There is a trend among landscapers to design massed planting at quite regular intervals. For example, the design below shows a bed of species at an angle of 45 degrees with spacing at 500 mm intervals.

Massed planting

Here is a similar design, again with planting at 45 degrees.

Massed planting 45 degrees

gCADPlus offers a number of tools to automate the placement of symbols such as these and adds tool to introduce a little variation in the symbols themselves. Foremost among these automation tools is the polar tracking tool. Although extremely powerful, tracking does take some time to master and does take some practice.

The polar tracking and step size.

In order to create this effect, tracking is used. As a first step, the tracking angle and step size must be set as shown in the figure below.

Set tracking

Once that is done, you insert a symbol and then copy it with the aid of tracking as shown in the movie below.

Adjsut symbol  Adjsut symbols This short movie shows how to create the massed planting shown above. 

Introduce variation

However, there times when regular planting is not the aim and it is good to introduce a little variation into a design. 

One of the criticisms leveled at CAD landscape plans is that symbols tend to be repetitive - the same size and orientation. This is because it is easy to introduce a symbol into a plan and the copy it many time. The copy process is exact - each symbol is the same size and same rotation leading to an impression that the drawing is computer generated. 

Introduce variation

Adjsut symbol  Adjsut symbols This movie shows how to use the ADJPLANT command from the Tools menu in order to introduce some variation into what may look to be regular planting. We alter the size and rotation of selected symbols.

Adjsut symbols Here we introduce some variation in symbol size and rotation angle of some symbols in a landscape plan in ​Massachusetts, USA.


Note: The tool can only be used is used after a plant list is attached and the symbol you wish to influence has been associated with a particular species.

It starts by asking you to indicate those symbols to vary. In this example, we might choose 2 of the 4 symbols as shown below.

Introduce variation

Next the size variation is requested. Enter a value such as 66 - that will reduce the size of the chosen symbols by one third, then type a value for the desired rotation.

Here is the result.

Variation in symbols

This tool allows considerable flexibility. We suggest random;y choosing symbols to adjust and running the tool more than once, even on the same set of symbols.


Regularly spaced symbols