Professional Landscape Design Software
Realtime Landscaping Architect Landscape Design Software

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Adding a Swimming Pool

Using Realtime Landscaping Architect, you can design a wide variety of above and below ground swimming pools and spas. Water features such as waterfalls, fountains, and jumping jets, can be seamlessly integrated with your swimming pool design. Swimming pools can be designed from the ground up, or you can use the wizard to add a pre-built pool for use as a starting point.

Spas may be added in or around a swimming pool, attached to the pool, or added as a standalone object. Like pools, spas may be above or below ground, and can be given spillways to flow into swimming pools or other spas. The Swimming Pool object is used to create both swimming pools and spas.

Pool decking can be added to provide a flat foundation for swimming pools and spas, and to extend the poolside area. Diving boards, waterslides, and more can be added to the pool decking to enhance your swimming pool design.

To add a swimming pool:

1.   Click the Add Swimming Pool button that is found near the top of the screen under the Swimming Pool tab.

2.   Draw the outline of the swimming pool by clicking the left mouse button to add points. Press the Backspace key to remove the last point added, and press the Esc key to cancel. If you would like to input the distance and angle manually, place at least one point and then press the Enter key.

3.   To finish drawing the swimming pool, place the last point on top of the first point. Alternately, right-click to place the last point.

The picture below illustrates a swimming pool that was added to a backyard landscape design.

Editing Coping

Swimming pools and spas both support realistic coping. Coping is added to every swimming pool and spa by default, but can be turned off per edge or disabled entirely.

To turn the coping on or off per-edge:

1.   Click the swimming pool or spa you would like to edit in order to select it.

2.   Click the Edit coping button, found in the properties, to enable edit coping mode.

3.   Click the pool or spa edges where you wish to toggle the coping.

4.   When finished, click the Edit Coping button again to disable edit coping mode.

Coping Styles

Many different coping materials are available, and four different coping styles can be chosen from.

swimming pool design coping styles

      None: A coping style of None will produce a sharp edge between the pool decking and the swimming pool wall.

      Flat: A coping style of Flat provides flat coping tiles.

      Bullnose: A coping style of Bullnose provides rounded coping. Bullnose is the default style for swimming pools and spas.

      Seamless: A coping style of Seamless will produce a rounded transition between the pool decking and the swimming pool wall.

Infinity Edges and Glass Walls

Infinity edges, also called “invisible edges” or “negative edges”, are areas in which the water freely flows over the pool wall into a basin, spa, or another pool. Infinity edges can add a dramatic and visually appealing effect to your pool designs.

You can also create glass pool walls using the same tool. Two types of glass walls are supported, normal and infinity.

To create infinity edges and/or glass walls:

1.   Click a swimming pool in your landscape design to select it.

2.   If needed, insert points surrounding the sections where you want the infinity edges to appear.

3.   Expand the Infinity Edge and Glass Options that is found to the right of the screen and then click the Edit Edges button.

4.   Click an edge of your swimming pool that you would like to transform to an infinity edge or glass wall. Click the same edge multiple times to cycle through the available types of edges. Repeat for each edge where you want an infinity edge or glass wall to appear.

5.   When adding glass walls, set the Glass Height and Glass Thickness properties as desired. (These values apply to all of the glass walls in the pool.)

6.   Click the Edit Edges button again when finished.

Infinity Edge and Glass Wall Styles

The following edge styles are available:

Creating Spas and Hot Tubs

Spas and hot tubs are also created using the Swimming Pool object, and can be designed in any shape and size needed. Hot tubs can be added inside or outside swimming pools, and can even intersect swimming pools if needed.

To create a spa:

1.   Click the Add Swimming Pool button that is found near the top of the screen under the Swimming Pool tab.

2.   Draw the outline of the spa by clicking the left mouse button to add points. Press the Backspace key to remove the last point added, and press the Esc key to cancel. If you would like to input the distance and angle manually, place at least one point and then press the Enter key.

3.   To finish drawing the spa, place the last point on top of the first point. Alternately, right-click to place the last point.

4.   If needed, move the spa into position; it can be placed in anywhere in your landscape design. For details, see Moving Objects.

5.   Optionally set the Water effects property to the desired effect, including ripples, turbulent water, and steam.

One popular spa design includes a spa that flows into a swimming pool from an infinity edge. You can create infinity edges and glass walls for your spas using the same method as for swimming pools, as described above.

During Realtime Walkthroughs, realistic flowing water will cascade over the infinity edges depending on the Flowing Water setting.

The picture below illustrates a swimming pool design that uses a glass infinity edge to allow water to flow from the spa into the swimming pool.

Setting Depths

Swimming pools can be set to one consistent depth or to multiple different depths.

To set the depth for the entire swimming pool:

1.   Click the swimming pool or spa you wish to modify in order to select it.

2.   Adjust the Depth property as needed. See Property Types for details.

The depth of a swimming pool can vary along the length of the pool by adjusting the depth line. This line can consist of two or more points, and can be curved or straight.

To set the depth at different points:

1.   Click the swimming pool or spa you wish to modify in order to select it.

2.   Click the Edit Depth button, found in the object’s properties, to enable depth editing mode.

3.   Click the point you wish to change in order to select it.

4.   Adjust the Depth property to raise or lower the water depth at the selected point.

5.   When finished, click the Edit Depth button again to disable depth editing mode.

The picture below illustrates a swimming pool design with variable depths.

swimming pool design variable depths

Adding Water Features

Several of the water features found in Realtime Landscaping Architect can integrate with swimming pools and spas. Available water features include waterfalls, fountains, and jumping jets.

The swimming pool design shown below includes several waterfalls.

Customizing the Plan View

Swimming pools and spas support a customized appearance in each view. For example, the swimming pool could be modified to look stylized in the Plan view (as shown below), and realistic in the Perspective view. To achieve this, check the Custom appearance in each view option. Two tabs will appear: Plan and Perspective. These tabs allow you to customize the appearance of the swimming pool or spa in each view.

The picture below displays a swimming pool design shown in the Plan view. Colored marker materials were used for a stylized appearance.

Tips:

      Important: Swimming pools can represent a safety hazard if proper care is not taken. Please check your local building codes and recommended safety standards before constructing a swimming pool or spa.

      Swimming pools can be added in the Plan view or the Perspective view, but are easiest to add in the Plan view.

      For details on adding water features to your swimming pool design, see Adding a Waterfall and Adding a Fountain.

      To add a pre-built swimming pool design to your landscape, see Swimming Pool Wizard.

      The shapes of your swimming pools and spas can be easily customized by moving, adding, and deleting the points that compose a pool or a spa’s shape. For details, see Editing Points.

      Using the grid snap feature can make adding an accurate swimming pool or spa very easy. See Snap Settings for more details.

See also:

Swimming Pool Properties
Swimming Pool Wizard
Setting Object Properties
Selecting Objects
Selecting Points
Editing Objects
Adding Pool Decking
Adding Pool Stairs
Adding a Pool Seat
Adding a Pool Wall
Adding a Pool Light
Adding a Pool Accessory
Adding a Fountain
Adding a Waterfall
Realtime Walkthrough
Saving and Loading Shapes