It’s a Vectorworks St. Patrick’s Day!

It’s a Vectorworks Set Design! It’s  Vectorworks Lighting Design! It’s  shamrock, actually six shamrocks. Perhaps I should have included a beer? Green Beer? Nah, I’ve never really cared for food coloring in my alcohol. Usually means cheap alcohol.

There are only six of the shamrock symbol instances in the illustration. The rest are reflections. The shamrocks are within a mirrored room created using the Curved Wall Tool and two extruded rectangles as ceiling and floor. The space is incidental beyond the texture. The elevation, rotation, and scale of the shamrock symbol instances are all different.

I  started this by creating two textures, a glass texture and a mirror texture. Everything around the Shamrock is glass. I chose Fresnel Color shader and two bright greens for the Glass. I set the Reflection and Transparency Shaders to Glass and accepted the defaults. For the micro I used a different Green and set the Mirror Shader color to white, the Reflectivity to 100% and added a 1.5% Blur. The full image shows both dialogues.

I also created two classes; Glass, and Mirror. I use the classes to assigned colored pens and the textures to objects. Why? Well, because a) that’s the way I roll and b) that’s the best way to do these things in Vectorworks. Especially if you might change our mind about something later. Something designers do do.

I then drew the shamrock using the Polyline Tool, toggling between the Corner Vertex Mode and the point on Arc Mode using the ‘U’ key to move between modes without leaving the tool.

At this point, I could have converted the Polyline object to NURBS and moved the points around a bit in 3D space to create a more leaf like object, but wasn’t my intent here. So I didn’t, but you can, if you like.

Once I had the basic shape, I sized it to 8′-0″ by 8′-0″ in the OIP, and I copied it, as I need three instance of the shape. Then I drew a 1 1/2″ diameter circle and I extruded that along the path of the Polyline Object. I assigned the Glass Class to that object. I then Pasted a new instance of the Shamrock using the Paste in Place command. Paste in Place (Edit>Paste in Place or Command-Option-V) places an object back in the exact place from which it was copied. This places the line in the middle of the tube. With this instance selected, I went to Modify>Convert>Convert to Line Light. I set the color of the light to a bright green in the dialogue and set the brightness to 50%.

If I had wanted that light a specific theatrical gel color, I could done that via the Attributes Palette. With an object selected, the Pen Color in the Attributes Palette can access any color palette created or installed with Vectorworks using the Color Palette Manager button in the top right of the dialogue.

I left the light assigned to the None Class, in case I wanted to isolate the object later.

Next, I pasted another instance of the Polyline in place and then went to Modify>Convert>Convert to 3D Polygons, and then assigned the Glass Class in the OIP.

Previously, I had made a symbol with a colored point light in a Sphere Object. The sphere had been assigned to the Glass Class and the light set to a very low output of 10%. I inserted a few of these around the Shamrock, inside of the glass tube. I added a green spotlight object to provide some overall illumination. Once that was in done, I selected all and went to Modify>Create Symbol.

Symbols help to reduce file size and allow the editing of multiple instances at once. I could also have used the symbol to count the number of pieces required or assigned a data record (like neon or LED footage required) to the symbol for later inventory purposes. In this case, I just wanted to keep the file size manageable and the one symbol means one set of geometry in the file.

Since I had the space, now it was a simple matter of placing and adjusting the symbol instance and rendering away. I almost always use the Final Quality Renderworks rendering mode.



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