Designing 2D Floor Plans for Residential and Commercial

December 22, 2009 in Featured, Photoshop by admin

Designing 2D Floor Plans For Residential And Commercial
( Adobe Photoshop CS4)

Welcome to "Designing 2D Floor Plans For Residential and Commercial Markets".

In this tutorial I will be using Adobe Photoshop CS4. You should be able to follow along with just about any version of Photoshop. Those using other software have knowledge and concepts to gain from this tutorial as well, since most of the concepts are universal.

Author: Ryan W. Knope

Ryan W. Knope is a freelance 3D / 2D Artist / Consultant with 13 years experience in the 3D and 2D industry. His main artistic love lies with interior and exterior rendering although he takes on just about every type of graphics work. Ryan is also the architectural / interior voice for 3D Artist Magazine’s Question and Answer Panel. He lives with his wife Krista, in sunny Denver, Colorado.

Tutorial Details

  • Programs: Adobe Photoshop CS4
  • Difficulty: Advanced (Prior Knowledge of Software is a plus.)

Supplied Data

Step 1: Before We Start

With this type of render I cannot say how important it is that you build a interior asset library. Almost every time I create a interior floor plan I use most of the same assets. Creating your asset library either takes finding top views and masking them out, creating them in 3D and doing a top render, or creating the assets in photoshop / 2D. All methods work well and can save you enough time to take a vacation.

You can view some of my personal set of assets HERE! There is a small set of links to assets in Step 16.

One of the nice things about this type of work is that every time you do this type of job for a client, it gets faster and faster. I have went from 6 hours when I first started, to 45 minutes now with this type of rendering.

Communicate with your client very well and figure out what is important to him / her. You can cut off a lot of hours that way.

Step 2: Studying Your Supplied Plan

Below you can see the wall layout sketch of the 1st floor. I usually take time to note all the windows as sometimes it can be a little tricky keeping track of them. Study the floor plan for a few minutes and walk through it in your head even before starting the layout in Photoshop.

Step 3: Building The Base Walls

Most of my clients for this sect of the industry provide me with sketches only. So, there are a few options… trace each line in Photoshop or build the base structure in 3dsmax or Illustrator.

Personally I feel that building the base in 3dsmax is much quicker, although the same product can be built in Photoshop.

To do this in Photoshop, open your supplied sketch, change the image size to 3500 px wide and try to square out the plan as much as possible. Sometimes the scans are not straight, use the transform tool. Now make a selection of all the wall areas (Including the windows) and then fill the selection in a new layer.

The walls have a slight drop shadow and bevel (Layer Effects).

Next, I make a selection around the bounds of the floor and in a new layer fill the selection with a tan / beige color. Place this layer below the walls layer.

You should have something similar to what is shown below.

Step 4 – Lay Down Some Hardwood – Base Flooring

At this point I bring in my hard wood flooring and garage pavement. To prep for this step I create a large tiling image of hardwood that will cover the entire area. Next, I bring it into the photoshop file and place the layer just above the beige floor layer. Make a selection of the entire area that needs hardwood (SHIFT Drag with the marquee tool). Press CTRL SHIFT I to invert the selection and press delete. Now your hardwood is cut out.

Create a new layer right above the hardwood and make a selection of the garage. Fill this with gray. Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and turn on the option for "Monochromatic", Raise your amount to a level that suits your needs.

Step 5 – Adding Window Holes

Duplicate your main wall layer and change the color to a lighter beige in layer effects (Color Overlay). Turn off all of your layers except the sketch layer. Make a selection at each window, turn your other layers back on, select your 2nd wall layer and press delete. Now you have your window holes in place. The window areas should be slightly darker, giving the illusion that they are at another height.

Step 6 – Placing The Windows

Below, you can see the object I use for each window. It is fairly simple to create by making a selection and filling, then drawing in your blue glass.

This is placed in each window hole and may need to be resized for smaller windows. Once all of them are in place, merge all the window layers. Name this layer "Windows".

Step 7 – Carpet And Tiles

For the carpet area in the lower left corner I used the same method as we used in the garage, only I made it a peach / tan color. Noise was used to make it look more like carpet.

In the upper left corner you can see the pattern that was used for the mud room and bathroom areas. I deleted the grout areas so that I could add a bevel under layer effects. Notice how there are some spots that I did not place it in those rooms. That is because those spots will be covered up with cabinetry and other objects.

Step 8 – Rugs And Automobiles

Search Google for some rugs. You should be able to find quite a few. Look for something that is classy and fits your clients taste. Mask them out if needed and place them in the desired location. Merge all of your rugs into the same layer (Select both layers and hit CTRL E). Add a slight drop shadow under layer effects. Name this layer "Rugs"

There are a few options for the vehicles. You can search Google for top views of cars, mask them out and place them in, or if you have a 3D library of cars, render them out and save them as a PNG and they will already be masked. I chose the 3D cars because it was easier for me.

Whichever you choose, merge the vehicles into one layer and add a outer glow layer effect, change the color to black and the Blending Type to normal.

Step 9 – Creating And Adding The Stairs

Below you can see the progression of how I created the stairs. I filled a selection, burned the top, copied it down and then used the dodge tool to make a small highlight at the bottom edge of each stair / riser. After you finish the creation of the steps, place them into the designated areas.

Step 10 – Before Placing Furniture

If you are working on a rendered floor plan for a client, make sure that you get a furniture markup before proceeding… if you don’t then you will have to do double the work, almost guaranteed! In the markups that I received for this plan there was a lot of furniture not marked. Many sofa’s, chairs and tables were left out. This made for a un-needed process over the phone and frustrated the client as well as me.

Step 11 – Sofas And Tables

Bring in the sofa images from your library. You may be able to find some on Google if you do not have a library. Place them where your client has specified, merge the sofa layers and add a drop shadow with a distance of 5 to 6 pixels. Name the layer.

For your tables, start making selections. Open up a nice wood texture / image map. Use the clone stamp tool to fill them on a new layer. Once your selections are filled add a small bevel and a drop shadow of 5 to 6 pixels under layer effects. Name this layer.

At this point you can place any table center pieces that you would like. Remember to add a drop shadow layer effect.

Step 12 – Adding The Chairs

Bring in the chairs from your library and place them below the table layer in the stack that is starting to form. Merge all of the chairs into 1 layer after placing is complete, Add a 5 to 6 pixel drop shadow and name this layer.

If you are creating the chairs in Photoshop from scratch, the dinner table chairs are not hard to create via filling a selection and painting in some details. The "Soft Seating" is a bit more difficult because of their curved nature.

Step 13 – Hanging Clothes, Toilets And Sinks

I created the sink by making a rectangular selection, filling it and then making a oval selection and applying a gradient fill. The toilet and hanging jackets / clothing will take a bit more effort. For the toilet I used a 3D model, although I would suggest getting on a chair and taking a picture of your toilet and masking it out or finding a toilet on Google. I removed the clothes hanger rod in my closet and placed it across 2 chairs and took a picture. This worked well and saved me a ton of time creating it.

Place these items in their designated areas. Modify the "Bar Sink" a bit, you could even put some bottles on there.

Step 14 – Kitchen Cabinets, Counters, Wall Units And More

The wood corner wall units, counters, cabinets are all created with the same method as used for the wood tables in step 11. The fridge is created by making a rectangular selection and filling it with a light gray to dark gray gradient (Simulating Stainless Steel). Add a bevel and drop shadow to the latter. The fire is simply a image placed below the wall layers and masked out to conform. The dark edge of the fire will be covered up in the next step with the fireplace mantles.

Step 15 – Range Top, Kitchen Sink And Fireplace Mantle

It is best to find or take pictures of a range and kitchen sink. Not only will it save you time, but it will probably look better as well. You may be able to find some sinks and ranges on Google. The fireplace mantle is created the same way as the rest of the wood tables.

Step 16 – Links To Assets

Sink 1
Sink 2
Sink 3
Sofa 1
Sofa 2
Automobile 1

Automobile 2
Chair 1
Range Top 1
Range Top 2
Range Top 3
Rug 1

Rug 2
Rug 3
Fire 1
Fire 2
Toilet 1


Step 17 – Labeling The Rooms

Most of the time a client also wants the rooms labeled with their proper names and sizes. This step is easy enough. Pick a respectable looking font and type away. Just make sure that it is legible at print size.

Step 18 – Conclusion

Well this brings us to the end of this tutorial. We covered the elements of putting together a rendered floor plan. All of the lessons in this tutorial can be transferred to any type of floor plan, whether residential or commercial.

You also have some links to assets, so that you can start building your library. I hope this tutorial has proved helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding any questions or concerns.