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Vegetation Components Overview

5.1_Vegetation Components Overview-Part1

0:01 For this, and the next two lessons, we’re going to be taking a short break from our park model and do some stand-alone exercises, similar to what we did with the terrain and grading course.

0:13 When working with vegetation, there are four main challenges to choosing plant components and working with them in SketchUp.

0:22 The first challenge is finding the right species, or something close enough to pass as the right species.

0:28 For example, if a design calls for a Vine Maple, that’s pretty specific.

0:33 A Norway Maple would not suffice as a substitute.

0:36 Even a Japanese Maple which is much closer in size to the Vine Maple is still not really close enough to be believable.

0:45 Finding the right plants has been and continues to be one of the biggest struggles for getting landscape to look good.

0:53 The second challenge is quality.

0:56 A quick search in 3DWarehouse for ‘Maple’ in the ‘Landscape’ category returns a huge variety of results.

1:03 Everything from a simple sphere canopy to just an individual leaf.

1:10 It’s also not always clear whether the model is a 3D model or a 2D image of a real tree.

1:17 We’ll review the differences, including pros and cons of each shortly.

1:23 The third challenge is not only finding, but being able to efficiently work with high-quality assets.

1:30 ‘High-quality’ is often synonymous with really high polygon counts, which, if not managed properly, can quickly cripple SketchUp’s performance...

1:40 ...even with a fast computer or graphics card.

1:45 That takes us to the last challenge, which is less about vegetation assets themselves, but the time it takes to place them and update them when your design changes.

1:55 Depending on the size of your site, you may have hundreds of plant components to place.

1:59 Regardless of quality or performance, there is a need to be efficient in ways to place and distribute plant material throughout your models.

2:09 To summarize our introduction here, working on exterior models almost always needs to show plants in them and finding the right species, in high enough quality...

2:19 ...that won’t bog our model down, is and will probably continue to be a challenge for most of us regardless of our specific disciplines.