Garden Design

I am moving to a new build property - can anyone recommend a garden Design programme for the PC. The reviews i've seen so far are not good for any of them!
Alan
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Must be true. I go to a Southern Garden landscape design school at Texas A & M twice to keep my designers certificate current and they never talk or say much about this subject even when quized at length. And the ones that do use one, use expensive ones with other methodology thrown in to boot. As one said one time, "To answer your question, there are none".
J. Kolenovsky http://www.celestialhabitats.com
Alan wrote:

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But, you know, there are lots of tools that will serve specific functions. There are a bunch of generic CAD/Layout tools that can be used to draw and play with placement, such as Visio, Corel, etc. They won't give you a 3D view, but they can be fun for doing what-ifs at the icon level.
In addition, there are a number of 3D packages that are generic which can be used to generate 3D scenes -- for instance Maya, SoftImage, etc. They are generic, and provide much greater functionality than is usually needed, but they can do a great job.
I have not used Maya to plan a garden, but I did use it to recreate a forest and wetland for a forensic animation. I generated a 3D topography by downloading DEM files from USGS for the area, texture-mapped colorized satellite imagery onto the 3D surface, and then populated the forest with 3D trees, created hardscape, running water, etc. The result compared very favorably with scene photographs, and allowed realistic animation of clouds, fog, waving of grass and trees in the wind, etc. The same could be done for landscape planning. While Maya and similar products are not cheap, many, if not most people can manage significant discounts through educational institutions, etc.
billo
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On 8 Oct 2003 03:12:08 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@radix.net (Bill Oliver) wrote:

Are your creations (or stills of same) posted on web anywhere? I'd sure like to see something like that.
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No, they are for forensic cases and used in court or investigation.
billo
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Bill, you're pretty slick with all the gear. Very impressive. "downloading DEM files from USGS for the area, texture-mapped colorized satellite imagery onto the 3D surface, and then populated the forest with 3D trees, created hardscape, running water, etc." Most people who ask the question about landscape software are looking for a prima donna application and won't get that involved nor seek educational discounts. If it's not on the shelf at Comp-USA, Micro-Center and the likes, they won't go for it.
The CAD apps are cool but again, I don't think most would spring for that to do a design. (I liked Neil's response - get a designer)
So, Alan, did you get anything out of this? Is this the kind of information you were looking for? Enlightened by this?
J. Kolenovsky
Bill Oliver wrote:

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It may sound "slick" but it really isn't all that hard. And that's an important point. DEM files are free. The satellite imagery is free (one source is www.terraserver.microsoft.com). Maya is expensive, but there are free alternatives such as Blender (see www.blender.org) which may suffice for a specific task. I just happen to like Maya a lot, personally, and I have a copy where I work.
Sure, there is some overhead in learning how to do this stuff, but there are learning curves for everything. The point is that it *can* be done, and if one is willing to devote a little effort, it can be done cheaply.
There are tutorials for Blender all over, and one of the UK Linux mags runs a regular tutorial column. For each step in doing this, one can Google up a bunch of tutorials.

There are some CAD apps out there which, for this kind of stuff, are cheap or free. For instance QCad is open source and runs on Linux, Windoze, and Mac OS X.
Take a look at www.ribbonsoft.com
(Note, I haven't used QCad myself, but I have some friends who like it.)
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Thanks for the reply. I don't think people are going to do even "easy stuff" that just to get a design. A litle effort is probably too much. You have an edge on the average John Doe and I don't think they'd buy the apps. "I just happen to like Maya a lot, personally, and I have a copy where I work." No one said it couln't be done, just probably wouldn't, ia all likelihood.
Peace and love to you and keep enjoying your profession using Maya. We'll go back to pencils and paper por get a designer.
JK
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Thanks for all your inputs - I'll start off with pencil and paper I think - and maybe just try the results on a cheap designer package - I have about 5 months and dont have the exact dimensions of the plot yet. Again thanks
Alan
Must be true. I go to a Southern Garden landscape design school at Texas A & M twice to keep my designers certificate current and they never talk or say much about this subject even when quized at length. And the ones that do use one, use expensive ones with other methodology thrown in to boot. As one said one time, "To answer your question, there are none".
J. Kolenovsky http://www.celestialhabitats.com
Alan wrote:

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- http://www.celestialhabitats.com - business
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Call a designer, ask for a consultation and use pencils. This method adds to your pleasure greatly and allows you to think more clearly;early than having to navigate a poorly designed piece of software. Incidentally, some designers will produce a plan from the same info you need to input for the software for a lower price (me for instance). So call up some local guys and get going. Neil

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