Are you looking for a good landscaping design software program to help you create a perfect outdoor space? Several days ago, I wrote about Home Design Software. Now it is time for Landscape Design. This page wills provide solution for landscape designers who are looking for a good landscaping design application. I am not only talking about paid version, but also about free solution. You can find the right solution for yourself whether it is free or paid edition. I encourage you to read the following quick overview to get some ideas for choosing the right solution:
Highlight Features of Good Landscaping Design Software
There are many companies that offering landscape design software; from one to another package there are differences regarding to feature set and price. Here are some highlight features that you can found in good landscaping design program:
- Landscape Design including Backyard, Deck, Patio, Pool, Terrain and other Outdoor Projects.
- Easy to use with drag and drop feature including adding houses, grass, plant, deck, fences, paths, walkways, edging, beauty bark, patios, retaining walls and more.
- Video tutorials to guide you to utilize all program features.
- Thousand of plants to choose from as well as advanced plant searching by sun, shade, watering and more.
- Hardiness zone map which allows program to show the appropriate plants that grow in your areas.
- See how the plants will look in several or even 10 years from now.
- Various pre-designed landscape, deck and pool templates.
- Allows you to see your design in both 2D and 3D views.
- Realistic lighting and shadows, day and night visualization.
- 3D walkthrough and 3D fly around.
- Cost estimation and material list.
- Allows user to import and export common images format like JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TGA and more.
There are several outstanding landscape design programs available on the market today including Realtime Landscaping, Chief Architect Landscaping and Deck Designer, Punch! Home and Landscape Design and more (see in the table below). The programs provide solution from homeowner to professional landscape designer. The price of the product ranges from less than a hundred to several hundred dollars. All of the programs are designed to make it easy to use and do not required users to have CAD knowledge or experience to use them. Most of popular landscape software provides video tutorials to guide you to utilize all the features within the program.
You can simply create a beautify landscaping by just using mouse clicks; you can drag and drop any elements such as trees, shrubs, flowers, water garden, cactus and other plants into your design project. Some program includes thousands of landscaping object and plants which you can use in designing process. With the hardiness zone map, the software will show the appropriate plants that grow in your areas, so you can quickly select the right plant for your design.
Unlike any other type of software, there are only few free landscaping design software programs available on the internet today. Most of them are free editions and there are limits in features while the company also sell professional version product. It is designed for homeowner, landscaper with basic design needs rather than professional landscape designers. And some are not specific landscape design software which required some 3D design experience to utilize the program. Let me provides you some highlight:
SHOWOFF Virtual Designer is a free photo based landscaping design software program, it is free edition of Imagine Pro Suite (a landscaping, exterior and interior design suite) from Visual Applications, Inc. Google SketchUp is a free 3D modeling software rather than a landscaping design; you can design just anything you can imagine. Google SketchUp is a free edition with some limited features. Blender is the free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major platforms including Windows, Mac and Linux. It is not a specific landscape design program; but it is possible to create a wonderful landscaping using Blender. But it takes some time to master all the tools.