SketchUp to LayOut - The Mason Farm Renders

"Official" and authorized renderings of Matt Donley's Mason family Farm model

Subject: Mason Farm Model used in tutorials for MasterSketchUp's book "SketchUp to LayOut"

The book "SketchUp to LayOut" is a user-friendly, informative resource and tutorial guide on the essential steps for creating construction documents from models in SketchUp to LayOut for print, publication and professional presentations. It uses detailed examples, step by step instruction and a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between the two. It is the perfect SketchUp handbook and resource guide on how easily you can make both SketchUp and LayOut a combination of essential toolsets in the artisan's 3D arsenal. The author's "hands-on" experience in carpentry, cabinetry and knowledge of concept blue prints and designs to final "working" realizations, makes the content in the book easily accessible and understandable to every professional and amateur who has a basic working knowledge of SketchUp.
Simply, this book introduces, explains and equips you to take creative design and package it professionally for perfect presentations. The book is also available in three distinct packages:
SketchUp to LayOut

Basic: $39.00

Professional Package $67.00

w/Video Pre-Order $99.- (includes pro package)

Pre-order the Video Couse scheduled for Spring 2014 ($159.- value)

Click here to visit SketchUp to LayOut.

Disclaimer: This book is not about rendering, does not include information about rendering, nor does it instruct on rendering within its pages.
Kemp Productions received an exclusive endorsement to produce the 3D renders of this wonderful "farm house" model used in the book "SketchUp to LayOut" as a practical example for instruction.

"I find his interpretation of Mason Farm to really capture the warmth and charm of the property, and I hope you enjoy them too." - Matt Donley

Genesis of the Mason Farm Renders

Most of 2013 was invested in a departure from the 3D work made for the Rivendell Mill renovation project of the 400-500 year old ruin. During that period, imaginative Science-Fiction inspired scenes provoked me to return to my childhood passion of building spaceship models, but in 3D. Unfortunately, with the quantity of artificial lighting used in the models, I found that I had built beyond the capacity of the render plugin used. During discouraging months of frustration and futile efforts of failed attempts to render my Sci-Fi model… I progressively yearned to part from the limitations that plagued me. Finally, our partner Scott Para of Diversion Studio in the Metro Detroit area confirmed the behemoth hurdles we confronted were render software issues and not our model.
I reluctantly surrendered to the fact and abandoned the whole of the project until we could obtain new software that could handle this sci-fi dream. I then turned to a newer inspiration that perhaps Shaderlight could render.

After following the design renders of the "Americana" dream houses by architect Chris Riley of Renderings by Riley , a growing desire to do something new, while based in traditions of past design, chased me. Then by surprise, I saw a post that had "real" blueprints of a stylized "Turn of the century" home designed in an "Americana" era it wore like badge of honor. I immediately contacted MasterSketchUp about the plans and began pursuing permission to build it in 3D.

Matt Donley of MasterSketchUp explained that he had actually lived in this house when he was a boy and that it was his great grandfather that had built it in its day. Due to the intimate connection to the house and its planned use
in tutorials for his upcoming book, he would build the house model himself. Still wanting to work with this design, I asked if I could have any involvement with the renderings. Thus, the first chapter of this project was written.

"I'm really liking the look of it. Well done, and thank you for all your hard work so far." - Matt Donley

Receiving the built model of the house, work began with detailing, texturing, painting and preparing a yard of sorts from a satellite image link that was provided. I made test renders and was able to send out a couple HQ images in time for the book's release deadline. Yet, I wanted more from the renderings than what I had produced. When Matt provided archival family photos from the past, I had exactly what I was searching for... context and a signature look that was missing from the original renders made for the book's release.

This is when the modeling became a real joy. With this gift of
photographic reference material, I decorated the pillars with the Ivy that could not be seen from the overhead view. I incorporated scale to the trees, more vegetation and concluded that I would not virtually renovate the farm of today, but restore an almost bygone era that best communicates the heart and style of this wonderful farm house.

In the left column below, you can see how the photos of yesterday inspired today's 3D renders on the right. Without Matt's collaborative resources of history, generously offered to us, this project would have never become the realization that it is.

"Nice, I like how the light breaks through the trees like that. I can only imagine what the render times will be." - Matt Donley

The Mason Farm Renders Collections

View all the images of The Mason Farm built in 3D

"Love the idea of retro!!!" - Matt Donley

Project Details

Every detail in this project was researched for historical impact, accuracy and fidelity to a period not forgotten even by those who grew up in the '60s and '70s. As kids, most of our parents and grandparents used similarly styled lawn chairs, picnic tables, vehicles and decor. The Clock, the "classic" Coke bottles, oil cans and even outdoor thermometer on the door frame were chosen specifically from a period of my own childhood memories.
There was a specific choice in using cracked and chipped paint for the moldings and borders and the selection of the wall tiles that hinted of algae/moss stain of an aged but surviving American historical home. This is a virtual step back to an unforgettable nostalgia of memories. A dedication to those who created that world's legacy, we are grateful that one family's American dream could inspire a small part of it to be recreated here.

Rendering Shade & Light

Carte Blanche was given to this project to expressively explore lighting setups and scenes of this 400+ MB SketchUp model in ways not previously available to us professionally.

Taking full advantage of this liberty, different phases of lighting through periods of the day were explored to create the most cinematic, authentic and varied atmospheres to appropriately dress the stage for the star of the show... The Mason Farm House and the abundant life within her surroundings.

We present you with three collections:

Magic Hour - These renders use a low set afternoon/evening light to cast extremely long shadows. This is the hour of the crickets just before sundown, wafting the subtle, sweet smells of fresh cut grass from the yard and nearby fields... a peaceful, quiet serenity that fallows the hot of a long summer's day.

Summer Sun - varied hours of the day are represented in this collection with a myriad of skies and temperate moods. These images are reminiscent of days that took only moments to dry clothes on the line, where the sweet odor of motor oil on the barn floor mixes with the smell of powdery hay dust that floats with the hint of every breeze. On these days, you don't touch the car handle unless it is in the shade. Open windows at night offer no comfort but for the occasional tickles by an air current that accidentally lost its way to you.

Full Moon - After the description above, these images represent the reprieve and refuge after a day's blistering heat. These are for those who escape from the covers and bedsheets, sweat-ridden from tossing and turning, to find comfort with a bare back on a cool, grass lawn under a starry covered sky. These moments, counting shooting stars, bats in flight and imagining the vastness of space while contemplating the meaning of tomorrow's neighborhood baseball game, bring to focus the reason for these renders.

"Those renders look great. I really like those night time renders with the house all lit up." - Matt Donley

Branding: Designing a Vintage Panel

This little sign became an obstacle unto itself. First test was to incorporate fonts that were representative of the advertising of the period between 1900 -1940's. It was imperative to have the post Victorian, Parisienne style flare that saturated the trends with flourishing scrolls, hairpin turns and treble clef curves . It was a challenge to find the balance between the forged and wrought iron street lamp characteristics and the hewn wood-carved panel board signs more typically found in the western U.S.. Unsuccessful attempts of marrying the style and material created many drafts, deleted files and
a bit of discouragement until I returned to the old word (K.I.S.S.) "Keep it simple, Stupid." Once I cleared the complications from the design path, I began again with the text font, building what to say and in what order. Once convinced of the text layout, the sign simply fell together. It was not easy creating the curved depth of the scroll ribbons, but once I found my way, the hours flew by again with the fun of building.

These examples below are not all of the perspectives that were rendered, but they are rendered under the different sunlight conditions found in the collections.

MasterSketchUp: about this project

"When writing my book, SketchUp to LayOut, I knew I wanted to have a sample project that demonstrated how SketchUp and LayOut can be used to create a set of construction documents for an entire house. Choosing a house to use for the project turned out to be quite easy.

I can remember rummaging around in the attic of the house I grew up in. An old spinning wheel from the 1800’s, old pictures, furniture, and tools that have been in my family for generations. I would always discover something new each time I went up there. My family had lived in Bristol, RI as far back as the early 1700’s, and I grew up on the family farm in the house my great grandfather had built in 1912.

I knew we had always held onto a lot of heirlooms and such, but I was particularly curious about one item my mother showed me one day. It was a long cylinder shaped object, and it was wrapped in a sort of yellowish waxy paper. We unwrapped the wax paper and discovered inside, sheets of old paper rolled up inside. Gently unrolling the blue paper, we suddenly realized we were looking at the original architectural drawings of our home, dated 1912!

I was absolutely amazed that we had these drawings saved for over 100 years, and that they were in such great shape. I began studying them, and started to notice little details of the house that were built slightly differently, uncovering a story of decisions that must have been made during the design process. These must have been an earlier set of drawings.
I noticed the first floor exterior walls were designed to be built from stone, but were later switched to be a regular wood framed wall. The dining room had intricate millwork paneling and details that were never built. It was so fun to find all these changes and think about how they must have value engineered the project to save money.

I knew that this would be the house I would use as a sample project in my book, SketchUp to LayOut. Not only did I have the blueprints to help me draw the house in SketchUp, but the house meant so much to me personally. I just thought about my great grandfather, and what he would have thought if he knew his great grandson would be redrawing the house someday.

It was also a demonstration of the contrast of technology between 1912 and today. Seeing the hand drawn blueprints, and replicating them in a 3D modeling program like SketchUp really made me see how far technology has come in 100 years. But I also saw how we are losing some of the incredible talent required to produce a set of hand drawn blueprints as was required long ago.

To really bring the model to life, Duane had volunteered to create these renderings of my house. After hearing my story and the personal connection I had with the house, he was truly inspired. I sent him old pictures of the house to try to convey the character of the farm. I find his interpretation of Mason Farm to really capture the warmth and charm of the property, and I hope you enjoy them too."

Read the Matt Donley's full article about our renders

MasterSketchUp's endorsement of our Renders

"The renders he created are absolutely fantastic! I love the character and charm that he was able to capture in them. That house has such

sentimental value to me, and it is really incredible to see what it might have looked like back in the day."
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