5 Awesome Free Programs for Landscape Design

As an independent consultant, I often find myself researching open source software in order to cut costs and replace the standard tools we are so used to (Adobe, CAD, etc). However, in order for a software to become a candidate worthy of consideration being free is not in itself compelling reason to make the jump. Beyond being stable and bug-free, it also has to have the support of a large community of users in order to track support and stability/legacy.

1. Blender

This is hands down my favorite 3D modeling and rendering program of the past year! I have replaced my entire pipeline with Blender (former Rhino/Grasshopper + VRAY).

Here’s a really good summary from the website:
“Blender is a free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, video editing and 2D animation pipeline.”

The most compelling reason for me however is the inclusion of Cycles. Cycles is a built in ray-tracing engine that in my opinion does a really good job of rivaling VRAY, Octane, and all many of the other professional suites.

If you’re interested in learning Blender, I highly recommend the official youtube channel.

3D Modeling, Visualization

3D Modeling, Visualization

2. Krita

3. qGIS

4. FreeCAD

5. Scribus