Hand Drawing Over SketchUp Models

Jim Leggitt

Hand Drawing Over SketchUp Models visualizing conceptdesign

Here is an effective method of visualizing concept design that combines quick hand drawings and Google SketchUp modeling. The project was a design competition for a new convention center in Tongling, China. Our team built a SketchUp massing model and I selected a number of views of the project from eye-level, aerial level, interior and exterior locations.

The model views alone were much too computer-like and lacked character and personality. I printed the views on letter size paper, drew over them with pens and markers on trace, then scanned the two images together. I call this “composite scanning” and it is a great hybrid visualization method!

Step 1 SketchUp Model

Step 1 SketchUp Model - I selected an eye-level view of the plaza and populated it with a few tables, umbrellas and people. All entourage components were carefully positioned for the composition.

Step 2 Overlay Drawing

Step 2 Overlay Drawing - This is a scan of the actual drawing without any background. Notice the white sky, colorless water and lack of contrast between the sky and building.

Step 3 Composite Scan

Step 3 Composite Scan -I taped the overlay drawing directly onto the SketchUp model print and scanned the two together. The blue sky and water now create a nice contrast against the white building and the plaza pavement. This method of combining images is very effective for representing skies and solid background colors.

Convention Center Facade

Convention Center Facade

Convention Center Facade - Compare the SketchUp model with the composite drawing and notice how simple gestures with color markers and white colored pencils can create reflections, movement and character not present in the SketchUp model.

Terrace Cafe

Terrace Cafe

Terrace Cafe - Pen and ink linework, white pencil highlights, reflections, graphic signage, color marker and pencil hatching all add to the scene, telling a story about architecture and surrounding spaces.

If you would like to see more examples of making combining hand drawing with Google SketchUp models, look for other related articles on my blog, visit my website and read my new book Drawing Shortcuts Second Edition.

Extract from the original blog by Jim Leggitt