1. Can’t make it to the GIE+EXPO 2017?
    LawnSite brings the trade show floor to your fingertips with our new GIE+EXPO 2017 Sneak Peek video series debuting now in the Lawn Mowing forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Best buy for landscape software?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by daysel, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

  2. sdbserv

    sdbserv LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I use Imagine Pro 7. I'd rate it good. Cost $39.95. Customers love the results...lots of sales.
  3. bnorton

    bnorton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    I have been using Realtime Landscaping Pro by ideaspectrum for about 2 months. Never used any other type of design software before. I love the fact that you can take a picture and add whatever you want to it. Still working on the 2-D (CAD) portion of the software. So far the customers love the end result. Best software for the money in my opinion.
  4. TreePro

    TreePro LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 29


    I have been using the Punch Master Landscape Pro software mainly because of the 3D capabilities. However, I am very frustrated with the software because of a few reasons.

    1. The CAD drawing is mainly point and click and seems to take forever
    2. The 3D renderings are "cartoon" looking if you will

    I have AutoCAD 2008 and am fairly proficient in it. I took a class in high school & college on drafting and actually enjoy drafting. However, I haven't used it much in last year and am quite sure I will be a little rusty. I did some 3D modeling with it years ago, but wouldn't know where to start now & especially on a large scale such as a landscape design.

    Do you think it would be wise for me to start designing plan views in AutoCAD and scrap the 3D views altogether?
  5. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Tree Pro, sorry to butt into your question for AGLA, but hope you won't mind some experience.

    Don't scrap the 3D imaging, but use it for what it is best at, a selling tool. With Pro Landscape you can create an image and fly around to get a better idea of spacing, but it's still just a digitally created image. Use your Auto Cad skills either on their own or use a CAD based design program for your plans. You'd be better off designing on paper with a pencil, scale and circle template, than using imaging as a main design tool. It is great to use it to determine foliage contrast, colors and form to aid in your designing, but you can make anything look good with imaging. The caveat is, it won't always work as well as it looks in the image and your takeoff and spacing should be determined by creating a plan.

    The other issue to always remember is, no software is really design software. You have to create a quality, sustainable design and many brands of software can make that look really good, either through imaging or an installation plan. Your knowledge and ability are more important than the media you use to display it, but software sure helps make sales, like Pro Landscape, Dynascape, Google Sketchup or any of the CAD based softwares.

  6. TreePro

    TreePro LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 29

    Dreams To Designs,

    No need to apologize, I welcome your experience & opinions. Actually, all plans are initially drawn on paper (not to scale), but very roughly during the initial site visit/brainstorming. We then come back and input them into our current software (the Punch version). Basically you input in 2D CAD mode and it renders a 3D version you can fly through & ouput to jpeg's. We are NOT using the the software to create the designs, but more as you said a "selling tool".

    Let me show you a rough example of a commercial project (hotel entrance) we just did in the Punch software 3D rendering. Granted I haven't mastered this program by any means, but this still took a lot longer than I wanted to spend on the design. And as you can see, there are still flaws in the final rendering. Look at the closest bed where it meets the walk. See the gap. Also, topography and changing elevations of the land is EXTREMELY difficult in this program. As long as everything is perfectly flat you have no problem. But try to add a slope or stairs. :wall

    I am downloading free version Google's Sketchup as we speak. I will give it a shot, but still looking for a program where I can input the 2D CAD style design (would rather use coordinate style than point & click inputs) and have it render a 3D version that is better than what I am currently using.

    Back Entrance - 3D Rendering (3).jpg
  7. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    I see what you mean by cartoony. The repeat on the tiled brick texture is horrible. SketchUp is a lot better with repeats, but a little post-processing in Photoshop can make a world of difference.
  8. finegrade

    finegrade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24


    I'm new to the landscaping software so I have a question,

    Does the software include tropical plant/flower species as well as your north american types?

    We are based in Trinidad and alot of the species are different,

    You help will be appreciated,

  9. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    FG, Pro Landscape does contain tropical and semi-tropical plants. For a listing, best to contact Pro Landscape. Another big advantage with Pro Landscape is being able to add your own plants. If the software does not have what you use, or it is not the shape or flower color you prefer, you can easily add as many plants as you like. They also sponsor a forum for users that allows sharing of files, images and information.


Share This Page