Landmark Special Interest Group July 2019

In this session, we covered how to make low resolution versions of plant image props so that your project files don’t get too big. We also went over how to make plant images more transparent so that they don’t distract from your proposed design and looked at where to go to online to find more plant images to work with.

Topics Covered:

  • 00:11    We started out by finding some plant images and 3D models online. Ozbreed, a company near me, has many images and models of landscape gardening plants that you can click on and download ( We brought some of the tree image props into Vectorworks—it helps the eye in viewing the images if you include a ground underneath the trees. We reviewed how image props are made—deconstructing one and looking at its parts—before we took an image into a photo app and changed its size. In Snagit, we lowered the total resolution of the image down to about 500 pixels high. Going back to Vectorworks, we found that our file size was drastically reduced without sacrificing the look of the tree. It’s not the dots per inch or dots per pixel that matters, but the overall number of pixels. Low-resolution image props might work under most circumstances—although, a picture of a building with a tree in the foreground would need a high-resolution tree.
  • 24:30    We tweaked the transparency of an image prop. We made it so that the tree was somewhat see-through so that it didn’t block the view of our building. You can do the same thing with people—adding interest to your design presentations without distracting from them. By making, for example, the existing trees somewhat transparent, you can use this method to get your proposed design to really pop in your drawings.
  • 41:49    Next, we played around with a VBvisual plant. Someone at Vectorworks has put a lot of work into these models—they are designed to have looks for different seasons, as well as different rotation, height, and resolution settings. We experimented with making one of these trees transparent. You could still see the leaves clearly without having them block the building—pretty cool! However, the VBvisual plants do take up much more memory. You can find more images for your plant image props on sites like or—sometimes xfrog has free giveaways!

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