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Designware Gives Realism to Conceptual Projects

By Gregory V. Harris

The "before" photo (inset) shows the blank canvas of a landscaping project. By placing a photo of the area in Designware, a landscape contractor can add a variety of objects, incluing trees, plants, and water features (large photo) to illustrate how the finished project will appear. Any changes or additions can be proposed and made, before work on the actual project begins.

When proposing large-scale landscape contracting projects, having a feel for what the finished project will look like can be beneficial to getting the project approved.

Drawings and blueprints can help to provide a feel for how the completed project will appear, but having the ability to provide "before and after" photos to clients gives more of a realistic view of how the landscape will look at project's end.

One tool available to landscape contractors who want to provide a finished look at a project that has not yet begun is Designware, a software package by Design Imaging Group. Designware is a photo-rendering program that lets landscape contractors take a photograph and place it in a computer as the background image for the software. Photos that can be used include: traditional photos brought in using a scanner, photos taken with a film camera, with the film being processed onto a CD; or a digital camera image loaded directly into the computer.

The libraries of thousands of plants and hardscapes are available in Designware to be placed on the photograph in the correct size, location, and perspective. There are 45 different tools that let the user add to the realism of the finished product, such as adding shadows behind a tree and reflections in a pond. The end result is a photo rendering of the landscape as it will appear when mature.

Designware 3.0's tools to assist landscape contractors include:

At Night

This features gives users the ability to take a digital image of a home and landscape, and in minutes take it from a daylight image to a rendering of how it will appear "at night" with outdoor lighting.


Forty-nine new training movies are built into the software. These movies explain and demonstrate the use and function of every tool and feature. Designware 3.0 does not include a manual per se, but a printable brief users guide is available.

New Textures

High quality seamless textures have been added to the libraries. This gives the users the ability to produce even more realistic results. These textures let the user show, patios, driveways, groundcovers and walls in the correct scale and perspective.

New Images

New high quality images have also been added, along with additional images of products that are commonly used in the southern United States.


This technology breakthrough in imaging software lets the user change a 300 foot fence that is constructed of 50 panels, each at a different perspective, from a picket profile to a stockade profile, with a simple Drag-n-Drop from the fence library, This process takes just seconds and the new images are still in the correct size and perspective.

Magic Wand

A major feature of Designware is the ability of the users to build additional libraries using material from their own photographs or projects. This tool helps the user prepare those images for the libraries. Each image has a background that needs to be removed, Magic Wand makes this operation much simpler and easier.

Smudge Tool

To add additional realism to an image, Designware 3.0 includes a smudge tool. The smudge tool blurs the edges of images and blends them with the background.

Paint with Texture

Past versions of Designware provided only one method of showing textures. Users defined an area and the texture filled that area. This new tool provides a new method of showing textures, which are applied as if the user was painting an area.

The latest version of the software is Designware 3.0. Priced at $499, version 3.0 retails for $300 less than Designware 1.3 and includes "At Night," a feature that was a $199 add-on to the previous version.

Product Information provided by John Tilton, Design Imaging Group. For more information, visit


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December 6, 2019, 12:45 pm PDT

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