Vectorworks gets European versions

Nemetschek North America announced recently that they have released a European versions of Vectorworks 2010 software and are now available in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

“Our localized version is developed by Nemetschek North America, and then enhanced by us to meet the local requirements in our country,” explains Carlos Lüthy, CEO of ComputerWorks GmbH, Germany. “This year there has been much excitement and anticipation about the Vectorworks 2010 line of products, as this version is already getting rave reviews in the English-speaking countries.”

The English-language versions of the Vectorworks 2010 product line were released in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and other international markets on September 15, 2009.


Autodesk App for iPhone/iPod touch

Own an iPhone or an iPod touch? Well I just came across a new app from Autodesk Sketchbook Mobile(link to Autodeskpage) that enables you to sketch ideas or even full sketches.The app is based on the Autodesk Sketchbook Pro application (RRP$100USD).

Looking at the this app I thought that could have many applications for built environment professionals  including sketching ideas for clients instantly, making notes on a plan on site, make notes on site photos for use later during site analysis, or mark and note site photos during construction inspections and many other applications. The application includes 3-6 layers, 25 different brushes and pens, zooming up to 2500%.

The Autodesk Sketchbook Mobile(link to App store) is available from the iTunes app store for $2.99. or you can download the Free Trial version Autodesk Sketchbook MobileX (link to App store)

found via Venture Beat

Design It: Shelter Competition Winners announced

Jury Prize: David Eltang's SeaShelter

People's Prize: David Mares's CBS – Cork Block Shelter

Over the course of the summer, Design It: Shelter Competition received submissions from people in 68 countries for a total of nearly 600 entries that met competition requirements. On the occasion of the Guggenheim Museum’s 50th Anniversary, we are pleased to announce the two winning entries: David Mares’s CBS – Cork Block Shelter, which won the People’s Prize after receiving 64,875 votes out of more than 100,000 votes submitted online by voters around the world; and David Eltang’s SeaShelter, which was selected by a jury of architecture and design experts for the Juried Prize. Prizes include airfare and two nights accommodation for two in New York City, behind-the-scenes tours of the Guggenheim Museum and Google offices, and Google SketchUp Pro licenses.

SOURCE: Guggenheim

IMAGE SOURCE: Guggenheim

Watch a video about the competition

Green Building’s Open-Source Push

BusinessWeek reports

Green building geeks now have a more powerful tool for developing next-gen building designs with minimal environmental impact. Software engineers at the Energy Dept.’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) launched this week an update of their plug-in for Sketch Up, open-source 3D building modeling tool. With a growing list of features, the latest version of the free OpenStudio plug-in will enable architects to create more detailed simulations of their designs’ energy efficiency……”

read the full article at the SOURCE: Green Building’s Open-Source Push – BusinessWeek.

New version released of CityEngine 2009

Procedural Inc. have announced the CityEngine 2009.2, the latest version of its software for the fast creation, visualization and analysis of large 3D cities. The software is used by high-profile companies such as Foster+Partners, Microsoft, Navteq, Boeing, IBM, Thales, Blizzard, Square Enix, etc. and was awarded Killer Technology 2009 by 3D World magazine Procedural Inc., an innovative software company located in Zurich, Switzerland, is creator of the world’s foremost procedural modeling technology. With the CityEngine, Procedural Inc.’s graphics experts have developed a radically different 3D application that allows professional users in entertainment, architecture and urban planning to efficiently design cities.

For more information goto Procedural – CityEngine – Whats New

Sketchup Book for Everyone

HeadShotDaniel Tal is a registered landscape architect and member of ASLA with over 10 years experience and has recently written a book on Sketchup, the easy to use 3D modeling program that has given students and design firms an affordable way to produce 3D renderings for projects. Daniel has been using Sketchup since the early days and consulted with the developers of Sketchup in 2004. We caught up with Daniel and asked him about his newly published book.

WLA:When or What was the ‘light bulb’ moment for writing the book?

DANIEL: First and foremost, I wrote a book about SketchUp because I love using the program. It borders on obsession. It has imbued my work with tremendous satisfaction. I use SketchUp with process in mind and it neatly fits into design flow.

By 2007, I’d been practicing landscape architecture for about 10 years and had actively been using SketchUp for 5.  I noticed that many people use SketchUp sort of randomly; they do not apply a process to how they build models or how they fit SketchUp into the design process

I had been using SketchUp and AutoCAD in tandem since day one.  Again, it is all about process; making the two platforms work seamlessly. The integration between the two allows the creation of detailed models lighting fast; in many cases it’s possible to generate a model from a CAD plan in under an hour. I am not talking about a basic spatial model, but one that is fully articulated to represent a completed design.

So, between wanting to relate process and ways to create conceptual grading and integrate AutoCAD, I felt like I had enough material to teach and share.

WLA: How long was the process of writing the book?

DANIEL: I wrote the book in two drafts. I started the first draft in February of 2008 and completed it in June, 2008. I reviewed what I had and I was not satisfied with the flow or cohesion. So, in July 2008, I took a 3 month sabbatical from work and I hashed out the bulk of the book. I completed the final draft on December 24th. From January through June of 2009, Wiley edited and compiled the book into its present form. The whole process took roughly 18 months.

WLA: SketchUp is a relatively new tool for landscape architects and other built environment professionals, how do you think it assists designers during the design process?

DANIEL: SketchUp is a unique tool. Because it’s a real time render, meaning you can see what a model looks like as its being pieced together, it allows designers to view and analyze spatial relationships instantaneously. In real world terms, it allows designers to catch possible issues early on in the design process.

SketchUp is fast. Because of its speed, it fits into the design process. I start modeling a site during concept phase. This gives the designers, the client and consultants a better understanding of what the project looks and feels like.

WLA: Currently SketchUp is used by firms for testing design and other firms are using it for presentation, what are the benefits of using SketchUp for presentation?

DANIEL: Photo-realistic rendering is becoming the norm for design presentation. At RNL, I worked with some very talented render artists. They use 3D max, Revit, Viz and many other 3D rendering programs to represent projects. They are pushing the limits and their work is outstanding.

Many firms do not have access to this technology and while it’s becoming more mainstream, it requires motivated and highly trained individuals to advance these technologies within a firm.  SketchUp is not a specialized program. If someone has the desire to learn they can do so, with little cost and a decent time investment. That is one of the purposes of the book.

The other difference is the number of views and the type of representations that can be created with photo-real rendering vs. SketchUp. It can take hours and days to generate multiple photorealistic images and the resources to create animations is time consuming and large.

Simply, SketchUp allows users to create multiple views and animations of a project in hours. These are not photorealistic renderings, but with enough practice and know how, you can generate some highly expressive images and animations with Sketch Up.

WLA: Who is the audience for your book?

DANIEL: Wiley originally wanted me to write an advanced SketchUp manual exclusively for landscape architects. The publisher encouraged me to send the draft manuscript out for review by various professionals. It became clear that designers and educators wanted a more holistic book that went beyond landscape architecture and met the needs of designers and students with varied levels of experience.

The most important thing to note about the book is it focuses not just on how tools work, but also explains what to do with the tools to meet specific goals. In Part 1, the spotlight is on process and using the right methods and process to setup models from the start. Part 2 is a series of exercises leading to a goal–the creation of a detailed, effectively articulated 3D model. You start by building a site plan and modeling detailed elements (lights, benches, rails, etc.). Next, you model 3 buildings.  Last, you compile the site plan, elements and buildings into a single model. What I am showing people is a method that can be applied to almost any project type; how to start, generate detail and end with expressive design images. The book also goes into depth about how to use the Sandbox tools to generate conceptual grading, complex organic forms and architecture. And, like I stated earlier, there is a whole section on integrating AutoCAD with SketchUp.

The book is tailored to multiple audiences. I believe the book is useful to beginners and advanced users, including architects, landscape architects or hobbyists. It’s also useful as a guide/textbook for educators and students in the design professions.

For more information on Daniel’s book, SketchUp for Site Design: A Guide to Modeling Site Plans, Terrain and Architecture, visit






DISCLOSURE: Daniel Tal was an advertiser with World Landscape Architect
This interview was not paid for or a condition of advertising.

World Landscape Architect goes Mobile

World Landscape Architect goes Mobile

World Landscape Architect has a new mobile text-based edition for those of you on the go and like to read on the train or sitting back at your favourite cafe reading World Landscape Architect.

To get the mobile edition you don’t have to go to a new link,  just go to on your phone (most phones are supported including iPhone, Nokias, etc) and the site will appear in text version.

We also now have to save your fingers from typing. This can be used for mobile and normal browsing.

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