Illustrator to Photoshop rendering tutorial

Here’s a link to my illustrator to photoshop tutorial I promised. It’s not exactly “sketching” but there wasn’t any other real section to put this in. I don’t have a site and didn’t spend time to figure out those free hosts so here it is:

http://www.productdesignforums.com/index.php?act=ST&f=8&t=1534&st=0#entry10025

Feel free to comment here or there, wherever, not trying to move any users anywhere, the other site just lets me upload straight to them so it was easier for me to do it that way. It’s a bit lengthy, trying to make it a step by step. The technique doesn’t take long at all.

Let me know if it helps anyone out at all or if you have any comments. Take care.

NICE!..even if it is on PDF.com, oh the sour taste!

LOL! Hey nothing wrong with sharing! Is there any way to get direct file uploading here how they do it there? That would be nice.

Just screwing with you, it’s cool. Unfortunately there is no direct uploading here, you have to use a service like image shack. I figured that is why you did it on PDF.

very dope…i did not even know you could do much of that stuff in illustrator/photoshop, and the final output is as good as if not better than a 3d model…

after i get a chance to go through it i will hit you up with questions, thanks man!

i can host the images for you if you’d like.
pm me.

Thanx for the compliment, but not quite as good as what a GOOD 3-d modeller could do. For one view, depending on the product, yeah it’s faster and can look comparable, (depending on your speed and skill). But the 3-d guy will win when it comes to multiple views + compositions and tricky stuff like glass, chrome, etc. But for some things, the time it would take to model it and get surface continuities and lighting right, etc…it could be much quicker to photoshop it instead (assuming it’s just for a visual presentation and no 3-d data is going to be needed).
There are no 1solution4all programs, they each have their strengths and weaknesses. You just have to learn how to best judge when it’s more appropriate to use one over another.

WOW. thank you very much. yet again, Core and the lovely people associated with it have dropped knowledge like a ton of bricks. thanks Skinny!

Please do not take offense to my comment, but why spend so much time on something like this if its useless upsream in the design development process?

I can probably crank something like this out in Rhino/Photoshop in the same amount of time and end up with usefull 3D data that can be used by engineering and even be sent out so I can have a SLA prototype to touch and feel?

Just questioning the need for this in the grand scheme of things. I’ve been using a different process more centered around true 3D for 5-6 years and clients/superiors have been extremely satisfied with it.

But mayeb you should post a tutorial then Nydesign. So we can see both methods. What do you say?

I can crank a rendering like that in about 30 minutes. The product shown is relatively simple (though nicely sophisticated) in form and detail. If the forms get way more complex, and the surfaces more compound, the materials more sophisticated, I can still crank the rendering in about 30 minutes. You might be an old hat at Rhino, but 30 minutes?

I’d have to say time, commitment, and flixibility. I can bang out 6-12 of these per day from thumbnails. Then there’s the learning curve, most people know basic photoshop so duties can be distributed to almost anyone from interns on up and assembly lined when the client wants 50 concepts. Not everybody is proficient enough in 3-d or have the time to learn to be able to colaborate that effectively. It’s pretty much a 1 person show unless it’s an assembly of parts and everyone can do their own model…
This phase is still just in the concept phase, right before the decision to commit to 3-d data. So it’s still flexible and uncommited. All you need is a $100 seat of photoshop elements and illustrator.
If I could do quick ones in 3-d as fast and easy I would, but there’s a much higher learning curve. Getting lighting and materials to work together to get the effect you want can be a science on it’s own. Also I wouldn’t want to create 3-d data for 50 concepts if only 5 were going any further. There’s less commitment and waste doing this level first. For a concept that I knew was definitely going to 3-d later, then I wouldn’t do the photoshop rendering to this level, it’s duplicating efforts. But I think you can still use the illustrator linework in some 3-d programs, not completely sure, so it’s not completely wasted if it does go to 3-d downstream. Another reason to do the lines in IL instead of paths in ps. I know some people that do the lines for the orthos in a drafting program like xenon or rhino so they can have lines for 3-d later if they need it. To me it takes too using drafting program tools because they’re exact. IL is more like hand drawing, so you don’t have to use exact radii, etc…just drag stuff aroung. But if you have a good eye, it can easily look the same as if someone used a drafting program.

I’d have to agree with skinny here New Yorker. It’s all about flexibility and speed when you’re required to bust out 50 - 100 concepts in a short amount of time. And thanks for sharing these helpful tutorials Skinny.








“… there is no ignorance, there is knowledge.”

Well, I was all set to post an example, but you cannot attach images on this site…

I guess I’ll have to find some web space to post something first.

I just pumped out 11 variations on a plastic endcap for an aluminum extrusion yesterday morning in Rhino. If my supervisor wanted color variations, its just a matter of tweaking things in Photoshop. My technique is to just throw in 1 omni light into a scene to get some surface definition and then run the rendering through the “Poster Edges” filter in Photoshop.

I still don’t see how electronic 2D sketching is any better than hand sketching (which I still do to for brainstorming purposes) and makes sense from a entire product development process when you will have to go into 3D anyways…

I didn’t mean variations on the same. 3-d definitely wins in that scenario. But 50 totally different concepts where there’s no similarity. Also if the shapes are complex, like sculpted finger-grip “ergonomic” handles that would be a pain to model, it’s faster (if just for concept presentation) to just ps it. It’s definitely faster doing 3-d for all if shapes are basically extrudes, revolves, etc with extras added. I’d say it all depends what the product is.

I’m not saying the ps replaces 3-d at all. It’s just a selling tool. The last place I worked for 5 years we never did ps rendos or 3-d. It was thumbnails, straight to illustrator, mail material samples, then real samples come back from china.
In terms of the product development cycle, ps rendos are nothing but a selling tool. Some clients aren’t aware enough to be able to read sketches well and have to almost see what looks like a final product image. So it lets us give them that illusion but wihout the commitment. Also, everybody in the office can do it. Most places I’ve worked at only have 1 or 2 really good 3-d guys. 50 widely different products is a lot for them to model and render by themselves. 5 designers can put out the 50 ps rendos in 2 days, that your average non-designing client couldn’t really tell the difference between those and a 3-d rendo.
A guy I work with is exceptional at 3-d, best and fastest I’ve ever seen. He’s whipped out anything I’ve ever given him in about 2 hrs. But I showed him one product, milky plastic, swoopy, etc…, he said it would take him about a week to get something like that right with materials, lights, etc… That would take me an hour to do in ps. So if it was just to show as a concept, I wouldn’t want to commit to a week long process just to show to a client as an idea that may not go any further.
No one is better than the other, just have to choose which is most appropriate for the specific situation. There’s a place for all.

There’s always Penguin and you can make it look “sketchy” froma Rhino model so as to not look like you are committed to the concept.

Skinny_ anyway to get this back up. The PDF pics don’t seem to be working… now that we have image hosting built in, could you upload it here? I’d like to feature it in the Tutorial board alert…

Sure thing, I’ll try to get it up by the end of the week.