Jump to content
Todd

Landscape designer

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Intel Iris Pro graphic on CPU is a bit too weak and not recommended for VW.

A dedicated GPU would be a better choice.

(which is a) more expensive and b) only available on the 15/16 inch models ?)

 

It could work for simpler models or plans though.

I think some people are using VW with 13" Macbooks.

Edited by zoomer
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

@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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks, Jeff. I would be starting out on residential projects, working in 2D. I do 3D modeling in SketchUp and am hoping it works with Vectorworks. I'm glad to hear MBP will work, I am looking at a refurbished model from the Mac store. I will compare any model I look at with your specs. Will I be able to import SketchUp files into Vectorworks? I can model and render in it pretty quickly. 

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks, Zoomer. I will look into GPU. I'm aiming to start with simpler residential projects in 2D, and hoping to import SketchUp files.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Todd said:

Will I be able to import SketchUp files into Vectorworks?

 

Yes.

Maybe not always the latest SKP format but yes.

Edited by zoomer
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Yes money is tight now, so I am hoping to be able to use a MBP

Share this post


Link to post

@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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I do most work in 2D as many jobs kilometres across/regional and it works fine. Only time I do 2D is to put smaller areas of contours in. I do any 3D in Sketchup or QGIS and bring in or reference images/pdfs. The real issue with slowness is large area images, and how I get around that is to split them up and put each in their own class - a hassle and a kludge and only for larger jobs. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, jeff prince said:

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.

 

 

If you also run realtime GPU render solutions like Twinmotion.

You will really want a dedicated powerfull GPU.

 

But that's the idea.

If you start with your integrated GPU and run into limits, you can still

upgrade to an external GPU.

Share this post


Link to post
15 minutes ago, zoomer said:

 

 

If you also run realtime GPU render solutions like Twinmotion.

You will really want a dedicated powerfull GPU.

 

But that's the idea.

If you start with your integrated GPU and run into limits, you can still

upgrade to an external GPU.


very true.  I turned my gpu off just to see how VWX and Twinmotion behaved.... it was unusable for the most part.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
6 minutes ago, Todd said:

I'm assuming you have an external GPU...

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 🙂

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

Hello again, This is the MBP I'm considering. Is there enough information to determine if it will support Vectorworks software? Thanks

 

1672041837_ScreenShot2020-08-04at7_10_08PM.thumb.png.d63177c312c04639f981bc044873641c.png

Edited by Todd
adding an image

Share this post


Link to post

@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.

 

1175378609_ScreenShot2020-08-04at4_23_07PM.thumb.png.25b979aa548baf6239b166e0b64d5e46.png268948899_ScreenShot2020-08-04at4_20_53PM.thumb.png.8977b955dafe51323465420fcaef57db.png1362961783_ScreenShot2020-08-04at4_21_43PM.thumb.png.8ca357e8932aa540d23add04ca5d6a8c.png

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

@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.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

Very impressive work and videos!  The overview and experience are much appreciated. Thanks also for the Mac-GPU tips. I've got some great next-steps!

Edited by Todd
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Hi again, This is the model I'm considering. Is there enough information to determine if it will support the software? Thanks.

 

1835451405_ScreenShot2020-08-04at7_10_08PM.thumb.png.f04c210e4e25cfbd090f3a1adb222259.png

Share this post


Link to post

@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.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Todd said:

Very impressive work and videos!  The overview and experience are much appreciated. Thanks also for the Mac-GPU tips. I've got some great next-steps!

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 😞

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


 

7150 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, Maryland 21046, USA   |   Contact Us:   410-290-5114

 

© 2018 Vectorworks, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Vectorworks, Inc. is part of the Nemetschek Group.

×
×
  • Create New...