Idea Spectrum Realtime Landscaping Pro review 2020

Landscaping is usually back-breaking work, involving a spade and most likely a wheelbarrow. But why not forgo all that and start your work from the comfort of your own computer, using a program like Idea Spectrum Realtime Landscaping Pro 2020.

Let’s take a look at what this software has to offer.

To start

As the name suggests, this Windows-only package is intended to help you create outdoor spaces. If you have to design a room or an entire house, you will have to look elsewhere. This doesn’t mean that you can’t create house exteriors. In fact, Realtime Landscaping Pro allows you to add houses to your design. You just can’t venture inside.

The interface is very clear and easy to understand: you have manipulation tools in a sidebar on the left side, all your building materials are at the top, organized in categories such as Building, Landscape, Water features and Utilities, and once you’ve selected an object, an inspector section appears on the right with all the properties you can edit.

Take for example the ‘House’ tool, located in the Building menu. When you select it, you mark its area on your plan, and once done, Realtime Landscaping Pro creates the walls and roof automatically for you instantly. You are of course free to change the material, color, height of the walls, slope of the roof, etc., to add a few windows, a door here and there, but you will admit that it is a huge time saver. .

Perspective view

You have three views – perspective allows you to see your design as if you are in the middle of it, while still being able to change it entirely (Image credit: Specter of Ideas)


Your creative work takes place in multiple views. You have the standard top-down option (selected by default), but often times, especially when working with different elevations, a perspective view is better suited. This allows you to be in your creation and can help discover where changes need to be made.

Step-by-step procedure

With Walkthrough, you can see a high-quality, unalterable rendering of your landscape that you can walk around (Image credit: Specter of Ideas)

A third view is called “Walkthough”. This is especially useful for admiring your creation. Everything is rendered in better quality and you explore your surroundings using the mouse and keyboard, but you have no editing capabilities. If you find something that needs to be changed, exiting the walkthrough will take you back to where you were before you started “exploring”, so you will need to go back to the problem area in order to resolve it.

All of these views can be triggered at any time by clicking on their respective buttons at the bottom left of the interface.


There are hundreds of plants to choose from (Image credit: Specter of Ideas)


You would expect a landscaping program to have a lot of plants on hand, and you would be right. There are over a thousand of them to choose from (thank goodness for the “search” feature). But that’s not all: they have an age setting (which mainly changes their size) and you also have the option to change their seasonal appearance – by default it’s set to the general season you’re working in, but you can manually edit that if you think a fall look works best for a particular plant, even in summer.

Speaking of your environment, you have full control of it through a handful of “Settings” menus. From there, the sky changes, even the time of day or the phase the moon is in. The change of seasons is also a no-brainer, helping you get the most out of the look you are going for.

As you build your project the number of objects you use will increase, but you will find that each category has a “Currently in use” section to help you locate these items quickly, if you want to use more elsewhere. . But it only works per project. If you want to move the things you like and use regularly from one project to another, this is where the “Favorites” section comes in. When software gives you a plethora of options, it’s good to know that you can reduce that to help speed up your work.


There are a series of wizards that are here to help speed up the design process. (Image credit: Specter of Ideas)


Of course, landscaping an entire area from scratch can take some time, but just like designing a house, Realtime Landscaping Pro is also here to speed up the process, through the use of Wizards. You have a handful of them, helping you with your landscape, patio or even pond, among others.

The process is very simple, and again, you are presented with a list of models. Once you’re happy with your selection, just drag it to your ideal spot and most of the time you’re done. You do, however, have the option of fully customizing any model you want, from its construction material to the size of the individual elements. It is therefore both a time saver to get you started and a launching pad for developing your own creativity.


You can spice up the step-by-step view we mentioned earlier with the addition of characters, and Realtime Landscaping Pro has a few to spice up you throughout your creation. You don’t have any customization options with them, but to make your landscape more interesting, you have the option to animate them.

Character animation

Need to populate your landscape? Add people, and even animate them (Image credit: Specter of Ideas)

Some can walk, others jog, a handful can swim. Set their path and they’ll perform their set action, reset and run it again, endlessly. Even if they are sitting or just standing, some parts of them will move from time to time, like a head twist for example. While you have the option of seeing a preview of each of them in perspective, and even in top-down mode, this can only be done for one character at a time. These virtual Sim-like people take on their own lives in the walkthrough.

We liked the ability to create a full walkthrough movie with a soundscape (although it doesn’t record your own trips but relies on a moving camera you set up in advance – one of the many “utilities” of this software). It’s even possible to connect your walkthroughs to an Oculus Rift for a truly immersive experience.

Final verdict

For $ 150, Realtime Landscaping Pro offers a host of features to help you create the garden of your dreams. It can be used for fun or as a professional tool to create what your customer is looking for before they pick up a shovel. The interface is easy to understand and the interaction with the software is smooth, even on a machine that is not the most recent model. The inclusion of characters is fun, but it’s definitely more of a gimmick, especially since your options are quite limited. But overall, it’s great software for anyone who loves or needs to design landscapes virtually.

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