Color Render: Excessively Large File Size or Gradient Issue
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Color Render: Excessively Large File Size or Gradient Issue


You used our Color Render tool on a drawing, and the drawing file is now overly large.


You may have attempted to plot your drawing but found out the file was too big to plot.




Having an issue with large file size in drawings that originated, or have Xrefs that originated, in AutoCAD Civil 3D? You may be experiencing a known issue with the AutoCAD Object Enabler. Here's what to do.

Color Render can be associated with overly large file size for several possible reasons:


Reason #1: The Use of Gradients

Although we have phased out many of our plant colorization options that contain gradients, we've still made some gradients available for designers who prefer them. However, gradients can contribute to excessive file sizes in rendered drawings.


Reason #2: Issues with the PDF Driver

The built-in AutoCAD PDF printer can cause a number of problems, one of which is a large file size.


Reason #3: The Use of Outdated Color Render Symbols

We overhauled our library of colorized plant symbols back in 2015, adding new symbols and removing some existing symbols, several of which contained gradients that were making files too large.




1. Check for gradients.

Check your color fills to see whether they contain gradients. If you see any gradients in individual trees or shrubs, groundcovers, or Shrub Areas, select new color symbols or fills for these plants, making sure to avoid gradients.



2. Did you use the built-in DWG-to-PDF utility? Try a third-party PDF printer instead.

Did your plot your drawing to a PDF using the built-in AutoCAD DWG-to-PDF printer? If so, the large file size may be the result of that function of AutoCAD.


We recommend using a third-party PDF printer to plot your drawings to PDF. Try using one of our recommended third-party PDF printers to plot your drawing to PDF.


Check the file size. Chances are it's much more manageable.



3. Still getting a large file size? You may still have our old color symbols. Download the current color symbols.


The color symbols are stored in your LandFX folder, in the folder path LandFX/Blocks/Graphics/Planting/Color. Navigate to this folder, and locate the following three folders:

  • Groundcover
  • Shrubs
  • Trees


Color Symbols in your LandFX Folder

Does your office have Land F/X installed on a central server? If so, this folder path will be in the LandFX folder on your server. If you need help finding it, ask your system administrator.

If you wish, back up all of these folders in another location on your computer. This is especially important if you want to use some of the old symbols, or if you've added your own symbols to this folder.



Once you've backed up any folders or symbol files you want to keep, delete the Groundcover, Shrubs, and Trees folders from this folder.



Restart CAD, and open the Color Render tool from the F/X Planting ribbon.


Color Render tool


The new symbols and plant category folders will automatically populate in the Color folder, and the new color symbols will now be available.

Want to use some of the symbols you backed up? You can now move the files back into the Color folder, taking care not to overwrite the new plant category folders.


Because you deleted the old color symbols, some (or possibly all) of your plants will have lost their color symbols. You'll now need to select a new texture and color symbol for each of those plants.



With the drawing open that was causing the issue, open the Color Render tool. Make sure you have the correct Land F/X project open.



In the Plant Colorization dialog box, you will see a white rectangle above each plant that has lost its color symbol. Click the white rectangle above a plant to select a new color symbol for that plant.


Plant Colorization dialog box



The Select Symbol dialog box will open, and you can select a new texture and color for each of these plants. For more information, please follow our instructions for selecting:


Step 4: Try a rasterized format.

The issue may be the result of vector-based PDFs. Take the PDF into Photoshop instead – or another program that will help you transform the PDF into a raster-based file, such as a JPEG. The file size might increase, but printers will be able to handle that file better than a vector PDF with vector solid hatches. We haven't yet heard of a way to output raster PDFs directly from AutoCAD or F/X CAD.

We've found that for PDFs with a very large number of solid hatches (our color tree symbols use solid hatches as well), vector PDFs can have performance issues. It's a problem with the file type itself handling vector-based solid hatches.

Other potential causes of large file size
  • If you're using F/X CAD or AutoCAD on a drawing file that either originated in AutoCAD Civil 3D or has attached Xrefs that originated in AutoCAD Civil 3D, the problem may be resulting from an issue with the AutoCAD Object Enabler. Here's what to do.
Last modified on May 26, 2022


  • Land F/X

Our software tailors AutoCAD® to the needs of landscape architects, irrigation designers, and other professionals. We automate your most tedious tasks and ensure accuracy, giving you more time to design.

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