Using Photoshop in Post-Production Renderings Part 3
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Using Photoshop in Post-Production Renderings Part 3

Jul 14, 2017
Video Length:  1:11:36
Presented By:  Paul Houchin

In this webinar, we will demonstrate techniques in rendering supplementary graphics that are essential to conveying landscape designs. The first part will cover techniques in making an elevation drawing in Land F/X and enhancing the graphics in Photoshop with real images and textures for a more dynamic graphic. The second part of the webinar will be a demonstration of how to set up a scene in SketchUp and then use it as a base for creating an effective perspective rendering with Photoshop.

Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • Intro/TOC
  • Bringing in Elements and Creating an Initial Scene
  • Creating a Perspective Drawing
  • Rendering the Image in Photoshop

0:00 – 4:44: Intro

Setup: Plan, elevation graphics, library of content, SketchUp model (2:45)

4:45 – 24:31: Bringing in Elements and Creating an Initial Scene

Opening a section view in Photoshop (6:03)


Bringing in elements from the library of content and transforming them to the correct size (6:35)


If you have a different tool selected and need to move over to the Move tool, you can press the V key. (10:30)


Because you’ve started this plan in CAD, you won’t have to worry about scaling in Photoshop. (12:40)


Bringing the imported objects into a group (13:45)


Selecting elements using the Magic Wand tool (14:12)


Deselecting objects with the Marquee tool (14:55)


Copying and pasting selected elements to the foreground (15:45)


Right-clicking to see layer options, and moving some layers in front of others (16:25)


Copying a group of layers to make them into the “mid-ground” and deleting or adjusting them (17:00)


Flipping a copied tree around and changing its size to prevent it from looking like a copy (18:30)


Lowering the opacity of the mid-ground group (example: to 60%) and offsetting it to make it into the background (19:35)


Adding a horizon and sky image as a background element and matching the horizon with the horizon in the drawing (21:30)


Adding a layer mask and gradient to the landscape background layer (22:25)


Cropping the image using the C key or Crop tool (23:50)

24:32 – 32:04: Creating a Perspective Drawing

Saving the image file (25:40)


Opening a SketchUp model and setting it up to bring in the scene, including setting the camera angle (26:20)


Capturing the camera placement using the View > Add Scene option (29:00)


If you plan to make selections in Photoshop for items such as pathways, we recommend having a minimal SketchUp model and avoiding textures, which will allow for easier selection in Photoshop. (29:40)


Exporting from SketchUp as a 2D graphic and setting the width, height, and resolution for the graphic (30:20)


If you want to showcase some of your SketchUp model in your Photoshop graphic, we recommend making the resolution at least 150 or 300, and making the image size at least the size of the final image you want to create.


Opening the exported JPG graphic (31:20)

32:05 – end: Rendering the Image in Photoshop

Adding textures (32:05)

Importing textures from a library of resources (example: groundcover) (32:05)


Be careful stretching textures out too much, which can make the scale look unrealistic.


Rasterizing the texture layer to allow for manipulation 33:15)


Copying and pasting the texture layer to provide a larger texture (33:02)


Merging the texture layers using CTRL + E (Windows) or Command + E (Mac) (34:00)


Merging the texture sections visually using the Clone Stamp tool (34:30)

Hold down the Alt key to select the source, then “stamp” the copied area to eliminate any indication of an unnatural pattern in the texture.


Copying and pasting the merged texture layer, then merging the layers and touching them up with the Clone Stamp tool (36:10)


Using the Transform tool, Perspective option to add perspective to the texture (37:17)


Using the Distort option to match the texture with the ground level and flatten it (37:50)


Adding and adjusting a different texture in the same way (38:50)



Cutting a path out of a texture using the Magic Wand tool (41:30)

Avoiding textures in SketchUp, as we recommended above, will make it much easier to select a section (such as a pathway) to cut out of a texture in this way.


Switching to the texture layer, then copying and pasting (42:00)


Creating a group for the texture layers (42:40)



Adding background (43:05)

Creating a group of background layers and adding trees (43:05)


Rasterizing and merging the background layers (45:35)


Adding background shrubs (46:15)


Merging all the background plants (48:30)



Adding mid-ground (48:40)

Bringing in trees and shrubs from the library of content to form the mid-ground of the graphic (48:40)


Merging the mid-ground layers (55:10)



Adding foreground (55:25)



Adding shadows (56:44)

Using a rotated copy of a tree to create a shadow (including the Transform and Perspective tools to make it look as if it’s lying on the ground) (57:05)


Rasterizing and merging the tree shadows, then dropping the lightness and opacity to create the shadow effects (58:30)



Adding and scaling people (59:17)

The horizon line in a perspective sign is generally at eye height, so you can scale people images correctly by placing the middle of their heads at the horizon.



Creating a distant background (1:01:10)

You can create a background by bringing in a street view from Google, a site photo, or a stock image. Don’t forget to match the horizons.


Creating depth in the background and adding focus to the mid-ground using a Gaussian blur filter (1:02:30)


Adjusting the ground plane, adding a blur-sharpness gradient using the Tilt Shift blur filter (1:03:55)


Taking the focus off the people and turning them into “ghosts” using the Lightness, adding opacity, and adjusting the Hue/Saturation settings (1:04:55)


Recap of the different images used in creating this rendering (1:06:00)



Graphics from

If you like the photorealistic graphics we used in this demonstration, they’re available from

  • Download the “Open ArchiVIZ Pack” – a free collection of 70 images, including plants in plan view. 

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