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Hey there. Does anyone know of any good guides to architectural design in Photoshop? Tips, tricks, techniques, tools, things to keep in mind, etc. I find myself becoming very frustrated with trying to furnish architectural paintings in Photoshop. Structure is my main source of frustration; texturing, lighting, and shading aren't problematic. Any good tips on ways of laying out perspective, etc.? Thanks a bunch!
EDIT: Just to clarify, I'm thinking in terms of painting, not blueprint design.
Last edited by Datameister; September 12th, 2005 at 11:58 AM.
ultimately I'd say Photoshop is a very poor tool for laying things out correctly in perspective. However there are a FEW unhandy ways you might be able to accomplish it.
one way might be to use the pen tool without giving the points handles, the later versions of PS will try to fill it with a color by default
one alternative is to use the polygonal lasso tool, which you can fill or stroke.
If you just want some lines, you can, with the brush tool, click once at one corner of a wall, then move the cursor to another corner, hold shift, and click again. This will create a straight line between the two points.
green wall and black outline are both done with polygonal lasso + fill and stroke(edit ...stroke.)
the line was done with the shift+click brush method
Well, this is when you mix programs :p Maybe make a simple render of your architectural stuff in 3dsmax or autocad or whatever architects software you are using, then import that image in photoshop and start painting. If you still insist in doing that stuff in photoshop, well, as Gruuu said, this program isn't really good for those type of situations. You'd be better of using Adobe Illustrator instead (vector art).
Why not sketch it out by hand and then scan it in?
A couple of nice and not too expensive (means less than $500) programs for architectural design are prinaesi and sketch up.Originally Posted by GriNGoLoCo
Bith are a bit 3d related, and for piranesi you get a lot of photoshop like tools to liven up your images.
doubt this helps much but think i'm having much the same problem!
my bodge-it process so far is
3. (try to) fix perspective
4. add perspective lines using the shift click method using the brush tool (on a separate layer on multiply or left at the top)
5. colour etc
my results so far are not that encouraging http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=52347 , but that may have more to do with my general level of drawing and PS skills ;-)...
would love to see how you're getting on with it, especially as I haven't come across much architectural stuff here.
There are a few different techniques you can use -
a)first you can hand draw a sketch or perspective laylines on paper and scan it in. More accurate, but takes time and not very flexible
b)You can use lay lines down in photoshop via the line tool by the usual perspective 'techniques' of creating VP's, horizons etc (or point and click with the mouse in PS to create straight lines)
c) use a program ie as Dirk mentioned, I use SketchUp - it is seriously easy to create masses with the correct perspective :
this one is PS and SketchUp. This was very quick - a few minutes, but if I was doing a more painterly rendering in PS I can just use the wire frame model and keep the shadows on to help with lighting.
If I had the money to purchase Sketch Up, I would do it right now. From the video tutorials, it looks like an awesome program that would be very useful for me. But because I'm not currently doing any professional architectural design, I can't justify the cost.
Thanks for all the advice, guys. I'm thinking the best technique for me will probably be to just sketch on paper and scan it in for the final rendering.
Yup, it seems to be best to work from pencil sketches. Here's a small version of a painting I'm working on...I still have lots of work to do.
I don't think your problem is in not knowing the tools, or not having the money to buy new ones. I think your problem is in not knowing some of the basic perpsective rules REALLY well - the good 'ol vanishing point, three point perspective, etc.
I'm sure you know all the theory - there's tutorials all over the net, and it's not really all that hard (just dull, rigid rules). If you scan in a drawing that has correct perspective in the first place, you'll have no trouble in painting it with correct perspective, whatever paint program you use, and you say you don't have a particular problem with the rendering side of things.
The last pic you posted has a mansion that's basically a cube - so crate it off like a cube, and you'll see very quickly why the perspective is off. But this thread is about PS, so that's a bit OT. I'll do you a paintover if you're not sure what I mean - I don't want to do one straight off and seem patronising
If you've got REALLY complicated perspective, then doing a 3D mockup first is always helpful, using whatever program you want. I use 'Maya' to mock up sets, then print out a wireframe really feint and sketch on top of it - nails the perspective first time. Since all you need is a wireframe, maya PLE (i.e. free software) would do you just fine - those f***ing annoying watermarks disappear when you go into wireframe mode.
Hope that helps - IMO you don't want to be doing ANY kind of sketching in photoshop. Period.
Freddie Williams has a nice little trick for perspective he uses in his art, you might want to give it a shot:
I know it's helped me quite a lot...
Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul. - Bruce Lee
cool links AJ and Firewalker (downloading now)
is there a perspective thread anywhere round here?
Thanks for the feedback, Alex Jenyon. Perspective isn't absolutely my strongest area, but I understand the principles reasonably well. I agree that the perspective on the haunted mansion piece is way off. The main problem is where the front facade meets the earth--that line is bent upwards where the portico is. That was an early mistake that I've mostly corrected by now. (The version I posted earlier is by no means the final painting.) There are also perspective problems with the floor of the second-story verandas; I have those lines basically running parallel to the second-story roofline, which is incorrect. That second-story floor is supposed to be just slightly above the eye level. That mistake is going to be more difficult to correct, but it's necessary. As I look over my original pencil sketch, I see neither of these problems. Indeed, the perspective is almost perfect. I'm not sure why I flubbed so badly when I did the digital paint-over.
mmm well if he's looking for a 3D design then yes 3dMax, Alias etc. But if you want to do layouts of a building and the dimensions and all in 2D, then i'd recommend Adobe Illustrator, i do all my 2D technical drawings on that.
For technical drawings i'm more inclined to go for autocad. Vectorworks might be a good thing too for that, but i like the simplicity of AC to put lines just about anywhere you want.
Mightbe if you're lucky you can get an R14 licence somewhere as a second hand program, but autodesk policy is that licences cannot be transferred, so updating will be hard.
there are some good training demos available from Gnomon Workshop,
available on DVD.
Tips and methods developed and taught by the guys who do the
concept work and matte painting for the film industry.
under the heading "analog" there's a variety of instructors for this sort of thing. Look at the designer series. Feng Ahu is good, so is James Clyne and Mark Goerner.
These guys tend to do concept stuff. For matte painting techniques, which can also use perspective grids, etc., take a look at Dylan Cole.
I've been looking at some of the drawing basics DVDs that Gnomon has.
I've been drawing all my life, but I have spent so many years on the computer that I don't get to draw like I used to.
I actually went to the Gnomon site for Maya training DVDs,
and then saw all this other good training materials in the basics.
Wow, that sketch I posted a couple months back was bad...on so many levels...