SketchUp IMHO: SketchUp and Piranesi

Last week I talked about how there are many plug-ins for SketchUp that give the program more artistic range, meaning, with a small fee, you can add the new program to SketchUp and give yourself more tools to work with in creating your artistic vision.

I talked about Twilight last week, which gives you the opportunity to render your designs so that the results are photo realistic images.  These can often be more effective in communicating your design so that people can see almost exactly what the design will look like when completed.  I have even had situations where people have looked at my renderings and thought they were photos of an existing project and argued with each other on whether it was a photo or not.

In this entry – I want to talk about a program that allows you to create images on the other side of the spectrum.  The program is called Piranesi and it is not a plug-in, but a stand alone program that allows you to export your SketchUp files into a format that works very easily in the program.  Piranesi (which is named after a famous Italian illustrator, known for his architectural drawings, one of which is shown below), allows you to take your design from SketchUp and very quickly add color and details that give it a more hand drawn, sketchy feel, looking exactly as if it had been colored with markers or colored pencil, or even watercolor.

Carceri Plate VI - The Smoking Fire - Piranesi

Carceri Plate VI – The Smoking Fire – Piranesi

You may wonder why this is necessary if you are able to create photo-realistic renderings which more accurately show how something will look.  Well, the answer is that people are different.  I know, shocking really and a bit inconvenient when it comes to creating a design for something that does not exist yet.

Some people need to see exactly what something will look like before they “sign off on it.”  There are times when the ability to show them that is very important to the design process.  Then there are times when you want to present a concept and invite comments and discussion.  This is where the more sketchy option comes into play.  Often people feel more comfortable commenting on something that has a more sketched feel.  It looks as if there is still room to make decisions and changes and therefor is more accessible to them.  That is an important step in the creative process and Piranesi is one more tool that makes creating those sketches easier.

Next week I will talk about how the program works and show examples…


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