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Starkr

Digital vs. Hand-Rendered

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I'd like to get some opinions and feedback regarding the apparent surge of digital representation in architectural rendering and the place of more traditional media such as watercolor, graphite, pen and ink.

Are we, as designers, stifling our ability to conceptualize by relegating ourselves to the computer? Or, is there hope for an intuitive form of digital concept graphics and illustration?
 
Is hand-drawing becoming a lost art, or obsolete in the face of digital graphics?

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Hand drawing is a rewarding effort in its own right.  But it takes a lot of time and practice.

Chief eliminates most of the time and still provides very similar output.

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I remember well (even though it was close to fifty something years ago) when I was working in the drawing office of a forgings company back in England -- we used tee squares, triangles, compasses and french curves to draw the components on linen in pencil then use ink pens and ink compasses to finish up.  I do not miss those days.  You could erase quite a few times before the coating on the linen got a little too thin.  Then there were the huge drawing filing cabinets that took up so much space.  

I think that if you are planning a new house layout then using paper and pencil to get close to the desired layout is perfectly fine.  I haven't delved into the options in CA to do space planning but it's sort of the same thing.

Just my two cents worth (and chance to reminisce) :)

Alan

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A true designers ability to conceptualize is not defined by the tool they use.

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The primary purpose of rendering, either by hand or digitally, is so others can see and understand your vision. Digital rendering provides a much faster and broader means to do this. I for one want to focus my time on designing, not the preparation of pictorials.

 

Graham

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Thank you for your opinions.

 

My thought is that we need the connection of our hand in direct connectiction between mind, body, and medium in order to intuitively and effectively convey ideas. I, personally, still use hand sketching as a means of "notating" my ideas before illustrating on the computer in various software programs. 

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The importance of hand sketches and drawings in the creative design process

is supported by the two following references:

 

 
1. Daniel Libeskind's Ted Talk - refer to section " Hand vs computer" at time mark 6:22

http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_libeskind_s_17_words_of_architectural_inspiration

6:22 Hand versus the computer. Of course, what would we be without computers? Our whole practice depends on computing.
But the computer should not just be the glove of the hand; the hand should really be the driver of the computing power.
Because I believe that the hand in all its primitive, in all its physiological obscurity, has a source, though the source is unknown,
though we don't have to be mystical about it. We realize that the hand has been given us by forces that are beyond our own autonomy.
And I think when I draw drawings which may imitate the computer, but are not computer drawings -- drawings that
can come from sources that are completely not known, not normal, not seen, yet the hand -- and that's what I really, to all of you
who are working -- how can we make the computer respond to our hand rather than the hand responding to the computer.


2. Jacob Bronowski "Ascent of Man" and his reference to the importance of the evolution of the hand.
The Ascent of Man, Episode 3 “The Grain in the Stone”. at time mark 41:00
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a4sgPnOvZI

We have to understand that the world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation
The hand is more important than the eye … The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.

 

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This all sounds great but it lacks in a fundemental understanding that ones' hand is only a biomechanical device, it is controlled by ones' brain through electrical and chemical processeses. Like any device it has limitations in movement, dexterity and resolution. What sets us apart is the ability to create tools that free us from these inherent biomechanical limitations.Our mind, being almost limitless, is now not as limited by the anatomy it is contained within. Where would our understanding of physics be if they were restricted to using only ones' hand, a piece of chalk and a chalkboard, not sure Stephen Hawking would be supportive of this.

 

Graham

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I was never a natural illustrator. Since I don't practice much anymore my sketches are well, sketchy. I did always have a good sense of space and perspective. Undaunted, when I'm stuck, unsure, thinking, need to quickly convey an idea; I use a pencil.

 

Hand drawing accesses a different part of the "electrical and chemical processes", the ones not include in an algorithm. I think there is a good reason that you still see physicists with chalk and a blackboard even though the computers they have would run circles around ours. (anyone want to model a galaxy collision in Chief?)

 

Once upon a time, early days of 2D CAD, I was a modelmaker doing ID work. Along with the advent of CAD we started to frequently be given drawings that simply could not be made. They had spatial conflicts from one elevation to another or to plan. I was never given a hand drawn set that did not work. (exception was years later one architect who insisted on designing kitchens in elevation)

 

Currently have a client who teaches CAD, a dinosaur like me. He teaches his students the basics of manual drafting first, then lets them at the machines.

I'm very happy that the rapidographs are rusting in the close but I love my pencils....you can take my pencil from my cold dead hands :)

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Mark - you must belong to the NDA "National Drawing Association".

 

Agree, there is an emotional connection when one draws by hand. Similar to fine cabinetry makers, you feel more connected and personally closer to the resulting product. Artists are a great example, not sure Jackson Pollock would have been able to project the same emotion using an IPad. However for myself, I'm just not that good of an Artist and as such computer rendering is a much better way for me to convey to clients my design concepts.

 

Graham

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Jackson Pollock would have been able to project the same emotion using an IPad.

LMAO.

Hey for renderings nowadays I use the computer-I no longer even use RayTrace to "sell" the job. I use design instead and work with clients in vector (they prefer it to standard) until it comes time to fine tune finishes. Then for some RTs are needed and I'll do them, others not so much.

 

Like you I don't sell drawings and I'm not a natural.

Was so self conscious in design school about being poor at it that for any free elective I took drawing/rendering class and practiced constantly. Long ago. I miss markers and colored pencils, love the look and liked working in them, was great at mechanical perspectives.

I'm not always sure that getting finishes and lighting good enough for accurate representation for a client is fast than I could do with markers and pencils on a printed perspective, but it's a rabbit hole I'm not going down today. Besides the public is getting used to RTs.

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I can't draw a straight line with a ruler :)

 

Chief and other software makes it possible for me to function as a designer

 

my partner/friend has a degree in art and he is working on doing "paintings" digitally

 

for anyone who likes to do renderings by hand I would suggest contacting homeowners

that live in high-end historical houses that can afford to pay for an individualized "painting"

 

Lew

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