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Some of us may love the conventional ways of architectural representation and that is OK. Some of us like to explore, a lot. This is why in our exploration phase, we found out that combining different architectural representation methods is actually a good and aesthetic way of presenting our projects. 

Take a look at how we combined two different architectural representation methods, also you can watch the video tutorial here. 


Get render ready

We took an oldie but goodie project, and we opened it in SketchUp. Obviously, we noticed that there was just too much going on, too much for the eye, and we wanted to create a diagram, a clean diagram. 

So in this urban proposal, we decided to take all of that off, and with the zorro slice tool, we wanted to slice the whole project into a perfect rectangle, obviously where you can see the proposal of the project.  Check out these SketchUp shortcuts here. 

After changing the orientation of the image, we created a base. So we did a rectangle with the same dimensions of the floor, and we extruded it below. 

We opened the Vray asset editor, and we rendered the render id channel, the material id channel, and the shadow id option. We turned the material override option on. The size of the sun is important, to have not so hard shadows but also not soft. 

This is how your render should look like when you turn the override option on

Before we render the image, we added more detail. In the 3D warehouse, we downloaded a car and started copying and pasting it around the whole diagram. 

Import to Photoshop

Import the base render, the material ID channel. We recommend organizing the different layers. In the shadows render, we pressed ctrl + I, and we multiply them. 


We used one of the free textures sites that we have in this article, we started fixing the visible seams of the texture and we just started copying the same texture in all of the roads of the diagram. 

Using the color range, we selected all of the roads in our diagram and also selected the textures, and we just masked it out. 

After doing this, we go to the road folder texture to multiply and adjusted it. 

We took a concrete texture to put it on the base of the whole diagram, so we took the texture, copied it two times, and then in the render ID, we masked it out.

With the same method as the previous steps, we did the same thing for the pedestrian paths, with a concrete texture, we do the same thing. Choose the paths in the render id layer, then use the blending options to multiply so you will be able to see the rest of the details of the original image. 

You will start to see how the textures are coming along in the diagram. 

To make the diagram more analytical, with the render id channel, select the main building or the proposal, and creating a new layer, start coloring it. 

We chose the color yellow so the part that we will be analyzing of our diagram will stand out more. 

Before starting with the other representation method, we added one last paper texture to the background, so we set it to multiply to see some of the imperfections of the paper texture. 


You can leave your diagram like that, clean. But for us as architects, we like to have that feeling that the image that we are showing, was dissected and that there is an analysis, maybe like with some scribbles upon. 

We did these annotations with a tablet, but if you don’t have a tablet, don’t worry. You can print a letter-size diagram and on top of the diagram, start sketching out what you want to emphasize, then scan that transparent paper and import it into photoshop. 

The goal is that you analyze the image, that you sketch out the important things of the image, things that the image by itself is not telling you. 

In this diagram, we did some annotations like the size of the people, the continuation of the roads, the scale of the trees, the names of some important streets or important areas in the diagram. 

Do you like to combine different architectural representation methods? What did you think about this tutorial? Check out the video tutorial below! 

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