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  • How to Render AutoCAD drawings for Presentations

    Hi Everyone!

    In our office, we often use AutoCAD elevations, bring them into Photoshop, and use fills/textures to make presentation drawings. It's often a tedious and very time-consuming process-- does anyone know a more steamlined approach to presentation-worthy drawings?

    Thanks!

    Khader
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Khader; 04-12-2006, 23:13. Reason: add image

  • #2
    Ha! I am currently doing the same thing for a task to be completed this friday.
    I use this trick : plot your file as a pdf file. Bringing in photoshop and do as you say.
    But I know of this : adobe ILLUSTRATOR accepts the lines from autocad in the pdf file. Haven't tried that yet, but sounds promising.

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    • #3
      illustrator is the way to go, if you do this often. Otherwise, a pdf printer is the easiest, cleanest option to transition for use in photochop.

      otherwise, get to know your actions dialogue box in photoshop to batch fill a sky, foreground, etc. Make photoshop files with entourage already setup to easily add scale and depth. begin thinking of ways to batch process as much as possible for future usage...

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      • #4
        What we tend to do is plot to eps and then rasterise that in Photoshop and then drop fills in with the paint bucket or select with magic wand. Its not the most streamlined process but the alternative of adding hatches to a flat Autocad elevation is even less attractive. I would guess that Illustrator would help in terms of file size as the Photoshop files can be 30meg or more and rather unwieldy. I will need to have a wee tinker with that....ultimately the ideal scenario would of course be to have the whole thing modelled in 3d and just render out the elevations but us poor hicks with LT cant even contemplate such metropolitan sophistication....

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        • #5
          Autodesk has this new thing called Impression to make 2D autocad drawings presentable. It's probably crap since it's from Autodesk but I couldn't say since I have not tried it.
          http://labs.autodesk.com/Impressionlanding.aspx

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          • #6
            Impressions has the potential to be very good

            It is worth having a good look at. It will set a new benchmark.

            No indications of pricing yet or whether it can be used with DWG files from programs other than AutoCAD.

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            • #7
              The concept looks good, the images it appears to produce dont. I am sure that may be down to the lack of taste of the testers though and with a bit of manipulation it should be able to be coaxed into something worthwhile. I am very dubious about turning a CAD drawing into something purporting to be a hand drawn sketch. If you are at the stage where you have sufficient drawn information to make these things look worthwhile then its a bit pointless pretending that you are still mucking about with the detail paper and Pantones. The whole point about computers should be to do things that are difficult or impossible manually, not to ape other means. Thats in fact a large part of the problem with 2d dumb CAD drawings. All they really do is replace the drawing board and the Rotrings. Sure things are a bit quicker and sometimes more efficient but there are a whole load of management issues that come on top of that that tend to require either an enormous amount of effort to keep on top of or a battery of other software packages to work around. It says a lot about this industry that something as crude as Autocad LT could be seen as some sort of an advance....

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              • #8
                Originally posted by am_i_wry View Post
                The whole point about computers should be to do things that are difficult or impossible manually, not to ape other means.
                Ditto.
                The same amount of time spent on coloring elevations can be spent on making a quick SU model?
                Then export all elevations with textures and shadows?
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  You know, you can make really rough 3D volumes of the house (just to get shadows) in three minutes and then export images with no edges but textures, bring it in to Autocad and place it behind your already-drawn-to-details elevations, then print.
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    We also do a lot of Elevation renders at the office. Typically they are for code review. The city requires a "2d Elevation Rendering". But, often they are for marketing, client meetings/approval, or other reasons. I've found that the 2d elevation drawings are very boring when compared to a rendered 3d perspective.
                    The amount of time invested rendering an autocad PDF compared to rendering a rendered SU perspective is equal if not more.

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                    • #11
                      I had a wee tinker with Impression today and i was less than impressed. it crashed, of course. That wasnt the issue though. I am less convinced its a useful concept. It strikes me that you need to be fairly specific in the way you set up your Acad file otherwise its hardly an easier process than a straight Photoshop job unless of course you want the natural media rendering styles. I dont, they are all vile and i wouldnt let that tedious dated drivel anywhere near one of my schemes. I would guess there is a method for adding or altering styles somewhere and the block replacement thing is good but at the end of the day i am quicker and happier working with the control Photoshop gives me than i am with the editability and artificiality that Impression gives. Still, if it is *very* cheap, no more than 50 quid say, it would still be a tool worth having just in case but i cant see it being that affordable.

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                      • #12
                        Takesh...

                        ...is a tricky guy !

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                        • #13
                          The Impression Community:

                          http://impression.autodesk.com/gallery/

                          I'm not impressed with the program, but some people are.

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                          • #14
                            ditch autocad and use archicad because its got all that stuff already built into it.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by am_i_wry View Post
                              Still, if it is *very* cheap, no more than 50 quid say, it would still be a tool worth having just in case but i cant see it being that affordable.
                              Come on, It┤s Autodesk. I┤ll bet it will cost thousonds of dollars.

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