design software?

Discussion in 'Permaculture consultants, businesses, resources' started by fremantlesilk, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. fremantlesilk

    fremantlesilk Junior Member

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    To those of you who use the computer to create site plans, etc. What software do you recommend? I am currently trying out Adobe Illustrator and I know AutoCAD, but I'm not sure they have what I need. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
     
  2. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    I'm pretty sure there was another thread about this exact thing a little while back freosilk. Have a bit of a search in the 'archives'
     
  3. Wolf_rt

    Wolf_rt Junior Member

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    I would think AutoCAD would be right up there, especially if you get a aftermarket 'ground contour' type package...

    works well for me, but it would certainly be nice if there was software available to easily calculate shading and thermal uptake, ect.
     
  4. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    I know I could whip something up with Maya, but when I found they no longer have the student version and it costs $20,000 for a yearly license... screw it.

    Any 3d software will enable someone to have a 3d representation of their land (based on contour) trees over time, and light at different seasons; granted I am thinking of Maya, 3D Studio Max, Lightwave, etc.
     
  5. barefootrim

    barefootrim Junior Member

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    mapinfo is number 1,

    google sketchup for any particular design of house retrofit,,,for example
     
  6. MelMel8318

    MelMel8318 Junior Member

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    I hate softare. I work with it everyday, and I see how people leave the decisions up to the software instead of thinking for themselves. My company's employees can't take a dump now a days without some piece of software calculating the correct angle of attack for them. Software does not take into account the natural elements that permaculture is designed to incorporate. What looks good on the computer, nature usually does not agree with. Might I suggest a good book on basic geometry, graph paper, straight edge, and reliable compass instead? Spend a lot of time getting to know your land and see what nature has already installed for you, and incorporate those systems into the big picture. Computers can't do that. JMHO.
     
  7. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Actually, with proper information using Maya 3d Software, it CAN do all that, and more, such as the time factor which is what intrigues me. With Maya, a person can make their trees grow, and other stuff die out, calculate the proper angles of the sun & show its effect on the land.

    However, as I said earlier, do you have $20,000 per year to lease it? I don't either. As such, the next course is exactly what you said.
     
  8. Wolf_rt

    Wolf_rt Junior Member

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    I would have thought that modelling the entire site in Maya or 3dsMax, would be extremely time consuming... How would you handle % of shade from trees, without modelling all your trees?
    Surely you would have to import your plan from AutoCAD anyway?

    Also it there any feedback available on Maya? Like calculating temperatures, heat soak, air or water currents? There certinaly isnt in 3dsMax.
     
  9. MelMel8318

    MelMel8318 Junior Member

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    How many seeds can you buy for 20K? If you want to play farm on the computer, Farmville is free.
     
  10. Wolf_rt

    Wolf_rt Junior Member

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    you don't actually think i would spend 20k on software do you?
     
  11. Shawburn

    Shawburn Junior Member

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    A simple 2D Garden plannig software would do for me.
     
  12. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    http://www.itsoft.com.au/
    this is what I used when I was consulting and it worked well. was continually updated with a great data base of plants and available in the USA as well. The guy that developed it was in Tamworth I believe
     
  13. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Yeah, Maya can actually do all those things with the proper programming. Maya is pretty damn impressive when you learn the basics. When you learn more then the basics you brain explodes with inspiration.

    To give an example about air / water currents, in the game Unreal (since 2004 version) a person can shoot a rail gun through smoke or fog and the proper trails of air movement behind the bullet are all done in real time. The program was used on the movie Avatar, and in the game, World of Warcraft, and so much more. In fact many many new wind turbines have been designed on the software like the ones based off of the Blue Whales pectoral large fins.

    But like wolf said, does anyone think we would really spend that much money on mapping the property?
     
  14. MelMel8318

    MelMel8318 Junior Member

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    Sorry about my last post. I didn't mean to sound like a Class A Jerk. I'm just a little cranky and need a break from about 1k people who want the computers and software to think for them. I do understand the need for basic lay out and planning. That being said, for free, google sketchup works quite nicely. They actually have some pretty cool landscape plugins and templates that you get for really cheap or free also.
     
  15. Wolf_rt

    Wolf_rt Junior Member

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    Interesting... although the drawing tools are pretty limited.

    I'd still use a cad program to actually do a site plan then import it into that program.

    Getting a bit off topic, but are you saying maya can be used to solve fluid dynamics/engineering problems? very interesting.. anybody got 20k spare so i can play?
     
  16. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Yes, easily.

    Every time you see an animated movie with water, or even explosions... to a very very real extent the physics used in those scenes are 110% dead on. Granted animators usually use camera and modeling tricks to make things flow quicker in the pace of making a game or movie but the technology is totally there. It's just a matter of modeling and programming.
     
  17. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    For your information "Grow it " uses cad
     
  18. Lumbuck Thornton

    Lumbuck Thornton Junior Member

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    I use photographs pasted into powerpoint and then animate how they will change - you can cut cross sections into ground and go transparent with some things, even make the sun move - its great.
     
  19. Wolf_rt

    Wolf_rt Junior Member

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    I checked out the GrowIT cad module... it does seem very limited, i don't believe i would have been able to do an accurate site plan with that software.

    Nor can it import Autocad files, though i guess you could screenshot your drawing then paste it into paint, then import it, then re-scale it.

    This is my site plan... done on AutoCAD
    [​IMG]
     
  20. pierre

    pierre Junior Member

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    Folks, I've used GardenCAD (www.gardencad.net) with success before.

    It is probably similar to GrowIT, featuring all the standard drawing tools etc. of AutoCAD less the fluff. Short learning curve, lots of online videos to get you going. I was able to start working on a client design in less than half a day, after having played around with the software and running through some of the on-line tutorials. It can be a bit quircky at times (due to lack of depth on the tools front, one has to resort to work-arounds - most of which are covered by the on-line tuts). They also offer an online "diploma of landscape design" if you buy the software (AU$50) - might be worth checking out.

    One level up in terms of features and power, there is LibreCAD. It is a mature, feature-packed package for Windoze / Mac / Linux, and FREE. I've only recently installed it and haven't had a chance to play around much. But it does look promising.

    Then there is DoubleCAD XT Free, which is very similar to AutoCAD Lite. Probably the best free package (for home and commercial use) out there, even featuring integration with Google Sketchup. But if you haven't used CAD before, a bit of a steep learning curve. (Good manuals and tutorials are available, if you have the time to learn it.)

    I've also used Openoffice/Libreoffice Draw and Impress in the past, similar to using MS Office equivalents but cheaper (as in FREE). Scaled drawings are possible. Works great to knock something together fairly quickly.

    Pierre
     

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