Recommendations for garden and landscape design extensions


#1

Hello everyone!

I’m newish to Sketchup but have been using it for some of my garden and landscape designs. I’m getting the hang of it but I was hoping someone could point me in the direction of the best extensions etc for designing gardens?

In particular I’m trying to find a good library of plants components if there is one?

Thank you!


#2
  1. Get SketchUp Pro. You need to be using pro since you’re using it in your business and LayOut will be useful for making the various documents you would use. You might also find the CAD import/export feature to be useful depending on the sort of files you might get to work with and need to create for tradespeople.
  2. For plants, start in the 3D Warehouse. Also look at the Shop on Sketchucation. There’s a whole section dedicated to Landscape.
  3. Extensions:
    —Fredo6’s Bezier Extension for tools for drawing non-circular curves.
    —Fredo6’s TopoShaper.
    —Artisan.
    —CLF Component Stringer. Useful for distributing components along curves.
    —Path Copy. Similar to Component Stringer.

There’s more but that’s a start.


#3

I’m interested in this too as I often design landscapes and want to populate them with realistic renditions of specific plants. I don’t know of a good resource.

Ready made components are usually either too basic, too generic, or too detailed. By “too detailed” I mean that they have a high poly count that results in a bloated file. The problem with plants is that they aren’t made up of squares and lines but need double curvature and multiple facets to get anywhere near realistic. I think that’s the basic problem.

One way around this would be to get a picture of the trees and shrubs you want to use, scale them appropriately, and then make them into Follow Me components. That would significantly reduce the filesize over 3D components.


#4

Simon, I think if you want extreme realism in plants, you need to look to rendering software to help. Based on the style I’ve seen in your models, I would think you might go with more stylized trees.


#5

Depending on your workflow, take a look at Land F/X.

Also see:
Artisan Organic Toolset
Skatter
Laubwerk Plants
3D Tree Maker


#6

I think you mean “always face camera” components…


#7

Oops, yes, I did mean that of course. Doh!


#8

Just a note that SU (or extensions) won’t help you design your gardens but will help you analyze, visualize and present your designs.

I second the whole list that @Julian_Smith listed above. Just a note about Laubwerk pants that they do need rendering software extension to work - currently only Thea and VRAY are supported.

In addition, I’d recommend FormFonts…unlike most of whats on 3D Warehouse, the FormFonts plants are optimized to look pretty good while not bogging down your model with too much tree geometry.

Some additional extensions that are helpful…

  • ContourMaker - generates contours from terrain mesh

  • Copy Along Path - this allows for arraying plants along lines like curves and things. Perfect for planting rows like street trees and furnishings like bollards, etc.

  • CLF Scale and Rotate Multiple - This allows for randomizing the size and rotation of plants so they don’t look so static and repetitive.

  • Repeat Place Component - allows for placing as many components as you want without having to copy and paste or hold the modifying key speeding things up.

  • FredoTools - These are a bit complex for new SU users but at minimum, Joint Push and Pull is great for extruding curved surfaces like walls and curbs.


#9

Thank you everyone this is really helpful, the things with additional plant and furniture models is especially useful as they speed up the process significantly.