✱ ARE Hacks - My new book

Hi everyone, It's been a while since I've posted. I have a pretty good reason why this site hasn't been updated in a while, and here it is: I've written a book. This site is all about adding value to yourself, and my new project fits right into that idea... it just isn't about digital tools this time (although there are many digital tool recommendations in the resource chapter). It's about getting motivated to pass the Architecture Registration Exam to become a licensed architect. If there's one thing that adds value to your endeavors in a career in architecture, this is it. 

If you'd like to learn more, go over to the ARE Hacks website. There you can see what people are saying about the book and can decide if it's for you. If you like the tutorials and training I've done here at Method, please check it out. There is a paperback and Kindle version available. Also, if you sign up for the newsletter when you're there, I'll send you a free chapter.

It's my mission to make people more valuable to the profession of architecture, and that doesn't stop at this website. I hope to see you there! 

End of 2014 Deal: 20% off my Maxwell Grass Preset Pro Pack

First, I want to thank you for visiting Method this year. It's my hope that you've learned new skills and workflows from my tutorials and articles. The world needs great architects, and it's my goal to make you worth more to the industry and to your clients. 

The Method website is a labor of love for me and I want to be able to even more in 2015. Please let me know how I can help you. Simply email me to do so

Get Grass!

Here at Method, I'm closing out 2014 by celebrating you! You've worked hard this year, and I want you to start 2015 off right with some new tools that will make you worth more. 

Until the end of the year, my Maxwell Grass Preset Pro Pack can be yours for only $79. That's 20% off the regular price. It works with Maxwell Render v2.7 and newer along with SketchUp or FormZ/Bonzai3d. 

How will the Preset Pack make you worth more?

  1. No more trial and error. You'll save huge amounts of time setting up grass in your scenes with my presets and photo-real materials. 
  2. You'll have a set of tools you'll be able to use time and time again, increasing your productivity in every scene you put grass into.
  3. Your renders will look even better than they already do, which will raise the value of your services, and allow you to charge more!

Watch this short video to see what it's all about:

Not only do you get the 17 presets and materials... buyers also get example scene files and TWO bonus training videos to take your skills to the next level.

This deal is good until midnight EST / 9pm PST. At that time the price goes back to $99.

So get that tax write-off before 2014 comes to an end and make yourself worth more with my Maxwell Grass Preset Pro Pack.

Happy rendering!

Create a Realtime Walkthrough of your Revit Project with Autodesk Showcase

Even though my thoughts in my recent article on realtime rendering came to the conclusion that I wasn't willing to spend a ton of time on the bleeding edge of that technology, I haven't ignored it either. The truth is that the idea for that article came from me spending a decent amount of time figuring out realtime rendering using Autodesk Showcase, which comes with either a perpetual license or subscription to some of their suites. The funny thing that you probably can relate to is that I didn't even know Showcase existed or what it did when I found it. Luckily the office I work in has this type of subscription and I had a presentation to create, so the stars aligned.

I ended up making a tutorial that takes you through the process of getting your model out of Revit and into Showcase with a lot of steps along the way to make a successful and very nice looking realtime model. It is now live over on the Novedge blog where lots of additional people other than Method visitors can see it. This works well because this is certainly not an Autodesk-centric site. So if you're interested in my process for creating realtime walkthrough's, please go check it out and let me know what you think.

Click here to head over to the Novedge blog and read my tutorial.

✱ Thanks

This is just a quick note to let everyone who has donated to the site know just how thankful I am. It is through your donations that I can afford to make more tutorials, plain and simple. If you've ever tried to make a tutorial yourself, you probably know just how much work they really are. If you haven't made one before, I can honestly say it's a lot more work than you probably think. 

So for those of you that have made a donation, my biggest thanks. You are very gracious and it makes me so happy to know the things I've made have helped you be worth more. I am filled with gratitude.

✱ Our industry needs great, licensed architects. We need you.

My goal here at Method is to make you worth more. One mantra I bring up from time to time is to invest in yourself. No one else is going to do it for you. You have to take the first step on this long journey. And then the next one, and the next one...

The more skills you have, the more you are worth. This not only allows you to get paid, but it makes the whole architectural industry worth more as well. You raise the value of everyone around you. This is something that is going to really help both you and our profession in the long run.

The American Institute of Architects National Convention as going on last week in Chicago, and Method was there in spirit. Our profession really needs smart people to become architects to help shape our industry's future. A lot of visitors here are students or unlicensed professionals working in the field. We need to dig in, get out hands dirty, and create the change we want. The first step is make sure we are on the same playing field as everyone else.

This is what I'm doing, and I hope you'll join me. Once I get my license, I have plans. It is not easy, nor should it be. One step at a time.

My friends and I have been talking a lot lately on the Archispeak Podcast about the NCARB exams, what's involved in them and what's changing. We've also talked a little bit about what tools are available to help us pass them. And you know that this site is all about sharing tools with you that work for me. 

A friend of mine, David Doucette, has a great little company that makes study tools for the exams. People I know who've used them absolutely rave about them. On top of the affordable study guides for the exams administered by NCARB, David's company, Architect Exam Prep, also has a study guide (which is more of a bible really) for the California Supplemental Exam. This is an amazing resource, and I hope you'll check it out. If you use my link, I get a small kickback from David. My goal here is to help spread the word about this resource because I think it's great, and because I want you to pass the exams. Then you can help shape the industry even better. Simple as that.

You can find out more here.

✱ Get Personal Training

Personal training is the fastest way to learn

I've taught thousands of students in person during my 10 years teaching digital design at both California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and Mt. San Antonio College in their architecture departments. My students all had the benefit of being able to ask questions and help steer their education through group conversations and one-on-one learning during and after lectures. A nice additional outcome is that I still talk with many of them to this day because of the relationship we established over the years. The tutorials on this site have been able to take them even further since they graduated and I stopped teaching in brick-and-mortar institutions.

With that in mind, I put up a page here on the site that talks more in depth about the personal training, the tools I teach, and about the benefits of what I call "learning without a speed limit." I'll leave that information out of this this post because you can read about it on my training page. The biggest take-away is that I want to help you be worth more, and personal training is truly the best method to get better, faster.

A few people have already taken advantage of my personal training and the feedback I've gotten has been very positive. Here's a testimonial from Sven Johnson who is a professional architectural illustrator in New York:

My name is Sven Johnson and I’m an professional architectural illustrator in Brooklyn, New York. I’ve studied all of Evan’s tutorials and done one-on-one training with him to improve my skills in my rendering pipeline.

Method is my go-to source for learning both the conceptual framework and the practical little details that go into mastering this type of software.

To me the one-on-one training is a great investment as I have learned a number of tips that I know will be saving me countless hours and increasing the likelihood of getting a full night’s sleep even with a deadline looming. Keep it going Evan, thanks for sharing your expertise!
— Sven Johnson, Greenpoint Brooklyn

Sven had told me that he wanted to do some personal training and that he had some things in mind of what he wanted to cover. After he sent me a list of what he wanted, I was able to tailor a session to match up with what he wanted to learn so he could get the most out of our time together. We setup desktop sharing over Skype, and even though we are three hours apart, were able to pull off a couple of hours of training without a hitch. I also recorded video of our entire session and provided that to Sven so he could go back and reference it anytime. We covered a lot of information.

This is about making you worth more, faster

All of this is to say I'd love to do personal training with you. Check out my page where I talk more about the types of training I do, my teaching philosophy, the tools I cover, and my rates. This is a great opportunity to take your skills and your future into your own hands and become worth more to your business, firm, colleagues and clients. The best part is being able to choose exactly the kind of training you need to get to the next level. No one knows that better than you.

Read more about my Personal Training here and let's get started!

Link: FormZ for Architects Webinar

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I'm happy to announce that I'll be hosting a live webinar for Novedge showing off some cool stuff in the latest version of FormZ on March 26th at 11am.

There are specific tools included in formZ 7 that make it a very smart tool for conceptual architectural modeling. Parametric tools that are specific to architecture include walls, stairs and more. Other helpful things like working with a combination of solids and surfaces, booleans and NURBS, 2D drawing layout abilities and several 3D rendering types make it a production powerhouse.

I hope you can join me. The whole thing will go for about an hour. There will be a live question and answer immediately following the presentation. The video will be posted afterwards as well, so if you can't make it you'll still be able to see it. 

Click here to learn more, and to register for the event