Nature has played a key role in the history and theory of architecture, appearing as a constant motif in architectural texts from its very beginnings with Vitruvius to Alberti and all the way to Le Corbusier’s Radiant City. It is seen as a basic element in the development of architectural theory and principles. Relation between architecture and landscape renews constantly. It exists a conscience about landscape like a precious heritage that architecture can and must improve while it protects for future generations.
With this concept in mind, representation of nature has been traditionally something to treat carefully. We still need to deal with nature as we look for new architectures and also BIM programs, as ARCHICAD, need to face it and tools we have sometimes are limited. In this article, we are going to talk about ArchiRADAR trees, which give another excellent tool to deal with one of architecture design main issues.
The better you can represent your environment the better you can work with it. This collection of trees offers a huge amount of options for trees and bushes that will enrich any project with a great 3D view.
QUANTITY AND DIVERSITY
The first thing that stands out about ArchiRADAR’s library of trees is the great diversity of trees among all the packages it offers. It is not easy to find such a diversity of species and with a high quality representation.
Ready to be placed with a click in the workspace specially designed for a correct visualisation in BIMX files. They all have an icon that references the scale, essential to understand the size of the plant. We can find from Australian Eucalyptus to Mediterranean Olive trees, Banana trees from Caribbean or Ailanthus tree from Asia.
Not only you find to quality trees, but it also offers a large selection of bushes and climbing plants that give us a lot of flexibility and allow us to tackle landscaping projects with much more precise tools than we had until now. They adapt to the height and width of the wall on which they are located, you can play with the density of the leaves and shadows. They have a multitude of editable parameter options and the way they are placed across an area represented by a circle prevents unnatural static repetition easily.
INTERFACE: THE VERSATILITY OF WORKING WITH PARAMETRIC OBJECTS
The first option we find in the object menu refers to the size of the object. There is a very interesting option of random size of which we will give an example later. You can also select between different languages including English, Italian, French, Spanish, German, Hungarian and Japanese. Sadly, we could test Spanish translation will not win a writing award, but gives a good support to English version in case you are not so fluent in English.
There are also many forms of representation in view plan, both in symbol and photorealistic. Being a little bit overwhelming at the beginning, specially for those users not familiarised with high quality archicad library assets, it became easier to work and control the objects as we work with them and by doing a few tests to see what the visualisation of the 2D plan view offers. We leave you some examples below.
Another option that caught our attention is the chance to play with the shadow of the tree in the view plan. With a couple of parameters, we can edit the direction and distance of the shadow together with its fill and color.
In addiction, there is an option called “Random Tree”: it’s a useful tool that, with a simple click, adds to the scene a random tree in order to avoid repetitions. It changes both floor plan and 3D size randomly within an arrange of height. In this case we used a group of banana trees to show you how this randomise effect can work.
Elevations seen below, are from the object directly from the 3D workspace.
Let us talk about the elevation views now.
We have a few options for elevations that represent the trees reasonably well: We can choose between three different kind of representations:
- Bare view gives you an image of the tree´s skeleton.
- Simplified view allows you to play with the size and amount of leaves.
- Symbolic view gives you the simplest elevation image.
There is an option to activate shadows, just depending on your style. We enjoyed working through these options while we produced following images.
3D Documents options are similar to elevation/section options, so I am going to skip that part to go directly to my favourite, which I think it really makes the different with any other tree object I have worked with: The powerful 3D representation that provides an incredible image in workspace, BimX files and Cinerender.
We have many levels of 3D detail. Pay attention to Realistic view – Low, recommended fo BIMX objects, work incredibly good at working space.
These models have 3d-scanned trunk which make it more photo-realistic. At the same time they are very light. To give you an example: 100 trees placed in a scene requiring 7/10 minutes for rendering (depending on your computer). They have optimised textures for ArchiCAD 18, 19 and 20 (CineRender). All the options we are going to show in this chapter belong to the same tree.
Quite interesting is season options we have. You will have a different appearance for the same trees, it will change color of the trees or even no leaves depending on the season you select. Giving you new ways to see the environment of your project and to explain it better. It is quite interesting to see a house in Canada in winter or in the middle of the forest in autumn.
To summarise, this library of trees offer an excellent complement to an Archicad project development, specially if we are working with landscape portions or even for a full landscape project.
They allow an excellent visualisation of both the model and the BimX, which with a careful model manage will give high quality images without taking a big toll with the computer or the file performance. We can have almost instantly commercial quality images available and enables us to tackle small-scale landscaping jobs with a wide assortment of bushes.
We leave you some images of projects where we have used them, we hope you like it.
That is all for now, we hope it has been useful for you. We will keep on exploring these trees and letting you know about other interesting libraries that we find.