I love rendering. With markers and pencils or using a computer. But if I had it my way, I would always render plans, elevations, and perspectives using a computer instead of by hand. It takes me just as long to render via computer as it does by hand. And I don't have to make and waste countless copies and start over and over again, as I typically do when rendering with markers. The renderings always looks so crisp and if you practice enough, the results can be photo-realistic. I'm not quite there yet- but I am working on it. You can see from the images of my student work below how I've improved. (Sorry, can't show images from work- don't own the rights!)
Conceptual Elevation rendered w/ markers. (Sophmore Coursework)
Interior Section & Furniture Design Concepts rendered w/ Photoshop. (Senior Coursework- much better!)
Sometimes I work in 3dsMax, but I plug along until I get to lighting then get frustrated and angry. So, I prefer to work from Architectural Desktop, export to an .eps file, and then render in Photoshop or Illustrator.
Most of the time, I snag images from whatever product I plan to specify. But at some point, I end up hunting around the web for a hi-res textures to use as-is or modify.
Here are my top 10 resources for textures, in alpha order:
- Bittbox is known for their amazing Photoshop brushes, but is also a great source for grungy textures that are great for layering over other images and vectors. Free textures and vectors are found under the freebies link. All the textures and vectors are found under the "Freebies" link. Textures and Vectors are not categorized, so be prepared to dig. The best way to use this sight is to flip through it when you have some free time and download textures you think may be useful in the future to your personal texture library.
- CGTextures. What a lovely site. At print, textures are divided into 37 main categories, then sorted into sub-folders which makes finding a specific item a snap. For example, the Door category is subdivided into Metal and Wooden. Metal Doors are further divided into Big, Double, Ornate, Roll up and Single. Wood Doors are divided into Barn, Double, Medieval, Ornate, Paneled, Single New, Single Old. This is OCD @ it's best!
- Defcon X has the best wood texture library EVER. Thumbnail images of 90 wood textures are shown on one page and sorted alphabetically. You'll find exotic woods like eucalyptus, bubinga, anigre, and wenge. All scanned in @ 720 dpi with black and white references.
- Lost and Taken Great vintage wallpaper textures.
- LoveTextures boasts 258 hi-res textures. Textures are sorted into 11 categories. Most of the images of exterior materials. A great resource for architects who want to render exterior elevations and perspectives.
- Texture King is great for exterior architectural materials and grunge textures. Textures are sorted into categories and the site boasts easy one click downloads.
- What Texture Lovers doesn't have in quantity it makes up for in quality. The textures are snagged from other sites, click on the image and the original post and download link will pop-up. (which leads you to other great sources for free textures!) I use the Clouds and Sky textures a lot. And I often layer textures from the Fabric category over other images to add more dimension to my renderings.
- Texture Warehouse Over 19 categories of textures. Decent tile and glass textures.
- Snap2Objects is not a texture site, but a great resource none the less. When I use people or objects in renderings to give a sense of scale, I prefer to use transparent silhouettes so it does not compete with the design. Snap2Objects has all kinds of free brushes and vectors that can be used just for that purpose.
- Once you set up an account, VisMasters is a breeze to use. The Exchange textures filled with section is used and updated by users section is where users can share and download textures. An easy to use search form, and you can drag multiple files into the queue for a single download.