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Grade Objects - Great Idea...Poor Execution

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The Grade Object tool in Landmark has long been a frustration of mine. It is a very powerful tool, but when used in actual applications it is SUPER SLOW and cumbersome. I hope the grading tools and workflows get a hard look for both functionality and usability because many are just clunky and not applicable in a professional setting.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@ericjhberg I hardly use the grade object tool. As a matter of fact I hardly use any of the tools directly in the "Site Planning" tool set. I typically draw the polygon or polyline that I want to define the object or in your situation "site modifier" and go to Landmark > Create Objects from Shapes and selected the desired element. I don't know if this is any faster or slower but I feel that works more smoothly.

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Wow @rowbear97, you were a busy one on here this morning! 


Regardless of how you make the grade object, it still takes way too long to edit some of the functionality of one, once it's created. 


The tool is actually very useful for annotating slopes on a site model, if it didn't take so long to create using the toolbar tool. What I have found though is that once you create one, you can just copy it and move around copies to a much quicker effect than drafting one from scratch each time which takes more than 30 seconds each to get from first click to application.


My thinking is that if Vectorworks is going to create tools for our use, then they should be useful and practical tools, not only from a functional standpoint, but also from a practical application perspective. 30 seconds is far too long to expect anyone to wait to draft a grade object when we may have hundreds to do. 


This problem doesn't stop with grade objects too...take irrigation tools, they often take 15-20 seconds per command, adding hours to a drafting process.

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2 minutes ago, rowbear97 said:

@ericjhberg I read your post on irrigation and wow that is annoying!


Yep...all for the sake of 'smart' tools. At the base level I understand the promise of BIM and its potential to change the way we design and draft. I often compare it to the old saying "work smarter, not harder".


This all falls apart though when you spend 4x as much time making things 'smart' as you would using traditional methods, especially when that 4x doesn't pay off in the long run with reduced time on revisions or enhanced collaboration. I sometimes feel that VW misses this point and just creates tools and features for the sake of having tools and features, without asking the question of how this gets used.


Furthermore...how specific  tools get used seems to be framed around very specific types of applications, applications that users don't necessary know about before diving in. I feel that the irrigation tools and many of the site tools were designed to accommodate the residential, single-family market and then when large-scale landscape architects try to use them for massive projects, they fail or these efficiency problems creep in. Marketing continues to push the tools to a broader audience, whether or not they were ever intended or designed to facilitate the variety of scales being pitched.


You and I have had these conversations before and you know where I stand. If VW and Landmark specifically is gearing to be the preferential tool used by the landscape architecture profession, then they need to get outside the small box they have created for themselves.

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1 hour ago, ericjhberg said:

If VW and Landmark specifically is gearing to be the preferential tool used by the landscape architecture profession, then they need to get outside the small box they have created for themselves.

@ericjhberg I agree totally. As you know we are both pushing beyond that perception as are others like @mcgregorcoxall with there global team!

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