New Features in Vectorworks 2015 Deliver Faster Workflows

Decay or Design?
September 29, 2014
Published! Vectorworks for Entertainment Design by Kevin Lee Allen
October 21, 2014

New Features in Vectorworks 2015 Deliver Faster Workflows

Post originally published on Planet Vectorworks

By Kevin Lee Allen, Scenic & Lighting Designer, KLAD

I’ve been beta testing Vectorworks 2015 since the spring, and it’s so feature-rich that I can’t decide on a favorite. Many enhancements have become integral to my workflow, and I can’t remember life without them. For example, I do a lot of modeling and rendering. The 64-bit speed of Vectorworks 2015 has seriously cut back on my time for coffee. I no longer remember what was like to work in 32-bit mode anymore than I remember what it was like to work on my Mac Quadra 800. However, I do know that I can produce great work in less time than it takes to get that cup of coffee.

Kevin's client commissioned this design, which is literally a set for a meeting, to impress a potential celebrity partner.

Renderworksartistic edge effects can stylize renderings, offering a realistic, hand-drawn overlay to a normally more photographic rendering. Artists and designers can customize these looks to their taste or to reflect a style developed over many years. The artistic edges feature can also humanize a rendering, giving clients and collaborators the sense that the design is a work in progress to which they might contribute. Often, a photographic rendering can appear too finished for clients to sign on to the design. It’s psychological, but clients need to take ownership. Artistic edges therefore help designers sell their ideas.

Another feature I love is the new 3D Hatching for Hidden Line Rendering. Texture definitions can now automatically include hatches showing, for example, a brick hatch on a 2D elevation of a brick wall. This is just one more way to clearly communicate design ideas.


Kevin’s rendering portrays a fantasy fashion environment.

Before rendering, the new Deform tool can create objects that will cause carpenters, sculptors, and welders to seriously hate you. The Deform tool includes the Twist Solid tool, which was introduced in 2014 as a tool mode. Additionally, the tool will twist the face, taper, bulge, and bend 3D solid objects. This is fast, easy, and very cool.

Designers in the entertainment field will appreciate new stage objects in Vectorworks Spotlight that are incredible for creating camera platforms at fashion shows, concerts, meetings, houses of worship, and special events. These tools can maintain a database of inventory. Soft goods, speaker objects, and video/television/LED screens received improvements, too, and the Stage Lift object has been added.

Those of us who also design lighting feel some love from the folks at Nemetschek Vectorworks with this release. Lighting positions no longer have to be saved as symbols, and the geometry of a lighting position can now be directly edited. Plus, the new Curtain Wall tools in the Designer and Architect packages allow for the rapid creation of event spaces, theatre spaces, and/or sets.

Last, but certainly not least, I cannot live without the new Vectorworks Remote App that connects mobile devices to Vectorworks. The app lets you view, navigate, and present your designs without having to be at your desktop. It is also terrific for navigating while designing.

Have fun exploring these and all the new features in Vectorworks 2015 at


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