In January 2007, I attended the PHOTOSHOP W/ ILLUSTRATOR workshop provided by LND Digital Workshop. It was a small group, 12 people I believe, so it wasnt two days of techniques being jammed in your face, there was actual time for discussion. The workshop focused on photoshop ‘basics’ first, tools that will be utilized throughout the workshop. The session transitioned into taking an autocad drawing and quickly being able to render your plan at any stage of the design. I feel this was one of the essential points to bring home was you can start the rendering process at any time, you do not need to wait until the autocad base is 100% complete.
Plan renderings focused on bring pdfs of multiple layers of autocad elements into photoshop and creating the rendering through thought, layer structure and organization as well as taking it one step at a time. The illustrator aspect dealt with sections coming out of autocad and being able to add color, labels/text and other elements to your section efficiently.
Time is spent understanding and practicing the pen tool, isolating elements from a photograph without the marquee tool, and bringing it all together. You receive a cd and a few handouts, but what you bring home is what you are able to write down, everyone learns differently. I took a lot of notes and prepared an abbreviated workshop for the firm I work for. That was part of the purpose of my attendance there, was to be able to sponge in as much information as possible, then share the information for overall firm improvement.
In the two years we have been using this method, we have been able to do a lot of computer renderings a helluva lot quicker than we used to. With any of these workshops, it doesnt end there. Keep in mind the workshops are not the final answer, the process can be modified and improved. You should use the information gained as a great base and alter it to suit your purposes.