On startup I am greeted with a startup screen that looks much like the native ACA version. Actually it is with the addition of the VisionRez Logo. I have used the UK shortcut which I expected to start VR in metric. But it appears that the startup logo is the only thing different and I am back in plain ACA land. I only explored quickly so I could be wrong.
Ulp! There are no VR toolbars present! So I closed up anxious to see the VR I have read so much about. So I close the UK version and this time I use the VR U.S. shortcut and try out the version with those feet and inches - oo I feel so ancient! Now I am greeted with an obviously modified layout. Some of the VR tool icons look quite dated. Not up to the grey (where there heck is that tool again?) look of 2010. But I bet you can find stuff, let's see.
You can now see the additional VR toolbars and menu's spread across the robbin. It comes with tutorial pdf's. The quickview pdf is 66 pages !
VR works on a set system so you will need to change your work process to match. It has it's own idea of layers, view configuration, display representations etc. The strength of AutoCAD (ACA) is it's customability. The weakness of AutoCAD (ACA) is it's .....customability. Having everyone do their own thing hurts sharing and is especially evident in an office where you have a maverick who won't learn the office protocols. You open a drawing and have no idea how or why this drawing is set up like it is. So really having VR step in and say, "this is the way it's going to happen" can be really a good thing especially when they have thought it right thru. Did I mention that they use their own product in production so it's developed and sold by users to other users. Surely a good combination. I may not agree with everything they have done but it works. There is some flexibility (much if you want to work hard). VR does't need the PN and works naterally with a 1 file approach (yay!) but you can use the project navigator if you wish (which is a good idea for large projects). VR works with layers. Lots of them. I don't like lots of layers and I work with manipulating layers a lot. But this is a personal issue and not one I see anyone else complain about. If the process & tools largely make the layering system in the background then that too can be a good thing.
The VR ribbone with access to the palletes is a lot easier to read than ACA's new monotone version which is so bland you can't find anything cause you get bored looking. Icons are cute but you can read a lot faster than you can learn a vague icon that changes every couple of years. Actually here as VR has moved from toolbars to the ribbon, text has been introduced which is an improvement. The level & Layer controls and backgrounds look really gawky and not very sophisticated but they are very clear and I can imagine existing users getting very upset if VR refined them to conform with blandland.
The American residential market is largely framed whereas the local market in Perth is double brick (but changing). In the eastern states brick veneer is often used. Our setout line is the external perimeter, sized to suit the brick lengths, reduce cutting resulting in a neater and cheaper finish. Not so in VR. Masonry walls are set out from the external face of the internal stud wall and I believe New Zealand does this as well. Framing is king! VR also splits the internal & external leafs of the external wall and I would assume this is so it can effectively quantify and frame each leaf. In base ACA you cannot really quantify cavity wall and get accurate quantities unless your wall shape is dead simple.
So I work through the tutorial and create a house, tracing over a 2d plan. It's kinda familar and kinda different and definitely fun. I do have more om my experience with VR to reveal.