Design, Interior Design, Teaching & Learning

Photoshop & SketchUp – a bit about both

This summer I had the opportunity to attend a few presentations put together for IIDA – OC Chapter. It was the 2nd and 3rd Installment of their ‘Survival Tools’ series and featured Photoshop & SketchUp. These are great tools and two of the major pieces of software that I introduce my students to in the Digital Visualization class.

In the Photoshop (with a little bit of SketchUP featured) presentation, we were led by Chana Messer – Adobe Certified Expert. She describe the basics of the Photoshop program and an overview of the tool palettes. She also talked about the next installment of the program, 5.5 and noted it will have a better interface between the iPad. Expect PS CS6 by next Spring.

She gave some very good tips for working with Photoshop such as:
Work in a non-destructive way – Always preserve the original image
Utilize Bridge – it works similar to and allows you to create favorites, collections and keep your work organized.
Bridge also allows you to place and object from bridge into the program as a smart object
Layers and masking are most critical tools
Content aware – very cool and it’s not always perfect but is super time saving when it workse The trick seems to be making larger vs. tighter selections.
Smart objects and push pins allows you to move the object without changing the original. The push pins work in the ‘pupper warp’ command too and is really fun to play with and alter images.
Panorama photomerge creates masks that conceal the seams and somewhat seamlessly puts your photos together.

After Chana’s presentation a few of the OC A&D firms shared their projects and the ways that they integrated Photoshop into their work. A few things that I found interesting and worth integrating into my teaching are:
Using the mask feature to when coloring areas that are subject to change such as flooring. It will save time rather than re-selecting and seems a little more flexible rather than just creating a new layer and changing color/finish. Also, one of the projects shared had used SketchUP for the drawing and Photoshop for the color. They did an interesting layering technique using different Sketchup styles which I thought was interesting and will definitely try.

The second presentation featured Aidan Chopra of Google and author of SketchUp for Dummies. He was very cool, so personable and down to earth and really did a great job of connecting with us, the audience as he began his presentation.
Some of the basics he covered:
Color is direction – referring to the axes

‘Chimps’ use the buttons in sketchup…. Use the shortcuts (guess that makes me a chimp) but shortcuts don’t exist for all commands so either you need the buttons or you need to program your own shortcuts.

Push/pull tool –This is Sketchup’s big idea and the have a patent on this tool.

Here are the Top 5 things you need to know according to Aiden and I concur:

Moving things around: Keeping objects on axis and specifying the destination point. Copy and move use the same tool. Space object a particular distance apart and type #/qty to equal spaced objects. Use shift to lock inferences.

Scenes: setting up different scenes, position camera, eye height, look around. Important to change properties to save within a scene so you can change from sketch mode to color, etc. You can skip scenes in you animation by selecting that option.

Styles: can edit the way styles look with profiles edges and option

Groups & components: if you don’t want something to stick to something else, make it a group. Components are just fancy groups. If you name a component, all others with the same name will be updated.

Field of view & 2 point point perspective: Use the zoom tool. You want to change the field of view to 60 degrees for interior shots/scenes. Camera: 2 point perspective will take the 3d distortion out of you scene.

Words of wisdom:
If you show a client a rigid computer model, they feel like it’s finished. And when you show them a hand sketch, there is a much different response where they feel like it’s up for discussion. I tell kids this all the time. Maybe they will believe me if they hear it from someone else.