June 14, 2010 at 5:22 pm #171378Vance W. HallParticipant
Nick Aceto is on page with our firm. We typically use a combination of CAD, Hand-sketch, PS and illustrator.
As an office I feel it is easiest to have a CAD/PS combination. It is the staple for most University programs. We use a common hand-graphic style that translates into all the programs. in the end they are all just tools and unless your office has a set style your staff graphics will conflict. Office illustrators and graphics people are often worth their experience.
CAD – base files and line work
PS – rendering
Illustrator – Page formating and late in the game line-work
Wacom – for looseness
A monthly “how to” meeting often helps. Good LuckJune 14, 2010 at 5:25 pm #171377Vance W. HallParticipant
I feel that rendering in CAD exclusively removes any feeling in the image.December 2, 2010 at 2:40 pm #171376Jon QuackenbushParticipant
Great discussion. I feel the most comfortable rendering my plans in Photoshop, and for the most part labeling as well, however when plans get large and labeling extensive, photoshop is getting bogged down.
I would like an opinion on Illustrator for leaders and labels, is it worthwhile to pursue?December 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm #171375
You can also “select by colo.r” as long as each layer is a different color, it makes it easier to separate the layersDecember 2, 2010 at 3:06 pm #171374
Can do CAD imports, pdf as an image I think. It’s a simple program that’s good for small areas and quick mock ups, but is lacking in features (it is a sketching software after all)December 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm #171373
I always preferred CAD base, Illustrator to check/adjust line weights and broad area rendering (using masking) => photoshop for finer raster touch up/importing scanned hand images => Illustrator to keep crisp lines for final PDF => InDesign for layout/labeling. This allows for edits in a consistent way (always hated edits in PS) and manages file size by having points of layer flattening. I like to have high-res scans of hand drawn textures to use in renderings, they soften images nicely. (The software package gets pricey, but you only need InDesign on one or two computers, and it allows for multiple images to be worked on simultaneously much like xrefs work in AutoCAD).
I found that at large file sizes Illustrator doesn’t like text.
While limiting software/media is probably not desirable, if you had a selection of “go-to” media (PS, AI, a brand of colored pencils/markers), it could encourage a consistent work flow within the studio. Also, I would highly encourage a file structure/labeling standard/template so that the files could easily be used by everyone in the office. Layer management in PS/AI seems to not be as practiced as in CAD.December 2, 2010 at 4:22 pm #171372Thomas J. JohnsonParticipant
Techniques I’ve used:
CAD Printed on Vellum rendered with marker = Beautiful, accurate and time intensive. If plan changes, whole thing has to be recolored.
CAD plotted to PDF layers rendered in Photoshop = Beautiful, accurate, fast-ish and relatively easy to update changes. The only problem is that you have to be very deliberate with your CAD layers. This becomes more of a problem with the more people you have involved in the drawing. Some people don’t appear to understand or care about layers or naming standards. All trees have to be on the tree layer, paving on paving, ground cover on ground cover, etc. etc. If they are not on the right layer it becomes a total mess / headache.
CAD plotted to single PDF Layer and rendered with plant images = ugly, pretty accurate, slow (creates huge files) and difficult to update changes.
CAD drawn using CTB colors – Fast, accurate, beautiful and easy to update. The coloring happens as you draw. The colors are all set up in your symbols / hatch patterns. Simple. It does take time to set up a good CTB system though…
Other thoughts: Photoshop vs. Illustrator – I’ve never tried to plot CAD layers into Illustrator. If you can plot layers directly into Illustrator as mentioned by others on this thread, that would be a huge time saver. It would also have the advantage of being able to scale the drawing without pixelization but again, you would have to have your layers/symbols dialed-in.
Right now, I feel the fastest/easiest way to render CAD files is in CAD. With a good CTB you can make it look however you want, while you’re drawing it. No extra steps…December 5, 2010 at 7:56 pm #171371
Well I have good news and bad news…the good news is SketchUP is REALLY easy to learn. You can Buy a copy of SketchUP Pro for $495.00. Can you by a seat of 3D Max for that? The neat thing about SketchUP is a lot of programs are writing plug-ins for SU to get stuff in or out of the program easily. For Quick and dirty concept stuff you just can’t beat it. Now the Bad News 3D Max was developed for High end stuff that a Film Studio or TV station would use. It is very powerful and difficult to learn to use. But it is more sophisticated than SketchUP. I prefer to use SketchUP Pro and if I need to go further import into Vue 9 infinite (via vue’s SketchUp plug-in). Vue can actually run as a plug-in for 3D Max (Vue 9 xStream) Vue is a 3D Modeler and Rendering engine. It’s specific strengths are Landscapes and eco-systems. A lot of film or gaming companies may use 3D Max for character design/animations but still use vue for the landscapes in the Rendered Animations. I just decided that if I was going to be doing Landscape renderings I might as well learn the best tool for that particular application.
s.December 6, 2010 at 7:18 am #171370
I want to call to your attention (if you haven’t seen it already) there is a SketchUP group here on the Forum. Click on Groups at the top of the Page and Select the SketchUP Group
If you haven’t been to one of Daniel Tal’s webinars on SketchUP you are really missing out.
He has an excellent book out by the way ” Google SketchUP for Site Design A guide to Modeling Site Plans, Terrain, and Architecture”
He is also on the SketchUP Group here on the forum.
s.December 6, 2010 at 7:34 am #171369
Why would you want to import a PDF into SketchUP? To my knowledge that cannot be done. You can import other file formats including .DXF and .DWG (In SketchUP 8 Pro) You can export PDF’s from SketchUP.
s.December 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm #171368
We are a Survey, Design, Build firm. I am enclosing a work flow of a typical work flow. Realize that every client is different and we we tweak our work flow to the particular client we are working with.
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