3Dartvi­sion, Northum­ber­land, UK

3D World - - ARTIST Q&A - Si­mon Ed­wards replies

As an ar­chi­tec­tural vi­su­aliser I have been asked to work on many im­ages taken from an aerial view­point. Projects like these will likely in­clude an en­tirely new pro­posed de­vel­op­ment be­ing merged into an ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture.

Tra­di­tion­ally im­ages like this are of­ten cre­ated by merg­ing a vir­tual 3D model into an ex­ist­ing pho­to­graph. How­ever, there may be many phys­i­cal re­stric­tions in ob­tain­ing a good pho­to­graphic base shot, es­pe­cially in the UK where the like­li­hood of a nice sunny day is pretty re­mote too. So, it isn’t al­ways pos­si­ble to ob­tain that per­fect pho­to­graph into which your vir­tual model can be merged.

For those rea­sons I find I can of­ten get a bet­ter re­sult by build­ing the en­tire ex­ist­ing and pro­posed in­fra­struc­ture in­side my com­puter, and from that point set up the per­fect stand­point and en­vi­ron­men­tal set­tings for my im­age.

Us­ing Google and Street View, I start by build­ing a li­brary of the ex­ist­ing ob­jects, such as road signs, lit­ter bins, benches, lamp posts and so on, all sim­ply modelled as low-poly­gon ob­jects and with tex­tures ap­plied from on-site pho­tog­ra­phy and Google ref­er­ences.

Once ev­ery­thing has been built and put into po­si­tion, the en­tire scene (both pro­posed and ex­ist­ing de­vel­op­ment) can then be set up un­der one sin­gle

en­vi­ron­ment, re­sult­ing (hope­fully) in an over­all con­vinc­ing im­age.

The new and ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture can of­ten be a maze of com­plex wind­ing roads, paths and grassed borders. At first this may seem a lit­tle daunt­ing in the task ahead of cre­at­ing and ap­ply­ing tricky map­ping co­or­di­nates, but then there is a sim­pler way to ap­proach this task.

V-ray has a very use­ful tex­tur­ing tool named Vray­dis­tance­tex. This can be used to tex­ture ar­eas in­ter­sected by se­lected ob­jects. This will pro­duce a tex­ture that will then fade away over a given dis­tance from the in­ter­sect­ing ob­ject.

I like to use com­pos­ites of this tex­tur­ing tool when it comes to paint­ing in road sur­faces and road lines, where some ob­jects might cause a sub­tle smudge and others a hard-edged graphic.

In this par­tic­u­lar model here the road sur­face is a sin­gle-plane poly­gon ob­ject that has the new Vray­dis­tance­tex com­pos­ite ap­plied.

The in­ter­cept­ing ob­jects are made non-ren­der­able in their Ob­ject Prop­er­ties di­a­logue such that their ex­is­tence in the scene is purely as a tex­ture gen­er­a­tor with the Vray­dis­tance­tex ma­te­rial.

Com­mer­cial ar­chi­tec­tural vi­su­al­i­sa­tion work by 3dartvi­sion com­mis­sioned by lidl UK for a new store in Hull

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