Within the design process, once we have passed the fluid initial stage (usually best achieved with pencil and paper!) we find ourselves increasingly working directly in 3-dimensional modelling software (3D).
3D aids the design process and allows us to communicate design work to both technical and non-technical clients. 3D models can be rendered to include light and shade, giving a good sense of reality, and they are readily understood by most people.
Building Information Modelling (BIM)
Although BIM is principally about effective and collaborative interdisciplinary working (long overdue, in our opinion) 3d modelling and attached data is increasingly becoming an essential part of the design workflow.
Once the model is created, it can be viewed in a variety of ways - look at the case studies for examples. Models can also form the basis of other types of visualisation, such as photomontage.
We have been working in 3d software more or less since it became possible to do so! Initially with AutoCAD (which, quite frankly, was a constant struggle) we found that new software, developed during the 2000's, such as SketchUp, was a revelation in 3d creation and manipulation.
This has helped us to play a major part in projects such as Tansterne Biomass Power Station, where the evolving design has been explored and presented in a huge number of ways.
As collaboration through BIM becomes increasingly important, we have invested in Vectorworks Landmark software, which is both dedicated to landscape design and is at the forefront of BIM-compliant communication.