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Everything posted by nca777

  1. Thanks Eric-- From what I can tell a lot of the LA's using VW are modeling only up through concept/sd level, then choosing to document everything in 2D, basically using VW like autocad. I can see your grading plans look pretty clean, making me think you might be discarding any of the 'automated' site model grading and tracing in proposed contours in 2D after the fact. It just seems like heaps of extra work to ultimately get to the same place as one would with CAD, unless you're modeling everything to a level that can be utilized in graphics and shared with other consultants for coordination--which I have found to be lacking. One particular question I have is how you might be drafting accurate curvilinear roads, parking, and pathways? The VW drafting tools do not seem very conducive to the typical "centerline-offset' standard drafting method...
  2. I'm getting the sense a large portion of the current user base is more 'design-build' oriented rather than 'design-document.' I'm finding it absolutely impossible to precisely document a detailed site design, with the typical document set (layout, materials plans, detailed grading plans with spot elevations, demolition, planting, details, etc..) As far as the command line--look at rhino. You can FLY through some pretty complex modeling with a command string, similar to autocad. Its just way faster than moving your mouse to click buttons on screen. I can draft a parking lt in a fraction of the time in autocad vs vw. Turning that same parking to 3D is easier and faster in sketchup than vw in my experience and getting said parking lot to sit on the topography in a reasonably realistic way is virtually impossible in vw. The program needs to tons of input from LA's.
  3. I have followed jonathans tutorials for a while and have a subscription. Maybe vw is ok for architecture--though I wonder why so few architects in my area use it (all are on archicad or revit that we work with--file sharing has been absurdly challenging, cant get a straight answer on file formats from tech support)...anyway, jonathans parking lot and road examples are just unrealistic. I dont blame him. Its just clearly a limitation of the software. Of course the last project I used vw I used objects as much as possible. It's hard to explain my frustration--its just a lot of little things. Tools that get you 3/4 of the way there, site modeling that takes hours and four different tools, imprecision, weird drafting stuff...I guess if you're designing a house you can use a bunch of walls and windows and tools and objects for everything..maybe the landmark side is just underserved..
  4. sure, you can design in autocad too...thats a whole other discussion i guess. when we design architectural projects we have things we need to align to--existing buildings, walls, curbs, etc. We always have a site with constraints and real-world coordinates. Even a pretty heavy modeler like rhino has a command line that operates pretty closely to autocad in terms of functionality--so I know im not off the mark. I just know I can draft a site plan in autocad and model it in sketchup or rhino in half the time it takes to do the same thing in vw, expecially when it comes to parking lots, roads. I'm attracted to vw for it site modeling tools and bim capability, but finding the fundamental tools frustrating slow and inaccurate.
  5. Uhh..you might go back and read your previous comment. I'm just answering "How would would you design in 3d using this workflow?" I don't design in CAD. I draw, then draft and model. VW is part of the design process, but my gripe is that it seems a lot of users are looking for automation.
  6. Um. You draw a polygon in plan view, convert it to a object (pad for example) and assign it depth. If you're an architect or landscape architect, you've probably hand drawn a plan already by the time you go into VW. So you trace the plan first (as you would in autocad) and assign dpeths/z-heights after the fact. Why is that so difficult to understand? You freeform model through your entire process??
  7. What are you two designing ? It would be easier, in my mind, to draft a plan, close polylines once you have everything dimensionally accurate and assign z heights.
  8. Definitely understand how grade limits works. The tool is pretty close--with the reshape tool you can hone in on a pretty precise area, the only problem is it updates the grading as well. Its backwards in my opinion. In other words, if you have your grading set and are adhering to pretty precise contraints, then decide you need to save another tree or avoid regrading a particular area you change the grade limits and the whole area adjusts accordingly. Again, this could be simply remedied by providing vertices or CONTROL POINTS on the proposed contours. That would basically eliminate the need for the grade limits tool altogether.
  9. Agree with original poster-- It's almost like the programmers at VW need to open AutoCAD and start there with their drafting tools. The array command in my experience is useless--it works sort of like a cheap version of autocads array command. Developers should look at autoCADs MEASURE command for hints... It also drives me crazy that there is no SCALE-REFERENCE or ROTATE-REFERENCE commands in VW. There should also be a construction (XLINE) command in VW for drafting lotouts quickly. In theory, it sounds nice to build geometry out of shapes, as in illustrators pathfinder toolset, but in reality AutoCAD has been doing it way longer and pretty much figured out how the AEC world drafts.
  10. Understood. Graphically, I think we could make a better looking plan that conveys the DESIGN INTENT more precisely in AutoCAD or some of 2D drafting application much faster. However, you lose 3D/BIM association. Again, my point is that the automated nature of the grading/site modeling tools are cumbersome to the design process, especially for an LA or professional that knows what they want but just needs a tool to easily help them communicate their vision. VW Landmark tools are fundamentally flawed because they seem to be developing tools to help automate the design/drafting/modeling process. Unfortunately, as previously stated, you end up with a process that in my opinion feels very 'programmy/synthetic/detached.' I have spoken with the development people. I have sent them bugs and queries on everything from site modifiers to labeling to file exports. SOmetimes I never even get a solution. The trouble is, these are not necessarily 'bugs' but workflow and standards issues. That is not good. I understand my comments may seem like a criticism of your site planning/grading, but I see it as a product of the software/tools to some extent. I have seen several examples of parking lots and roads that are just unrealistic or poorly designed at best. I believe in many cases it is the software inhibiting, rather than fostering good design practice.
  11. Peter, Thanks for your suggestions and proof. However, I feel I've become proficient enough in the software to confidently state that the tools need work or complete overhaul to be adequate for a typical Landscape Architect workflow, at least without spending an inordinate amount of time fussing with the tools. While your plan example may be sufficient for your uses, I can see a number of issues in our workflow: 1. your proposed contours are graphically very choppy and show grade modification in areas that look like there shouldn't be any. There are small areas of disturbance that seem unnecessary. For our practice this could be important so as to avoid a grouping of existing trees or steep slopes. I understand the grade limits tool and it is mostly sufficient for this purpose. Overall, we want FINE controls over the proposed contours. As LA's we need to communicate design intent, which often isn't simply about grading a driveway, but blending the proposed grading and improvements with the site. Your contouring shows some unnecessary grade modifications which communicate to me a lack of precision. 2. I see a lot of choppy geometry in the driveway/hardscape poly's and driveways appear to be drafted as shapes from the outside-in rather than from center line out as is standard practice in landscape architecture. A lot of our projects have very stringent fire turnaround, access requirements, and parking standards. I can't think of a single jurisdiction where we work that would accept your parking layout with what appears to be drive aisles that intersect directly into parking bays with no islands, perpendicular parking on ~16' aisles, paved areas exceeding what appear to be 30%+ (no scale on plan) and dead end bays with no turn around. 3. Slopes appear to exceed 2:1 in places, labels overlapping, unnecessary fill, etc... Again, this plan may be sufficient for your projects in your particular service area. My point is our projects typically require much finer control and a totally different drafting standard and workflow it seems when it comes to roads and parking lots.
  12. I cannot hand a grading plan, whether snapshot or screenshot, that shows the ENTIRE SITE being regraded (or 'proposed contours') to a contractor or civil engineer. Thats just unrealistic and confusing. I want, basically what the software offers now--one site model with existing and proposed contours, ability to manipulate tie in points (however, the tie in controls need to be way more accurate) and vertices or control points on the proposed contours. Typically our (and this is industry standard for LA) grading plans show greyed back, dashed "existing contours" and heavy black or red "proposed contours over top. The proposed contours typically need to tie in seamlessly with the existing and at very specific points so as to avoid disturbing grade in critical zones such as beneath existing trees or along hazardous slopes, etc. I cannot emphasize enoughhow these tools need to be accurate and come with fine control.
  13. Yes. Pretty much. The only difference of course being that when you manipulate 'key contours' you also manipulate the 3D model and all of the associated data, ie slopes, cut/fill, etc. It's incredibly frustrating to me (and I do not consider myself 'old school' by any means and very tech savvy) that I can basically look at a site survey and see exactly how I want to grade it, but have to jump through a million hoops to basically 'program' the model via the site modifiers. I say, get rid of the site modifiers altogether and/or just allow vertex control points on the proposed contours (just like using the reshape tool on plylines or editing polylines in autocad). Its really that simple. That would eliminate the continuous complaints about 'choppy' or innacurate contours, lack of fine controls, etc. Heck, you could even properlay grade roads and parking lots without a million steps and headache! Just add vertices or lots of control points to the proposed contours and let us addour own contour labels, etc.
  14. Exactly--you know how you want the site graded, but are forced to use a slew of 'site modifiers' and various settings to get something fairly simple--a cut. as previously mentioned, use a pad with retaining edge--you may find the grading tools, modifiers very cumbersome as you work through your site grading process. I am making the the argument that professionals, who know how to grade a site ought to have more fine controls over the site model. if you're coming from a traditional la background, the modifier tools will feel clunky.
  15. No. This should not be necessary and only adds complication to the process...in your technique how do you control where proposed grade tie into existing, assuming, as with most real world projects, you are not regrading the entire site?! we need precise, manual control of proposed contours, as well as full control of labeling. In general, I believe the process in be needs to move further away from automation and develop tools in a way that allow more manual user control.
  16. Totally. In general, I feel like there is way too much "programming" in the tools. The whole site modeling/grading process could (or should at least offer) a much simpler, lighter, nimbler approach. Just give us vertices on proposed contours and let us reshape the site, manipulate "grade limits" or tie in points. Also How in the world is everyone doing spot elevations? Pretty useless if I cant add elevations to bottom and top of walls, hardscape, etc..
  17. There are like 6 or 7 too many 'programmy' steps here. If you're an LA, civil, Architect, or competent designer who knows how to grade a site, you shouldnt need all of these site modifiers for such a simple task
  18. I don't know what kind of site everyone here is working on or if any of you are actually using the 3D/BIM collaborative capabilty, but I'm finding the software absolutely time-suckingly useless other than for the fact that it makes some pretty graphics with ALOT of time expense. The planting tools are kind of neat, but most landscape architects, I would bet, dont create a plant list THEN create a planting plan. Thats just weird. I would guess, most (and I feel I've learned from some very, very good LA's) create plant massing first, then assign species, etc. VW makes this workflow challenging and the plant graphics themselves are fairly atrocious. As far as BIM collaboration--I would be embarrassed to send a consultant plants and trees with 2D 'billboard' symbols, if they're even able to be shred, which I dont think they are. In reality, we need simple, 2d or 2.5d low-poly, basic mass representations--groundcover, perennial, grass, shrub, columnar, spreading, etc...
  19. So, after working with Landmark on several real-world projects for approx 5-6 months and becoming relatively proficient I can confidently assert that the software is woefully unsuitable for a modern landscape architecture workflow! I would strongly suggest, if any admins, managers, or developers are reading this that you seek out Licensed Landscape Architects and have them test the software. I run a technologically-savvy, progressive design studio with projects ranging from small, private gardens with highly complex and constrained sites to urban master plans encompassing several dozen city blocks. We follow a professional-standard workflow and best practices. We expect the software (whichever software) to accommodate this workflow, not the other way around. Professionals should not have to adapt their process to software! Here is an abbreviated list of my gripes: 2D drafting: -Innaccurate, clunky, snaps and quick keys are not intuitive! -Drafting tools do not easily accommodate standard drafting practices, ie tangent radii, offsets from center line, etc. -Drafting in sketchup is easier, more intuitive and more reliable -need real-world, intuitive quick keys that make ergonomic sense for fast drafting. -consider adding scale reference, rotate reference commands. The move tool is clunky and undependable! -consider adding command line with prompts! -drafting or modeling roas is virtually impossible with any degree of accuracy -parking tools are a joke, the way the tool works, like the road tool is at odds with how a road or parking lot are actually laid out. -Grading should just simply include vertices for user to mannually manipulate proposed contours--professionals dont need automated tools to grade a site! The site modifiers are just a HUGE HUGE Time Suck! I could go on... In general, I want the community here and public to know as well as the managers that VW has cost us an immense amount of unnecessary time and expense over the last few months. Virtually everything we've created in VW has needed to be exported to DWG or some other file format and often redrafted or remodeled completely in order to share with consultants and make accurate documentation! The software development is clearly way, way out of touch with professional needs and needs to go back to the fundamentals or continue to lose market share. The Silver lining-- Pretty much the only thing I see VW has going is the fact that it is the only software that actually recognizes the demand for a BIM solution in landscape Architecture. The site modeling tools and general concepts are headed in the right direction. Other than that--Landmark will be basically taking up space on our hard drives for the time being. Nick
  20. workflows. please. we need real world workflow tutorials with realistic, relatable projects.
  21. It seems like every time I open VW to do something, anything I end up two hours later asking myself where the time went. Running into similar modeling 'quirks' here--kudos to you for actually taking the time to list..
  22. In general, from what I can gather from discussion here on these boards, my experience speaking with support staff, and project needs is that there is a gaping divide between the software engineering and 'real-world' demands. I think our little practice would be a poster-child for Site-BIM if given the right tools. However, there seems to be some reluctance, denial, or perhaps shortage of resources dedicated to the tools, workflows, and learning resources we really need. It is unfortunate that the 'packaging' is so sleek and refined, but the content and tool sin some instances so crude or partially developed. The Landmark platform is certainly poised to absolutely dominate a growing market of landscape architects, urban designers, planners, but man the tools need work. As I type, I'm killing time, burned out on trying to pull a pretty simple site and grading plan out of landmark to 2d cad for another consultant working in 2D. I am getting widely varying results, losing geometry inexplicably, massive file sizes, errors, etc...this is a really simple task on a really simple site. I just did the same export on a much larger, more complex site without issue...argh...is anyone testing this stuff?
  23. Agree completely with your first paragraph. As a designer,I cant help but let myself get sucked into the 3D world--usually modeling more than I actually need for documentation. Unfortunately, VW has a way of providing tools that *almost* do what you want, but not quite. This has meant that we usually end up using vw as an additional tool rather than a replacement for the ubiquitous autocad/sketchup workflow. As far as 3D delivery. I'd guess we're not that far from being able to share models with contractors sophisticated enough to view the model. We're almost doing that now. However, for various municipalities, agencies,committees standard documentation (2D pdf's/printed sheets)will prevail for some time. I think the mostlikely scenario is providing both for some time to come. My personal experience with BIM is that the interoperability needs improvement and standardization. I understand this is where IFC is headed, but there is still a lot of information loss and bugs from what I can tell.
  24. Does the issue resolve by printing to raster format (ie jpeg)? It might make an extra step, printing to jpeg then printing jpegs to pdf...just a thought..
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