Under Construction


When I don’t have time to fully render sections in Kerkythea due to time constraints, I fall back on this method to get me out of jams. In fact, I used this method to create sections for my final thesis project and finished all three of them in an afternoon. This method provides not only interior spatial information by the section cut itself, but also the architects intent in lighting the interior spaces.

When using this technique, it's important to remember which direction the light is coming from and how it will bounce off of different surfaces. I treat the light more like a cloudy day, so less harsh shadow lines and more diffused, soft shadows.


Scaling: This video doesn’t explain scaling, but typically, I would also export the SU section into CAD. From there, I would plot the file as a PDF to a predetermined scale then open the PDF file in Photoshop. I would then resize the rendered section to the size of the CAD PDF.

Line work: In the video, the section is poched in Photoshop. For cleaner line work, there are ways to poche in SU, and obviously in Illustrator. Personally, I don’t think this is necessary. If done correctly and at a high enough resolution in Photoshop, the line work will look more than sharp enough. On the other hand, in terms of editing, line work in Photoshop probably is not the way to go. More on this later.

Exported Sketchup image

Section after post processing

Reader Comments (33)

You have no idea how helpful this tutorial was for me. I always drove myself crazy in illustrator to do gradients fro shadows and it always looked fake. I think I'm gonna be on your website everyday now.

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShiva

Haha, thats good to here. Thanks

January 10, 2011 | Registered CommenterALEX HOGREFE

Alex, i think you can skip the part where you fill in the walls with black.
In all my models i take care to have always the back face to the interior of the walls. This way when I wanna make a section, I simply turn the back face color from blue to black, in the styles menu!

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPedro

i'll keep following ur tutorial alex, thanks for sharing

April 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbems

Hey just wondering where you get all these picture of people from to put in to your models? Is there a database online? Thank very much your tutorials come in so handy.

May 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpiers

Very smart, great idea
I have my own library of people that I use. Check out the vyonyx link on the right of this website. They have a ton of cut-out people on their site as well, for free.

May 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Hogrefe

Alex u r a genius, u have no idea how helpful these tutorials have been! Thank you!!!!!!!!!

June 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJosie

Great tutorial. Rather than using the lasso tool to poche, you can use the "section cut face" plugin. All cuts will be poched for you in the color of your choice!

June 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElMas

Nothing but praise for your site; I learn something every time I come here. In this post you explain that you use this clever technique to generate quick sections when time does not allow for a Kerkythea-rendered section. Please consider sharing your techniques when time does allow for Kerkythea. Cheers, and please keep up the good work.

October 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTopiary

How do you make sections using Kerkythea? Also this is a very helpful site.

October 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLavert

hey alex, I'm a student pursuing my B. Arch & I find the website great and have gotten a few of my friends to learn to use and love your tutorials, I was wondering what rendering program do you recommend above all!! I have to do some quick sun diagrams, but don't have to time to set up in 3ds max!!

Please let me know what you recommend, thanks in advance!!

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJesse C.

Hi Alex! I just found your website today and it is so helpful. I have been looking for this type of support on the web and I don't find many graphic presentation techniques just for architecture. I used to drive myself crazy buying books on photoshop, rhino, illustrator --- trying to get through as much of each book BEFORE even starting to use the skills together. So it would take me a while like 3 months before doing things together.... Sooo.....finally.....it's sooo amazing to find tutorials that integrate it all and you don't even need to know every aspect of every tool in the program. But I'm learning now how how to learn a bit of everything together as opposed to one program at a time.

Your blog teaches me how to learn but also...thank you for being very generous in sharing your knowledge!! it's hard to get that kind of support from my peers....they don't always like to share...hehehe.

November 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterManda

Alex i really love your tutorials and your portfolio is exquisite! :) im in graduate school but i have never been able to do renderings like these!!! thank you!

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterani

Alex, another alex here. But i'm a noob. :) Was hoping you could show a kerkythea 101 tutorial??

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex noob

Hej Alex,

why don't you use magic wand tool instead of lasso? much easier and faster!!
Very nice of you to put all these helpful tutorials.
keep up the good work,

January 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterangelika

The magic wand is faster, but the polygonal tool is much cleaner. I find myself always having to clean up the selections after I use the Magic wand tool. Over time, I just started going straight to the Polygonal tool and skipped the Magic wand all together.

January 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Hogrefe

Hey Alex,

From one architecture student to another thanks so much, your videos have really helped me with graphic presentation. Besides orthographic sections like this you also show some sectional perspectives, like for the seating in your thesis project. Could you make a tutorial for sectional perspectives?

Thanks again

May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterColin S

Hi :] thanks so much for the wonderful tutorials!
I have a question.. After finishing everything on Photoshop - how do i get the scale of the building to whatever scale i want it to be?.. (beginner here :[)

August 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWilson

@ Wilson,
So what I typically do to scale everything is export a section from autocad at a specific scale and align the rendered section with the exported autocad drawing. If you have sketchup pro, you can export a SU section to autocad, then plot a pdf from Autocad to the scale you want. Then bring that PDF into Photoshop, and align the section to the pdf. You could also just draw a graphic scale in sketchup and export it along with the line work as another way of showing some sort of scale.

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Hogrefe

Hi Alex!
I'm in my second year and am just now getting my feet wet...We have been working with taking drawings from CAD to Rhino and finally to illustrator/photo shop, but haven't heard anybody mentions sketchup. But seeing your tutorials, it looks really useful! do you take Rhino models into sketchup and touch them up, or do you do the modeling in sketchup itself? Thanks!

September 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCaleb

this tutorial saved me last semester. thanks!

October 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHugo de la Rosa

Alex- your information is beyond wonderful!!! It is never too late to improve, but I find myself wishing I had been lucky enough to find your pages in a search sooner. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.

October 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergm

Great Job i like so much

November 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArch Sooos

i discovered you page yesterday and it is saving my life, if a stick to this and learn all your methods this month, thank you so much for sharing.
i dont control sketchup very much but a was thinking in getting with rinnoceros because of the 3d modeling level any advice?

November 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterantonio moreno


Been try to look for rendering style like what you did for my interior design but i just couldnt get a good one.
Way awesome and much more easier than what i imagine. Will try to apply your method in my interior design.


From Malaysia

December 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFish Lim

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