- Preparing Your Workspace
- Photo Callout Overview
- Calling Out a Plant
- Placing Your Own Photos
- Calling Out a Site Object, Hatch, or Light Fixture
- Keeping Photo Callouts Uniform in Size
- Editing a Photo Callout Caption
- Related Webinars
Our Photo Callout tool links to an online search for images of a specific plant, or even site objects such as light fixtures or benches that you've added as Reference Notes (RefNotes). You can then select a photo to place in your drawing to call out the plant or amenity. When placed in a drawing, photo callouts include a photo “drop shadow” and a caption.
Plant photos are often used in client meetings to communicate the plant palette. Photos are typically not part of the documents package submitted to the contractor, and should therefore be used strictly as a presentation tool to aid in the design process.
Preparing Your Workspace
We recommend doing some planning of the general locations where you'll place the photo callouts, as well as the sizes of the photos themselves.
Note that Plant Photo Callouts need to be placed into Paper Space.
Before opening the Photo Callout tool, go to one of your Paper Space layout tabs. This tab will require a viewport of your planting design. If you only want to place photo callouts in this tab, create a temporary viewport of your site off to the side of the sheet where you can access your planting design.
You might want to move the viewport off the site to a central location on the sheet and plan the photo locations around this viewport.
At this point, we recommend “locking” this viewport. With the viewport locked, you'll be able to zoom in and out within it without affecting the scale.
Locking the Viewport
Click the viewport edge to select it. Then right-click the selected viewport boundary.
The menu pictured to the right will open.
Hover the cursor over the Display Locked option, and select Yes from the submenu.
The viewport will now be locked.
Making the Viewport Active
You'll now make the viewport "active," allowing you to select plants and other objects within it while still in Paper Space.
Double-click within the viewport.
The viewport boundary will turn into a bold line, and the viewport itself will now be "active."
As a result, you'll be able to select plants and other objects within it.
Photo Callout Overview
F/X Planting ribbon, Photo Callout flyout
F/X Planting menu, Photo Callout option
F/X Site ribbon, Photo Callout flyout
F/X Site menu, Photo Callout flyout
Plant Label toolbar
or type FX_PlantPhotoCallout in the Command line
The cursor will turn into a pickbox. Click the plant or site object you want to call out with a photo.
Calling Out a Plant
If you click a plant, you'll fire an automatic online images search of that plant's botanical name. Note that you can click Filter to display options for filtering your search by Size, Color, Type, and several other parameters.
Don't see an image you like? You can also browse to and select your own photo of the plant. More information
Reviewing the Image Size
Select a photo that not only represents your plant but also has your desired image quality. You can view the size of the photo in pixels where shown below (example: 736x551).
Click View Image to view and select the photo for your callout. Click View Page to see the page where the image is published.
A good photo size will depend on the resolution (in dpi, dots per inch; or dpm, dots per millimeter) you will find acceptable, as well as the final size of the photo as it will appear in your drawing. Resolution can best be summed up with the following rules of thumb:
- 150 dpi (6 dpm): Acceptable minimum level that is equal to the quality at which a newspaper would print a photo.
- 300 dpi (12 dpm): Very good resolution.
- 600 dpi (24 dpm): Photo-quality resolution.
You should have already created a general layout of your anticipated locations and sizes of the photos. Measure an average image size for your photos – for example, 4 to 6 inches in final size (100 to 150 mm). Divide the photo's resolution by your anticipated size.
You might consider yourself lucky to find a photo with 150 dpi (6 dpm) resolution, and you might even settle for less for the right photo.
Filtering Images by Size
If you want, you can filter your photo search by photo size. Click Filter to display the Size menu. You can the select from the following options in this menu:
- All (all sizes)
- Extra Large
Selecting a Photo
If the photo and resolution seem appropriate, click a photo to see a larger version of it. Click View Image to select the photo and place your callout. You can also click the left and right arrows shown below to scroll to the previous or next photo in the list.
You will then be brought back to Paper Space from this floating Model Space automatically, and the Photo Callout dialog box will open.
Are you unable to import the photo into CAD? You may need to select a different photo, as some online photos have built-in usage restrictions. It's also a good idea to update to the latest version of our software and try selecting the photo again.
The default Caption shows the botanical name. You can change this text if you want.
Check the Drop Shadow box if you want the photo to have a drop shadow. If all is correct, click OK.
Click within your drawing to place the photo in Paper Space. Move the mouse diagonally to size the photo, then click to establish the size.
The photo callout and caption will be placed in your drawing.
A leader with an arrow to the plant you originally selected will now appear automatically.
If you want to place the leader to the photo, you may do so. You can also right-click to place the photo without placing the leader.
Here's an example of a series of photos placed in Paper Space from an online image search:
To view the copyright policy for the photo you want to use, click the View Page button next to the photo.
It's imperative that you perform due diligence on photos you want to include in your plans, as Photo Callouts or otherwise – particularly if the finished products that include these photos will be placed on your website. We highly recommend reading the Important Warning on Photo Copyright section below before using a photo from a browser image search in any of your designs.
An Important Warning on Photo Copyright
Keep in mind that the website shown as the source of the photo in your search (in the example shown above, pinterest.com), may very well have sourced or even stolen the image from somewhere else. This prospect could be extremely lucrative for the true copyright owner, so you need to be extremely careful about which photos you use in your plans.
If you plan to place a finished product that includes photos on your website, or even in your portfolio, it could be a copyright violation if those photos aren't your own and you don't have permission to use them. If you give the file only as a PDF to a client, who then puts that PDF on their website, that could still be a copyright violation.
For these reasons, it's highly recommended that you include some copyright information, along the lines that the photos have their original copyrights as stated. Land F/X – and even Google, for that matter– cannot do this automatically. Some image formats include the ability to have the copyright placed into a watermark, which would require you to download the image and then open it in an application such as Photoshop to view the watermark and copyright. If you're putting together a sheet of photos, this process would undoubtedly become tedious and time consuming. The same goes for the alternative of performing reverse image searches to determine the copyright status of each photo you plan to use.
The best solution would undoubtedly be:
1. Search for photos of a particular plant in your Web browser.
2. Investigate the copyright policy of the website shown as the source of the photo.
3. Download the image, open and inspect its watermark, and perform a reverse image search to validate.
4. Write up an appropriate copyright notice for that one photo.
5. Save the photo, along with the copyright information.
6. Using our Photo Callout tool, browse to that known legal and safe downloaded photo, and add the copyright information to the caption.
This solution is obviously tedious as well. Unfortunately, the most correct legal way to carry out something as critical as copyright verification requires an extremely high level of detail and attention to legal standards – and generally involves a lawyer, for that matter.
Clearly, the majority of designers will not be able to devote this time to every image, just as every user using Google Image search is not doing the same each time you search for an image.
The most important point is just to be aware.
Secondly, it's always a good idea to place some sort of boilerplate legal copyright information that would satisfy your lawyer on any Photo Callout page.
And finally, we suggest that you avoid putting photo callout plans on your portfolio website at all, unless you're satisfied with the copyright display and due diligence spent in validating the copyright information of each image.
A final word on the potential legal implications of photo usage:
Google Image search has been the subject of lawsuits – notably by Getty – which has forced Google to make substantial changes to the interface. The establishment of copyright requires case law and precedent, but the fact is that Google and other large entities have fought the big fight with the likes of Getty and have established much of that case law.
What it comes down to is that Google/Yahoo is not violating copyright by making these images searchable, and you are not (necessarily) violating copyright by downloading them and putting them into a plan. ("Necessarily" because, what if an unscrupulous or unknowing employee later extracted that image from the plan and set it as the background image for your website? Any reference or copy of a copyrighted work has that potential.)
What you do with that plan after the fact may violate copyright law. Above all, be alert, be aware, be vigilant.
Placing Your Own Photos
You can also choose to use your own photos as callouts. You'll also place these photos on a sheet in Paper Space, so go to the appropriate active and locked Paper Space viewport where you want to place photos.
You have two options for using your own photos:
Drag and Drop
This method won't require you to call out a "smart" Land F/X block or hatch, so you can use it to call out generic hatches, as well as generic blocks from our Elevation Graphics or Plan Graphics will place your photo in your drawing without a leader or arrow. If you want, you can add a leader later using one of our Site Leader tools.
Minimize your CAD screen so you can also see a Windows Explorer screen. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the location on your computer where your photos are saved. Find the photo you want to add, and simply click and drag it to the CAD Paper Space location.
The Photo Callout dialog box will open with the caption consisting of the name of the photo file.
If you want, change the caption to represent the plant more clearly. You can then place the photo into the Paper Space viewport as you did above.
Your photo will be placed, along with a caption and a drop shadow (if you selected one).
If you want the Photo Callout to include a leader and arrow pointing to the plant or site object you're calling out, you can place it using one of our Site Leader tools.
If you place your own photos, do so from a stable location on your computer, or a location that will not easily change. When you open this drawing in the future, it will look to the image from that location. If you've moved it, the photo will not be placed. If you're working on both desktop and laptop computers, the location should be the same for both, and the photos should be stored in both locations.
Browse to Your Photo from the Photo Callout Tool
You can also use Photo Callout to browse for your photos to place them in a drawing.
The View Photo dialog box will open.
If you selected a Reference Note, simply click Browse.
If you selected a plant, select the Local tab.
Then click Browse.
Browse to the photo you want to use for the callout.
Select the photo, then click Open.
Photo Callout can only browse to photos you've saved on a letter drive. (The path must be a physical path with a drive letter.) It won't be able to browse to photos saved on your desktop, nor can it browse to photos with UNC paths (such as \\SERVER\Photos\photo1.jpg). It is perfectly capable of browsing to and displaying a photo with a mapped letter drive (example: X:\Photos\photo1.jpg), which would be the preferred method of storing photos anyway.
You'll now see the photo you selected within the View Photo dialog box.
Click OK to place the photo.
The Photo Callout dialog box will open.
The name of the RefNote or plant you selected will automatically appear in the Caption field. You can edit the caption if you'd like.
Click OK to place the callout.
Click to set an insertion point for the photo.
Drag the mouse outward to scale the photo to your desired size, or enter a scale factor.
Click to place the arrow and set the leader.
Calling Out a Site Object, Hatch, or Light Fixture
The Photo Callout tool also allows you to call out site furnishings, play equipment, paving materials, lights, and other site and hardscape objects.
Blocks, Hatches, and Reference Notes (RefNotes)
To add a photo callout for a block or hatch, including those you've placed as a RefNote, you'll need to use your own locally stored photos. You can use either of the methods outlined above:
- Drag and drop your photo directly into a Paper Space viewport, or
- Browse to your photo directly from Photo Callout
With Photo Callout active, select the light fixture you'd like to call out – also in an active and locked Paper Space viewport.
The View Photo dialog box will open, and you'll see an official manufacturer photo of the fixture you selected (if available).
You can also click Browse to browse to your own photo.
The photo preview may appear a bit pixelated, like the image above. That's OK – it will look fine when you place the photo callout.
Click to set the insertion point for your photo callout, and drag the mouse or enter a scale factor to scale it.
Click to place the arrow, and again to place the leader.
Keeping Photo Callouts Uniform in Size
To keep all Photo Callouts uniform in size throughout your drawing, you can use one of two possible methods:
Pre-draw a grid in Paper Space, then snap the Photo Callouts to the line intersections.
Photo Size Method
Use a photo editing program (such as Photoshop) to make all your callout photos the same size. You can then place your Photo Callouts in your drawing, allowing you to set the scale to ensure all Photo Callouts are uniform.
Editing a Photo Callout Caption
To edit a Photo Callout caption after placing the callout, simply double-click the caption and edit the text manually.
Planting F/X for Beginners Part 2: In this second installment, we'll dive right into some of the tools you need to know about for the best experience and fastest workflow when starting with Land F/X planting plans, including how to create Photo Callouts. (1 hr 3 min)