Texas Wildlife and Parks Department - Case Study

Texas Parks and Wildlife Interior Design Communication with SketchUp and ArielVision

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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is headquartered in Austin, employing more than 3,500 and every summer, 300 interns.  The agency oversees and protects wildlife and their habitats, and manages the state's parks and historical areas.  Today we’re excited to talk with Todd Weinzierl from TPWD.  

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Hi Todd, please tell us about your design background.
I've been an exhibit and graphic designer with Texas Parks and Wildlife since 2018. Part of my job is working with interpreters in creating the Trails Maps and "You are Here" Maps for State Parks. The other portion of my job is working on park exhibits and Nature Centers detailing the unique history and environments of each park in the system. Prior to working with TPWD, I ran a design department at a small tradeshow company in Austin for 10 years.

How long have you been using SketchUp?
I began using Sketchup when I arrived at Texas Parks in 2018. Previously I had been using IronCAD for modeling and rendering.

Why did you choose our ArielVision extension to do your renderings?
While I liked the ease of modeling in Sketchup, I was still looking for something that could add more life to the screenshots from the models. I began testing various rendering options for Sketchup and when I came across ArielVision everything just clicked. Utilizing the Presets available in the software allowed for learning how to use the program and producing the first set of renderings with ease.

How do you use ArielVision at TPWD?
We use ArielVision to help communicate the progress of our projects to our coworkers out in the parks. Being able to supply them with a visual of their exhibits is a big gamechanger that cuts down on design changes and any miscommunication that may occur.

What do you like about ArielVision?
I was impressed with the ease of integrating ArielVision into Sketchup and being able to produce the first rendering quickly. While most of the projects are inside existing buildings, some are outside, and the rendering Presets available in the software provides a great foundation from which to start.

Please give us some background on a recent project you’ve done for which you’ve produced renderings using ArielVision. 
I have been working on two soon-to-be-installed Nature Centers in Texas. The first is the Ray Roberts Lake State Park Nature Center which is currently in production and looking to be installed in the spring of 2021. The second is the Kickapoo Caverns State Park Nature Center which we're also hoping to install in 2021. There are two more Nature Centers in the Rio Grande Valley that have been given similar treatments that are currently going through approvals and are planning to be installed in the second half of 2021. 

Ray Roberts Lake State Park Nature Center

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Kickapoo Caverns State Park Nature Center

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Did you receive any feedback on the renderings?
The Park staff have been excited to be able to see how the graphics and exhibits will look and fit inside their facilities during this process. It also adds another layer of excitement to the project as it builds the anticipation from seeing the rendering become reality.

Thank you, Todd!  It’s been interesting to hear how renderings play an important part in your communication with staff about your designs.

Checkout Texas Wildlife and Parks website
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