Let’s render the idea… | Part 1


We all know how much the clients out there usually appreciate looking at your designs… they’re a joy to the eye! But, in these times of virtual relationships, they need your help…and you need to take a page out of the way they do their visual marketing…it’s all about pretty pictures!

Just using the camera in your cell phone, you can take close-up shots of your designs to show that beautiful detail, you can take angled shots that show the light and shadow at play on those textures, and you can even take some video footage when you’re making the piece, or show the piece as it moves and drapes. Go check out our video where we give you some tips about making good images of your designs.

So, how about taking your visual communication one step further by adding your patterns to final products, like walls, beds, or upholstered furniture and truly convey the message that your design is the one the client is looking for?

When you go and see how your clients market their collections through visual merchandising, almost everything is photographed in situ within wonderful rooms and spaces, whether they produce upholstered furniture with your designs, or wall coverings, bedding, curtains, whatever. It’s pure visual marketing, and you need to steal the idea!

“If you steal from one author it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many it’s research”.

– Wilson Mizner

Let’s start off with the basics. Almost all of you use the Adobe software, Photoshop (PS), as a part of, or as a principal tool in the creative process of designing…with that software you can create renderings to market your designs! Just channel some of that creativity of yours into producing a wonderfully persuasive instrument of attraction…and get those clients buying your designs!

Don’t forget that the star is your design, and it needs to take the center stage in the rendering you make. Start by choosing a high-resolution, fairly up-close photo as a set including what you want to cover with your design from the web. You can find great images on the web for free, but don’t forget to set the search correctly regarding copyright restrictions, using the browsers tool bar, to ‘creative commons’ licenses. If you’re adding your design to ‘soft’ products, like bedding, curtains, or sofas, try to find a photo where it’s covered with, or made out of, plain fabric in a fairly light colour; you’ll be able to make your design transparent and see the movement of the fabric below.


Open up a 2000×2000 px page; the optimum size for an image that’s going on the web, it doesn’t need to be bigger. Start to prepare the rendering by making a template selecting the areas where you want to place your design, and, on separate layers, fill them with a flat colour.

  • If you’re wallpapering, make separate pieces for each piece of wall.
  • If you’re upholstering, make separate selections, each on its own layer by following the seams on the upholstered furniture.

Go get the design you want to use in the rendering and make an A4 page in the same resolution you’re using in the template. Fill it with your design, repeating it in a scale that looks right to be used in the rendering.

There’s no mathematical rule here…just use your attentive eye!

Working layer by layer with the pieces you’ve coloured on the template, select a piece from the page you made of your design that is slightly bigger than the template piece itself and paste it onto a new layer. Take the opacity down, so that you get a visual of where the piece of design needs to go and use the modification-scale-skew-commands to get the design in the right scale and perspective. If you’re upholstering something soft, use the distortion tools to mold the design to the right shape.

Once done, take the opacity back up, select the template shape from the layer you coloured flat and cut out your piece of design to the same shape, and don’t forget to apply a layer filter adding transparency to see the folds or shadows on the surface of whatever you’re putting your design on.

Keep the rendering you’ve made with its layers, so that you can use it again and again as a template for different designs. You can mirror and change the colours of the whole set to give it a totally different impact! Of course, your designs will look good on more than one thing, so maybe try that design on more than one rendering… walls, beds, sofas, etc, and you’ll see that your clients will be hovering around your designs like bees around honey!


We’ll be giving you an introduction to another software that you could try out!
Give it a go! It’s easier than you think, we promise, and you’ll produce a great marketing vehicle for your designs!

If you need some help, get in touch with me here at stonefree.design and I can give you a hand! Watch this space for our next article on renderings where I’ll be giving you an introduction to another software that you could try out!

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