I'm always looking for ways to take renderings that just aren't working and turn them into something that can be used for portfolios or cover pages. This tutorial is about as simple as it gets in terms of difficulty and speed. In the example below, the initial image was a crap renderings right out of Kerkythea. Sketchup images will work too, just turn off the line work. The idea is to take the dead rendering and dilute it to the point that it becomes more artistic and abstract. These types of images are great for introductory pages and portfolios because text can take on a stronger hierarchical role with the rendering moving to the background. You will see that it only takes a few steps to get to what I think is a nice looking result.

Below is the initial rendering right out of Kerkythea with no Photoshop post-processing.

1. To begin, open the rendering in Photoshop. Then choose "Image>Adjustments>Posterize".

2. In the "Posterize" dialogue box, set the levels to "2". I think the look is better with a minimal number of levels, however, you can use as many levels as you want. You may have to adjust the brightness or contrast prior to this step to get the Posterize filter to read better.

3. Choose "Image>Adjustments>Desaturate" to remove the color.

4. At this step, I usually take some time to clean up areas of the image with the "Clone Stamp" tool.

5. Next, choose "Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation".

6. In the "Hue/Saturation" dialogue box, first check "Colorize". Next, move the "Lightness" slider to the left so that all of the pure white color is removed. Move the "Saturation" slider to the right to increase the color according to your preference. Finally, adjust the "Hue" to the color scheme you like. I have found it is much easier to get the style your are looking for by adjusting the sliders in the above order.

7. The image is a little too plain, so I will add some grunge. Open the grunge texture and set the layer blend mode to "Color Burn".

The final result is an abstract graphic ready for text.


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Reader Comments (11)

Once again, great tutorial :) I and many others appreciate your sharing!

Best Regards from Denmark

January 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAllan

You are such an inspiration. I love your work and tutorials. Could you do a tutorial on how to make realistic glas (windows) in photoshop? With reflection from the suroundings. When I try for myself it allways looks like cartoon'sh mirrors or something... Would appreciate it and i think others would too.

Best wishes from Norway

January 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarius

Gotta love the tutorials you post!
Best regards and a happy new year from Brazil!

January 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric

great post once again Alex... thanks again for all the inspiration and motivation these tutorials give.. Happy New Year!

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrojo

Hello Alex,

I have been looking over many of your tutorials, thank you very much for all the great and simple help for a photoshop novice, soon to be ex-novice. I am interested in dressing up a 2-D Section Drawing for my cover in a manner much like this tutorial. I have used the other tutorialsfor adjusting levels and the glaussian blur, it has come out well, but feel like it needs a little more or just another pass. I will try the grunge tip from above. Is there a way to make a 2-D drawing a rendering? does Sketchup do that? Thanks for your help.


January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKendrick Henry

Happy NEW year from France.

Great, as usually.

January 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRothring

That is a good step-by-step instruction. I will definitely use your advices in freelance writer jobs

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersdgfh

Great turtorial:) How do u make the text lay with the perspective?

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBjarke I

After you create the text with the text tool, right-click on the layer and choose "Rasterize Layer." Then go to "Edit>Transform>Distort". From there, you just drag the corners until you get the right perspective. You could also create the text in the actual Sketchup model to avoid doing it in Photoshop.

January 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Hogrefe

Thanks Alex many many thanks your works are amazing!
thanks for these learning gifts for all us!

Best regards from Guatemala = )

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIsa CM

I've never worked with this program. After reading this post I know that I could do this.

March 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthesis help

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