As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. When it comes to landscape designs, landscape designers would agree that a 3D model of their design, complete with realistic lighting and shadows, is the gold standard for a professional client presentation.

Changing 2D designs into 3D models, with the addition of 3D rendering software, can truly bring a design to life!

The questions that remain, however, are:
• What is the process for changing 2D designs into 3D models?
• Which specific tools are needed to complete this process?
• How can 3D rendering software transform landscape design software models?

From the world of 2D design to stunning 3D models

The steps below outline the process for creating a 2D landscape design and transforming it into a photographic quality 3D model.
1. Create your 2D landscape design using CAD
2. Bring your CAD drawing into 3D modelling software
3. Clean up the imported CAD drawing
4. Model the house (or building) and roof
5. Model the terrain
6. Apply textures
7. Replace 2D symbols with 3D models
8. Create scenes
9. Render your model for presentation

While this process may appear daunting, with the correct tools, it can be completed to an excellent standard, quickly and efficiently.

Tools to enable 3D landscape design software models

SketchUp is certainly the world’s most popular and readily available 3D modelling tool. However, landscape designers looking to create a 3D model of their 2D designs previously faced specific challenges. Not only was there a lack of landscape-specific components available to them, but additionally, cleanup was required of imported CAD drawings. This is where Sketch3D comes in. Sketch3D is a landscape design add-on to SketchUp, to enable stunning 3D landscape design models for users of DS|Design as well as AutoCAD designers.

Sketch3D features specific tools to provide you with professional, yet easy to create, 3D models of your landscape designs. These include:

EASY EXPORT: Landscape designers who are currently using DS|Design, can simply convert their drawings directly into SketchUp format.

PROFESSIONAL VISUAL COMPONENTS: An extensive library of over 1,000 landscape-specific 3D components crafted by DynaSCAPE for SketchUp, such as plants, ponds, pools, and material textures.

EASY CLEANUP: A CAD cleanup plugin within Sketch3D, automatically scans and repairs any potential problems from the CAD geometry. This scan works not only on DS|Design drawings but also on imported AutoCAD files. This speedy repair enables the designer to start 3D modelling immediately.

PHOTOREALISTIC RENDERINGS: A combination of the many components available, plus rendering software, such as Shaderlight, can provide 3D models that look like photographs.

How 3D rendering software transforms 3D models

You may wonder why it is necessary to take the last step above to change your already impressive 3D model. 3D rendering software is the difference between an impressive 3D landscape model, and one of photographic quality.

3D rendering software enables you to add shadows for example. With Shaderllight 3D rendering software, you are also able to select Shaderlight ready light fixtures, to provide the light and shadow detail intended.

As you can see, the effort of the 3D rendering software has made a significant impact and produces photorealistic results.

Ready to buy or learn more? Visit our online store, or contact the DynaSCAPE sales team to purchase DSISketch3D, the most comprehensive 3D component warehouse for SketchUp! We can be reached by phone: 1.800.710.1900 x2 or by email:

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