This list has been updated as of July 2, 2019 to reflect recent software releases. If you have already started taking the tutorials, this knowledge is still relevant and transferable.
Master in Landscape Architecture Program
Required Software Tutorials
A strong foundation in digital software is necessary for coursework in studio and representation. This includes facility in specific programs, but also the ability to independently seek out new resources and methods for acquiring technical skills. Tutorials providing instruction in key skills are available through Lynda Campus / LinkedIn Learning, and are listed below. A basic working knowledge of AutoCAD and Adobe Illustrator is required in advance of the MLA-I Pre-Term Workshop.
During the academic year, you will receive additional instruction in Rhino, Grasshopper, ArcGIS, Photoshop, and InDesign, though students with no prior experience in these applications will benefit from viewing these tutorials in advance. Additional optional software tutorials, which may be useful for those seeking to refresh or enhance their skills, are also listed below.
Hardware and Software
Refer to the Computer Resources Group (“CRG”) website for Admitted Students regarding computer hardware requirements. Before arriving at the Pre-Term Workshop, students should have the below programs installed:
Windows is required to work efficiently at the GSD. If you are using a Mac and Windows is not already installed, please follow the GSD Windows for Mac instructions. Emulation and virtualization software are discouraged.
AutoCAD: A free three-year educational license is available with your GSD e-mail.
Adobe Creative Suite
Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Acrobat Pro: Students must purchase their own license. Use your GSD e-mail for an educational discount.
Rhino has a free 90-day trial period, so you can download and then switch to using Harvard's license once you are on campus.
Grasshopper is a free Rhino plug-in available for download.
ArcGIS is available once you are on the GSD Network.
BEGINNER (Skills required for MLA I Pre-Term Workshop – Updated July 2, 2019)
AutoCAD 2017/2018 Essential Training:
This tutorial covers the basics of the user interface: ribbon, workspaces, ViewCube, Quick Access Toolbar. It includes file management, measurement units, drawing navigation. You will also learn how to draw and modify objects using scale, rotate, grid, and snap tools, use text and annotations. Finally, you will be introduced to importing and attaching external references.
AutoCAD 2014 Essential Training: Working with References:
This tutorial offers additional instruction on external references, including referencing images such as JPEG, DWG and PDF files. You will learn how to create and leverage block symbols, clip external drawings, and control appearance and sizing. A drawing exercise is included to test the application of skills, followed by a step-by-step solution
AutoCAD Plotting & Publishing:
Topics include adding and removing from selections, stretching elements, creating mirrored copies, leveraging grips, editing hatch patterns, using layers to organize a drawing, changing layer states, taking measurements, and constructing a multi- view part.
AutoCAD 2014 Essentials: 04 Annotating a Drawing:
This tutorial covers plotting, printing and page setup. It also includes electronic publishing. You will learn how to scale views and customize page setups for layouts. You will also learn how to assign plot styles to change the appearance of drawings for plotting or publishing. Finally, the tutorial will cover settings in the Plot and Publish dialogs for legibility and transferability .
Rhino 5 Essential Training with Dave Schultze:
Rhino 5 Essential Training is a beginner tutorial on the basics of Rhinocerous3D. Rhino is a NURBS-based modeling program that is one of the main programs we use to make 3D digital models. The tutorial topics are: Why use Rhino? Understanding 3D terminology, Comparing Bezier curves B-splines and NURBS objects, Navigating the viewport, Manipulating objects with commands, Creating curves surfaces and solids, Performing basic transformations, Making solids with primitives, Extruding curves, Snapping to objects and planes, Trimming splitting rotating and copying objects, Working with NURBS and seams, and Prototyping a 3D model.
BEGINNER (Skills required for MLA I Pre-Term Workshop – Updated July 2, 2019)
Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals:
This tutorial covers fundamental image editing concepts and techniques from the beginning that are very useful. Topics include navigating, zooming, panning, rotating the canvas, adding deleting and merging layers, understanding file formats, cropping and straightening transforms concepts and raw images into entirely new works of art using Adobe Photoshop. Discover how to select the images you need to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Master the
tools used in compositing, including adjustment layers, masking, blending, and Smart Objects. Learn how to adjust scale and perspective and manipulate texture and focus to help viewers temporarily suspend their disbelief long enough to enter your world.
Photoshop Filters for Photography:
Filters are a great way to stylize or distort your images. This tutorial cover both simple and complex effects from black and white, monocromatic tints, and film grain to Surface Blur, Tilt-Shift Blur and Oil Paint. Topics include working with the filter gallery, creating a black and white effect, applying a vignette, adding motion blur, smearing with liquify, and mapping the image with trace contour.
Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced:
This tutorial is great for those who have a basic understanding of Photoshop but are interested in learning the inner workings of the program. Topics include transforming and warping vector objects, correcting for lens distortion, mitigating halos and enhancing contrast with Shadows/Highlights, adding and editing points on a curve, creating pro-quality sepia tone or quadtone, colorizing with blend modes and opacity, reducing and smoothing over noise, perfecting a mask with a refine edge, and converting path outlines to vector masks.
BEGINNER (Skills are required for MLA I Pre-Term Workshop – Updated July 2, 2019)
Illustrator CC 2019 One-on-One: Fundamentals:
We use illustrator to edit line drawings such as sections, plans, or axons. This tutorial will give an overview of creating elegant and optimized graphics. The tutorial topics include rotating and duplicating objects, grouping and stacking, erasing and painting selected paths, using the shape builder tool, reflecting across an angled axis, placing and flowing text, creating page margins, adjusting type size, using the Glyphs panel, and inserting and removing anchor points.
Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Intermediate:
This tutorial is a continuation of the beginner. It reviews how to effectively manage layers, clipping groups, and swatches. Topics include creating layers, sub-layers and groups, lifting a color and creating a swatch, adjusting the stacking order, masking a pattern inside a background, creating a radial gradient, adding a credible 3D cast shadow, creating and painting and overlapping path, and previewing and printing documents.
Creating a Map with Illustrator:
This tutorial will teach you to create a custom map that provides clean and accurate details that you want to highlight. This tutorial covers understanding different types of maps, sketching out a map, creating a tracing template, drawing majorand minor roadways, using graphic styles, drawing bodies of water parks and other land marks, and how to share themap.
Tracing Artwork with Illustrator:
This tutorial goes over how to convert raster graphics into a vector format using the Image Trace panel. The topics include analyzing the exiting artwork, developing a tracing plan, exploring the three steps of tracing, adjusting the curve fitting, combining paths into shapes, and applying colors to the artwork.
Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced:
This tutorial provides the basics of Adobe Illustrator CC. You will learn how to open, create, save, and close documents. It includes artboard creation and management, as well as navigation such as zooming and panning. You will learn the differences between RGB vs. CMYK color modes, how to create and apply swatches. Drawing tools will be introduced: pencil, curvature, and pen tools; painting freeform artwork. Finally, you will learn how to modify basic artwork by adjusting strokes and line weights. Basic text formatting is also included.
InDesign CS6 Essential Training:
InDesign is an essential tool for layout of ad, magazines, newspapers, and books. We use it to layout our presentation boards, books that we create or our portfolios. This tutorial presents the core features and techniques that make this program easy to use. Topics include understanding your workspace, creating
and setting up new documents, creating and applying master pages, entering and editing text, placing graphics, working with color and gradients, editing frame and path shapes, working with layers, objects, and groups, rotating and scaling objects, using styles, applying character and paragraph formatting, and packaging, printing and exporting your final document.
This tutorial shares some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient. The course covers built-in time saving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or into objects.