A.Technology consultant Joe Stoddard (stoddard@epix.net) responds: I know of no single piece of software that will do everything you’re asking for, so you’re going to have to combine some tools. SoftPlan Pro (http://www.softplan.com) will let you model the arched soffits and will allow you to apply existing textures to the CAD model. It will also produce good working drawings. Chief Architect (http://www.chiefarchitect.com) will allow you to render a CAD model and produce drawings, but you’ll need a separate application like SketchUp from @Last Software (http://www.sketchup.com) to create the curved soffit model for import into Chief. ArchiCAD (http://www.graphisoft.com), VectorWorks (http://www.vectorworks.com), and Cadsoft Build! (http://www.cadsoft.com) are three more CAD programs that can create and render (with add-ins) those kinds of custom features.

That kind of modeling is a very advanced application of any CAD program, though; it’s not something a beginner would be able to do right off the bat with any of them.

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