Autodesk Planix Landscape Deluxe Suite Full Version for PC (32703-016308-9000)
With the Planix Deluxe Suite from Autodesk P.S.G., you can design the landscape you want in minutes. This feature-rich program gives you all of the tools you'll need. Encyclopedia Botanica, the built-in database of over 16, 00 high-quality photographic … see full wiki
Planix Autodesk Landscape Design safe for homeowners
Oct 9, 2003
Pros: listed herein
Cons: listed herein
The Bottom Line: ___________
Since I no longer do design/build landscape work, but I occasionally do a design for friends and sometimes even for money, I needed an inexpensive landscape design package. My first package, Sierra® LandDesign-3 D was nice, but all it accomplished was a grounds overview of the site, using fake house templates and generic circles for trees and shrubs. You could use your own pictures of your own home but there was no way to eliminate existing landscape.
For the landscape savvy, it is fine, and necessary, to have an overall birds eye view picture of the project, but the general homeowner wants to see the pretty bushes in front of their own house. I discovered Planix Autodesk would let me do just that.
You can use generic home templates provided in the software, or you can add your own real photos and go from there. You can insert your photos either by scanning a photograph of the prospective home, or by using a digital photo either way, it gives you a big thumbs up from the homeowner when they see their very own home surrounded by the nice new shrubs, trees, flowers, deck, etc.
By downloading the program disk into your computer, you have the basics of the product only. In order to modify your landscaping, you must have the CD in the drive during operation. It stores the botanical product, as well as hardscapes, for your project. The completed work, however, is stored on your computer, so you can print it out any time.
The unique idea behind Planix Autodesk is you can remove the existing landscape from the home you are working on and insert the new landscape design. This is done through a cloning process, where you clone a surrounding area (like siding, grass, sidewalk, whatever) and place it over the existing landscape, giving you basically a blank area to work on. There is a plus and a minus to this.
The plus Someone once told me, if you have to say something bad about someone, mention their good points first, so .
The homeowner is genuinely pleased to see their home with the new landscape installed. Another feature is a growth rate. You can flip it to 5 years, 10 years, etc., and show how the project will look 5 years down the line. So even if they say, Gee, this looks a little underplanted, flip that switch and show them how it will look 5 or more years from now. I think youll get quite a different reaction. In addition, it brings to your attention where something might be misplaced because of the growth pattern.
That feature alone is important with trees. I find people plant trees in the entirely wrong place, never accounting for growth. Too many times you see a small Cape Cod dwarfed by two huge Blue Spruce planted either side of the front walkway who knew theyd grow 100 tall and 60 wide. That, of course, leads to even a more disastrous event that evil limbing up I see on evergreen trees. Why people insist on doing that, Ill never understand. Of course, one reason is because they are planted in the wrong place from the giddy-up.
So, plus #1 the home is viewed with the new landscape intact and plus #2 you can show the growth pattern of the item and print out both views for the homeowner.
The floral selection is fairly complete, offering plants for every time of the year in both annuals and perennials as well as bulbs. There is a large selection of extra goodies like fountains, chairs, tables, benches, gazebos, sundials, statues, etc., that really add some finishing touches. Even cars and mailboxes.
The minus I fear this section will be longer sigh
Coloration arrgghh! You insert your photo, it is a natural photograph with shading, sunlight, natural colors, muted tones. The landscape plants provided in the botanical reference section are glaringly colorful. The whites are really white, the pinks really pink, reds just scream, and the blues are unnatural. There is no way to tone down or mute the colors so they just glare out from the peaceful picture you are trying to present.
In addition, some of the colors are just the opposite, so dark you cannot see definition or plant detail, pity.
Shapes & sizes - I KNOW this is how the plant grows, but the general homeowner wants to see it all compact and shaped unnaturally, like a poof ball. I KNOW that crabapple trees reach for the sky with their water shoot branches all awry, but the homeowner wants to believe it is going to be a pretty rounded little ball with branches drooping just so. You cant have it, doesnt exist. You cant modify or pretty up the picture to make it more acceptable for the end result.
Selection - my homeowner has a white house and wants a crabapple (or dogwood or weeping cherry) on the corner of the house. Sure, no problem until the selection is miserable. You dont want to place a white tree against a white house (unless THEY insist of course), but sometimes that is the only sample offered. As well, sometimes the tree is fluorescent pink or flaming red. Just no selection between species. If you ask for a Dogwood, you get their one sample, same with the other items. One difference is sometimes they will offer a summer and fall example of the same tree. Both are just so outrageously colored that it takes your breath.
Hardscapes - almost impossible to use. I will take that back - for instance - if you are working on a home that has not been constructed or beds that are not already established, why you can hardscape to your hearts content. However, if you are working on existing goods the timber walls, stone walls, walkways, water features, even benches, etc., are almost impossible to adapt to the surrounding. Just can't bend or curve them in the right configuration.
Of course, if you are adept at drawing, you can draw your own walls, walks or whatever, and use their fill product to fill in your drawing area. I caution on that, their mulch color is horrible and transparent, letting your prior landscape show through. The only thing that really looks natural is the deck fill, it looks like boards. The grass oh .. what a shade of green, like it has lime disease!
However Taking all the pluses and minuses into account, I still highly recommend this product. It is simple to use, with a little plant knowledge, and gives a finished product that really knocks the socks off the homeowners. There is just something more personal about seeing their own home involved.
If you feel you are lacking in plant knowledge, never fear, you can set the program for your climate zone and it will only offer plants available in your area. That is MOST important, it avoids disappointment when you fall in love with something but can't find it in your area. There is a reason for that.
It is easy to use, comes with a clear instruction manual and has built in help guides. Read the book first, play around with the different features, than insert your own home photo and start designing a professional landscape that will make your neighbors green as grass.
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