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Details in Architectural Illustration

When creating architectural illustration, it is important to set a mood and create atmosphere. The use of lighting is a fabulous way to do this. Porch lights shining at the door, and warm lights shining through an open window both create a welcome mood.

The use of historic details will bring something familiar and traditional to a new architectural design. The iron latticework, arched windows, and period lighting create interesting detail and takes this visitor on a journey into the past.

Subtle texture to stucco and stone details will add depth to an otherwise uninteresting surface. A little roughness, grain, and grit will turn a plain lifeless wall face into one with character.

The warm textures of weathered wood add age and show the finishes have endured storms, sun, and wind. There is something in a weathered face that is comforting and familiar.

Rough paint and varied colors will add richness and age to the details. Fresh paint might make things look like new in real life, but in an architectural illustration, variations in the paint along with some scuffs and peeling paint can add tremendous life.


Quick Phoshop Layer Merge

This Photoshop tip is very short and very simple. To merge any layers together, select them in the layers palette. Then press ctrl-e. They will all merge into one layer. It does not sound like much, but it is one of the biggest time savers, and I use it constantly.


How Do People See You?

If you have not done so in a while, take 5 seconds and think about your business. How do your clients and prospective clients see you? Are you connecting with them in a way that encourages them to take action and reach out to you? If you are not sure, try this. Look at your business as if you are the client seeing it for the first time. Go to your website. Is it interesting? Does it reflect who you are?
Would it make you want to call? Would it make you want to email? Is the information there for you to call or email? If not, it might be time to put a little bit of work into it.

Strangely, some people say they have had to cut back expenses, and the marketing budget has been what they have cut back. At a time when distinguishing yourself from your competition is more important than ever, it is actually a time for more marketing – not less. Reaching out to new people, and making a good impression are more important than ever. Think of it this way. You are interviewing for an office position at an upscale business. There are seven other people interviewing for the same position. They have all shown up for the interview dressed for success. Are you going to show up for the interviewing looking your best, putting a better foot forward than your competition, or are you going to show up in swimming trunks and flip flops? For the serious marketing budget cutters, are you going to show up at all?

At Red Creek Design Company, we can help you dress up for that interview. For those of you with a budget, we can do amazing things that are within that budget. Take a few seconds right now and think about it.


Quickly Open Files in Photoshop

One of the features in Photoshop in which we really take advantage, is the use of layers, lots of layers. Anything that might need to be edited is placed on it’s own layer. Thus the file size can get to be quite large, my files can range from 600mb to over 1gb. These large files can take quite a while to open, and if the only reason for opening the file is something simple like running a print, opening the layered file is not necessary.

Here is a short but very handy tip. Click FILE then click OPEN as usual. Find the file in the dialog box and highlight it with the cursor. Then holding down the Alt and Shift keys simultaneously, click on the OPEN button. A dialog box will pop up asking “Read the composite data instead?” Click YES and the file will open with all layers flattened. The time required to open the file is shortened dramatically. The layering is still intact on the original file, you are not altering it in any way. But a word of caution, do not save this version over the original or you will lose all your layering.

We use this option quite often and it saves a tremendous amount of time. Think of it next time you need to quickly send a small proof to your client!


HDR Images in Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop CS3 has many capabilities for working with HDR images. For those not familiar with the concept, normal images are either 8 or 16 bit, with luminance storage from black to white. HDR images store much higher luminance values using 32 bit floating point values. Photoshop has the ability to create 32 bit images. The command is found under the Automate menu, and is listed as Merge to HDR…

The process begins by taking a series of photographs using different exposures, from dark to light. It is best to use a tripod and take the exposures a couple f-stops apart. The minimum number of shots is three, five to seven shots are better. The Merge to HDR command will automatically align the images and create the 32 bit file. The last stage of the process allows setting the preview balance. This setting is for previews only and does not affect the actual luminance range. The file should be saved as a 32 bit file to preserve the entire range of luminance values.


Quick Brush Selection in Painter

When using Painter, the media and brush selector appear in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Selecting different brushes using this palette can be a little inconvenient. A quicker method, which does not interrupt your work flow, is to right click your input device. This calls up an onscreen display of all brushes in the current category. When creativity is flowing, easier brush selection can make a huge difference in your work.