Creating your own 3D landscape design can be a fun and rewarding experience. You’ll be able to choose what you want in your yard and know how much it will cost. Plus, if you’re planning on doing this yourself, then you’ll need to learn some basic design skills and software programs that will help with the process. In this article I’ll cover everything from getting started with your own project all the way through creating an aerial 2d landscape design and converting it into 3d. Here’s how:

Step 1. Take measurements of the project area

Taking measurements of the project area is the first step in 3D landscape design.

When taking measurements, it’s important to do so in a methodical manner. First, you’ll want to measure the property lines and fences. It’s also important that you take measurements of existing structures like decks and patios, as well as trees, plants and other features that will be included in your drawing.

Once you have all of your measurements, it’s time to start photographing.

Step 2. Get photos of your yard

Take photos of your yard from a variety of angles. You’ll want to take photos of the whole yard, including all sides and the front and back. You may also want to get aerial shots (if you have access to a drone) by flying it over your yard as well.

Have an idea of what time of day works best for you before taking these photos so that you can make the most out of them! If possible, try running through at different times throughout the day; sometimes shadows make things look better than others!

Step 3. Create an aerial 2d landscape design

This is the third step of your 3D landscape design, and it involves creating a 2D aerial image that shows the scale of each feature in your landscape. You can do this by sketching out your ideas on paper or using CAD software to make an accurate representation of what you have in mind.

When creating an aerial view, it’s important to focus on the larger items first—such as pathways, floors, and structures—because these elements will determine how everything else fits together. If you want something like a pond or garden area to be larger than a pathway leading up to it, then it might not work well if they were both at similar sizes in the end product.

As much as possible, try to include measurements for each feature so that when we go into 3D modeling later on (in step 5), everything will look properly proportional between each other

Step 4. Outline your major design elements, like pathways, patios, and pools

In this step, you outline your major design elements, including pathways and patios. Pathways are the main way to get around your yard. Patios are a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. They can also be used as an extension of your home’s interior space, making them perfect for entertaining guests or just relaxing after a long day at work. If you want to include a pool in your landscape design plan, make sure that there is enough room on either side of it so that people don’t walk into it accidentally when they’re walking past!

Additionally, if there are underground utilities or critical infrastructure nearby (such as gas lines), make sure their locations are clearly labeled on all plans produced during this stage so that future contractors know not to disturb them during construction processes later down the line when building begins!

Step 5. Choose your 3d landscape design & modeling software

Next, you’ll need to choose the right 3D modeling software for your needs. There are dozens of different options available, and some are more powerful than others. However, there are some common features that many 3D landscape design programs have in common that may help you decide which one is right for you. Some features to look for include:

  • Interactive terrain modeling tools (so you can manually adjust the height of your landmasses)
  • The ability to import existing CAD data (like site plans or elevation maps) into your model
  • A variety of different textures and materials to work with (so you can create realistic landscapes)
  • Ease of use

We use Landscape Pro and recommend it highly. Choose the one that best fits your needs.

Step 6. Convert your rough 2d design in to 3d

Now that you’ve created your design in 2D, it’s time to evaluate the scale of the space and get as accurate a measurement as possible.

You’ll want to create a 3D model of your design so you can visualize how large it will be and make sure there’s enough room for everything.

If you’re planning to build your design yourself, this is a crucial step. The last thing you want to do is build a large-scale design only to realize that it doesn’t fit in your yard or that there’s not enough room for all of the plants.

Step 7. Add plants, stones or other objects to the design

Now that your major elements are in place, you can begin the process of adding plants, trees, and accents. Things like flowerpots and birdbaths are also added in this step.

Once again, it’s important to consider your design as a whole. Don’t just put plants in random spots; make sure they’re placed where they’ll look their best and fit in with everything else.

Ultimately, when you are happy with the current design, it is time to get it reviewed.


Step 8. Review the 3D landscape design with a landscaping company or architect

Now that you’ve created your 3D landscape design, it’s time to review it with someone who can offer expert advice on how to get the most out of your new landscaping. A landscaping company or architect is best suited to help you choose materials, plants and design elements that will suit your needs.

It’s also helpful for them to know what kind of maintenance you are willing to commit yourself to so they can recommend appropriate resources and tools for the job.


This process can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. If you need help with any of these steps, we recommend hiring landscaping professionals to do the work for you. They’ll be able to walk through each step and make sure everything goes smoothly. We are more than happy to review your plans, here at Splendid Gardens.

Request a Consultation