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Video: Click Colors - Strong Help From Pixels: Part 3
Part 3: Standard software - get an idea. Jürgen Opitz Now you have presented your customer with a beautiful color design with detailed view drawings and original samples of colors and wallpaper, with sample panels using glaze and spatula techniques, and although you yourself are completely convinced of the coherence of your concept, the eagerly awaited but disappointing response is Your customer: "I can't imagine that". This is usually not meant as a rating but literally. With the photorealistic representation of your design, you are better prepared for the imagination of the majority of your customers. What does photorealistic mean? The aim and purpose of such a picture is to pretend that there is already a photo of the design already carried out,to give the customer a tangible experience of the planned reality through apparent facts. Your customer is convinced if
- In addition to the novelty of your design, he finds something unchanged in the picture, the neighboring house or the old tree, and sees how the improvement in his house lifts the effect of everything surrounding it.
- the colors of the design are credibly adapted to the original picture in terms of brightness and do not cover the existing picture elements such as shadows, plaster structures, etc.
- all added design elements and textures are correct in perspective
- Their interior design believably changes and enriches the atmosphere of the room.
Tips for the right picture It is clear that the starting photo must have a certain appeal. If you look deliberately in architecture magazines, you know what is important:
- Always photograph whole interrelationships, facade and roof without cut edges, if possible without cars in the foreground, tree and fence only at the edges of the picture
- If your camera has a manual white balance: use a paper handkerchief on your camera to show what "white" means in this light. Then you can reproduce the colors of the neighboring houses as well as possible. In any case, you should determine these on site using NCS subjects or a measuring device (eg Caparol colored pencil) and take them into account when planning.
- All vertical lines should also be vertical in the picture. Often you have to take pictures from diagonally below and plunge the lines. The "Correct camera distortion" function in Adobe Photoshop Elements makes it very easy to compensate for this deficiency (Figure 1). Even the curvature of the wide-angle lens mostly used for architectural photos is easily removed here.
- The strong contrasts and dark drop shadows of a deep blue summer day in the late afternoon will make it very difficult for you and your customer to assess the color of the design. A uniform gray, hazy sky is much more grateful for this work. Your colors can unfold here.
Areas of application The way and the effort involved in producing a convincing picture depends crucially on the task:
- The simplest case is when an existing facade with intact plaster or a well-kept apartment is to receive a new color appearance. Then you only need to mask the corresponding areas and then color them.
- As a rule, however, the need for renovation is greater. Plaster cracks, graffiti and dirt on uniform surfaces are easily removed in Photoshop Elements with the intelligent area repair brush (key: J). The copy stamp (S) is available for larger chipped or algae spots. This tool is used to copy an intact location (key: Alt) to the broken location. If it were just as easy outside on the wall!
- If your facade contains several differently colored old coatings, you should first discolor them by reducing the saturation to the lowest value in a copy (Ctrl + U). If you now see different shades of gray, you have to equalize them, otherwise the same color would have different brightness later. After blocking the layer transparency, select the subareas and bring them to a uniform brightness using tone value correction (Ctrl + L).
- If we are dealing with an unfinished building, we are closest to the real design task, because your builder would like to know which solid-colored plaster to choose. The effort involved in image processing is already greater here: You place the image of a plaster structure, bring it into the right perspective and cut it off on the mask. For this purpose, the mask is inverted (Ctrl + I) and the further content of the level is deleted (Del). Now the picture looks flat and anything but photo-realistic. So the shadows are redrawn on a separate, higher level according to the original image and transparently overlaid with the "Multiply" connection mode. If you now make one of the two sides of the building a bit darker with (Ctrl + L) and here and there a little shade with the "post-exposure" (large and soft) to the floor, the plaster is optimally prepared for coloring.
- If you want to know what the planned, but not even started, extension will look like in color, you have to use a 3D visualization program. No longer a taboo subject: The horrors of high purchase prices and complicated operation with this type of program have become significantly smaller, but the possibilities are immense. Subtleties such as the gloss of a silk wallpaper or the material effects of leather furniture and wooden floors can be anticipated absolutely realistically. With this you not only design colors, but the whole room atmosphere! A compulsory program for interior designers and interior decorators. Since 3D programs cannot process color palettes (e.g. NCS.aco), the colors of the manufacturer's collections are used as a bitmap texture in the 3D materials. The brand new MyMaterial Manager from Caparol-Spectrum 3.0 builds a comfortable bridge to the world of building colors.
No matter which program you use to design your color design: most of the preparatory work steps mentioned above are the basis for successful photorealistic visualization.
Providing the customer with a tangible experience of the planned reality with the help of a photo-realistic image - this enables the customer to better engage with the design. Jürgen Opitz Architect Dipl.-Ing. www.architekt-opitz.de Practical seminars on computer color design with the author Jürgen Opitz will be offered in Atelier Benad, Munich, from autumn 2008. Info and registration at www.architekturfarben.de