Released by Idea Spectrum,Realtime Landscaping Pro is widely considered to be one of the best landscaping software out there. This advanced tool will enable you to design realistic and detailed 3D visualizations of outdoor landscapes, including gardens, houses, plants, objects, waterscapes, and more.
In this Realtime Landscaping Pro review, we'll assess the key features of the software and how it compares to other landscape design products on the market. Though unfortunately it is currently only available for Windows, the extensive library of features and impressive functionality of Realtime Landscaping Pro make it a powerful tool for any professional or hobbyist landscaper to have in their arsenal.
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Plans and pricing
At a one-time cost of $149.95, Realtime Landscaping Pro is a good-value, mid-range option for professional designers, though it may be costly for home users.
Idea Spectrum also offers two similar products aimed at different ends of the market. Realtime Landscaping Plus is the cheapest option at $99.95. It comes with fewer design items and lacks waterscapes, making it a suitable entry-level landscaping software.
Realtime Landscaping Architect is Idea Spectrum's most advanced software, built for high-end professionals. It costs $399.95 and comes with CAD drawing tools, more design objects, and additional advanced features.
Realtime Landscaping Pro uses advanced 3D graphics to bring to life detailed visualizations of outdoor landscapes, with realistic lighting, shadows, movement, and other effects. It has options to create decks, patios, water features, driveways, and more. It also comes with a library of over 12,000 objects, including 5,700 plants. Around 660 of these plants even show realistic growth, seasonal changes, and animated wind movement during videos.
With this software, you can drop in a pre-built house, create one from scratch, or import a digital photo. You can also add in 3D characters, who will be animated during videos or walkthroughs. The realistic 3D graphics and variety of customizable options are a standout feature of this software. However, note that you can only model the exterior of houses or structures.
If you’re a home user who wants to create visuals to show to a contractor, the software enables you to create designs with accurately scaled dimensions and placements relative to your home and landscape. These can then be printed to scale.
If you’re a professional designer, the software enables you to create video walkthroughs for clients that will bring your design ideas to life.
You can use Realtime Landscaping Pro to estimate the cost of your landscaping project. The Project Material List feature enables you to enter the prices for different objects; the list is then automatically updated as you design your landscape. When you're done, you can simply print the list or export it to Excel.
Interface and in use
Realtime Landscaping Pro has a sleek, intuitive interface that is easy for beginners to navigate, with clear icons and tabs. It's accessible for those without prior experience in landscape design or CAD.
Choosing, placing, and scaling objects is relatively easy, and mostly involves a drag-and-drop function. There is also an undo button in case you make a mistake. To place a house or a deck, you can choose from a range of pre-existing templates or easily create your own by drawing the outline of the structure. Being able to toggle between a bird's-eye view and a 3D view of the design is also a useful feature of the interface.
While the basic functions of the software are beginner-friendly, there is a learning curve for some of the more advanced tools.
This software comes with a good level of guidance. Hover over an icon and a small explanatory tab will pop up with a link to more information about the feature. There is also a built-in help guide that can be navigated with a search bar.
Idea Spectrum also posts a large number of in-depth tutorials on their Youtube account, a useful resource for beginners. Customer support is reachable via email or phone through their support webpage.
VizTerra, created by Structure Studios, is a high-end alternative to Realtime Landscaping Pro, with comparable 3D visualization graphics and some additional features, including the ability to access GIS surveyed terrain data. However, at $97 a month, it works out as quite a bit more expensive. Water features would also require an upgrade to a more expensive plan.
One of the biggest cons of Realtime Landscaping Pro is that it's currently not available on Mac. Thus, a viable alternative is Architect 3D by Avanquest. Their professional package costs $152 for Mac users and $90 for Windows users.
The good thing about this software is that it also offers interior home design options. However, compared to Realtime Landscaping Pro, Architect 3D has a smaller library of outdoor objects and plants, and it lacks some of Realtime Landscaping Pro’s more advanced features, such as project cost estimates.
Realtime Landscaping Pro is one of the best landscape design products on the market right now. For its price, it's a good-value option for professional landscape designers, though it may be costly for home users who don't need as many advanced features.
Its main con is that the software is only available on Windows, making it inaccessible to Mac users. Furthermore, there is a learning curve for its more advanced features, though Idea Spectrum's Youtube tutorials offer good support for those struggling.
Overall, we highly recommend this software. With its beautiful 3D graphics, large collection of objects and plants, and useful presentation tools, it offers an all-in-one solution to those looking to breathe life into their landscape designs.
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