software 3D for Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums TECHNOLOGY software 3D for Landscape Architecture

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    Dear all,
    Can you tell me which 3D programs are best to use on landscape architecture projects.
    Our computers don´t have the best capacity, so it would be useful if you consider this on your suggestion.
    Thank you a lot

    Ryan A. Waggoner

    Hey Maria,
    The simplest and easiest answer to 3D programming is Google’s SketchUp. It’s free to download and use, easy to model simple buildings and terrain, but definitely has some limitations versus the higher priced software. But there are definitely those out there that have learned to use it very effectively. Daniel Tal, who is on this site is one of those people. He just recently put out a book which you can find here: The graphics produced from SketchUp aren’t the best, and many use it to build perspectives and then produce hand graphics for final rendering. There are a few rendering engines out there which we’ve talked about in the SketchUp Forum here: Hope that helps Maria!


    Thank you Ryan. It is already very useful. I hope we can make such renderings like those! best regards, L

    Brad Nordling

    If you are a more experienced with 3D modeling on the computer, I would suggest trying out 3DS Max. It currently has a free 6 month license, you can find this here ( you can create a username for free and it also has many other programs for free. 3DS Max will also have tutorials available within the program (you can also find others on the internet) and if your model is well built, the renderings will look great! (If not, you can always touch them up in photoshop!) Hope this helps


    Thank you Brad!

    Kellan Vincent

    I would put in my suggestion for Vectorworks Landmark. I switched from a Sketchup/AutoCAD workflow at the beginning of 2009 and am simply amazed at its capabilities. While there is a learning curve involved, once you start getting the hang of using an integrated 2D/3D interface that produces both plans and renderings in equal capacity you wont want to go back.

    You can check out my ‘folio for a few plans/renderings I have done with the software. I’m by no means ‘pro’ yet but might give you an idea.

    Best of luck!

    -k. vincent

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