We've researched the latest landscape design software, sifting through thousands of specs, features and user reviews to find the best landscape design software for your needs. Here's everything you need to know about Total 3D Landscape & Deck Deluxe.
If you have no previous experience of landscape design software and want basic functionality at a low price, Total 3D Landscape & Deck Deluxe could be for you.
Pre-designed garden and landscape plans will help get you started, and you can have fun creating and placing digital replicas of your own garden accessories by uploading digital photographs.
However, creating an accurate replica of your backyard for a 'live' re-modelling project would require a time-consuming process of starting from scratch, and you'll soon come up against the limitations of the software. There are more powerful tools available if you are prepared to spend a bit more.
Total 3D Landscape & Deck Deluxe review: Price
At just $19.99, Total 3D Landscape & Deck Deluxe is definitely at the cheaper end of the landscape design software market. By way of comparison, feature-rich, pro-standard options such as TurboFloorPlan Home & Landscape Pro and Realtime Landscaping Pro retail for five times more. But you get what you pay for.
If you're more interested in the interior of your property, Individual Software has also released Total 3D Home Design Deluxe. Or for $29.99, Total 3D Home, Landscape & Deck Premium Suite 12 combines the capabilities of both, with some added functionality too – such as advanced terrain features to mold the shape of your garden, and custom irrigation systems.
Total 3D Landscape & Deck Deluxe review: Design features
Despite the low price, there are some useful landscape design tools included with Total 3D Landscape & Deck Deluxe. Although they are very unlikely to match your own garden layout, the pre-designed sample plans are a great source of inspiration.
Generally, Total 3D Landscape & Deck Deluxe is geared up for ease-of-use rather than pinpoint accuracy. For instance, its Smart YardBlock tool uses simple drag-and-drop functionality to add entire lawns, decks or pools to your landscape design.
The plan view is color-coded, helping you identify different types of item within complex designs at a glance – such as furniture, plants or fences.
Plant encyclopaedia: 4,600 items
Customizable objects: Yes (from photos)
House exterior model: Yes
House interior model: No
Cost estimates: No
Tutorial videos: Yes
Sample designs: Yes
Total 3D Landscape & Deck Deluxe review: Object library
Total 3D Landscape & Deck Deluxe has an impressive-sounding encyclopaedia of 4,600 plants, fully searchable based on 20 different characteristics.
By comparison, our pick for best overall landscape design software, Realtime Landscaping Pro, has an object library of 5,700 plants, and its close rival TurboFloorPlan Home & Landscape Pro has 3,800.
Don't be swayed by the numbers, though: Total 3D Landscape & Deck Deluxe is in no way comparable with these packages in terms of photorealistic detail. The encyclopaedia is a useful reference guide, but the way the plants are rendered in the final design is very crude and blocky.
It won't give you anywhere near the same immersive experience to help you visualise your landscape design before putting it into action, and the dated visuals can be rather off-putting.
However, there is also the option to expand Total 3D Landscape & Deck Deluxe's object library by importing photographs – of your favorite patio furniture or garden ornament, for instance – and transforming them into scalable 3D objects within the program. Don't expect a high-definition render, but it's a fun feature.
Should you buy Total 3D Landscape & Deck Deluxe?
Provided your expectations aren't too high, you can have some fun playing around with Total 3D Landscape & Deck Deluxe – and at less than $20, it's a small outlay.
If you're looking for more accurate landscape design tools to help you plan and visualize your next home improvement project, however, this isn't the tool for you. We'd recommend spending a bit more, if you can afford it.
You don't need to splash out one of the more premium packages mentioned above. At under $50, TurboFloorPlan Home & Landscape Deluxe, for instance, is half the price of the Pro version. It uses a simple drag-and-drop interface that's well-suited to beginners, and the realism of the final output is in a different class from Total 3D Landscape & Deck Deluxe.
Alternatively, if you're just looking for a quick-and-simple way to visualize how your new garden might look, and you're an iPhone or iPad user, consider downloading the free version of the iScape app instead.