Use Hand Graphics in a Land F/X Workflow
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Use Hand Graphics in a Land F/X Workflow

Jan 22, 2016
Video Length:  1:01:12
Presented By:  Amanda Berry

Hand graphics remain an important step in efficient CAD drafting. In this webinar, we'll go through a sample project to show you how to use hand graphics in the concept stage.


Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • Intro/TOC
  • When to Use Hand Graphics
  • Moving into CAD
    • Equipment?
    • Importing Hand Graphics into CAD
  • Using Hand Graphics in Details

0:00 – 4:35: Intro/TOC

4:36 – 11:07: When to Use Hand Graphics

When is it a Good Idea to Use Hand Graphics? (4:36):

  • Concept brainstorming: Working with layers of trace paper
  • REALLY quick concept for a client
  • Initial sketches of details
  • A high-skill hand-done touch for a final graphic (watercolor or pen & ink)

11:08 – 49:59: Moving into CAD

How to get hand graphics into CAD (13:35)

  • Scan them and save them as JPGs, PDFs, PNGs, etc. (not TIFF files)
  • Keep file size smaller than 10 MB (and smaller than 5 MB if possible)



Equipment? (15:00)

  • Big flat-bed scanner
  • 11-by-17-printer (bare minimum)



Importing Hand Graphics into CAD (19:00)

  • Save the scanned files in your Base folder.
  • Open the Xref Manager.
  • Click the down-facing arrow and select Attach PDF (for PDFs) or Attach Image (for JPGs, PNGs, or other image files).
  • Navigate to the scanned file and click Open.
  • Check the Specify on-screen boxes under both Insertion Point and Scale.
  • Do not check the Specify on-screen box under Rotation.
  • Click OK to attach the hand graphic as an Xref.
  • Select an insertion point.
  • Use the ALIGN command to scale the image.
  • Put the image on its own layer.



Drafting around the hand graphics (29:00)

  • Saving a Layer State (30:20)
  • Importing Reference Notes (36:10)
  • Placing dynamic blocks & toggling between blocks (37:30)
  • Copying a line of Reference Note objects with random rotations using the Copy along Line tool (42:50)
  • Importing and placing plants (45:20)
  • Freezing a Paper Space viewport using VP Freeze (active viewport freeze) (48:30)

50:00 – end: Hand Graphics in Details

Turning a hand graphic into a detail (51:07)

  • Opening a drawing template (See our Sheet Setup and Metric Sheet Setup webinars, as well as our Drawing Templates documentation page.)
  • Saving the drawing template temporarily into your project file
  • Bringing in the PDF or image file of the hand graphic as an Xref
  • Scaling the image
  • Bringing in a Detail Template
  • Saving the detail


Creating a copy of the layout (55:55)


Creating a sheet template (56:20)


Placing the detail on a sheet (56:50)


User comments on Hand Graphics (57:30):

  • Hand graphics tend to keep clients more engaged by giving the impression that nothing is final.  
  • User comment: PDFs commonly cause problems; JPGs are generally a better option. (Amanda’s response: Yes, PDFs tend to bog down AutoCAD performance once they approach 10 MB. If you use PDFs, try to keep them under 5 MB. If you’re, for example, bringing in a 24-by-36-inch scan, we recommend saving it as a JPG.)

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