Site Plans and Land F/X
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Site Plans and Land F/X

Aug 03, 2018
Video Length:  57:17
Presented By:  Aaron Emerson with Mills Design Group, Inc
With more than 600 projects using Land F/X, Mills Design Group Inc. is a power-user firm that's pushing to use every time-saving tool offered in our software. In this webinar, Senior Project Manager Aaron Emerson will show some award-winning case studies of how the Land F/X Site tools are used throughout the Mills Design Group office. Aaron will also go over some important lessons learned while setting up an efficient site design workflow.



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
  • Mills Design Group Overview
  • Projects – Photo Award Projects
    • Modern Beach Walk
    • Lake Jessamine
    • Project Setup
    • Concept Sketch
    • Drafting
  • Key Land F/X Tools
    • Hardscape
    • Grading

0:00 – 2:19: Intro/TOC

2:20 – 3:29: Mills Design Group Overview

3:30 – 8:36: Projects – Photo Award Projects

Modern Beach Walk (3:30)

  • Project scope:
  • Hardscape
    • Pool
    • Fire pit
  • Grading
  • Planting
  • Lighting


Lake Jessamine (5:45)

Project scope:

  • Hardscape
    • Pool
    • Spa
    • Tennis court
    • Fire pit
  • Grading
  • Planting


8:37 – 22:04: Mills Design Group Process

Project Setup (8:37)

  • Project Template (8:37)
  • Sheet Set Manager (9:48)
    • Printing
    • Archiving
    • E-Transmit
  • Land F/X Templates (11:30)
    • Pitfalls to avoid: Don’t put too many items in your templates – especially details, Reference Notes (RefNotes), and plants, which you can import from other projects
    • Importing RefNotes and plants (13:30)
      • Note that details assigned to plants or Reference Notes will import automatically.
  • Preference Sets


Concept Sketch (18:00)


Drafting (18:50)

  • Basic drafting
  • Shortcuts
  • Working with Land F/X managers (21:20)
    • RefNotes
    • Block Libraries
      • Plan Graphics
      • Discipline Graphics
  • Details
  • Site Development
  • Grading
  • Working with blocks
  • Hatching

22:05 – end: Key Land F/X Tools

Hardscape (22:05)

Customizing RefNotes (22:05)

The RefNotes Preferences include a default organizational system based on Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) divisions, which you can customize to meet your needs for how things appear on your schedules.


MDG has one main Preference Set for projects where Mills is the Principal, as well as Preference Sets reflecting each client’s standards. (23:55)


Block libraries (26:45)


Plan Graphics (26:45)


Using the Edit Object tool to turn a generic block into a “smart” RefNote block (28:30)


Calling out a placed RefNote block (29:02)


Placing a RefNotes Schedule (29:50)

Dynamic blocks (several versions of one block built into one, which allow you to place multiple versions of that same block, at random rotations, to avoid repetition). Just try not to go overboard with these. (30:10)


Using the Copy along Line tool to place a line of blocks (30:50)


Using the Layer Color tool to change a layer color without having to open the Layer Properties panel (also works on Xrefs) (31:05)


Work Areas (32:06)

Aaron uses Work Areas to organize a drawing into different portions.


Placing a schedule showing only the items in a given Work Area (example: planting) (33:55)


Tool palettes (34:30)

Note that tool palettes are generally difficult to share.


Layer States (a saved set of layers you can quickly apply to a drawing) (37:30)


Grading (37:50)

Placing Spot Elevations (38:30)

Keep your eye on the Command line when using Land F/X tools. You’ll usually see some built-in options there.


Adjusting the style of Spot Elevation callouts (39:20)


Placing a Spot Elevation relative to an existing one and calculating a slope (39:45)


Controlling the precision of numbers in a drawing (number of decimal places) (41:00)


Tools on the F/X Site ribbon (42:30)


Setting a User Coordinate System (UCS) to view a drawing from a specified angle (43:30)


Rotating the crosshairs to a specified angle using the Xhair Angle tool (44:45)


Area callouts (45:15)


Hatch libraries (45:30)


Aaron’s Favorite Land F/X Resources:


Question: How do you typically set up your keyboard shortcuts so you can actually use them? (48:40)

Answer: Aaron uses the original PGP file and edits the commands. In particular, he likes to use number keys for the Land F/X managers.


See the Land F/X documentation on customizing shortcut keys.


Question: How do you add in-house hatch patterns to the library? (51:15)

Answer: Use the Land F/X Save Hatch tool from the F/X Site ribbon. More information about saving hatches


Aaron recommends adding a 1 or a 0 to the beginning of the name of each custom hatch, which will put them at the top of the list.


Question: What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced with using Land F/X? (52:47)

Answer: In terms of time savings, he sees the biggest difference in planting in terms of time savings – not having to count plants manually. From a RefNotes standpoint, it adds an element of branding and client satisfaction.


Question: Has Land F/X made it easier to train new employees? (54:50)

Answer: Absolutely. The resources available on the website are extremely helpful. Check out the Learn page


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