1-800-710-1900
software solutions for landscape professionals


Model rendered using Shaderlight  

Online SketchUp training classes available!

DynaSCAPE has teamed up with SketchUp expert Daniel Tal to bring you a full lineup of online classes for every level. Learn how to use Google SketchUp to create 3D models of your designs. Click here to see the classes available


Click here to go to the DS | Sketch3D Download Site

 

  • Overview
  • How it Works
  • Gallery
  • Content
  • Resources
  • Guides/Videos
  • Online Training
  • FAQ
Showcase your design ideas in 3D!

DS|Sketch3D is an add-on to Google SketchUp, the world's most popular and readily available 3D modeling tool. For DynaSCAPE users there will be an export to SketchUp format right from DS|Design for an easy transition from the 2D world into the 3D world.

For both DynaSCAPE users and AutoCAD designers, there are tools to make this transition quick and painless. Anyone using SketchUp can create beautiful 3D models by making use of a huge library of landscape-specific 3D components crafted by DynaSCAPE specifically for SketchUp. These components include plants, ponds, pools, rose arbors and more!

The DynaSCAPE video content presented here requires JavaScript to be enabled and the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player. If you are using a browser with JavaScript disabled please enable it now. Otherwise, please update your version of the free Adobe Flash Player by downloading here.

 

Click here to download the free Roof plugin used in the overview video to create the roof from the Ruby Depot.

How it Works
Google SketchUp is powerful and yet very easy to use. In the past, the problem with using it for landscape design has been both a lack of good landscape-specific content called components and the fact that all CAD drawings need clean up when they are first brought in to SketchUp. DS|Sketch3D provides a solution to both of these problems:
Export to SketchUp - DynaSCAPE users will benefit from a new feature in v5.5 that will prepare and then convert your DS|Design drawings directly to SketchUp format (.skp), allowing you to open them in the free version of SketchUp.

CAD Cleanup Plugin in SketchUp - to allow 3D modeling in SketchUp to begin as quickly as possible, a new DynaSCAPE CAD Cleanup tool will automatically fix CAD drawings in one step. This new plugin scans the converted DynaSCAPE drawing (or imported AutoCAD file - .dwg) and repairs all of the common problems with imported CAD geometry allowing you to start 3D modeling right away. More time-saving plugins for Mac and Windows will be added in the future. Click here to learn more.

 

Landscape Component Libraries - use the extensive libraries of DynaSCAPE Sketch3D components to create beautiful 3D models of your design. Choose from over 1,000 models of plants, ponds, pools, rose arbors, cabanas and more. With SketchUp's 'reload' feature, replace DynaSCAPE library figures (and AutoCAD blocks) with 3D components in a few mouse clicks, quickly building your design in 3D.

Click here to browse the Sketch3D download site.

 

How to turn a 2D design into a 3D model with DS|Sketch3D

Creating a 3D model from a 2D design is easy with DS|Sketch3D. We're going to be providing you with the training you need to get this done efficiently but here are the basic steps you will be following:

 

Step 1:

DynaSCAPE Users - From DS|Design choose 'Export to SketchUp format'

Step 2:

DynaSCAPE Users - Open your design in Google SketchUp (Free or Pro versions). AutoCAD Users - Import your .DWG file (requires SketchUp Pro)

Step 3:

Run the DynaSCAPE CAD Cleanup tool to prepare it for modeling.

   
Step 4:

Begin modeling the house and hardscape elements.

Step 5:

Add material textures.

   
Step 6:

Replace 2D symbols with 3D models.

Step 7:

Finish model and create scenes from various angles

   

Step 8:

Prepare a presentation for your client by:

  • Exporting them as images and printing them out or emailing them to a client or
  • Creating a walk through video (.avi) or
  • Rendering the model with one of the many rendering programs to create photorealistic images of your finished design
 
Finished Models using DS|Sketch3D
   
   

Over 1,000 Models of Landscape Items

Browse through a huge selection of over 1,000 components to build that perfect landscape model. Up until now there has never been a library of models this extensive. You will find 100's of trees, shrubs, palms, perennials etc. along with a large collection of rocks, ponds, pools and landscape structures.

But we're done yet. In fact we are just getting started. We plan to add new models on a regular basis. Below is just a fraction of what's available. You are free to browse the DS|Sketch3D download website to see for yourself. You can even download some free samples if you wish as well.

Ornamental Grasses... Perennials...
Succulents... Tropicals...
Shrubs... Trees...
Palms... Pools, ponds, cabanas and more!
Resources

SketchUp Downloads

Download Trimble SketchUp - you can also purchase a Pro version of SketchUp ($495).

Download Trimble SketchUp Bonus Packs - For SketchUp 8 Google moved our Bonus Packs of components (pre-drawn SketchUp models of useful objects like furniture, cars etc.) online to the Google 3D Warehouse. To find them, please take a look at this Trimble SketchUp Help Center article.

SketchUp Bonus Packs - SketchUp has once again provided a download for all of its bonus pack components and textures for SketchUp 2014.

Trimble SketchUp Plugins - Links to many different plugins for SketchUp on the Trimble website.

Ruby Scripts for SketchUp - This Google page provides a description of Ruby scripts and instructions on how to install them.

Great Texture Websites for SketchUp - this links to Landscape Architect John Pacyga's blog where he has compiled a huge list of texture websites.

 


Other Sites for Plugins for Trimble SketchUp

Ruby Depot - a place to find free plugins from Ruby developers of the SketchUp community since 2004. This site offers 800+ free downloadable scripts.

Smustard.com - a great source for free and paid-for plugins to perform a variety of tasks.

Recommended Plugins

Roof.rb - this is the free roof tool used in the demo and tutorial videos, saving considerable time create roofs. Please note: this file downloads as a Zip file containing the Roof.rb and a RoofHelp.mht file. You will need to extract them both and move them to the Google SketchUp Plugins folder.

Drop.rb - this is a free plugin that will help you place components on a surface. This plugin is especially helpful to drop many components (i.e. plants) onto a surface that is not completely flat. It allows you to do this simply with the right-click of the mouse then choosing 'drop at intersection'. Please note: this tool will not appear in the Plugins folder, but will appear when you right-click on a component or a group of components.

 


Rendering Software Links

Shaderlight by ArtVPS

SU Podium

Kerkythea


SketchUp Forums

Sketchucation


SketchUp Video Tutorials Links

Trimble SketchUp Video Tutorials

Official Trimble SketchUp YouTube Channel

Google SketchUp 8 for Dummies


Great Books for Learning SketchUp

 

Google SketchUp for Site Design: A Guide to Modeling Site Plans, Terrain and Architecture by Daniel Tal

This book illustrates a holistic approach to SketchUp: how it works and more importantly, what to do with it. Filled with tutorials from front to back, the book focuses on the start and completion of projects that include rich detail and expression. Each part and chapter of the book builds on the previous chapters and tutorial. You will learn how to approach modeling site plans, buildings and site elements: from modeling each of these exterior environment elements to piecing them together to generate a singular and expressive model. The book culminates with tutorials demonstrating effective and simple ways to include grades and terrain using the Sandbox tools and how best to integrate the entire approach with AutoCAD and SketchUp. Also included are links to supplemental on-line resources such as YouTube tutorials and free tutorial and example models from 3D Warehouse. The book is useful for all SketchUp proficiency levels including beginners, hobbyists, and professionals.

Where to buy: Amazon.com, Wiley Publishing


Google SketchUp 8 For Dummies By Aidan Chopra

Whether you need to learn 3D modeling for business or you're just eager to see what you can create, Google SketchUp and Google SketchUp 8 For Dummies are for you. Available in both a free hobbyist version and a full-featured professional version, SketchUp explodes the myth that 3D modeling software must be complicated to learn and use. This book will take you step by step through downloading and using both versions on both Mac and Windows. There are even video walkthroughs on the companion Web site.

  • This guide explains both the free and professional versions for both Windows and Mac
  • Covers the basic concepts of 3D modeling and how to build a 3D model, print or share your work online, export your drawing to another design package or Google Earth, and create a detailed set of plans
  • Companion Web site features video walkthroughs
  • Google SketchUp 8 For Dummies gets you up and running with 3D modeling quickly and easily.
Where to buy: For Dummies Store

3DVinci - Google SketchUp Books for Design Professionals

Comprehensive, hands-on SketchUp training, made easy with our detailed, clear, easy-to-follow format.

Their step-by-step, illustrated exercises will teach you every aspect of SketchUp, from the basic drawing and editing tools to components and groups, working with materials and digital images, presentation, animation, Google Earth, and more. These books will make it easy for you to start designing like a pro!

 

Where to Buy: 3DVinci Website

 

 

DS|Sketch3D User Guides

A Guide to Preparing DS|Design Drawings for Exporting to Google® SketchUp® Format

This guide will help you prepare your 2D DS|Design drawing for export to Google® SketchUp® format (.skp), making the process as trouble free and streamlined as possible.

Size: 0.94mb (PDF)


A Basic Guide to Modeling Landscapes in Google® SketchUp®

This guide will take you through the steps of creating a 3D model of a landscape in Google® SketchUp® using DS|Sketch3D tools, components and materials. This guide is mainly relevant for DS|Design and AutoCAD users although anyone who creates their base design right in Google SketchUp may benefit from this guide as well.

Size: 3.8mb (PDF)


Tutorial Videos

From DynaSCAPE to SketchUp

From DynaSCAPE to SketchUp (10 minutes)

This tutorial will help guide you through the simple process of preparing your DS|Design drawing for export to Google® SketchUp® format. It explains the DS|Design Clean Up tool and provides tips and best practices to make the procedure seamless and efficient.


Basic Steps for Modeling

Basic Steps for Modeling (15 minutes)

Basic steps for creating a 3D landscape model in Google® SketchUp® using DS|Sketch3D plugins, components and textures. Learn how to use the CAD cleanup plugin to get going quickly, how to model a house and roof in very little time and how to exchange your 2D symbols with 3D models.


Presentation Options Overview

Presentation Options Overview (9 minutes)

A review of the various options for creating presentations from your SketchUp model. Learn how to create scenes, export images and videos of your model, and see how rendering software can enhance your model's appearance.


 


Online Training

 

DS | Sketch3D Introductory Tutorial

This 90 minute webinar is aimed at introducing the basic process of creating a 3D SketchUp model from a DynaSCAPE Design drawing. You will learn best practices for how to plan, prepare and export your DS|Design drawing to SketchUp format. You will also see how to get up and running with your design in Google SketchUp, learning how to use CAD Cleanup tool, model a house, apply textures and exchange your 2D symbols with 3D models. This is intended to help you understand the process and learn best practices for modeling with Google SketchUp. This session is not intended to teach you how to use SketchUp, but rather how to best follow the process of creating a 3D model from a 2D design.

 


 

Learn SketchUp with Expert Mark Carvalho

Note: The following webinars are scheduled to begin in January 2014.

 

This series of online classes will be led by Landscape Architect and SketchUp site modeling expert Mark Carvalho. He is also one of the founders of SketchUp!

Click here to read more about Mark


 

SketchUp Basics Course #1 - 3.0hrs

The first SketchUp Basics class is 3 hours long and webinar will focus on introducing important tools and concepts to anyone new to Trimble SketchUp. For this webinar participants will be able to download a pre-made model and follow along. If you are just starting out with SketchUp, this course is required for all other SketchUp courses offered by DynaSCAPE.

Prerequisite: Participants do not need to have any SketchUp experience to enroll in this course, however it is advised (for your benefit) that you try to become a little familiar with SketchUp before the class begins. You are required to download  Trimble SketchUp. Read More >>

See schedule >>

 


 

SketchUp Basics Course #2 - 3.0hrs

SketchUp Basics #2 follows up on the concepts and tools taught in SketchUp Basics #1. Participants will use SketchUp tools and methods to construct a basic site plan consisting of a site, building, planting areas, lawn, walks and paths, a pool and patio. The webinar will instruct users on how to insert and arrange 3D component models representing various site amenities like furnishings, fencing, walls, steps and vegetation. The class is required for the next webinar in the series: DynaSCAPE Design to SketchUp.

Prerequisite: Participants are required to take SketchUp Basics #1 or provide proof of basic SketchUp proficiency. (This is done by meeting online with the instructor Mark Carvalho). Read More >>

See schedule >>

 


 

DS|Design to SketchUp Process - 3.5hrs

The most efficient way to model a site plan in SketchUp is to import a design from  DS|Design. Participants will learn to prepare and then export their DS|Design site plan into SketchUp. Once in SketchUp, using a powerful custom tool called a Ruby Script, the imported line work is quickly converted into SketchUp surfaces. These surfaces are then extruded and given form creating the 3D site plan. DynaSCAPE symbols, representing vegetation, boulders and site amenities are part of the conversion processes. These symbols can be quickly converted into SketchUp 3D components completing the site plan.

Participants are given a step-by-step guide for use after the class. The guide provides all the steps and actions reviewed in the class. Participants are given access to an online video of the class for review. 

Prerequisite: Participants are required to take SketchUp Basics #1 and Basics #2 - both classes from the foundation for this class. Or individuals can provide proof of basic SketchUp proficiency. (This is done by meeting online with the instructor Mark Carvalho). Read More >>

See schedule >>

 


Sandbox Terrain Modeling Course #1 - 3.0hrs

Building on Sandbox Terrain modeling basics, participants learn how to apply the Sandbox and Ruby Script Terrain tools to model detailed site plans fully integrated with terrain. The class focuses on concrete application of grades and terrain into the model to represent real world slopes and conditions. Users will learn how to grade various site surfaces and amenities into a coherent terrain model. The goal of these skills is for users to apply these concepts to their own site models.

Prerequisite: The webinar is intended for users proficient and comfortable working with SketchUp. If you are unsure if your skill level meets the class prerequisite, an evaluation can be scheduled with Mark Carvalho to determine if this class is for you. Read More >>

See Schedule >>

 


Sandbox Terrain Modeling Course #2 | Advanced Site Grading - 3.0hrs

Using the powerful Sandbox tools, it is possible to add terrain to a site model. The course reviews the basics of how to use the Sandbox tools to create basic grades, slopes, ramps and berms. Free custom tools, called Ruby Scripts, suited for terrain modeling are provided and reviewed rounding out attendees SketchUp terrain tool box. The class ends with a demonstration of how to further leverage these tools for specific grading goals and concepts.

Prerequisite: Participants should have at least a basic to good working knowledge of SketchUp. Users who participated in SketchUp Basics #1 and #2 and the DynaSCAPE to SketchUp webinar AND feel comfortable with modeling in SketchUp would benefit from this class. All others need to provide proof basic SketchUp proficiency. (This is done by meeting online with the instructor Mark Carvalhol). Read More >>

See Schedule >>

 


Working with SketchUp 3D Vegetation - 3.0hrs

The webinar focuses on working with 3D vegetation to obtain the best results. Learning how to properly organize, arrange and place plant material in a model allows for an efficient workflow and the ability to construct complex, vegetation rich models. Participants will learn how to best insert, arrange and scale vegetation into a 3D Site Plan. The class will review how to organize vegetation on layers to maintain computer performance and allow for an easy creation of graphic images.

Prerequisite: Participants are required to take SketchUp Basics #1 and Basics #2. Both classes from the foundation for this class or can provide proof of basic SketchUp proficiency. (This is done by meeting online with the instructor Mark Carvalho). Read More >>

See Schedule >>

 


Custom ONE on ONE session with Mark Carvalho

Get the most out of SketchUp by learning directly with Mark Carvalho. Sign up for an individual course (minimum 2.0hrs) and customize what you need to learn based on your project needs and modeling skill level. These individual sessions are a great way to speed up your learning and allows you to cover whatever topics you need. There are many topics for SketchUp not provided by the other SketchUp Webinars that can be learned.

Note: 1 on 1 training requires a 2 hour minimum. Session can be mutli-hour and can span over multiple dates.

Read More >>

Schedule: Please contact DynaSCAPE at 1.800.710.1900 for more information or to schedule a custom course designed for you.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. System Requirements
  2. Which browser can I use?
  3. How to download and save a DS|Sketch3D Component
  4. How to download and save a DS|Sketch3D Material Library
  5. How to download and save a DS|Sketch3D Plugin
  6. How to enable the Plugins menu
  7. How to optimize performance
  8. DS|Design crashes when I export to SketchUp format

 

  1. System Requirements:

 

 

Important: Before you download anything from the Sketch3D download website you need to download and install Google SketchUp. You need Google SketchUp to use DS|Sketch3D components, materials or plugins. DS|Sketch3D was created to work with both the Free and Pro versions. If you already have SketchUp installed, click here to skip to the next section.

Notes about downloading and installing Google SketchUp: Click here to download Google SketchUp.

     
    • Installing SketchUp using Internet Explorer - Internet Explorer will block this site from downloading the file and a yellow bar will appear at the top of the page.

Click on Click here for options... and select Download File... to begin the download.

 

 

Next, click Run in the window that appears and follow the steps to install SketchUp.

 

 

  • Installing SketchUp using Google Chrome - Google Chrome will also block the site from downloading the file and a warning will appear at the bottom left corner of the page. Click Save.

 

The warning will then change to GoogleSketchUpWEN.exe. Click on it.

Next, click Run in the next window that appears and follow the steps to install SketchUp.

 

Other Notes:

  • You do not need any other DynaSCAPE product to use any of the DS|Sketch 3D components, material textures or plugins
  • All components were created in SketchUp 8 or newer. You will not be able to use any DS|Sketch3D component on older versions (free or Pro)
  • DS|Sketch3D will work on both a PC (Windows) or a Mac
  • Click here to see SketchUp's system requirements.
     

    Note: SketchUp's performance relies heavily the graphics card driver and it's ability to support OpenGL 1.5 or higher. Historically, people have seen problems with Intel based cards with SketchUp. It is not recommend to use these graphics cards with SketchUp.


  1. Which browser can I use?

 

You can use Internet Explorer 8, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. The DynaSCAPE Sketch 3D website supports all these browsers although the instructions in the FAQ detail only IE and Chrome for brevity.

 


 
  1. How to download and save a DS|Sketch3D Component:
  • On a PC (Windows) - on the DS|Sketch3D download website, navigate to the component you wish to download and click on the thumbnail image of the component, which will open a detail window for that component. Click Download this file:
     
    • If you are using Internet Explorer click the Save option.
    • If you are using Google Chrome, by default the file will be automatically saved to your Downloads folder. If you are using XP navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\My Documents\Downloads to find your files. If you are using Vista and Windows 7 navigate to C:\Users\[Username]\Downloads
    Important Note about Saving: Do not save directly to the Component folder unless you are using XP. One of the security features of Vista and Windows 7 is that downloaded files are saved to a 'virtual' location. This can cause some confusion so it is recommended that you download your components to your Desktop or your [My] Documents folder and then copy them to the C:\Program Files [(x86)]\Google\Google SketchUp 8\Components folder and organize them there by creating folders that will help you find them later on. How you organize them is completely up to you.
 
  • On a Mac - open the component you wish to download and click Download this file and then click Save. Once the download is complete, open the Downloads folder and open the HD\Library\Application Support\Google SketchUp 8\SketchUp\Components folder at the same time and drag the components into the appropriate folder (you can create new component folders here or use existing).

  1. How to download and save a DS|Sketch3D Material Library:
  • On a PC (Windows) - on the DS|Sketch3D download website, navigate to the texture library you wish to download and click on the image or name of the library, which will open a detail window for that texture library. Click Download this file:
     
    • If you are using Internet Explorer click the Open option. All the texture libraries are packaged in ZIP file and it should open, allowing you to see a folder with the texture library name. Right click on the texture folder and select Copy (or [Ctrl + C]). Navigate to the C:\Program Files [(x86)]\Google\Google SketchUp 8\Materials folder, right click and select Paste (or [Ctrl + V]).
    • If you are using Google Chrome, by default the file will be automatically saved to your Downloads folder, but it should also appear on the bottom left side of your screen

 

If you click on the file it should open, allowing you to see a folder with the texture library name. Right click on the texture folder and select Copy (or [Ctrl + C]). Navigate to the C:\Program Files [(x86)]\Google\Google SketchUp 8\Materials folder, right click and select Paste (or [Ctrl + V]).

  • On a Mac - select the material library you wish to download and click Download this file and then click Save. Once the download is complete, open the Downloads folder and open the HD\Library\Application Support\Google SketchUp 8\SketchUp\Materials folder at the same time and drag the material library into the appropriate folder (you can create new material folders here or use existing)

  1. How to download and save a DS|Sketch3D Plugin:
  • On a PC (Windows) - on the DS|Sketch3D download website, navigate to the plugin you wish to download and click on the Download button (i.e. Download the CAD Cleanup Plugin)
     
    • If you are using Internet Explorer click the Save option.
    • If you are using Google Chrome, by default the file will be automatically saved to your Downloads folder. If you are using XP navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\My Documents\Downloads to find your files. If you are using Vista and Windows 7 navigate to C:\Users\[Username]\Downloads

Important Note about Saving: One of the security features of Vista and Windows 7 is that downloaded files are saved to a 'virtual' location. This can cause some confusion so it is recommended that you download your materials to your Desktop or your [My] Documents folder.

  • On a Mac - select the plugin you wish to download and click Download this file and then click Save.

    To install a SketchUp  Ruby plugin script with the .rbz format:
    1. We recommend logging into your computer as an admin before installing any Ruby scripts. This will make the installation go more smoothly and ensure that files get installed in the proper places.
    2. Open Sketchup
    3. Select Window > Preferences (Microsoft Windows) or SketchUp > Preferences(Mac OS X). The Preferences dialog box is displayed.
    4. Click on Extensions. The Extensions panel is displayed.
    5. Click on the Install Extension button. The Open dialog box is displayed.
    6. Locate the Ruby zip file to install (.rbz).
    7. Click on the Open button. The Ruby plugin appears in the list of extensions.

    Please note: The above install instructions are from this help article: http://help.sketchup.com/en/article/38583

  1. How to enable the Plugins menu:

 

 

Please note: SketchUp will automatically enable the Plugins menu when you add the Dynascape.rbs plugin file to the plugins folder. If the Plugins menu does not appear it usually means that the plugin was not added to the correct folder. Check the Plugins folder to ensure the Dynascape.rbs file is there. If not, try downloading and adding it again.

If you believe you have done everything correctly, you can enable the plugins menu manually by following these steps:

  • On a PC (Windows) - go to the menu Window > Preferences... and select Extensions and check turn on Ruby Script Examples. The Plugins menu will now appear.
  • On a Mac - go to the menu SketchUp > Preferences… and select Extensions and check turn on Ruby Script Examples. The Plugins menu will now appear.

  1. How to optimize performance:
  • Upgrade your Computer: SketchUp performs better with a good, gaming type video card. See System Requirements for more info. Remember: a better computer = a better experience!
  • Make use of Layers: Put complex parts of the model on a separate layer so you can turn it off when it is not needed for what you are doing. Tree and shrub models should be on their own layers and so they can be turned off until they are needed a well. Most DS|Sketch3D 3D trees are have a 2D component (billboard) included in the model. The 2D component, by default Trees Billboard layer, is turned off enabling you to turn off the Trees 3D layer and turn on the Trees Billboard layer to reduce the number of faces SketchUp has to render.
  • Turn Shadows Off: Keep shadows off at all times unless you are creating screen shot or exporting as an image file.
  • Use Styles: Navigate in Wire Frame style

 


 

  1. DS|Design crashes when I export to SketchUp format:

 

If DS|Design crashes when you try to export a drawing to SketchUp format, it is likely due to a type of geometry the SketchUp writer cannot handle.

This is likely to happen if:

  • you are exporting a pre-v4 drawing with trees on it (converted to v5 or not)
  • you are exporting a drawing with custom trees on it that were created using a symbol from a older version of DS|Design

The geometry that causes the issue is a tiny Garden Graphics logo that was embedded into the the symbol, usually inside the trunk part of the symbol. This logo is not included in any of the v5 symbols. You can usually see this tiny logo by zooming in very close to the trunk (see images below):

   

 

What to do if you have this issue:

  • Replace the problem symbols with v5 symbols
  • Recreate your custom symbols from v5 symbols
  • Use only v5 symbols for your drawings