Site plans, Site plans and more Site plans!
We’ve just completed a bunch of these 2D plans and wanted to share more info and details about the process of creating one of these images. Just to clarify, these are NOT 3D plans, but rather 3D elements within a 2D image. To start off with one of these plans, we would need all the typical (.DWG) CAD drawing files. The more details, the better.
Here’s a typical list of what we would need:
- Main site plan – Used for the majority of outlines, such as roads, sidewalks, building footprints, etc.
- Topography or grading plan – This will give us info about the terrain and can be illustrated on the final image with color changes.
- Roof plans for all buildings – These plans are used to create the simulated 3D look of all roofs, unless it’s a flat roof of course.
- Landscape plans – We can do without if you don’t have it, but would be beneficial for accuracy. We will place all the landscaping as per the plan if available.
- Geographic address or location – This helps in placing the site, and sometimes building the surrounding area to put it all in context.
We have perfected and fine-tuned our process over many years to be as efficient and high quality as possible.
The following steps are taken to produce the work:
- Import and separate layers as vectors and outlines for our 2D application. At this point, the final output size is taken into consideration and is set from the get go.
- Prepare textures / colors to use for the site (Asphalt, roofs, sidewalks, grass, water, etc.). We have a preset template that is used and customized to our clients theme or color choice.
- Use the outlines to paint on the colors and textures in their respective locations. (Roads, sidewalks, water). Do I hear color by numbers? Well, it’s quite a tedious part especially for larger plans with lots of details.
- Create the simulated 3D roofs and place in the image. These can be done within the application or might be done in a 3D package and rendered from the top as a separate element.
- Follow the landscape plan to add all the trees, bushes, flowers, etc. If a Landscape plan is provided, the info for the type of plants and location is followed and placed on the image. Since this is a top view, color changes are often used, but in some cases custom landscaping will be created either from photo reference or painted on.
- Add all other items such as cars, people if needed. We currently have a set template that we use, and always working on improving and adding to our library.
- Final color enhancements are done. This is where the Artistic eye comes into play. Things like elevation changes, water types and other overlays are done.
- Export as a single image. Preview images and final images are exported as one single flattened image for print or web.
What makes one plan better than another is the attention to detail and the addition of the extra enhancements and creativity that goes with it. Things like shadows for buildings, trees and vehicles, Color blending and separation are but a few examples. Here are a few such plans that show the quality of our work and attention to detail.