Under Construction



The illustration in this tutorial was used for a competition that another student, Jeff Kruth, and I worked on a few years ago in grad School. The video explains the work flow used to add tall grass to an otherwise dull Kerkythea rendering. Some important things to pull from this video are how default Photoshop brushes can be used to get rid of the clean edge lines left over from the rendered image. In this case, a default grass brush in Photoshop was used to soften the edges of the landscape. The burn and dodge tools were used to add shadows and highlights to the vegetation.

In order to cut down the length, I didn’t really take my time with the clipping and making selections. Normally, this would be done a little more carefully and precisely. The base rendering isn’t at a very high resolution either. The video moves pretty fast, but there is a lot of information I am trying to fit in a small amount of time. You may have to use the pause button quite a bit.

(Above) Base Kerkythea rendering with sky and background elements Photoshopped in.

(Above) Grasses added through Photoshop.

The full project and original illustrations can be seen on the Portfolio page


Reader Comments (23)

Hi Alex!

Great work you're doing here! That's quite my workflow too - and i really like that process ;) (architect as well)

Your tutorials are really good to see some tricks! Maybe sometimes you should slow your videos a bit, i think for some people its hard to follow.

Could you please upload this tutorial (grass in photoshop) without music as well- i cannot see this as far as it is some wmg content, unaccessible in youtube in my country, germany -whatever-

Happy to see more of your work! ;)

Greetings from Berlin City, Germany


January 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter_nm

Thank you for the compliments.
I try to keep the videos under 10 minutes. Longer than that and I feel they get a little monotonous. I am planning on writing descriptions of each video similar to the first few rendering tutorials on the rendering page of this blog. In terms of sound, I will try to upload a no-sound video when I get back in the states. The new videos will no longer have sound. Thanks again for the comments!


January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Hogrefe

Awesome Work. I'm a big fan of V-RAY but this post-production technique is really something. Keep the good work. Surely you know the work of Vyonyx...this resembles the render technique that they called "Quick Silver Images". If you don't know it take a peek:


May 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLuís dos Santos

Where can I get those brushes in photoshop?

July 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAron

Awesome tutorial man! I always have problems putting some 'greenery' into my rendered images (always having to resolve to rendering them - and I know, its silly) - but this adds a great deal to my workflow and post work.

Thanks a lot!

August 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJonnel Mamauag

I really love your tutorials, you make nice tricks and I wonder how did you start learning these tricks on photoshop? Is it an accumulation of experiences, explorations, and trials and errors ..or was it a course you took with a good instructor :)
Above all, I am happy to see your site, and trust me..I believe you are making a big difference in people's lives with what you do.

- I would really appreciate Alex if you can show us any tutorials on how to use Sketchup to generate these amazing 3D ramp forms.
- I saw another tutorial of yours showing a modal generated by Grasschoppers..and I was amazed with such a powerful tool..is it easy to learn these parameters ?!

Sorry for my long post, but I believe you are generous enough to answer my questions :)

Wish you good luck,

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLoaei Thabet

Hi Loaei,
the problem I had in school was that professors focused on modeling and much less on presentation. I learned most if not all from watching photoshop tutorials and podcasts such at photoshopusertv and psd.tutsplus.com and them applying that to architecture. Most of all, I experimented with developing fast ways to illustrate. Most of what you see on the web is for long, complicated ways to render.
I will look at creating some posts for sketchup although it isn't really the focus of the site however I do see how it could be useful.
Definitely look into Grasshopper. Its easy to learn compared to other scripting programs and is very powerful .
Take care

December 1, 2011 | Registered CommenterALEX HOGREFE

ready thanks~

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterqgc

Hello Alex,

A big thanks for your tutorials.Here in my institute in Mumbai, it's difficult to have someone teach you this stuff.This is superbly helpful.Thanks much and hope you keep at it!


April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMasoom Moitra

Hi Alex.
Thanks for posting all these great tutes.
The youtube link for the grass tutorial seems to have been taken off youtube. Do you know about this?
I'd love to be able to access it. Do you think you could look into it and let me know?

May 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Dann

OK, it's OK. For some reason yesterday the window was blank, but it's working now.

May 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Dann

Hi Loved the tutorials I am a sketchup kerkathea user too , what I also really liked is the music who are the two bands and the tracks on this ??


June 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterben

superb... those video are very helpful to me in thesis presentation
thank U very much.. :)

June 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommentertejaL shAh

Great work, very creative. What software do you use to create the designs such as Revit, sketchup? Keep the awesome videos coming I would love to keep learning from them and trying new things.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZach

i can not express how amazed i am with all your tutorials. I'm on my final semester in school and i will be needed to produce over 20 perspectives for my thesis and the program everyone seems to like to use in my school is autocad3D. I find it takes way too much time, which i won't have and doesn't produce a very realistic perspective in the end. i found your website through your youtube tutorials and i'm so happy that i did. i will be using your tutorials for my project. thank you!

August 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercc

Wow!! But way too fast on this video... Hope you will make other one with house in perspective and background such as hill, stuff like that. It would be wonderful. THis time the video need to be very slow and step by step. Thanks!! looking forward to it....

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaige

I'm really impressed!! Great Blog..amazing tutorials ..i've been looking for a long time a way to realize things such those and now i finally found the way!! THANK YOU A LOT ^___^

October 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSARA

GOD bless you >>> thanks very much

November 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArch Sooos

alex you are amazing

November 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterolus

My success as an student of architecture is very much so thanks to you, Alex. Your taste in music also brings me much joy.
You are a gentleman and a scholar.

December 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterImaginaryPhil

Wow! Great workk!!! im learning just how you did...by tutorials and i have to say yours are great! they've helped me a lot with architectural presentation! Thanks! :D

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAna

Hi Alex, I´m from germany and I like your movies very much, but some are blocked in germany because of the musical rights. :(

You should not visualize you should hang your paintings in a gallery.
Very good!!

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKlaus

Hi Alex.
很冒昧的打扰您,我是一个中国的学生,我觉得您的教程非常好,very good,,,但是很可惜,我看不了youtube上的视频,您能想上传到优酷网或者别的网上吗,很喜欢您的教程。。。

May 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter林青

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