I’ve started attending a Vectorworks user group in Santa Barbara that meets once a month to discuss, teach, and learn new ways to use Vectorworks software in a more efficient and awesome way. I use Vectorworks for all of my theatrical lighting plots, and I’m mainly self-taught. Aside from two days when my friend Chrissie Munich tried to explain to me how to plot lights onto a plot, I’ve been muddling through on my own.
It’s a very powerful drafting program, and I only use a small percentage of its abilities. I’ve never done any 3D work in Vectorworks, and I’ve certainly never done any rendering inside the program. I’m trying to fix that. I am slowly learning how to build 3D elements (I’m starting super slow, I’ve only built a few things, and I’m not nearly competent yet) like the GMCLA risers, and I’m even placing some of the lighting positions actually in the mounting heights that they will actually use in a show.
The best and worst parts of the class are the same thing – the class is in Santa Barbara. It takes me about an hour and a half to get there, and two hours to get home afterwards. It’s an astonishing drive out to Santa Barbara: refreshing, beautiful and humbling. Driving back is not. At 10:30pm, I can barely manage to get back home without falling asleep. There was a time when driving home at that time wouldn’t have fazed me. And yet now… oh, my.
And yet, I am pushing on. The vectorworker in me must be trained!