BeLoose Graphic Workshop

This blog outlines the process of a project I just completed for a series of views that utilized a Rhino (3-D modeling tool), hand drawing, and Photoshop. The key challenge of this effort was showing enough detail on the building, but focusing on the site and landscape features. The fastest way to generate massing and facade ideas was sketching them out quickly over Rhino-generated views, and then hard-lining them to insert into Photoshop. I've laid out my process over the following steps below: 

Step One: Exported View from Rhino Model [above]. This Rhino model was created showing floor to floor heights and approximate site conditions as a beginning "framework" to set a balanced view and would be the base to draw ideas over quickly. The first floor vertical dimension is set at 20', so at this point I've established some element of scale prior to sketching.

Step Two: Character Sketch Overlay [above]. With an emphasis on open space and site elements, the building architecture was down-played to augment the framework that the building massing created. A sheet of trace paper was an overlay over a 11x17 print-out of the Rhino view, drawn in pen with gestural trees, people, and notations to delineate certain design features. (10 min.)

Step Three: Hard-line Block Out of Massing [above]. Once an general idea of massing and facade treatments were agreed upon, a hard-line ink drawing was created and drawn directly onto the print of the Rhino view. Notice that office programming and residential programming are distinctly colored in the Rhino view in blue and yellow, respectively. (45 min. for design and drawing)

Step Four: Final Line Work with Straight Edge and Scan [above]. The final line work overlay was drawn on trace with Le Pen (or any fine tip ink pen) with a straight edge. Overlapping corners and careful consideration to line weights were applied prior to scanning and insertion into Photoshop. (20 min.)

Step Five: Photoshop Montage with Entourage and Design Elements [above]. Once scanned into Photoshop, landscape elements and entourage were created on individual layers. Careful attention was given to scale and choice of entourage and trees. Notice the tree in the upper left to give a sense of depth in the composition. (3 hours.)

Step Six: Post-Production Touch Up [above]. After inserting all desired design elements, time was spent on adjusting layers, opacity, using masks to create texture overlaps in the ground cover and trees Color and different tones were added to the buildings to balance out the vibrancy of the landscape in the foreground. (25 min.)

Step Seven: Photoshop Filters and Effects [above]. Using the Rendering Filter tool in Photoshop, I used the posterization filter to give the view a more gestural quality. This helps to lessen the "photo-shopped" look. (5 min.)

Step Eight: Final Artwork for Export and Presentation [above]. The final artwork was then exported as a high resolution JPEG and inserted into a presentation formatted document. I usually export at least 200 dpi for digital views, and 300 dpi for print, but it all depends on the end format and size that you need.

I hope you found this blog helpful and informational, and that it reveals some great opportunities to use this hybrid approach in your student and professional work. The first view always takes a bit longer, but the good news is that if the first view has good planting material, people, and other entourage, you end up saving lots of time because those elements can be transferred over to the next series of views you create. If you have specific questions about any particular parts of this process, just send me a message.  


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Comment by Eric J. Sturm on July 31, 2018 at 2:08pm

Blog was very informative...…….how many hours did this take?

Comment by R Chris Boehm on July 1, 2016 at 5:06pm

Thanks for taking the time to explain this process, Brian.  Some great tidbits and insight.

BeLoose is a workshop where the experience will definitely change people's lives and increase their confidence beyond their expectation.

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