Looking Back on Development in 2019
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Looking Back on Development in 2019

Dec 13, 2019
Video Length:  39:41
Presented By:  Paul Houchin

We're almost through 2019 and, as always, it's been a bustling, busy year full of new developments at Land F/X headquarters. In our last presentation of the year – the decade, technically – we wanted to look back on some of the feature highlights from the past 12 months and give you a sneak peek into how some of those features have come to fruition. Jump on for a tour behind the scenes!

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
  • Development Highlights
  • Overview of the Lighting Development
  • How We Create F/X CAD
  • Final Words

0:00 – 4:08: Intro/TOC

4:09 – 14:36: Development Highlights

Check out our Update History page for a full list of Land F/X updates.


Dialog box updates (4:50)

  • We’ve switched many of our dialog boxes to OpenDCL.
  • This change provided the opportunity to update these dialog box designs.


Examples of dialog box updates (5:00)

  • Detail Template
  • Preferences
  • 3D Connection (formerly known as the SketchUp Connection)


HiDPI support (6:00)

  • New support for HiDPI resolution settings.
  • We took this update in menus as an opportunity to redo all our ribbon button graphics and layout.


Plant callouts as MLeaders (6:30)

  • We’ve received many requests from users for Multileader (MLeader) support.
  • The project started in late 2018 and was completed in 2019.
  • Simply choose MLeaders in the Planting Preferences.


Generic Plant symbols (7:41)

  • Our Generic Plant symbols have improved functionality.
  • Generic symbols now support keyboard commands for quick placement.
  • Use the Edit Plant tool to assign planting data to your Generic Plant symbols quickly.


Dimension Style (DimStyle) saving interface (8:24)

  • Easily save your DimStyles into your Preferences.
  • All the various settings are viewable.
  • New Preview button creates a new layout with an 8.5-by-11-inch page with a preview of all the DimStyles saved.


Improved ACAD commands (10:00)

  • fx_CHOP
    • Automates the TRIM command to allow trimming of multiple lines with a fence selection.
    • Replaces LAYISO command, which has issues isolating Land F/X blocks.
    • Allows you to isolate Land F/X blocks.
    • Replaces LAYFRZ command, which has issues toggling between objects in the main drawing and objects in Xrefs.
    • Allows you to freeze object layers in Xrefs and in the drawing.
    • Improves on XLIST by allowing you to change layer color and livetype information in your Xref by simply clicking the object from the drawing.
    • Replaces MOCORO (Move, Copy, Rotate).
    • Allows you to copy (XCOPY) and copy & rotate (XCORO) Land F/X blocks and data, such as plants and associated labels, without disrupting the data or association.


Make sure tho check out our documentation pages (linked above) and the following Power Tips for more information on these commands.


New and improved content (12:30)

  • Our content team has been busy busting out new content for our block library!
  • We’ve also changed our block naming conventions and updated all our generic Plan and Elevation Graphic blocks to meet these higher standards.
  • If you have any ideas on block content that you would like added to our library,. Reach out to us and we’ll add it to the list.


Lighting development (16:55)

With our robust planting, details, and irrigation modules, it only makes sense that we’d include a strong lighting module as well.

14:37 – 23:59: Overview of the Lighting Development

Basic goals for 2019 (16:55)

  • Overhaul the lighting system and have it ready to show off at the ASLA and IA shows in 2019
  • Incorporate a method of mapping out light throw
  • Include power source data
  • Include wiring data
  • Include automated calculations/voltage drop
  • Input manufacturer product data


Prelim stage (15:40)


Before we could conceptualize anything, we needed to wrap our heads around all the parts involved with lighting.

  • Which elements factor into lighting design and implementation
  • What the designer’s needs are
  • What manufacturers expect from designers


Technical aspects (16:12):

  • Studying up on low-voltage lighting
    • Terminology
    • Standards for lighting plans
    • How voltage drops are calculated
    • IES data


Concept stage (17:39)

Ideation, mockups, and meetings


Programming (19:52)

Once the mockups were approved, our developer was able to implement the dialog boxes in to the system.


Testing (20:08)

By mid-August, an internal Land F/X update was distributed and a team chat set up among 9 team members to begin testing the lighting module.


Release (21:01)

  • Our technical writer creates documentation pages on the new lighting features.
  • Update 15.75: Lighting Manager pulls from new and improved database and includes new fields and photometrics.


IA 2019 New Product Contest (21:42)

The lighting module was entered in the Irrigation Association (IA) 2019 New Product Contest for the Landscape Lighting category.


And guess what? We won!


Future plans (22:27)

  • Standard lighting (high-voltage) calculations and photometric capabilities
  • Add more manufacturers
  • Add more data options for fixtures, such as height adjustments
  • Experiment with and smooth out the process for 3D rendering

24:00 – 32:39: How We Create F/X CAD

Larger projects across multiple departments:

  • Update menus
  • Graphics and branding
  • Create installer
  • Create Web page


F/X CAD 2020:

  • In March, Autodesk released AutoCAD 2020.
  • Immediately, we installed AutoCAD 2020 and began testing it with our plugin.
  • Due to new resolution support, we needed to update our ribbon buttons. We took it as an opportunity to completely redesign the ribbons.
  • We installed the developer version of 2020 and began mocking up new icons for the buttons in the ribbon.


Example: Evolution of the F/X Planting ribbon (26:40)


Menu changes (27:30)

  • We reordered the CAD interface to fit the needs of landscape architects.
  • New buttons mocked up for Land F/X CAD tools.
  • Icons finalized and ribbon updates completed.


Graphics/rebranding (29:30)

  • F/X CAD logo and color scheme created in April.
  • Mockups for the splash image
  • Feedback
  • Imagery and icons swapped out for Land F/X branded graphics
  • While rebranding was in progress, the initial installer is developed for testing.
  • Rebranding completed by June and all imagery added to the installer.
  • Thorough testing of F/X CAD 2020 by our testing team.


Web page and documentation (31:35)

  • When logo and design direction is set, we started creating the F/X CAD 2020 Web page.
  • Feedback given and all wording edited.
  • All necessary documentation pages concerning F/X CAD 2020 are written.


Webinar and Power Tip (32:15)

  • Webinar at the end of June on all the new features of F/X CAD 2020.
  • Release in early July.
  • What’s New with F/X CAD 2020 Power Tip video created in mid-July.

32:40 – end: Final Words

Question: What is the best and quickest way to get our feet wet with the program? (33:40)

Answer: Use the LANDFX command (type LANDFX in the Command line and press Enter). You can then take the 30-day Land F/X challenge to learn the software.


Also, don’t forget to check out our extensive documentation section, which covers every facet of the software you can think of.

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