No matter how much time and money is expended on producing realistic architectural renderings, the characters that appear in them never appear to change. The same, tired silhouettes are used in renders ad nauseum, often to the ignorance of copyright infringement laws.

cutoutmix – an initiative by Italian photographer and architect Francesca Perani – aims to change all of that. Not only is the open-source website meant as a salve to the repetition of rendered characters, it is also meant as an alternative to images that clearly violate copyright laws.

“Unfortunately, many designers are populating their projects with characters belonging to easily-recognisable paintings or photographs regardless of any copyright infringement,” says Perani. “The aim of this ambitious project […] is to promote a new collaboration between designers interpreting physical spaces and artists.”

Currently, there are two collections – 127 illustrations all up – of silhouettes available on the website. All of these have been created especially for use in renders by a team of international artists commissioned by Perani.

“[cutoutmix] strongly promotes an artistic and experimental approach to […] silhouettes for architectural and design projects,” says Perani. “Lately, architectural drawings have been moving away from photo-realism to explore more emotional and visionary dimensions.

“Digital rendering is becoming […] renewed [thanks to] use of photo montaging and illustration techniques.”

Although all of the silhouettes on the site are free to use thanks to the embrace of an open-source philosophy (under creative commons international licenses), architects and designers who take designs from cutoutmix are encouraged to simply provide a credit by linking back to the cutoutmix website.