ID #1395

VectorWorks - What's the best way to bring VectorWorks files into Design 3D?

VectorWorks has a direct Strata exporter but it is hidden away and you have to enable it.

Here are the instructions for doing that along with some tips for setting up your VW model to get the best results from Strata.

In VW, open FILE > WORKSPACES > WORKSPACE EDITOR. The editor allows you to configure all your menus and palettes. Bring "Export Simple Vectorscript (3D only)" into your EXPORT sub-menu under FILE. Close out of the Workspace Editor.

Now, when you go to FILE > EXPORT, the above command will be there.

• When building the VW model, designate a Class for every object you would like to be a SHAPE in Strata. If you have planned your model in advance, go to the Classes dialog (under ORGANIZE) first and set up your classes there.

Apply them to your objects as you model them by making the selection in the Object Information palette. When you are done modeling in VW, everything should have a class designation.

• Don't export duplicates of anything, you'll just complicate your Strata file. If the VW file has 1000 glasses on windowsills, export one in it's own class, then distribute it as a Shape instance in the Strata file. You can use exported dummy objects (primitives) as place holders on the windowsills, then use "Replace Selected" in Strata to distribute the glasses.

• Convert all Boolean objects in VW to 3D polys. You may find complex Sweeps benefit from this too.

• Make sure that every item in a VW Class is grouped and sub-grouped in such a way that if you have to ungroup it in Strata's shape window for texturing, converted Boolean objects don't ungroup into a bazillion polygons.

• Don't include color information in the Import process. Strata will ask if you want to "Extract Color Information". You'll end up with useless textures in the Resource Palette, many of which will be impossible to delete.

Done properly, opening a VW file in Strata will yield a ready to go file, to scale, everything happy in it's own Shape window.

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