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3D Trees or 2D Photos / Following the Landscape plans

Cesar R

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I have been out of the loop for a while and recently been asked to produce some exterior renderings.

To me adding trees and flowers has always been a pain point as a result of not having the appropriate libraries etc.


The company I work for is willing to invest in content so what I a plus.


We are not a viz company, we are an architectural design firm. We do not have a visualization specialist in house. Rather most architects like myself needs to be able to general a rendering.


With all the said, there isn't much time for modeling trees. We aren't using 3dsmax. We are using cloud rendering from autodesk through Revit at the moment and some photoshop.


In addition, we are asked by the client to follow the Landscape Architecture drawings... so we really can't make up foliage too much, and this has been another paint point int the past.


1-I am interested to know how you guys deals with these issues? What do you do when the landscape plans calls out for a ponciana tree and you don't have it.


2-Do you model or use 3d plants? or add them post? if so, can you please recommend a good company that make plans?


I have looked at Dosch.. but I am not convinced.

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  • 7 months later...

Hi Cesar,

We're a 3d visualisation studio, so we have the luxury of working 24/7 on visualisations and therefore buying in a good library of 3d models is probably easier for us to justify that for an architect's office, but think of it as your tools ..they need ot work to get the job done.

We are using forest pack for 3ds max with 3d models from a few sources incl Evermotion and HQ plants. HQ plants integrate very nicely with forest pack (as I'm sure the other suppliers/partner companies which do direct plug-in libraries for forest pack probably do also). Evermotion's bundles are great value, our only complaint (and possibly we need to spend a little time training or improving work flow) is that some of them use vRay proxies but this seems to complicate the work flow as the materials do not import with the vrObject and so needs to be imported separately from the original Evermotion file (ie applied to an object which in turn is imported into your scen to make the required material available, we find this quite tedious and it would be extremely helpful if evermotion would add a "library" file in each bundle which would have each plant/tree specimen simply lined up and easy to identify/select. I stand to be corrected on VRproxies and would appreciate if anyone can desribe or post a good link on how to work effictively with them.

Anyway, back to your issues: If you are trying to accurately follow a landscaping plan I would imaging you are veering towards where Revit will begin to be out of its league. We try to get everything into 3dsMax where forest pack gives us a huge amount of flexibility in updating layouts easily and varying the look and even the age (planting after 1year, 5years and 20 years sometimes).

Re the 2nd issue: we try to avoid 2d planting until the very final photomontage work and at that mostly just in the foreground.


One final tip: regardless of where you end up buying your 3d plant libraries, spend a little time at the very outset, to make sure the texture paths are set up to allow network access (for rendering), and also don't just use the textures blindly as "off the shelf" resources: Look at the output renders and if the result is too saturated or perhaps the green hues veer too far towards cyan, then adjust the original texture accordingly i.e. desaturate or drag the hues towards yellow or whatever you think. Don't be afraid to tweak it, it often helps!!

Good luck!


Jesper Pedersen


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I would suggest taking a look at Lumion or Twinmotion. These come with libraries of content that work well within them and the applications themselves are very easy to use. I use Lumion and find that it handles importing many different formats without issue.

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Some of the kids at school are starting to (being forced to) use Lumion. I'll second Benjamin's recommendation to give it a look.


I make all my own plants. Typically with Onyx. I place them on a copy of the landscape plan which I have color coded for easy. I am eternally grateful that I mostly have only one client with only one landscape designer with one set of common plants so I usually have zero to a few new species. And sometimes… I fake it; "Hey, that looks that same as this other thing but with pink flowers." Then I use instanced proxies random rotation and scale (thank you Soulburn) and everything runs pretty well. First plantings heavy job I took I was on a slower machine with far less memory so I rendered a library (again from Onyx) and did it in Photoshop. A bit of tweaking, some hand painted ao, adjustment layers… it looked okay. I much prefer the models though.


Let's see if I have any pics online…

http://www.hwb.com/gruhn/3d/op/final/cam03-flat.jpg - photoshopped

http://www.hwb.com/gruhn/3d/patio/patio-final.jpg - in model


Sorry, my most recent triumphs aren't online ;-)


ASIDE: I'm not specifically recommending Onyx. It looks like it's gone orphan and I can't get the control for manicured greenery that I would like. Do your own research.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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