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Sunday
Feb122012

ARCHITECTURAL LINE DRAWINGS

There is something really nice about the simplicity and clarity of an architectural line drawing. A friend of mine was showing me some old school drawings by guys like Bernard Tschum and Lebbeus Woods. It's amazing how fast drawings like these are being replaced by just awful Sketchup images and renderings. I have always been attracted to line drawings simply because they focus on form and proportion, with less distraction from color and material. I think that is why I often use clay model renderings for presentations early on in the design process.  Programs like Sketchup provide lots of opportunities to create line drawings that read really well when combined with Photoshop.  As seen in a lot of my tutorials, the idea is to export many individual images with different combinations of edge and face styles. In Photoshop, these different images are manipulated and tweaked to get a more crafted look.

For this illustration, I exported 5 different images from Sketchup. Choose "File>Export>2D Graphic". In the export dialogue box, set the file type to "JPEG image". Once JPEG is selected, you should see an "Options" button in the bottom right corner and select it. In the options dialogue box, uncheck "Use view size" and set the width to somewhere around 4500 px. Check the box "Anti-alias" and set the JPEG compression to "better quality".

 

I next opened the above 5 images in Photoshop. I have attached an image showing the layer order that I used along with some notes such as the "layer blend mode" of each image.

Something to note is that I inverted some of the exported Sketchup line drawings to give the effect of  white lines on the dark background. This means a new layer must also be created and filled with dark grey as shown above.

There are also many subtle things going on in this image such as rough up the shadows layer. I did this by selecting a rough paint brush, and setting the opacity of the brush very low. I then just painted over the edges of the shadows to give a faded look.

Finally, I added some textures and set the layer blend mode of these textures to "Overlay".

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Reader Comments (16)

Really really great tutorial mate. This is an excellent way to present your work

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndré

Hey Alex,

Is there any chance you could re-post the wet look tutorial and the placing people tutorial as you tube has blocked them due to music copyrights

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Great tutorial as always Alex. Keep up the good work mate.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKarifala

Great tutorial!
I´ve been following you for some time now and I want to congratulate you on your work.
I think PS is underrated as a "render" replacement, and you confirm that using every inch of that software while keeping a very personal look.
Regards.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermannykalavera

Hi Alex, thanks for this great website, I almost checks the blog for updates daily.
I'm a young 2-year student, and do a lot of learning seeing your work and tutorials, so please don't stop :)

I'm during mostly all my e-modellering in Rhino, but can do some in 3dsMax, Revit and Sketchup.
In mostly all projects I transfer models from one program to another, and that's not without problem, can't find the golden way, (or one program) completing a succesfully progress of modelling.
Maybe you could tell us, about your reflections of model exchanging between programs, and your experience of forces and weaknesses.

Thanks in advance, Regards BigFanDK:)

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYoung student DK

Hi Alex, thanks for this great website, I almost checks the blog for updates daily.
I'm a young 2-year student, and do a lot of learning seeing your work and tutorials, so please don't stop :)

I'm during mostly all my e-modellering in Rhino, but can do some in 3dsMax, Revit and Sketchup.
In mostly all projects I transfer models from one program to another, and that's not without problem, can't find the golden way, (or one program) completing a succesfully progress of modelling.
Maybe you could tell us, about your reflections of model exchanging between programs, and your experience of forces and weaknesses.

Thanks in advance, Regards BigFanDK:)

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYoung student DK

Hi Alex, thanks for this great website, I almost checks the blog for updates daily.
I'm a young 2-year student, and do a lot of learning seeing your work and tutorials, so please don't stop :)

I'm during mostly all my e-modellering in Rhino, but can do some in 3dsMax, Revit and Sketchup.
In mostly all projects I transfer models from one program to another, and that's not without problem, can't find the golden way, (or one program) completing a succesfully progress of modelling.
Maybe you could tell us, about your reflections of model exchanging between programs, and your experience of forces and weaknesses.

Thanks in advance, Regards BigFanDK:)

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYoung student DK

Hi Alex, thanks for this great website, I almost checks the blog for updates daily.
I'm a young 2-year student, and do a lot of learning seeing your work and tutorials, so please don't stop :)

I'm during mostly all my e-modellering in Rhino, but can do some in 3dsMax, Revit and Sketchup.
In mostly all projects I transfer models from one program to another, and that's not without problem, can't find the golden way, (or one program) completing a succesfully progress of modelling.
Maybe you could tell us, about your reflections of model exchanging between programs, and your experience of forces and weaknesses.

Thanks in advance, Regards BigFanDK:)

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYoung student DK

As usual a really inspirational tutorial.

Is there any chance that you could explain how you generated the guides output. Did you have to manually add each guide? How did you achieve the solid (rather than dashed) appearance of the guides?

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

@David,
I used the protractor tool to generate them. I explain it better in my "Blueprint" tutorial. The lines are still dashed, the resolution of the image is low to allow for better load times on this site. Thats why they appear solid.

February 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Hogrefe

@Young Student DK,
The programs you described have very different uses and are sometimes difficult to work between. As a student, I used Rhino and Sketchup. I would use Sketchup as the master model, importing Rhino and Grasshopper stuff into it. Those two programs work well with one another. Revit is a completely different beast and never used it in studios because it is a document production program and not a design program. I only learned it because of its extensive use in the professional world. In our office, we begin with sketches which move to Sketchup. From sketchup, we move to Revit, there isn't a lot of back and forth between the programs in terms of importing. The Sketchup model is primarily used for quick design studies and visualization, and Revit for production.

February 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Hogrefe

Hi Alex, great job! Much like the blueprint tutorial, but a different feel.

I'm wondering, did you change the lineweight in Sketchup styles or you achieve it in Photoshop?

Keep up the good work.

Thanks, Fred

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFred Abegão

Hey Alex,

Long time reader, first time poster.

A simple question:
When working in PS, I've always wondered why don't use layer masks instead of the eraser? It leaves much more space for corrections.

Great blog btw!

Regards,
Lars

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLars Madsen

Hey!
Like I keep mentioning in my mails, some incredible ideas you got !
Keep it coming :)

May 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDev Ambardekar

Just wondering... how did you get your guidlines to export as SOLID LINES as opposed to DOTTED LINES from sketchup? Because as far as I know, the latest versions of the program show guides only as infinite dotted lines.

June 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandria

sir alex

Can i have the background ??? grudge 1 and grudge 2 ??? please

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

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