Concept Site Plan Tools
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Concept Site Plan Tools

Sep 14, 2018
Video Length:  56:05
Presented By:  Paul Houchin
Conceptual design is an important preliminary step in any site design. We’ve made some recent improvements to our site concept tools that will make it even easier for you to develop an initial plan that lays out your design intent in a logical and clear way. Check out this week’s webinar to see all the new additions in action!

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
  • Setting Up the Drawing
  • Concept Tools Overview
  • Techniques for Using the Different Tools
    • Concept Lines
    • Areas
    • Nodes
    • Viewpoints
  • Running Concept Schedules
  • Connecting RefNotes with Concept Items

0:00 – 3:52: Intro/TOC

3:53 – 4:55: Setting Up the Drawing

Creating a Land F/X project and selecting a Preference Set (4:09)


Setting up the units and scale (4:40)

4:56 – 6:19: Concept Tools Overview

Accessing the Concept Graphics Manager from the F/X Site ribbon (4:56)


Inserting an Xref of the base file using the fxRef tool (5:15)

6:20 – 40:32: Techniques for Using the Different Tools

Concept Lines (6:20)

The available options for Concept Line styles (6:45)


Selecting and configuring a line style (6:54)


Adding a name, width, and color to the line (7:25)


Placing a Concept Line (7:55)

You can either apply a Concept Line to an existing polyline or draw your Concept Line on the fly.


Drawing a Concept Line on the fly (8:16)


Arrow options for Concept Lines (8:37)

You can also choose to not have an arrow at all.


Applying a Concept Line to an existing polyline (9:15)


Adding a note and a cost to a Concept Line (10:44)


Calling out a Concept Line with a photo (11:47)


Selecting a polyline to transform into the Concept Line (12:15)


Using the FXPLODE command to make adjustments to Concept Lines (13:15)

FXPLODE will explode the Concept Line back into a polyline. You can then make your adjustments and then turn it back into a Concept Line when finished.


Areas (14:20)

Creating a new Area (14:35)


Creating your own custom colors for Concept Areas (15:00)


Selecting a color for an Area (15:17)


Configuring an Area, giving it a name and cost (15:22)


Option to include a gradient (16:00)


Assigning a photo to an Area (16:14)


Creating a closed polyline perimeter for an Area (16:45)


Placing the Area, assigning it to the closed polyline (17:33)


Creating another Area and drawing it on the fly (18:00)


Importing Concept Graphics from another project (example: a seating wall) (20:00)


Preview colors assigned to each Concept item in the Manager, for easy identification and reference (20:58)


Placing an imported Concept item (21:30)


Importing another Concept Item (example: a mass planting area) (22:28)


Sneak preview of our upcoming P-HATCH tool (23:05)

With P-HATCH, you can “paint” a hatch into a drawing.


Available keyboard commands for P-HATCH (24:05)

To see the keyboard commands, press K with the tool active.


Placing a hatch that will become the imported plant massing area using P-HATCH (24:40)


Adding data to an existing hatch in a drawing (26:50)


Adding generic blocks to a drawing from the Plan Graphics library to use as a temporary reference for a Concept Area (example: equipment for a playground area) (30:00)


Nodes (33:05)

A node is a single item that can take the place of an item such as a site amenity, or provide a note.


Creating a new Node and selecting a symbol (33:33)


Adding a width and a cost to the Node (34:14)


Adding a color to the Node (34:45)


Importing and placing Nodes (35:05)


Viewpoints (38:45)

A Viewpoint provides notes on exactly what can be seen from a particular location in the drawing.


Adding and configuring a new Viewpoint (39:20)

40:33 – 43:43: Running Concept Schedules

Options for placing a Concept Schedule (40:33):

  • Send the schedule to the drawing or to a spreadsheet
  • Include the entire palette of Concept Graphics in the schedule
  • Include the quantity of each Concept item
  • Include Concept items from Xrefs
  • Include the photo of each Concept item
  • Include the cost of each Concept item
  • Show specific divisions of Concept items


Placing the schedule (41:30)


Updated features of the Concept Schedule (42:00)

  • The photo of each Concept Graphic lines up with the color preview for that item.
  • The schedule includes takeoffs, per-unit costs, and costs of just that item.
  • The total cost of all Concept items appears at the bottom of the schedule.

43:44 – end: Connecting RefNotes with Concept Items

Creating and configuring a Reference Note (RefNote) that corresponds with a Concept item (example: a fence) (43:44)


Creating a Length RefNote and placing it on a specified layer (44:52)


Turning a Concept Line into a polyline using FXPLODE, then turning it into a Length RefNote (46:00)


Placing a RefNote schedule (46:35)


Reverting a plan to a Concept plan (47:00)


Linking a RefNote to a Concept item (48:30)


Saving the plan and Xrefing it into a new drawing (47:20)


Running a Concept Schedule by division (49:10)

The RefNote from the Xref that is linked to the Concept item has now reverted back to the Concept item for the purposes of the presentation.


Question: What if I want more control over the Concept Line arrows? For example, I might only want one arrow? (50:30)

Answer: You can place another line off to the side, explode it with the AutoCAD EXPLODE command, grab the arrow, and move it around manually. We purposely made the lines and arrows separate entities specifically for this purpose.


Question: What’s the way to add transparency to Concept items? (51:40)

Answer: It’s best done through the layers. You can set a transparency to any layer you want.


Using the layers to split up a site into different Concept regions (52:00)

When different portions of your concept plan are on different layers, you can freeze some of those layers to make them invisible while others remain visible.


Note that the boundary layer of concept items is also its own layer, so you can control its thickness by changing the linetype of that layer. (54:05)

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