February 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm #176653Jon QuackenbushParticipant
how long did it take?February 21, 2009 at 9:36 pm #176652Joshua KParticipant
remenicient of frank gehry’s sketchesFebruary 25, 2009 at 6:36 am #176651AvantgardnerParticipant
I dont think it is possible for that to happen. I think digital illustration is a tool like any other. If you want to be a good 3d artist you still need a artists vision to make it regardless whether its by drafting your idea or by constructing it with composited images. When you look at artists like Feng Zhu, Nick Pugh or any other artist who is featured on gnomon they are all first and foremost artist’s in the traditional sense. They have only become extremely good in a digital canvas because of there artistic skill. I as well hope that as designers of the landscape that we start to become more familiar with all the tools available to us as designers traditional and digital. I feel its a great way to advance the industry and make us better and more interesting communicators of our vision. I have always had a passion for water colors and markers but in the last five years have been into programs like painter, photoshop and cinema 4d, but my interest in those digital media’s only make me want to be a better artist. You want to understand lighting and photography which is very important with 3d and you want to understand color and composition which you need from the masters and a good art teacher. To sum it all up we need to have a understanding of both for us as Landscape Architects to move forward. You cant just rely on hand graphics all the time as its very time consuming and clients want the work yesterday, thats when digital media is great. At the same time you must have a understanding of drawing to know how to make short cuts how to imply something with the fewest strokes. It benefits us all to know both and not get left behind by progress.March 23, 2009 at 4:53 pm #176650Rob RosnerParticipant
I personally think that graphics are purely a communication tool. Some folks have natural talents to sketch and other don’t. A designer should use whatever tools they can to get their work done. I agree that time and money are the biggest factors in choosing the right medium for graphics.
However, digital mediums will constantly change with technology. Trends occur because of technology in most cases. I learned this business at the advent of the personal computer age in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Computers were still too slow to be an effective “rendering” tool. CAD had broken into the market strongly at the time. No one doubted the effective use of the computer in CAD. Everyone thought CAD drawings looked very rigid, but loved to quick ability to reproduce it. Hand drawings weren’t so easy to reproduce. You had to be able to draw it by hand if all else failed.
In today’s world, my graphic abilities have changed considerably. I do much more work digitally than I do hand work. It doesn’t change the fact we have to be able to do hand graphics when needed as mentioned by other folks in this thread. There are some things I design that I couldn’t draw using a mouse. I will often print something out, sketch on it, scan back in, and then trace it using a graphic program. They are coming out with more useful tablets now that really make this interface more “touch-based”. I am excited for that technology to be affordable, more common, and easily accessible. I predict that the “versus” portion of this discussion will become moot in the next 10-15 years.June 5, 2009 at 8:37 pm #176649
I think the best point that has been made, and has been repeated several times throught this thread is that you have to do what suits your talents, and availible options, I run a business where I do landscape architectural rendering and am fortunate enough to have a full set of markers, a full set of color pencils, a Wacom Cintiq drawing tablet and a laptop computer, I often draw things on paper, scan them in and render them in Photoshop or Painter, I am now working with new software from Corel called Sketchpad, when used with the LCD Screen tablet I am doing a “hand-drawn” image on screen, in the computer. I also deal with clients who have an autocad drawing and they need to jazz it up, I could do it by hand but with the ability to make quick corrections and adjustments, I use the computer and photshop to render the drawings in a variety of styles, handsketches can be scanned into the computer for color-up or adjustments (see http://www.drawingshortcuts.com for a look at tradigital imegery by Jim Legitt) lastly Sketchup is a great tool, I often take my laptop to meetings and as the client is describing design items I can build the model in real time in there office and we can tweek it right then and there, I can head back to the office and add the details and materials, or creat the wire fram from which I am going to do a rendering over, the project dictates the style, which dictates the material but all modes and methods take skill and practice, the computer cannot do it without talented input from the designer or artist. Some examples of my work all some form of digital…June 5, 2009 at 9:04 pm #176648
Really cool work.
On the third aerial, did you use corel to mimic markers. It looks like a mostly digital drawing which you may have used a wacom. Nice composition and color.
How have you marketed yourself for illustration work? This is something I’m interested in doing at least until the market picks back up, but I’m not sure how cost-effective post cards and mailers would be for soliciting contract work.June 6, 2009 at 4:28 am #176647Alex Edwards-HastingsParticipant
This is how I feel about this situation…
I graduated last year and I learned a lot about digital representation and how it makes some of the project we do better, but at the same time, hand-rendered project have more respect in the work force. If you think about it, all of the senior landscape architects learned their skills in the way of the “Old school.” I will always think that hand rendering will be better than digital work. it can’t be obsolete, but I would like to try to think that people want to unite the two together to make projects or concept or anything better. I have a few projects that look better because they were put through sketch up and then I put hand graphics to them after they were printed…
Well that’s what I think about this. If I had hand graphics like Brandon Reed, damn, I wouldn’t have to work about getting assisted by digital programs!!!!June 6, 2009 at 4:54 am #176646George FosterParticipant
One of my professors at RISD, remarked that an individual who could skillfully hand render was in her opinion more likely to succeed digitally. This, coming from someone who had elevated hand rendering to an art form. I also recall another professor commenting that he had for some time resisted incorporating AutoCAD into his practice, but that once he learned the program he became a very vocal supporter. He argued that the cost saving benefits were undeniable. I don’t think too many practitioners would disagree that their bottom line has been improved by advances in design software, or that amending construction documents in a digital format is much easier and more efficient. But is this the whole story?
The real question is, whether these technological advances have improved our ability as designers to communicate among ourselves and with the client? This is not so clear. There certainly is an increasing emphasis on presentation grade digital representation in the profession. But is a digital format always the most effective means of conveying a sense of place? I think the short answer is, it depends on who is constructing the virtual space. Whether using a digital or hand rendered medium one must be careful not to sensationalize. There is as with all new technology a tendency to trick things out. To create an unrealistic expectation which the built landscape is incapable of achieving, not a desirable outcome for obvious reasons. In the right hands both are effective communication tools, but which has the edge?.
It appears that digital representaion will continue to be the preferred medium for generating presentation grade materials for the following reasons. First, digital representation will in the not too distant future, be able to more closely approximate hand rendering, than the reverse. Second, we live in a world dominated by technology, and this is the lens through which more and more people view their surroundings. Finally, the digital tools available to designers will likely continue to expand and improve, facilitating a broader range of expression than traditional hand rendering techniques. With the advances in touch screen technology, I can even imagine a world in which conceptual design becomes exclusively digital.June 7, 2009 at 6:44 am #176645
Thanks for the complents… all of the above were dont in photoshop, i have only recently started to use the corel products, but the eventual goal is to mimic markers or color pencils, or acrylic paint, the one advantage over hand drawn is when a client doen’t like a color or they make revisions I can sometimes make corrections before I hang up the phone, and with digital-internet conferences, we can work together in real time.
If I had a good way to market my talents I could be rich, I have a stable of clients that provide most of my work but with the economy the way it is I am searching for clients to keep the business afloat.June 7, 2009 at 7:18 am #176644
Some might disagree that digital representation is inferior and to be used only for ‘support.’
I think it is possible to use digital media as a specific design tool with its own merits. A well done collaged digital perspective can be jaw dropping, completed in less than three or four hours, and totally editable on the fly without starting over.
I think it would be remiss to think that on e or the other is superior or to abandon digital representation only because the senior principals (today) don’t understand or care for it.June 7, 2009 at 7:28 am #176643
Get your point across…. make corrections… present final… recieve payment. which ever you are most comfortable (HAND OR DIGITAL) and your client is most willing to pay you for is the best way to produce graphics.June 13, 2009 at 8:03 pm #176642
I think there are certainly limitations to hand drawing as well.
I am an advocate of the aforementioned examples of why hand-drawing will never die. I think it does allow us a better connection between the intangible concept and physical product. Although, with new and more sophisticated techniques of digital representation coming to fruition and hardware such as the wacom products, I think it’s becoming harder to deny the validity of digital graphics, even in the conceptual stages of design. I also think it is becoming more important for an office to be completely inter-operable with other offices and practices. To be able to edit and share drawings remotely without scrapping and starting over probably has some advantage in that it allows us to keep pace and deliver concepts at reasonable rates.June 27, 2009 at 12:41 am #176641
Brian, do you really think those people were laid off because they couldn’t draw?
I agree that having a balanced set of skills will serve anyone well, in any economic climate, even ditch-digging, which is why my hands are covered in callouses today and not marker ink. lol..June 29, 2009 at 4:10 am #176640
I think I speak for many new grads when I say we hear lot’s of things and it gets darn difficult to discern what’s most important and most marketable.
I think ASLA’s recent survey attempts to address this knowledge/communication gap.June 29, 2009 at 4:42 am #176639
I have sat in a meeting with clients (landscape architects) and a laptop and listen to them talk, and as they talked I have built the model (in Sketchup), then as they saw it next to a human figure and a vehicle they could change the scale of items in the model in real time, granted the models were gates, signage, monuments, walls, and giant urns, all very angular and linear, and very easy to build, but I could create it in the same speed that the client could describe it, we then spent the next few days working out of their office applying materials and textures to the various elements, changing openings, and battering the walls the charettte process was all digital, with them just asking me to make the column 6′ tall and the wall 4′, no try a bigger cap and batter the wall, what if we punched a series of windows through the wall, what if there were pots with agaves in each window, no go back to the model without the windows and add more columns, once the models were set we picked the various angles they wanted to show, and then rough images were needed for presentation, where I applied sketchy plant material and softscape over the images that we had output from Sketchup (6 angles), I still had some hand work, in the form of photoshop and my tablet, but the entire design process was preformed on my laptop in the clients office… not all projects can work in this method but it is possible. On a complex design element, like a curving bridge, or an organic shaped element in the landscape a hand sketch is going to be much simpler and match the nature of the item being described better than a computer model. but if the project lends itself to the this form of work flow I will do it this way whenever possible, as wowed as I have ever gotten a client over a sketch the wow factor of them being apart of the model inputs was an incredible experience for all of us, we could have done it with trace and markers, and would have most likely come to a different outcome, but the client was happy and the project, at least conceptually was well received.
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