Adjusting the depth of field is an easy way to punch up many types of architectural renderings. I have been using this technique for a while now and have applied this concept to final presentation illustrations, model pics, and my graduate portfolio. There are probably better ways to do this, however, once you get use to the concepts, this technique can be applied in a matter of a few minutes. For those interested and using Sketchup, there is a tutorial on YouTube called “Sketchup and Photoshop: lens blur.” This tutorial uses Sketchup and its fog settings to create the layer mask. While the work flow is pretty creative, it’s a little overkill for me and one more thing to set up in sketchup and export into photoshop. The final results will be so similar, it doesn’t seem worth going through the extra effort to set everything up in sketchup.

Below are some examples that I have applied this technique to in the past. One thing to notice, when this is applied to a large scale building site, the final result looks more like a small-scale physical model instead of a full scale 1:1 building. Still, I think it’s a cool look.




I wanted to get in video form, some of the techniques I use to add people into my illustrations. This video outlines 3 situations I run into often including reflective surfaces, typical shadows, and people in motion. The libraries of people don't always fit the lighting situations in the scene, so the video also describes a way to  add highlights to better integrate people into the scene. There are tons of examples of more artistic ways to add people into an illustration and I have plans to develop some tutorials later on down the road testing out some these techniques.



The Honduras Project was recently published in Design New England. I was pretty excited to see the renderings make it in as well as the nice write up on the project. Paul is hoping to raise money to build the church at no cost to the Guaimaca Mission. The full article can be read HERE. You can also donate to the Mission of Guaimaca by visiting and clicking the ministry support link.



KROB 2010

The Krob Competition just posted the winners for its 2010 competition. If you are looking to find some inspiration for final project rendering styles, This is a good place to start. The competition emphasizes more traditional, hand rendered styles, although it has started to except digital illustrations as well. There is a pretty broad range of techniques recognized, which is a nice change from the sketchup/vray renderings that seem to be taking over the architectural world.


The "Wet Street Look" Tutorial

More Tutorials can be found HERE

The rendering was created for Paul Lukez Architecture. More on the Jindu Project cand be found HERE



A little off the subject of rendering, but this past weekend, I explored HDR (high dynamic range) photography. While I'm not a professional by any means, a problem I've always had with photography was my inability to reproduce through the camera, what I was seeing in actuality. This, I learned, was due to the camera having a limited dynamic range. The human eye when looking at the scene is constantly adjusting to the area it is focusing on, appearing to have a higher range. Long story short, HDR can create a much more exciting and painterly look. I did a little test with a picture of my couch (too lazy to find a good architectural shot). Taking multiple photos with different exposures are combined in a process called "tonemapping" to form the final image.  I'm pretty excited with the possible implications this has to architectural renderings. Obviously computer renderings don't have the color information a RAW DSLR photo has, however, I'm interested in achieving a similar look by experimenting with new work flows.

Above, the HDR image of my couch developed from the two images below

Above, the original images taken with two different exposures



A ton of people have been asking/emailing me from around the world to post the Grasshopper Definitions talked about on this site. Thinking back on it, I learned the most about GH from those who posted their definitions online. Following step-by-step tutorials is one thing, but being able to reverse engineer and pick apart a working file makes the learning process that much easier. To pay homage to those who posted their definitions before me, I decided to do the same.




This shot required an extreme amount of post-processing with Photoshop. Looking at the difference between the image rendered in Kerkythea and the final outcome, very little of the original Kerkythea rendering is left untouched. Unlike rendering programs, applying the textures in Photoshop allows me to instantly make adjustments and have much more control of the final outcome without re-rendering for hours. This illustration took about 8 to hours to produce including rendering in kerk and editing in Photoshop.

Sketchup model

Model rendered in Kerkythea

Final image

More on the Jindu project can be found at Paul Lukez Architecture



I've created videos illustrating the work-flow used to create the pool illustration below. The process is broken up into 3 parts, each touching on different aspects of the rendering. Click the image to go to the videos



Below are a series of screen shots taken last week as I worked towards the final rendered image of the Jindu Pavilion. An interesting challenge with this shot was creating realistic ripples in the pool while still maintaining a high level of reflectiveness. This was accomplished with two renderings, one with a glass reflection, the other with a bump-map. I then combined the two renderings in photoshop.  More on the project can be found here at Paul Lukez architecture.

Sketchup model ready to be rendered

Kerkythea rendering with waves in the pool

Kerkythea rendering without waves and showing white structure in the skylight

The final image with an extreme amount of photoshop editing.