director GraphEast – Jordan Office Tel: 962 6 5852101 ext 105 Mobile: 962795888388 email@example.com PO Box 19288, Amman, 11196 Jordan www.grapheast.com
anthony frausto-robledo:Like your sister company in Budapest your main interface is largely similar to how it has been for years. Are customers not asking for any update to this given all the other new UIs out there these days? I'm thinking of what Autodesk has been doing for example.
anthony frausto-robledo:When for example will customers get multi-windows for viewing the model from top, side, axo, for example?
Biplab Sarkar:@Anthony - we are revamping the user interface of many of the architectural objects and then the main interface will be our goal.
Sean Flaherty:@Ed, @Jonathan, we're trying to find the practice people who can get us the product we've tested with. But we also find that the energy market is very regionalized. For example, the rescheck and comcheck here on the east coast use a modified DOE output that we support. In Japan we have Thermorender. One of our west coast customer uses us along with HEED
Sean Flaherty:@anthony, you think the ribbon interface in other CAD packages has been popular?
anthony frausto-robledo:No I don't
Biplab Sarkar:@anthony - we have that currently using design layer viewports but we plan to formalize it in future.
Prabhath Witharanage:Thanks for the details Lisa. i have purchased through a company in Germany.Right now we are using VW 2010 version. is it possible us to do the direct purchase without any other dealers?
Mike Nelson:@Sean, so you're saying I'm not sexy?
Sean Flaherty:@mike, I'm glad there's no video
anthony frausto-robledo:@ Sean, so I understand being careful about things but what about darker interface options? Screens today are very bright and very large.
Lisa Lance:@Prabhath - no, you will need to go through a local distributor or dealer.
Sean Flaherty:@anthony, I think UI is treated by fashion by other products and we've resisted that. That being said, we always want to improve how Vectorworks works so we continue to look for improvements
anthony frausto-robledo:Can you guys talk about performance tuning improvements? What things are faster in this release and by how much?
Jonathan Lucas:I use HEED, but HEED does not import IFC. Biplab said that VW was doing energy modeling via IFC. Is there an energy modeling product that you are testing this with? Energy modeling would be the most important payoff for BIM.
Biplab Sarkar:@Anthony - there was a big focus on performance this release - especially viewport/sheet navigation, as well as general 2D navigation - pan/zoom
Andrew Neilson:Is there any expanded support for users who wish to customize the setup - class names, layer names, plug-ins so on and so forth. Would like to see a UI intregrated that takes you through all the options and support to revert back to VW standards. Do customizations 'hurt' IFC compatibility.
Sean Flaherty:@jonathan, in my opinion, I think the biggest payoff for BIM is integrated structural and MEP which has been our primary focus recently.
anthony frausto-robledo:@ Biplab, That's good Biplab because at the end of the day fast is always an awesome feature!
Celio Firmo:how can i wacht the new vector features presentayiom?
Biplab Sarkar:@Andrew - good suggestions - we will look into it. Customization should not hurt IFC - as you can add IFC data to any object.
Lisa Lance:@Celio, please go to the New Feature Videos tab in the press room and you will find all the videos.
anthony frausto-robledo:What version of OpenGL are you supporting in this release?
Sean Flaherty:@Andrew, in fact our ability to attach IFC generically to our solids is very uncommon. Model what you want but keep full intelligence
Biplab Sarkar:@Anthony - OpenGL3
Celio Firmo:ok! I WILL TRY IT.
anthony frausto-robledo:Is OpenGL 3 driving the performance refresh in viewports?
anthony frausto-robledo:Or is it your own internal code refinements?
Biplab Sarkar:@Jonathon - we will get in touch with you about the Energy analysis companion product.
anthony frausto-robledo:Biplab, do you guys do any internal GPU testing/certification yet? Any plans to help customers figure out what graphics card options are "optimal" for using VW?
Biplab Sarkar:@Anthony - we have just published an article on our knowledge base on the graphics card - I'll send you the link.
anthony frausto-robledo:@Biplab - excellent!
anthony frausto-robledo:Is it possible to save this chat texts?
Lisa Lance:Anthony, I believe the history will stay in this space. We will also follow up with you to answer any additional questions you have.
Peter van der Elst:Any plans on expanding the roof tool with components?
anthony frausto-robledo:Thanks Lisa. I just did copy paste. It worked!
Biplab Sarkar:@Peter - yes we do plan to have roofs with components like slabs. For flat roofs you can use slabs right now.
Lisa Lance:That's all the time we have for this chat. Thank you for joining us! There are other chats through 9/16 - please view the agenda for times and topics. If you have additional questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter van der Elst:@ Biplab: Thanks, can't wait to try out. I hope it will come soon, good to know that you are working on it! VW still is the best CAD out there!!
Andrew Neilson:Are databases 'update in real time' as opposed clicking 'recalculating' each time?
Mike Nelson:Considering NVW is focusing on integration of Struct and MEP with respect to OpenBIM, has NVW worked with BIMServer and if so, is there another forum that can be opened in the near future to discuss cloud-based coordination apps in greater detail?
Jonathan Lucas:Thank you, Biplab.
Biplab Sarkar:@Andrew - you need to recalculate currently.
Andrew Neilson:Thank-you his was great to get questions about new release answered right away.
Mike Nelson:thanks guys. informative session.
[End of transcript.]