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Message - Re: DW books, documentation???

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Posted by  Kevin Matthews on March 14, 2001 at 13:01:21:

In Reply to:  DW books, documentation??? posted by Daniel Zajic on March 14, 2001 at 06:57:07:

Dear Daniel,

Thanks for speaking up. If you're experiencing this, then I'm sure others are too.

Compared to most CAD and 3D software, DesignWorkshop provides a set of simpler, more general tools, so the structure of learning tends to be a bit different.

Ironically, most of the third-party how-to information I've seen published about DesignWorkshop has appeared in Japanese, including a book (ISBN 4-534-02734-6) and various tutorial articles in PAD magazine. Unfortunately, I don't know of any magazine in the US that publishes the richness of tutorial information avaialble in any of several CAD and 3D magazines in Japan.

Artifice would be very happy to support any capable author interested in developing an English-language DesignWorkshop how-to book, which could be published either by Artifice or by one of the standard how-to book publishers. This would be a great thing for DesignWorkshop users, and with more than 600,000 registered users, there should be plenty of market for a good book.

I bet the members of this forum would be willing to help by suggesting topics, and maybe even contributing examples. Bob Sprague has already done some fine work in the documentation area with the booklets that come with the PAKs, especially KitchenPAK and HomePAK.

Getting back to the here-and-now... Typically there are two general stages to learning DesignWorkshop modeling. The first stage is to understand each of the tools, how it works, and what functions it can perform. This is where the standard tutorials are aimed, and this process seems to go pretty quickly for most people. If there are some specific areas where the existing tutorials miss in working throug the tool basics, we'd love to hear about it, and I'll pledge the resources to improve them accordingly.

The second stage in learning DesignWorkshop is a lot more diverse, so your very specific input on what kind of information is wanted will be even more helpful. Once the tools are understood, then this stage consists of building up one's kit of techniques for accomplishing common tasks.

Which tasks are common for one user will not be common for some other users, however. Tutorial needs also vary according to which specific associated software people use with DesignWorkshop (2D: AutoCAD, PowerCADD, IntelliCAD, AutoCAD LT, VectorWorks; Rendering: Artlantis, RenderCity, Lightscape, Desktop Radiance; Painting: Photoshop, Picture Publisher, Piranesi; etc.) as well as the task area (conceptual design; schematic design; 3D->2D rendering and illustration; design visualization; 3D planning and layout; mechanical sketching; live 3D marketing tools; etc.)

This forum is a great immediate resource, and don't forget the full text search engine to help you mine the archives for useful info. If you pose specific questions here, you will usually get very useful answers from DesignWorkshop users and Artifice staff as well.

And if we can identify specific needs for more Stage Two tutorials, Artifice will be happy to invest in those as well. Key word, specific!

Best wishes,

Kevin Matthews
Artifice, Inc.

PS: Although Artifice tends to use version numbers relatively sparingly, the most recent updates to DesignWorkshop on both platforms were released in the year 2000.


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