Landscape Design Software by Idea Spectrum
Realtime Landscaping Pro Landscape Design Software

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Creating Pictures for Realtime Landscaping Photo

You can create pictures for use in Realtime Landscaping Photo that automatically have the background (terrain and sky) removed. This allows you to add custom swimming pools, water gardens, decking, and more to your photo-based landscape designs.

To do this, first create a landscape design that just includes the custom objects you want to create a picture of. Then start a realtime walkthrough, position the camera, and take a screen shot using the Targa (TGA) file format. This is a special file format that includes an alpha channel, which describes the transparency in the picture. Realtime Landscaping Pro will set the alpha channel to white (opaque) where any objects are visible, and black (fully transparent) everywhere else, such as over the ground and sky.

You can then import the picture into Realtime Landscaping Photo and use it like any other picture.

To create a picture for use in Realtime Landscaping Photo:

1.   Create a landscape design that only includes the objects you want in the picture.

2.   Start a Realtime Walkthrough.

3.   Position the camera so the objects are centered in the view and fill the view as much as possible without going past the edge. Adjust the camera so the viewpoint approximately matches the viewpoint of the background picture you want to use in Realtime Landscaping Photo.

4.   Press F5 to take a screen shot. When asked for the destination file name, change the file type to TGA. Enter the desired file name and click Save.


5.   Save your landscape design and close Realtime Landscaping Pro. Then start Realtime Landscaping Photo.

6.   Use Realtime Landscaping Photo's Picture Import Wizard to import the picture you saved in step 4. When asked for the type of picture you want to import, select Picture.

7.   Add a Picture object. The picture you imported will appear in the Custom category of the Choose Artwork dialog, and will be available for all of your landscape designs.


In the following landscape design, the swimming pool was created in Realtime Landscaping Pro and imported into Realtime Landscaping Photo using the above steps.

Setting the Field of View

You may find that the perspective of the screen shot does not match the background picture in Realtime Landscaping Photo. This is because cameras use a variety of viewing angles and may be different than the default viewing angle used in Realtime Landscaping Pro. See Setting the Field of View for details on how to change the field of view.


      For best results, set the time of day and rotate the compass so the lighting in your custom design matches the lighting in your background picture.

      To make it easier to obtain the correct viewpoint when taking the screen shot, you can run Realtime Landscaping Photo and Realtime Landscaping Pro side-by-side and run the realtime walkthrough in a window. First run both programs and adjust their windows so one is on the left, and the other is on the right. Then start a realtime walkthrough and uncheck the Full screen option, as shown below:


See also:

Realtime Walkthrough
Realtime Walkthrough Controls
Taking a Screen Shot
Setting the Field of View

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