Illustrating Architecture

For many years photo-realism has been aggressively marketed by software companies, in trade magazines and in computer graphics circles. A 2004 survey at shows that the architectural visualizations created most often, by a wide margin, are photo-realistic renderings.

Although it is certainly true that a photo-realistic 3D rendering can be spectacular and at best is indistinguishable from a photograph, liabilities to this style are worth considering. Every facet of a photo-realistic rendering must be specified, including 3D geometric detail, materials that correctly simulate real-world optics, texture map coordinates, photometric luminaires, and so on. As simulations of reality, photo-realistic imagery can be so accurate that nothing is left to the imagination.

But it can actually be troublesome to show clients imagery in the early design development stages that is too realistic or pinned down, especially when the intent is to share a common vision and dialogue, not to debate the index of refraction of the glazing, for example.

Non-photo-realistic (NPR) illustrations convey a visual feel for a space when something softer and less determined is called for. NPR illustration stimulates the imagination and draws attention to the essential design ideas of your composition without attempting to be an accurate reality simulation.

This chapter is about illustrating architecture with NPR techniques that encompass both VIZ and Photoshop. You will start in Autodesk VIZ with a 3D model and render special channels (ObjectlD, Normal, and Zdepth) that are useful in maintaining three-dimensionality and object-selectability in a rendered 2D image. Where appropriate, you'll also use some of the compositing skills presented in Chapter 7 to render and convert specific objects and shadows in VIZ to masked layers in Photoshop. You'll improve your illustration skills in the following areas:

♦ Illustrating a 3D Model

♦ Integrating and Painting in Photoshop

♦ Working in Black and White

♦ Reproducing Grayscale Images with Colored Inks

Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.

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