Plant Tool Migration Guide
for Vectorworks Landmark 2013
Vectorworks Landmark 2013 included an overhaul of the Plant tool, enabling greater flexibility to the landscape designer. Those designers who are migrating from earlier versions are finding that their plants behave differently—and wondering if they are doing something wrong. To help, we've put together this quick migration guide to help you get the best out of your plants.
FIrst of all, why has the Plant tool changed? In earlier versions of Vectorworks Landmark, once the tag was set up, it was saved as part of the definition of the plant. So, if you wanted to display the tag in a different way in a specific design, that was tricky to do. Also, if you wanted to change only some of the plants, then all plants would be updated. And what about when you needed to specify the same plant but in different sizes? You would have to create a separate definition for each size, rather than just change the size for each instance of the plant on the plan. Shadows were tricky to change also — you might want to change shadow angle on different plans based on the orientation of the site, but this would have involved too much work to be viable. Vectorworks 2013 offers solutons to these problem.
If you've created a library of plants in an earlier version of Vectorworks Landmark, and you follow the process of double-clicking a plant on the Resource Browser and then placing it on the plan, you'll immediately notice it has no tag! So, you take a look at the Object Info palette, click Plant Settings and realise that you can get to the Tag definition tab there and set up the tag just as you want it. Great! The tag is displayed and all is well. However, the next plant you place still has no tag! What's going on?
Welll, the tag is now separate to the Plant definition. So, in fact the Plant tool now behaves much more consistently with other tools in Vectorworks. Here's how to get your tags working:
- On the Site Planning tool set, click Plant.
- On the Tool bar, click Plant Tool Preferences.
- Click Tag.
- Set up the Tags as you want them to appear, for any plants placed from now on.
- Click OK.
- Start placing your plants. The Tags will appear just as you want them
- If you need to start placing plants with different a different tag style, just click Plant Tool Preferences again and set the new Tag settings.
- Click OK and place more plants!
So, yes, it's a couple more clicks, but it doesn't need to be. Here's how to make sure you get your favourite plant tag settings everytime:
- Open a blank file from your favourite Vectorworks template.
- Click On the Site Planning tool set, click Plant Tool Preferences.
- Click Tag and set your favourite tag defaults.
- Click OK.
- Choose File > Save As Template.
Your favourite tag settings will be saved with the template and you'll not have to give it another thought.
Plant Shadows and Outline Settings
Vectorworks Landmark can display lovely plant shadows in Top/Plan view. (These are different to the plant shadows that would be produced in a 3D view with lighting and Renderworks.) The shadow definition is stored with the main plant definition, as it was in earlier releases. However, you can now override these settings very easily, with the Plant Tool Preferences dialog as described above—just click the Render tab and choose Custom to define shadow settings that override the original definition! The number of outlines displayed on grouped plants can also be controlled outside the original plant definition.
To vary the size of a plant from its original definition, simply select the plant on the drawing (if you've already placed the plant), click Plant Settings on the Object Info palette, and click Insertion Options. Check Custom Height or Custom Spread and type the desired height and spread for this instance of the plant. Click OK. If you haven't yet placed the plant, you can just use the Plant Tool Preferences buttona and set the Insertion Options, then place the plant.
That should help you to get more from your plants. While we're on the subject of plants, do try out the new Plant Scale option to vary the appearance of plants in a group - very cool! And, if you haven't tried it yet, take a look at Modify > Align > Align/Distribute Leader Lines for lining up your plant tags...
As ever, if you need further help, do get in touch.