Going to finally redraw all my "stuff" early next year for same house that I've had for almost 40 years in prep for some major renovations. I did 2D plans way back when (25 years ago?) in a DOS package. Did a lot of work later in FP8, but designed a new out-building 3-4 years ago with TFP15. At that time, TFP16 was out, but 15 was much cheaper and there didn't seem to be anything compelling in 16 for me.
Now starting research on software for redraw. At this point, I'm looking at continuing to use TFP15 or get Personal Architect or Chief Home Designer Pro. I have not yet downloaded the trials. I don't need to submit plans to anyone, so printing requirement is minimal. The 3D version was "good enough" then, so I doubt I'll need photo-level rendering now.
As I understand, TFP16 was a subset of Envisioneer 7, not sure of matching PerArch version (if it existed then). Would be nice to know what features have been updated since then. Most of what I'm finding is, of course, the new features of Envisioneer 11; most of the links that I've found so far in the CadSoft forum for older versions' "new & improved" no longer work. Anyone have ideas/links?
The Chief product features look pretty good from the specs & several of their videos, but there are several issues: price (of course), required web connection for license validation every 14 days (my box is non-web), and no Jack or Allan to hold my hand when I have problems (highly unlikely that they would remember me from my active FP8 days on the Imsi FP forum, but I sure do remember them fondly).
FP/TFP pretty much met my needs and I was able to use workarounds to overcome most problems. But the following are what I remember as giving me the most trouble -
Terrain. What I have are relative elevations at key spots like slab corners, not a contour map. IIRC, my drawn plot size was something like 375x375 (ft) with elevation changes within a 10 ft range, varying slopes. Because of slabs (5 of them) & landscaping issues, I really need this to be pretty accurate. On one of my older FP versions (10?) there was a mesh that worked pretty well, but that's not available in TFP or (per Allan) PerArch or even ProArch. This is one of the big reasons I'm even considering Chief - it looks like it has a lot more control in this area. For CadSoft, I know Jack and Allan say use Plateaus. Maybe I need to find some way to convert my elevation points to a contour map so I'd have a better chance. Most likely that I will have separate drawings for "outside" (complex terrain, simple interiors), "inside" (simple terrain, complex interiors) and "plumbing/wiring/hvac" (simple terrain, simple interiors).
Rafter tails. In my house & matching out-buildings, the rafters/trusses and the tails are 2 separate entities. The rafters/trusses are spaced 16" oc and the (cedar or treated pine) tails are separate 4ft-6ft pieces 24" oc with rounded bottom corners. This means drawing a solid (or "fake solid") elements at the 5:12 pitch which FP could not natively do. A kind soul in the TurboCad forum did this for me years ago. FWIW, I still have TC9 pro, but never really took the time to learn it. Chief cannot create solids either, but they think they can help me create the effect with surfaces. Any idea of what TFP/PerArch can do? I can fake a lot of horizontal & vertical stuff, but these angled puppies with contours...
camera movement. I didn't have much of a problem with FP, but I found the cameras much harder to control with TFP. Any change now with PerArch? The Chief demo makes it look pretty simple and even allows you to define a trail for walk-throughs.
I know the trials will tell me a lot when I get to them, most likely after Christmas. Just organizing my thoughts, setting expectations & getting background now.