This quick visualization project was a favor for an existing studioINSITE client who wanted simply to understand what a sidewalk in front of his development might look like if it had landscape planters integrated into the streetscape.
The client emailed me a digital photograph of the scene and I created an “overlay and trace” colored sketch in a little more than three hours - one hour to build the SketchUp model, one hour to illustrate the new scene and one hour to color and scan the final sketch. In order to create an accurate representation with street activity, I built a SketchUp stage set model and populated it with 3d people. My process is shown below:
Base Digital Photograph
Base Photograph. The client emailed me a photograph of the existing sidewalk. Fortunately, it was a good quality eye-level perspective view with an easily identifiable vanishing point (scoring pattern in the sidewalk).
SketchUp Model Entourage - 1 hour
SketchUp Entourage Model. I delineated the sidewalk paving pattern in a simple SketchUp “stage set model. I added a wall plane on the edge to help me replicate the basic perspective. I then populated the model with 3D people, adjusting their placement in order to fit into scene.
Perspective Match. I matched the SketchUp perspective with the digital photograph and then exported a jpeg from the 3D model. Notice that I turned of the shadows and eliminated the sidewalk and wall from the exported graphic. This made it very easy to select the people in Photoshop and isolate them from the gray background.
Composite Base Image. I combined the view of the SketchUp people and the base photograph using Photoshop. I then traced over a print to create the final colored sketch.
Overlay and Trace Drawing - 2 Hours
Trace Over a Print. I first lightened the image in Photoshop (to make it easier for tracing) and printed it on 11”x17” paper. The actual image size was 8”x11”. I taped a sheet of tracing paper over the print and illustrated the scene with a water based ink pen. Note: if you have difficulty seeing the detail beneath the tracing paper, work on top of a light table or even tape everything against a bright window.
Quick Marker Color. After completing the line drawing, I then added color to the original artwork with Chartpak AD markers.
Final Sketch. I scanned the final artwork at 300dpi and emailed a jpeg to my client. As you can see, the basic street scene is unchanged from the original photograph. I basically introduced the landscape planter, additional trees and populated the scene with more than ten people to give the illustration scale and an active character.
Look for other interesting articles on my blog, visit my website www.drawingshortcuts.com and read my new book Drawing Shortcuts Second Edition. Also check out my 2010 Blog Collection , a 116-page catalog of my best blog posts from 2010, available on Blurb!