As we all know, landscaping rendering plays a significant role in architectural projects, achieving the visualization of concepts and designs from some complex landscape drawings. This is because landscaping is the vital part in architecture to improve human and environmental health. And it’s also the key to the consistency and harmony in a 3D render scene. Today, in this article, we will explain what landscape rendering is and recommend the best programs to use for it. Hope it helps both landscape designers and homeowners who are thinking about improve your garden.
What is Landscaping Rendering
To start with, landscaping rendering refers to creating photorealistic 3D images of views including buildings, plants, paths, swimming pools, fences, and other components. All of these can be displayed in a compelling and expressive way for perception. You can see the realistic future landscape in detail or have a tour of the whole, so any errors and shortcomings can be identified and amended in advance. Moreover, with the help of an animation, you can look at the view at different times of a day and angles, and even see the changes of plants. Thus, your clients are close to the project and are able to put forward some suggestions for improvement. From this vantage point, during the communication between clients and designers, it’s more likely to strike a balance between imagination and feasibility and then complete the project in a quite efficient manner.
2D vs. 3D Landscape Rendering
Landscaping designs also apply 2D visualization in addition to 3D rendering. Two-dimension visualization boasts a high level of correspondence between the sketch and the final result. It also features a low price fast speed and easy implementation. As for 3D landscape rendering, it’s distinguished by realism. The landscape design can be evaluated in detail or as a whole in real time. For sure, it requires more technology and great work.
How to Render a Landscape Plan
Here, we’ve listed the basic steps of landscape design rendering process:
#Step 1: Modeling. That is to create a model of the landscape, like a garden, and objects on it. It includes the architecture as well as plants, paths, mountains, seas, ponds, and many other possible objects.
#Step 2: Texturing. In this process, all textures and materials should be applied for the purpose of photo-realistic effect.
#Step 3: Lighting Setup. No matter it’s natural or artificial, 3D artists configure virtual lighting based on the scene. For example, the time of the day, the weather, and the season give different judgement of the setting lighting procedure.
#Step 4: Rendering. For both still images and animation, the landscape is converted into a realistic scene during this stage.
Best Landscape Architecture Rendering Software
Price: Free for personal use and educational training
OS: Windows, macOS
SketchUp has a wide range of applications in architecture, interior and industrial design, as well as landscaping for sure. As a hugely popular 3D software, it is compared to a pencil of electronic design because its main selling point is easy to use, and it is indeed. Thus, in addition to professionals, it’s also suitable for amateurs and beginners. By importing 3D models, 2D CAD files, and aerial photographs, you can start your architecture landscape rendering design. It comes with a component library of a large number of items like doors and plants, and a material library of building texture, with which you are able to customize your project. If you would like to get started with landscaping rendering, SketchUp is definitely a great choice.
PRO Landscape Design Software
OS: Windows, macOS
As its name implies, PRO Landscape Design Software is a site plan and decoration application tailored for landscaping. It’s easy to use but professional, so it’s suitable for both amateurs and professionals. The best landscape architecture rendering software includes photo imaging, CAD, 3D rendering, and lighting design. Moreover, it also boasts over 18,000 landscape design objects ranging from garden buildings to plants for various climatic zones. Another advantage is that it allows you to design on iPad or Android tablet and even to transfer designs back and forth between your tablet and computer with ease. It won’t disappoint you if you choose it for landscaping rendering.
Price: 14-day free trial, or from $39.90/month
Serving as a powerful visualization plugin, Enscape can be 100% integrated into some excellent design tools, like SketchUp, Autodesk Revit, and Rhinoceros. With the help of this landscape rendering software, you are able to explore concepts in real time, evaluate ideas quickly and ideate beforehand. Meanwhile, this program offers a library of more than 2,400 objects in total, including over 500 kinds of vegetation items alone, which is conducive to the envisioning and design. Last but not least to mention that it speeds up ray-tracing calculations to create stunning lighting and reflection effects. Moreover, it expedites the rendering of more complex geometries and environments. After finishing rendering, you are free to share the visualization just with QR codes.
Price: From €1499 per license
Lumion is a real-time 3D visualization tool, involving landscapes, city planning, interiors, and so on. With so many various objects and items in the library, it empowers you to create your design without limitations. It works well in realizing the real-time observation of the scene effect, fast drawing speed, realistic water scenery, and lifelike trees. And the post effect is quite easy to make. All of these make the software a very good advantage in the rapid output of landscape and architectural animation. Thus, this landscaping architect software is one of the professionals’ favorites.
Price: Free trial, or $97/month
VizTerra aims at creating 3D landscape designs. It features a streamlined interface, intuitive tools, and plentiful options. It enables users to draw in 2D and to see 2D become 3D in just one click. And then all of your ideas and designs will be displayed in a photo-realistic and vivid way. The best program for landscaping rendering has a free trial, so if you are interested in it, then go ahead and have a try.
OS: Windows, masOS
Many people who are familiar with landscaping rendering may know about this free software, Cedreo. In addition to other functions, it also offers outstanding landscape rendering capabilities. The platform is completely cloud-based, so it’s convenient for you to discuss with others and edit designs and proposals instantly. This professional landscape architecture program allows the creation of 2D drawings with an extensive library and transforms them into 3D views. Furthermore, you can view the works in real time by switching between these two models. So, this software is also a good choice.
Price: Free trial, or $2,545/year
Revit, a suite of software from Autodesk, is specifically built for Building Information Modeling (BIM). Although it’s mainly developed especially architectural projects, it also performs well in landscape design. Supported by powerful technology, it captures the photo-realistic state of the landscape. It is easy to use and to produces high-quality renderings in less time, providing you with superior design work. Professionals would love to use this software for landscape rendering.
Realtime Landscaping Architect
Price: Free trial, or $399.95
When you use Realtime Landscaping Architect to create your design, the 2D and 3D views are updated automatically, which is convenient to check your work. It has an extensive library of objects and decoration items, so you can add plants, fencing, swimming pools, spas, water features, and much more into your design with the help of this best rendering program for architecture landscape. Even you can design irrigation systems and use the plant growth tool to visualize what the landscape will look like in the future. There are other functions waiting for your exploration. You can get a trial and have a try.
SmartDraw is a free landscape design software for professionals. Thanks to quick-start templates, you can get start quickly with your design. It empowers you to seamlessly integrate with the tools you already use, like Microsoft Office, and share files. During the design, many decoration items are available, such as grill areas, paths, picnic tables and fountains. Also, the lighting is adjustable for checking. If you are intrigued, give it a try.
Punch Home Design
Price: From $99.99
The last one in the recommended list is Punch Home Design, which is suitable for professionals. You are free to make amazing landscaping and outdoor living plans by using any modules, textures and objects. This landscape architecture tool is easy to check the view and then adjust lighting and any other elements, which is conducive to the refinement of the whole project. Just uses your imagination and start creation.
With the help of professional landscape architecture rendering software, now the clients are able to have a holistic and accurate view of the design. As an integral part of landscaping design development process, 3D visualization and site plans are perfect tools to convey and present ideas and visions. We hope this article has provided explicit explanation of architecture landscape rendering, and the best free software and platforms.
Have no idea how to start with landscape rendering? Talk to our professional 3D architectural rendering studio now! We will help you with your landscape rendering project.