Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 3
Hours: 2.5 lecture, 1.5 laboratory per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: HORT 40.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Student will be able to prepare three dimensional landscape drawings using the sketchup program.
  • Student will be able to render a prepared drawing using the textures, colors and attributes available in the sketchup program.


An overview and application of Google Sketchup to three-dimensional rendering for the landscape designer. Emphasizing the basics of drawing setup, creation and editing, this course will show the designers how to turn their 2-D drawings into a presentation drawing that illustrates their ideas in photo-like rendering techniques. Importing and use of the three-dimensional tools available in Sketchup Make and Sketchup Pro will be included. Intended for students seeking a landscape design career or professionals upgrading their skills.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Exhibit an understanding of the use of three-dimensional software in landscape design.
B. Prepare drawings using the Sketchup program.
C. Render, edit and manipulate drawings using Sketchup.
D. Export 3-D drawing into Layout 2-D version.
E. Understand the cross-cultural applications for computer aided design.

Course Content

A. Introduction to three-dimensional applications of Sketchup to landscape design
1. Overview of the software
2. Uses and practical applications based on drawing type
3. Limitations of the software and its application
B. Using Sketchup to prepare landscape drawings
1. Drawing tools and their use
2. Inserting models into drawing
3. Navigating around the drawing
4. Segregating drawing elements using layers
5. Saving and opening drawings
C. Rendering, editing, and manipulating drawings
1. Rendering
a. Adding material textures
b. Adding shadows
c. Adding topography
d. Adding text and dimensions
2. Editing
a. Changing drawing elements
b. Moving objects between layers
3. Drawing manipulation
a. Preparing components
b. Importing via 3-D warehouse
c. Making movies
d. Exporting images and movies
e. Printing and exporting drawings
f. Exploring symbol and command libraries within the program and on the internet
D. Using Layout
1. Saving drawing with proper settings to export
2. Choosing paper size and format in Layout
3. Adding information in Layout
4. Editing drawing in Layout
E. Identify the applications of the software to different types of projects and cultures
1. State where the program can be applied to landscaping in various regions of the country or world
2. Design/draw landscapes appropriate to the regional climate and culture

Lab Content

A. Preparing designs using Sketchup
1. Drawing setup
2. Creating a drawing using three-dimensional drawing tools
3. Drawing rendering using materials and rendering settings
B. Manipulating drawings using flyover and editing tools
1. Changing layers and classes
2. Adjusting views and perspectives of project
C. Printing and exporting drawings

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Computer lab
B. Google Sketchup software
C. Windows software
D. Student storage devices, such as thumb drives

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Preparing design projects using Sketchup software that demonstrate mastery of the program tools drawing layout.
B. Skills demonstrations in laboratory setting using the tools described in lecture and presentations.

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Lecture on the application of three-dimensional drawing for landscape design presentation.
B. In-class presentation of drawing tools used to construct Sketchup drawings.
C. Discussions with the instructor and classmates in group settings regarding the use of the program and resolution of problems with using the program.
D. In-class preparation of drawings using the Sketchup software.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Tal, Daniel. Google SketchUp for Site Design: A Guide to Modeling Site Plans, Terrain and Architecture. 1st ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2009.
Although this text is older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, it remains a seminal text in this area of study and no newer editions exist.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Students will be required to work on drawing assignments outside of class, where they prepare 2-D and 3-D drawings recreating scenes and plans typically found in landscape design.
B. Reading assignments will include reading approximately 5 pages per week.
C. Lectures will address reading topics and experiences of instructor. Classroom discussion and demonstrations in support of lecture topics will be provided.
D. Reading approximately 20-30 pages per week from assigned text.


Ornamental Horticulture