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Short Sharp Trainings

Short Sharp Trainings are produced by Jonathan Pickup of Archoncad Limited,the leading third party trainer for Vectorworks, and they are designed to help a Vectorworks user build his/her skill level with a minimum investment of time and money. The trainings are based upon a monthly webinar session between Jonathan and a small group of users, and take the form of demonstrations by Jonathan and questions and answers between the participants and Jonathan. Jonathan addresses the topics to the users' specific areas of interest, based on their occupations and work styles. After the monthly session takes place, Jonathan turns the content into a well organized, downloadable PDF manual that has a variety of useful video clips imbedded into it. Subscribers to the monthly webinars have access to past topics and they are also for sale at a very modest price to non-subscribers (something like $22 american).

Topics of the short sharps that I've read/watched/used/referred to include: 3D modelling, complex roof design, building libraries, construction details, annotation, building an asset data base, construction documents, using the camera match tool, site modelling.... I find these trainings to be exactly geared to my attention span and memory. Most trainings take me between 30 and 90 minutes to go through initially, including practice exercises, and then I'll typically refer back to them sporadically as I integrate the new techniques into my tool chest of skills. Jonathan has been very generous with his time in answering questions that come about as a result of building new skills and using the software at a much higher level. Along with the monthly sessions, I typically download one or two back issues a month to use and review - depending on what I'm working on in my day to day. As each new project or part of a project comes up, I'll try to" sharpen" a skill relevent to it. When I started the small house that I'm working on now, I started tweaking my libraries, resource browser, defaults, workspaces, title blocks... all from skills in "building a library" and "customizing vectorworks" - short sharp trainings. On one of my last jobs that had a complicated site plan, I reviewed the "building site plans" training before starting, and the site plan went easier and smoother than it ever had before.

I would highly recommend the short sharp trainings to anyone who wants to sharpen their own skill-set, especially given that the investment is so modest and the potential benefits are so great.

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