Using Presentation Graphics
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Using Presentation Graphics

Friday, 06 May 2016
Video Length:  58:39
Presented By:  Amanda Berry

Throughout the first part of the year, we've been busy updating and improving our Presentation Graphics tools. Our next webinar will provide "from-the-basics" looks at some of our presentation graphics tools, such as Plant Color Render, Site Color, and SketchUp Connection. Along the way, we'll also give you some more advanced tips for developing a great presentation!

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
  • Plant Outlines
  • Plant Shadows
  • Plant Color Render
  • Site Color
  • Photo Callout
  • New Viewport
  • SketchUp Connection

0:00 – 7:20: Intro/TOC

7:21 – 9:51: Plant Outlines

Using Plant Outlines to create more clarity in your plan by separating groups of plants from the background with a polyline outline (7:21)


Example of Plant Outlines in plot preview (8:35)



Turning Plant Outlines on and off (9:00)

9:52 – 17:14: Plant Shadows


Turning Plant Shadows on (note that the shadows apply both to plants in the plan and the schedule) (10:00)


Example of Plant Shadows in plot preview (10:38)


Giving the shadows more transparency by checking the Plot Transparency setting and adding transparency to plant shadow layers (LK-TREE-SHAD and LK-SHRB-SHAD) (10:48)


Assigning shadow layers with a different color to darken or lighten the shadows (14:00)


Changing the orientation angle of the shadows (14:37)


Question: Do these features also work with custom plant blocks? (16:00)

Answer: Plant Outlines will work with your custom blocks. Plant Shadows will not (because the shadows are on their own layers, which we’ve built into our blocks).


Question: Why would Plant Outlines be turning on or off automatically? (16:20)

Answer: That sounds like a tech support issue. If your presentation tools are not behaving in the way you see them behaving in this webinar, you may have a tech support issue. Feel free to contact us for help in resolving the issue. Make sure you send us your drawing in a tech support ticket using our Support tool, providing a detailed description of the issue.

17:15 – 31:14: Plant Color Render

Opening the Color Render tool and assigning color symbols to your plants (17:30)


Assigning color hatches and textures to Shrub Areas (20:20)


Note: Try to avoid adding too many gradients, which can slow AutoCAD’s performance. If you’re noticing slow performance in your drawing, try changing gradient hatches to solid colors


Note: When you render your plan, the color symbols will appear in a hierarchic order, starting with Shrub Areas and working up to smaller shrubs, larger shrubs, smaller trees, and larger trees. This order allows for a logical draw order where the bigger plants overshadow the smaller ones but are assigned some transparency so the smaller plants and Shrub Areas are still visible.


Example of Color Render in plot preview (22:40)


Selecting new color symbols for plants using the Block Data tool (23:10)


Limiting color rendering or Plant Outlines to only trees, shrubs, or Shrub Areas by freezing layers (26:15)


Make sure Plot Transparency is enabled in your plotter options. If Plot Transparency is disabled, you won’ get the full effect of all these presentation tools. (You won’t notice whether Plot Transparency is on or off in Model Space, but you’ll see the difference in Paper Space and when you plot preview. (28:40)


Question: Is it possible to have Plant Shadows in the plan but not in the Plant Schedule? (30:00)

Answer: Yes. You can place the Plant Schedule in its own viewport and then turn off the shadow layers in the schedule viewport.

31:15 – 41:44: Site Color

Turning Site Color on (31:30)


Note: Site Color speeds up the site colorization process drastically by preventing you from having to spend all the time required to color your site in Photoshop.


Adding your own color wheel to the Site Color dialog box and then choosing your own color palette (33:18)


Assigning a color to a polyline area in your drawing and excluding internal regions (34:58)


Changing your color palette (36:00)


Combining Site Color with Color Render (37:15)


Adding color to default Land F/X blocks such as Plan Graphics and Elevation Graphics (We’ve added optional automatic coloring to many of these blocks. You can either keep our default colors or change them to your own.) (37:30)


If you’re not seeing everything as you should in your drawing (for example, the draw order is making some blocks invisible), try typing RE in the Command line to regenerate your drawing. (39:50)


Regenerating an existing Plant Schedule to assign color symbols to the schedule plant symbols (41:10)

41:45 – 42:59: Photo Callout

Adding Plant Photo Callouts to your plan. This tool fires an automatic online images search for a plant you select, or you can choose to use your own photos (41:45)

43:00 – 46:54: New Viewport

Turning a Work Area into a new viewport, allowing that area to stand out from the rest of the drawing (43:00)


Turning viewport layers on and off, and changing layer colors (44:40)


Example of a new viewport in a plot preview (46:30)

46:55 – end: SketchUp Connection

Preparing your drawing to export to SketchUp (47:40)


We offer several videos showing what you need to do to optimize your 3D rendering of your drawing:


Exporting the design from CAD to SketchUp (48:30)


Importing the design into SketchUp (48:54)


Using applications such as Thea Render, Photoshop, Cinema 4D, Lumion, Twilight Render, etc. to further render your SketchUp model (51:00)


Question: Color Render can sometimes bog down my machine. Why is this? (54:25)

Answer: You likely have several gradients assigned as Shrub Area colors. Gradients can cause slow performance. We recommend reassigning these areas with solid colors, which should speed up your performance. Of course, you’re always welcome to send us your drawing in a technical support ticket.


Question: How can I apply color to a Reference Note (RefNote) Area? (55:25)

Answer: Use the Color Render tool, which also works for Reference Notes.

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