Last week I briefly posted some images that I had developed for the "rendering" spread of this particular project. I didn't post the spread itself which is shown above. I thought I would spend this week breaking down how I got to this point. In other words, the process of deciding views, composition, etc.

As simple as the spread may seem, a lot of trial and error went into the design as with all of the spreads seen so far. It's all about developing many iterations before finalizing the design. I rarely have everything come together on my first try. More importantly, I often don't accept the first outcome without also experimenting with several other ideas. I do this iterative analysis because it encourages creativity. I tend to jump to past solutions first when designing, but forcing myself to look at multiple other solutions requires me to think more outside of the box. 

Architecture illustrations are time consuming so I wanted to be careful not to render something that I ultimately wouldn't use in the final composition. I therefore started by putting together a selection of potential views that I thought told the story well. 

Above, a selection of interior views exported from my Sketchup model

Above, a selection of exterior views exported from Sketchup

With the views selected, I began testing out different layouts. There were a couple of key factors that influenced the layout design:

1. Hierarchy: What images are the most important and how do I get the viewer to look at those first?

2. Page Coverage: How much white space, if any, do I want to have?

3. Contrast: Do the images compete too much with one another or do they enhance one another?

4. Readability: Is it easy to understand the images?

5. Relationship to other pages: How well will this spread relate to the other spreads of this project?

6. Text: Is there room for text and if so, how will it work with the composition?

7. Number of spreads: Do I need more than one spread to get my point across properly?

I went back and forth multiple times trying to decide whether or not to use more than two pages for the illustrations. Ultimately, I went with a single two page spread which has a denser feel but I think works best with the rest of the pages. I am not a big fan of portfolios with too many pages so I often defaut to designs with the minimum amount that best tells the story. I also went with all full bleed images with minimal separation between them which saturates the pages with color.

Since I had a clear plan for the layout, I knew exactly what images I needed to spend time rendering. Knowing what images were going to be next to one another also meant that I could post process more effectively ensuring that images used similar color tones and lighting. 

The final result is a spread that has a lot of information, but does it in a controlled manner through the use of a simple grid layout. I'm curious what the consensus is out there as to which layout you think would have worked the best. More white space? Four pages instead of two? I even considered doing a daytime spread and a corresponding night time spread.

Below is the progress of all of the spreads up to this point:



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Reader Comments (13)

i love your work!

April 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrichard

Hi Alex! You are the best!

There is a tutorial of this work?

April 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarco Bartolucci

Hi Alex, How are you doing?

I am a true fan of your work and I have learned a lot from your blog and all these incredible tutorials whenever you are posting here. I'm also an Architect in Brazil, and I have always tried to achieve a "ultra-realistic" results of my renderings, but when I saw your work for the first time I was very impressed with their ability to do amazing things in a simple and less parameterized using amazingly simple tool that can be on any computer. You make me think about how I was doing my job and a few months after watching some tutorials, I had completely changed my workflow and I achieved excellent results using less than 30% of the time it took before.
And considering all I said before, I would like to say thank you man!

Looking to your last post and your project "Memorial Visitor Center", I see the way that you use the organic shapes and how harmonical the final assembling is.
So, if I not asking too much. I would like to see a post where you can show for us a little bit of your modelling workflow when we are talking about organic shapes or more complex shapes. If you use some kind of plugin or not, you know!

I hope you can do this. And one more time, congrats for your amazing job and thanks again!

Bye.. Have a nice week!!

April 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSergio Mancini

Love the work, the design and presentation are great. Hopefully there will be a tutorial on how to do the presentation style...

April 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterborborygmos

Alex, great work as always. I always look forward to checking back every week for a new post and you never disappoint. Love the rendering style and the explanation of your layout process. Thanks for sharing your hard work!

May 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJon A

Hi Alex, I really like your work. You give me a lot of inspiration for the rendering I gotta do for my final study work. I'm wondering if i can have the texture of the grass you used for the outside rendering or the website you found it? Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

May 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaxime Audet

Hi Alex,

I'm a student currently going into my fifth year of architecture in the fall. I've been reading your blog for quite some time and I just wanted to say that you have given me lots of pointers and I have appreciated the time you take to post these tips.

One thing that stuck out to me that I think every designer deals with constantly: the dreaded white space. That's only come in my mind because of laying out boards for my end of semester project that I only submitted a few days ago. I would like to hear your take on it. Thanks again for your hard work!

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEdric jazmin

I cant explain how much your portfolio is helping me. How to design one, style of brush, how to join everything...

You are a master!

May 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNM

omg, your dick my mouth. now.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhogrefe69

Hey Alex,
I have a question for you. Your Interior View Exports from sketchup how did you set the camera? Did you use the Position tool or just play around with the Perspective camera and FOV. Because I can never manage to set the camera in sketchup properly to make get interior renders. I end up exporting to 3DSMax to set cameras and get my renders from there. But i would like to learn how to do it in Sketchup itself as then rendering in Kerkythea would become the better option for me.

May 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAalekh

Usually I pick views with either the "Look around"tool or the "orbit" tool. I have been using sketchup for a while so am comfortable setting up views using those tools. I then save a "scene" once I find the view that I like.

May 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Hogrefe

hey i like your works. I'm an architecture student.I learn t a lot about rendering from your uploads. thnx man
wish u best.

May 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSHUVO

Your work is absolutely beautiful. These last few renderings are out of this world. Congratulations.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbbas

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