Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Making A Digital Watercolor Presentation: Sketchup Tutorial (NPR Style)

One of the fastest way and effective solution for design presentation is rendering your 3-D work(s) through Digital Watercolor style. This particular visualization can be categorized under Non-photo-realistic rendering (NPR) style, which differs from Photo realistic rendering. Technically, photo-realistic rendering aims to reconstruct realism using different render-engine software. In contrast, NPR style aims to present a more imaginative visualization of the actual scene. Here in this tutorial, I will present step-by-step procedures on how to make digital watercolor visualization using Sketchup, Fotosketcher, Photoshop and Picasa. 

STEP 1. Open your skp file. Here is the original SketchUp model, view in perspective mode. As you notice, most areas are left uncolored. This is primarily because we want to achieve a more balanced watercolor effect. We don’t want to overpower the Sketchup color materials from the watercolor image texture when we go to layering procedure in Photoshop.

STEP 2. Group your model(s) into two main groups (main scene and entourage). Here, select the model(s)> press the right click button> select Make group. This will enable us to hide and unhide the selected groups when exporting our scene into 2D images.

STEP 3. For the main scene, set your SketchUp models to monochrome style with shadows turned on. Under the edge style option check the edges, profiles, depth cue and extensions. 

STEP 4. Export the first group model(s). To do that, go to File> Export> 2D Graphic and save in JPEG format.

Here is the result

STEP 5. Hide the selected model (main scene). To do that, select all> hold shift and click the entourage group> right click on the main model> select hide.

STEP 6. For the entourage, Set-up your SketchUp model with default styles such as shaded with textures and edges. Disable the shadows. Export the second group model into 2D image.

Here is the result

STEP 7. Open all the exported images in Photoshop> set the blend mode to multiply> adjust the opacity with (80-90% value)
Add more watercolor texture and entourage to your scene. Below are some watercolor texture and entourage samples. 

Groundcover (watercolor)

Flowers (watercolor)

Shrubs (watercolor)


Watercolor Textured Paper

STEP 8. Layer all the watercolor images in Photoshop except for the textured paper. Adjust the blend mode to multiply with (70-80% opacity). In order to fit all the images, select/ transform each layered image by pressing ctrl+T or (go to edit> transform> choose any of the following transform command. Erase all the excess colors. Save your work in JPEG format.

Here is the result

STEP 9. After we have completed layering all the entourage in Photoshop, were ready to apply the watercolor effects using Fotosketcher. Open your last image in Fotosketcher and select watercolor style ‘Painting 5’. Save image in JPEG format.

Here is the result

STEP 10. Again, using the Photoshop, open the last edited image and the watercolor texture paper. Set the blend mode to multiply. Adjust the opacity with 70-80% value. Save image in JPEG format.

STEP 11. To enhance the image with more authentic watercolor style we will edit the image using Picasa. Follow the procedure/ settings: Sharpen the Image> set to Orton mode> set to HDR mode> adjust the shadows and temperature.

Final Render Output

Thank you for reading. I hope you can use this technique (NPR style watercolor rendering) for your future projects and presentation.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Joining a competition is not just to win a prize; but to gain knowledge and to be able to improve your skills through these experiences.


3-D Challenge is an online 3-D competition organized by the “Sketchup Texture” group which aims to promote community interaction among Sketchup users in a professional manner. This 3-D Challenge is an opportunity to expose, educate and improve the skills of all 3-D artists in the international level.

Here, the participants were tasked to modify a given 3-D model and enhance the rendering presentation using Sketchup. All participants were allowed to use any supplementary software for the digital rendering process. In terms of rules and regulation, the participants were required to register first in the 3-D Challenge official website before they could submit their entries. 


For this challenge, I was able to submit three entries, rendered in various styles (two photorealistic and one non-photo-realistic (NPR) style. Below are my complete art work entries with work in progress (WIP) detail(s).


1. Modern Office Building (Original Sketchup Model by Quốc Hữu Trần)

2. Test render using Kerkythea

3. Modifying the model scene and finding the right perspective.

4. Test render model scene 1 using Kerkythea

5. Modified building (Test render using Kerkythea)

6. Importing all 2-D and 3-D entourage in Sketchup

7. Test render water material (Day time/Night time render) using Kerkythea

8. Kerythea rendering process

9. Raw render (Kerkythea)

10. Post-production process done using Photoshop and Picasa


ENTRY 1: UMAGANG KAY GANDA (Morning Sky Gazing)

ENTRY 2: DAPIT-HAPON (City Skyline)

ENTRY 3: TAKIPSILIM (Sunset Sky Gazing)

Model Credit: Sketchup Texture


This is my rendering versions of the outdated challenge from SketchUp Texture 3D Challenge competition featuring the Modern Eco House modeled by Romain Demerville

ART WORK 1: Eco House (Daytime Scene)/ WF: Sketchup8+Kerkythea+Photoshop+Picasa/ 1600x900 resolution

ART WORK 2: Eco House (Poster)/ WF: Sketchup8+Kerkythea+Photoshop+Picasa
ART WORK 3: Eco House (NIGHT TIME RENDER)/ WF: Sketchup8+Kerkythea+Photoshop+Picasa

ART WORK 4: Eco House (DAY TIME RENDER)/ WF: Sketchup8+SUPODIUM+Photoshop+Picasa

Eco House (NPR Compilation)/ WF: Sketchup8+Kerkythea+Photoshop+Picasa

ART WORK 5: Eco House (NPR) Original/ WF: Sketchup8 +Photoshop+Picasa

ART WORK 6: Eco House (NPR) Cross Process/ WF: Sketchup8 +Photoshop+Picasa

ART WORK 7: Eco House (NPR) Sepia/ WF: Sketchup8 +Photoshop+Picasa

ART WORK 7: Eco House (NPR) B&W/ WF: Sketchup8 +Photoshop+Picasa

ART WORK 9: Eco House (NPR) Digital Water Color/ WF: Sketchup8 +Photoshop+Picasa

Model Credit: Sketchup Texture


This is my rendering versions of the outdated challenge from ENAU competition featuring the MS House modelled by Ronen Bekerman

1. MS HOUSE (Raw render 1)/ WF: Sketchup8+Kerkythea

2. MS HOUSE (Raw render 2)/ WF: Sketchup8+Kerkythea

3. MS HOUSE/ WF: Sketchup8+Kerkythea+Photoshop+Picasa

4. MS HOUSE (Cross Process)/ WF: Sketchup8+Kerkythea+Photoshop+Picasa

5. MS HOUSE (B&W)/ WF: Sketchup8+Kerkythea+Photoshop+Picasa

6. MS HOUSE (NPR)/ WF: Sketchup8+Kerkythea+Photoshop+Fotosketcher+Picasa

7. MS HOUSE (BLUE INK)/ WF: Sketchup+Kerkythea+Photoshop+Fotosketcher+Picasa

Model Credit: ENAU

It is interesting to note that there are many groups that organize such 3-D competition online which encourage all 3D artist, sketchup-enthusiast, professionals and students to be involve in a friendly-competition.