Train Pavilion Interior Study

By Alex Hogrefe
Aug 27, 2015

VA Tumblr Visitor Gallery Inspiration

By Alex Hogrefe
August 9, 2015

Floor Plan Study

By Alex Hogrefe
July 20, 2015

Tumblr Image of the Week

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Train Pavilion Interior Study

  I have been experimenting with some interior illustrations and wanted to post a breakdown of this image.  Determining the view for this shot has been difficult because there is so much going on in the design, and I wanted to find a view that properly captured many of the design elements. Ultimately, I will probably need to create several interior shots to tell the full story, but this one seemed to do the job of expressing the layering of the elements.   The breakdown of the image is like most of the others that I post. I started with a Sketchup model and created some textures for the metal and wood materials.   Sketchup model with textures off   Sketchup model with textures on   Base rendering directly out of V-Ray   Final image after Photoshop post processing     There are several things that I was juggling in my head when I was deciding on the view. The design contains several layers of structure and sun shading devices. I wanted the view to express these elements and show how these layered on top of one another. This meant shifting the view around quite a bit to avoid certain walls covering up other walls,  or letting steel structures block views of the context. The materials themselves also help express the layering by using dark and light tones along with cool and warm tones. Finally, a hint of atmospheric haze was added to give a better sense of depth and further enhance the layering effect.         I also knew that I wanted to play up the contrast...

VA Tumblr Visitor Gallery Inspiration

  There has been some beautiful work showing up in the Visualizing Architecture Tumblr gallery lately. Below are some of my favorites. I had trouble narrowing down the selections to just these few, however, these images all have some similar characteristics: 1. They all execute textures beautifully.  It is something that I bring up over and over again on this site, and in my opinion is a quality that has been diluted in architecture illustrations as computers get integrated more and more into the architectural workflow.  I grew up hand drafting and painting and didn’t get into digital illustration until midway through college. I, therefore, gravitate towards images with great texture and that have more of a human touch. The images posted below start to hover on that line between computer generated and hand drafted. None of the textures look tiled or copied and they don’t overpower the image. 2. These images are very well composed. Some have very formal and symmetrical layouts while others generate great eye movement around the page through shadow and light. In some cases, the sky and landscape occupy much of the image with the architecture inhabiting a smaller supporting role in the composition. 3. The lighting and atmosphere are all under control and set poetic tones. The skies have just the right amount of hierarchy enhancing the mood but not taking over the image. The different elements in the images such as the architecture, landscape, and context all feel like they belong together in the same scene instead of independent elements pieced together from different sources.     Стародубов Георгий / Archicad18, Photoshop     Artem Lazarev/ 3ds Max, Photoshop     Simon Oudiette/ Horoma Studio/ Vertical Urban farm...

Floor Plan Study

  This week, I have begun piecing together the floor plans of the Train Pavilion Project. When it comes to visualizing floor plans, I have always leaned towards a simple representation. Maybe it is because I have spent so many years working in offices where the construction drawings are plastered with call-outs, dimensions, and notes, but I like my plans to read more on the diagrammatic side.  This means simple poched walls and minimal details such as furniture so that the reading of the spatial relationships is hierarchically strong. I have posted several floor plan illustrations over the years on this site and they all have a similar style. The walls are filled in solid and are usually the darkest or lightest elements on the page depending on the background. I also like to give a slight change in tone of the background color to differentiate between the extents of the floor plan from the surrounding site. Finally, I add a slight shadow to give some depth and help define wall vs glass. It is a simple set of moves that lead to clear, easy to read plans. Below are some floor plan layouts from my Portfolio Vol. 3       I also like to combine section cuts with the floor plans when setting up portfolio spreads. It is an easy opportunity to relate the two types of illustrations to one another. If you do a little thinking before hand about layout, the sections and floor plans can start to engage one another and actually increase the readability of each. In the case of the train pavilion layout, I placed the transverse section cuts along the floor plan in the corresponding...

Train Pavilion Diagrams

I have been playing around with some diagrams for the recent train pavilion design. The architecture diagrams that I create on this site have ranged quite a bit over the years. Lately, I have been gravitating towards a minimal approach for these types of illustrations. For this series, I experimented with creating a dialect between plan views and corresponding perspectives.  I used a simple color palette to help relate and orient the viewer within the diagrams.           All these diagrams were created using a Sketchup model rendered as a clay model in V-Ray. I then used that clay model as a base in Photoshop to apply color. To see some more diagrams that I have done in the past, I have added some links below which go into more depth on the workflow that I use:   1. Boston Greenway Diagrams 2. Boston Wharf Diagrams 3. Cranbrook Site Analysis Diagrams 4. Thesis Diagrams  ...

6 Tips for a Perfect Sky

I can’t believe that I have not written a post about skies yet on this blog. In most cases, a sky can make or break an architecture illustration. It’s also something that I see a lot of people overlook or only spend a few minutes on in their renderings. The thing is, a good sky sets the entire mood of an image. Because of this, it’s my first priority as soon as I get into Photoshop. I spend quite a bit of time combing through images online to find the perfect one for my scene. With the different images below, you will see how much the mood and tone shift from just changing out the sky. I have put together some ideas to think about when looking for that perfect sky. It should be noted that these are guidelines. There are many of different scenarios and situations in architecture visualization in which these tips may not apply. However, I have found that to be rare and I follow these ideas in almost every image that I create.     1. Avoid Oversaturated Color     Oversaturation is an issue I see often. Many of the sky images that I find online have this problem because the sky has been enhanced or amplified to be more dramatic and catch viewers attention. However, too much color saturation in the sky will overpower the colors in the architecture and ground plane ruining the hierarchy of the illustration. To fix this, I go into “Image>Adjustments>Hue Saturation” and I move the “Saturation” slider to the left to remove some of the color.     2. Avoid Awkward or Unnatural Colors  ...

V-Ray Settings Overview

A lot of you have been asking for V-Ray settings and so I am going to spend a little time going over the settings that I used to create the base rendering of the main street perspective in the previous post. I have been using V-Ray for over a year now and I am in no way paid by V-Ray or affiliated with the company. I simply tried out a lot of different programs and found V-Ray was the best at meeting a lot of my needs. The most important of these were simplicity and flexibility. Right out of the box, V-Ray generates nice renderings. You will notice that I don’t vear too far from the default settings, but instead use settings that will provide the best ratio of fast rendering times and good outputs. Another very important point that I want to make is that I am not trying to produce the perfect V-Ray rendering each time. I am simply trying to get close to what I want and then refine the lighting and colors in Photoshop. This way of thinking maintains my sanity and minimizes the amount of test renderings and setting adjustments that need to be made. Render settings are obviously a big topic to cover and there are many different rendering situations like interior shots, dusk shots, and daytime shots that require different setups. To keep things manageable, this first post will be an overview of the basic concepts that I use for setting up a daytime rendering scene. Things like material setup, AO passes, dusk and interior shot setup will come later. Before getting into the settings, there are a...

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