Wednesday, 20 March 2024
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Hi All,

I apologize for the length of this question, but I've been unable to find the answer elsewhere, so here goes. 🤓

I'm working to improve our planting workflows and I'm looking for advice on how LandFX for Revit & Civil/AutoCAD can (and can't) help us. I've included ✅ emojis next to items that I believe LandFX is fully capable of delivering, and ❓ next to items that I'm unsure of.

Here's what I'm trying to achieve:

COMPANY LIBRARY
Central library of company-approved plants that can be used in projects.

Currently achievable by maintaining a central LandFX "Template" project.

PROJECT DIRECTORY / PALETTE

This is a 'pretty' deliverable that communicates plant attributes that clients care about (species and cultivar, appearance (via 1 or 2 photos), form, culture, special features, toxicity, wildlife value, bloom color & season, etc) in an attractive format that helps clients determine what plants they'd like to use in their landscape.

The plants in this directory are a subset of the "company library". If we create a plant or update an existing plant for this project, we want to 'push' it to the company library for use on future projects. Nice to have: existing projects that are using those projects would pull the updates, keeping everything in sync.

Our current method is to use InDesign to create this deliverable. It results in but it's a very manual & tedious process and is getting less and less viable as our company library expands. See Fig A.

What I've tried:
1) CAD > Create plants then create schedule: F/X Planting tab > Plant Schedule > check 'Entire Palette' > use the 'Plant Data' button to include attributes like 'Mature Width', 'Mature Height', 'Plant Traits' > check the 'Photo' boxes. Result: A schedule with a lot of the info we want, but enormous in dimensions and low in info density (aka, way too big, too much whitespace...just hard to read). See Fig B.
2) Revit: `Planting F/X tab > Plant Schedule > Properties Palette > Fields > add all 'LAFX' parameters including 'LAFX Plant Photo'.` Result: None of the detailed info available in CAD comes through and the `LAFX Plant Photo` parameter renders as a URL, even if it was a LandFX AWS URL (as opposed to a Google Images URL). See Fig C.

SCHEDULE
Once the final plant list is established, we'll place plants on the plan or convert placeholder/concept plants into final plants. As a 'functional' deliverable, the schedule should communicate the plan symbol, species, container size, and other details that are needed to install the design.

The plants in this schedule are only the plants drawn on the plan, and are also a subset of the "company library".

This is currently achievable via "Plant Schedule" functionality in both Revit & CAD.

QUESTIONS
A) Big picture, is there a good workflow using LandFX that achieves our goals? Or are we better off using another piece of software to make the 'Project Directory'?
B) Am I making this harder than it needs to be, and is there a totally obvious solution that I'm missing?
C) Finer points: should I be doing something differently in any of the 'what I've tried' workflows in order to get better results?


Fig A: A portion of our current project directory. The paragraph-style formatting has an advantage over column-formatting because not all plants have the same attributes, For example, not all plants need a column for toxicity. Note: definitely has some room for improvement re: layout/graphic design!
2024-03-20_141143.jpg

Fig B: CAD results
2024-03-20_133742.jpg

Fig C: Revit results
'reached attachment limit', will try to attach to subsequent post
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Steven,

Your Figure A and B didn't attach.

What you describe as a project directory/palette is something we're actively working on. Probably about a year out based on current discussions. We're thinking something more like a vision board, or cut-sheets. They would be connected to the same project palettes and templates you've created with cloud data on the AutoCAD/Civil and Revit side.

In Revit, the plant data parameters are currently in as placeholders for when we're able to connect and fill them in. While the Planting F/X plugin is very far along already and easily useable for working designs, it's still in the process of porting our entire CAD plugin capabilities.
Photos in schedules is actually very new for the CAD side (last fall) so understandably hasn't had a chance to be connected in the Revit side just yet.

Until our cut-sheet development is finished, your method of creating the information in InDesign might be the best right now. It depends on what it looks like. Of course you're also welcome to send in an example in a ticket of what you're creating manually to help influence our design decisions on this feature to help automate what you're currently doing.

You could also try using the updated photo callout feature. I don't think it'll get all of what you're describing but I wanted to mention it. It can now contain a lot more information, but not the plant data.
You can assign your current project to a DWG and create 8.5"x11" layout spaces for plants. Batch plot only the sheets needed for each different design from this master DWG to a PDF cutsheet book. You can then use the PDFs to assemble on collection pages if needed.

You could also do this with your InDesign document if you aren't already. Just create individual size "cards" with just one species and its info. Plot out to a multi-page PDF or individual PDFS. When creating the full collection, pull from the collection just the cards in this design and assemble together. I'm thinking maybe a multi-sheet plot to auto-arrange the cards on the plot page size.

-Amanda
Steven Valenziano set the type of the post as  Task — 2 months ago
2 months ago
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#6581
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Fig C:
2024-03-20_134501.jpg
Steven Valenziano updated the category from Planting to Planting — 2 months ago
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Steven,

Your Figure A and B didn't attach.

What you describe as a project directory/palette is something we're actively working on. Probably about a year out based on current discussions. We're thinking something more like a vision board, or cut-sheets. They would be connected to the same project palettes and templates you've created with cloud data on the AutoCAD/Civil and Revit side.

In Revit, the plant data parameters are currently in as placeholders for when we're able to connect and fill them in. While the Planting F/X plugin is very far along already and easily useable for working designs, it's still in the process of porting our entire CAD plugin capabilities.
Photos in schedules is actually very new for the CAD side (last fall) so understandably hasn't had a chance to be connected in the Revit side just yet.

Until our cut-sheet development is finished, your method of creating the information in InDesign might be the best right now. It depends on what it looks like. Of course you're also welcome to send in an example in a ticket of what you're creating manually to help influence our design decisions on this feature to help automate what you're currently doing.

You could also try using the updated photo callout feature. I don't think it'll get all of what you're describing but I wanted to mention it. It can now contain a lot more information, but not the plant data.
You can assign your current project to a DWG and create 8.5"x11" layout spaces for plants. Batch plot only the sheets needed for each different design from this master DWG to a PDF cutsheet book. You can then use the PDFs to assemble on collection pages if needed.

You could also do this with your InDesign document if you aren't already. Just create individual size "cards" with just one species and its info. Plot out to a multi-page PDF or individual PDFS. When creating the full collection, pull from the collection just the cards in this design and assemble together. I'm thinking maybe a multi-sheet plot to auto-arrange the cards on the plot page size.

-Amanda
Steven,

I had a discussion with our development team, and actually 2-3 months or sooner is a more accurate for the timeline of our first release of our upcoming Plant Portfolio report, in case that influences if you wait for that or improve your current workflow right now.

There's still plenty of time to give me examples now of what you'd like such a report to look like to influence the end result.

-Amanda
Steven Valenziano updated the category from Planting to Planting — 2 months ago
Steven Valenziano updated the category from Planting to Planting — 2 months ago
2 months ago
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#6593
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Thanks Amanda, that's really helpful, I'll follow up by email with some images!
Steven Valenziano selected the reply #6583 as the answer for this post — 2 months ago
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