PROS / Total 3D has a plethora of tools and realistic views available for your landscaping pleasure.
CONS / It's slightly more difficult to use than other landscaping software choices we reviewed.
VERDICT / Although the image quality was very detailed, it was not as user-friendly as some other products we reviewed, which dinged its ranking.
Total 3D Home, Landscape & Deck is a good product full of useful features and realistic views. It was a little more difficult to use than the other home landscaping software that we reviewed, but it has all you’ll ever need. All kinds of sample designs and photos are provided with the software to help get you started. No matter where you live on the globe, this software can get you the designs you need to make your neighbors jealous.
The aesthetics on this home landscape design software are not too bad. We were most impressed with the plants, and even though they are not 3D, they are very realistic, as if they were photos. It is easy to change the position and size of the objects in 3D view, which is essential for 3D home landscape software. The top-rated products were more realistic with textures and 3D objects, but the plant images in this software are definitely worth looking at.
Once you are used to the various tools that this software provides, it really is an effective designing program. It does take more time than normal to get a decent design, but we were impressed with the results. Total 3D Home, Landscape & Deck does not allow you to overlap hardscape objects and regions; a warning pops up and prevents you from accomplishing the task, which we were not very impressed by, given the ability of other landscape software to do the same thing.
Another task we found difficult was deleting certain items once they were put in the design. For example, once you place a room on the design, it becomes part of the house as a whole. You can delete objects like plants and accessories, which is useful for garden landscape design.
If you need solid features and tools, Total 3D Home, Landscape & Deck has them. It helps a great deal with landscaping, but seems to focus on the construction of the house. The landscaping and home design tools were a little tricky at times, but they were impressive. This software would have ranked better if the tools had been easier to use, and if its emphasis were more on front and backyard designs and that of other outdoor areas.
The software doesn’t stop with the visible tools. It helps you create the unseen materials that are necessary for a successful landscape design – such as sprinklers, and electrical outlets convenient for more electronic-oriented outdoor activities. The multiple sample designs make this product shine. You can look at and edit each one, and they serve as a great source for ideas. We found this to be better than what the other products provided.
The 3D Rendering Tool allows you to view a virtual sunrise through the shadows of objects in the design. It even lets you specify your geographical location and the seasons it has, which will be especially useful if you are in a place with a lot of snowfall and need to consider the consequences of laying out anything that might be covered or possibly ruined by snow.
A product catalog displays brand-name items that you may want to purchase in the future, but pricing is not included. The budget planner automatically adds the objects in your design to the list. It provides some prices, but you may need to add the others because of price changes over time.
You have access to many help options through the software. You can view video tutorials, study the step-by-step guide, contact customer support and search by topics. An email address is not provided through the software, but you can find it online.
Total 3D Home, Landscape & Deck is very impressive software. It effectively assists in designing landscapes and homes, but just wasn’t as simple as the top-rated products that we reviewed. The software was very picky about what it would and would not allow, and that made things more difficult.