best program/software for mocking up elevations?

nikinikinineJune 10, 2012

I am tossing around two different stone and siding combinations. I'm an extremely visual person (to a fault) and so I'd love to mock up our exterior elevation with the stone and siding and see what I think of it "in real life". I have Photoshop installed on my Mac, but my skills aren't amazing and I'm not sure that's the easiest solution.

Any programs out there that will let me paste in my stone and siding and see what they'll come out like? I don't mind a small learning curve.

I have the elevation in three file types right now -- JPEG, CAD and PDF.

Thanks in advance :)

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alexcato

I fought with our builder over and over to get designs, until I simply taught myself some basic CAD and started sending him my ideas drafted directly. I started with trying to use the trial 30-day version of Autocad 13 from Autodesk, but it was way too complex. I ended up using two open-source alternatives that worked great: LibreCAD (http://www.librecad.org) for the 2D sketches (elevations, tile designs, profile of the kitchen island, etc.) and FreeCAD (http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/free-cad/index.php?title=Main_Page) for the 3d modeling (finishing of the stairs, interior moulding, etc.).
The former is very simple and intuitive to use if you have ever used a CAD. The 3D one is much more complex, but very powerful.
Both are free.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 3:39PM
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nikinikinine

Thanks alexcato!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 9:08PM
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nikinikinine

Bummer, LibreCAD doesn't support dwg files. Darn GPL licenses getting in the way. I'll try the other suggestion. I have a feeling some four letter words and a few hours in photoshop are in my future :)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 9:26PM
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minneapolisite

I'm pretty handy with Photoshop and I'm procrastinating on doing real work...if you'd like some help, just GIF/JPG/PNG files here and tell me what you want where. :)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 9:50PM
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nikinikinine

Thank you minneapolisite!

I'm new to this GW forum, so forgive me if there is an easier way to link these...

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:41PM
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nikinikinine

The doors and window are probably obvious. The stone is going on the dormer to the left of the front porch and also on the base of the columns. The shakes are going in the gables. The rest of the house is in the straight vinyl.

We're doing a mix of the fieldstone and ledgestone, so use whichever part is easier to drag in :)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:46PM
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renovator8

I recommend 3D with materials in color. The easiest and cheapest to use is SketchUp by Google.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 8:16AM
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minneapolisite

It's not a work of art, but it does plug your materials into your elevation graphic. :) (I probably could have done a better job, but our baby boy decided to pull an all-nighter last night so I'm running on fumes!)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 8:27AM
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nikinikinine

minneapolisite, you did fantastic. Thank you :)

thanks for the tip Renovator8!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 12:43PM
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