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Savvy Symbol Section

version 2.0.0

Users Guide


Created by Joshua Benghiat

Joshua Benghiat Lighting Design



Requirements | Installation | Support

Getting Started

Adding to your Workspace | RegistrationOverview

In Detail

Object Info Parameters | Changing Default Parameters | Using Classes to Control Detail | Editing Section Parts | Using Your Own Symbols





Vectorworks 12 or higher



If you haven't already, download the Savvy Section Installer from the JBLD downloads page.

  1. The installer package must remain a zip file. If your system automatically unzips archives, right-click on the download link and select “Save Link As” to prevent your browser from auto-expanding the download.
  2. In Vectorworks, select Tools > Plug-ins > Plug-in Manager
  3. Select the Third-party plug-ins tab
  4. Click the Install… button
  5. Navigate to and select the saved installer zip file
  6. Read and confirm the EULA
  7. Vectorworks should notify you that installation is complete and to restart Vectorworks

If you experience trouble with the install script, please see the following FAQ on where plug-ins install


Please visit http://BenghiatLighting.com/software/support for support options and to report bugs.  


You may also email software(at)BenghiatLighting.com.


Getting Started

To use the Savvy Section object, you must either add it to your Workspace.  Note, that if you are upgrading from the Source Four Savvy Section, this is a completely seperate tool to add to your Workspace.


Adding to your Workspace

To add Savvy Section to an existing workspace:

  1. Select Tools>Workspaces>Workspace Editor.
  2. Select the Tools tab.
  3. Click the disclosure triangle next to JBLD in the list of Tools categories on the left hand side.
  4. Drag all the Savvy Symbol Section Plug-Ins Objects to an existing palette on the right or create a new palette.
  5. Click OK.

SO2 Workspace Editor


The first time you use the Savvy Section, you will be asked for a registration number.  You can also access the registration dialog through the "About" button in the Object Info palette.  The Savvy Section will not draw without a valid code. 


The Savvy Symbol Section allows you to draw detailed 2D sections at any hanging angle, with any clamp, or barrel type, and add scrollers, top hats, and half hats.

The Savvy Section is a Plug-In Object, meaning you can draw any configuration with a single object using user-definable parameters.  You can edit an object’s parameters in the Object Info Palette.

 Insert in the Drawing

Select the Savvy Symbol Section icon from the tool set to which you added it.  Insert in the drawing like a symbol.

Alternatively, you can create red symbols or object styles and add pre-configured secitons from your resource browser.

In Detail

Object Info Parameters

As with all Plug-In Objects, the first time you place a Savvy Section in a document, Vectorworks will ask you for default parameters.  You can set the default object parameters for the document by selecting the object’s tool, then clicking on the parameters button Plug_In_Pref_Button in the mode bar.



X,Y The insertion point is the center of the pipe or sidearm.
Style The Savvy Symbol Section supports object styles. Use this menu to apply, create, or modify a Style definition for the Section. Section styles appear as “red” symbols in the Resource Manager, and specifies whether parameters reference the style definition. For more information, see Concept: Plug-in Object Styles in Vectorworks help.
Hide Style Parameters Enable this option to hide any parameters linked to a style definition.
Inst. Type

Choose from a catalog of instrument types. You can select form the following:

Selected symbol - By default, you can also choose any 2D or 3D symbol to use as the basis of the Section object.
Source Four
Source Four Mini
Source Four PAR
Source Four Fresnel
Source Four Lustr
Desire D20
Desire D40
Desire D60


If you have a catalog symbol selected, you may also specify a barrel type. You can select from the following:

Standard (50–19 degree)
Zoom 15–30
Zoom 25–50
Lustre cyc

Symbol The name of the specified symbol. Useful to copy and paste a non-catalog symbol.
Warning Feedback after selecting an invalid section symbol displays here
Symbol component For user-defined symbols, select whether using the 2D component or a flattened 3D section.
Add fill To save rendering time, a flattened 3D symbol displays as an unfilled hidden line render. Once you have configured the symbol, enable this option to add a solid fill.
Standard View:

Select from a menu of standard view options. For flattened 3D symbols, you can also specify any plan rotation.
The following options are available:

Side <
45 < (A 45 degree box boom-type angle)
45 >
Side >

NOTE: Front views round to the nearest 45°

Plan Rotation The imagined plan rotation of the instrument you are viewing on section. As with the Top/Plan view, 0 is facing into the page and 180 faces away from the page, the “Front” view. Choosing a Standard View automatically enters this angle.
Yoke Angle Specify an angle to “yoke” the unit forward or back from vertical. Note, this currently only displays the unit correctly in 2D side views or some 3D views. 0 is straight down.  Enter 180 to top yoke the unit.
SO Screen Shots-01
Body Angle

The tilt angle of the body from straight down.

In front view, the angle is rounded to the nearest 45 degrees. Use a negative angle to flip the light upside down (ie. flip the gel clip, etc.).

Flip Press this button to flip the view left to right (e.g. change from a front light to a back light)
3D Components
Show Clamp/Base Render the 3D part tagged as the “Base.” Unselect to use one of the 2D symbol options
Plan Rotate Clamp/Base If you show the base, choose its plan orientation. Useful for showing the orientation of a moving light base.
Show yoke Render the 3D part tagged as the “Yoke.” Unselect for the Savvy Section to draw its own yoke.
Draw clearance circle Draw a clearance circle around the instrument, including accessories. For catalog instruments, this is based on a known radius. Otherwise, this is a best guess from the symbol’s geometry.
Clearance circle class Specify a class for the Clearance Circle. By default, this uses the same class as the Savvy Section object instance.

Select from the following types of clamps and views:

C Clamp-Side
C CLamp-Front
Mini Clamp-Side
Mini Clamp-Front
Floor Plate


Number Display multiple clamps, for example when hanging a moving light.
Separation If showing multiple clamps, the distance between them
Show Pipe Enable to show a 2" pipe in section
Draw Yoke Enable for the Savvy Section to create the yoke for the section. Works in any view. Enabled by default for catalog symbols.
Yoke Length The distance from the bottom of the clamp to the pivot point. Automatically entered for catalog and flattened 3D symbols.
Yoke Width The inside width of the yoke. Useful for non-side views. This value also affects the placement of the Handle in non-side views.

Show the section in a short-yoke position.

SO Screen Shots-05

Yoke Handle

Draw a yoke-tilt handle or bolts. You may select from the following:

Clutch (Default)

Scroller Enable to draw a scroller. Scrollers in views other than side (any tilt) or front with a 90-degree tilt may take a couple seconds to calculate their geometry.
Scroller Size Choose from a selection of scroller sizes. Choosing a catalog symbol will automatically select the most logical size.
CXI Select this option to select a double scroller, like the CXI, which is typically fatter.
Accessory Enable this option to draw the selected accessory in front of the lens or scroller.
Accessory Type

Choose from the following:

Top Hat Full
Top Hat Half (a.k.a. Eyelash)
Top Hat Full Short (Half depth)
Top Hat Half Short
Barn Door
Gel frame

Accessory Size Choose from a selection of accessory sizes. Choosing a catalog symbol or barrel will automatically select the frame size. You can also specify a custom frame size. Note, some scrollers take a different accessory size than the adaptor plate they use. Please consult manufacturer specifications for to confirm accessory sizes for use with scrollers.
Custom Size Enter a value if you have selected the Custom size. Some catalog units, like Source Four Minis or Desires will enter the appropriate custom size here.
Half hat position If you have selected a Half Hat, select how that Hat should orient in the unit.
Color Extender In addition to the accessory, display a color extender.
Adjust V If the accessory slot does not align with the center of the unit’s tilt point, this value will adjust the accessory up or down.
Adjust H Use this value to adjust the accessory (and scroller) away from or towards the lens.

Set preferences for the Savvy Symbol Section

Default insertion class: Choose a class for new Section objects. You can also opt to insert labels in the active class.

Component class prefix: All catalog symbols use three classes to separate the main section, large details, and small details. Enter a base class name for building these three classes. Any symbol components imported by the Savvy Symbol Section will adapt to this base class.

Symbol Folder: Select a folder for importing needed Section resources. The Savvy Symbol Section will maintain s few sub-folders within this folder.

Make default for all new documents: Select this option for these settings to be default values for all future new Vectorworks documents.

About… See version and registration information


Changing Default Parameters

To change the default parameters for all new documents, choose Tools>Scripts>VectorScript Plug-in Editor…, select Savvy Symbol Section, click the Parameters button, and edit the default values.  Please note, if you install an update the object, you will have to redo these custom settings.


Using Classes to Control Detail

The Savvy Section's components are divided into three classes:

  • Symbols-Section
  • Symbols-Section-Large Detail
  • Symbols-Section-Detail
SO Screen Shots-03

You can take advantage of the classing in two ways.  Firstly, you can hide or gray either of the detail levels to show varying levels of detail.  Secondly, all objects have their attributes set by class.  This means you can edit the default attributes for these classes, and the look of the Savvy Sections will adjust accordingly.


Editing Section Parts

Further customization of the Savvy Section is possible by editing the Section Parts Vectorworks file.  You can edit any of the component parts in this file to your liking, including shape, attributes, and class.  The only things you should NOT CHANGE are the size and insertion points of the component symbols, or the section parts will not assemble properly.


Using Your Own Symbols

Savvy Symbol Section provides an option to make any symbol into a Savvy Section. You have two options for working with non-catalog symbols:

2D Symbols

Specify any 2D symbol for use with Savvy Symbol Section. This can be a symbol used for a Lighting Device (like a Fresnel or PAR that may work well in plan or section) you a section you have drawn according to manufacturer specifications.

For side sections, orient the 2D symbol as you would to prepare it for use with lighting devices, pointing towards the top of the page, with the insertion point at the tilt pivot point. The bottom of the unit should face the left of the page. At this point, the symbol is ready to be savvy, though you may want to attach the data record described below for improved accuracy.

All front and angled view symbols are un-rotated (they should appear how they will in the section), with the insertion point at the pan / tilt pivot point.

3D Symbols

Any Spotlight-ready symbol should work with the Savvy Symbol Section. Please see the Spotlight Help section on assigning parts to 3D symbols.

Attaching the Savvy Section Info record

User-defined symbols should have the Savvy Section Info record attached. The record contains the following data:

YOKE LENGTH: distance from the top of the yoke to the pivot point

YOKE WIDTH: the width of the yoke, from center to center

SLOT OFFSET: the distance from the tilt axis to the center of the front accessory slot.

SLOT ADJUST V: If the lens is not at the midpoint of the tilt axis, enter an offset


CLEARANCE RADIUS: The radius of the clearance for the instrument.

2D VIEW: Plan rotation.

HAS BARREL: Enable if this instrument has a barrel symbol

CUSTOM YOKE: If this symbol uses its own yoke symbol, enter the name here (with out the suffix -side, -front, etc.)

If a value is not needed, set to zero.
To accommodate units, these are text fields. You can use any units, but you must include units.
Examples: 12.5”, 218mm, 7cm, 1’2.5”

Last Updated on Friday, 01 December 2017 00:20
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