Landscape Special Interest Group January 2019

In this session, we talked about the effect of slope on the number of your plants and their spacing, showed how to add and remove labels with the Reshape tool, showed the Swale/Berm tool that comes with the new Surface Sculpting set, covered adding plant labels in the Annotation window of the viewport with the Data Tag tool, demonstrated aligning plant labels with the Align/Distribute Leader Lines command, covered plant styles, and discussed when to used solid colors or tiles for pavers.

Topics Covered:

  • 00:14    We started by looking at plant spacing. The challenge is that Vectorworks calculates the spacing from above. If you’re only working in 2D and your site has a slope, you will have to respace your plants manually. However, if you’re using a site model, Vectorworks will consider the slope of the site and the plant spacing when calculating the number of plants that you need. If you only work in 2D, you could add a formula to your worksheet so that it adjusts how many plants you need. Awareness of this phenomenon can keep you from running into a problem with your plant order.
  • 04:31    Someone was having a problem with plants jumping out of a boundary line. Opening a file with a site model and plants, we added a property line and experimented with selecting and deselecting the Randomize Plant Rotation option. The “jumping” was an acceptable amount in our demonstration, but you might need to contact your distributor if you experience significant movement when switching from one setting to the other.
  • 10:28    One of the new things for site models in Vectorworks 2019 is that you can show contour labels on minor contours as well as on the major ones. Sometimes, you might have multiple contour labels that show up on top of each other. The Reshape tool has a mode where you can add or remove labels, but you need to click and delete them one at a time.
  • 14:59    We looked at some of the Surface Sculpting tools that were added in Vectorworks 2019. The Swale/Berm tool allows you to quickly add an elevated area to your site model. The trouble can be modifying the swale or berm after you’ve created it. I find that I have to use the Recreate from Source Data command, which also deletes any other editing that I’ve done to the site. In any case, Vectorworks has an increasing number of powerful terrain tools.
  • 19:50    Labels have always been a challenge—tags in the design layer end up being various fonts and sizes, or they might be outside of the crop when you view the drawing in the viewport. Another new feature of Vectorworks 2019 is the Data Tag tool. You can now add plant tags in the Annotation window of the viewport—and they are “live,” they automatically update when you make changes on the design layer. When you add the tags in the Annotation window, they have consistent fonts, sizes and placement. We also demonstrated how to align your labels using the Align/Distribute Leader Lines command.
  • 27:48    Another new feature is plant styles. As with walls, doors, windows, and other objects, plants now have a style, instead of a definition. We demonstrated how to use a style to create a plant. If you’re using the Create Objects from Shapes command, we found that you need to pay careful attention to how the Plant tool is configured—we thought we were going to get only one plant, but ended up with more than 200!
  • 34:43    We discussed using tiles versus using sold colors. Tiles can turn your PDFs in very large files. One thing to consider is whether you always need to show tiles on your pavers. I prefer to show pavers as a solid color in a master plan and only show the tiles in smaller drawings or details.
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