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Introduction.

There has always been a general unwritten consensus among landscape architects that computer-aided design (CAD) drawings are too sterile to showcase the best attributes of any design. CAD drawings have also been described as cold, generic, and bare. In sharp contrast, traditional hand-drawn media is considered the absolute best format to illustrate "good design," and the true measure for gauging the talent of the designer. The general assumption is that CAD is solely used for assisting in the creation of construction documents and not to be used for other "creative" uses. In the early years of the development of the CAD software, most of these assumptions were certainly true, but recent advances in computer technology are challenging these views.

The newly revised and improved versions of CAD have begun to incorporate "color rendering" tools such as M-Color (a plug-in for CAD). Although these improvements are directed toward the needs of the CAD--engineer base market, they are still in the early stages of development. On the other hand, CAD is becoming more flexible and compatible with other rendering software such as Adobe Photoshop CS2. This compatibility now offers a full spectrum of color rendering formats available only in Photoshop CS2, which surpasses the current version of M-Color CAD plug-in. This chapter will guide readers in a step-by-step process that shows how to integrate CAD and Photoshop.

First Step: Importing a CAD Drawing into Adobe Photoshop

The first step is to launch the latest version of AutoCAD and open a drawing that has clear, precise, and strong graphics. Your CAD drawing must be in paper space at the scale to be plotted. Please refer to the AutoCAD (Chapter 1); Setting Up the Drawing (figure 3-1).

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Second, under the AutoCAD top menu, File, select Plot File, and change the plotter to Adobe PDF. Confirm that your current drawing page layout matches the plot settings by clicking on the Properties button of the Plot File pop-up menu window. This will be followed by another pop-up menu window; now click on Custom Properties (figure 3-2).

On the Custom Properties window, check that the Adobe PDF Settings--Default is set for high-quality print, the Paper/Quality is selected to be in the correct Paper Source--Size, the Color is selected as Black and White, and the Layout is selected according to the drawing specifications (figures 3-3, 3-4, and 3-5).

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Hit the OK button several times until you return to the original Plot File window. There, the Paper Size window should show the correct paper size, the Preview window should show the proper size and orientation of the drawing, and Plot Scale should be a 1:1 ratio. Hit the OK button and follow the instructions on where to save your PDF document (figure 3-6).

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Your browser might automatically launch Adobe Acrobat Professional and open the document. If you follow these instructions and get to this stage, congratulations, you are ready for the next step (figure 3-7).

Close AutoCAD and Adobe Acrobat and launch Adobe Photoshop CS2. Under File menu, select Open and browse until you find your Adobe PDF drawing, then hit the OK button (figure 3-8). The Import PDF pop-up menu window will open. There, on Select, choose Page, Thumbnail--Size--Fit the Page, Crop--Bounding Box, Resolution--300 dpi or larger, Mode--RGB, and Bit Depth--16 bit. Hit OK (figure 3-9). Your drawing should carry the same paper size dimensions of your CAD drawing (figure 3-10).

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If not, just under the top menu option Image, select Canvas Size and match the canvas size to the size of your original drawing (figures 3-11 and 3-12). Be aware that there is always a small percentage of distortion in changing the AutoCAD file into a PDF and then into Photoshop CS2. This is normal but should not be noticeable to the trained eye (figure 3-13).

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At this point you have learned how to import a CAD drawing into Adobe Photoshop CS2. The imported PDF drawing should be in the layer menu as standard Layer 1. Depending on your Photoshop default setting, your background should be either white or transparent. Now you are able to make full use of the different rendering techniques available on Adobe Photoshop CS2 such as blue print, sepia print, water color, color pencil, color markers, air brush, and many others. Program Interchange and Student Project Examples (Chapter 6) of this book will provide further instructions and illustrations of these rendering techniques. The next step will focus on the popular air brush color rendering technique.

Air Brush--Color Rendering the PDF CAD File Using Adobe Photoshop CS2

In 1879, Abner Peeler of Iowa invented an air-operated tool that sprayed dye, ink, and water-base paint. This tool was quickly adopted by graphic designers and illustrators because of the fast, economical, and easy application of color to large drawing areas. Architects and landscape architects adopted this tool in their rendering palette because of the soft and transparent character of this media. Today, because of the purchase cost of basic air brush nozzles and air pump kits, this format has lost its advantage over other formats such as color markers and pencils. This format can be easily recreated using Adobe Photoshop CS2 by following these simple steps.

First, under the Layers tab, create a new layer and label it Background. Rename the PDF drawing layer as Line Drawing. This simple step allows us to quickly recognize where drawings are located (figure 3-14). Next, make the Background layer the active layer and turn off the Line Drawing layer. On the toolbar, click on "Set Background Color." This should launch the Color Picker window. Scroll up or down on the color bar to get the white schemes tones and value. Select white as the background color, and then hit OK (figure 3-15). RGB values of white are R/255, G/255, and B/255, or Number ffffff.

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Selecting white as the background color will provide higher contrast for color rendering. Using the Rectangular Marquee tool, select the entire Background layer. Select the Bucket tool and select the white color from the background color, and click inside the field previously selected with the Rectangular Marquee tool. Make sure the Background layer is active. This action will fill the Background layer with a solid tone of white color. After completion, deselect the area (figure 3-16). Remember that the Background layer is under the Line Drawing layer, so make sure that your layer order is correct; otherwise, the line drawing might end up underneath the solid field of white.

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Now turn the Line Drawing layer on and make it the active layer (figure 3-17). The next step is to create a new layer, between the Line Drawing and Background layer. This is done in order to prevent the black line drawing being covered by the color layer. Remember that the Layer tabs reads from top to bottom, and thus it will follow the same order of vertical placement on the drawing. Label this new layer Color Render 1. Make the Color Rendering layer the active layer (figure 3-18).

The next step is to select the Brush tool that most closely resembles the airbrush technique. In the Adobe Photoshop CS2 floating toolbar, select the "Brush Tool (B)" icon. This will launch, under the top toolbar, the Brush Size, Mode, Opacity, Flow, and Set to Enable Airbrush Capabilities icons (figure 3-19).

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Next to the Brush Icon of the top toolbar there is an arrow. Click on the arrow and this will launch a pop-up menu window. In the top of this window there is another arrow. Click on this arrow to launch a second pop-up menu with side scroll bar. Scroll down the list and select Basic Brushes (figure 3-20). A pop-up window will appear, asking you to accept changing your current Brush Style options to Basic Brushes. Hit OK to accept making Basic Brushes the active brush selection.

The first Brush Option pop-up menu window now shows your current Basic Brush options. Use the scroll up/down side bar to locate and select any of the Soft Mechanical brushes. The Soft Mechanical brushes vary in size from 1 pixel to 500 pixels. Start by selecting the Soft Mechanical 100 Pixel as a basic. Set the Master Diameter to 100 pixels, and the Hardness to 0% (figure 3-21).

Once the Soft Mechanical brush is set, the next icons under the top of the toolbar should be set as follows: the Mode set to Normal, the Opacity to 50%, the Flow to 50%, and Set to Enable Airbrush Capabilities should be turned ON. This will allow you to create the transparent and soft look created with air brush (figure 3-22). The next step is to select your color choices from the Color Picker box by clicking first on the Set Foreground Color in the floating toolbar (figures 3-23 and 3-24).

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Once you select the color, make sure that the Color Render 1 layer is the active layer (highlighted in blue in the Layer Box window). Try to avoid a perfectly even color distribution, which will mimic air brush rendering technique more closely. Experiment with the different brush diameters, hardnesses, and opacities to get a softer or harder look. Imagine that the cursor arrow is the air brush nozzle, and use it to recreate the same movement and flow of the rendering media. You might consider overlapping a color over itself in order to get low and high values of color rendering (figure 325). There is no wrong and right in this technique since we are trying to recreate the feel of a hand drawing--not a perfect reproduction--in a mechanical rendering media.

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Do not hesitate to create more "Color Render" layers. This will allow you to overlap layers, thus preventing one layer from screening the other by accident (figures 3-26 and 3-27). Keep in mind that every time a new layer is created, by default Adobe Photoshop will make the new layer the top layer. Always move the Line Drawing layer to the top, thus preventing screening out the black lines with color. Use the Eraser tool to clean the overspills created by the air brush, or the Marquee tool to isolate specific areas to be rendered. Also, the Marquee tool allows pasting multiple copies of the same rendering such as trees or shrubs (figure 3-28).

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Adobe Photoshop by default action will create a new layer every time the Copy and Paste command is used. To save time, after completing the Copy and Paste task of the same object, turn all the layers off except the ones with the same object copied, and use the Merge Visible command under the Layers option of the top of the toolbar. This will merge all the active visible layers into one layer (figures 3-29 and 3-30).

Another time-saving option of Adobe Photoshop CS2 is that each layer opacity level can be manipulated to control the "transparency" of the layer. This will allow you to control whether different elements within the rendering composition are revealed or concealed from the view. Figures 3-31 and 3-32 show that, by changing the layer opacity of the Tree Rendering layer to a low setting, the understory flower beds can be revealed or concealed from the view.

Once you reach the desired "air brush" feel, save the drawing as an active Adobe Photoshop drawing and also save a copy as the "final drawing." The last one is the copy that you need to flatten all layers to create one simple drawing. The first one you keep as a backup copy, in case further revisions are needed (figures 3-32 and 3-33).

It is recommended that you print your drawing using Adobe PDF. Under File in the top toolbar, select Save As (figure 3-34). This will launch the Save As pop-up menu window. From there, scroll and select Photoshop PDF from the Format window. Make sure to name your drawing Color Print Format for easy recognition, and hit the Save button (figure 3-35). This will launch another Save As pop-up window. Hit the OK button until the last pop-up window is reached. Then, just click on the "Save PDF" button (figures 3-36, 337, and 3-38). This will turn the drawing into an easy format to print from Adobe Acrobat Professional, and will reduce the file size considerably without a noticeable loss of image resolution.

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The "ACME" Blue Print Using Adobe Photoshop CS2

The blueprint format is imbedded in American pop culture thanks to two favorite cartoon characters, Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. The inventive Coyote was on a constant mission to catch the Road Runner, at one point devising and engineering a complex "ACME Blue Print Master Plan" to nab his elusive prey. This traditional image of the blueprint is especially attractive to those seeking a nostalgic feel in their drawings because it is a dated technology. Before the invention of the Xerox Laser Photocopying machine, reproductions of large-format plans were done with a Diazo Print Machine that used ammonia. This chemical reacted with light, turning the background of the paper dark blue, with high contrast white lines. Refinements in the Diazo Print Machine later reversed the color--thus the background of the paper turned a pale tone of blue (almost white) and the lines dark blue. Currently, because of environmental concerns and regulations, Diazo Print Machines are being replaced with ammonia-free oversized laser copy plotters and printers that can print in any color (including blue). Today it is the norm to get a good black-and-white copy, and the blueprint format is fading out of use. The nostalgic "old blueprint" format can still be created using Photoshop CS2, and is one of the simplest to accomplish if you follow these simple steps.

Setting the base drawing as a PDF format

The first step is to insert a good-quality black-and-white drawing into Photoshop CS2. There are several ways to insert a drawing into Photoshop CS2. The beginnings of Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 show how to insert a drawing into Adobe Photoshop as a PDF format. Also, the user can insert a scanned image (hand drawn) into Photoshop. Make sure to change the image format to a PDF before importing into Photoshop. The JPEG, TIFF, or PSD will not work with this technique. Also, make sure the imported PDF file is in black-and-white format in the RGB (red, green, blue) mode, and is of high resolution.

Setting the drawing

First, launch Adobe Photoshop CS2. Under File (top menu bar), select Open. This will launch another pop-up menu window in which the user can browse and locate the base drawing PDF format file. This will launch the Import PDF pop-up menu option window (figure 3-39). Make sure that the Crop To option is selected as Media Box, the Resolution is set to 150 or higher, and Mode is RGB. The original settings of the drawing, such as that of paper size, should be carried into Photoshop. If not, return to the original CAD base drawing and save again with the correct paper size proportions. This action will guarantee that the original scale of the drawings is preserved. Please refer to the previous section of this chapter for further information. By default setting, the PDF drawing will be placed in Layer 1. The checkerboard background indicates that the image is transparent except for the black lines of the original CAD PDF drawing. Make sure to select Fit On Screen under the top toolbar View icon for a better screen view work space setting, and dock the layer window to the side (figure 3-40).

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At the Layer tool window, select Layer 1 and rename it Black Line Drawing. Also, create a new layer and name it Background. Make sure to place Black Line Drawing layer on top of the Background layer. This action will prevent accidentally screening the Black Line Drawing with the Background layer. Always label your layers for easy access and recognition (figure 3-41).

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Setting the dark blue background color

In the Layer tool window, turn off the Black Line Drawing layer and make the Background layer the active layer. Click on "Set Background Color," which is located in the side toolbar. This should launch the Color Picker window. Scroll up or down on the color bar to get the blue schemes, tones, and values. Select the blue color that is closest to the background blue color of an old blueprint, and then hit OK (figure 3-42).

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From the side toolbar, select the Bucket tool and select the blue color from the background color, and click at the center of the checkerboard background. Make sure the Background layer is active. This action will fill the Background layer with a solid tone of blue color. Remember that the Background layer is meant to be under the Line Drawing layer, so make sure that your layer order is correct, otherwise the line drawing might end up underneath the solid field of blue. After the Background layer is turned dark blue, turn on the Black Line Drawing layer to double-check that your layer order is correct (figure 3-43).

Changing the black lines to white lines

First, make the Black Line Drawing layer the active layer. In order to change the lines from black/grey color, select the Image icon located at the top of the toolbar. Under Image, select Adjustments, and then select Brightness/Contrast (figure 3-44).

This will launch the Brightness/Contrast pop-up menu window. In this window change both field bars to +100. This will make the lines pure white (figure 345).

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Aging the blueprint

Anyone who ever came across an old blueprint plan will be familiar with fading blue edges, and water and stain marks on the paper. A combination of the Gradient, Dodge, and Burn tools can be used to achieve this old appearance. These tools will allow you to create a faded-out appearance on the background. Use the Gradient Editor and experiment with several color scheme combinations such as a dark and light tone of blue. The Gradient tool is located on the side toolbar. Look for the Bucket tool and click on the little corner arrow to launch the Gradient tool (figure 3-46). The gradient options are located at the top of the toolbar. Again, make sure the Background layer is the active layer. Use the Marquee tool to erase/delete the previous solid field of dark blue to start clean over a new background.

The Gradient tool option will allow the user to change the default settings of the highlights and dark values. Keep in mind that the default color for the gradient is the color that has been previously selected in the Color Picker, so make sure Dark Blue is selected before experimenting with the Gradient tool (figure 3-47).

To get a more aged appearance, use the Dodge or Burn tools to create highlights or dark spots along the edges or the center of the paper. Remember that all kinds of paper age with time, light, and humidity, and thus using the Dodge or Burn tool will accomplish this feel. Also, experiment with the style of brush, size, range, and exposure parameters. Use the "Drippy Water" brush from the Wet Media Brush styles in combination with the Dodge tool to create the effect of wet storage damage. Again, make sure the background (Dark Blue) layer is the active layer (figure 3-48).

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Saving the image and plotting

After completing the old blueprint look, save two copies of the drawing. Save one copy as an active Adobe Photoshop drawing and the second as the finished image. The finished image copy is the one that you need to flatten all layers to create one simple drawing. The active Adobe Photoshop drawing copy you will keep as a backup copy in the event that further revisions are required. Print/Save your flattened finished copy drawing as an Adobe PDF format. The PDF format is printer and electronic transfer friendly, and also reduces the file size (storage capacity) considerably.

The Standard Sepia Color Print

Like the blueprint, the sepia print is another print format based on the Diazo Print Machine technology of the past. The sepia print's main characteristic is that the lines are dark brown and the background color is a pale coffee tone. The sepia print was also favored because the dark brown lines are erasable. Also, the paper is almost translucent, thus allowing for revisions directly on the sepia copy and then running the sepia print again through the Diazo Print Machine to make more copies. Like the blueprint, the sepia offers an old-fashioned and nostalgic look that is easily reproduced using Adobe Photoshop CS2.

Setting the drawing

Using exactly the same steps previously described for setting the blue print, import a CAD base drawing into Adobe Photoshop CS2 as a PDF file. Likewise, create a new layer and label it Background. Rename the PDF drawing layer as Black Line Drawing. As previously stated, this simple step allows us to quickly recognize where things are located. Next, make the Background layer the active layer and turn off the Line Drawing layer (figure 3-49).

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Setting the light tan background color

Following the same steps as previously explained in the blue print format, in the Layer tool window, turn off the Black Line Drawing layer, and make the Background layer the active layer. Using the Color Picker tool, select a light tan color that is similar to an old sepia color, then using the Bucket tool fill the background color with your sepia color choice (figures 3-50 and 3-51).

This action will fill the Background layer with a solid tone of tan color. Remember that the Background Layer is under the Line Drawing layer, so make sure that your layer order is correct, otherwise the line drawing might end up underneath the solid field of tan.

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Changing the black lines to dark brown

To change the black lines to dark brown, you must first make the Black Line Layer the active layer. Next, at the top of the toolbar select Image. Under Image, select Adjustments, followed by Hue/Saturation (figure 3-52). This action will launch the Hue/Saturation pop-up menu window (figure 3-53).

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Next, use the Eyedropper tool and click/select the black line of the drawing. Once you select the black line of the drawing, notice that in the Select Background/Foreground color tool, located in the side toolbar, the square preview turns black. Then, on the Hue/Saturation pop-up menu window, check the Colorize and Preview icons boxes. In this pop-up window change the Hue Field box option to 34, the Saturation box option to 100, and the Lightness box option to 24. This will change the color of the lines from black to brown (figure 3-54). Note that the Select Background/Foreground window of the side bar will change from black to selected tone of brown. Also, keep in mind that depending on your monitor color setup, the box options of the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness may differ from the ones stated above. You may need to try different values on the box options to get the desired tones of brown. Once you reach your brown color, hit the OK button to set (figure 3-55).

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Aging the sepia print

Aging the sepia print plan will reinforce the nostalgic look and feel of the plan to resemble this dated technology. Like in the previous blue print exercise, use the Gradient tool to create the illusion of paper edge fading (figure 3-56). The Gradient tool is located in the side toolbar. Click on the little corner arrow in the Bucket tool icon in order to select the Gradient tool. To launch the Gradient Editor pop-up menu window, double-click on the Gradient sample bar located on the top toolbar of your screen.

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Another way to reinforce the aged look is by using the Dodge or Burn tools. To further edit the Dodge or Burn tool options, double-click on the small arrow next to the brush size of the top toolbar of your screen. This will launch the Brush Editor pop-up menu window (figure 3-57).

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Try different brush sizes, shapes, and styles. The Wet Media Brushes will reinforce the illusion of wet storage damage on the paper. To select this option, click on the small arrow on the top of the Brush Editor pop-up menu window and scroll down to locate the Wet Media Brush option (figure 3-57). Hit OK in the next pop-up window. The Brush Editor pop-up menu window will now show the new/loaded brush options. Scroll down and locate the Drippy Water brush and click to select it (figure 3-58). Again, make sure the Background (light tan color) layer is the active layer.

Saving the image and plotting

As in the previous blue print exercise, after completing the sepia print look, save two copies of the drawing. Save one copy as an active Adobe Photoshop drawing and the second as the finished image. The finished image copy is the one that you need to flatten all layers to create one simple drawing. The active Adobe Photoshop drawing copy you will keep as a backup copy in the event that further revisions are required. Print/Save your flattened finished image copy drawing as an Adobe PDF format. The PDF format is printer and electronic transfer friendly, and also reduces the file size (storage capacity) considerably (figure 3-59).

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Water Color

Today's landscape architecture computer-savvy practitioners are discovering that rendering in any kind of media is possible in the digital world. Even traditional hand-rendering media such as water colors can be recreated digitally. The obvious advantage of the savings in annual overhead cost of the office art supply materials justifies the investment in a laptop computer and a quality printer. Another advantage is that individuals who are allergic to certain art supply materials, such as acetone-based markers, are now able to express their artistic capabilities digitally.

Setting the base drawing as a PDF format

As previously explained in the blue print section of this chapter, first start by launching Adobe Photoshop CS2. Under File (top menu bar), select Open. This will launch another pop-up menu window in which the user can browse and locate the base drawing PDF format file. This will launch the Import PDF pop-up menu option window. Make sure that the Crop To option is selected as Media Box, the Resolution is set to 150 or higher, and Mode is RGB. The original setting of the drawing such as paper size should be carried into Photoshop. If not, return to the original CAD base drawing and save again with the correct paper size proportions. This action will guarantee that the original scale of the drawing is preserved. Please refer to the previous section of this chapter for further information. By default setting, the PDF drawing will be placed in Layer 1. The checkerboard background indicates that the image is transparent except for the black lines of the original CAD PDF drawing. Make sure to select Fit On Screen under the top toolbar View icon, and dock the layer window to the side for a better screen view work space setting.

At the Layer tool window, select Layer 1 and rename it Black Line Drawing. Also, create a new layer and name it Background. Make sure to place Black Line Drawing layer on top of the Background layer. This action will prevent accidentally screening the Black Line Drawing with the Background layer. Always label your layers for easy access and recognition (figure 3-60).

Setting the background color

In the Layer tool window, turn off the Black Line Drawing Layer and make the Background the active layer. Click on "Set Background Color," which is located in the side toolbar. This will launch the Color Picker window. Scroll up or down on the color bar to get the background color of your choice, and then hit OK.

From the side toolbar, select the Bucket tool and select your color from the background color; next click at the center of the checkerboard background (figure 3-61). Make sure the Background layer is active. This action will fill the Background layer with a solid tone of the color of your choice. Remember that the Background layer is under the Line Drawing layer, so make sure that your layer order is correct--otherwise the line drawing might end up underneath the solid field of your chosen color. After the Background layer is set, turn on the Black Line Drawing layer to double-check that your layer order is correct.

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Setting the layers and water color style brushes

Adobe Photoshop CS2 and AutoCAD offer the advantage of working in layers. The layers offer the capability of isolating items within the composition and the flexibility of overlapping/screening. The next step is to create several layers between the Line Drawing and Background layer. The Black Line Layer must always be in the top of the Layer Editor window to prevent the black lines from being covered by color. The Background layer must always be in the bottom of the Layer Editor window to prevent the solid field of color from accidentally screening everything before flattening the image. Start by creating several new layers, placing them between Black Line and Background layers. Label these new layers Color Render 1, 2, 3, and so forth (figure 3-62).

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Make the Color Render 1 layer the active layer. Next, select the Brush tool located in the side toolbar. Click on the corner arrow of the Pencil icon to select the Brush tool (figure 3-63).

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Once the Brush tool is selected, the top of the toolbar will show the Brush Editing options, such as Brush Size, Mode, Opacity, and Flow. Click on the arrow next to the Brush Size to launch the Brush Editor pop-up menu window. Next to the Brush Diameter, click on the arrow to open the pop-up menu list for Brush Media option, scroll down, and select Wet Media Brushes (figure 3-64).

The Brush Editor Preview window will now show the loaded Wet Media Brush options. Scroll down and select from the list the Drippy Brush, and change the Brush Master Diameter and Hardness to the parameter that best suits your needs (author's choice is 10 and 50). Once selected, look at the top of the toolbar of your screen and change the Mode to Normal, the Opacity to 50%, and the Flow to 50%. This will allow you to create the transparent and soft look of real water color (figure 3-65).

Color rendering

Next, select your color choices from the Color Picker box, and hit OK (figure 366). Make sure that Color Render 1 layer is the active layer. Also, click on the Brush tool icon and then use the mouse to apply color into the drawing. Think of the mouse as a brush. Do not try to get a perfectly even color distribution, as water color renderings have the tendency to be uneven. Also, do not hesitate to change the brush diameter, hardness, and opacity to get a softer or harder look. Using the mouse as a brush, try to recreate the same movement and direction of an actual brush. You might consider overlapping a color over itself to get low and high values of color rendering. There is no wrong and right in this technique since we are trying to recreate the feel of an imperfect, hand-rendered media. Also, use the Zoom tool to fit the object in the screen and enable to see the entire rendering (figure 3-67).

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Do not hesitate to create more "Color Render" layers. This will allow you to overlap one layer over the other, thus preventing one layer from screening the other by accident. Use the Eraser to clean some of the overspills created by the Drippy Brush, or use the Marquee tool to isolate specific areas to be rendered (figure 3-68).

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Once you render your composition, you need to "texturize" all the color layers in order to enhance the water color paper feel.

Merging the layers and texturizing the water color paper

Most water color paper has some kind of texture. Adobe Photoshop CS2 will allow you to texture your drawing to match that of wet media paper, thus enhancing the water color feel of your rendering. In order to "texture" your drawing, the Image mode must be set in RGB Color to 8 Bits per channel (figure 3-69).

The Texturizing tool will complete the feel and appearance of water color. This tool will create a visual texture that resembles canvas, burlap, sandstone, and brick. Before using this tool, save one document copy first as an active Photoshop document, and a second copy to be used to create the finished image. The active Photoshop document copy you will keep as a backup copy in case further revisions are required. The second copy is the one to merge all the color layers and the background first before texturize. Keeping an active photoshop document with all the layers intact will enable the user to make further changes or revisions to the original. Once the layers are flattened, no further manipulation or changes are allowed. Do not texturize the Black Line layer because this might create some distortion, thus weakening the general appeal of the composition. To avoid Texturizing the Black Line layer, turn this layer off first before merging all the layers and texturizing (figure 3-70).

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Once you turn the Black Line layer off, make the Background layer active. Also, make sure the layer order is set correctly since the layers will be flattened one on top of the other per the order that they are placed in the Layer window. At the top of the toolbar and under Layer, click and scroll down to select Merge Visible (figure 3-71). All the visible layers are now bound together as one layer (flattening). When an image is flattened, the name of the layer that is active will be preserved. Merge Visible tool will flatten only the visible (On) layers. Because the Dark Line layer was turned off first, this layer will remain intact (figure 3-72).

The next step is to texturize the Background layer only. At the top toolbar, under Filter, scroll down and select Texture, and then select Texturizer (figure 373). The Texturizer Editor pop-up window will be launched (figure 3-74). The Texturizer Editor box will have several options to choose from. Select the one that best suits your aesthetic needs. Also, explore modifying the scale, relief, and light source. Hit OK when the desired texture is attained.

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Once the OK button is hit, the Texturizer Editor window will close, returning to the original screen. Turn the Black Line layer on to see the finished composition (figure 3-75). Once you reach your finish rendering look, flatten all the remaining layers before plotting.

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Saving the image and plotting

As in the previous blue print and sepia print exercises, after completing your water color rendering, save two copies of the drawing. Save one copy as an active Adobe Photoshop drawing and the second as the finished image. The finished image copy is the one that you need to flatten all layers to create one simple drawing. The active Adobe Photoshop drawing copy you will keep as a backup copy in the event that further revisions are required. Print/Save your flattened finished image copy drawing as an Adobe PDF format. The PDF format is printer and electronic transfer friendly, and also reduces the file size (storage capacity) considerably (figure 3-76).

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Marker Rendering

Adobe Photoshop CS2 will enable users to recreate the colors, feel, and texture of markers. Rendering with color markers has become the signature hand rendering technique in today's professional practice of landscape architecture. Color markers were first introduced in the 20th century as a technological advancement and substitute for the traditional media of water color paint. The color markers offered the advantages of being easy to transport, fast drying, and inexpensive. They also came in a variety of colors, didn't require water color paper, and were less messy than water color paint. Even though color markers are a dated color rendering technique, they still are one of the most important and flexible illustration tools in the profession.

Setting the base drawing as a PDF format

To import a CAD base drawing as a PDF file into Adobe Photoshop CS2, follow the same steps as previously explained for setting the water color base drawing. Again, make sure to properly import your CAD drawing as a PDF file into Adobe Photoshop. Also, rename and create several layers (Black Line Drawing layer, Color Render layer, and Background) per the user needs. Make the Background layer a solid field of white for better color contrast and readability (figure 3-77).

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Setting the "Marker" Brush Style

The Brush tool will enable the user to create the feel and texture of the marker in Adobe Photoshop CS2 by modifying the Brush Editor. First, make sure the Color Render layer is active. Then, select the Brush tool from the side toolbar of the screen. Please note that the top of the toolbar of your screen now shows the Brush tool editing options of Brush Tool Type, Brush Tool Preset Picker, Mode, Opacity, and Flow (figure 3-78).

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On the top toolbar of the Brush tool option, click on the arrow next to the first Brush icon. This will open the Brush Type pop-up Menu options; now scroll down the list and select the Medium Marker Tip (figure 3-79). This option is the closest to the traditional broad-chisel soft tip of a color marker. Next, click to open the Brush Tool Preset Picker, and change the size of the marker tip to match the actual size of a real marker chisel tip (about [+ or -] 1/4"). Set the Master Diameter from 30 to 55 pixels maximum (figure 3-80). Use the ruler on the top or side of the document page as a guide to get an approximate size. Also, keep the Mode in Normal, and change the Opacity to 50% and the Flow to 50%. The next step is to select your color choice from the Color Picker box.

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Color rendering

Once you set the Brush Editing options to match the feel and texture of a marker, select a color from the Color Picker box (figure 3-81). Make sure the Color Render layer is the active layer before rendering with the Brush tool. Experimentation is the key in this technique, so use the mouse like a marker and try different angles and strokes. Remember that markers do not create a perfectly even color distribution; try leaving white gaps between angles and strokes, and overlap the same color to get a darker tone and value. There is no wrong and right in this technique, as we are trying to recreate the "sloppy" marker media. Create more "Color Render" layers as needed (do not put everything in one layer). This will allow you to overlap one layer over the other, thus preventing one layer from screening the other by accident. Uses the Eraser to clean some of the overspills created by the marker strokes, or use the Marquee tool to isolate specific areas to be rendered. Also, use the Zoom tool to fit the object in the screen and enable to see the entire rendering of small areas (figure 3-82).

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Once you render the entire composition, add highlights and shadows to enhance the depth of the drawing at the end. Create a shadow layer and place it below the Black Line layer in order for the shadows to cover all colors under it (figure 3-83).

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Merging the layers, saving the image, and plotting

As in the previous blue print, sepia print, and water color exercise, after completing your marker color rendering, save two copies of the drawing. Save one copy as an active Adobe Photoshop drawing and the second as the finished image. The finished image copy is the one that you need to flatten all layers to create one simple drawing (figure 384). The active Adobe Photoshop drawing copy you will keep as a backup copy in the event that further revisions are required. Print/Save your flattened finished image copy drawing as an Adobe PDF format (figure 3-85). The PDF format is printer and electronic transfer friendly, and also reduces the file size (storage capacity) considerably (figure 3-86).

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Color Pencil Rendering

Color pencil rendering is another standard technique in today's professional practice of landscape architecture. Like color marker rendering, this rendering technique was first introduced in the 20th century, as a technological advancement and substitute for the traditional media of water color paint and ink. It offered the same advantages of color markers but on a dry format. Adobe Photoshop CS2 will enable the user to recreate the feel and texture of this traditional hand rendering media by virtue of a combination of "Brush and Color Picker" tools.

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Setting the CAD base drawing as a PDF format

Readers should be familiar with the steps required to import a CAD base drawing as a PDF file into Adobe Photoshop CS2--follow the same steps as previously explained for setting the water color base drawing. Again, make sure to properly import your CAD drawing as a PDF file into Adobe Photoshop. Also, rename and create several layers (Black Line Drawing layer, Color Render layer, and Background) per the user needs. Make the Background layer a solid field of white for better color contrast and readability (figure 3-87).

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Setting the "Pencil" Brush Style

The Brush tool will enable the user to create the feel and texture of the color pencil in Adobe Photoshop CS2 by modifying the Brush Editor. First, make sure the Color Render layer is active. Then, select the Brush tool from the side toolbar of the screen. Please note that the top of the toolbar of your screen now shows the Brush tool editing options of Brush Tool Type, Brush Tool Preset Picker, Mode, Opacity, and Flow (figure 388).

On the top toolbar of the Brush tool option, click on the arrow next to the first Brush icon. This will open the Brush Type pop-up menu options. Click on the arrow on the top of this pop-up menu window, scroll down the list, and select the Dry Media Brushes (figure 3-89). This will load the "preset" Brush Style options for Dry Media Brushes in the Preview window. Scroll down this list and select the #2 Pencil option (figure 3-90). This option comes closest to the traditional feel and texture of color pencils. At this point, keep the Mode in Normal, the Opacity to 50%, and the Flow to 50%. The next step is to select your color choice from the Color Picker box.

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Color pencil rendering

Next, select your color choices from the Color Picker box, and hit OK (figure 391). Make sure that Color Render 1 layer is the active layer. Also, click on the Brush Tool icon and then use the mouse to apply color into the drawing. Think of the mouse as a color pencil. Do not try to get a perfectly even color distribution since pencil color renderings have the tendency to be uneven. Also, do not hesitate to change the "Brush Tool" diameter, hardness, and opacity to get a softer or harder look. Imagine that the mouse is a color pencil and try to recreate the same movement and direction of an actual color pencil. You might consider overlapping a color over itself in order to get low and high values of color rendering. There is no wrong and right in this technique as we are trying to recreate the feel of a hand-rendered media. Also, use the Zoom tool to fit the object in the screen and enable to see the entire rendering (figure 3-92).

Color pencil rendering's signature is the "rogue" texture, angle of the strokes, and overlapping of different tones and values that can be seen and read at a simple distance (figure 3-93). You can try keeping all the pencil strokes in one direction, or even a crosshatch pattern. Create more "Color Render" layers as needed. This will allow you to overlap one layer over the other, thus preventing one layer from screening the other by accident. Use the Eraser to clean some of the overspills created by the Pencil, or use the Marquee tool to isolate specific areas to be rendered or to copy and paste multiple patterns (figure 3-94).

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Rendering shortcuts

Color pencil rendering might be a little time consuming for large rendering areas such as asphalt, sidewalks, lawns, lakes, and buildings. One way to speed up the rendering process is to create a basic pattern that can be copied and pasted as many times as needed. The trick is to create a pattern that can be seamlessly pasted together, thus creating the illusion of one large unit. In the case of this chapter illustration for color pencil rendering, the color pencil strokes are done in 45[degrees] angles. One way to achieve this basic pattern is to first make one of the Color Rendering layers the active layer and then to use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to create a rectangle area at 45[degrees] angles (parallelogram shape) (figure 3-95).

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Draw inside your parallelogram shape (Polygonal Lasso) area the pencil lines following a 45[degrees] angle (figure 3-96).

Using the Edit--Copy and Edit--Paste tools, create multiple copies of the Parallelogram pattern area (figures 3-97 and 3-98).

Use the Move tool to move and stagger each copy of the pattern area in a seamless fashion (figure 3-99).

Users are aware that the default settings of the copy and paste tools will create a new layer for each copy object in the Layer Management window. Once your area is complete with the pattern, merge all the copied layers into one. Before using the Merge Visible tool make sure to first turn off all the other layers that are not the parallelogram pattern (figure 3-100).

Once all the pattern layers are merged together, use the Polygonal Lasso tool or Eraser to delete and clean up all the overspills (figure 3-101).

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Once you render the entire composition, add highlights and shadows to enhance the depth of the drawing. Create a shadow layer and place it below the Black Line layer so that the shadows cover all colors under it (figure 3-102).

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Merging the layers, saving the image, and plotting

As in the previous blue print, sepia print, and water color exercise, after completing your color pencil rendering, save two copies of the drawing. Save one copy as an active Adobe Photoshop drawing and the second as the finished image. The finished image copy is the one that you need to flatten all layers to create one simple drawing. The active Adobe Photoshop drawing copy you will keep as a backup copy in the event that further revisions are required. Print/Save your flattened finished image copy drawing as an Adobe PDF format. The PDF format is printer and electronic transfer friendly, and also reduces the file size (storage capacity) considerably (figure 3-103).

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author's note

Make sure that the paper size and orientation match the properties of your original CAD drawing. If this does not work, then select under Adobe PDF Document Properties--Layout--Advanced, the "Postscript Custom Page Size Definitions" instead of selecting from Paper Size drop-down menu (i.e., ARCH A, ARCH B, ARCH C, ARCH D, ARCH E, ANSI A, ANSI B, ANSI C, ANSI D, ANSI E, and so on). A new window will pop up and you will be required to type the correct paper size according to the paper feed direction (longest side first). Hit OK when you are done. This will return you to the previous window. Continue selecting OK, Save, or hit Apply button until you return to the first Plot window, and then hit once more OK to create the PDF CAD file. It is important that the Preview window of the Plot Size window shows the correct layout orientation and paper size.

Although solid off-white or light pastel colors are the most common choices for water color papers, they come in a full spectrum of colors. Choose the background color that best suits your color scheme needs.

By Professor Jose R. Buitrago
COPYRIGHT 2009 Delmar Learning
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Title Annotation:CHAPTER 3: From AutoCAD to Adobe Photoshop CS2 Rendering
Author:Buitrago, Jose R.
Publication:Computer Graphics for Landscape Architects, An Introduction
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2009
Words:8346
Previous Article:Terms.
Next Article:Other rendering techniques.
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