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jeff prince

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About jeff prince

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    Landscape Architect
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    United States

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  1. I use Slab Styles to control the display of textures, using the components within a style to govern the display. If I need a different texture for a particular hardscape, I change it in the Slab Style. I don't bother with using the class the hardscape object is placed on to control texture, rather use classes to organize the objects. The problem and benefit of Vectorworks is there are a variety of ways to do things. Complex objects like hardscapes and walls begin to lose their utility if one does not create them in with a consistent strategy. I use the method described because I can switch between construction assemblies quickly by selecting slab styles rather than edit. I have a reasonable expectation that my sections and reports will be correct if I follow the process. The minute I start deviating from a chosen process is when the problems creep in. Hope it helps.
  2. @Christine Mulinder My pleasure. It's always nice when it is the relatively simple things causing issue.
  3. Thanks, glad you enjoyed them. Wish I could share some of the more interesting work I’ve been doing, darn confidentiality agreements have to be respected though 😞
  4. @Todd I would want something with more power personally. The spec you shared has integrated graphics only and does not have an additional GPU, which is preferred. I don’t know if you would be able to successfully run a separate monitor with that setup and a 13” screen is pretty small in Vectorworks even if you hide lots of tools. 8 GB of ram is low, especially if you hope to run additional Apps while VWX is running. I suppose if you are doing 2d drafting with limited use of the planting tools you would be fine. Hopefully someone with experience on such a machine weighs in and gives you an opinion. Things slow down when running on slower clock speed computers with limited ram, especially as the drawings get more complex graphically, not necessarily 3D. You might get more bang for your buck with a PC too. if you haven’t seen it, here are the recommended specs for Vectorworks. https://www.vectorworks.net/sysreq hope it helps.
  5. @Todd You choose a model with a GPU in addition to the integrated graphics. In reality, they are both "built in" from the factory. If you look at the MBP configuration page, there are options to choose from in regards to GPU. I preferred this to getting an external GPU from a 3rd party. I don't know which is better, but I'm happy with mine and I am working almost entirely in 3D. My wife's windows machine has integrated graphics with no additional GPU. Even though the machine has a faster processor than my MBP, it's super slow in comparison.
  6. @Todd I'm hijacking your thread since you are a fellow landscape designer and perhaps new to Vectorworks to tell you some of the stuff I wish someone would have told me early on 🙂 I have so much fun on my projects AND make higher profits now that the steep part of the learning curve has been passed. If you are good at Sketchup and new to Vectorworks, I encourage you to embrace the 3D workflow inside Vectorworks. I switched from AutoCAD + Sketchup and immediately began working directly in 3D for almost everything. It is super fast for my stuff and I enjoy not having to jump between programs to get what I want. The architect on the project below mentioned it would be nice to have some landscape elevations for preliminary discussion, after I had submitted my plans. I had developed that project as 2D since I all I was doing was planting and irrigation for City approval. He sent over his Revit model, I dropped it into the site and set a couple of viewports, nothing pretty - just a quick study. Since I configure my all of my plant library assets to have image props or models affiliated with them, this was literally a 5 minute job, the majority of which was spent waiting for the Revit to import. The nice thing about it was I identified an opportunity to place some architectural trellis on two of the building's walls that would enhance the architecture. Had he not sent over the 3D or at least some elevations, the opportunity would have been missed on this simple project. It also helped me quickly identified a heavily shaded planter next to a building entrance, which led to changing out some plants real quick. I think having the 3D on these quick churn and burn projects is especially helpful for these reasons, even if I am working on a flat site with a relatively small scope. On the large residential projects with site topography and landscape grading, it is now essential to my work, see the last video. I take it a step further by taking my own aerial photography and build my own site models for those types of projects, usually going from having no information on the project to generating high resolution georectified aerials, a photo textured site model, and contours to build a Vectorworks site model within 24 hours of the site visit and drone flight. For the project in the last video, I built the entire existing conditions model and existing architecture completely from photographs and fully in 3D. Now it's ready to receive the design treatment, which will largely generate the grading for me with the use of some site modifiers and hardscape objects in the Slab Modifier configuration. Sections will be as easy as the planting elevation I mentioned earlier. I will never receive CAD or a survey for this project, yet it was completed quickly by leveraging the drone workflow and Vectorworks 3D. How I wish I had all of these toys at the beginning of my career. I say toys because even the mundane parts of every project is fun and the graphic quality high. I can finally model a complex design faster than sketching and developing hand drawn perspectives, which was not the case 20 some years ago when I started. The video also features plant objects I cobbled together, displayed in Twinmotion. I can't imagine going back to a 2D workflow (except for my passion for hand drawing) or sketchup for the vast majority of my projects and I do it all on an older MBP. If you read all of this, I probably sound like a Vectorworks salesperson. In reality, I have my complaints with it and the lackluster support I have received from the company. The saving grace is that I am making more profit on my work now compared to my old workflows, so I tolerate my grievances and look forward to further improvements to our tools. Playing with Twinmotion is of course fun too 🙂 Hope it helps you on your journey.
  7. No external GPU for me. I bought the MPB with an upgraded GPU in addition to the integrated graphics, which is very important in your purchasing decision. You can turn the GPU off and use the integrated graphics to save battery power when not using programs that need the GPU. Comes in handy on planes when watching movies or doing spreadsheets, though I have more experience with the former than the latter 🙂
  8. very true. I turned my gpu off just to see how VWX and Twinmotion behaved.... it was unusable for the most part.
  9. @Todd yes, you can do sketchup workflows. I replaced sketchup with vectorworks once I got good at it though. I regularly import 3D Warehouse content into Vectorworks. Sketchup ran really well on my MBP also, I just don’t need it anymore since I can do everything I need with Vectorworks and the occasional Twinmotion. I texture almost everything in Vectorworks These days.
  10. @Todd I'm a landscape architect and use a macbook pro, but as @zoomer you'll probably want one with a GPU. Not sure what an entry level project is to you, but be aware that a Vectorworks file can get large quickly and it's easy to load it up with all kinds of graphically intense objects, especially if you design in 3D. I have several residential projects in 3D that are over 1GB in file size and use a lot of 3D objects to make them come to life. Once you start developing projects that were done in traditional 2D in 3D instead, you will likely never go back, it's just so much faster. So, you might want a good computer. My MBP is the 2015 version (2.5 GHz, 16GB RAM, AMD Radeo 2GB GPU) It was a rocket when I bought it and still performs pretty good on complex projects, though I am taxing it severely with the 3D work. The only time I am slowed down is when I render. Fortunately, I don't do that often, just spinning my models around in openGL If money is tight, consider buying a used machine like mine or newer. Depending on the types of projects you do and how fast you advance your skills, it will probably last you a while. Then once you have a handle on the software and find your hardware limits, you can upgrade to the latest stuff if you need to.
  11. @Christine Mulinder It looks as if the fill for your tag class is set to a hatch pattern, looks like "meadow hf" hatch to my eye 🙂 Verify what class your tag is set to land on, change the tag class to a solid color instead of a hatch and your problem will go away. hope it helps.
  12. @richard2020 Vectorworks doesn't do stacked walls, you have to fake it with the tool of your choice. If you are just drawing in 2D, this should be easy. If you are doing it in 3D, it's a little more work.
  13. It certainly has and will continue to be. I started back in the early 90's doing manual drafting for an architect and moonlighting as an illustrator. While my love is in traditional media, Vectorworks at least gives a nod to that heritage with its beautiful graphic qualities fused with 3D power. Graphic quality was one of the determining factors. Tools should be visually appealing if our work is to be 🙂
  14. @Jonnoxx You make some excellent points that I had to weigh heavily before switching to Vectorworks personally and evaluating it for deployment across a department within a large firm. The software cost is negligible in comparison to the period of reduced efficiency during transition. Large firms can mitigate this with training, standards, and hybrid workflows during transitionary periods. Small firms and solo practitioners who do not have in-house training and R&D really get penalized here. All firms had to manage this during the transition from CAD to BIM with the added burden of the 2D/3D transition. I'm old enough to remember the same growing pains when we transitioned from hand drawing to CAD as well. So yes, firms have to adapt during industry disruptive cycles. It's funny that a particular software company is partially responsible for this disruptive event though, the other portion of blame resides with firms who ignore MacLeamy/Paulson Curve and actively work against it. There is some truth to that. I almost passed on Vectorworks for this reason. If a firm is more of a domestic chop shop operation with thin margins and pushing projects entirely through BIM quickly, you've got a business killing problem potentially if you can't find staff. However, these noted design firms typically use a whole suite of modeling tools, some bespoke, during design. They train their employees on using their specialized or proprietary systems for design and fabrication. They entirely REBUILD the projects in Revit once they hit Design Development. Sometime this is done in-house, but more typically it is with a joint venture partner in the country where the project is and/or through outsourcing to one of the many BIM sweatshops around Asia and eastern Europe. The dirty secret behind a lot of glamorous BIM projects is they are developed by people who are far from BIM experts. They are juggling chainsaws, driven by the illusion of profit rather than process. That, or they are simply designing buildings that are too complicated for their abilities to document 🙂 I imagine it is a bit of both in all honesty with a healthy disregard for the aforementioned curve(s). They wonder why their profits are flat while their operating expenses are increasing? It's not the software price that is killing them, it's their process. Shrinking design fees and more competition for those contracts is eroding profits because the process is inefficient. Firms that get it will survive this disruption aggravated by the pandemic, those who don't write open public letters or develop stockholm syndrome with their software provider. Maybe it's time to go back to ink and mylar?


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