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A trip to the MIAMI BOTANICAL GARDEN for getting Landscape Reference

This was an awesome day! I got all the reference that I need for my models at the Miami Botanical Garden. It’s all about having a good library of plants that allow you to modify and get more realistic results. A lot of models can be a good base for perfection, but that doesn’t mean you have to model everything from scratch.

Anyways, first we need to analyse the references to get better idea of color, texture and flower combination.

I got a really nice chance to visit the Miami Botanical Garden, and capture some amazing landscape references. Since Miami has a tropical climate, our botanical garden has vegetation from all around the world.

Plants range from various genus of Palms, Cacti, Bamboo, bushes, shrubs and grasses. There were a lot of plants originally from Cuba, Mexico, Africa, Japan and Australia. It was obvious such vegetation would work great for landscape designing.

All these plants have proper scientific names which might be hard to remember, but the longer you work with them in your scenes, you’ll eventually learn the names. This trip was also a great opportunity for capturing grass footage and observing real Sub-Surface Scattering effect. Looking at these plants with your naked eyes helps in creating a reference in your mind as well.

Based on their size, you can choose the plants and trees you can use for Luxury Residential projects. The tall thin palms are surely an expensive option while doing landscape designing.

If you ever get a chance to visit a botanical garden near your place, take it. References are truly essential for getting photoreal results.

Since I’m not a landscape architect – Here’s some additional info regarding this video from Greg Law (Australia).


Response from Greg Law

Hi Alex,

I will write up a few notes on your garden trip to give names to some of the planting you had trouble naming. I won’t go into too much detail, I think the grass you wanted to use is a Pennistum. Also known as fountain grass.

The bigger grasses which have a large feathery flower are. Cortaderia selloana, commonly known as pampas-grass. The problem with this plant is, it’s leaves have sharp cutting edges that can harm you.

The plant you said was related to the cherry tree looks like a Bougainvilla which had formed into a small tree. This is normally a good climber. I had trouble seeing this one to be sure.

The colorful fleshy plants in front of the Agave are commonly called Bromeliads. There are several species in this group. But it is ok to call them Bromeliads. The fern like ground cover with glossy green leaves is Microsorum fern. This makes a great ground cover.

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September 15, 2015
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