Rendering on Repeat...on Repeat

A good rendering should not just inform a viewer of what is happening spatially, but should also elicit a feeling. 

I'm having a difficult time containing my excitement in Iowa as my departure for Scandinavia nears. Thankfully, instead of sitting around and figuring out how many ways I can cook an egg with The Office playing on an endless loop, my professor has given me an opportunity. 

This opportunity entails: 

  • Taking renderings previously done in our Las Vegas studio and "sprucing" them up. 
  • Developing them into a hybrid type of rendered drawing. 
  • Doing this to approximately 20 images, and then sending them off with the hope that they are published in a book that speaks to different types of drawing techniques for Landscape Architects. 

Below I am going to take you through a rough version of how I have gone from good drawings to zesty drawings. 

1. Redline the existing image. 

Now, this part seems simple, but it requires the most imagination/creativity of any of the steps. Below is an image of the Victory Social Club site that I rendered for our final review. It is a nice image, no doubt, but it certainly is lacking a few key elements. 

So, this past week my professor, Ken McCown, and I sat down together and red lined this image. We agreed that the image needed a different perspective, one that provided more life. We also agreed that some additional design elements needed to be considered. Below is an image with (plenty) more red lines. 

As you can see, Ken was not a fan of the girl on the left. 


2. Choose a better view/perspective. 

This step opened up the entire image. It gave us the proper bones to construct an image that was more representative of what the space was meant for.  

This view allowed for us to focus in on the energy at the bar while still recognizing the activity in the background. 


3. Export view to Kerkythea (modeling program). 

What this does is it gives us a much truer look at what the light will look like in this space. By exporting it to Kerkythea as a clay model, it allows for a really clean image to overlay with our existing Sketchup image above. 

As you can see, by allowing for everything to have the same (digital) "material" we are able to understand the spacial qualities of the design better. This also provides a wonderful insight as to how the light of this space operates. 


4. Overlay and populate the space. 

By overlaying the Kerkythea clay model with the Sketchup model image, we are able to get the real materials along with the proper lighting. We get our cake and eat it too. After this it is a matter of populating your space with a proper entourage. These people, plants, objects are what will inform people as to the intent of your design and how people should activate the space. 

This image is the overlay of Sketchup and Kerkythea images with some added trees, lights, sky, and background buildings. 

Even without people at this point, this image is beginning to have more life than the images displayed above. 


5. Finish constructing your image. 

This is the most time consuming part of the process. This step is all about finding appropriate people, and playing with the light on them. It is simply about trying to find consistency amongst people and objects within the image. 

This image is fairly straight forward. You can tell that there are people at the bar, people dining, and music playing. This image tells you what is there; but until you apply the finishing touches, it does not tell the whole story. This image still feels a little stagnant. 


6. Finishing touches & Filters. 

In this step, I save off my editable PSD image as a JPEG in order to apply filters to everything at once. I will be honest, this step is a bit artistic, and undoubtedly subjective. I play with the filters in the filter gallery within Photoshop as well as imported filters that are similar to those used on Instagram. You push and pull, enhance and mute until you find something that you like. For me it is the image below. 

This part is certainly the fun part, as it transforms your image quickly and drastically. 

I would appreciate any feedback on my process from anybody willing to discuss! It is certainly a working process, and one that is far from finished. I would also be willing to give additional details that anybody would be interested in learning (I understand that this is an overview)!


News and Notes

  • I will not be the only student working on these drawings for this publication. Two other students will be assisting on the two other sites as we attempt to provide as much of a variety to the author as possible. 
  • I leave Saturday for Chicago, and then a week from Thursday for Copenhagen. With very few details left to figure out, it is all about experiencing and learning at this point. I have changed my expectations of what I will come away with after a conversation with Michael Martin (another professor). He suggested identifying a singular alleyway/alley like space that appears to be working best in each city, and really focusing in on what makes it successful. 
  • Currently listening to.......FIDLAR. These guys can jam. It is a bit heavy, but give it a chance and I am sure it will be stuck in your head. And just as the song and video suggest, this tune will be on repeat as I repeat my rendering process over and over again.