Starting this week, landarchBIM is expanding into the world of InfraWorks! It is a program that can compile GIS data and hundreds of 3d models to create large, regional models. As you can see, Autodesk likes to demonstrate this with impressive city models.
But if you would like to gain a little more insight into the power and limitations of the program, here are my first impressions and further analysis of using InfraWorks (as an architect/ planner/ landscape architect)…
1. It can look totally bad ass.
With features like moving water and clouds in the sky, it gives even the most basic of models a more realistic setting. It also has impressive and easy-to-use storyboard tools for making video flythroughs.
2. But it can also be very time-consuming.
Understanding how InfraWorks works does not take much time (unlike Revit). It is the compiling of data and model-building that takes time.
3. Model quality depends on data quality.
Good data can result in a nice model (that can also be built quickly). If you don’t have good data, you will start to lose time and/or quality.
4. The appropriate scale seems to be large city/ small region.
While GIS data can be used to look at larger regions, InfraWorks currently seems to be best applied to a slightly smaller region or city scale.
5. It is still a relatively unstable program.
Basically, it crashes and freezes frequently. This may be reduced with more computing power. When it does happen you don’t lose work, since as a database, InfraWorks files do not require saving.
So, after getting over the initial shock of not knowing where everything was, I decided that I prefer the new user interface of 2015. If I had to guess, I would say this is the direction that all Autodesk products will be going… away from the familiar ribbon on top and towards this open, larger window. It seems just as efficient (once you figure it out) and it is nice to have the extra space.