I wrote a similar tutorial that deals with this general topic. The intent behind this tutorial is to build on top of what was covered in the original and hopefully offer a better understanding of how I use this program in conjunction with Photoshop to make some of my custom renders. In this tutorial I will be covering a method of rendering that in the area of graphics is somewhat unusual. This method can be used to turn something like a hand drawing, into a specialized vector trace. For the purpose of this tutorial I will use this render:
as a backdrop to make this variant:
Before we get get started I would like to point out Chapter 1 -- Part 1, Chapter 1 -- part 2, Chapter 2 -- part 1, and Chapter 2 -- Part 2 of my original tutorial. This is important for novice users who may not be familiar with the user interface of AutoCAD or its command line based functions. The commands I cover in my previous tutorial only scratch the surface in terms of AutoCAD's true capabilities, as the application is geared toward general architectural and technical drawing on the computer.
This tutorial will also be split into two major parts:
The current section uses only AutoCAD. We will use the hatch command to color our render.
The second section will diverge from the first at the point in which the line work is completed but the render has not been colored yet. In this section, I will detail how to export this linework into Photoshop for additional rendering.
What will you need to complete this tutorial?
- Any version of AutoCAD from the 2006 release to the most recent 2010 release (30-day trial versions are offered via the Autodesk website)
- Any version of Photoshop/Elements: Photoshop elements 2 - 6 or Photoshop CS - CS4 (second part of tutorial will be based on CS3/4 ::: (30-day trial versions available via Adobe's website)
Recommended hardware stats
- Operating System: Windows XP/Vista (AutoCAD is Windows native and will require VMware with windows XP in order to run on a MAC OSX or Linux)
- At least 1.5 GB of RAM (2+ GB if running autoCAD via a virtual machine)
- Photoshop imports will be specified at 300 DPI resolution.
The first step in this tutorial involves importing the image you want to trace, whether it's hand drawn and scanned, or some image you pulled from online. Details of this process are covered in chapter two of my original tutroial. Now, if the user interface is NOT as you see in my original tutorial, don't panic. We will simply use the command line (Fundamentals of the command line are explained here).
- Under the command line type: xref
- Press ENTER :::: The following window should pop up and use the following shot to find the needed option:
- Click on attach image & browse for your file
- Then follow the remaining steps in Chapter 2 to scale the image accordingly on your screen.
From here on the idea is simply to trace the image. The method is up to you, but I personally trace out the thickness of the outlines manually and then hatch the inside of the outline. Of course in other drawings I use the line weight tools built into autoCAD to achieve the same effect or something cleaner. This demonstration video illustrates the former except the hatching step:
Demonstration 2 shows the hatching step, when the trace out is almost completed:
The final trace in this case can be seen using this PDF file by turning off all layers except for the outline layer.
In other cases you may only want to use a single line to oultine the entire image I'll be using a different example to show this and the process behind hatching the trace out for color. The following are closest in format to my source files. The layer structure will show how the hatching works in autoCAD. Adobe Reader is required to view these files:
Notice in link 6 that I've drawn a number of red lines -- all of which correspond to the locations where the color shades change on the source image. Compare it to LINK 7. These lines are drawn to creat "enclosed spaces" in which we "hatch" the drawing.