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Hardscape Imaging Made Easy

By Gregory V. Harris, LASN

Architects who want to show their clients after images of hardscapes projects don't need bricks, pavers, stone or bulky catalogs. Instead, they can use their computers and software produced by EP Henry Corp., and Design Imaging Group.

According to Mark Fuss, vice president of sales and marketing for EP Henry, the cost of installing a patio, walkway or driveway can be expensive, and in the past consumers were forced to make buying decisions based upon catalog photos, retail displays, or several small pieces of actual product.

Architects use the software by starting with a digital picture of their client's house. Photos can be taken with a digital camera or scanned from a print photograph. The software allows the user to outline the area to be paved, insert a pavement of a particular color, style, and pattern, and then make adjustments to perspective and size.

Once the initial setup is complete, customers can quickly flip back and forth between colors, shapes, and patterns until the final selection is made. Retaining and garden walls, piers, steps, borders and paver circles can be inserted, scaled, and moved around to complete the hardscaping project. Finally, grass, mulch and various trees, shrubs, and flowers can be inserted to complete the outdoor environment.

Digital photos (top and bottom left) are entered into the software program, which has a large pallate of add-ons available to the architect. After adding the desired hardscape and plant features, the photos (top and bottom right) represent the proposed finished product.

EP Henry introduced the product at their Middle Atlantic Hardscaping Trade Show (MAHTS) earlier this year and several hundred contractors have purchased the software for $99.

"It's an easy to use tool that delivers outstanding results," Fuss said.

The company is currently working with Design Imaging Group to make refinements and additions to the software and will expand its distribution to more contractors and homeowners in 2004.

Design Imaging Group already has a presence in the contracting marketplace with its Designware 3.0 product. John Tilton, CEO of Design Imaging Group, said his company's existing technology was used with EP Henry's product line to produce the hardscaping software.

"We designed the splash (opening) page and produced the training movies that appear in the software," he explained. "Images of EP Henry's products were used to supply the hardscape elements that users place in their photos."

In addition to the training aid movies, the software features a user's guide that explains how to use the ScreenCam's movies and the function of each button and menu selection; the general features of the software and tutorials on how to create an image of a client's home from start to finish; and a technical support telephone number.

About the Companies

EP Henry, headquartered in Woodbury, NJ, is a 100-year-old manufacturer of unit concrete products including concrete masonry units and Hardscaping(TM) products (pavers and mortarless wall systems). Design Imaging Group Inc. (DIG) is a software company headquartered in Long Island, N.Y., that designs, develops and delivers custom programs targeted to the homeowner and corporate user.

System Requirements

Windows 98, NT, ME or 2000 operating system.
Intel Pentium or AMD processor of 300 Mhz or greater, mouse, printer, CD drive, inkjet or greater printer, 256 color VGA video card with 800 x 600 dpi or better resolution, soundboard with speakers.

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November 22, 2019, 1:15 pm PDT

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