3D Home Architect Home Design Deluxe 6 is the kind of program that can make amateur home renovators think theyre professional architects. The program doesnt replace the expertise of a professional, but it will give you a good idea of what you want by the time you finally call in the professionals to get those development applications done. You can show the architect or draftsperson a fully-rendered 3D model of your proposed building or extension, from the shape and dimensions of the rooms right down to the carpets and furniture. You can even take them on a virtual tour of the house.
The 3D Home Architect Deluxe 6 series is actually a suite of products. The Home Design Deluxe version, which retails for $99.95 (but is available to APC readers exclusively for $79.95, plus $10 postage and handling), is reviewed here.
Its companion application, 3D Home Architect Landscape Design Deluxe 6 ($89.95), features useful landscaping tools, such as information on plant growth zones, sun exposure, soil and an encyclopedia of 7,500 plants, including Australian natives. Finally, 3D Home Architect Design Suite Deluxe 6 ($149.95) combines both the Home Design and Landscape Design products to create one premium package.
Version 6 of the 3D Home Architect series has made a big leap forward in terms of usability. The software comes with wizards, which are lacking in version 5 (on this months cover DVD). Like most CAD programs version 5 presents the user with an interface that requires some dedication to master.
In contrast, Home Design Deluxe 6 is very easy to use. Start with 2D plan views, draw in floors and walls to the right dimensions, then drag and drop items from the programs massive selection of building materials and furnishings. Then switch to the 3D view and watch your creation rise from its foundations. The softwares customisation options also let you import textures and colours.
Perhaps the best feature of Home Design Deluxe 6 is the realism of plans rendered with it.
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