Hello forum. I wanted to gain your opinion. I am based in the UK and have used ACAD LT for 15 years. For several years I have been considering changing software and VW is at the top of my list as clients often want 3D views. i discounted Revit and ACAD Architecture on the grounds of cost and licensing.
My work is mostly domestic extensions, some new build and a little commercial work - all fairly small scale but it earns me a living. I don't have loads of money or time to go on courses and do most of my learning from books whilst I work.
I have spent some time mastering Sketchup this last year and have produced some good models which gives me a 3D model but it is limited in presentation as Layout is awful to use - very slow and very time consuming for detailed drawings. I don't think that you can produce construction drawings in Sketchup efficiently. I'm not saying it cant be done but I think it takes longer than it should. So I think that you need to combine Sketchup with another program to produce construction drawings but it seems wrong to me to be working in two programmes and switching between the two.
The appeal of 3D for me is that the sections are automatically generated which can be a big time saver but I don't want it to take longer to build a 3D model than it would to draw the plans elevations and sections separately. I also like that when you move a window for example, the plans and elevations automatically update by default so you don't get inconsistencies between drawings.
I have VW11 (Fundamentals) which I have never used. I was thinking of upgrading to VW Architect 2011 which will cost around ?1000.
I am concerned that it will take me a long time to learn VW, it will slow my work rate down so that earning becomes difficult during the learning process and that it will not give me the end result that I am hoping to achieve. I would like an attractive 3D colour model with material renderings (not necessarily photo real). Being in the UK we do a lot of work with brick buildings, rough cut stone, roof tiles etc. Most examples of what I have seen in VW are shiny glass buildings with smooth cladding and render or siding. Will it produce attractive images for traditional English materials?
In 2D I can produce a decent set of drawings in quite a short time period. I assume that building the 3D model will be more time consuming? I am hoping that you are going to tell me that it is easy to learn and as quick or quicker to use than LT.......and that what you tell me is true.
I was also unsure whether VW2011 is more geared towards commercial projects than domestic or whether this is not an issue at all.
Loads of questions, sorry about that, but I would welcome any comments that will help me decide to make the jump or stay as I am.