September 15, 2014 at 9:53 am #152471
This is something that has been discussed briefly earlier on in the discussion. That being said you are definintely right, it often is about the scale of the project that determines whether 3D’s/Walk-throughs are needed, amoungst other reasons of course. I think a companies reputation and past work is a factor too, but I think that is going down a completely different road and we may end up straying from the original topic of discussion.
Thanks for your input though, it’s great hearing all these opinions.September 15, 2014 at 1:09 pm #152470
I agree. Although still very creative and complex, 3D visualization is communicating design concepts through illustration and rendering. Having sat on both sides of the plan review table (regulatory and design) all too often these illustrations go far beyond what is allowed within a municipality or county (notable exceptions may include high end residential for single owners).
When I review student portfolios I still see a ton of 3D visualization. To go back to the original post, I think it is still alive and well. However, it often comes at the cost of other components of landscape architecture. Why don’t more LAAB schools teach more classes on plant identification? What about site design? I will never take the LARE, but why do landscape designers fail site design and grading sections of the exam? Perhaps there is TOO much studio time on making pretty pictures (yes, that is what they are) rather than getting back to the basics and learning HOW a site works. Sometimes learning, yes, learning, how to do a GOOD old fashioned 2D plan and elevation, or sketching something on trace in front of a client, combined with solid public speaking skills can convey complex LA arguments to a client at a fraction the cost of Sketchup, Rhino, 3DMax, etc….Just my two centsSeptember 15, 2014 at 2:40 pm #152469
That’s a really interesting argument. I think a lot of people have come into this discussion with very strong views about 3D, possibly myself included, which is great, but for the most part I made this discussion to try and ascertain as many point of views as possible, not just pick one, that was never the intention here. In all honesty there couldn’t possible be one answer or this probably wouldn’t be a problem. I think your point of view is very relevant and possibly 2D plans etc are a better and certainly a cheaper way of displaying a design, but again I have to come back to the fact that some clients battle to visualize a 3D environment when all they are given is 2D plans and sections. Do you not think that 3D’s communicate a design in a easier to understand way? Obviously at university level we possible go a bit over board with 3D’s, but that’s just because we can, in industry such luxuries aren’t always possible because for budget constraints etc.
Just to back track and add my opinion with regard to your comment on Site Design and Plant Identification, I think those are very relevant problems. At the moment I’m studying at a university that has quite a large focus on design and plant identification and I must say I have noticed that other institutions don’t really do the same. I’m not sure how one is meant to use plants in a design if they have next to no knowledge about the individual plants they are using. That is of course my personal opinion though, someone with more experience in industry may prove me wrong.
Thanks for your input though, its a very interesting argument.September 15, 2014 at 2:51 pm #152468
Perspective sketching is still being taught at some schools, with mixed results. It is most often a very useful tool if you get enough practice to be able to do it well in front of a client quickly.September 15, 2014 at 2:54 pm #152467
This wasn’t the intention of this discussion, it was merely a method for me to try and ascertain why 3D visualization isn’t as widely used in the landscape industry as say in the architecture and design industry. I think this discussion has definitely accomplished what it was set out to do, and I think if anything it has shown that there are many MANY reasons. You are right, its not a religion and shouldn’t be treated as such, I think the problem is people have some very strong opinions, which I don’t think is entirely a bad thing, it makes for a great discussion.
Again thanks for your input.September 15, 2014 at 2:57 pm #152466
One of the worst misconception in design schools is that perspectives are representations of the experience of designed spaces – which it clearly is not. I think we’ve all been taught that the section and plan are far better at conveying the spatial relationships of a design, especially for tighter spaces. Peripheral vision is not covered in a perspective, and rarely is the level of enclosure.
I sympathize with landscapeplanner on the content of education, though I would suggest that perhaps the time spent on ‘pretty pictures’ in school is more a result of students getting sucked into software their not facile in and not learning short cuts to working in digital media. For better or for worse, the industry tends to hand off renderings to interns and entry level designers who are supposed to be faster at working in new software (often true, but sometimes not).September 15, 2014 at 2:58 pm #152465
Well I think its definitely worth the time you put in, its really great work. Thanks for your input, hopefully with enough practice I’ll be that good one day!September 15, 2014 at 3:13 pm #152464
NOTICE: I only realized now that the link I posted on the original discussion didn’t correlate with the image I posted. A new link has been added, feel free to check it out. Sorry about that.September 15, 2014 at 3:38 pm #152463
Well that’s quite interesting, as a student myself, it would be interesting to see if there are any other lecturers/teachers that feel the same way. Could it partly be a case or new-school, old-school? In your experience would you say 3D’s have been given a fair trial in the landscape industry, or could it be that the old-school is set in its ways? Bare in mind I ask that question not as an attack on the old-school, I’m just really interested to get your opinion. I may be going a bit off topic but its interesting and helpful nonetheless.
Once again thanks for your input.September 15, 2014 at 3:44 pm #152462
I disagree that spatial relationships are best viewed in a 3D environment. In the past 10-15 years, technology in architecture, landscape architecture, engineering firms has shaved off hundreds if not thousands of dollars of production time in design work, meetings, invoicing, drafting, etc. Clients don’t have to dole out the same amount in contract dollars due to technology, among other variables. Solely from a business/accounting perspective, I wonder if these 3D visualizations are a way to justify high billings? If a planting plan for a municipal building can be hand drafted on mylar, approved, and built 25-30 years ago, why can’t we do the same thing at a fraction of the cost with standard plans and elevations? If the company’s profit margins are lacking because of smaller contracts, buffering it up with fancy 3D visualizations is a dis-service to the client. Justify the graphics standards for final deliverables, establish standard production timelines that parallel drafting work, before allowing a sky’s-the-limit approach to 3D.September 15, 2014 at 3:53 pm #152461
Leslie B WagleParticipant
But is thinking/design time from human brains any quicker?. And is there really that much less time involved in computer drafting than competent hand drafting of the bygone era? It has advantages in neatness and ease of revisions and to relay to a dropbox etc. but I hope fees are not being pressured by clients thinking “oh, you guys have computers now.”September 15, 2014 at 4:33 pm #152460
Jonathan P. Williams, RLAParticipant
I agree. I have found I use my skills I learned in my Site Design class way more than I ever thought I would.September 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm #152459
Architectural renderings have been around for hundreds of years. For example, Nicolas Ledoux drew some ridiculous, over-the-top architectural renderings of toll booths before the French Revolution. The Chicago Tribune sponsored a competition for its headquarters in the late 1920’s – early 1930’s which drew hundreds of submissions from around the world. “Architectural” rendering has run a parallel course with architectural design for a very long time, so much so that some people expect fanciful illustrations for many types of proposed buildings.
The lack of interest in 3D visualization tools in landscape architecture may have some parallels in struggle for credibility and acceptance of the landscape architecture profession as a whole. Why spend tens of thousands of dollars on fancy 3D graphics for planting plans, hardscapes, parks, and sports complexes when it’s hard enough to get buy-in from the general public? Second, I find very few 3D graphics that are standalone landscape architecture projects. Notable exceptions might be sports complexes, nature preserves, or large community parks with few structures/buildings. Otherwise, the landscape architecture components of the design, irrigation, lighting, hardscapes, foundation landscaping, fencing, plaza design, are often secondary components to the main structure. The landscape designer/landscape architects contribution to the original site design is not always delineated from the architectural renderer’s contribution in the 3D/4D graphic.September 17, 2014 at 4:41 pm #152458
Jonathan P. Williams, RLAParticipant
Well put. Never thought about it but I try to put the house/buildings in most of my renderings for scale and most all done by others I admire have buildings.
This is partly due to the fact that most all landscapes are a part of a much larger project that includes buildings and so you want to make that connections visually.September 17, 2014 at 11:10 pm #152457
Just to offer a different perspective–We have basically built our business model on graphics and fortunately it has led to design and finally we are beginning to build things.
I can only say that our success, however limited it may be, is due to the fact that we put a lot of emphasis on graphic communication. We also happen to work entirely in the digital realm. We have two new expensive pieces of wacom hardware in our office now. The first was originally purchased because I recognized the value in streamlining the concept to delivery process. Working on the cintiq allows us to sketch and illustrate freehand while elminating the printing and scanning process. Additionally, working digitally allows millions of colors, brush/pen sizes, images, textures, base maps, precedents, etc at our fingertips. We have also begun combining digital drawing with go-to meeting to draw real time, even when we cant be in the same room with our clients. For those that might argue digital technique does not translate to pen and paper–in my experience this is inaccurate. If I must sit with a client over a roll of trace, the medium feels as natural as drawing on screen.
As far as 3D, specifically–We typically move back and forth between hand sketching and 3D in almost every design project.
All this to say two things:
1.Good design and illustration/graphics go hand in hand. A very talented and experienced LA once told me when I was a student, “..if you can draw it, you can design it, and if you can design it, you can build it..” Pretty simple notion–building a well-composed illustration is not that dissimilar to building in real life.
2. We all have our own process. You know its time to make a change in that process when you feel constrained in your medium. I started my career drawing by hand on vellum. I went to college and learned to draw on trace, which I then transitioned to digital with a mouse or wacom tablet. After again feeling constrained by the medium I went back to trace which led me to purchasing new hardware. I couldnt be happier.
…just my two cents
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