Landmark_SIG_062 Special Interest Group December (am) 2014

image079In this session we looked at the graphic representation of plants, focusing on the 3D visual aspects. We looked at the strategies for the graphic representation, creating image props, using the Existing Tree too to create the required 3D geometry, the VBVisual Plant, how to find more plants online, creating your own 3D object for a box hedge, and the Foliage Displacement Map Texture form the VSS web site.

Topics Covered:
Graphic representation of plants

  • There are 3 parts to plants in Vectorworks: 2D / 3D / data. This allows the designer to tailor the plants according to the requirements of the client / job. Vectorworks offers many options (Isome free, some need to be paid for): complex Image Props, simple Image Props, 3D Plants, 2D Plants, VBvisual Plant Tool, the option to import your own images or drawing your own 3D shapes and applying a desired texture, etc.
  • Image Props are always 2D (flat, “looking towards the viewer”)
  • By far the most amazing (real life) representation offers the VBvisual Plant Tool. There are only a few freely available. Visit their website: to see what they offer. If you have subscribed to Vectorworks Service Select (VSS) you have access to more plants.
  • A free source for plants is:
  • There is also a foliage / hedge plug-in available on that can be used in many different scenarios with great effects.

Creating our own Image Prop

  • HINT: Since version 2015 Vectorworks no longer comes with Quicktime. This means that it is no longer possible to directly import Photoshop files. JPEGs are no issue.
  • Designing an image file and a mask file in Photoshop and saving them as JPEGs I(can be from photos or from sketches!)
  • Using the Create Image Prop command to create a symbol (always use this option!)
  • Looking at the Auto Rotate / Crossed Planes options

Using the Existing Tree tool to create 3D geometry
Modifying the look of a VBvisual Plant / Existing Tree

  • Using the Convert to Group command on several levels

More plants available onlineĀ
Creating our own 3D shape for a box hedge
Foliage Displacement Map Textures on Vectorworks Service Select (VSS)
Summary of the above / wrap up
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