Many people have trouble visualizing buildings from elevation blueprints. Even with artist renderings, the detail isn't exact or it's missing. A photograph, on the other hand, includes all the details. Everyone can read a photograph. It's much more realistic than a rendering or blueprint. Now, thanks to new computer technology, you and your customers can take photographs of buildings not yet built. HOW THE PHOTOS ARE CREATED To create simulated photos, the computer needs photos of the site and the building materials and elevation drawings of the building. Photos are created in three steps. First, the drawings and photographs are placed on a scanner, which converts each point of a photograph or drawing into a number correlating to a particular color. Next, the computer operator superimposes the elevation drawings onto the photo of the site. Then the operator manipulates the photos of the exterior materials until they cover the right areas of the building. Once the image is complete, it's made into an actual photograph. COSTS LESS THAN RENDERING The time it takes to create an artist rendering and an image-processed photo are about the same. But that's where the similarity ends. Changing the look of a building on a computer takes a couple of hours. A redraw may take 3 to 7 days and costs about the same as the original drawing. Seeing several options before building eliminates costly changes during--or after--construction.