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Christiaan

Elevations: how to fade out background buildings?

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What technique do you use to fade out background buildings? I have my lighting just right for my proposed buildings but I need to knock back the surrounding background buildings because they're too dark and distracting from the proposed buildings.

They're currently simple white fill but maybe I need to use a texture with reflectivity? Or transparency? I dunno. I've tried a few things but not having much success.

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Here's what I do: In a VP, go into the annotations and draw a polygon around the buildings you want to 'fade'. Make the polygon light gray and lower it's opacity to around 30-40% (adjust spices to taste). See attached for example (rough, work in progress)...

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That is nice Peter, looks good. Problem is I have quite complex foregrounds/fence railings/buildings/trees to draw around :(

Edited by Christiaan

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Yeah, I know that song! You could try using the polygon in paint bucket or outline mode... But if it's complicated then it will take time.

One other idea... Use a layer (or two) and/or classes for the existing bldg.'s. That might give you enough control if you use multiple (stacked) VP's.. You could have a background VP, all grayed out, with all the existing, then a second VP in front with all the new stuff. The second VP would cover the first so that might cut down on the tediousness of it...

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I've been liking the idea of graying things out more and more lately. Perhaps it's time we all wished for a Fade Out Spray Can.

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I've been liking the idea of graying things out more and more lately. Perhaps it's time we all wished for a Fade Out Spray Can.

I think you're right. This is age-old tried-and-true technique. It would be great to have some sort of support built in for it.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but even with a spray can, you would still need to mask the un-greyed area(s), right? And once you've done that, you've already drawing the needed poly's for my first suggestion... So... It's work. The sad fact is that sometimes computers are NOT faster than "by hand"... Fortunately the majority of tasks is actually faster...

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I imagine it might be best achieved by using a kind of section line. Draw a line on plan?staggered if need be?and all objects one side of it get greyed out, everything else doesn't.

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How about duplicating the VP and superimposing them, the one on top can have a depth range that only shows your building with the correct render settings, the VP below has a depth range showing all surrounding buildings as well. This way you can set each viewport exactly as you like i.e.. the background can have opacity, be black and white, have different line weights, colors etc. Also no need for tedious cropping (unless the foreground VP shows surrounding buildings as well then you will need to crop this obviously).

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Hi Christiaan, Here's an idea (I have not tried it yet): Draw the line, as you described earlier, then extrude it and give it a texture that is semi-transparent (like light gray plastic?) but has no reflectivity... Just a thought...

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All of this is great, but one can't help but wonder exactly what's going on behind the scenes on a sheet layer. If it's all vector based at this point, shouldn't one be able to work with the layout as if in Illustrator?

I think that VW would get a lot of kudus if they had a set of tools available to pretty up sheet layers. Off the top of my head:

A brush/tool that could increase/decrease line weight of any line you moused over

A brush/tool that could increase/decrease opacity of any line you moused over

A brush/tool that could increase/decrease saturation of color of any line one moused over

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I definitely wouldn't say no to those things Grant. At the same time I'd also prefer controls that allow us achieve these sorts of things at a lower more automated level.

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The method of Vincent is a real good one.

Or you can also place an object between the buildings that has a kind of glass texture. Behind it, all will show lighter (with the right texture) and you will have no lines, which will sure put the focus on your main buildings.

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Two problems with this technique:

1. You can end up with anti-alias halos around some of your building edges.

2. The grey-out-polygon also has an effect on the sky background, making it difficult to control exactly how the sky looks.

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