March 25, 2011 at 11:37 pm #163965Lola NParticipant
I haven’t worked much in the last couple of years, and I’m wondering what I should be doing with all my unemployed time. I’d like to take this time to learn about whatever tools are currently being used, via online tutorials, etc. I’m experienced with AutoCAD ’08, Photoshop CS, a little SketchUp, some basic GIS… But before I left the office, I heard that companies might be starting to use Revit (or is that just for architects?), etc. What are people using now?
Thanks!March 26, 2011 at 9:34 am #163976mauiBobParticipant
You should’ve been asking this question 2 years ago! By now, you would be an expert in SketchUp and ArcView. Anyway, start with Autocad. The changes from 2008 to 2009+ are quite a huge leap forward. I’m sure Consumes River or Sac City College offer the latest version of autocad classes. Then, photoshop, sketchup, illustrator and Indesign in that order. I always use Sketchup and Autocad to set my perspective drawings and then hand render. Call me old school for I prefer the loose feel of hand drawing over the clucky, robotic look of SketchUp models. Forget Revit or GIS for now. Learn to walk before you can begin to run. Good luck and have fun!March 26, 2011 at 8:00 pm #163975Matt SprouseParticipant
draw draw draw! I won’t hire anyone who can’t draw with a pencil and pen. Know any CAD software – the concepts are interchangeable. Sketchup is a bonusMarch 26, 2011 at 8:01 pm #163974Matt SprouseParticipant
oh – forget Revit. BIM software for landscape architecture is not there yet.March 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm #163973Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
Also look for cross over skill set opportunities. In a time of reduced staff, diversity of skill sets can trump a specialist when it comes to who gets laid off and who stays full time. My job has been secure thus far because of that. I went from full time site designer to full time person who does several different different jobs rolled into one full time position. That is a big win for both employor and employee (one desk, one set of equipment, one pay check, one benefit package) … if you are the one that they hire and/or keep. Sometimes there is not enough hours of specialty work (ie, landscape architect) to hold a separate position.
If you have any connection to anyone who can teach you about uploading/downloading survey data into and out of drawings, learn it. If you can learn some basics on structural drafting, do it. If you can learn about the various regulatory boards and what they are requiring, do it. In my area conservation commissions are huge parts of the regulatory process and it is still an area that is open to non specific professionals as long as they have a good understanding of the resources and a good feel for the pulse of the particular boards whose jurisdiction the projects are in ( a cottage industry of its own in my area). If you can find ways to represent and advocate for people in front of any kind of board, do it.
Specialists suffer the most when offices shrink. … and they don’t understand why “lesser skilled” people were not let go. Make sure that it is obvious that you can fill in the week being productive when your primary work is not in continuous supply.March 26, 2011 at 9:01 pm #163972allandParticipant
I really love Land F/X. It really is professional ‘Landscape Architectural’ software. The planting symbols and database are excellent. It runs great with SketchUp, although I may need a software upgrade, because it locks up often. I see alot of designers using either Dynascape or Vectorworks, I guess because it automatically renders, but it looks very generic and plain to me. Alot of kids out of college are using Dynascape or Vectorworks for some reason….and Design/Build guys like it too…is there a reason?March 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm #163971Jordan LockmanParticipant
I used Dynascape at one of the design build firms I worked at. It was cheap at the time I am not sure about now. They also targeted design build firms with their marketing.
Our office uses Revit and Microstation, but we are an Architecture firm and the LA’s and Interiors go where the Architects go.March 28, 2011 at 6:48 pm #163970allandParticipant
Thanks, Jordan for the info….i was kinda wondering about those programs…April 6, 2011 at 10:03 pm #163969Lola NParticipant
Thanks so much for the replies! Now I need to get started…April 8, 2011 at 11:23 pm #163968Jeff DParticipant
I can’t add much, but I agree with what the others have said – AutoCAD, PhotoShop, Sketchup, and ArcGIS. As far as a BIM software for landscape architecture, right now what’s recommended is Autodesk Civil 3D. But the same terrain models can be created with regular AutoCAD, Autodesk Land Desktop, or Eagle Point software (Formerly known to us old-timers as LandCADD).
You said you know “a little” Sketchup – to get your skill level kick-started, I highly recommend Daniel Tal’s book Google Sketchup for Site Design. Be sure to download the add-on to import files from AutoCAD – they took it out as a regular function as of version 7, IIRC.
ps – I’m in the same boat – laid off Nov ’08. Good luck!April 9, 2011 at 12:12 am #163967Eric GilbeyParticipant
The use of programs like DynaSCAPE and Vectorworks offers the user the ability to do purpose built design intended for landscapes. Vectorworks Landmark is actually like taking AutoCAD, a landscape plugin, Photoshop and SketchUp and putting it all together in one program. The objects you design with have intelligence, and hybrid representation, and has worksheet functionality…so in the end, you have BIM functions in a landscape/site design program. Jeff D mentions Civil 3D, and I highly recommend using a tool like Civil3D or Vectorworks to do 3D site design, as it really helps to study the work you are doing in both 2D and 3D. The analysis alone can help make better decisions about design. In Vectorworks Landmark, you have the ability to not only make those terrains, but the modifiers then help to more accurately study proposed vs existing slopes and cut/fill. This also can be why Design/Build firms like these programs…it makes estimating so much easier and faster…especially with revisions.April 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm #163966Jeff DParticipant
Something I forgot – as far as GIS goes, you can order CDs or download a trial copy of ArcGIS for free. I believe it’s good for 60 days. Plenty of time to go through tutorials. The manual can also be DL’ed as a PDF (or it might be included – it’s been so long, I forget).
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.