I came across the concept of "quilling" a few weeks back and instantly began thinking how could I translate this digitally to generate a unique architectural illustration for marketing or portfolio purposes. The style had a great look to it and I knew that Sketchup had some plugins that could make the workflow really simple. All you need is Sketchup Pro so that you can export and import AutoCAD files, and the "TIG" plugin called "Extrude edges by Vector".

1. The first step is to export a view of the sketchup model as 2D AutoCAD line work. As I mentioned above, you need Sketchup Pro to be able to export  AutoCAD files. In Sketchup, choose "File>Export>2d Graphic". In the export dialogue box, set the export type to "AutoCAD DWG" and then export.


2. Next, start a new Sketchup model and import the AutoCAD file that was just exported in the previous step. Choose "File>Import". In the Import dialogue box, browse to the location of the AutoCAD file making sure that the file type is set to "AutoCAD Files". Then import the file.


3. Once the geometry is imported, the next step is to extrude it vertically. Sketchup does not extrude lines, therefore a plugin is needed. There are many out there, but the TIG Extrude Edges by Vector seems to work really well. This plugin allows you to select many edges that are not connected and extrude them in any direction. 

Once the plugin is applied, the result is a series of planes resembling strips of paper.


4. The last step is to set the view to "Top" and render the model. I then tweaked the colors in Photoshop and added some light textures to achieve the final look. 

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Reader Comments (9)

Wow, you continue to amaze with the various techniques you use and their results, nice work!

February 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNick Van

great work again! do you use Kerkythea for this rendering?

February 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjc

This is awesome! What texture is that overlayed?

February 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAron

can i know how did you do in photoshop to manipulate the color

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwade

@ JC,
Yes, it was rendered in Kerkythea
The texture was a paper texture that I have had in my personal library for a while. Not sure where I downloaded it from
I just tweaked the hue of the original rendering and added some yellowish color overlays. Nothing too complicated

February 19, 2013 | Registered CommenterALEX HOGREFE

More excellent work Alex. I refer all my students to your site for exemplary examples of visualisation technique. The key for me is your attention to detail. If any student comes to me asking why thier visualisation looks flat its always in the details. So thanks for that. The reason for the comment is to also thank you for the export 2d as a CAD file. I have been using SketchUp since the Atlast days and prided myself on a neat workaround via Layout, vectorising the image, exploding it and then exporting it. So that will no longer be required. I appreciate its a bit gushing, but you put lots of effort into your work and it deserves praise.
ps I am not getting you to do all my work for me, I teach SketchUp and CAD and REVIT plus some other stuff to engineers but do occassional sessions of SketchUp into PS and your tutorials are invaluable to the architectural students. Many thanks for the blog.

February 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Smith

@ Paul,
Thanks for the kind words and its great to hear that you have been referring my work to your students. I couldn't agree with you more. It truly is in the details.

February 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Hogrefe

hey alex,
ur videos are too awesome! they hvhelped me a lot in my portfolio creation and even class drawings. may i know, how did you achieve the final look, i.e. what did u do in photoshop to get this quiling look

March 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSweta Panda

You are the best!!Congratulations =)

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJotas

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