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Eric Gilbey, PLA

Vectorworks, Inc Employee
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Everything posted by Eric Gilbey, PLA

  1. Peter, It certainly does step on top and bottom...with a checkbox, you choose either or both...as well, you can ask it to adhere to the terrain, so it can help design more efficient walls in the site.
  2. In 2011, you can utilize the building wall object, that has components, as you know. Once you have placed these walls, you can select the new Create Retaining Wall Site Modifier Feature from the Landmark pull-down and set the elevation parameters from there on. You will see the modifiers place a pad at the bottom of the wall and line modifiers on the left and right side of the wall.
  3. You and me both...working on it for the hardscape and landscape area! Thanks for the note.
  4. DukeLuke, Though I would agree having all the data from the database being fully transferred to the list we populate our plant objects with would be an ultimate goal, I would raise up a concern I would have about a price field being a requirement for the information in the database, because I would suspect your suppliers, like many others, would have multiple prices per plant species because of the various sizes they would provide. This would mean that your database would have to have 2-5 entries for many of the plants you would then consider. So, if you have a plant palette of 200-300 plants you usually would refer to, you would end up having 400-1500 records with mostly duplicate records and the only changing field being the price. My I recommendation would be that you place the price for each plant in their definitions and verify the price associates to the installed size differences. Keep those properly priced and sized plant objects as available plant symbols in a template file and pull from them each time you do a planting plan. Then the template file symbols get updated each time that supplier changes their prices, and you pull off the plants they no longer carry. The plant database can still be used as an informational source, as intended. If you are doing this as part of a design build workflow, then we should talk more directly on how to use the plant data in association with other estimation software available that takes Vw worksheet data exports and uses the supplier data to help build material takeoffs and proposals, etc.
  5. Some of the examples seen in the video of how we turned 2D contour polygons into 3D polygons, placed at their proper z elevation, and converting 2D footprint polygons into massing models at the precise height the data indicated, were done by scripts, but only because the manual process is very time consuming, but definitely possible without scripts. We explained this to the client who asked us to create this for their own planning needs. The video does explain the use of scripts and if a user wants to learn the scripting process, to do these powerful functions, it is certainly something they can learn. As we would all expect, GIS files are subject to data variations, so having programmed features designed to modify such polygons would have to change based on the specific data assigned to these polygons, thus the need for scripting to do these processes efficiently is necessary. Many new users who expect to pick up the program and use it without being trained on its unique landscape specific tools, end up using it like a general CAD program. When they do learn how to use the unique tools, they begin to find the amazing possibilities and begin to make their workflows more efficient.
  6. Check out the following link which is the page dedicated to how Vectorworks Landmark handles importing and exporting GIS files. There is a video I have made on the opportunities for shp files brought into VwL and there is a whitepaper available for downloading to see the GIS work done within VwL. http://www.nemetschek.net/landmark/gis.php Please let me know if I can answer any questions further on GIS in VwL.
  7. Hi Marc, When the version 2008 was rolled out, it changed the plant object significantly to make it a parametrically controlled object...so it is the data that is provided in its definition that tells it how wide and tall it needed to be be. So once this was done, you essentially would have to have multiple plant objects to have multiple sized plants of the same species. I would recommend placing a wish list request, here on the community board to request seeing this functionality (or scalable symbols/objects) to fulfill the workflow you are seeking. http://techboard.nemetschek.net/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=12&page=1 Eric
  8. Marc, These fields can be edited in its definition. Right click on the plant object, choose edit and then choose definition. You can edit the height/spread there. Also, this would need to be done with each of the instances you used this object. From this point out, you would want to edit the definition as a resource so that every time you place afterward, it will take on the new height/spread. Eric
  9. Not sure who's the angry moderator, but I have some ideas, but need to clarify...you resizing the plant symbols, image props on plant objects, or actual 3D plant objects?
  10. Dennisw, First, check to see if you are working in Top/Plan or Top View...you need to be in Top/Plan to see the 2D symbol should be. Next, if you are in Top/Plan and they still are not showing, then in the resource browser, right click on the symbol you have placed and choose edit, the choose 2D Graphics, this should show the plan symbol you would expect and when you return to the plan, it should be represented as you expect.
  11. With the plants selected, at the bottom of the attributes palette, click the arrow pointing down, giving you the attributes pull-down (utility menu)...then select "Use Default Attributes". This should restore the tag features you seem to be missing.
  12. Doug, If you edit the viewport's crop (right click on the viewport or double click) you will see the shape that is creating the border of your viewport "crop". Click on that shape and have the line set to none.
  13. The topic of GIS integration is very exciting within Vectorworks. I have just created a video that will be used soon on our website to further demonstrate this, but essentially if you can find a local/regional source for GIS files, you can import the shapefiles and they will maintain the data associated with them when created by the original GIS program. You can modify the lines as if you had drawn them, much like importing DXF/DWG files and give them fills and opacity changes and linetype changes, etc. You can even convert them to 3D objects and take the process to the 3rd dimension, if that is what you would like to do. Once the video is up, I will post again and let you know where to find it.
  14. John, Thanks for bringing this up. I will check into these issues and let all know on Monday what I find.
  15. I'm excited about the introduction of the VB Visual Plants, as it is allowing users, who wish to have a more 3 dimensional representation of a plant, use it with much success. After many discussions this weekend at the ASLA Annual Meeting, Landscape Architects and Landscape Designers repeatedly state how they are eagerly looking for ways to share their site planning solutions as a participant in the BIM process. Though I'm quick to note that with Vectorworks Landmark, they have a strong SIM (Site Information Modeling) solution, they undoubtedly still find more and more requests to use BIM programs so they can provide their site designs to those who are using other BIM programs. The use of "Cut Out" Plant Image Props are helpful to us in conveying our intent in planting for our own 3D modeling presentations, but when transferred out into an IFC file, what are you left with? The better solution would be a more properly designed 3D model of a plant, which has a better chance of being represented with the other 3D geometry. Is it necessary to have a full library of such modeled plants when this is just an introduction to designers? I'd suggest not, as it helps to direct our landscape design users down a path to consider, if the need for 3D modeled plants is going to be necessary to their 3D modeling experience.
  16. I did not have the import problem that Jamie mentioned after testing the import method. But I do know that after producing a plan, if you purge the file, it will take the plants out of your landscape area, if they also do not exist in the plan, other than in the landscape area. Could this have been the case? My thinking is that perhaps, somehow, the plant definition has been taken out of the resources, and therefor it doesn't recognize the plan as having it in there.
  17. I really like seeing this conversation, as I just had a chance to visit with a potential reseller who also sells/rents GPS input devices that can take the data, as well as allow you to enter field discernment of what the points mean, including the trees and their conditions, etc. The workflow then involves exporting those points in a DXF file, which can be brought into Vectorworks (Landmark)and the points, with their associated data records, come in like a charm. Seeing this, I do say there would need to be a script to then turn the collective points with specific records (ie lamppost, tree, bench) into a premade symbol. We have been having some discussion about this since and expect to have something to say in the near future to help with the site data collection and plan establishment. Keep up the talk on this. I would like to see what each of you have to say on this topic.
  18. One method I did for a presentation, was to create the Site Model from tracing contours (did not have the contour files to utilize) made them 3D polys, then selected them to make the site model. The contours were from both sides of the river that bordered my project. I chose to retain the lines in the source data for the Site Model, and right clicked on the site model and chose to edit the source data, then selected just the polylines on each side of the river..copied and then exited the edit mode, then pasted in place the two 3D polylines. With 3D poly tool, connected the two end points on the top and those on the bottom and then composed to make a 3D polygon. This polygon can now be textured for 3D, which you can apply a water texture, and there is a new one in 2009 that resembles a water surface that shows the shine from the sun. Now, because we have a tool, such as the landscape area, you can use this one object as a 2D representation with color/gradient, and then use the texture on it to mimic the water surface for 3D. The landscape area texture will act as a texture bed on the site model. So the difference is to take the lines composed to make the 3D polygon and make it a landscape area, instead.
  19. The XFrog Plant Images Files are the location of the Image Props you would use to "hybridize" the plant symbols to become both 2D/3D. They are not shipped already hybridized, as you would need to choose the appropriate plant type to the species you are representing with the plant symbol. The Image Prop can be added to the plant object's 3D representation by double clicking on the symbol placed in the plan; then choose to edit the 3D characteristics; then with the image props shown in the resource browser, drag the appropriate image prop over to the 3D locus point provided. You will see a cross shaped object (this is the image prop in top/plan view); exit the 3D edit mode and you have completed the hybridization. Flip your plan into a 3D view and you will see the plant is prepresented in the 3D model.
  20. You are right, landscape designers and landscape architects do need decent and accurate layout tools, when creating construction drawings that will need to be built. Though I would have already described the existing layout/dimensioning capabilities as "decent", there have been multiple feature additions/enhancements in v 2009 that help a user of any module in Vectorworks be more accurate and therefor more successful in doing that. One of them is a feature proposed for the Landmark module, but had functionality in all aspects of Vectorworks, so it became available with all modules. With this in mind, I hope it can be seen that NNA does continue to add on to, and enhance, the functionality of tools available in the program. This does not exclude data transmission with other disciplines, and certainly does not exclude the advancements on what we already have in georeferenced data management. With the landscape architecture industry relying more and more on sustainable design and thus an increased use of GIS data, you may expect our handling of georeferenced data to continue to expand.
  21. Having watched this thread for some time, I am encouraged that most have appreciated the extent of Vectorworks reach, where it comes to the scope of work a landscape designer or a landscape architect can acheive, particularly with Landmark. Even to this current build, Vectorworks Landmark has continued to provide progressive and in some cases, state of the art functionality in the industries of landscape design and landscape architecture. As a landscape architect, who has managed to produce drawings in AutoCAD for over 12 years, I have found it a dream to be able to produce both 2D and 3D plans and models, fully llustrated within the same program, Vectorworks Landmark. I never once would have expected that a CAD program, designed for landscape designers or landscape architects, should be performing exercises that the Civil Engineering industry routinely requires. That is not to say I would want to limit it from ever doing that, and I applaud the engineers for accomplishing the flexible features that it has in the past 20 years. I am mindful that the ability to add features each year has to be limited to what can physically be done with the resources and manpower available, and to be stretched across the 4 industries represented by each module, while at the same time, kept the purchase price very affordable. I am glad to see that each year, the ability to collaborate with non-Vectorworks users is expanding, as we are finding from those using our program, it is becoming more essential every day. It's unfortunate that there are some comments in this thread which indicate an expectation of a seamless transfer of data between Landmark users to all operations Civil Engineering related, when the majority of Landmark users are Landscape Designers and Landscape Architects who are working on residential projects, and the features which are added each year come from the requests of our users. It's obvious that the majority of user wishes would reflect the types of projects and workflows they seek to acheive. With that said, I can tell you that as a landscape arechitect, who sees the value of features essential to landscape architects working on large commercial and public projects, I am also pushing for features that would bring Landmark closer to filling the needs of this part of the industry. With the present ability to manage GIS files (world referenced image files and shapefiles), digital terrain modeling, customized worksheets, the new landscape area, and the potential to improve and expand on these functions, Landmark is poised to become a stronger tool, not only for landscape architects seeking to accomplish larger work (which we already have many users doing just that for the past few years) but even landscape designers wishing to offer more progressive, sustainable, design services to their clients. Hopefully along the way, we can improve the way our users can share their data with other design professionals, including Civil Engineers. Please receive this comment to this thread with its intended respect that I think every user deserves. I hope that this may encourage each comment to be made with respect to others posting on this, and other threads. It is important to realize we all have different uses of Vectorworks Landmark, and with postive and productive participation, we will continue to build on each other's success and continue to see progress in the development of Vectorworks Landmark.
  22. Miguel, the GIS functionality you are referring to does still exist and hopefully will become an essential tool as landscape architects and landscape designers take a larger view of how their project will impact, and is impacted, from surrounding areas. The ability to import world referenced image files and similarly world referenced shapefiles is present, and has been present for a few years. Since I have joined the company just under a year ago, I cannot say definitively how Vectorworks Landmark tools carry on civil and survey engineering functions, particularly with export of point data (in formats other civil/survey engineers would expect), since that has not been my area of expertise, it is an area that I am growing in knowledge about, so hopefully soon can speak more about. I would like to mention that we have a user case study on the site that mentions how the importing of GPS data into Vectorworks helped them avoid problems with their site plans (See http://download.nemetschek.net/news/CS_LAND_morris_architects.pdf I am glad to hear that there are some plug-in options and perhaps some scripting options that may do some bridging of areas not already meeting the needs of users who do the data export to civil/survey engineers. Thanks to all who have commented, I will keep reading and taking notes!
  23. Doug, while you are in 2008, I would highly recommend the place plant (massing) option. If you are already drawing out the area that you would have hatched for the gr. cover, then take that same shape and convert it to a plant (convert objects from polyline). When you do this, make your grouncover plant your current plant, set the defnitions to the the right data (name/size/spacing, etc) I mentioned the 18" spread and 12" spacing, so you would see the symbols overlap. Then with the triangulated massing mode chosen, select the polyline you created for the grouncover planting and choose Modify>Convert Objects from Poly then choose plant in the pull down and delete orginal line. It will automatically form the mass, and in the definitions, and the class visibilities and by checking/unchecking the enable 2D rendering in the object info palette, you can make the mass look just the way you want.
  24. Doug, in 2008, you could place plants in a mass planting, either grid, or triangulated, and if you make your groundcover plant chosen say 18", and place them with 12" spacing, it will automatically count them for you and it reports to the plant list. As promised, I will tell you that 2009 has what is called Landscape Area. This tool was designed to handle multiple species plantings in the shapes you provide...you can choose the distribution rate (plant/sf (or metric version also). If you choose to make it just one plant species for the groundcover aspect, you can, or the multi species mode you can show wildflower, perennial, or forestation masses, as well as rain gardens, bio-swales, etc. They report the plants used to the plant list, too. The landscape area can also be used for conceptual "bubble" diagrams, preliminary/proposed land-use plans (development coverage), and they can be used for quanifying areas for turf as well as planting beds for mulch or soil amendments. They can be seen in 2D with the fill/hatch you choose and they can show the texture selected to show on the sitemodel (dtm) as a texture bed. Prices can be assigned and reported to the worksheets, too, so you can use it for budgeting a project by area unit pricing, too.
  25. Doug, good to see you posting on the forum...this will help when others can pitch in with their suggestions. Mike is right about the improvements to Plant Tags in 2009. It's like putting on a new suit when the other is just not fitting. Plant tags in 2009 have been improved by the following: 1) to include a marker (arrow head) at the point where it meets the plant; 2) movable leaders and shoulders (didn't have a movable shoulder before, and the only way to move the leader was to move the text (or plant); 3) you can now change the position of the marker to point to the place in the plant grouping you prefer; 4)quantity "bubbles" which can be used for quantities or both qty and code (if you need to do a coded plan); the area to the right of the bubble can have up to 3 lines of text, which is helpful if you need to place info like both scientific name and common name, and spacing, and sizes, etc. This may be helpful in the cases where municipalities may expect to see this on the plan as well as the plant list. I'll respond to the groundcover topic with another 2009 improvement that would help you with that. Just what you needed to hear, right?
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