I woke up this morning with an idea for a rendering using the villa I designed back in undergrad (same one used in the sketches post). I also wanted to use this time to experiment with some different lighting conditions. Primarily, how to get the back lit louvers to illustrate properly as well as created depth through the use of fog. This was the first pass, although the louvers still could use some work. I may try a different technique later. As always, I spent most of my time in Photoshop. The initial rendering from Kerkythea was rough and I wasn't sure if I would be able to get the look I was going for. However, once I started to insert the surrounding environment, things came together quickly which is typically the case. Below are shots of the SU model and Kerkythea rendering.
Entries in illustration (11)
I just finished a series of illustrations for a small project the office is working on in Honduras. The project is a memorial, therefore we wanted the illustrations to take on a meditative and quiet atmosphere. Two renderings were created of the same view to explain the different lighting scenarios a visitor would experience both during the day and the night.
The workflow used for these two images are similar to what I use for many of the illustrations on this site. Because I wanted the illustrations to have a "painted" look, I didn't overlay Sketchup linework like I normally do. Instead, I spent more time layering textures and manually painting in Photoshop.
Although I didn't show the linework as an overlay in the final image, I still like to keep it as a separate layer in my Photoshop files so that I can use it to make quick selections with the Magic Wand Tool.
The above image shows what kind of textures and detail level the Sketchup model contained. As you can see, the textures are basic. I knew going into these illustrations that applying textures in Photoshop was going to make or break the final result.
The Kerkythea rendering is the image I began with for the illustrations. I tend not to spend too much time tweaking the settings in hopes of getting a perfect rendering. This kills too much time. For this view, I really only focused on getting the shadows to render correctly and give the floor reflections. The darkness didn't bother me because I knew this would be fixed in Photoshop.
For these illustrations, correct textures were really important. I did not spend too much time adding textures in the 3D model because it is almost impossible to avoid the "tiling effect". Instead, I extracted stucco finishes right out of photos of local Honduras buidlings. Also in this step, I took the smudge tool to rough up the polished concrete floor and spent time using the burn and dodge tools to punch up the shadows and highlights.
The last step was to add color overlays. For this particular rendering, I probably had 5 or 6 different color overlays. For example, over by the doors, I used a soft white overlay to fade the trees in the background and brighten the light entering the space. I used a yellow overlay on the right side where the light is washing the wall to warm this area up. Over the entire image, I used a light orange overlay. Each of these layers are serving a particular purpose, however they all bleed into each other bringing a level of cohesiveness to the overall image.
The above images are property of Paul Lukez Architecture. More information on this project can be found at www.lukez.com
Taking inspiration right out of the Bob Ross playbook, I put together this little tutorial showing a really easy and fast way to Photoshop a water reflection into an architectural illustration. You may notice some correlation to my “Wet Street” tutorial, however, this tutorial has some minor changes and uses a little cleaner workflow. I have been wanting to do a water reflection tutorial for a while now, and finally was able to come up with an easy enough workflow that still looks good and worthy of a post.
One other thing, some views may not be at eye level like the video shows where you can simply mirror the building for the reflection. In cases where the camera is at a bird’s eye view, I would suggest just rendering a glass surface in place of the water in Kerkythea, before Photoshopping. This will give an accurate reflection and doesn’t add to the rendering time.
I watched Bob Ross a lot as a kid. He was a master at simplifying painting techniques. One technique in particular was how he created reflections in water. He seemed to be able to create them with just a few brush strokes which got me thinking if I could apply his same techniques digitally in Photoshop. The above image was my test image to experiment with getting the "Bob Ross" water look. I didn't have time to put together an in-depth explanation of the process, but I'm pretty happy with the result and hope to put a tutorial together soon. I added some screen shots below showing the basic workflow.
While it's easy to apply a ripple bump map and get the all-to-familiar rendered water look, there is something nice about a manually illustrated water reflection. I will have to go back and dust off my old Bob Ross painting kit and see what other techniques I can extract for architectural illustrations.
I don't know if I'm just in the holiday spirit, but I thought I would write a post about winterizing an illustration. In essence, this tutorial takes your typical daytime rendering and turns it into a snowy winter scene, which is easier than you might think. After some experimenting, I realized that the smudge tool worked really well for a drifting snow effect on the ground. I also used a common technique for adding falling snow. This method can be found all over the web and with a little manipulation can be used to create rain as well.
You don't see too many winter scenes in architectural presentations. It's something I wish I would have tried while still in school.
Below, I have shown the before and after images of the tutorial. Its a dramatic change in just a short amount of time.
I put this illustration together this morning in hopes of showing how crucial landscaping is to an architectural illustration. This is something that always seems to be overlooked by a lot of students, and something I didn't take seriously until grad school. I never left enough time for adding lanscaping, focusing more on making the building look good. However, I have come to realize, especially from projects at work, that just as much time should be put into the landscaping as the architecture. From the set of images below, you can see how much the atmosphere changes from adding a few trees, water, and ivy growing on the facade. It sets the building into the site and gives it the feeling that it belongs there. In a few occasions, these subtle moves have changed the clients perception of the project in a positive way.
Below are some images outlining the progression of the illustration; from the Sketchup model to the final Photoshopped image. I started the image about 9:00 this morning and finished it 4 hours later (including rendering time). I was hoping to have more of a tutorial explaining how I added the landscape elements but ran out of time. I will see if I can put something together at a later date.
Ahhh, Finally decided to throw together a HDR tutorial. Its not as in-depth as some of my other tutes, but describes the overall process I use. I created a rendering just for this tutorial, one that I thought would work well for HDR processing with lots of textures, i.e. grasses, and a cloudy sky.
For those who aren’t familiar with HDR images, it is a process of combining multiple copies of the same image, each with a different exposure, to produce a final image with a higher dynamic range. It essentially gives the image more detail in both the dark and light areas. This process is commonly used in photography where you can set the camera to bracket the photos and automatically take 3 pictures with different exposures of the same shot. The issue with applying this technique to illustrations is that there is only one image to work with. I work around this by taking the image into Photoshop and manually adjusting the exposure.
Yesterday, while watching my Sunday golf, I saw a commercial that folded paper out of a book into buildings that turned into a town which then grew into a city, etc. The commercial caught my attention not only because of its execution and concept, but also because the illustration style was simple and clean using only paper as the material. This inspired me to experiment with a blueprint style that maintains some of the great qualities of blueprint drawings, but also gives the appearance of the design projecting off the page 3-dimensionally. There are many subtle things going on with this image such as faded guidelines similar to what you would see on a hand drafted drawing as well as textures meant to appear as imperfections left on the paper from the blueprint chemical processes. GO TO TUTORIAL
These are the other two villa illustrations created alongside the exterior night rendering a few posts down. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the kerkythea base rendering used for the exterior image. Like the others, a ton of time went into post processing both images. The clients preferred a really monochromatic material selection of stone and concrete. This meant playing up the stone textures and experimenting with different light tones to add a little interest to the illustrations.
You will notice I used the wet street look (tutorial here) for the driveway. I rendered the driveway with a simple mirror reflection in Kerkythea, then added a stone texture and smudged the reflective surface in Photoshop to get the final result.
Above: Sketchup image export
Above: Kerkythea base image rendering
Exported Sketchup model image
Images in this post property of PAUL LUKEZ ARCHITECTURE.
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.