May 1, 2009 – Adjusting the View in 3D
Realtime Landscaping Architect, Pro, and Plus all support 3D design. While our software is very easy to use, the idea of 3D design can intimidate some people. The best way for a complete novice to feel comfortable and confident quickly in any 3D program is to become familiar with how to adjust the view. Unlike 2D design (like any paint program), 3D programs like ours allow you to see your design from any angle. Being able to adjust that angle instantly and without even thinking about it will make you a very efficient designer.
When designing in 3D in our Realtime Landscaping software, there are three easy shortcuts that allow you to move your view wherever you want to, using only your mouse. To zoom in and out, just roll the mouse wheel. To change your view angle, simply hold the right mouse button and move your mouse. Finally, to pan your view (move forward, backward, left and right), hold the middle mouse button and move the mouse. The Perspective Nav Wheel is another good method for adjusting the view, especially for beginners.
April 24, 2009 - Introduction to Layers
Like many high end painting programs, the Realtime Landscaping software has the ability to work in layers. This means that if you choose to, you can place different objects in different layers, making them easy to manage and enable or disable. For example, if you finish placing all the plants in your landscape and do not want to accidentally move any of them, you can place them in their own layer and lock it or hide it.
To place an object or several objects into a layer, just click Edit and Move to Layer. To lock or hide a layer, just double-click on the layer and select Lock or Hide. Locking a layer means you cannot select any of the objects within that layer, which is useful when you do not wish to accidentally select or move something. Hiding a layer means you will no longer see any objects in that layer until you unhide it. Layers are very useful, but it is certainly not required to use them in order to design landscapes quickly and effectively.
April 17, 2009 - Supercharge your Productivity using Shortcuts
Spring is usually the landscape designer’s busiest time of year, as I am sure many of you can attest. One of the best ways to save valuable time with our software is to learn some of the fast and simple shortcuts available. You can see the shortcut for many tools by simple hovering your mouse over the tool’s button. For example, the shortcut for the rotate tool is the R key on your keyboard. And instead of pressing the Zoom button, why not just roll your mouse wheel?
Some other useful shortcuts include pressing the Z key on your keyboard to zoom up to what you have selected on the screen, pressing down on the middle mouse button to Pan your view around, and pressing the S key on your keyboard to scale objects (enlarge or shrink).
See the back of your Quick Start guide for a list of common shortcuts.
April 10, 2009 - Adding a "Before" Photo
Realtime Landscaping Photo makes it easy to design a landscape over an existing photo. A powerful presentation technique is to insert a “before” picture over the completed design to clearly show what has changed. Here's an example.
The process of inserting the “before” picture is very simple. Once you have completed your Photo design, click Tools and Picture Import Wizard. Follow the steps of the wizard and import your original photo using the "Other Photo" option. Next, use the Picture object and add the picture to your landscape, moving and sizing it as desired. If you would like to add a border to your “before” picture, simply outline it with the Region tool and set it to a solid color.
April 3, 2009 - Custom 3D Models Made Easy
In the 2009 releases of our 3D landscape design software, we have introduced a very useful set of tools under the “Modeling” tab. These tools allow you to create simple objects of your own, and even to modify existing objects. The tools are very easy to use, as you can see in this short tutorial.
For example, garden planters are seen in virtually every landscape. Although there are many included with our software, it can be fun to create your own. Round objects like planters make use of the new Modeling tool, the Lathe. The Lathe simply takes a line and spins it around to create your round object. Take a look at this Planter Tutorial.
March 27, 2009 - Quickly Filling Areas with Plants
Plant Row and Plant Fill tools are included with the 2009 releases of our landscape design software. These tools make creating landscapes even easier and faster by filling regions automatically with plants that you choose. When using plant pictures, the tools will even automatically flip a random selection of the plants to make them look more realistic as a group.
The Plant Row tool is used to create a line of plants that is straight or curved. The Plant Fill tool is used to create a region of plants of any shape and size. For example, if you have a planting area you wish to fill with flowers, just use the Plant Fill tool and let it do the work for you!
March 20, 2009 - Realtime Landscaping Plus wins Award for Best Landscaping Software
Realtime Landscaping Plus wins first place two years in a row on TopTenREVIEWs, a popular software review site. TopTen does a review every year of the top landscaping software. Realtime Landscaping Plus, our midrange landscaping program, has claimed first place in 2008 and 2009. “Never resting on their laurels, Idea Spectrum have been busy over the last year improving and adding exciting new features to their software. The result is Realtime Landscaping PLUS 5, which has again earned our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award.”
Congratulations to the Idea Spectrum development team!
March 13, 2009 - A Special Thanks to our Thousands of Users
We would like to thank everyone for helping to make our new software such a success. The landscaping community has been great to work with, and the Realtime Landscaping series has been a pleasure to work on.
As the weeks go by, be sure to check for updates every once in a while. Small updates can be found virtually instantly by clicking Help and Check for Updates from within your Realtime Landscaping software. Large upgrades (which typically occur every year) can be found on our homepage and will also be posted here.
March 6, 2009 - New Releases Now Shipping
New 2009 releases of our landscape design software are now shipping! New software includes Realtime Landscaping Architect 2, Realtime Landscaping Pro 5, Realtime Landscaping Plus 5, and Realtime Landscaping Photo 5. Thank you very much to all our customers for your encouragement and support. Customers using previous versions of our software can
upgrade for a substantial discount.
Many new features have been added with these new upgrades, including additional advanced 3D rendering effects, several new tools, more accessories, and some special usability options such as the 3D NavWheel for easier 3D movement for beginners. Use the following links for details:
What's New in Realtime Landscaping Architect 2
What's New in Realtime Landscaping Pro 5
What's New in Realtime Landscaping Plus 5