Landscape Design BRIGHTONwith Sketchup

Sketchup for landscape design

Sketchup is a key tool for Landscape design. Its features including he collection of plants and garden features in the 3D warehouse make it a great choice.

What is Sketchup?

SketchUp is software with a CAD solution or computer-aided design ideally for designing and editing 2D and 3D concepts, you can design or create anything you can imagine to life. The software was made for designers, landscape architects, engineers, or drafters, this software offers professional-quality features like animations, layer managers, lighting effects, and so on. It also has unique access to Trimble's 3D warehouse, it’s a full-featured desktop modeler used for a wider range of drawing applications, including architectural, and interior design, and can also be used for video game designs. The software has a simple and associative interface yet a robust toolset to create, design, and present ideas, as good software, you can combine real-time and photoreal rendering with the aid of V-ray on the SketchUp software. Photorealistic rendering can also be done with a third party software like Lumion.

Sketchup Landscape Design
Landscape design with Trimble sketchup. Photorealistic rendering can also be done with a third party software like Lumion.


Is Sketchup easy to use?

SketchUp is an easy-to-use software that lets you design with ease and collaborate clearly, it is also highly accessible, fast, and contains associative interfaces, friendly tools, and other features. it can also generate an arrangement of design for any project, in case of using multiple designs or exchanging them, they also work hand in hand with the AutoCAD drawings so the users (landscape architects or engineers) would get the best of your imagined drawing to reality. You can get access to more features and extra capabilities when you buy the SketchUp or you renew your SketchUp plan to have an entire design solution ready for use. SketchUp offers high accuracy for designing 3D architectural modeling, from its measurements to object positioning and object gradient. They offer several data and techniques about present objects or angles. The software also lets you choose how accurately you want the measurements to be, it accurately can be up to hundredths of an millimetre. So, you get to determine how huge or little detailed you need or want the plan to look like.

landscape design using cad
landscape design using cad software Sketchup by Trimble.

What can Sketchup do?

The SketchUp software can clearly can do just more than just 3D models. You can even bring your 3D design into 2D spaces and even up to 6D with the aid of Layout and the changes made in the model will also reflect in the documents. The software helps you present with convenience, and ease through Layouts with interactive features like instance developing page configuration, drafting, vector illustrations, and slide introductions with various perspectives. While creating or designing your design models, you can restructure your models into flyovers, mini bridges, or even walk through as long as it passes the same information to the client and other people. Some features can allow you to build your workflow into a Building Information Modeling (BIM) from 2D-6D structuring to enhance and modify architectural designs and also help with building constructions.

CAD design of a garden Arbor
Sketchup design of a garden Arbor


SketchUp has lots of attributes that makes it different from other landscape design software, be it flexibility, speed, accuracy, and also a reinforcement of 2D and 3D models together. Below are the merits of SketchUp

What are the advantages of Sketchup?

  • SketchUp offers high accuracy in creating models
  • It makes drawing your design easy due to the software built function like your hand
  • SketchUp is associative yet it has powerful 3D modeling software, you can create lifelike drawings very easy and very quick
  • SketchUp software is available on all systems and smartphones with interesting usage
  • It provides rendering surfaces with a wide selection of architectural styles that suits your design, giving you an upper hand in success for your client
  • SketchUp supports third-party extensions, meaning you can integrate software that offers further capabilities easily
  • You can place your model within Google Earth using SketchUp

SketchUp has lots of features as we have talked about some, let’s list them all

  • It has an animation video types
  • It textures of some design layouts are outstanding
  • Unique layer manager
  • Its lighting effects are fantastic
  • It has 2D models
  • It has 3D models
  • It gives better drawings with the use of AutoCAD
  • Real-time shadow
  • Photorealistic rendering
  • Geo-locations
Using 3DWarehouse furniture like tables and chairs.
Using 3DWarehouse furniture like tables and chairs under the garden arbor.

Is sketchup difficult to use?

SketchUp is a 3D modeling program that can be used to create 3D objects in a 2D environment, regardless of whether you plan to model for 3D printing or other purposes, the software has and offers all tools needed to produce professional and quality results even for a beginner. The SketchUp consists of the one for beginners and the other for advanced users, the SketchUp free is basically for the beginners, there is a free 30 days trial that you can use to master it well. While the SketchUp pro is mainly for advanced users only or people who can handle it without any mistakes. The former provides all the commands you can use for 3D modeling, and the latter provides additional functions like printing in scale or exporting/importing to/from CAD software.


sketchup landscape design
Swimming pool area landscape designed with sketchup and photo realistically rendered with Lumion.


What are the features of Sketchup Pro

SketchUp has made complex modeling software more accessible yet less intimidating with ease and precision, design and creates 3D models through SketchUp pro. It delivers excellent renders and animations. Animation is one of the best and most impressive ways to show off your work to a client through animations. The software quality of drawing in the 2D or 3D models is also another way of bringing out your to reality.

Sketchup Photorealistic landscape design
Sketchup Photorealistic landscape design with Lumion rendering

How much does Sketchup cost? (USD 2022)

The license of the SketchUp packages comes at different prices like;

  • SketchUp Go goes for $119 per year, its model is on iPad or smartphones and web browser/ chrome book. You can design and collaborate anywhere, access 4M+ pre-built 3D models, Augmented reality mobile viewer, and Unlimited cloud storage
  • SketchUp Pro goes for $299 per year, its model is on desktop, iPad, and as well as a web browser/chrome book. You can create professional work, 2D design documentation, Quick insights for design research, Experience reality (XR) headset viewing, and Access to plugins for extending SketchUp Pro desktop functionality
  • SketchUp Studio goes for $699 per year, its model is the same as the Pro. This package is for advanced workflows, Import and model onto point cloud data using SketchUp's native tools, Interactive, real-time visualizations as you model, Create and export professional photorealistic images, Export fully rendered animations, and 360° panoramas, Export to LayOut, and document point cloud data in 2D.

There are also packages for students which cost $55 per year, if students are interested they could also gain more of this wonderful software. The SketchUp software is a full option software for landscape design, it is surely one of the best, if not the best software.

Key 3D design software features

  • Sketchup can combine with Lumon to create beautiful 3D renders
  • Sketchups core routes are CAD which makes it a great tool for creating detailed engineering diagrams
  • A 3D archive with thousands of pre-made pools, spas pergolas, arbors, courts and buildings
  • using sketch ups tools you can download and of these pre-made objects, adjust and modify them into your desired piece. Then insert them into your drawing.

How to use Sketchup

Step 1

  • After a meeting with your client, open google earth on Chrome and zoom in on your clients property.
  • Snap a screenshot of the property.
  • Edit the screen shot to just show the Clients property
  • Open Sketchup and import the screenshot image using the import feature under file
  • make sure the image is on layer 0 rename this to background

Step 2

  • Click create new layer under the default trey, call this layer Tracing
  • Proceed to trace your background image to your best ability the better you trace the better your drawings will be.
  • Be sure you have traced every last detail including property boarder. home, house, roofpitch lines, Driveway, curb and pathway.
Sketchup 3D design of a swimming pool
Simple Sketchup 3D design of a swimming pool

Step 3

  • Click create new layer under the default trey, call this layer house,
  • proceed to create rectangles as each room of the house
Swimming pool designed with Sketchup and rendered with Lumion.
Swimming pool designed with Sketchup and rendered with Lumion.

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Stack Rock Group: A team of landscape designers