VW2018 plugins

I recently found a bug in the VW2018 plugin for Artlantis 2019 and raised the problem via ticket to the Artlantis team. The bug involved reflection values and « diffuse » colours for procedural shaders which would change with each export « update » to the original file, until « diffuse » was white and/ or reflection was .999. Artlantis acknowledged the bug and asked me to use the « reference file workaround » until they could fix the bug…

The workaround is not really a solution - I can have up to 300 shaders in one model and might update 10 times per day during design development phase - their workaround easily adds an hour to my workday… My alternative is to turn off all reflection, which is what I do, but that is not a solution either, as it lessens render quality…

Two months later no fix, and I notice now the website has removed « Artlantis 2019 » from all plugin versions of VW older than 2019 - is this how the bug is fixed? Withdraw the plugin from service and ask us to upgrade our newly bought CAD software as well? I bought VW2018 just 9 months ago to use Artlantis 7.0?

This is getting silly… We are asked to pay to upgrade Artlantis twice in 1 year, major flaws remain unfixed, and we are not even given plugins for current CAD programmes…considering we are only 5 months into 2019 I would still consider VW2018 relatively current… Am I the only one experiencing these problems?


Thanks for your feedback.
When we discovered the « Update existing file » issue in the Vectorwork 2018 export plugin, we have asked the Vectorworks export plugin developper to build a Vectorworks 2018 export plugin for Artlantis 2019.

Unfortunately he told us they have stopped all development for Vectorworks 2018 since December 2018. So the only solution is to use the « Use reference file » workaround.

Could you explain to me why using « Use reference file » in Artlantis instead of using « Update existing file » in Vectorworks is adding over an hour in your workflow ?

What is your workflow ?
Mine would be :
Step 1- Open a file in Vectorworks 2018 and work on it
Step 2- Export to Artlantis V7 without checking « Update existing file »
Step 3- In Artlantis 2019, Open the exported atl file and work on it
Step 4- In Artlantis 2019, Save file as « Reference File.atl »
Step 5- In Vectorkworks 2018, make changes to your project
Step 6- In Vectorkworks 2018, Export to Artlantis V7 without checking « Update existing file »
Step 7- In Artlantis 2019, Open newly exported atl file
Step 8- In Artlantis 2019, « Use reference file » with the file « Reference File.atl » saved in step 4
Step 9- In Artlantis 2019, Work on the project
Step 10- Continue with Step 4

So the only added step is Step 8: In Artlantis 2019, « Use reference file » with the file « Reference File.atl » saved in step 4
when using « Use reference file » in Artlantis instead of using « Update existing file » in Vectorworks.

Is it really adding so much time to your workflow ?

Best regards,

Hi Camille -

It is just lazy to tell your users that just because something doesn’t work as it should we should complicate our workflow rather than ask you to fix it to work as it should… Artlantis’ claim to fame is its ease of use, this makes it less easy… If I tried this on my clients "Oh sorry, the light switches don’t work, do you mind switching on the lights from the DB box, its only in the next room) I would be fired…

You launched Artlantis 2019 with a VW2018 plugin, prompting users like me to buy. When a bug was discovered you simply deleted the plugin with lots of excuses - that is just not right…

Yes it adds an hour to my workflow in a typical day…a couple minutes per « reference », maybe updating 2-3 times per hour as I get into small details, over 12 hours can add up… Despite the fact that Artlantis 2019 was released before December 2018 (meaning the plugin was buggy on release and your developer just can’t be bothered to fix his own mistakes) I have the following issues:

  • on large files (200Mb+) the « reference file » step is slooooow
  • on large files the « reference file » step often crashes Artlantis
  • the new 'referenced" file doesn’t reopen to the last image I was working on, in fact it creates a new image I need to delete, and then scroll through to find the previous… if I have 30-40 cameras this can also take time and just be annoying… especially since your camera thumbnails don’t always update properly…
  • I cannot do incremental upgrades with ‹ reference file › - If I don’t import everything one step (objects, lights, shaders) then the references in an image get lost and have to be set up again. If the file is large and continually crashes, for whatever reason, then I have to go back and re-set all light groups, object groups, etc that don’t get « referenced ».

And to suggest that those of us who upgraded to VW18 in the latter half of 2018 (to use Artlantis 7.0) should turn around and buy another upgrade 6 months later just to use Artlantis 2019 which, lets be honest, was released so quickly to address problems in 7.0…

Some pride in your product and its delivery would be greatly appreciated. I am a big fan of Artlantis in principle but am getting increasingly frustrated with the problems being placed upon users in the name of ‹ advancement ›…