Concept Planting Tools
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Concept Planting Tools

Sep 28, 2018
Video Length:  1:01:49
Presented By:  Amanda Berry
With trends in landscape architecture leaning more on modular planting design, our Concept Planting tools have become more important than ever. Watch this webinar to learn all about this valuable set of tools, which allow you to set up an initial planting plan – even before you’ve built your palette. Learn some techniques that will add flexibility to your design workflow, from the concept phase straight on into the design phase.

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 a Concept Plant vs. Design Plant
  • Concept Plant Manager
  • Adding/Editing Design Groups
  • Placing Plants
  • Smarter Labels
  • Even Smarter Schedules
  • Render

0:00 – 3:40: Intro/TOC

3:41 – 9:16: When to Use a Concept Plant vs. Design Plant

Concept Plants vs. design plants (3:45)


Design plants (3:50)

  • Created/added in the Plant Manager
  • Always a single species


Concept Plants (4:18)

  • Created/added in the Concept Manager
  • Actually are “Concept Design Groups”
  • Can consist of 0 to infinity Design Plant species (that is, they can have no species assigned or be assigned to an infinite number of species)
  • Can calculate based on %Fill (fill percentage)
  • Same categories as design plants (Tree, Shrub, Shrub Area, Groundcover)
  • No subcategories (referred to as subcategories or groups with design plants)
  • Same access to 2D, color, and 3D symbols as design plants
  • Different schedule setup


When to use Concept Plants (5:50)

  • Fleshing out design ideas before choosing species
  • Organizing spaces by groups of species (either conceptually or for construction)
  • Initial client approval for the layout and cost estimate of a design
    • Bring it into 3D before choosing individual species
  • Mix with design plants all in one schedule
  • Modular design technique


Check out Thomas Rainer’s blog, which we used as an inspiration for this slide.

9:17 – 11:09: Concept Plant Manager

Accessing the Concept Plant Manager and Concept Schedule tools from the F/X Planting ribbon (9:17)

The Concept Plant Manager is a dockable palette, meaning it can either float freely on your screen or be docked to the edge of your CAD interface, which allows you to continue working in your drawing while still viewing and working in the Concept Plant Manager.


Docking the Plant Manager (where you add and place design plants) and stacking it with the Concept Plant Manager (10:40)

11:10 – 25:33: Adding/Editing Design Groups

Creating and configuring a new Design Group in the Concept Plant Manager (11:18)

You can add data such as a description, cost, symbol width, and a symbol (2D, color, and 3D). You can also assign a detail to a Design Group.


Setting a symbol for a Design Group (12:30)


Managing and reorganizing the list of Design Groups in the Concept Plant Manager (14:05)

The order in which the Design Groups are listed in the Concept Plant Manager is the order in which they’ll be listed in the Concept Plant Schedule.


Editing a Design Group (14:20)


Highlighting Design Group symbols in a drawing (14:35)


Importing Design Groups from another project or template (14:44)


Copying a Design Group and adding/deleting plants (15:40)


Adding plants to a Design Group palette(16:40)

  • Adding plants using the New button in the Concept Plant Manager
  • Adding plants by dragging and dropping them from the Plant Manager(17:50)
  • Adding plants using the Assign button in the Concept Plant Manager (18:50)
  • Importing plants from another project or template (18:43)


Editing plants from the palette (19:30)

Note: When you edit a plant from a design palette, you’re also editing the design plant version of that plant.


Assigning a % Fill (percentage fill) to a plant (21:00)

The total percentage fill for all plants in a group will appear in red if it’s either above or below 100%.


Creating a groundcover mix group (21:53)

If you create a Design Group as a Shrub Area, you can draw plants from any of the four plant categories (Trees, Shrubs, Shrub Areas, Ground Covers). With the other three, you can only add plants from that category.


Changing the spacing of plants in a groundcover mix (24:00)

When you change the spacing of a plant in the Concept Manager, that spacing will remain unique to that plant within the Design Group you’re currently editing.


Copying a plant and changing its spacing (24:48)

25:34 – 32:05: Placing Plants

Placing plants by (25:55):

  • Using the Place button in the Concept Plant Manager
  • Double-clicking the plant name in the Concept Manager
  • Double-clicking the plant’s symbol in the Concept Manager


Using the Plant Shotgun tools (26:25):

  • V key: Jump to the Copy along Line tool (place a line of plants) (26:25)
  • Number keys: Place a set number of plants at once (26:42)
  • W and S keys: Set a wider or smaller spacing for the group of plants being placed (27:00)
  • K key: See the available keyboard commands (27:20)
  • T key: Enter Paint Mode and “paint” plants over an area (27:50)
  • X key: Snap plants to a specified angle using the Xhair tool (28:13)


Placing groundcovers (29:10)


Options for placing groundcovers (29:25):

  • Select an existing closed polyline area for the groundcover
  • Type D to draw a groundcover area on the fly
  • Type E to exclude shrubs from the groundcover (Exclude Shrubs tool)
  • Type M (for “multiple”) to exclude multiple closed polyline areas (or just one area) from the groundcover area


Placing a Shrub Area (30:00)


Options for placing Shrub Areas (30:10):

  • Select an existing closed polyline area for the Shrub Area
  • Type D to draw a Shrub Area on the fly
  • Type M (for “multiple”) to exclude multiple closed polyline areas (or just one area) from the Shrub Area

The Exclude Shrubs tool is not available with Shrub Areas.


Excluding interior areas from a Shrub Area (30:30)


Using the Reverse command to reverse/invert a Shrub Area border linetype (31:00)

32:06 – 37:26: Smarter Labels

Labeling Concept Plants (32:28)

Updates to Concept Plant labels:

  • The leaders of Concept Plant labels are now multileaders (MLeaders).
  • Groundcover and Shrub Area labels now autofill with plant quantities that account for an even percentage fill for each individual plant that hasn’t yet been assigned a fill.


Labeling a group of plants using the Group Label tool (33:50)


Moving plant labels around (34:20)


Using the Verify Labels tool to error check labeled plants (34:45)

37:27 – 54:39: Even Smarter Schedules

Generating a Concept Plant Schedule & options for placing a schedule (37:27)

The Concept Schedule tool will now recognize Concept Plants from Xrefs.


Placing a Concept Plant Schedule (38:45)


Breakdown of the Concept Plant Schedule (38:54)

Unlike the labels, the Concept Plant Schedule won’t autofill with unassigned percentage fills. It will only list fills of plants whose percentages are known.


Placing a Plant Schedule that includes Concept Plants (39:50)

You can include Concept Plants by groups or by individual plants.


Breakdown of a modular design technique for creating a conceptual planting plan (42:00)


Examples of how Concept Groups are calculated and rounded up or down (46:48)

Percentages fills automatically calculate thirds – e.g., 33% as 33.3% (one-third) or 66% as 66.6% (two-thirds).


A Concept Plant Schedule by individual plant is currently more accurate than a schedule by group.


Transforming Concept Plants into design plants using the Edit Plant tool, Transform button (53:30)

54:40 – end: Render

Using the Color Render tool to create a colorized concept planting plan for a presentation (54:40)


Running a print preview of a color plan, taking care to select the Plot Transparency option  (55:25)


Quick summary of bringing a concept plan into 3D (56:40)


Although a Concept Plant Schedule by individual plant is currently more accurate than a schedule by group, we have plans to add this level of accuracy to a group schedule in future development. (58:00)

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