Grumpka

Help with purchase decision for Kitchen Design, coming from 20-20 Design

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Hello,  Hoping some well experienced CA users can assist me with some questions I have and set realistic expectations about CA.   I have 30+ years of CAD/Interior design experience, cabinet making, and sales.   I'm actually a factory rep for a couple cabinet lines.   After many many years of 20-20 Design, I'm getting to the point of frustration with it's limitations and constantly seeking 'work arounds' or just dealing with problems 2020 ignores.   That said,  I am thinking of CA Interiors on count of the flexibility and custom library abilities.   Before I dump $2200.00 on CA Interiors, here's some questions that I would love to get your opinions on.

 

1)Is the premier version worth the extra $800.00 if all I'll be doing is interior design?  (specific to cabinetry design and rendering, what does Premier give me over Interiors)

 

2)Shortcoming of 2020 Design is lack of BEADED INSET details on renderings and line drawings.  I'd like to have a library of Beaded inset and Flush Inset cabinetry.  In additional, would love to also have an OGEE inset or other similar frace frame bead detail options.   

 

3)I assume that I could create a custom cabinet library for the lines I represent if I so wanted to.  Likewise, custom doors/drawers, finishes, moldings, accessories and so on.  Stupid question, but is there a 'catalog creator' tool, or is it just one box type at a time and saving as blocks/symbols?  

 

4)2020 renders vs. CA,  See example of my 2020 rendering.   Am I really going to be more impressed with the quality of CA over 2020?  I realize all 3d renders come down to the skill and patience of the user.  Proper lighting, textures make or break the render.  I'm just assuming my render controls would be superior in CA vs the limited control you have in 2020.   Is that safe to assume?

 

In advance,  thank you for reading my long post.  I don't want to make that $3k mistake and be disappointed.   2020 is great for most things, but it's limitations and lack of some basic CAD features has me looking elsewhere. 

 

demo.jpg

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I switched from 2020 at V9 after 11 years (X3 of Chief), completely stopped using it at X5.

1) I started with interiors, the difference between interiors and premier is smaller now than it was. IMO spring for the full boat. The notable differences are no ALDO (separate window showing layers), no revision clouds, and no CAD detail from view. You can get around any of those (I have one client on interiors but it costs time). The most notable of those is CAD detail from view. Chief does not dimension to the openings of cabinet boxes-if you need that to send to mfg detail from view is indispensible (or go back and forth to a cad program) It is also useful to create an underlay on elevations and such (see posts by Alaskan Son) You may also find that there are times where having the ability to quickly add framing is useful.

2)I've posted some symbols for beaded inset cabinets in eitehr the symbols or the tips section (I think it was sometime back in early X10). Flush inset is easy, beaded a fit tricky but the library should get you there. I don't remember if I posted both sets-one for typical brand of ordering where you order each cabinet as combined and another where the you order the full cabinet and specify faces (harder to work with)

3) you can create anything-look in those two sections of the forum for tips and some symbols as a head start-bit of a learning curve. Custom cabinet doors are cake IMO-just about all I use.

4) think you'll be happy- look around for threads on PBR and posts by Rennerrabbit, Jintu (aka Chiefer), and Kitchen Adobe (Graham). There is more control, hence the learning curve can be longer depending on how far you want to go. Textures will accept bump, normal, some take occlusion maps, roughness etc. Note that you can have more renders open, navigate them live with little to no lag (given adequate computer power) and work on the in 3D live (or other views as 3D updates)

5) the one you didn't ask- there are ways to get what is needed for on line ordering of cabinets from Chief using schedules (a joy compared to 2020 that one)-again look for past posts. The changes to the Material list and some new understanding of Ruby that I've gotten make getting pricing, at least first ball park, easier (I think, working on that)

 

Lastly-all that will take a while. Start as if you know nothing. CAD and 2020 experience can actually get in the way of learning. The list you give will take a while.

 

Attached beaded inset with chamfer, wide shot of same with line drawing pasted on top, custom bar unit, and another kitchen with some custom parts-I'm not one of the great renderers, these were all pretty quick.

T_Detail.png

T PBR w JPG line.jpg

340 Bar 3.png

Zep pbr.png

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If you haven't already I would suggest you request the Trial Version and have a play ...just don't close CA or turn the Computer off or you will lose your Work as the Trial can't save files or Print etc.

 

There is also an Option to Rent-to-buy Premier monthly now... $200mth I believe.

 

M.

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57 minutes ago, MarkMc said:

I'm not one of the great renderers, these were all pretty quick.

Mark, I love that 2nd shot! That is a good presentation style to me.

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Mark,  you sold me on the first render with the close-up beaded inset and chamfer on the cabinet corner!  That is what 20-20 is missing.  I've had to do such details in Sketchup prior.  Every time you want a custom shape in 2020, they want to charge you thousands of dollars.   I'm actually working 20-20 support for a manufacturer (as a favor, not so much a profit), and I see all the flaws of 2020.   It's really a glorified home center design/sales tool.   True custom cabinetry represented in 20-20 is virtually impossible unless they add the ability for ALL users, not just the parent company, to make 3d custom shapes, customize their libraries and address the sloppy, primitive cad tools.  By the time I'm done with 2020 and messing around, I don't get the level of detail I want or expect, and i need a bottle of aspirin.  

 

Can't thank you enough for the detailed reply.  Nice work, and thanks for the tips.   I'm on the fence still about interior vs premier.   Knowing me, I want the best of the best when it comes to business tools, so kiss my $3k goodbye, lol.   Looks like smart investment.

 

Kbird1  

 

Thank you for your replies as well.  I was hoping I could rent it for a month and CA would apply the rental to full purchase... not seeing that as an option.

I might get the interior version and upgrade next month to full, or just rent for a month.  I'm not big on trials.   Too many interruptions in my work schedule and I'd be frustrated not being able to work on custom library and  such right out of the box.   :)

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Grumpka said:

Kbird1  

 

Thank you for your replies as well.  I was hoping I could rent it for a month and CA would apply the rental to full purchase... not seeing that as an option.

I might get the interior version and upgrade next month to full, or just rent for a month.  I'm not big on trials.   Too many interruptions in my work schedule and I'd be frustrated not being able to work on custom library and  such right out of the box.   :)

 

 

You could ask ? but I believe you pay 18mths consecutive now (used to be 16) and the Licence becomes yours.... they do Rent Interiors as Well.

 

I am not sure what the Convert a Rental Option to a Buy is.....but it maybe in the FAQ below

 

https://www.chiefarchitect.com/software-rental/

 

https://www.chiefarchitect.com/products/trial.html

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6 minutes ago, Kbird1 said:

 

You could ask ? but I believe you pay 18mths consecutive now (used to be 16) and the Licence becomes yours.... they do Rent Interiors as Well.

 

I am not sure what the Convert a Rental Option to a Buy is.....but it maybe in the FAQ below

 

https://www.chiefarchitect.com/software-rental/

 

https://www.chiefarchitect.com/products/trial.html

 

You nailed it!  I can apply a prorated rental fee towards purchase!  That's perfect.  I only really need to rent for a couple months and will move to purchase after that.  This is wonderful and just what I hoped.  

As to payments, I see they changed lots of things recently.   20 months consecutively now I guess for premier,  and 13 months for Interiors.  
I think I'll just stick with Premier.  If nothing else, it might be fun to mess with Exteriors and full home design.  Outside of my expertise, but just the landscaping aspect seems worth it. 

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There are several other components in the Premier version that I think make it worth the investment even for interior work...especially if you want to work as efficiently as possible. 

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21 hours ago, Grumpka said:

As to payments, I see they changed lots of things recently.   20 months consecutively now I guess for premier,  and 13 months for Interiors. 

 

Ouch..... that's 4k vs the new 3k Price ( was 2800 till Jan 7th) , it is about right though I guess, they have always charged about 25% extra for Rent to Buy.

you'd be better off with a small personal/biz loan and pay it off $200 a month.

 

I'd go Premier if you can. I saw another Interior User trying to do some stuff last month but it turn out they couldn't in Interiors...

 

M.

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2 hours ago, Kbird1 said:

 

Ouch..... that's 4k vs the new 3k Price ( was 2800 till Jan 7th) , it is about right though I guess, they have always charged about 25% extra for Rent to Buy.

you'd be better off with a small personal/biz loan and pay it off $200 a month.

 

I'd go Premier if you can. I saw another Interior User trying to do some stuff last month but it turn out they couldn't in Interiors...

 

M.

I actually ended up with Premier and renting for a month.  Looks like they will prorate rental towards full purchase.   I was actually ready to cancel the rental, but decided I have it for a month one way or the other.  Honestly, I'm having too much fun with it!  Working on a real project actually.  Just trying to figure out how to get enough lighting to make a nice ray trace...

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6 minutes ago, Grumpka said:

ust trying to figure out how to get enough lighting to make a nice ray trace...

 

I would not bother with the Ray Trace rendering feature. Use the Physically Based Rendering(PBR) camera instead. All lighting is live and scenes render in 15 seconds or less.

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4 minutes ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

 

I would not bother with the Ray Trace rendering feature. Use the Physically Based Rendering(PBR) camera instead. All lighting is live and scenes render in 15 seconds or less.

My main focus is photoreal :)  I love messing with setting, lighting, etc...  I do like PBR though!  It is so nice to be able to design in real time and see a nice clean render.  This is where CA blows away the cabinet industry standard software packages.   They are slow, clunky and not nearly as nice when it comes to renders.   I do wish CA would invest a bit more time into the cabinet smart tools and make them a bit smarter. ;)

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16 minutes ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

 

I would not bother with the Ray Trace rendering feature. Use the Physically Based Rendering(PBR) camera instead. All lighting is live and scenes render in 15 seconds or less.

 

I've refrained from saying anything for a while now because it doesn't really matter...too each his own...and I know a lot of you guys feel that way, but IMO ray traces are still better for truly photo realistic views. PBR is quicker and can look nice for sure, but a high quality PBR created by someone who knows what they're doing stacked up against a high quality ray trace by someone who knows what they're doing, and I think the ray trace still walks away with the prize 9 times out of 10. 

 

I don't have any side by side examples to show at the moment and not sure I want to take the time to set any up or get into an active argument on the subject, but wanted to throw my quick thoughts out there anyway.  PBR images are great but even the best work I've seen done with PBR in Chief is falling short of the best ray traces I've seen IMO.

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Just now, Grumpka said:

My main focus is photoreal :)  I love messing with setting, lighting, etc...  I do like PBR though!  It is so nice to be able to design in real time and see a nice clean render.  This is where CA blows away the cabinet industry standard software packages.   They are slow, clunky and not nearly as nice when it comes to renders.   I do wish CA would invest a bit more time into the cabinet smart tools and make them a bit smarter. ;)

 

PBR will create more realism than CA's Ray Trace renderer. Just need to learn the lighting techniques.

 

There are a number of ways to overcome many of the cabinet smart tool deficiencies, just takes a while to learn the techniques.

 

Here is a PBR example.

456312722_LP_Kitchen_PhotoMatch.thumb.jpg.19ddd203918a5e9faf0bc06ac5488341.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Alaskan_Son said:

I don't have any side by side examples to show at the moment and not sure I want to take the time to set any up or get into an active argument on the subject, but wanted to throw my quick thoughts out there anyway.  PBR images are great but even the best work I've seen done with PBR in Chief is falling short of the best ray traces I've seen.

 

My comment is in the context of comparing CA's Ray Tracer to CA's PBR in the hands of an average CA user. If I look at the samples users are posting of their PBR work the overall quality is far superior to what users where posting of their Ray Trace work prior to PBR.

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Ah, got it.   Agreed!  RayTrace can be a PITA.  Takes practice and lots of time.

 

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16 minutes ago, Grumpka said:

Ah, got it.   Agreed!  RayTrace can be a PITA.  Takes practice and lots of time.

 

 

And there is still alot of Materials that don't look good in both , glass is one good example where RT looks nicer , so A scene that RT's well doesn't necessarily look good in PBR though that is mainly a lighting Issue it seems.

 

M

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I have better success with PBR for interiors, sometime RT for exterior. Have had some success adjusting glass texture-don't remember if it was who gave examples for that but it's out there on the forum.

Grumpka-noticed you asked about extended stiles/backs last night, too late for me and post is gone. Same answer as others- search forum, learn, make symbol, add to user library-then make cabinet, add to library, reuse as needed. (I like to use replace from library tool -have a hotkey for it :) Oh and save the plans used to make symbols.

Extended.png

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34 minutes ago, MarkMc said:

I have better success with PBR for interiors, sometime RT for exterior. Have had some success adjusting glass texture-don't remember if it was who gave examples for that but it's out there on the forum.

Grumpka-noticed you asked about extended stiles/backs last night, too late for me and post is gone. Same answer as others- search forum, learn, make symbol, add to user library-then make cabinet, add to library, reuse as needed. (I like to use replace from library tool -have a hotkey for it :) Oh and save the plans used to make symbols.

Extended.png

Hi,  I deleted my post, as well intended as it was meant to be.  I know folks can get defensive about critiques.   I feel very strongly that CA is missing the boat on some basic modifications and opportunities to BLOW AWAY similarly priced packages.   I've only had this beast for less than 24 hours and I've gone from disappointment to jaw dropped on table top.   I can't say it is very intuitive, but I am starting to understand the logic.  The end results I'm getting make it worth learning and keeping the software.  3k is still a lot of money considering I'm never going to use the full package.  Unless AutoKitchen can show me something better, I might be a CA convert. 

 

IMHO,  I don't think PBR can really come close to a ray trace, even a ray trace with only a few passes will look better on count of accurate reflections.   I have to work on natural lighting though.   This is an issue with Global illumination which adds even more time to the render, but the result should give it a soft, more realistic feel.  Can't wait to do more with CA.

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Example of first RT.   I messed up the light cone on two of the high hats, but they need some attention anyway.  I'm not happy with appliance, and the lighting has a long way to go, but it only took a few minutes to RT and for my client, they will be BLOWN AWAY.   


PS, side by side, sorry RT wins even if I haven't tweaked lighting or fix the mistake on two recess lights.  PBS is pretty and damn amazing considering it is near instant, but I will weight 3 minutes for RT.

walley Kitchen RT.JPG

PBR.JPG

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LOL, look at me eat crow today!  How about that, PBR thingy is pretty damn amazing!  I have to admit it!  I would think Ray Trace can do better once I figure it out!609613969_walleyfull.thumb.jpg.3d4f230270eecff6680a10f75d946902.jpg

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9 minutes ago, Grumpka said:

LOL, look at me eat crow today!  How about that, PBR thingy is pretty damn amazing!  I have to admit it!  I would think Ray Trace can do better once I figure it out!609613969_walleyfull.thumb.jpg.3d4f230270eecff6680a10f75d946902.jpg

 

Give PBR some time and I think you will be a convert. Many of the materials in CA were original designed around Ray Trace and as such they do not PBR as well without making some changes to their properties. If you search the forum for PBR you will find users like Rene who has been working very hard on a variety of materials to make them work much better when PBR'ing.

 

For cabinets just post what you want to do and I'm certain someone will have a solution. Though some of the techniques may seem a bit awkward the one thing is that once created you can save it to your user library so it's often just a one time effort.

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2 hours ago, Grumpka said:

LOL, look at me eat crow today!  How about that, PBR thingy is pretty damn amazing!  I have to admit it!  I would think Ray Trace can do better once I figure it out!609613969_walleyfull.thumb.jpg.3d4f230270eecff6680a10f75d946902.jpg

 

If not already set , as a start point, make sure automatic lights is 100 , exposure .4 and brightness 75 ( I think Graham uses higher even) and that Global Illumination is on.....these can all be set in the Plan Defaults under Cameras for each type ahead of time. Global illum. is in the Techniques DBX for PBR.

 

The current curved glass work around Jintu came up with is to add a dark gray texture to the Glass Material's Normal-map option in the DBX .

 

https://chieftalk.chiefarchitect.com/topic/20747-glass-pbr-material/?do=findComment&comment=168595

 

Rene also has a thread going where he is sharing some of his materials and ideas , and also his Kitchen PBR Starter Pack you might like

 

https://chieftalk.chiefarchitect.com/topic/21270-x11-an-ongoing-symbols-and-content-thread/?do=findComment&comment=174432

 

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11 hours ago, Kbird1 said:

automatic lights is 100 , exposure .4 and brightness 75 ( I think Graham uses higher even)

 

My suggestion concerning Automatic Lights is to select the Default Lighting set. This will tell CA to use any light in the plan that is turned on. The one issue with the Automatic Light setting is that if the camera is in the interior it will not use any exterior lights regardless of how many lights you have told it to use. There are times when I use some exterior 3D lights to supplement the sun to create either direct or indirect interior lighting effects.

 

Concerning the PBR DBX exposure and brightness settings I typically set the exposure at 1(Max) and brightness at 100%(Max). The reason for doing this is that I find that CA's exposure control causes lights when adjusted in intensity to be automatically trimmed back to maintain the scenes overall exposure according to it's setting. This means that when increasing an individual lights intensity instead of it getting brighter the other lights are trimmed down. When the exposure is set to max this effect is essentially eliminated, now when a lights intensity is increased it gets brighter and the other lights tend to stay the same. Just find it much easier to get light intensities properly balanced out. You can always adjust the exposure later on to fine tune the scene. The only drawback to this is that with the exposure set to max you light intensities including the sun will be very low and due to this the scenes will not Ray Trace properly as Ray Trace needs the lights to be at a higher intensity. Not a problem for me as I do not Ray Trace anymore.

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All great stuff guys!  I don't care as much about how I got there, but the end result.  If PBR can offer an impressive render in seconds,  I'm on board.   In the end, I will always work with Ray Trace for fun, and to experiment, but the ability to bang out a render without wasting time on lighting is priceless.   

I have so much to learn about CA, but right now, my focus is on just how custom can I make a cabinet.  I need to figure out beaded inset asap and also how to chamfer the face frame stile.  I have projects coming up, and this will be a big selling point on what software I can commit to.   I can do it via a cheat, and just include the beaded detail on the door frame itself, but this isn't as realistic, no gap.   The other thought is to experiment and see if you can build the bead detail molding, leave a 3/16 open gap between the actual door detail and the bead detail, and save this whole thing a door symbol... That is the only easy workaround I see so far....

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