Photoshop for Architectural Renderings

portrait, Ramy Hanna

Ramy Hanna

Level 1

3h 26m

In this course, Ramy Hanna will teach you a basic understanding of Photoshop, all the way to using advanced tools such as actions.

First, you will learn the basics of Photoshop starting with setting up various windows and gaining a basic understanding of the tools. Then, you will learn how to add additional elements and blend them into a rendering or photo seamlessly. Finally, you will learn how to manipulate existing photos, and how to remove or add elements with a photo.

When you are done with this course, you'll know how to significantly enhance the color and quality of any photograph, including architectural renderings. There are 2 parts to this course:

Part 1- Exterior Renderings in 3ds Max: You will learn how to take an exterior building model through all the important steps required to create a convincing photo-real rendering.

Part 2- Photoshop for Architectural Renderings: You will learn how to significantly enhance the color and quality of any photograph, including architectural renderings.

Photoshop Layout

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When we're done, you'll know how to navigate Photoshop, customize tools that you need, work with smart object layers, create masks, apply adjustments, understand blending modes and even create custom action scripts. All of the files we'll be using here are available to members on the course website, so let's get started.

There, so you can see it opened in the traditional Photoshop where it gives me just my background, and the reason I prefer that is if I want to open a file, I can simply just double click on the background and it'll open that file, which is much faster than going to file, open, or clicking on the button, and just double click, and that's something I've become very used to doing. So, from the initial start, you can see this is the layout that Photoshop has, and there's some things that are helpful, there's some things that I do like to customize, and so, I will go through this first portion, just navigating the space and becoming familiar with what are the ways that I like to set up my space. The toolbar on the left, these are the standard tools and you will use these quite a bit.

Let's go ahead and open a file. Let's go ahead and open a rendering, again the way I got to that is, I just double clicked on the background space. These are the passes for creating a rendering.

If you click and drag it rotates your image and it's just a different way of looking at your image, which can be helpful, especially if you're painting and you wanna do straight lines and you're using a tablet for painting it can come in handy. If you wanna reset the view you can hit Reset and it drops it back. So those are the basic tools and I could get into more of them, but I don't wanna spend too much time on the tools, but you'll get an idea on the tools that we will use as we get into painting our renderings.

So, for example, if I want to paint onto this layer and I hit my brush tool, you'll notice I have my brush tool selected, you notice that now I have this, "Sorry, you can't paint on top of this." Or if I hit my eraser tool, it's saying that "This is a smart object, it must be rasterized, do you want to rasterize it?" So, if I rasterize it, it turns back into a regular layer, and I lose that smart object icon. So, let's go back to the smart object. So, what is the advantage of the smart object?

Color Correction

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And you can do adjustments simply on the layer itself by going to image, adjust, and these are all the adjustments you can make that will control the color, the levels, and there are a few of them that are really important. But let's take a look at the levels. So, what the levels are, is this is a histogram, right here, and this is showing the histogram of my image itself.

You'll see, rather than create the adjustment layer it actually created it as a smart filter, which is really interesting because rather than create an adjustment layer, because this was a smart object it added it down here and I can turn that on and off and it keeps it all within that layer. If I want to come back and edit the curve I can simply double click this and it will give me the properties to adjust the curve. So this is another reason why I like to work with smart objects.

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And if you want to see what it looked like without the color balance, to see even if it made a difference, we can turn that on and off. So that's where the off, wow. And you can really see that originally it was much pinker and more purple and red than with it on.

Now, it's very important to note that you don't want to add it in the positive direction, 'cause you can see, right here, as soon as I add it in the positive direction, it's basically shifting the red, green, and blue channels, of my image, inside, and so what that does, is it's creating, as I zoom in, you can see it's creating a pixel separation, right here on the right side, I don't know if you can see it, but it's very small edge, right here, and that will stay in your rendering, and you'll have this white strip on the right side, so make sure that's in the negative direction. So rather than pull the pixels in, it's pushing them out, and what this filter does, is it actually creates fringing right on the edges of your renderings. As we zoom in here, we're coming in here, you can see that, let me zoom in way, way in here, you can see that we have this red, basically this red and cyan fringe.

Working With Render Elements

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So, in a rendering, it's very important, especially for an exterior rendering, the sky dictates so much of the image, so much of the mood, and the color and the feel. So, it's very important to make sure your sky is supporting your rendering, supporting the story that the rendering is trying to tell of the building. And so, selecting a sky can really make a difference.

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Now it's too dark in certain areas, and so I want to control where those shadows are, so I'm going to create a mask, and I'm going to set this to black. So CTRL I, making everything on this layer visible, and I am going to paint with white, and I'm going to add. Basically I'm going to paint the shadows in areas that I want.

So that's the reflection pass, now there's another element that we want to control is also the refraction. What if we want to see into our building? This is kind of an interesting dilemma.

If I want more reflection into my road, what I would do is take my reflection layer, and I would duplicate it and swap the mask out. So let's copy that. Again, this is my reflection layer.

Additional Elements and Actions

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So let's go ahead and delete that and let's go to this original file here and go to selection 'cause we're gonna make a selection and choose, we're gonna choose color range, and what color range does is it creates a selection based on a range of colors, and so I'm actually going to select the area that I want to focus on and you can see as I use this eye dropper on the bright areas it shows me what I'm gonna have selected. If you want to grow that selection you can increase the fuzziness and there it goes and it's not increasing as much as I want it to, and so rather than select the bright areas I'm actually gonna select the dark areas. So let's select the area that would be dark.

This works pretty well, but I also want to control the color of my vignette. If you want to change the color of your gradient, let's do that. First, I will show you what this would look like if you change the blending mode.

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And you can see down here it's adding light, but I am getting a hard shadow, so we're going to go through and paint that out. Now, again, because it's a Smart Object, I can't just erase onto that layer. If I hit, or my eraser tool, E, it's gonna give me a sorry, you cannot paint on here.

So to do that, let's go ahead and create a new button here which is just like creating a new layer, except we're creating a new action. So let's click on New Action, and for this one we'll call it Flare. Okay.

Make sure you have the correct layer selected, that it's going to work off of, and let's say glow, and hit play, and let's see what happens. There it goes. It worked.

Painting People Into Renderings

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I'm going to set the height of my object to make sure the scale of my object is right. So this is just for a reference so it doesn't have to look like a person. We're just adding this for reference so this is simply just a box.

Again, that's part of telling a story, it's important to make sure that not only the lighting is right, but the story is working together, and the stories of the people walking are lining up with the story of the rendering, so let's go back and flip it back, so this feels more correct to me, and they're walking along the sidewalk and everything is correct, and typically what I like to do, because I'm going to create layers for my people, I like to put people into groups, and Photoshop allows you to create groups, and there's a little folder here, and if you hit this folder icon, it will create a group. I will call this people, and you can put your people into that group, and anything in that group, you can leave on and just turn the group off and it will turn off everything in that group. The other advantage, too, is you can start coloring your layers, and you can start coloring as you create more people and layers for those people, things will get complicated, you can begin to color-code your layers.

The other ones are the contact shadows where a very soft shadow underneath an object to make it feel grounded like an occlusion. So right now we're doing these contact shadows, and so let's go ahead and paint that in. Just the areas where they're touching the ground.

It's basically the same people, I'm just going to flip it vertically. So, now we can edit it. Transform vertically and bear in mind that we don't have the levels on it.

So, let's call this Contact Shadow, and I'm going to create Directional Shadow to show you how you would do it. And it's very similar to creating the reflections. In fact, we will use that layer, so we could probably just use this one.

In fact, I think I would move them further back here just like that, that's feeling good. And quickly, we'll apply the same principles, so let's see how bright they are. That's feeling good, I think they're okay as far as the intensity.

Editing Existing Photos

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Whether it's a preexisting architectural photo, or whether it's just something in the office for marketing, I've been asked numerous times to fix things. And it can be anything from taking a person out of a rendering, to adding an extra column into a hallway space, it could be anything. And so for this example I was going to show you a photo of our office, and something that we used here.

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We're going to paint that out as well, so let's turn my mask off, and I'm going to use my rubber stamp tool, and I'll use this portion here, make sure you're on the correct layer. There we go. We'll do it here as well.

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But for the most part, the smart way to do it is the "content aware" with a combination of the rubber stamp tool. Now, if I wanted to get rid this mullion it would be very similar. You could do a "content aware" to see what it would get you.

Now, it's important to know this stuff, because understanding the key steps and tools can save hours down the road if the design changes or something has to be adjusted later. So now you know how to create Smart Objects, use adjustment layers, create custom masks, in addition to knowing all the tools. You know how to color correct maximizing the color spectrum.

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