June 18, 2010 at 5:51 pm #169041June 19, 2010 at 12:08 am #169064Tim ZhangParticipant
for most major firms, Rhino, 3d Studio Max, and Sketchup sometimes.June 19, 2010 at 5:26 pm #169063Bob LutherParticipant
it depends on what you are trying to accomplish… I think for most simple models sketchup is the new industry pick. For high end complex modeling Rhino and Max seem to be the standard.June 20, 2010 at 11:53 pm #169062
We may want to add Revit and ArchiCad to that list. Not enough LA firms are using BIM software, but there are reasons for moving that way.
Personally, I prefer SketchUp and 3ds Max.
I think the most important thing is how to move 3D data from one program to another. I have an article in the LAM august issue that seeks to address that issue. Hope it helps.June 21, 2010 at 4:21 am #169061
Agreed on revit and archicad. And on that front Digital Projects, though the expense can be high. After many, many hours invested in DP I despair to find a firm using it. Maybe at some point in the future.
Pretty much all my modeling is done in Rhino and translated to Max or Maya. I never really liked modeling in Max but it is getting more interesting as the Max Design release develops.
Translation between platforms (as noted above) is definitely crucial. In the past I found it easiest to use Rhino as a middle platform between any other two packages (thought the end models were extremely polygon heavy) but the more and more programs seem to be building more powerful translation software for their programs. Autodesk with connection extension for instance. There are also some 3rd party apps.June 21, 2010 at 4:36 am #169060
Digital Project is VERY expensive … the last time I looked it was around $10K a pop, and is one of the most difficult/frustrating programs I have worked with. I don’t see landscape architects using DP unless a client demands it … or unless you are a sub on a big project to Frank Gehry!
I am a big fan of translator programs … there are some very good ones out there.
I used to use Rhino and FormZ, but for some reason have dropped both. I think bottom line you just can’t be good at all of them. You have to pick one or two and then concentrate on that particular program.June 21, 2010 at 6:35 am #169059
Ah well I guess that is still well less than Catia costs.
DP was definitely never easy to learn and even harder to teach but once into it the power of the program was kind of captivating. It was worth learning because it gave me a good basis in parametrics/parametric thinking and has made subsequent programs a lot easier to get the hang of.
I look forward to the translation article. I spent a long time systematically trying to import and export different file types between platforms and decided that without a 3rd party app it is basically alchemy.
I guess with the original question it depends on what you want to do. As a basis learn sketchup and a plug in renderer for it (vray or thereabouts0 and you should be pretty well covered in your daily working life. if you are going to work for a multidisciplinary firm then maybe focus on a BIM program Archicad/revit/maybe vectorworks. And if you just like to learn programs try them all out. Once you learn one all subsequent ones are easier.June 21, 2010 at 2:04 pm #169058
I just don’t see landscape architects using Catia or DP … and given the existing tool set in Revit and ArchiCad, most won’t we using those either.
My advice …
(1) learn SketchUp
(2) figure out what program you want to import your SketcUp models into for rendering
(3) gain a better understanding of 3D data in order to know how to move this info from one program to another
and maybe a fourth … Google earth is great for viewing 3D terrain and dropping in base plans and simple 3D shapes … and it is amazingly easy
RFox, are you doing any BIM projects now? Got any good examples?June 21, 2010 at 4:05 pm #169057Eric GilbeyParticipant
In looking for 3D, site specific solutions, you may also want to take a look at Vectorworks Landmark. With the BIM functionality of the architect module, you have the power of designing 2D and 3D at the same time, and with intelligent objects…a plant is 2D/3D and reports the data associated to it…a hardscape (patio) knows the total area it covers and reports such to your worksheets as well…the site model (dtm) can generate slope analysis and cut/fill calculations, too. It is a great 2D/3D CAD application that works well with DWG and SKP files and is built for us landscape architects and landscape designers and far cheaper than the Autodesk offerings.June 21, 2010 at 5:05 pm #169056
Vectorworks is a great program to consider. I always think of it more for its 2D features and ability to work with geospatial data (another discussion – working with 3D geospatial data), but I do like it’s 3D capabilities, and the interconnectivity with SketchUp is very nice.June 21, 2010 at 5:14 pm #169055
how about rhino 4.0 software?June 22, 2010 at 9:26 am #169054
Unfortunately I have not projects in BIM. Currently in my working life parametrics/BIM remain an outside interest that I do when I can. That said, I do have an upcoming outside project coming up that I am going to try to use Revit or DP for. Though I foresee frustration levels rising. I could see a decent use for DP being in the conceptual stages of design to test relationships and space but that is kind of an underwhelming use of a powerful software.
James Sipes – Do you think it is necessary to the average sketch up user to export their models to an outside program? Max for example. I haven’t used them extensively but the plethora of plug in renderers for SU are starting to look pretty good. Vray especially which seems to be the favorite of professional arch renderers. albeit in max or maya.
We use vectorworks at work and the rendering is so horrible it hurts. It seems like it is so nemetschek can sell Cinema4D but I could be wrong. I like a lot of what the program can do for landscape. the plants tool, geospatial data, landmark in general but I don’t really like the 3D modeling. seems somewhat clunky.
As far as Rhino, I will try to be brief since I have typed a lot, it is definitely y favorite program. And with a basic understanding of Rhinoscript it isn’t that hard to write some really nice plugins/scripts for it that are geared towards landscape architecture. Also, Grasshopper is a lot of fun.June 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm #169053
RFox, I think most SketchUp users have no need for working with rendering or animation programs. SketchUp is great for conceptual models, but serious animators use max or maya. For most on this board, mastering 25% of what SketchUp will do is more than what they need from the 3D world.
Good luck with your BIM project. We don’t use Revit nearly as much as I had hoped we would, but that is based primarily on projects being put on hold. Like it or not, we will have to work in the BIM world.June 22, 2010 at 7:29 pm #169052Cliff SeeParticipant
yeah that’s what i am thinking… other than SketchUp, the learning curve on 3D max has got to be significant, and to just keep up with maintaining those computer skills seems a bit stifling, and cost to own them all… it seems the rendering programs such as 3D max are more for architecture/interior animation. Not sure why a client would want to pay for more than a Sketchup conceptual landscape model. It tells all you need to know right?
It ‘s probably more for cross-over from architects and civil that we would want to have a handle on the BIM, but still…
never tried Rhino, would like to know more.June 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm #169051Cliff SeeParticipant
hmmm, this sounds interesting… i only use acad and sketchup at this point, however maybe jumping off to vectorworks is a good idea? sounds as if it is made for land/archs..
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