Vi­su­al­is­ing the fu­ture of arch viz

3D soft­ware aid­ing vi­su­al­i­sa­tion artists is at a crit­i­cal mile­stone. adam Barnes ex­plores how tech­nol­ogy and arch viz go hand in hand

3D Artist - - COMTENTS -

take a look at any in­dus­try af­fected by the ever-chang­ing tech­nol­ogy of 3D soft­ware and it’d be tough to get a clear grasp on the things that are im­por­tant across the board. What a VFX artist ex­pects from their pipe­line of tools is com­pletely dif­fer­ent to a videogame de­vel­oper. Even needs within teams change – an­i­ma­tors want their soft­ware and plug­ins to em­power them in ways that light­ing artists won’t, for in­stance.

Ar­chi­tec­tural vi­su­al­i­sa­tion, on the other hand, con­jures an op­pos­ing sense of static sto­icism, not un­like the very struc­tures these 3D scenes are rep­re­sent­ing. For an in­dus­try ar­guably more re­liant on pho­to­re­al­ism than any other, it’s easy to see – per­haps mis­tak­enly – how an end could be in sight. It might feel like there’s nowhere else for tech­nol­ogy to take ar­chi­tec­tural vi­su­al­i­sa­tion, but in fact this niche of 3D artistry is head­ing into some dra­matic and far-reach­ing changes.

“Ar­chi­tec­tural vi­su­al­i­sa­tion is fun­da­men­tal to the de­sign process, right from con­cept de­sign stages through to de­tailed de­sign,” ex­plains Gamma Basra, the head of vi­su­al­i­sa­tion at

Foster + Part­ners. Like many of the world’s big­gest ar­chi­tec­tural firms, the Bri­tish stu­dio has its own arch-viz team in-house that works on the projects in­ter­nally. “Vi­su­al­i­sa­tions can help

com­mu­ni­cate neb­u­lous de­sign ideas at the early stages of con­cept de­sign, but also help to­wards the end of a project or at key mile­stones for pre­sen­ta­tion ma­te­rial.” But while the lay­man might have an idea of what ‘vi­su­al­i­sa­tion’ is, it’s ac­tu­ally far more eclec­tic than you might re­alise. Some may fo­cus on mar­ket­ing ma­te­ri­als, for ex­am­ple, clear and con­cise mes­sages to fu­ture own­ers of the in­tended life­style of the prop­erty. Oth­ers work with the ar­chi­tects them­selves, get­ting cre­ative with post-pro­duc­tion or other tech­niques to help sell a dream of the build­ing, rather than its re­al­ity, and with it win bids.

“For il­lus­tra­tion work we like to leave a sub­stan­tial amount of time be­tween our first ‘dis­cov­ery’ phase and our sub­se­quent ap­proval phase,” says Keely Col­cleugh, CEO and founder of La-based Kilograph. “This al­lows us to im­ple­ment the look and feel, de­velop our mod­els suf­fi­ciently, and ex­per­i­ment with light­ing, ma­te­ri­als and com­po­si­tions that re­ally sell the project.”

Kilograph is a big name in the field, one of many spe­cialised stu­dios work­ing with ar­chi­tec­tural firms to help them pro­duce the nec­es­sary com­mu­nica­tive vi­su­al­i­sa­tions. As cre­atives work­ing with an ar­chi­tect’s vi­sion, achiev­ing some­thing that all par­ties are happy with re­quires a de­gree of del­i­cacy and sub­tlety. “Rolling clients in be­fore suf­fi­cient cre­ative work has been done never serves the out­come,” ad­mits Col­cleugh. “We do most of our de­vel­op­ment early on. This wouldn’t be pos­si­ble with­out a well-crafted cre­ative brief and look-and-feel in­ves­ti­ga­tions up front.”

And that is per­haps the great­est way to un­der­stand the pur­pose of arch viz – it isn’t al­ways to im­press with its re­al­ism or as­tound with bom­bast, but in­stead to en­able an ar­chi­tect sim­ply to ex­press the ‘look and feel’ of their de­sign, to tell a story of what the build­ing will rep­re­sent. The ca­pa­bil­i­ties of 3D soft­ware and the tech­nol­ogy that ties it all to­gether is nat­u­rally a defin­ing as­pect of how this story is told.

We are con­stantly look­ing for new ways of rep­re­sent­ing ar­chi­tec­ture and ur­ban de­sign Keely col­cleugh ceo and founder of Kilograph

By head­ing to­wards a more in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ence, arch viz will be as much about cre­at­ing be­liev­able spa­ces as it will be about imag­i­na­tion 3D artist gastón suárez pas­tor uses both sub­stance and corona in his work

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