Is DesignWorkshop still being developed?

Discuss DesignWorkshop design-oriented 3D CAD and associated CAD and architectural rendering and design media topics. Moderated by the Artifice support team.

Is DesignWorkshop still being developed?

Postby bleau » Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:26 pm

Hi there!

I download DesignWorkshop Lite 1.8 (M$ Windows version) two weeks ago to evaluate if DesignWorkshop Classic would suit my needs. Looking in the Help->About DesignWorkshop Lite splash screen and in the readme file, it seemed to me that the program was last built in 1998! So, before I commit more time to learn how to efficiently use this software, I'd like to know if it's still being actively developed, with bugfixes and additions of new features, or if it has come to some dead-end, with development stalled.

The program seemed very usefull, but they are some bugs that would need to be fixed.

I sent that question to support@artifice.com last week; no answer. Then, earlier this week I used the Technical Support Request Form at
http://www.artifice.com/support/online_support.html for the same question; I received the following automated ack:

"Hello,

Thank you for requesting technical support from Artifice.

Your Technical Support Request has been sent to us, and here is a copy of it for your reference.

..."

But still no answer. Anybody in this forum knowing about DesignWorkshop development status?
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Postby Kevin » Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:38 pm

André, I'm sorry to hear the support staff missed your questions! That doesn't happen so often, and we try not to have it happen at all. All I can imagine is that with a key support person getting married last weekend, staff was short and your inquiries unfortunately slipped by. (The wedding was a great success, though! ;) )

With regard to your basic question, yes, DesignWorkshop is very much still under development. We've been investing significantly in some fairly deep key technologies, as we work toward a major new version.

On the one hand, many of our long term DesignWorkshop users have expressed that they are anxious to get their hands on what we put out next, just as soon as they can.

On the other hand, I continue to hear from them that DesignWorkshop, with its unique 3D direct-manipulation user interface, is an extremely productive and creative tool for them right now, day to day.

For specific working questions, this forum, and the staff support channels you've mentioned, are generally most effective!
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Postby bleau » Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:25 am

Good to hear that DW is still being developed. Was there any release or bugfix since 1998?

I agree that the current version is useful and pleasant to use. Unfortunately, it is plagued by some bugs. To name a few:

1. Shadow casting crashes in some cases. I submited a test case showing it to support@artifice.com two weeks ago.

2. Attributing objects to layers sometime crashes.

3. The eye tool behaves erraticaly after a zoom to a small object.

I'm willing to submit more test cases to support@artifice.com, if they are acted upon and could lead to bug fixes in a reasonable time frame.
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Postby Mike Wheeler » Fri Aug 27, 2004 1:37 pm

Dear Andre,

Thank you for following up with Artifice.

The test case you submitted a few weeks ago would have been handled by the support person who is now on his honeymoon, so I don't know what he discovered from that.

I have never seen or heard of DesignWorkshop crashing by changing the phase of an object. Please submit a model that exhibits this behavior, along with step by step details of how you are changing the phase.

As far as I know the Eye Tool always behaves correctly. Its behavior may seem erratic if you are zoomed in two dimensionally, especially if the zoom is off center. It may also seem erattic when looking at a small object if the Look Point is beyond the object you are viewing. When using the Eye Tool the eye point revolves around the look point at a constant distance. If the look point is not where you think it is the view may change in unexpected ways.

You can set the location of the look with the 3D crosshair by choosing the Look Tool and then holding down the Control key for Windows, or Command key for Mac. This will bring up the 3D crosshair and once you position it at the desired look point simply click the mouse. The same technique works for setting the eye point by using the Eye Tool.

Best wishes,

Mike Wheeler
support@artifice.com
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Postby bleau » Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:41 pm

Thanks for responding, Mike

The test case you submitted a few weeks ago would have been handled by the support person who is now on his honeymoon, so I don't know what he discovered from that.


OK; I can wait until he/she comes back. There's nothing like a fresh bug after a honeymoon. :wink:

I have never seen or heard of DesignWorkshop crashing by changing the phase of an object. Please submit a model that exhibits this behavior, along with step by step details of how you are changing the phase.


Here's my crash recipe:

1- Create a new model with a single object in it. Any polygon will do.
2- Close the "Object Info" window.
3- Open the Phases window (Ctrl-L).
4- Create a new phase; Untitled will do. Do NOT select it as the current phase. Press Apply.
5- Re-open the Object Info widow (Ctrl-I).
7- In the "Object Info" window, verify that the phase you just created is available in the menu, but do not change the phase of the object to it.
6- Go back to the Phases window and delete the phase you just created. Press Apply.
7- In the "Object Info" window, select the phase you just deleted as the phase for the object. Kaboom! :evil:

An error window appears:

Assertion Failed:
(index > 0)&(index <= numItems)
File:
E:\altura\TCLMac2Win\Core_Classes\Core_Sources\CArray.cpp

As far as I know the Eye Tool always behaves correctly. Its behavior may seem erratic if you are zoomed in two dimensionally, especially if the zoom is off center. It may also seem erattic when looking at a small object if the Look Point is beyond the object you are viewing. When using the Eye Tool the eye point revolves around the look point at a constant distance. If the look point is not where you think it is the view may change in unexpected ways.

You can set the location of the look with the 3D crosshair by choosing the Look Tool and then holding down the Control key for Windows, or Command key for Mac. This will bring up the 3D crosshair and once you position it at the desired look point simply click the mouse. The same technique works for setting the eye point by using the Eye Tool.


Two problems here:
A- If you zoom on an object that it opposite to you with respect to the look point and then use the Eye Tool, you're turning around some point that lies behind you, so left becomes right, up becomes down. That's counter-intuitive, but I can live with that "feature".
B- More serious: many times, the Look Tool doesn't work:

1- Open the very simple eyeBug.dw file attached. Maximize the window, and toggle on Shading (Ctrl-R). There should be 4 polygons: red at Southeast, blue at Southwest, yellow at Northwest, purple at Northeast. The red one should be the closest to you.

2- Using the 2D zoom-in tool, zoom closely on the yellow polygon by drawing a zoom box around it but not much else. This should give you a close view of that polygon, with a high zoom factor (~800%).

3- Select that polygon and space-jump to the top corner closest to you.

4- Now select the Look tool, press the Ctrl-key and put the 3D crosshair at the same corner. Press the mouse button; the polygon shifts erraticaly to the left and below instead of becoming the new "look at" object.

5- Now select the Eye tool and move around. You're obviously not going around the Look point that was selected at step 4-.

Voilà.

I have a few more bugs, but they can wait a little. I'll try to build easy test cases for them too.
Attachments
eyeBug.dw
File to demonstrate the Eye and Look Tools bug.
(33.25 KiB) Downloaded 1134 times
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Postby Mike Wheeler » Fri Aug 27, 2004 6:41 pm

I will look into your phase crash recipe. It should not crash in those circumstances, as weird as they may be. :)

I stand by my assertion that the Eye Tool works properly in all the cases you mention.

In the first case if the Eye Point comes within 5 feet of the Look Point the Look Point is pushed along the view vector (or the ground plane if it hits the ground) to prevent the left becoming right, up becoming down situation you mention.

In your eyeBug case the issue is you are zooming in two dimensionally off-center, so when you are zoomed in on the yellow block the look point is off screen (below and to the left of the screen). When you reset the look point your 2D zoom settings are not affected, so the proper view is above and to the side of the yellow block, as you describe. Furthermore since the Look point is off screen (due to your off center 2D zoom) the movement of the Eye Tool may seem unusual, but it is correct.

The solution to more predictible eye movement is to use the Eye Tool to move closer to an object, rather than the 2D zoom tools to zoom in, especially when zooming in off center.

Best wishes,

Mike Wheeler
support@artifice.com
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