View Full Version : design software

02-17-2004, 09:07 PM
I want to start doing my designs on the computer, via digital photos & a good program. Last year I tried the black & decker version--could not get it to work. I hear the good programs are around 3 grand, but are worth it, any opinions?

02-17-2004, 11:22 PM
Best program available is Pro Landscape and it is about $1200 and worth every penny.

02-18-2004, 11:15 PM
Feeling like you, I purchased Master Landscape & home design by Punch Software - I seem to recall for around $80.00. It is awesome. I am pretty good with computer programs/applications - bu this did have a 5-6 hour learning curve, it just is very powerful. Also, you need a beefy machine, leaning ram to really use without frustration. I purchased it from CompUSA or Office Depot or Staples.

Hope this helps,


Let it Grow
02-19-2004, 02:44 PM
You can get good deals on this software (Punch master landscape). I bought a copy last night for $49.99 with a $20.00 rebate cupon. It seems to be worth the money.

Team Gopher
02-20-2004, 03:32 PM
Hi Let it Grow,

Do you have any images that you have created with it that you can post?

Let it Grow
02-20-2004, 06:13 PM
Hey Gopher, I'm working on one for a client right now. I'm still learning the program so it won't be as good as it could be. I'll try to post it on Sunday maybe.

02-20-2004, 08:19 PM
We're very happy w/ Visual Impact Imaging (Earthscape) program

02-20-2004, 08:54 PM
Hey folks,
Don't forget to go to Punch's website.They have some free updates available.

02-23-2004, 03:22 PM
I just purchased Pro Landscape ver. 10. I know I have a learning curve, but I see some real potential for this program. One thing I am having trouble with is on my original photo of a customerís property, there are very mature shrubs, that block off the front of the house, siding, windows, corners, porch, and subbase of the house. In the tutorials it demonstrate how to remove (actually cover it up) a small electrical outlet in the wall. But with this house I cannot use the clone brush for I cannot get a clear section to clone. Is there some other way to get rid of the old shrubs, etc. in front of the house? I cannot not just put new plants in there for they will never grow to the size of the old ones. Plus I want to show a raised patio and wall but the old porch is camouflaged.
I looked at other software and they all demonstrated small thing to remove, for example an outdoor grill. No problem there was a large wall to clone from. Any ideas?

02-23-2004, 07:13 PM
Hey elwin,
On Punch's software you can edit the age of the plant when you install it.So,in order to grow your plant you may have to fudge the age of the plant during install.Does Pro Landscape allow you to do that?If so,try that to make your plants larger.

Let it Grow
02-23-2004, 07:57 PM
Hey Gopher I'm having trouble with my cd burner on my laptop so I'll post a design when I can. I'm not connected to the internet with my laptop, so I have to save the design to cd then post it from there on a different comp.

Elwin...I don't know much about Por Landscape, but I've found it easier with my Punch software to actually build the house that I'm landscaping in the program, then I have a completely clean slate to work with. I have found it much more time consuming to try to edit the pictures, and make them look good. Good Luck

02-23-2004, 10:46 PM
We use Pro Landscape. The use of the design (CAD) mode lets you plan things out to use for an on-site guide, while the photo imaging lets you show the customer how things will play out. We haven't used the estimating part of the program yet, that takes quite a bit of setting up as far as getting prices and such in. Great program, downside is that it's $1200 but it's worth it.

02-24-2004, 11:32 AM
I think you can create a clone box and add the color to it you want. I'll cjeck it out later and let you know. You may not be able to use a block from the actual house, but with the color var. you may find one close. I just bought ver. 10 and like the imaging editor. Still playing with the retaining wall part of it. As far as the planner goes I'm still working with it. The snaps are confusing to me, but I'll keep at it.
As far as punch goes, I sent mine back for the refund. I hope they got some upgrades cause I found it difficult to resize the customers pictures and just plain difficult to use. Sierra was better in my opinion than Punch.

02-24-2004, 11:32 AM
prolandscape best out there .. none other

Let it Grow
02-24-2004, 03:50 PM
I think I can get this thing posted now. I'll give it a try. Keep in mind that this is not my landscaping job. This is a current landscpe that I will be adding a few plants to. We'll see if it works!

Team Gopher
02-25-2004, 05:26 PM
Hi Let it Grow,

Thanks for letting me know about the post. Looks great!

02-25-2004, 05:32 PM
I plan and draw my own designs. I have never tried a software program.

Acute Cut
02-26-2004, 03:10 AM
if yall use the ol search button there are a few links with many pictures. You can see the broader spectrum of options. I am surprised actually that team gopher didnt post the link. Usually he is on his game. :)

Personally i love my DIG software. Real looking everything. You can take a pic, upload, add stuff, and print. Still looks pretty realistic afterwards. BUT, you get what you pay for. I think my whole package was like 700$. I am glad i asked here too.

03-02-2004, 01:43 AM
I also plan and design my own, i think it helps me to explain them to customers, and they appreciate the effort i put into them, especially cause i charge for the design. I have punch, Master Landscape, but do not use it because for some reason it doesn't show plant names, and i cant figure out why. Oh well i dont like to sit in front of the computer anyhow/

Let it Grow
03-02-2004, 08:37 PM
Hey Scott, the plant names are in the lower left part of the screen. As you scroll over the plant it's name will show in a grey bar under your plan.

I just showed a my design in Punch to the customer...easy sell. It makes it so much easier when the customer can actually see what you are talking about.

03-03-2004, 12:05 AM
Is the pretty picture good design? I'm not saying it is or is not. I'm asking all of you if you are looking at what the picture is communicating, or just that it is a nice picture?

Do you think it is good because those are good plant choices? Is that a good composition?

If it is good design, did the picture make it good design? Would you be unable to get me to understand that without this picture?

Do your clients need a picture like this to be sold on having you landscape their home? How sophisticated are they?

I wonder if we dazzle ourselves with these more than we dazzle our clients.

Let it Grow
03-03-2004, 01:47 PM
Did you read what I said when I posted the picture? This is not my design...it is the current landscape. My client just wanted me to add a couple plants, and yes the pictures helped a lot for that. I tried to give her some ideas when I first talked to her, but she couldn't really "see" it. So I put together a design for her so she could see what I was talking about. She really liked being able to actually see what the landscape would look like.

I'd say my client was fairly sophisticated (She is a proffesor at a local university).

I'd venture to guess that the majority of people will be able to understand a picture before they would be able to understand the design just from you explaining it.

03-03-2004, 09:24 PM
IMO, digital imaging is a priceless tool when selling to the average "Joe" Homeowner (average when it comes to knowledge of landscape). I use DIG, and have gotten pretty proficient at it. I explain to my clients, the design picture is the 'look' I am after.(I do not use the program for exact number of plants, etc.) For a homeowner who does not know what an Arborvitae hedge looks like, a good imaging program cannot be replaced. I have done many hand drawnings in the past, (graduated from UConn, BA in LD) and never had the selling results I have had with DIG.

For commercial jobs they arent worth a lick, but for residential, I can blow them away showing them some plants in front of THEIR home. IMO, that 'nice' picture is what hooks the customer. Plus, the customer thinks you are using cutting edge technology, which tells them you are dedicated to your profession. (In that weird customer thinking sort of way)

I have never had a complaint after an install, when they were first shown a digital pic. Ive been using DIG for about 4 or 5 years now.

AGLA--- How could you not like a program which shows the client EXACTLY what a Whitespire Birch would look like against their home? DIG uses real photos of specimens, not computer generated plants.

I could never get that impact with circles and prismacolors, not matter how much shading I introduced ;) .

As to the level of sophistication of MY clients, im not really sure......but you know what???? Their money is as green as the next guys.

03-03-2004, 10:36 PM
Maybe I did not do a good job wording my questions. I did not intend to criticize the design or the person posting the picture. Sorry if it came accross that way.

What I am asking is if this tool is making something appear to be something that it is not? Are we knocking someone out with something that is not really quite the way the job will look?

I am not answering those questions, just asking them.

I have a bit of trouble with it because I see tons of "before" pictures of a real house site with tons of "after" pictures that are like the one above. Seldom do I ever see the third and most important picture - the actual built project. I suspect that it is because we have to wait ten years for it to grow.

Basically my problem with it is that it makes a very real looking representation which can not be matched closely. A drawing or a plan is obviously an abstraction, so its promise is more attainable. When you say "this is what I told you it would look like" while holding a blueprint it is hard to not be accurate if the plan was followed. You will never match the photo.

How about a whole lot of these photo designs with the built pictures next to them to show how well the customer got what they were sold?

I'm not questioning honesty, design sense, or its marketing power. I just see it as something that can easily make something mediocre look very good. That can deceive the person designing as easily as the person buying the job. That is the bad thing in my opinion.

Let it Grow
03-04-2004, 12:25 AM
I see what you are asking. Thanks for your last post, it made much more sense. When I show my client the picture of what their landscape will look like I make sure they know that it will not be exactly like the picture. I think you are right in that the actual landscape will not look exactly like the picture. BUT I think that a skilled designer can make the landscape look fairly close to what the picture shows.

Project Earth, LLC.
03-10-2004, 10:33 PM
I bought PUNCH! Master Landscape and Home Design last year and have used it quite a bit.. Only cost about $50 after the $20 rebate.

I have played around with the feature that allows you to insert a digital picture of a home, but I cant figure out how to put the plants and mulch/stone around it so it looks "normal". Especially if the house in on the top or bottom of a hill. Any suggestions or help with that would be appreciated, as the user's guide is very VERY vague.


03-10-2004, 10:46 PM
Here is a pic I did the other day for customer on a $2000 budget. I sold this job at $4000 after he saw what i was going to do and he could see the end result. This pic is a very realistic image of what it will look like, so there are no surprises. I will post pics of before and after in the next few weeks after installation.

03-10-2004, 10:47 PM
Forgot to mention that we are also doing the back and side of house. Don't want comments on how I was making a killing off just the front. Thsi is Pro Landscape too.

Let it Grow
03-11-2004, 08:42 PM
Project Earth- To make the plants look right for the picture, change the elevation of the plant. I can't remember how to do it at the moment, but I think you just right click on the plant after you have it in your design.

03-11-2004, 11:06 PM
ParkerLawn- Was the lawn and walk already in or did you draw those as well?
Do you use the plan view much on your Pro Landscape Software?
I'm looking into buying it or Landscape Illustrator.

03-12-2004, 12:01 AM
All are drawn in using the software. I use the planner for the crew to work off of. I can use it as blueprints for them to reference too. I love this program and don't have one complaint about it. I don't know anyhting about illustrator but you won't be disappointed in Pro Landscape. It is just a step above everything else and we all know that in our business it is the little things that seperate us as being known for the best work. I always say you have to spend money to make money. Don't take that the wrong but I mean, I don't hesitate to buy the best available for my business knowing it will pay for itself immediately.

03-12-2004, 05:48 AM
I've got Punch and all, but I havent been able to put in a background image, such as the customers house. Can anyone tell me how to do that? I love the program, it's so incredibly easy.

03-12-2004, 04:33 PM
~~Pro Landscape gets my nod.~~

03-13-2004, 07:49 PM
Do you all that use the computer software also buy the plotter printers? If so which one do you recomend?

03-13-2004, 09:37 PM
If u try pro landscape design software u will use no other.. i sell more designs using pro landscape then using my drawings.. people love the visual ..they actully see what it will look like .. unlike punch its to generic looking.. pro landscpe u take the picture of the house down load the pic to the program and start desiging.. nice thing about it is u can use that pic import it to the cad drawing part of the program and it puts all the plant material in the cad system and just print it out .. two steps done in one .

Project Earth, LLC.
03-13-2004, 10:14 PM
PUNCH! lets you take a digital picture and work around it.. Only thing is, PUNCH treats the picture as an object. You can elevate the object (picture) and elevate the plants and everything, but like I said, the user's guide doesnt go in depth on how to do it properly. Ive played around with it for a while, and i cant get it to look really nice. That and the fact that when you take a picture of a customer's house, you have the EXISITING trees/shrubs objects you need to crop out, and thats another process in itself. Does Pro Landscape have an easy to use, quick process feature of cropping/erasing out the existing objects so you can start your design on a "clean palette"??

That picture ParkerLawn posted is sharp. I thought it was a PUNCH! design because the shrubs and mulch look dead on like PUNCH!

I know PUNCH is capable of doing a picture like ParkerLawn's because i HAVE seen them done (and of course they're all over the box and pictures inside) its just difficult to learn how to do it. Im sure once I learn it, it'll be like riding a bike (easy, never forget)


05-05-2004, 01:17 AM
Parkerlawn did you ever get the before and after pics of the job you did?

05-05-2004, 10:53 PM
Will post them later this week. We did the job a couple of weeks ago. I forgot to be honest. Check back in a day or so.

05-11-2004, 03:06 AM
Originally posted by ParkerLawn
Here is a pic I did the other day for customer on a $2000 budget. I sold this job at $4000 after he saw what i was going to do and he could see the end result. This pic is a very realistic image of what it will look like, so there are no surprises. I will post pics of before and after in the next few weeks after installation.

WOW! Nice design, very realistic! What program did you use? Punch Master?

05-11-2004, 04:36 AM
Pro Landscape is what I use

05-11-2004, 10:14 AM
Ahhh I see. So there must be a huge diference from Pro Landscape to Punch Master huh? I use Punch Master, but can't get the customers actual picture into the landscape..I am still saving money for Pro Landscape.