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adding data to my self developed Landmark-symbol

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I've developed many symbols (in VW2012 fundamentals) for the garden designers, but have a problem with VW12 landmark (a question from a VW Landmark user.

because I do not have a Landmark version I cannot test things, unfortunately. What did I do wrong with setting up my symbol(s) so that I cannot add data, like a landmark user asked me too (see 3images).

I've attached also some symbols (in a Vw file) of mine so you might test it, if you like. I hope someone can help me out.

kind regards

Franklin van Zandvoort


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So if I understand correctly : I cannot make/develop specific symbols for VW Landmark without a Landmark version? So the symbols developed in a Fundamentals-version cannot be read in Landmark...?

I think if they can be read in Fundamentals then they will also be read in Landmark. But they will be read as Symbols, not Plants, which are a special type of plugin object. If you want to develop pre-configured Plant objects you will need Landmark. I'm not sure what info you are trying to include with your Symbols that isn't working in Landmark.

I am using v2011, and the Plant Tool has changed in newer versions, so my info is outdated (and probably misunderstood).

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thank you very much for your tip: I understand exactly what you mean. I myself just want to keep drawing my type of symbols but a user of mine want to add data to my symbols....which he cannot do: and that/this was his question was:

Hi Franklin,

Sending 3 images. I have imported a plant graphic to my resource browser for my current design. When I am using the standard graphics that were included with Vectorworks I right click the image and it brings up the option to change the graphics (color etc.) or the plant definition. (photo 6 attachment)

This brings up the plant definition screen where I cam modify the scale of the plant and the species data so the plant will be entered into the drawings database. (photo 7 attachment)

When I try this with one of your images which I have imported into the browser I do not get the option to go into the plant definition editor. (photo 5 attachment). So I am unable to include it in the drawing. Copy and pasting it into a drawing is not helpful because the plant is not attached to a plant species in the database and is not to the appropriate scale.

kind regards.

So....what can I do next to help him?


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  • 1 month later...

Hi there. I'm the customer attempting to use these plant drawings without success. I've been too busy with personal issues to address it before now but I never did get any resolution on this.

The problem is that when the I use the "Landmark create new plant" option the "painted" portion of the plant symbol doesn't register with the outline if that makes sense.

So the outline becomes a plant symbol but the detailed drawing part of it (which registers as an image in the attributes palette) doesn't change with the outline. So if I were to modify the plant to have a spread of 10 feet the detailed image of the symbol stays a small blog in the center of the outline.

Is there nothing that I can do to fix this or is this something that was done incorrectly when franklin developed the symbols? I have to say it is very frustrating as I spent $250 on these symbols. I got the link to his site from the Vectorworks Add Ons page so I expected I was buying something that I could easily use.

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I have not tried this or tested it yet, but my first guess would be it's not a problem with how the symbol was created or set up, but a limitation in VW Landmark that it can't scale a bitmap image if it's part of the Plant definition (assuming iSymbols symbols are bitmaps - I've never used them). My guess is it only can scale vector data. I will try and test this this weekend. Hopefully I'm wrong.

Edited by Monadnoc
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It is as I suspected. iSymbols are created using bitmap graphics as an Image Fill, in order to get that hand drawn look.

I tried a few things with the iSymbols file provided above. Sorry to say, I had no luck at all. But I don't think it's Franklin's fault, it seems to be a shortcoming of VW. When you scale an object that uses an image fill the image fill doesn't scale. I tried it as a Plant, as a Symbol, as a Group, and as a Polygon. All with the same result. I am not very familiar with using image fills, so maybe there is a setting that rectifies this. But I searched all over - the Attributes pallet, the VW Help file, and the Web, and couldn't find a way to lock the image fill to the polygon so that it scales with it. I could do it manually using the Attribute Mapping tool. But that is not a practical solution. Not even close. You can set the image fill to tile, but again that is not what you want either.

I have found that VW is very, very bad at scaling things when they have any sort of associated texture or graphic. It does the same thing with 3D objects that have textures which aren't tiled (like leaves of plants). It makes the people trying to develop 3rd party content look really bad.

I hope I am wrong and someone will jump in and tell you it can be done. I'd be very interested in learning the solution.

Also, FWIW, the iSymbols work fine as the 2D portion of Plants as long as you don't scale them.

Edited by Monadnoc
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If you use an image (instead of an object with an image fill) as the source geometry for the Plant, it will scale with changes to the Spread.


I thought of that too, and it almost worked, except for a few things:

1- bitmap image left a white rectangle surrounding the irregular shape of plant. FAIL.

2- I then used the original polygon for the plant as a crop. WORKED.

3- When select "Outline" for plant, either one, two, or three, it outlines the rectangular extents of the bitmap, even when using a crop. FAIL.

4- When select "Shadows in Plan View" it creates a shadow of the rectangular extents of the bitmap if also using "Outline", even when using a crop. FAIL.

5- When select "Shadows in Plan View" it creates a shadow filled with the image of the bitmap if "Outline" not selected, even when using a crop. FAIL.

So, based on my tests, you could get an iSymbol to work as a scaleable Plant or Symbol if Franklin created them as bitmaps with crops, instead of polygons with image fills ... BUT as Plants you could not utilize shadows or outlines. Also this requires VW 2014 for the image crop function, which restricts potential customers, at least for a while.

I'm attaching the file. Maybe somebody else has a better insight into it all. I hope there is a solution to it.


Edited by Monadnoc
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Hi Entire Leaves,

Question for you is did Franklin ever tell you they could be used with Landmark?

Or were they just symbols rather than plant symbols that could be used with the Plant Tool?

I got the link from Vectorworks to his site and it says that it is a Vectorworks landscape bundle. One would assume that it would work properly, no?

The whole thing is very frustrating. I feel as if I have wasted a good deal of money. Overall I am pretty disappointed with the plant symbols that come with VW Landmark and I don't think I will go the third part route again because I simply can't afford to make any more costly mistakes.

I'm using the 2012 version of VW. I don't suppose the '13 or '14 versions add more plant symbols do they?

Thank you for trying to help!

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I realise you won't be able to use the outline and shadow facility for the plant, but it will at least be scalable.

One other hint though - Select the imported image and on the Attributes palette, set the Fill Style to None. This will hide any pixels in the image that are pure white (i.e. R 255, G 255, B 255) So that should leave you with just the plant visible. But of course, the crop bitmap option in 2014 would provide better results, as you can then throw away the cropped pixels entirely.

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I forgot about setting the fill to none to remove white pixels. That does the trick. Good tip. Now it can be done in any version. Just can't use shadows or outlines.

Thanks Tamsin.

The bad news for iSymbols, is they would have to change their work flow and redo all their current symbols in order to have their symbols scaleable.

Edited by Monadnoc
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How do I extract the images to use from the symbols? I can also use the geometries of the outlines and just fill them in with a solid color or gradient. I think that perhaps that will work. That gives me more potentially interesting shapes to use since the ones that come with VW are not terribly exciting.

Not exactly my moneys worth on this but at least it isn't a total loss. In the future I'll do a bit more research before making a purchase.

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If you enter the symbol, the bitmap image is attached to the outline polygon as an Image fill. It is also listed in the Resource Browser as an "Image". I do not know how to extract the original bitmap from an "Image" resource and place it on the page. So, since it was for testing purposes only, I just placed the iSymbol on the page at a large scale and exported the iSymbol as an image file and re-imported it back in. This places it as a "bitmap", which is what you want. Than just edit the original iSymbol. This would be way too much work for all your iSymbols, so if I were you I'd ask iSymbols/Franklin to send you the original bitmaps for the set you purchased. Then edit each iSymbol and paste the bitmap into it at the correct size. Also turn fill for the original polygon from Image to None. And also change the fill to the bitmap graphic to None. Then you should be good to go.

Does anyone know how to directly place an "Image" from the Resource Browser onto the page as a bitmap graphic? It would save many steps from the way I did it.

Edited by Monadnoc
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