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Poll results: learning to draw vs learning to plot

Voters
31. You may not vote on this poll
  • Draw - nothing like an AD Marker high

    7 22.58%
  • Get with the 21st century, honey - CAD/GIS all the way, no ink on my hands

    4 12.90%
  • Draw? CAD? hey, I'm in Econ Dev't, ya think I care?

    1 3.23%
  • students should learn both

    14 45.16%
  • other, more snappy answer

    5 16.13%
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Thread: Planning/design students - is learning to draw by hand necessary?

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    I don't want this to sound harsh. I have done critiques as a guest speaking for a few design courses for some of my favorite professors at my alma mater. First two things i noticed right out the shoot: Color and scale. Your scale is in meters, which is fine if your an international student and your measurment system is in meters, but please, and this goes to all students when it comes to projects unless they are a large city wide project, make sure that your scale is one that you can actually whip out a scale and measure with. I can't stand it, espeically municipalities that give us maps for their projects that are 1"=1,450' or some other random number. To be a good designer you need to learn the proper scale, especially when it comes nitty gritty design elements in the urban landscape. This looks like a small neighborhood design, so i would have used a scale roughly around 1"=200' or 1"=400 feet.

    Second, color. Use traditional APA colors. Residential are red, commercial red, parks and open space green, public facilities blue, and industrials grey. Office parks and mixed use have a little leway between greys and purples, but that is about it. The higher the intensity the use is, the darker the color should get. Learn it and stick with it.

    The buildings look a little out of proportion, but that is a different topic.

    As for the photoshop job, it looks okay, but there are definitely some techniques you can use to soften the color in photoshop and add some "pop" to it so that the land use colors stand out, and not to mention gives your drawing a more "hand drawn look." PM and i can give you the exact command. good luck.

    Don't worry your comment did not sound harsh. All comments were valid and I'm always looking for ways of improvement. The mistake with the scale was definately a big mistake. When making the plan in AutoCad I was merely trying to make the best scale for the 11x17 page it was to be printed on. The scale I made definately makes it difficult to measure out. As for the colour, I followed the professor's standards provided. However is there a difference between the Canadian land use colours and the American Planning Association landuse colours?








    Quote Originally posted by nyc_tribeca View post
    Alex1: looks nice! But remember - a basketball court is 94 feet long, and a baseball diamond is 90 feet between bases.

    So there will need to be a lot more room for the field if that's what's going in there.
    Thanks nyc_tribeca, Yes the baseball diamond and basketball court definately look out of proportion. The designated open space would not have enough space to support them.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian
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    Ideally, APA colors are preferred. Personally, I don't mind that you used blue for commercial because you show a legend. I have clients that don't have any color on their zoning and land use maps, and other clients that use hatches, cross hatches, and gradients (which almost never work out unless you have a really large parcel). Although the blue fontain is the same color as the mixed use.

    Serif fonts are hard to read, small serif fonts are even harder to read. Is that a tennis court on the south side of the park? (I can barely make out the greyor green outlines (might need to change it to a black).

    Are you going to have a net for that baseball diamond?!!! What about stadium lighting and reducing glare onto neighboring buildings? I doubt anyone would hit a ball that far, but just think about it. Those are possible questions that could be addressed AFTER the conceptual stage.

    The yellow color is used both for pavement and for low-density, personally I would use either cool grey 10%, which is a very very light grey color for the sidewalks, and grey 30-40% for the roads. The green trees read okay with a yellow background but wash out when you have it within the proposed park. The trees are different sizes on both sides of DuPont Street. Does this mean that you are using canopy/overstory trees on the north side and understory/ornamental trees on the south side?

    I'm not sure how the light-blue mixed use buildings are supposed to look. I imagine the apartment units are on the north side of the structues? Line weights and drop shadows are kinda difficult to interpret. For a site plan, be very careful about including a floor plan within the graphic, even if you are just showing separate units (I would either use a thin black line or grey line to distinguish units and a "slightly" thicker black line for the building footprint or just use it on a separate graphic because it is just too much info). The letter P from the word "top" is also cut off in the legend for this land use. You could also alternate some of buildings to have the apartment units face south onto Dupont Street (but the north units are just as fine). I don't see any dwelling units in the mixed use building at the northwest corner of DuPont Street and Dufferin Street.

    I assume those little grey boxes symbolize underground parking? You should probably indicate this in the legend. Is there any on-street parking (which is a much cheaper alternative than underground parking).

    Sidewalks all have a grey outline, I would get rid of the grey because the yellow tends to fade out.

    The pavement in the high-density residential does not have access onto DuPoint Street. If this is your intention, I would recommend some sort of turn radius.

    Not all of the medium density dwelling units along Dufferin Street (hard to read) have yards. How do I access the middle "barracks"?

    What are the little brown boxes in the open space south of the railroad? I imagine they are benches (should probably show them in the legend). Assuming that your sidewalk within the park has a width of 4' (I am being on the conservative side) that would assume the benches have a depth of about 5' and a length of about 12'-15' (yikes!). I would either draw these to scale or have a separate detail that shows typical street furniture (including benches, trash receptacles, kiosks, water fountains, bike racks, tree grates, planters, etc.).

    What are the grey circles in the open spaces on either side of the high-density commercial? Is this a multi-story commercial/office building or a one story bazaar/marketplace? Might need to consider areas for off-street parking and loading.

    You seem to have a good understanding of drop shadows. I would add them to the trees (pay careful attention to these, trees can range in height from 8'-10' to over 50' for most urban areas, depending on the species and caliper size).

    Overall a pretty good site design. How much leverage does your professor allow in the site design process? Do you have strict project requirements (XX square feet of commercial, XX dwelling units, XX percentage of open space, etc. designed within the existing street grid) or are you allowed to present arguments for less or more of a particular land use or amenity or modify the existing street network, etc.).
    Last edited by nrschmid; 06 Dec 2007 at 2:01 PM.

  3. #28
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    alex1: You have Commercial and Retail based on density. It's normally based on intensity using floor area ratio.

    Density is typically used to establish residential uses in terms of dwelling units per acre.

  4. #29
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    Ok. First off. I reposted the Concept plan since it was such an eye strain and added a streetscape for some comments. if you'd like to see the streetplan more closely it may be better to save it onto your desktop and zoom in. I simply took a screenshot since the original file size was too large. I realized that the concept plan posted before was an older version and was not the final deliverable. However much of the member comments thus far still apply. I plan on taking all the comments into consideration and fix the plan over the xmas break to build an accurate portfolio.

    Concept Plan





    Streetscape








    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Ideally, APA colors are preferred. .....
    In response to nrschmid:
    The light blue buildings are a representation of 5 floor apartments on the top. The blocks above the units are supposed to represent terraces for the apartment buildings. Is that the proper representation for terraces?

    I also noticed when creating the plan in AutoCAD the linewights would show clearly. However when importing the file as a pdf into photoshop the lineweights were not as strong. I'll post a picture below with the lineweights and what they looked like in autocad. Do they need to be even thicker in AutoCAD to show on photoshop or is it because Photoshop is not seeing vector lines? Would Illustrator solve this problem?




    Yes there is on street parking, however it was not a requirement and I did not know how to properly represent the parking on the concept map. Would I have to show every single individual parking space?

    I plan on taking out the baseball diamond all together. As much as I'd like to have one, the orientation and size proves to be troublesome for such a small open space. I'll probably stick to a basketball court with distinguishable lines.

    I don't quite understand your comment on the addition turn radius and the high density. The high density units are supposed to apartments with a height of about 30 floors, on top of stacked townhouses.

    There has been a lot of confusion regarding the grey circles and brown boxes. The grey circles are simply circular tables with chairs, and the brown boxes are park benches. I'll definately need to add street furniture on the legend.

    There were no strict requirements for the assignment. We were required to create a plan with new urbanism, Lynch, and Jacobian design principles in mind. One of the major requirements was a density supporting 600-800 new units. We were able to present our arguments for certain land uses, street networks etc..

    Your Comments are much appreciated. Thanks,




    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    alex1: You have Commercial and Retail based on density. It's normally based on intensity using floor area ratio.

    Density is typically used to establish residential uses in terms of dwelling units per acre.
    Does this mean, that I simply decided to place the retail and commerical units base on how they fit? Instead I should place the amount of retail and commercial based on a certain floor area ratio for the area correct? How do I determine how much floor area ratio is required for such an area? I apologize in advance if my understanding of the concept is way off.

  5. #30
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    Ok. First off. I reposted the Concept plan since it was such an eye strain and added a streetscape for some comments. if you'd like to see the streetplan more closely it may be better to save it onto your desktop and zoom in. I simply took a screenshot since the original file size was too large. I realized that the concept plan posted before was an older version and was not the final deliverable. However much of the member comments thus far still apply. I plan on taking all the comments into consideration and fix the plan over the xmas break to build an accurate portfolio.

    Concept Plan





    Streetscape








    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Ideally, APA colors are preferred. .....
    In response to nrschmid:
    The light blue buildings were a representation of 5 floor apartments on the top. The blocks above the units are supposed to represent terraces for the apartment buildings. Is that the proper representation for terraces? I've actually tried to show apartment buildings on top of other uses for the high density apartments and the apartments north of Dufferin, but they haven't turned out as obvious.

    I also noticed when creating the plan in AutoCAD the linewights would show clearly. However when importing the file as a pdf into photoshop the lineweights were not as strong. I'll post a picture below with the lineweights and what they looked like in autocad. Do they need to be even thicker in AutoCAD to show on photoshop or is it because Photoshop is not seeing vector lines? Would Illustrator solve this problem?




    Yes there is on street parking, however it was not a requirement and I did not know how to properly represent the parking on the concept map. Would I have to show every single individual parking space?

    I plan on taking out the baseball diamond all together. As much as I'd like to have one, the orientation and size proves to be troublesome for such a small open space. I'll probably stick to a basketball court with distinguishable lines.

    I don't quite understand your comment on the addition turn radius and the high density. The high density units are supposed to apartments with a height of about 30 floors, on top of stacked townhouses.

    There has been a lot of confusion regarding the grey circles and brown boxes. The grey circles are simply circular tables with chairs, and the brown boxes are park benches. I'll definately need to add street furniture on the legend.

    There were no strict requirements for the assignment. We were required to create a plan with new urbanism, Lynch, and Jacobian design principles in mind. One of the major requirements was a density supporting 600-800 new units. We were able to present our arguments for certain land uses, street networks etc..

    Your Comments are much appreciated. Thanks,




    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    alex1: You have Commercial and Retail based on density. It's normally based on intensity using floor area ratio.

    Density is typically used to establish residential uses in terms of dwelling units per acre.
    Does this mean, that I simply decided to place the retail and commerical units base on how they fit? Instead I should place the amount of retail and commercial based on a certain floor area ratio for the area correct? How do I determine how much floor area ratio is required for such an area? I apologize in advance if my understanding of the concept is way off.

  6. #31
    Cyburbian
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    Ok. First off. I reposted the Concept plan since it was such an eye strain and added a streetscape for some comments. if you'd like to see the streetplan more closely it may be better to save it onto your desktop and zoom in. I simply took a screenshot since the original file size was too large.

    The graphics read much better. As Raf pointed out, use feet instead of meters, unless this is for a foreign job.

    The light blue buildings were a representation of 5 floor apartments on the top. The blocks above the units are supposed to represent terraces for the apartment buildings.

    Can you sketch out an elevation? I am assuming that you either have

    ground floor commercial (large rectangle)
    5 floors of apartments (large rectangle)
    and then terraces on top (smaller rectangles)

    or

    ground floor commercial (large rectangle)
    5 floors of apartments (small rectangle)
    terraces on top (small rectangles).

    Either way the building has two different heights. If one side of the building is 5-6 stories taller than the other, then the drop shadow on that side of the building will need to be larger (you could probably do this in Illustrator). If one side of the building is only 1 story taller, the drop shadow won't be noticeable at the scale you are drawing. Either way, I would decrease the lineweight between each unit.

    I also noticed when creating the plan in AutoCAD the linewights would show clearly. However when importing the file as a pdf into photoshop the lineweights were not as strong.

    There shouldn't be any difference. Are you using Distiller or PDF Maker? One of the LA's in the office gave me cute PDF maker which seems to work well (I am not sure if it's available online, I think he had it leftover when he was in grad school at Kansas State).

    I'll post a picture below with the lineweights and what they looked like in autocad. Do they need to be even thicker in AutoCAD to show on photoshop or is it because Photoshop is not seeing vector lines? Would Illustrator solve this problem?[/I]

    The CAD image is in model space. Do you have it in paper space? Send me your plot settings file (usually a .ctb file) and I will take a look at it. Does Illustrator allow dwg/dxf formats? I thought the only vector based format was encapislated postcript (EPS) which reads terribly from a CAD file.

    Yes there is on street parking, however it was not a requirement and I did not know how to properly represent the parking on the concept map. Would I have to show every single individual parking space?

    In the real world, yeppers. I did similar projects in college and I relied on several reference books that I got from my department library: Landscape Architectural Graphic Standards, Land Development Handbook, and Time Saving Standards for Site Design.

    I plan on taking out the baseball diamond all together. As much as I'd like to have one, the orientation and size proves to be troublesome for such a small open space. I'll probably stick to a basketball court with distinguishable lines.

    Little league and softball diamonds are smaller than baseball diamonds. I have a bunch of CAD details at work (I just don't have them on my home computer right now).

    I don't quite understand your comment on the addition turn radius and the high density. The high density units are supposed to apartments with a height of about 30 floors, on top of stacked townhouses.

    Look at the pavement design around the building. Where is the only access onto the street? On the south side. Is there any off-street parking (or is it all located below ground). You need a minimum turn radius for cars to back up and turn around. On regular ROW, fire departments will want you to have enough space for a fire engine to turn around (which is why turn radii in cul-de-sacs are often much bigger than they need to be). Public works departments often want to get rid of the cul-de-sac island because it's easier for snow removal (BOOO).

    There has been a lot of confusion regarding the grey circles and brown boxes. The grey circles are simply circular tables with chairs, and the brown boxes are park benches. I'll definately need to add street furniture on the legend.

    Unless you are working on more detailed streetscape plans, I would leave them out, unless you are also going to show trash cans, drinking fountains, decorative pavers, decorative crosswalks, monument signage, tree grates, decorative lighting, etc. If you do keep them in, show them to scale.

    One of the major requirements was a density supporting 600-800 new units.

    So what is your projected population? This will help determine the need for certain business either on-site or off-site. A convenience store may serve XXX number of residents, a grocery store may serve XXXX number of residents, etc. Your professor might be able to give you some ideas. FAR can be the same for a really large 1 story building or a 4 story building that has 1/4th the building footprint. I would focus on different types of commercial uses (general commercial, neighborhood commercial, retail, etc.). Talk with your professor and check local comprehensive plans/zoning ordinances for ideas.

    Hope this helps-

  7. #32
    Cyburbian
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    Can you also attach the CAD file(s) and any xref's and/or images? Hopefully it's not too large.

    Thanks-

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