What's New in Vectorworks 2015?
General Improvements for All Designers
The following improvements are relevant across the entire Vectorworks product range, including Vectorworks Fundamentals. In some cases, Renderworks is required to make the most of the feature, but we hope we've made that clear. To find out more about additional new features for specific product lines, click Vectorworks 2015 in Detail links on the right of this page.
Vectorworks 2015 is 64-Bit!
One key change, is that Vectorworks software is now 64-bit. What does that actually mean? Well, with older releases, Vectorworks was 32-bit, which, to cut a long story short, meant it could only use 4GB of RAM in your computer, no matter how much more you had available for it. With 64-bit, the program can address as much memory as you can get into your computer. It means that you can work on much larger files and will make the whole business of collaboration much easier. It won't necessarily increase speed—the processor will still work at the same speed, but it will be able to process larger amounts of information.
Vectorworks Graphics Module
Last year, Vectorworks introduced the Vectorworks Graphics module, which brought great enhancements to the display of Vectorworks models. Vectorworks 2015 builds on the VGM as follows: You can now choose how you want your model to be rendered when changing from top/Plan to a 3D view—traditional wireframe, or OpenGL. If you prefer to use a perspective view in 3D, just set that as your default. No more clicking on the Render mode menu each time you change from a Top/Plan view. And when you do change the view, the new View Transition Animation will make the process smooth and pleasant. You'll also see improvements to the speed of screen redraw. In wireframe views, Vectorworks has a better understanding of what's in the foreground and what's in the background, making it much easier to select items.
Building Tools Within Vectorworks Fundamentals
There are many huge features within the BIM (Building Information Modelling) category, which are described on our Vectorworks 2015 Industry pages, however, there is a fantastic improvement to the Wall tool, the building block of Vectorworks, that applies to all users. The Wall tool now has a new drawing mode—Rectangle mode which makes it incredibly fast to draw up buildings. That, coupled with the Trim tool, you'll be able to set out buildings or other wall networks very fast indeed.
It's always reassuring to know that you can share files with others on projects who may be using different software. Vectorworks has always supported a wide range of other file formats, but this year includes the ability to import 3D models in the STEP file format. DWG import and export continues to be enhanced so that more objects are supported, but there are improvements to how files are located within the coordinate system on import. PDF files can now be cropped after import, and if you don't want to snap to the geometry on the PDF, you can turn off snapping.
3D Modelling and Rendering
If you have Renderworks, gone are the days of having to manually hatch elevations in Viewports. Renderworks Textures now include mapped hatches. When you choose to render with Hidden Line mode, you'll have the option to display hatches automatically! OpenGL now includes the option to turn off colours, so you can create "white card" or "clay" models with ease. If you leave textures on, you'll still get transparency! The same applies with Custom Renderworks—turn off the colour shader, but retain all the other shaders and you'll be able to see reflectivity, bump and transparency, but no colour. You'll no longer need to choose between Photorealistic and Artistic Renderworks styles. Now you can combine them both within the same Renderworks styles.
The new Deform tool is COOL! You can now bend, taper or bulge almost any 3D geometry to model all sorts of wonderful things!