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I mentioned on another post that I use Photoshop to do mock-ups of dollhouses before I start altering them. I used to draw them out to scale and then make photocopies that I could then play around with. I've also done poster board mock-ups. It used to be I had a clear vision of what I wanted and then built it, only to find the final product a disappointment. Either you remodel or you just live with it. Photo-editing has made this much easier. There are multiple tutorials on Youtube so I won't go into the finer details of how to use Photoshop. Since I had these mock-ups anyway, I figure I may as well show examples of what you can do. This has saved me from making one very major screw-up, which I'll point out on the first picture below. These will have to be multiple posts but oh well, easily scrolled through. Or ignored if you prefer! Some of you may know I want to do an "inspired by" (not a spot-on recreation) of the Laura Plantation in Louisiana using a Lawbre Rosedawn I got pretty cheap. I went through a good 15 or 20 iterations of various ideas but am only going to post the six with major changes. To give examples of some of the minor changes I'm not going to bother you with, I had the original Rosedawn windows on the dormers. Too many different windows on one house, let's use the same ones from the ground floor. Much better. How do all those French-style windows and doors look with vertical mullions on each side? WAY too busy, getting rid of those. You get the idea. There are other photo-editing softwares out there, probably some of them free. Maybe someone familiar with them can give the pros and cons of each? I got the absolute basic Adobe Photoshop years ago. I forget how much I paid for it but I think around $99? Worth every penny, I've used it extensively. Just to show how ideas can progress - and how photo-editing makes that progression soooo much easier than drawing things out, building mock-ups, or heaven forbid actually building the darn things - below are my various changes with the whys and wherefores of each. This is much easier than you might think. Once you get a basic model of a house to scale, you can just copy in entire portions of details. You don't create every window and door from scratch, you just make one and then copy/paste. Want to change a color? Select an area then fill with the color of your choice. Heck of a lot easier than painting! So here's how photo-editing can help with that. First up is my original plan. I widened the middle dormer and extended it out to accommodate the exterior staircases. In my mind's eye, I thought this was the way to go . . . until I saw it. Hated it. Hated hated hated it. That dormer visually detracts from the entire house and, let's face it, is pretty ugly. Imagine if I'd gone to the trouble of making it - even if only a cardboard mock-up - rather than just getting a Photoshop visual.