Marion Mahony / Frank Lloyd Wright-Inspired LayOut Sheet

This past week at 3D Bootcamp Atlanta, I had the pleasure of working closely with an attendee who wanted to migrate to 3D workflow while still maintaining the elegance and formality of her hand drafting and page layouts process.

She showed me an image of her inspiration, Marion Mahony Griffin (below left) and wanted to know if we could do something similar. I said of course…and about 15 mins later, had a sheet set up to talk through with her*(below right).*

This was the model we were working with in class. I set up quick 3 scenes…added two trees…hid the ground plane…added section cut to plan view…and changed the style to hidden line style with thicker profiles.

Then I sent the SU file to LayOut to do the rest. I first tried adding the paper texture to LayOut but didn’t like the way the model faces still showed white (next time I’ll try to see if I can do a ‘Color by layer’ materials override and report back)…I’ll come back to the paper step at the end.

Next it was time to add some details that one can only do with LayOut…setting the model to scale dimensions, callouts, text, frame border, and north arrow. The plan view trees and person in elevation were added from the default Scrapbook.

Lastly, I exported a PDF from LayOut then dropped it into Photoshop as a ‘Smart Object’. This A. retains the vector properties of the PDF, and B. allows for re-linking, like in InDesign. So now I can change either the SU model or the LayOut sheet content and then re-export and re-link the pdf in Photoshop at anytime. All that work we did setting everything does not need to be repeated when, not if things change ;). Finally, with the PDF layer set to ‘Multiply’ I added subtle colors to trees, white accent on perspective and paper background texture found online.

I’m sure you all can do much better but our BC attendee was so thrilled by seeing that she indeed can create the kind of drawing she’s envisioning using SU+LO that she even had her husband come and meet me after our graduation ceremony. Great experience for all of us.


Very nice. I like seeing stuff like this. Reminds me of a furniture plan I did some years ago in LayOut. I did the entire thing including the old paper texture in LayOut.

Thanks Dave. Yeah nice drawing. I like the old-school way to show several drawings on one sheet. Helps the viewer relate things better.


I agree. Interesting thing with woodworking plans like the one I did. It’s similar to ones that were available in the early 1900’s. Many woodworkers these days would say there’s not enough detail in it, though.