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    RainCAD™ AutoCAD® Edition Landscape Design Features
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RainCAD™ includes the tools necessary to complete a landscape design including plant placement, area/volume calculations, and more.

   Symbol Placement

Plant Placement
Allows you to place plant material symbols or hatching patterns on the design screen. In addition, the Plant Search feature makes it easy to find the right plant for the job. The command displays both the Common and Botanical names and General Notes in the dialog box.

 Plant Data
There are three methods of plant placement in RainCAD™. You may place plants manually on the screen, automatically within a boundary line or automatically along an existing or temporary polyline on the drawing screen. The command allows you to change to the plant canopy size with the Radius adjustment, and the Symbol assignment and Symbol Color setting.
Plant Image
If an image exists for the plant material, you can insert the image on the design screen by clicking on the Insert Image button. Set the width or height for the image in the resulting dialog box. Set a point of the design for the lower left corner of the image.

Show All Symbols
If a checkmark appears in the Show All Symbols box, you will see all of the available plant symbols. If the check box is disabled, you will only see the symbols marked as exteriors with an ext prefix. Combining exterior symbols with Marker/Interiors allows for a large number of symbol combinations.

Apply to all Plant Sizes
Enabling the Apply to all Plant Sizes checkbox will allow you to quickly update all of the available plant sizes with any changes to the symbol setting, fill or color assignments.

Plant Symbol and Marker/Interior
With the combination of Symbols and Marker/Interiors, you can create a large number of symbols from just a few different drawings. For example, suppose you had two Symbols consisting of a circle and a square. You have two Markers or Interiors consisting of a cross and a horizontal line. You have six different symbol combinations - a plain circle, a circle with a cross inside, a circle with a horizontal line inside, a square, a square with a cross inside, and a square with a horizontal line inside. With the capability to also add solid fills, hatched fills, or gradients, you can easily see where you can have a large number of possible symbol combinations from just a few basic drawings.

 Sketch Factor
Adding a Sketch Factor to a symbol may give it a more hand drawn appearance. The sketch factor randomly adds lines to the symbol at slightly different angles. To use the symbol as originally drawn without a sketch factor, select None from the drop down menu. To add a sketch factor to a symbol, select Low, Medium or High from the drop down menu.

Manual
Manual plant placement allows you to select a plant from a database of over 2,500 plant selections. When you place the symbol on the screen, you can set a second point to rotate the symbol in any direction. You can immediately set more points to continue placing additional plant symbols.

If hatching is selected as the plant symbol, you can select from many of the different hatching patterns available in AutoCAD®. Simply outline an area to fill with the selected hatching pattern.

Within a Boundary
You can place plant symbols automatically within a boundary line. Simply select a plant from the database and click on a boundary line. The plant symbols will be placed within the boundary based on the desired spacing and chosen pattern of square or triangular spacing. You may also place a specific quantity of plants in a random order to create a grove.

Along a Polyline
To place plant symbols along a polyline, simply select a plant from the database and click on the polyline on the design screen. You may accept the calculated spacing to evenly space the plant symbols along the line, or you may enter an exact spacing requirement. Set a second point to determine the side of the line on which the symbols will be drawn. If the symbol offset is set to zero, the plant symbols will appear directly on top of the polyline.
 Stagger % or Distance
When automatically placing plant symbols along a polyline or within a boundary line, you can "stagger" the symbols so that they do not appear in exact locations giving the design a more random appearance. The stagger may be set as a percentage of the plants radius setting or as a distance of measurement.

Plant Rotation
When automatically placing plant symbols along a polyline or within a boundary line, the Rotation Angle feature allows for three possible rotation angles for plant symbols. The No rotation option will leave all copies of the symbol at the same rotation angle along the line or curve. The Rotate along line option will rotate the copies of the symbol at the same angle as the line or curve. The Random rotation option will randomly rotate the copies of the symbol along the polyline.

Outline Combine Mode
When automatically placing plant symbols along a polyline or within a boundary line, there may be times when plant symbols overlap each other. Many designers like the symbols to be trimmed at their intersections. The Outline Combine Mode command will trim plant symbols at their intersection locations creating one continuous plant symbol and keep or delete interior marker symbols. Each individual plant will still be counted in the Material/Estimate report and the Quantity Label.
General Notes
Allows you to review the general notes on the selected plant material.

 Plant Search
The Plant Search feature allows you to quickly find the right plant material. You can set the search criteria based on the Species Data for each plant as entered in the Plants Database. Simply click on the Search button and all plant material in each category that meet the requirements will be available for placement.

Accessories
Simply choose an accessory from the database and place the symbol on the design screen. You can set a second point to rotate the symbol in the desired direction.

 Berm/Depression Creator
The Berm/Depression Creator can be used to create the illusion of a rise or fall in the landscaped area. The tool can be used to create berms in landscaped areas or possibly sand traps on a golf course design. The tool hatches the interior of a closed polyline or object such as a circle, ellipse or square.

 Quantity Label
In addition to the Manual Symbol Label command, the Quantity Label indicates the number of selected plants, the common name, botanical name, or plant abbreviation, and the plant size.

The Quantity Label has four different methods of totaling plant material.

The Calculate by Boundary Line allows the user to select a plant and then draw a boundary line around the plants to be counted.

The Calculate by Selection allows the user to select the plants to be counted using the mouse.

The Calculate Automatically by a Distance Factor allows the user to select a plant and the software will locate all other plants within the specified Distance Factor setting.

The Calculate Automatically by an Absolute Distance allows the user to select a plant and the software will locate all other plants based on the distance of plantings on center from one another.

With any of the available methods, the program will outline the plants that have been "linked" for totals so that the user can see which ones were selected for the label. You can select the line weight and color used for the outline. The outline will be removed once the user places the quantity label on the design.

 Combine Plants
When placing plant symbols on a design, there may be times when plant symbols overlap each other. Many designers like the symbols to be trimmed at their intersections. The Combine Plants command will trim plant symbols at their intersection locations creating one continuous plant symbol. Each individual plant will still be counted in the Material/Estimate report and the Quantity Label.

 Shadowing
The Shadowing feature allows you to place shadows on the selected symbols or plant material. You may select the desired position for the shadows to appear in relation to the symbols, as well as the specified offset or distance the shadows will appear from the symbols. You may place shadows on more than one symbol at a time.

   Calculations

 Area/Volume Calcs
Calculates an area and volume of fill material and stores the information for the material takeoff. There is no limit to the number of areas you may have per design. Simply enter a depth of fill material and select the material from the drop down menu. The total cubic feet, yards and meters along with the total square feet, yards and meters will be displayed in the dialog box and stored for the material list. You can easily edit any of the information if necessary.

You can select a boundary line on the drawing to calculate an area in addition to manually outlining an area. This can be beneficial when more than one fill material is required for an area. For example, brick pavers and the required base materials, or top soil and sod.

 Plant Care Data
After calculating a Material/Estimate report, click on the View Plant Care button to view a print out of species data for each plant found on the design.

   Options and Information

 Preferences
The Preferences command will allow you to select the Name Display Format of either Common or Botanical. During the Plant Placement process, all plants are listed in alphabetical order based on this display preference setting. When viewing the plant material in the Plant Placement dialog box, you can limit the plant material to specific climate zone assignments. To view plants in one or more climate zones, enable each zone number under Show Climate Zone. You can further limit the plant selections by making use of the Plant Search tab in the Plant Placement dialog box and the Visible in Plant Placement check box in the Plants database.
Text Styles
The new Text Styles command allows you to set the font, text height and text color for the Area/Volume Calculations on the design screen.
 Properties
The Plant Properties dialog box will allow you to adjust the properties of one or more plant symbols. You can adjust the size selection for the plant or the radius of the plant canopy. In addition, you can replace all of the selected plants with a new choice of material, replace all of the plants on the drawing of the selected type with a new choice, or delete all of the plants of the selected type from the design screen. Simply make the desired selections in the dialog box and click on the Apply button.

   Databases

The databases of include more than 2,500 individual plant listings divided into six different categories. In most of the database commands, you can enter the List Price for the material or equipment, the Discount Rate received from a supplier and the Labor Rate required for installation of the item. In addition, you can assign the material or equipment to an Equipment Code to allow for the quick adjustment of items such as the list price and more. In addition, you can enter a Part Number and select a Supplier Code and Tied Assembly.

The plant databases are stored in a Microsoft Access format for increased stability.

Plants
The Plants Database will allow you to enter or edit information on the plant material such as the available sizes, the symbol assignment, the symbol color and the common name, botanical name, and abbreviation. You may assign a symbol to each plant from the hundreds of current symbol selections or you may create your own symbols. Each plant may have its own set of available sizes.
 General Plant Data
The General Plant Data command will allow you to enter the Common Name, the Botanical Name and General Notes such as prunning tips and more for the selected plant material.

Abbreviation
To limit the description for a plant when placing quantity labels, you can enter an abbreviation or code for the plant material.

Plant Image
You can assign an image to the selected plant material in the Plants Database and place the image on the design screen in the Plant Placement command. The image will appear on the Plant Care Data sheet.
 Plant Size Data
The Plant Size Data command will allow you to enter or edit information on the plant material such as the available sizes, the symbol or hatch pattern assignment, and the symbol or hatch pattern color. In addition, you can assign gradient fills and colors, a sketch factor, and more. When plants are placed on a design and counted in a material takeoff, it is this information that is used to identify them and price them correctly.

Add Plant Size
When adding a new plant size to the database, you can add the size to the current selected plant, to all plants within the current category, or to all plants in the entire database.
 Species Data
The Species Data command will allow you to enter or edit species data such as the climate zone, foliage color, fall color and more for the selected plant material. This data is used to assist in plant selection using the Plant Search feature. The complete list of species data includes the Climate Zone, Flower Color, Foliage Color, Fall Color, Plant Type, Soil Preference, Flowering Season, Maximum Height, Maximum Diameter, Flower Size, Life Span, Growth Rate, Fragrance, Fire Resistance, Exposure and the Water Requirement.

 Palette Assignments
A plant palette is a combination of plant material that would be grouped together in a particular landscape design situation. An artist has millions of colors to choose from when he begins a painting, but he only makes use of a few colors that he places on his palette. A plant palette is similar to an artists color palette. With thousands of plants to choose from the in the database, it may be beneficial to combine the plant material into smaller more manageable groups. For example, you may create a palette of plant material to be used in commercial designs. You may also create separate palettes for residential, tropical, desert settings and more.

Fill Material
The Fill Material command will allow you to create a database of fill material such as top soil and bark mulch to be used in the Area/Volume Calcs command. You may select from Square Feet, Cubic Feet, Square Yards, Cubic Yards, Square Meters or Cubic Meters as the basis for pricing.

Fill materials can be assigned a hatching pattern or gradient fill to represent them on the design screen.

Accessories
The Landscape Accessories Database command will allow you to edit a database of landscape accessory equipment.

Tied Assemblies and Supplies
A Tied Assembly is the combination of supplies that are associated with the installation of a single piece of equipment or plant material. Each assembly may be assigned to one or more pieces of equipment or plant material in the database selections. All of the product in an assembly is counted in the Material/Estimate command.

   Symbols

There are hundreds of symbols included in the program. There are more than 300 different symbols to represent plant material. You may assign any of these symbols to one or more plants in the database. You may create your own symbols or edit any of the symbols included in the program.

In addition to plant symbols, there are different hatching patterns and gradient fills available in AutoCAD® you may use to represent plant material. There are many different installation details as well as symbols to represent furniture, rocks, boulders, automobiles, north arrows, title blocks and more.

      
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