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Create an artistic and realistic site plan with SketchUp and Photoshop

Some of the different architecture software we use sometimes doesn’t have the complete features to upgrade our architectural projects, and sometimes we forget that we can mix different architecture programs and design programs to make our project stand out. 


Learn how to make this artistic and also real-looking site plan with SketchUp and Photoshop. 

1. Render and export

1.1 If you have your site plan in SketchUp ready, make sure to render it in clay mode, and also in other channels like, render ID, material ID, etc, so you can have different options. 

1.2 Import your line pdf file and image texture file to Photoshop. Make sure you adjust all of the layers to the same size. Before we start to make it look pretty, you can see with the blending modes how each channel looks like. 

2. Textures, textures! 

2.1 Lets start with the grass texture, find a texture with a top view. If you find one of high quality, use only one, or if you don’t you can always scale it down, and copy-paste. Avoid the seams in this texture, learn how to make seamless textures here.

2.2 In the layer panel, select the material ID layer to select only the grass area to mask it out. 

2.3 If you have an image of a road, import it and scale it accordingly.

2.4 Brick textures also work for the inside road of this villa, you can make this texture a pattern, make sure to have this as a seamless texture. Again, select the channel layer to mask out where you want only the brick texture. 

2.5 We repeat the same with the other texture, the pool texture, and the wood one. In the pool texture, we used the hue and saturation panel to adjust the color. You can always use a soft black brush on the corners to make shadows and create depth.

3. Vegetation

3.1 We got a tree picture and cut it out, but now there are so many websites where you can download free png trees from every angle. Check out the sites here. Once you have your top view trees, you can place them and make sure to use a black brush to add shadow. 

4. Extra adjustments

4.1 When selecting each layer, you can use the hue and saturation to adjust each of the colors. 

4.2 Add some topographic lines to the site plan, they can be very subtle. 

4.3 Add the height number to the topographic lines so it won’t lose its technical side. 

Final result

There are some technical brushes you can download to put them in the site plan. Did you like the final result? Would you have added something else? 


Look at the video tutorial on this image below! 

Go beyond, take that extra step with our premium course on how to create an architectural site plan. Enroll now, click here for more information.

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