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mrbelvedr
11-05-2005, 04:46 PM
Hi,
I am looking for software to design clients backyards.

Something that can produce high quality designs like:

http://www.brdesignbuild.com/build/default.asp?CTID=41&IID=

Anybody know of any software that can do this?

Gilla Gorilla
11-05-2005, 08:17 PM
Welcome to this site, you will find tons of good info here.

Take a look at the Pro Landscape software. I have it and love it. Although I have not started using the 2d designs yet, mostly the 3d designs and the proposal also.

Here is a link to the page you would probably be interested in.

http://www.prolandscape.com/product_planner.htm

Dreams To Designs
11-06-2005, 06:58 AM
I will second Prolandscape. Just realize that the software is not much more than a digital pencil in plan mode. You have to create the design. If you use it as a drawing tool and have already mastered landscape design, you will not be disappointed. If you are thinking any software will help you design, you are mistaken. The 3D imaging is a great selling tool to give the clients an idea of what the finished product will look like. It will NOT look exactly like the 3D imaging. It can give your client a better idea of what you are attempting to do, but you still have to know your plants and good design practices. Any of the software requires a great deal of time and skill to master, CAD experience is invaluable as well as the patience to master the program. Just because it looks good on paper, does not make it good design.

Kirk

walker-talker
11-09-2005, 09:33 AM
I would take a good look at prolanscape also. I have only had it about a month and it looks like a quality program. I did a lot of research before I purchased it.

Kirk, looks like maybe you had a bad connection the other day. I called you right back, but it said you were out of area. Anyway, my question was answered on another forum. While working with a project you can click "window" from the top tool bar. It will open a timer where you can keep track of how much time you have spent working on a project. It will track time spent on that particular session as well as accumlative time spent on that client's project. Just has a pause and reset.

Matt

AintNoFun
11-09-2005, 10:17 AM
i use DIG.. have had no complaints...


http://www.designimaginggroup.com

mrbelvedr
11-09-2005, 03:15 PM
Which of the program is geared towards people without much drawing experience. I am not good at that stuff, I need the easiest solution preferably.

Do any of the software have an "automatic landscape generation" once you put in the house dimensions? That would save me a bunch of time, then I could just tweak things as needed!

thanks for all the fantastic input thus far!

Tom

Dreams To Designs
11-09-2005, 04:00 PM
Tom, do you do design work now and have you had any CAD experience?

I think that automatic landscape generation button is on your phone. That's when you call a designer to come in and generate a plan for you. No software is going to help you design, not yet anyway.

walker-talker
11-10-2005, 01:18 PM
I was playing around with PL the other day. Once you take a pic of house and put in the plants with the image editing part of the software, you can have it draw a CAD diagram automatically of how the plants are placed in relation to each other, but does not give any bed boudries or any other for that matter (i.e. house, garage or driveway). It does not actually design anything for you, but the search feature of plants is quite awesome. You can check off a list of requirements and it will search the database for possible solutions. For example, you a list of shrubs that take full sun, grow 4' tall, flower in the spring, yellow flowers and in your particular zone. It will give a list of plants with pictures. This is going to be a great learning tool for myself.

bob9545
11-21-2005, 08:38 PM
Where can I purchase Prolandscape cheaper than $1295.00...That's a little to steep for me... :cry:

o-so-n-so
11-21-2005, 11:36 PM
Bob9545,
If you want the good stuff...it will cost you. If your serious about landscape and design it is well worth the bucks. :)

walker-talker
11-22-2005, 03:19 AM
Where can I purchase Prolandscape cheaper than $1295.00...That's a little to steep for me... :cry:They had a copy for sale on eBay the other day for $800, but that auction is over now. I agree, $1300 is a cheap price to pay for what you will get out of it. Do a search and see what the more expierenced users have to say about it.

AGLA
11-22-2005, 06:52 AM
Plans like this can be drawn with plain old Autocad lt (~$800), or Intellicad (~$200), or any number of cad programs. More landscape specific cad programs are available which add premade plant symbols, patio furniture, paver paterns, and some go as far as setting up lineweights for things like the house, the driveway, etc,... (Dynascape does more of this than any that I know of).

None of them puts it all together. The plans on that web site were done by someone who was well trained in landscape plan drafting with or without a computer. That person(s) also knew what he wanted to do with the landscape before he ever sat down at the monitor. The programs can only offer tools to work with. Everything else is user input. The unfortunate part is that the more ability you already have in drawing and designing plans, the more easily you can use these programs and the opposite is true as well.

The more familiar you get with what line thicknesses work for what, what hatch patterns and their scale works well, and what symbols you like to use and size for what plants, the less you need the "user friendly" inputs. They take more time than inserting basic symbols and using printer settings to control line weight. The result is that the people who do this all of the time tend to eventually use Autocad and draw it all without the add ons or instead of landscape specific cad programs. It just becomes a balance of learing curve and time invested in producing plans.

walker-talker
11-22-2005, 08:50 AM
The reason a software program of this nature is so popular is mainly because of the image editing part of the software and not it CAD abilities. This is based on just what I have gathered be reading many posts by the users. By giving the prospective client a picture of what the landscape may look like is a tremendous selling point. It is also easier to design with image editing vs CAD. After putting in the layout of the plants, using the imaging editing part of Landscape Pro, you can import that plant layout into the CAD part of the program. You will still have to draw in the house, driveway and property boundries.

AGLA
11-22-2005, 12:29 PM
The design shown by the OP is not one that you can whip up on a photo editing program. Photoimaging is unaccountable. It is often assumed that if it looks like it fits in the picture then it does. In reality it is not always the case. It is a good tool for showing a client a mock up of something that you have already laid out to scale. I see people take pictures of flat lots and the next thing you know there are retaining walls with sweeping sets of steps and layers of plants that in no way will fit in that space.

Not all landscapes require a scaled plan, but any project approaching the one shown by the OP would need such a plan just to lay it out never mind presenting it.

Dreams To Designs
11-22-2005, 12:41 PM
Andrew, you are correct. Photoimaging is a presentation tool primarily. I have seen it used for small bed installations by a crew, using the photo to make the planting "look like the picture", but mostly used to get the client a vision of the design you are selling. Many contractors struggle with with a scaled plan, yet we think a typical homeowner will be dazzled and informed by looking at one. A scaled plan is just that, whether hand drawn or CAD, a plan that is mapped out with symbols and measurements. The art is in the design and the materials used to create it. Most anyone can draw a landscape plan, it takes talent and knowledge to design a landscape.

Kirk