Landscape design software : Realtime Landscaping

worm_ctSeptember 9, 2007

has anyone used this package?

I was looking specifically at the Realtime Landscaping Photo... I've heard some good things from some people, but figured I'd ask over here too...



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saypoint(6b CT)

This type of photo mockup software is useful as a sales tool for the benefit of the homeowner who is unable to visualize what an installed plan might look like, but it is not really a landscape design tool. Landscape designers don't use this kind of software to design, for a number of reasons.
If you click on the "search" button at the top of the forum page and enter "software" you get a number of discussions that cover those reasons.
It can, however, be fun to play with, to try out your ideas, etc., but when it comes time to make an actual plan, you need a scale drawing in plan view, the old fashioned way.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 8:45AM
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I've already done a search, and I didn't find any information on this specific package.

I'm not a professional, but a hobbyist, and I work with computers for a living so I tend to use my computer as my main tool. I do alot of cad/cam and I've been planning my garden in engineering packages up until now.

Some people may prefer the old fashioned way, but thats not what comes to me naturally.

thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 9:20AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

If you have access to cad software, and know how to use it, that works as well as anything to create the plan views. In fact there are several advantages to it, like ease of changes, you can print as many as you like, files can be emailed to others with similar packages, etc.

The difficulties arise in the artist's conception part of what the end result will look like. Escher drawings work fine on paper, but nobody would want to have to build what's there. The plan views are the sanity check, so you have to make those anyway.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 11:51AM
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Have you ever seen AutoCad or Solidworks? It looks okay for designing plans for a machine shop...

I'd like to try something that imports photos (which the packages I work with do not, that's not their purpose). I was playing around in Photoshop but it would be nice to get a package that's specific to the task..

so again, I ask.. has anyone used Realtime Landscaping, specifically the Photo edition??

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 11:56AM
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A former co-worker had it on his machine. I thought it was more effort than it was worth.

AutoCAD-based plans can be gorgeous. It's not your output, it's what you do with it :)


    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 4:23PM
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the best ones i have tried are the cheaper ones the 2 i like are these.. instant landscape design v3.0 by topics entertainment..paid 5.00 for this one....the other one I have does let you insert digital photos it has 3d design, decks and patios, pools and spas, paths ,gravel, fencing, gates irrigation digital photo import. 3d arriel terrain and walk through .it also has a plant/tree encyclopedia with 4600 items has drop and drag design screen it is called total 3d landscape by individual I think its the greatest i paid 10 dallars for it and its the best i have seen and i am a certified landscaper. i purchased these at a maxway ...big lots may have some items you will have to look around hope this helps...donna

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 8:18AM
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I am wondering about software as well. I downloaded the trial version of Realtime Photo and liked it for visualization purposes, until I realized that I can't change the season. (although it did show growth) Now I'm trying to find software that will show seasons and ideally allow me to select plants based on light and moisture requirements.

I know software will not be perfect, but I am CLUELESS when it comes to landscape design and plants and generally become frustrated or waste money while trying to just fix up my yard a bit. When I start on a project, I usually give up because there are just too many plants to learn and it is overwhelming.

I've used photoshop a bit and found it very helpful, but it took me hours to figure out what plants I should put in my part shade, zone 5 spot for privacy purposes, then had to go find pictures and edit them for use in photoshop.

I'm hoping that software exists that will make this process a little easier and will help me learn without feeling so overwhelmed.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 8:04PM
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Have you considered hiring a local designer to at least consult with you? Software is garbage in and garage out as one of my professors used to constantly remind us. You want software that does not rely on you for input which is not really out there.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 10:25PM
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What if, Worm, no decent professional landscape designer or architect would touch your software package with a 10 foot pole?

That would mean ... uh ... that those who have used your software of choice would all be ... uh ... homeowners and DIY garden designers.

Except the experienced, creative homeowner garden designers probably wouldn't touch the program either.

If you want someone to tell you the program is great, then, okay, I volunteer. It's wonderful. It solved every problem I've ever had. Well, I couldn't really figure out what the heck I was doing, but I'm assured by people in the know that my work with this program is a strong example of what it can do.

Now, you have several responses in this thread from real pros and real experienced homeowners, some of whom have also taken design courses.

They are in the cutting edge of landscape design. One said put "software" in the search box. You said you put the program name in and got nothing. Doesn't that tell you something ...

There is a pretty good chance that there are real drawbacks to these tools ... Not just specifically, but generally. Part of the problem has to do with the way that photos trick the eye and create overly two-dimensional representations. They are too divorced from what happens on the ground.

So, I'd still recommend putting "software" in the search box of this forum. Some of the discussions were at some length. Once you know the basic weaknesses of these programs, your own comfort and expertise with software evaluation should help you to know whether Realtime landscaping photo makes sense for your needs.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 12:42AM
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It's been said many times before but may bear repeating again. Design software is a tool, just like a drafting board and pencil are tools. If you don't have a good understanding of the basic design elements and how to combine them effectively, no software in the world is gonna generate a satisfactory result. Educating yourself about the design process, understanding design principles and learning about the plants cannot be shortcutted and no tool, whether it be 'design' software or the old fashioned paper and pencil, can magically replace that basic element. They only help to express it and assist you in visualization.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 9:25AM
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I want software that takes in my garbage and gives me out a garage in turn but I fear my hopes may be similar to a desire for a plug in designer. What this kind of program does is demonstrates or shows what a design might look like, the design comes from a process that cutting straight to showtime misses out and the result demonstrates that.

I just realised that apart from my ribbing of Andrew I have written more or less what gg48 wrote, what do you make of that?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 5:40PM
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Proves you're still cool, Ink.
You and GG put it so much better than I.
Welly, taking 5 min break from Easter ...

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 9:35PM
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I doubt that your sermon for this time of year is any less "cool" welly, I would love to be a fly on the wall, you know, INKognito and all that.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 6:45PM
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