Thursday, 17 April 2014

Architectural Renderings: Two Point Perspective

The first task was to sketch a building from life and present it using techniques commonly seen in stylised concept sketches, for use in product, building, and vehicle design. This would give me the opportunity to practice not only my sketching but also my presentation skills. I've always been keen on perspective drawing I feel it fits with my perfectionist inclinations and apart from the few sketches I did for my vehicle design module I haven't had another opportunity to practice.
Looking at the way other designers present their work (such as Syd Mead) we can see in the images below that these early concept sketches concentrate on line work with some simple shading to signify light direction and enhance the 3D appearance in conjunction with the use of perspective.

Two point perspective

This technique is great for producing stylised, 2D illustrations of objects to make them appear more three-dimensional. When viewing an object in real life it seems to shrink as it gets further away, parallel lines will eventually converge into a single point on the horizon/eye level known as the vanishing point
I took plenty of reference photography of buildings around Newcastle that I thought would make for interesting sketches. Modern buildings with strong lines/form would translate well to a perspective sketch.

I've always loved the Baltic and thought it was a rather appropriate subject matter for the work I wanted to produce, not only in form but also the use of the building. I sketched the image by eye using the photo only as reference but as you can see in the image below I've shown where the horizon line and the vanishing points would be on the building from the viewers point of view.

I'll generally start a perspective drawing by establishing the horizon line, then the longest, vertical line that is closer to the viewer, diagonal lines drawn from the top and bottom of this line to the vanishing points act as constraints that all other lines will fall between. I'm really pleased with the results, I took great care to capture the lines of every detail on the building which greatly enhance the final sketch. It's probably a little stretched at the top but I feel this adds to the imposing nature of the design.

To ink up my sketch digitally I decided to use Sketchbook designer, a vector based version of their sketchbook pro software. I setup the perspective grid in the program and redid some of the line work from my initial sketch as some of the vertical lines weren't straight, this somewhat fixed the stretching.

I continued to refine the line-work and shading, adding all the window details with increasingly thinner lines. In my reference image a window was open so I added that to my design, it's this little detail that grounds the building in reality. Once I was happy I took the image into Photoshop to add the text to the building by skewing and distorting it until it followed the perspective I'd established. I added shading to each window to emphasise the light direction of the image whilst experimenting with a variety of brushes to create the light streaks I wanted.
As a finishing touch and to make the building 'pop' I created some background noise to frame the building. It really helps the building stand out but I also tried to suggest shadows, and even clouds in the noise that I created.

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