Ctrl+z – the most important rendering tool

141116 Band RenderingIt’s been a long time since I’ve had the chance to work on some quick and fun concept renders, and thought I’d briefly share the process I use. As mentioned in an earlier post, I like to make life simple where I can, so I start by doing a lot of quick sketches, then take the best ideas and trace over a template to ensure all concepts will be the same size. I use a few different felt-tips for the final linework, at least 2 different sizes (0.8mm and 0.2mm).

I then scan these into Photoshop, since I can’t survive without Ctrl+z! It’s then just a matter of building up layers, using my secret weapon (an old but still awesome media tablet). I’ve found this the best way to get that sketchy marker look, and simply erase the overflow. Once you get into the digital world, it can be hard to remember that concepts shouldn’t look finished – you don’t need perfectly smooth gradients like a CAD render (well, that’s my opinion anyway!). Save the big guns for later. A few shortcuts like ‘shift-clicking’ to erase or colour in straight lines are a must.

As everything comes together I like to add a layer over the top to add some highlights, and sometimes a layer for texture can help add another dimension – easy to download an image and overlay onto the sketch. Add in a background, or in this case a simple reflection of the product, and voila!

There’s a million different ways to present concept sketches, what’s your weapon of choice?

– Posted by James Novak

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