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New landscape [terrain mesh] tool [wish]

Anonymous
Not applicable
I would really love if the whole landscape modelling tool in Archicad could have a new look and tool set.

We are modelling in AC and making visualizations in 3DS MAx and we can actually not use the landscape from Archicad for Anything after model is importet than delete it.

It would be nice if it was possible to be able to make smooth landscapes and can adjust the polycount number with a slider or something. So you can keep it at a low poly count when working in AC with the project but when you export it you can raise the number of polygons to make the landscape smooth and perfect for MAX as an example or other Softwares.

It should include some tools to easy create roads, curbs, paths, lakes and so on.

It could also be amazing to have the ability to select areas that are with a high number of polygons and then outer areas that could have a low poly count.

I have a lot of ideas... 🙂

I really hope this could be some thing Graphisoft does something with in the years to come because this has really always been a huge lack of the software.
20 REPLIES 20

Barry Kelly
Moderator
Have you tried using Morphs instead of Meshes?
I am not saying it will be a perfect solution, but you can control the smoothness and adjust the polygon count of a morph.

Barry.

One of the forum moderators.
Versions 6.5 to 25
Dell XPS- i7-6700 @ 3.4Ghz, 16GB ram, GeForce GTX 960 (2GB), Windows 10
Dell Precision 3510 - i7 6820HQ @ 2.70GHz, 16GB RAM, AMD FirePro W5130M, Windows 10

Anonymous
Not applicable
yes...morph can solve the mesh can't do...but still a morph lack of gravity and composite... can add this to wish list?

mendezarcediego
Contributor
couldn't agree more, coming from vectorworks it's the only drawback I really felt, ArchiCAD has very poor Landscaping features, Morphs are Ok for general modeling but landscaping requires very specific features such as automated road, sidewalk creation from stakes or NURBS, importing surveyors data has very poor import formats, automation of proposed vs existing terrain contours is urgent, automated cut and fill volume calculations (that do not require duplication of morphs), placement of existing trees and vegetation with precise canopy footprints, roots and trunk dimensions, it should allow to create automated height labels for contour lines, it should have automated pads (without that hedious slab trick), spoil piles, slopes, retention walls, slopes with precise gradient controls, I could go on for several paragraphs but to save you some time just take a look a VECTORWORKS landscaping features. Me and my partner have used the most common BIM, CAD packages for many years and when we moved to ARCHICAD we loved it inmediatley, but it definitely lacks proper Landscaping features.
AC25–4013 INT / MacOS BigSur 11.6 / iMac Pro (2017) / 3,2 GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon W / 32 GB 2666 MHz DDR4 / Radeon Pro Vega 56 8 GB.

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
Vectorworks has definitely vastly superior landscaping tools compared to ARCHICAD or Revit.
I think the reason is that they have specifically addressed landscape architects and created specific tools for them.
ARCHICAD has always been developed for architects, so I would not expect many core landscaping-related developments in the future.

There is an ARCHICAD Add-On called Land4, developed by a 3rd party. If you are doing much landscaping work, it may be worth its price for you:

https://www.land4cad.com/
....................................................................................................
Laszlo Nagy, Lead Moderator, Community Admin
Get Archicad Tips at https://twitter.com/laszlonagy
AMD Ryzen 1700X CPU, 48 GB RAM, NVidia GTX 1060 6GB, 500 GB NVMe SSD
2x28" (2560x1440), WIN10 PRO ENG, AC20-AC25
Loving Archicad since 1995

shrutiniwas
Contributor
Architects, for whom Archicad has been developed, are not just working to produce buildings without redefining and/or correlating the context. Therefore, landscape portion is also hugely relevant for the architects and it is unfortunate that such a flexible and versatile tool is missing on a basic requirement. Although, there are some good plugins available, but their approach is not always mature and polished.

As the parent company for Archicad is the same as that for Vectorworks, it is expected that some positive influence back and forth could be induced to target larger market.

Mjules
Enthusiast
shrutiniwas wrote:
Architects, for whom Archicad has been developed, are not just working to produce buildings without redefining and/or correlating the context. Therefore, landscape portion is also hugely relevant for the architects and it is unfortunate that such a flexible and versatile tool is missing on a basic requirement. Although, there are some good plugins available, but their approach is not always mature and polished.

As the parent company for Archicad is the same as that for Vectorworks, it is expected that some positive influence back and forth could be induced to target larger market.
Hi Shrutiniwas,

I agree with you. I am an Architect and Urban Designer, and I am a user of ArchiCAD for more than twelve years. The main role of the Urban Designer is to make the synthesis between the Architect, the Landscape Architect, and the Urbanist by shaping the potential for change through creation of hand-rendered or computer-generated presentation drawings, etc.

These are to make cityscapes more equitable, resilient, delightful, attractive, beautiful, functional, and vibrant for communities.

As a result, Graphisoft SE should partner with Nemetschek Vectoworks, Inc. to create a Landscape Modeler (Add-on to ArchiCAD) like the GRAPHISOFT MEP Modeler™ or the EcoDesigner Star, which will allow ArchiCAD users to exploit the Landmark workspace of Vectoworks into the ArchiCAD interface. This will be a fair competitive advantage for the Nemetschek Group on the US, Canadian, and the Caribbean markets.

To be honest with you, I like the Landmark workspace of Vectoworks, but I am not ready to learn a new interface from a new software. If Graphisoft decides to develop this Landmark Modeler today, I will buy it immediately for the same Landmark price or more. I know such a lot of Landscape Architects, Urban Designers and Architects that could be ready to buy the same package, as well.

In a nutshell, the time has come for Graphisoft to be more aggressive, and continue to innovate more quickly.
Martin Luther Jules
AC 10-25 (Full)
Alienware | 64 GB RAM | Windows 10

ricarc
Newcomer
Isn't enough for you Architerra Plus - Cigraph ?

ricarc
Newcomer
I don't know exactly if Cigraph is still alive...

Anonymous
Not applicable
If Graphisoft would really look into this idea, it could be an ultimate BIM software. could even step aside a few programs, including revit which is really lacking on landscape modeling tool.

Landscape architecture is important, they are moving towards BIM. Why not accommodate them?

R Muller
Booster
This wish isn't just for landscape architects. Grading design is currently done mostly by civil engineers (not even landscape architects), and their perspective and the tools that they use are not at all the same as architects. No wonder there is so much ugly and insensitive grading design. We architects should be able to sell our services to create buildings in a landscape, and we need better 3D grading tools to develop our thoughts and ultimately to sell the ideas to our clients and to the civil engineers and landscape architects who support us and our designs.

Here's a wish I made four years ago that could be one way to develop the tools.

  • Would love to be able to do a SEO "intersect with offset" for adding curbs and sidewalks to a site mesh, fences that follow mesh contours, etc. Elements would automatically modify themselves if the mesh is modified.

    For the target element, the command would be something like "intersect, then add 6" in the z-direction".

    I would use this in making site models of hillside sites. It would avoid the need for duplicate meshes to elevate up and down, and would avoid the need to perform a second SEO operation to clean up the top surface of the intersection.
  • Another issue: I worked with a civil engineer who needed to pick up my grading design and put it into his GIS system to further the design. He couldn't use my archicad mesh because it has too many triangles as saved into a 3D DWG. We need better collaboration tools to enable us to work more productively with engineers on site design.
I haven't looked at Vectorworks, but if they have good terrain tools I would certainly be interested.
R Muller

AC 25 USA (20+ years on ArchiCAD)

MBP 16GB OS 10.15 Catalina

Barry Kelly
Moderator
R wrote:
... for adding curbs and sidewalks to a site mesh, fences that follow mesh contours, etc. Elements would automatically modify themselves if the mesh is modified.
You can do this now with the new railing tool.
Associate it to a mesh contour and it will automatically adjust as you modify that contour.

Barry.

One of the forum moderators.
Versions 6.5 to 25
Dell XPS- i7-6700 @ 3.4Ghz, 16GB ram, GeForce GTX 960 (2GB), Windows 10
Dell Precision 3510 - i7 6820HQ @ 2.70GHz, 16GB RAM, AMD FirePro W5130M, Windows 10

Lingwisyer
Virtuoso
Barry wrote:
R wrote:
... for adding curbs and sidewalks to a site mesh, fences that follow mesh contours, etc. Elements would automatically modify themselves if the mesh is modified.
You can do this now with the new railing tool.
Associate it to a mesh contour and it will automatically adjust as you modify that contour.

Barry.

The issue with this is that it works by associating to a node rather than through the gravity function and adding nodes at every intersection between the contours and your fence / curb / etc is not very practical in many situations and may lead to inaccuracies when the inserted node needs to be shifted. Nodes are also not created on SOE edges / vertices.



Ling.
AC18-23 AUS 7000
Self-taught, bend it till it breaks.
Win10 | E5620 x 2 | 24GB | K2200

R Muller
Booster
Thanks, Barry and Ling.

As long as we are wishing, wouldn't it be great to have a better way to make retaining walls as part of a mesh? Right now I am using narrow slit holes in my mesh to create vertical surfaces, but it is tedious to have to set the elevations of all the resulting mesh points around the hole one at a time.

And wouldn't it be great to have automatic contours to generate themselves after modifying a mesh with SEO operations? Generate a curb and gutter "rail" that follows the contours, use it to do a SEO on the mesh, then be able to automatically generate the resulting contour plan?

Maybe the new Opening tool coming with AC23 will do some of this?

I would gladly settle for some incremental improvements to the mesh tool, if an integrated landscape tool isn't going to happen.
R Muller

AC 25 USA (20+ years on ArchiCAD)

MBP 16GB OS 10.15 Catalina

Anonymous
Not applicable
As someone who actively has to Landscape AND architecture designs, as well as urban design and uses Archicad for that, I am indeed looking into moving to Vectorworks for that reason. That when you hit Archicad limits, they are quite hard and annoying. So, since I heard Vectorworks gives more freedom and has better tools for Landscape, and I could dream of a single tool and toolset to do the whole design, yeah, I am looking into that. Seriously looking now.

I just posted a comment on the floor slab, the main pet peeve being a toilet design where I wanted a portion of the floor to be an inclined slab for drainage. But previous to that, I did an urban design in Archicad, where doing the sidewalks and gardens was a complete nightmare and had to be done in a very simplified manner.

And now taking my first peeks into Vectorworks, comes the question of why Archicad has some tools so fixed that we have to do workarounds all the time. Use a morph instead of Mesh for terrain. Use a roof to make an inclined floorslab. And so on, and so on... I still believe the Grasshopper connection and the way Archicad draws the plans for me, are sure winners and the greatest assets I love on the software. But whenever during design I hit a wall, such as I have good decent tree representations, but no decent palm objects, or bush objects... there is still a lot to learn here in some of my problems, and sometimes I find a good solution I like... but for slabs and meshes and landscape design, I just sometimes feel I am on the wrong software.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Mjules wrote:
shrutiniwas wrote:
Architects, for whom Archicad has been developed, are not just working to produce buildings without redefining and/or correlating the context. Therefore, landscape portion is also hugely relevant for the architects and it is unfortunate that such a flexible and versatile tool is missing on a basic requirement. Although, there are some good plugins available, but their approach is not always mature and polished.

As the parent company for Archicad is the same as that for Vectorworks, it is expected that some positive influence back and forth could be induced to target larger market.
Hi Shrutiniwas,

I agree with you. I am an Architect and Urban Designer, and I am a user of ArchiCAD for more than twelve years. The main role of the Urban Designer is to make the synthesis between the Architect, the Landscape Architect, and the Urbanist by shaping the potential for change through creation of hand-rendered or computer-generated presentation drawings, etc.

These are to make cityscapes more equitable, resilient, delightful, attractive, beautiful, functional, and vibrant for communities.

As a result, Graphisoft SE should partner with Nemetschek Vectoworks, Inc. to create a Landscape Modeler (Add-on to ArchiCAD) like the GRAPHISOFT MEP Modeler™ or the EcoDesigner Star, which will allow ArchiCAD users to exploit the Landmark workspace of Vectoworks into the ArchiCAD interface. This will be a fair competitive advantage for the Nemetschek Group on the US, Canadian, and the Caribbean markets.

To be honest with you, I like the Landmark workspace of Vectoworks, but I am not ready to learn a new interface from a new software. If Graphisoft decides to develop this Landmark Modeler today, I will buy it immediately for the same Landmark price or more. I know such a lot of Landscape Architects, Urban Designers and Architects that could be ready to buy the same package, as well.

In a nutshell, the time has come for Graphisoft to be more aggressive, and continue to innovate more quickly.
Completly agree about innovation!

Anonymous
Not applicable
The landscape in AC is extremely overlooked! A road tool is essential and the terrain tool can really receive improvements. Making a simple urban surround context right now is quite time consuming without a proper road tool. And using the railing tool is just a workaround that still time consuming and a manual process since it only gravitate the nodes, so the rest of the structure floats or is buried in the terrain. But making a urban project or a more elaborated context in AC is just a nightmare.

Anonymous
Not applicable
@henriquelisboa

Apparently, (by this interview from upfrontezine to Mr. Huw Roberts last year on the KCC), there is no plan for GS to implement tools like these.
Q: Quite a few presenters were using ArchiCAD for city planning. Are you going to do civil engineering?

A: We have no product plans for that, but we see our customers using ArchiCAD for things you would not think are architecture.

We just want to make sure our customers have the tools to extend the capabilities with Grasshopper or by assigning massing. Our focus is architecture; we are not interested in roads and earthworks and sewers. Within the Nemetschek Group, we have Allplan which is fantastic for that. We can use our shared family relationships to offer solutions in that direction.

Looks like, for Mr. Roberts, street/roads and sidewalks are not Architecture.
But If you think so... you can always buy Allplan.

redmonki
Newcomer
I don't think AC mesh / terrain needs to have all the bells and whistles as there are many competing priorities. But it does need to include some basic representative functionality such as cut in plan view. That this does not exist is really baffling.

Other than that I'm coming around the AC after 10 years with revit.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Yep. Mesh tools is becoming the neglected child of AC.
I agree. A cut in plan view is mandatory in the current days. I would also stretch your wish by adding automatic contour lines in 2d and 3d.

Welcome back to Archicad redmonki.

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