New VisualARQ user questions

Hi VisualARQ-Team,

after watching it for quite some time, I’m now a proud owner of a VA-License since a few days…
And I have to say I’m quite impressed about how far you got and about your approach to BIM! Coming from Archicad where handling the smallest issue is mostly very time-consuming or even quite a hassle, I like the openness and flexibility of VA a lot! The fact that you can turn every Rhino Object into a BIM-Object with section-hatching and parameters is just amazing! The HiddenLine Display Mode is really cool! I will for sure dive deeper into VA’s possibilities and try to introduce it in my office. Thanks a lot for your great work!

From my first couple of hours using it, a few questions came up… As I really like the openness of a common forum like this one (opposed to the “closed source” telephone help of Archicad), I’ll post them here… Maybe your answers are interesting for others as well?

I have one (maybe) smaller request and two quite broad questions:

  1. The concept of VA’s Grasshopper styles is amazing! The amount of flexibility it opens up is a dream come true! I realized that insertion-point- (Columns, Stairs, …) and curve-based (Beams…) objects are very easy to do. It’s even possible to incorporate curves and breps as external parameters, but the workflow is a little difficult (create the object, head over to the parameters, reconnect to the curve you want to use as a base…). Unfortunately changes in connected parameters are not updated in VA-objects… It would be great if GH-styled objects could be based on the same base objects as default styles (e.g. a slab based on a curve). And it would be pure joy if a GH-styled Element could be based on any object type and even multiple objects… Would something like that be possible? Are there plans for it?
    In my opinion, it would take already great flexibility to a whole new level…
    Example use case: Let’s say I don’t like the standard VA Space or I want to add a feature that doesn’t (yet) exist there. Maybe I don’t need the (amazing) automatic spacing function, but more styling options for my text fields… I could build a new VA Element that creates a hatch and some kind of text field (for example) and takes the bounding curve and a placement point for the text field position as inputs. Boom, I can style my new Space however I need it.

  2. (A rather heavy one, I know!) When handling bigger projects (maybe two or more buildings), in Archicad one can split those into separate files and link them back together. For example all the bathrooms are in a separate file and linked back into the main file. The architect working on the tiles in the bathrooms works in the bathroom file while another one works in the main file. Maybe all plan drawings are generated in a third file and all details are sitting in a fourth one. This makes every single file less heavy and whenever someone is working on a specific theme, he only needs to launch a certain single file. Can be quite a time saver.
    In Rhino, there is the concept of Worksessions, which gives the basis for exactly this usage. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to transport VA-information over (yet). Are there plans to introduce something like this, to make VA objects Worksession-compatible?

  3. (And another heavy one…) I realized that there are a few questions here on the forum regarding new features which you answer with something like “It’s on the list, we will keep you posted…”. Is there some kind of roadmap or tracking system (like Rhino’s YouTrack system) which is publicly avaliable? If not do you have plans to make the ranking of features you will be working on next somehow visible? I know that this is quite a high demand but as I am very interested in where things are heading to this would be an amazing resource to have…

Wow, quite a wall of text, sorry!
Would be great if you could share your thoughts on some of those questions…
Keep up the amazing work!

Best, Romuald

Hi Romuald,
Thanks for your kind words and interesting requests.
Find below the comments:

Take into account that when VA objects are created from curves, they are not linked to them anymore, but they integrate their control points. You can delete the input curve and keep on working with the VA objects. Same happens when they are created as “Grasshopper styles”.

That’s planned! Slabs and roofs should ask for a boundary curve when they are created as Grasshopper styles, and we will implement this in version 3.

That’s also planned. Well, we plan to make VA Elements have a point, a curve, or a surface as input geometry. We will study also the option to have multiple input geometry as well.

  1. VisualARQ doesn’t support worksessions (it’s planned for future versions). However, you can also work with blocks so they can be edited by different people and insert them into a Master file. But the blocks must be inserted as embeded and linked blocks, in order the plan view representation, section hatches, etc…look fine in the master file.

  2. We have an internal “YouTrack”, but it’s not public. We add there all votes of wishes from users and let them know when they are done. We may make it public someday, but there are no plans yet in a short term. We are already working on version 3 (I can’t say when it will be released), where we will add all the new features. More options to work with VA GH styles, link objects to levels or the IFC4 support are some of the major new features and most requested ones. I’ve already added your votes, so feel free to share further suggestions!
    Kind regards,

Romuald,
good to see other people wish for the same things… I use VA for like 5 years now, almost every workday. There are many cool things, but plenty of room for improvement also… =}

Would be really cool! We talked about this. Point clouds (for e.g. terrain), bunch of curves (for lofts of sorts), etc.

I wished for that, too, but didn’t think about the fact that in Rhino worksessions the objects are locked, regardless of VA. And VA objects, like walls, may want to change/update themselves when they are in proximity. How would that go together?

Keep it up, please!
Best regards
Eugen