Streamlined Life Cycle of a Site & Hardscape Project
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Streamlined Life Cycle of a Site & Hardscape Project

Friday, 14 August 2020
Video Length:  1:03:01
Presented By:  Amanda Marin

You have the tools at your fingertips to take your site and hardscape design from concept to construction documentation, complete with quantities, data, callouts, and cost estimates. We'll go over some of these tools and then show you how to use them to create an office template for reuse on future projects. You'll learn a complete process spanning the life cycle of each project that will start cutting days off your overall drafting time.

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
  • Core Concepts
  • Concept Tools
  • Construction Documents (RefNotes)
  • Using Templates

0:00 – 5:14: Intro/TOC

5:15 – 13:59: Core Concepts

Relevant design processes and tools (5:15)

1. Conceptual/Schematic Design –Concept Graphics tool

    a. Figure out spaces and connections.

    b. Relate to existing conditions analysis.


2. Construction Documents – Reference Notes (RefNotes) and Detail Manager

    a. Precise layout

    b. Cost estimate

    c. Details


3. Post Construction – Project List & Templates

    a. Refine your template.


Opening the Project List and creating a new project (12:20)

14:00 – 38:30: Concept Tools

Opening the Concept Graphics Manager (15:36)


Concept Graphics categories (Areas, Lines, Nodes, Viewpoints) (16:00)


Adding Concept Nodes (16:20)

Note: We recommend avoiding, or limiting the number of, gradients used for Concept Nodes and in your drawings in general, as they can cause bloated file size, especially in drawings saved to PDF.


Browsing to a photo to assign to a Node (18:35)


Placing a Concept Node (example: pergola with firepit lounge set) (19:20)


Adding a Concept Area (example: paver area) (20:00)


Placing a Concept Area (21:04)


Adding a Concept Line (example: paver path) (22:45)


Placing a Concept Line (23:57)


Placing a Concept Graphics Schedule (25:03)


Importing Concept Graphics and other items from a Template (26:30)


Placing duplicates of blocks using our XCOPY tool (28:27)


Placing a new Concept Graphics Schedule to serve as a photo storyboard for the conceptual design of a project (29:15)


Streamlining a schedule by:

  • Giving it multiple columns by putting it into two different viewports in Paper Space (31:10)
  • Not including photos in the schedule, then using our Photo Callout tool to call out the items directly in the drawing (32:00)


Refining the concept plan (34:47)


Options for creating concept plans for larger project (36:40)

38:31 – 49:49: Construction Documents (RefNotes)

Opening the RefNotes Manager and adding a new RefNote (example: a paving area) (39:18)


Placing a RefNote (example: paving area) in place of a Concept Area (41:50)


Editing a RefNote (43:00)


Using our FXPLODE tool to convert a Concept Line back into a polyline for editing (example: moving it to a new layer) (43:28)


Importing RefNotes and details from a Template (45:20)


Calling out RefNotes in a drawing (47:08)


Completing the construction document and placing a RefNotes Schedule (48:00)

50:00. – end: Using Templates

Saving an existing project as a Template (51:08)


Editing a Template to update it (52:00)


How to deal with large file sizes caused by widespread use of photo callouts (57:20)

Amanda recommends strategically searching for photos that aren't too big as JPGs and avoiding TIF files. You can also reduce the size of images you use. Go for a smaller image size in general.


Question: Is there a plan to be able to associate RefNotes with more than one detail? (59:45)

Answer: Yes, we're looking into it as of webinar time, although it will require the retooling of several dialog boxes, which will require quite a bit of effort to carry out.


Workaround for assigning multiple details: use Naked Callouts (1:01:10)

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