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Experimenting with a minimal architecture plan (Less is more)

Sometimes it is not about having a lot of detail in our plans or adding way too many elements. Sometimes we just need to let it breathe. You know what they say, “less is more”, this applies to almost everything and of course to architecture. 

 
So we recycled an old project, and using SketchUp and Photoshop, we made this basic, minimal architecture plan. If you want to see the video tutorial, click here. Or take a look at the easy steps below. 

Final minimal architecture plan

SketchUp

Do you guys remember we did a tutorial about market plaza? If you don’t check it out here! So we took the 3D model, and we opened it in SketchUp.

We put the market plaza in the floor plan view, top view. We made sure the field of view was about 45°, without too much perspective. Obviously, we hid the roof.

After doing this, we took out 3 renders. The first render is a normal textured render, go to the V-ray asset editor. We chose the size render output, put it in high quality and selected the render ID channels, the material ID. After doing this, we rendered out the first basic image. 

Then we proceeded to render two types of clay renderings. One with hard shadows and the other one with soft shadows. So we defined this by the size multiplier, the size of the sun. For the soft shadows, 150 to 200, for the hard shadow 30%, and turn the material override option on. 

After having our clay renders, with the base render, we close SketchUp.

Photoshop

Now in Photoshop, the idea is to import the renders and the material ID channels. Once you have them, use the overlay option, so they can blend together. 

We have the soft shadows layer first, then select the hard shadows and set this layer to overlay. this is our base image. 

With the textured layer, we wanted to take the texture from the original render separate it, then we wanted to use this texture and overlay it with the clay render. (We had a small prob, that when we rendered the channel ID, the floor didn’t render separately, so we had to do it manually with the lasso tool), but after that, we were able to see the floor only.

After selecting the floor, pressing ctrl+j to separate the selection from the base layer. We applied an adjustment black and white layer, then we used the multiply option.
We liked the outside textured floor, so we proceeded to do the same step, selected the floor, separated it from the rest, and using a black and white adjustment layer, we used the multiply option.

The context in this image was not that important, this plan was all about the main building. So we erased the whole context, and we just focused on the building. We applied some soft shadows outside the building, so it can still look like it’s part of a render. 

Finally, we started selecting everything so we can colorize it, and with the lasso, and we then created an adjustment layer of hue/saturation. We used a little bit of saturation and used a red tone. 

Final minimal architecture plan

Remember that the key here, is to have very nice shadows, so it can have that depth feeling. This was a very simple procedure, we avoided the real colors, the text, the people, the trees, to have this minimal effect. 

Did you like this tutorial? Do you like minimal style? Watch the video tutorial below! 

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