Architecture | 3D visualization

Photorealistic rendering with V-ray for sketchup tutorials and much more.

Architecture | 3D visualization

Photorealistic rendering with V-ray for sketchup tutorials and much more.

Architecture | 3D visualization

Photorealistic rendering with V-ray for sketchup tutorials and much more.

Architecture | 3D visualization

Photorealistic rendering with V-ray for sketchup tutorials and much more.

Architecture | 3D visualization

Photorealistic rendering with V-ray for sketchup tutorials and much more.

Sketchup to photoshop rendering tutorial

Some vray renderer might find using an HDRI in v-ray rendering a bit difficult. That don't have to be the end of using vray software.

Back to the promise I made in my previous post here.

I'll show you how to use photoshop as an alternative to HDRI.

What you'll need for this tutorial are:
Sketchup
Vray
Photoshop.

You don't need to be a photoshop pro to use this method I'm about to show you. All you need is a basic knowledge on how to use photoshop.

Step #1
Save final render as png

Save your final v-ray render in a PNG file format.

Step #2
Open render image in photoshop

Open your saved PNG image (render) in photoshop. To start editing.

Step #3
Place sky image

Place your sky image on the rendered image. Use a random sky image from Google search. Or even better, get it from here.

Step #4
Move sky image back

Move the sky image layer behind the render layer.

Sketchup to photoshop rendering tutorial

There you have it. A complete sketchup to photoshop rendering tutorial. Feel free to ask your question in the comment section.

Making of an exterior daytime scene using V-ray for sketchup

Making of an exterior daytime scene render

Vray is an excellent tool to use along with sketchup, unless you don't know some of the basic settings to Vray. That's where it get discouraging to the extend you hear some say"vray is difficult. Maybe I'll try 3d max. And next thing you know, you see them with blender." 😁

True, I agree with you. But with most of these available softwares out there comes their limitations. With vray you simply have to twitch up a few notch here and there to get an astonishing result.(and yes I'm not a fan of 3d max and blender. I just don't know why).

In todays post, I'll show you how to make an exterior daytime scene render.

What you'll need for this tutorial are:
Sketchup at lease sketchup 14 and up.
Vray for sketchup version 2.0 and up.
An HDRI (high dynamic range image).

I'll show you an alternative to HDRI using photoshop but that'll be in a different post soon.

Modern two bedroom bungalow exterior daytime scene render

How to make an exterior daytime scene render.


Step #1

Sun setting

If you ask me, Vray is almost similar to photography. And you know photography is all about the way you capture light.

So I normally start off with the sun setting. A very good lighted scene is the secret to a good render.

Next.

Material settings

I get most of the vray materials I use in this tutorial here and here(you have to create an account and pay a token before you get to download them.)

Step #2

Brown wall settings

V-ray material editor: Brown wall settings

Reflection layer
Hilight>Glossiness= 0.7
Reflect>Glossiness= 0.7

Maps layer
Check "Bump" and set the value =5
Click (M) and choose "TexBitmap".

Step #3

Window and mirror ball settings

V-ray material editor: Window and mirror ball settings

Reflection layer
Refraction layer
Color= white
Transparency color= black.

Step #4

Sandstone wall settings

V-ray material editor: Sandstone wall settings

Diffuse layer
Click (M). Choose "TexBitmap"
File= sandstone material

Maps layer
Check "Bump" set the value= 5
Click (M) and choose "TexBitmap"
File= black and white sandstone material.

Edge value= 1.5

Step #5

Grass settings

V-ray material editor: Grass settings

Diffuse layer
Click (M) and choose "TexBitmap"
File= grass picture.

Step #6

Travertine tile settings

V-ray material editor: Travertine tile settings

Diffuse layer
Click (M) and choose "TexBitmap"
File= colored travertine tile material

Maps layer
Check "Bump" set value= 3
Click (M) and choose "TexBitmap"
File= black and white travertine tile material.

Step #7

Leave settings

V-ray material editor: Leave settings

Diffuse layer
Click (M) and choose "TexBitmap"
File= colored material.

Maps layer
Check "Bump" set value= 5
Click (M) and select "TexBitmap"
File= colored deciduous ash leaf material.

Check "Displacement" set value= 3
Click (M) and select "TexBitmap"
File= black and white deciduous ash leaf material.

Uncheck "use globals"

Step #8

Kerb settings

V-ray material editor: Kerb settings

Diffuse layer
Click (M) and select "TexBitmap"
File= colored concrete material.

Maps layer
Check "Bump" and set the value= 3
Click (M) and select "TexBitmap"
File= colored concrete material.

Step #9

Asphalt settings

V-ray material editor: Asphalt settings

Diffuse layer
Click (M) and choose "TexBitmap"
File= asphalt material.

Maps layer
Check "Bump" set the value= 3
Click (M) and select "TexBitmap"
File= asphalt material.

*note: I'll like to bring to your notice that the more layers you add to your model. The more your render time will increase.

And we're through with the material settings. Next, Vray set up.

Vray settings


Step #10

Vray camera settings

V-ray option: camera settings

Shutter speed value= 50
Film speed value= 200
Uncheck "Exposure"

HDRI settings

V-ray option: HDRI settings


Step #11

Environment settings

GI(skylight)
Click (M) and select "TexBitmap"
File= blur HDRI file.

UVW type
Select "UVW GenEnvironment" and set horizontal angle of rotation value= 330

Mapping type
Select "spherical"

Step #12

Reflection/Refraction(background) settings

Click (M) and select "TexBitmap"
File= HDRI file.

UVW type
Select "UVW GenEnvironment" and set horizontal angle of rotation value= 330

Mapping type
Select "spherical"

Refraction settings

V-ray option: refraction settings

Set value= 0.5
Click (M) and select "Texsky"
Set size value= 2.5
Intensity value= 0.3.

There you have it. You have seen how to simply make an exterior daytime scene render and don't forget to edit your material in your next render. Go ahead and make the best out of vray.

They say sharing is caring, so why don't you share this with your friends.

How to download V-ray for free and automatically set it up


V-ray for sketchup settings

Are you into Sketchup designs?
What sketchup plugin do you use?

Whatever reason you have for using sketchup plugin. V-ray does the trick best.

In this tutorial we'll see

• Where to download V-ray plugin for free.
• How to install it.
• How to set v-ray for the first time without going through the usual process. Which can be frustrating for new users.

Follow me.

How to download V-ray plugin for free

Download V-ray for free here.

Once you download the file, for widows users right click the file, and click extract all to unzip the file. Next.

Open the V-ray 2.0 for sketchup file. Follow the prompt instructions. And you've successfully install V-ray 2.0 for sketchup.

V-ray for sketchup settings

How to set V-ray for sketchup.

To set V-ray. I've included a V-ray option file for download to make it easy to set up.

There's a way V-ray option file works. Instead of going through the usual manual stress of setting it up. All you have to do is import the file to your V-ray and the file will automatically set it up for you.

Download V-ray option file here

How to use V-ray option file

Go to sketchup menu at the top of your screen. Go to plugin> option, you'll be prompt with a dialog box. At the top menu of the dialog box hit import settings.

Go to the folder where you saved the previously downloaded V-ray option file. Press open and don't forget to save the settings.

V-ray for sketchup settings


Now you've seen where to download V-ray and how to install it for free. Don't forget the V-ray option file too.

If you feel they're some information not mentioned above, let me know in the comment section. Please don't forget to share this post with your lovely friends.

How to use autocad: the ultimate guide for beginners

How-to-use-autocad-tutorial

Please show yourself if you've ever felt like you're the only one that can't come up with a design in autocad. Is nothing to be ashamed of. Beleive me, you're not alone on this one.

When you open autocad for the first time, it's easy to click around in confusion for a minute and then give up thinking autocad is meant for professionals.

It's an incredibly powerful designing software with a lot going on, including a lot of tools that can seem overwhelming at times. But autocad isn't just for the professionals.

With a little help, you can easily teach yourself how to use it to create beautiful and compelling designs. All it takes is an introduction.

You'll be able to use some basic commands at the end of this post. To get you started, we'll go through how to use it.

I've picked the most used set of tools in autocad and explained what they do, where to find them, how to use them, and a few tips and tricks for getting the most out of them. But before that, lets see how to start autocad since we're using it for the first time.

How to set up autocad before any design

Before you start any drawing with autocad. They are some things you have to put in place like drawing unit and workspace limit.

How to set drawing unit

To set your drawing unit. Type in UNITS on your keyboard. Fill in the information on the prompt dialog box (don't worry the questions are straight forward.)

How-to-set-drawing-units-in-autocad

How to set workspace limit

To set your workspace limit. In the working area type in LIMITS on your keyboard. Fill out the information in the dialog box.

Others, like drawing annotation and the rest are well explained in this post.

A beginners guide to setting autocad

And you're through with setting up your autocad for design.
Next.

Introduction to autocad basic tools.

Basic-tools-in-autocad

Drawing tools

Line 

Just like any other design tool. The line tool create a line and each of these lines can be edited as a separate entity.

Tips: when designing, I recommend you use infinite line to save time. To create an infinite line. Use the short command XLINE.

Rectangle 

The rectangle tool creates rectangular polyline. However, when using this tool. you'll need to specify the length, width and edges of the rectangle.

Hatch 

Ever use any color fill tool in a software before?. That's exactly how this tool works. except for the case that it's a hatch tool that you can use to fill an object.


Modifying tools

Move 

The move tool works like any other move tool you've ever come across. You can move objects to a specific direction.

Tips: before moving any object make sure you activate grid snap and object snap to move objects with precision.

Go to the bottom right corner of your working area. Still don't see it? Keep reading you'll see how it looks like.

Erase

This tool Is the most basic tool in autocad. Just as the name implies, it removes objects from the design.

Tips: instead of selecting objects to erase. You can alternatively enter P to erase the previous selection or all the object.

Rotate tool

This tool simply rotate a selected object to an angle.

Tips: to rotate an object you can alternatively use the short command key. Enter RO on your keyboard following with the of angle of rotation digits. Or better still, drag your cursor pointer around.

And lastly.

Trim and Extend tool

The trim tool simply trims lines that meet each other and the extend tool joins two separate lines to meet each other.

How to use autocad like a boss

These are the basic set of tools in autocad.

Now you're ready to start designing in autocad. Just so you understand more about the highlighted tools above.

I have a tutorial for you to attempt. And I promise, when you're through with the tutorial you'll get to understand how the line tool works.

This tutorial is base on how to use the line tool and some tips.

Note: AutoCAD2011 was used in doing this tutorial I'm about to show you. But don't worry if you're using recent version or the later version. Cause most of the tools are pretty much the same.

A 3D of what you'll be doing in this tutorial.

Step #1 setting up autocad sheet

You don't want to finish your design and find out you used the wrong unit or sheet limit for your design. so please, to avoid stories that'll hurt. ALWAYS SET YOUR AUTOCAD BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE.

How-to-set-autocad-sheet

Step #2 

Draw a horizontal line and bisect it with a vertical one. Name the vertical line A.

Draw a 40mm diagonal line with the angle 30° to the right and name it B.

How to draw the diagonal line.

- Press L (short command to activate the line)
- Put in the line length and press TAB to input the angle.
For more on autocad short commands read.

Now, draw another 40mm diagonal line to the right. And name the line C.

Your result will look like this.

How-to-use-autocad-tutorial

Step #3

From line B to your right. Draw a 40mm line upward and name it D. Join the new line D with the line A. And then, move to the left.
Draw a 40mm line from line C upward and name the new line E. Join the line with line A.
And the result is this.

How-to-use-autocad-tutorial

Step #4

Draw a 40mm diagonal line with the angle of 150° from the line D to the left. Join the new line with line E.
This will be your result. And that's it for today.
How-to-use-autocad-tutorial

Now you've seen how to use autocad and some of it basic tools with their short commands. I'm sure you'll be able to create your next design efficiently.

Please join our site for more how-to tutorials, tips and downloads on autocad.

Let me in.

Stuck with your autocad? Let me know in the comment box.

How to outline text in Photoshop in 5 minutes

How to outline text in Photoshop

One of the challenges I see Photoshop beginners, bloggers or even social media users face is how to outline text in Photoshop.

Yes, you heard that right.

Outlining a text in Photoshop is so important it get people to engage with your post. And you know the more people engage with your content the better you get to build up your following.

Here, I'll be sharing with you how to outline text in Photoshop using the blend option.

The blend option is a very powerful feature with lots of options to enhance the look of your design. Yet lots of people never take the time to try them out.

They are many ways to address this issue using the blend option but I choose to use these method simply because it is easy to use and it is one of my favourite.

Step #1: how to outline a text in Photoshop.

Outline text in Photoshop leaving the text

Select the text tool to insert the text to your graphic.

Go to layer> layer style> blend options. Tick the stroke option on the left in the prompted dialog box.

Don't be afraid to change the stroke settings to your taste by editing the size, position, opacity, and color.

Click OK and you are through with the first method.

Step #2: outlining a text and removing the text leaving the outline.

Outline text in Photoshop without the text

Select the text tool to insert the text to your graphic.

Go to layer> layer style> blend options.
Select the stroke option on the left side of the displayed dialog box.

Adjust the stroke settings: the size, position, opacity and color to your desired taste.

Change the original text color to the same color with the background.

And you have set your text outline.

Please note that the second method of this post only works for graphics with a solid colored background. For example backgrounds with white or black color.

Now what?


Here is what professionals do. When they read they apply. Remember you are your best teacher.

I'll love to hear your feedback when you apply these methods of how to outline text in Photoshop. 

How to use Photoshop: the ultimate guide.

How to use Photoshop

Whenever I hear the word "graphic design" or "photo editing". Photoshop is the tool that comes to mind before any other designing tool. I'm not sure when it started, but one thing I'm sure about is. The first time I came across Photoshop about a year ago. I just can't get enough of the software.

"With Photoshop you can create anything you can imagine."

However, Photoshop tools might seem a little overwhelming for the first time but once you get to understand how it works. It will make your design much easier.

In this post I will be highlighting some of the most useful tools in Photoshop. Where to find them, What they do and how to use them.

Must watch video:


I have also included a PDF file for download in case you will like to learn more about some of the highlighted tools and some tips and tricks.

The Layer Tool

You can access this tool by clicking "Layer" in the top menu bar.

A layer can be used for an image, text, brush strokes, background colors, patterns, and filters.

Just as the name implies. Layers is a series of transparent glass placed on top one another that you will use to create your final design. Every layer can be modified individually without affecting each other. This is a very useful feature when making a complex design.

Tips: Always name your layers to keep your work organize. I highly recommend this especially when you are working on a design with large number of layers.

The Select Tool

This tool is located at the toolbar on the left.

This tool let you select elements, entire image, and determine what to copy, cut, and pasted into your graphics.

The Select tool is the most basic and yet the most frustrating tool to use in Photoshop. The important thing to know is that it only works if a layer is highlighted. So, if I want to cut or copy a piece of a Layer, The layer must be highlighted in the Layer tool bar. Current layers are indicated by highlighting blue color.

Once you remember to pay attention to which layer you are working with, the Select tool becomes much easier to use.

The Move Tool

This tool is located at the toolbar on the left.

This tool allows you to move individual elements of your graphic.

The Move tool works on individual layers, and on the graphic as a whole. It most useful when you’re trying to reposition images, text, and other design elements.

Tips: Hold the SHIFT key while moving an element to maintain the proportions of the element you are moving.


The Crop Tool

This tool is located at the toolbar on the left.

The Crop tool lets you crop an image. It works like any crop tool you have ever use before. Simply choose the area you want to crop and crop it out.


The Text Tool

This tool is located at the toolbar on your left.

The Text tool lets you add custom fonts to your graphic and it gives you access to font settings that add some style to your text.

Tips: You can download Photoshop fonts online for free and install to your Photoshop.

The Color & Swatches Tool

By default, it has its own module on the top right corner of the Photoshop screen.

The Color and Swatches tool lets you use, modify, copy, and save custom colors for your content. Another place to find the Color tool is at the bottom of the toolbar on the left, indicated by two overlapping boxes.

To create a custom color:

Open the Color Picker by double-clicking on the top box either in the Color module, or in that menu on the left. From there, you will see a vertical spectrum of color with a slider on it, which you can adjust to create your own custom color.

Alternatively, if you already have a specific color of which you know the hex value (i.e. #1fb1ee), then enter it in the appropriate box to find that color automatically. You can also select your color swatch based on RGB or CMYK values.

Tips: Any color you create can be added to your "Swatches" if you click "Add To Swatches". Take your business or brand colors and save them as “Swatches” so that you can reuse them whenever you are designing.

The Custom Brushes & The Brush Tool

This tool is located at the toolbar on the left.

Just like the text tool, you can add your own custom brush tips. With the brush settings, you can change the size, shape, and transparency of your brush strokes to achieve a number of different visual effects.

Once you click the Brush tool icon, all of the settings and brush options will pop up at the top of your screen. These settings let you change the brush size, opacity, flow, and so on. You will find a variety of pre-installed brush tips, as well as any custom brush tips you install into your Photoshop.

Tips: Before using the brush tool, I suggest you add a new layer to work with so you don’t paint over any of your other elements. You can choose colors from your library of swatches, or use a custom color.


The Zoom Tool

The zoom tool is located in the top menu bar, To select, go to View > Zoom In or View > Zoom Out. Alternatively you can press the CTRL ++ (PC) on the keyboard or Command + (MAC). You can also press CTRL -- (PC) or Command - (MAC) to zoom out.


The Eraser tool

This tool is located at the toolbar on the left.

Just like the brush tool. You can change the size and hardness of the eraser tip to achieve a variety of effects, like blending and fades. The Background Eraser uses differences in color to help you erase unwanted background areas from your images. The eraser is one of the most useful tools in Photoshop.

Once you click the Eraser icon, The settings let you change the eraser size, hardness of the tool.

The Fill Tool

This tool is located at the toolbar on the left.
Alternatively go to "Layer" at the menu bar> New Fill Layer. From there, you have the option to choose "Solid Color," "Gradient," or "Pattern."

The Fill tool, fills any solid area with the color of your choice. It's great for solid backgrounds or coloring large areas. It can also be used to apply patterns to your images. The Gradient tool within the Fill tool lets you create a nice, faded background effect of the color of your choice.


The Eyedropper


This tool is located at the toolbar on the left.

The eyedropper tool lets you extract and use any color from an image in Photoshop.

 Blending Option


This tool is located at the top menu bar, To select, go to Layer > Layer Style > Blending Option. You can also double-click any layer to bring up the options for that particular layer.

Blending options include quite a number of features to enhance the look of your graphic. For example, you can use the "Outer Glow" effect to make letters appear like they're glowing. Or you can use the "Drop Shadow" effect to add a shadow to your letters. Take some time to play around with all the layer effects and find out which ones tickle your fancy.

Download How to use Photoshop pdf

I have also included a PDF file for download in case you will like to learn more about some of the highlighted tools and some tips and tricks.

The most important thing to know about using Photoshop is. The more you practice the better you get. Refer back to this post as needed but also keep in mind that you are often your best teacher.


Best Autocad alternative

The best AutoCAD alternative

When it comes to computer aided designing, autocad is one of the best CAD softwares available.

However, getting a product key and activation code for autocad is not easy, especially when you are using the software for the first time.

The best solution to this, especially when you have tried all possible means of getting the product key and activation code, is to look for a good autocad alternative. The alternative mention in this post is not better than autocad but will serve as a good alternative depending on.

Your design project and size.
What you intend to present to clients.

It might give you a better end result than autocad. At this point you should take note that autocad is a drafting software application. While this application we’ll be talking about is a BIMCAD software.

Archicad is the best alternative to autocad in terms of 2D drafting.

Archicad is an architectural software developed by Graphisoft. It is the first BIM product on a personal computer to be able to create both 2D and 3D geometry. It also has a rendering tool to produce realistic picture for presentation.

Like autocad, archicad uses a DWG,DXF files. It also import and export both 2D drawings and 3D models. In archicad, plans, elevations and sections are generated from the three dimensional model and are updated whenever changes are made to the views.

So, what are you waiting for?

Get your archicad software today and start making history.

Which software are you using asides archicad as an alternative to autocad and how well is it working for you? Tell me in the comment section below.