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Architectural Illustrator

 

Front Yard Landscaping Ideas From a Different Perspective

By Evan Visser

These front yard landscaping ideas are not about plant varieties or climate zones. As an architectural illustrator I'm coming at this from a little different perspective. Get it? Perspective?

I've created 100's of home illustrations. Each one dressed up with the correct shingles, siding, colors, stone, etc. predetermined by the builder, designer or architect.

Then comes the landscaping and that's pretty much left up to me. It occurred to me that home owners might benefit from the approach that I take.

I look at the bigger picture. I break up the landscaping into four groups.
1) Lawns
2) Shrubs/flowers
3) Trees
4) Backgrounds.

Now I know if you're looking for front yard landscaping ideas that backgrounds don't apply, so I'll just focus on the other three.

1) Lawns - Lawns are the foundation of an attractive landscape and set the stage for making every thing else look great.

2) Shrubs/flowers - Shrubs soften the environment around the home. I use short or tall plants depending on the space available while avoiding a crowded look & feel. I like to concentrate the color of flowers near the front door to draw the eye to the front entry. Although I don't use potted plants a lot, they can be quite nice if there is room and they're scaled to fit the area.

3) Trees - I like to use ornamental trees as an accent and a transition from the home to the shade trees. They can be quite colorful in the Spring time, but in general I don't show them with color. I use them for they're scale or size. In my renderings the focus is the home.

I use shade trees quite often in the foreground. I like to think of them as the frame of the picture. The shadows they cast help to create an inviting atmosphere to the front of the home as well.

So there you have it. The idea is to take a step back and look at the front of your home from the street or sidewalk. Think about what would enhance your home and not obscure it over a period of time.

Oh, one more thing. Call the appropriate service in your area before you start digging. Make sure you know where your underground utility lines are.



Keeping Renderings a Form of Art

By Michael J. Sanchez

In this age of computerization, it seems as though the art of creating architectural illustrations completely by hand is becoming increasingly scarce . Sure, computer technology has enabled us to "fly" around and through buildings we have designed, through animation software. It has also made it relatively easy to make changes to a particular design.

But when it comes to simply needing a picture of what a proposed building is going to look like, nothing compares to the versatility, the control, or the character of a hand drawn illustration. There is something to be said for the value of making your project look like nothing your audience has ever seen before, as opposed to another slick computer made image more akin to the special effects of a fantasy movie.

I must admit that I became an architectural illustrator before computers started making their way into every aspect of our industry. In my humble opinion, I think that we automatically assume that computers will make any job easier, quicker, and better. But architectural illustration evolved primarily out of the field of art. I still believe there is a strong artistic component in this process, and it would be a shame if it was completely lost.

Drawing a building by hand allows me to understand the project much better than I would if I was having to put a computer in between me and the final output. I have often become more familiar with the building than the architects, sometimes requiring that they make further design decisions or even correct errors on their plans that they hadn't seen before. And, if a client wants to represent specific materials and colors on their building, I am more capable of doing that than the computer illustrators who have to contend with the unreliable interface of monitors and printer inks.

Finally, there in much to be said for the ability to easily convey a particular mood or character that can enhance the quality of a good design. I will always look at each project individually and attempt to emphasize those characteristics that make it special. It can sometimes be the spectacular site, the tremendous views, or simply the one of a kind design. I can then choose a rendering technique that best conveys that unique quality.



Learning 3D Illustration

By Carlo Berces Castillo

3D Illustration is a 2d representation of a 3d object in the virtual world. The illustrators role is to convey in the best possible manner, the design of the structure, through a rendered perspective.

Modeling a building for architectural presentation and analysis is different from modeling cartoon character, aliens from distant planet. Nobody know what aliens look like so the modelers have an advantage in his interpretation. Almost everybody knows what a structure looks like, and those expectation should be met by the illustrator.

With the aid of the Architectural Software, the Architects, Interior Designers, and Industrial Designers - anyone who makes aesthetic decisions in 3-Dimensions, will find that 3D computer visualization is a very effective way of conveying design ideas.

Building a 3D illustration on a computer often highlights design problems, and can aid in the search for a solution, which are often overlooked during the design process.

3D Modeling Basic

There are a lot of ways to create your 3d modeling and almost everybody have their own way and technique of creating the same model. In architectural visualization, there are a few modeling types every illustrator needs to master in 3DS Max.

These are spline, shapes and meshes, although there are others namely NURBS, patches, they all cater for other industry, but a basic understanding of these modeling techniques will be useful in other parts of your 3d scene.

The basic foundation of every 3D scenes are the line works, which are provided by the architects or other design professional, in the form of hand-drawn plans or 2D Autocad drawings.

From there, it is digitized to form a spline or shapes, that can be used in the creation of primitives, compound objects, and other object that will complete the scene.

Some also prefer to model the scene in AutoCAD and export to 3DS max for the texturing, lighting, and rendering.

There are no basic rule to follow, whether using autocad or a 3D software, as long as you are able to produce the required output.

Since designers are used to the precision drawings of autoCAD, it's no surprise that some illustrator engage in setting up the all the massing and modeling part in AutoCAD to take advantage of its accuracy in the 3D creation, and exporting them for rendering in 3DS Max later

Materials & Textures

Modeling is only the first step of creating Architectural Visualization. Materials and textures are the steps that attach a color and surface qualities to the 3D objects.

These textures comes from either scanned, painted, photographed, of actual materials and then projected on the 3D surface.

The main thing that you need to consider is the resolution of the bitmap that you will be using.

You must bear in mind that the bigger the bitmap, the bigger the file size, and your rendering will be slower. Analyze the scene, if the object is far away from the camera or is a minor element in the scene, you can use a smaller bitmap size.

Lighting & Rendering

Lighting and Rendering requires a keen eye for color and tone, as well as understanding of the technicalities and limitation of 3D Lighting Systems and Rendering Engines.

In order to achieve realistic Architectural Illustration, you'll want to study basic photography, which is primarily a study of light and how it interact with surfaces and film, and cinematography, which deals with lights in motion.

Lighting in 3D requires a mastery of the basic light types - directional, point, ambient, area, and spot lights - as well as an understanding of how lights interact with surfaces and the creation of shadow in 3D.

You'll need to have a firm grasp of how textures will be affected by their lights. Knowing color and how to get the right look for the frame is imperative in creating a photo-realistic scene.




The Art of Architectural Illustration

By Carlo Berces Castillo

Architectural Illustration is a "Vocation" in which not everybody can attain. The Architectural Illustrator, whether traditional or digital media, is a rare breed of design professional, whose commitment to excellence has elevated its practice to a secular level. The Architectural Illustrator is the person who doesn't distinguish night from day, for he is consumed by the process of creation, making something out of nothing. At this moment, time stands still, nothing matters except "evolution".

So, What made this Architectural Illustrator choose to draw rather than design? Is it the instant gratification of creating, rather than waiting until the structure materialize. Or is it illustrators impulse to view the world in his own perspective, on how he sees the world.

Perspectivist

Perspectivist, in an article I recently read are described the traditional illustrators as "perspectivisorous",which in due time will become obsolete as their reptile counterpart. And that an emerging species of digital media is taking over the playing field.

Having said that, a person who came from the old school of thought, the traditional illustrator, who upon tasting the digital media, will be mesmerize by what the extent of what his imagination can achieve.

If you think computer as a medium, it won't be far away from the truth, anything will not be possible without the artist behind, just like an artist and his brush. It is the design professional who is the heart of all this practice.

Coming from the same discipline earlier in my career, tasting both world, I see no difference in favoring one or the other. Perspectivist and the new 3d Illustration complements each other. One must be proficient in the basic skills of traditional drawings, in order to excel in 3d Illustration.

3D Illustration

3D Illustration is a 2d representation of a 3d object in the virtual world. The illustrators role is to convey in the best possible manner, the design of the structure, through a rendered perspective.

Modeling a building for architectural presentation and analysis is different from modeling cartoon character, aliens from distant planet. Nobody know what aliens look like so the modelers have an advantage in his interpretation. Almost everybody knows what a structure looks like, and those expectation should be met by the illustrator.

With the aid of the Architectural Software, the Architects, Interior Designers, and Industrial Designers - anyone who makes aesthetic decisions in 3-Dimensions, will find that 3D computer visualization is a very effective way of conveying design ideas.

Building a 3D illustration on a computer often highlights design problems, and can aid in the search for a solution, which are often overlooked during the design process.

Learning 3d Illustration

Learning 3d Illustration requires devotion and discipline, just like any other profession. Whether you choose to acquire the necessary skills by attending a formal school or by educating yourself, it's helpful to be clear on what your goals and aspirations. Remember "without a vision, the people perish", without a specific target, you will have no motivation to pursue anything.

For many, formal 3D illustration training is necessary, just like when we took our college course, whether its architecture or fine arts. So when ask whether a formal course in illustration is a must, the answer is "it depends on the individual".

No matter what kind of education you receive, in our field, it's not what we know, but it's what we can show. The main criteria is our demo reel or portfolio is what the client/employer sees about you, your skills, and artistic vision than anything else.

There are some advantages to spending time in a formal school environment, first of all is that you will be completely immersed in the subject matter that you are learning. A definite advantage is the motivation and getting focused.

A school is more than a learning institution, it's also a best environment for networking in your specialized field, including the faculties, who are often connected with different illustration and/or production houses, mainly because they probably do some freelance work, or they have former students working in some prestigious design firms.

Another advantage is also that if you attend a formal school, you have access in all their equipment, and being mentored by a professional, that is not possible if you will try to learn by yourself.

Attending school improves the chances of landing an internship, which maybe the best way to prove yourself in a working studio and get the needed professional experience or a presentable demo reel and/or portfolio.

Some school also provide placement for selected excellent student, due to the school and graduates that are connected to some professional production houses.

It does not guaranty that attending a formal education enables you to achieve your goal, it just improves the probability of landing a good career.

Basically it falls on one thing, "it's not what we know, but it's what we can show." The only person that is interested about your grades are your parents.


 


What Is Rendering


''Where do architects and designers get their ideas?'' The answer, of course, is mainly from other architects and designers, so is it mere casuistry to distinguish between tradition and plagiarism?
Stephen Bayley

A building is akin to dogma; it is insolent, like dogma. Whether or no it is permanent, it claims permanence, like a dogma. People ask why we have no typical architecture of the modern world, like impressionism in painting. Surely it is obviously because we have not enough dogmas; we cannot bear to see anything in the sky that is solid and enduring, anything in the sky that does not change like the clouds of the sky.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.
Frank Lloyd Wright

A modern, harmonic and lively architecture is the visible sign of an authentic democracy.
Walter Gropius

A structure becomes architectural, and not sculptural, when its elements no longer have their justification in nature.
Guillaume Apollinaire

Ah, to build, to build! That is the noblest art of all the arts. Painting and sculpture are but images, are merely shadows cast by outward things on stone or canvas, having in themselves no separate existence. Architecture, existing in itself, and not in seeming a something it is not, surpasses them as substance shadow.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All architects want to live beyond their deaths.
Philip Johnson

All architecture is great architecture after sunset; perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

All fine architectural values are human vales, else not valuable.
Frank Lloyd Wright

 

 
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