Five tips: architectural visualisation
Every year, artists create tens of thousands of 3D images and animations, both for job pitches and personal portfolios. Make sure your work stands out in the crowd with our expert arch-viz tips…
With the size of the 3D industry increasing each year, it’s becoming more important than ever to make sure your work stands out from the crowd.
But finding that extra something that will open doors, win commissions, or simply give you the exposure you want is no easy task.
Many artists create work that is technically competent, or even excellent, but to get 10,000 ‘favourite’ votes from users of one of the big portfolio sites, or win an award at one of the main international animation festivals, you need more than technical expertise.
So what is it that makes a chart-topping 3D image or an award-winning animation?
As with all such questions, an element of subjectivity comes into play. For one piece, for one commentator, the composition might set it apart. For another, it may be the balance of colours.
Attention to detail could make for a winning piece of compositing, while in the case of a visualisation still, it could be the way that the reflections are handled that really makes the viewers’ jaws drop.
▲ Architectural specialist Alex Morris loves artist Viktor Fretyán’s detail and restrained use of colour…
Visualisation: Alex Morris on Viktor Fretyán
After completing renders for a client, Hungarian artist Viktor Fretyán created his own interpretation of the structure. Architectural specialist Alex Morris loves their detail and restrained use of colour…
ABOUT THE EXPERT
Alex Morris studied at Cambridge and Liverpool universities, qualifying as an architect in 1990. In 1996, he joined leading international visualisation studio Hayes Davidson, becoming a partner in 2001. He was responsible for many of HD’s landmark images. In 2009, he left to found his own agency.
▲ “The depth of field is relaxed and restrained, giving a heightened sense of photorealism, and helping to focus the composition,” says Alex Morris
WHY ALEX CHOSE VIKTOR FRETYÁN
“Something I really like in Fretyán’s work is the variegated light and texture.
“The attention to detail is also impressive, with the foreground leaves adding a sense of depth and realism.
“Unlike a lot of CG, the depth of field is relaxed and restrained, giving a heightened sense of photorealism, and helping to focus the composition around the areas of greatest interest.
“In this way, Fretyán communicates his ‘story’ to the viewer, making each image much more than a straight representation of the structure. The use of colour is also restrained and again helps to draw the eye to the main areas of interest, without detracting from the realism and believability of the images.
“The furniture and other objects in the images really sell the reality. To understand why, spend time analysing architectural photography to see how the artist uses these elements to frame the image and draw the eye into the scene.
“Observation is the key here, and experimenting with photos really helps.
“With the exception of the interior, these images couldn’t have been photographed. Fretyán has exercised judgement in the way that parts of the image have been exposed, and the use of colour is also contrived to help focus the viewer’s attention. Being a CG image, the artist has freedom to place elements where they can have the optimum impact.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Viktor Fretyán is an architectural visualisation artist in Hungary. The images shown here are an interpretation of a house by Satoshi Okada. radicjoe.cgsociety.org
▲ Check out the visualisation tips below to create your own fantastic CG renders
Top CG visualisation tips
By definition, architectural images have only one kind of subject matter – so you need to exploit composition and colour to stand out, advises Alex Morris
1: Don’t show the entire building
One of the main clichés Viktor Fretyán avoids is trying to show the whole building in one shot. This is a common client requirement that almost always results in a distorted view of the space.
2: Use unusual lighting
Unusual lighting conditions rather than standard blue skies make a setting interesting and believable. The colours and depth of field also help avoid the feel of an ‘out of the box render’ that many architectural images have.
3 Be brave with composition
Compositionally, the rule of thirds (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds) is apparent in Fretyán’s work, but he also demonstrates the confidence to use asymmetry. This can give your work particular strength if executed well.
4: Work the base render hard
Some people find it quicker to add texture in post using Photoshop. But some details, such as reflections on surface textures, are better done in the render. A good example of this is polished wood surfaces, where grain and edge bevels really help sell the reality of what you’re looking at.
5: Only show your best work
Unless your work is up for critique (and it’s clearly labelled as such) you should only ever display complete work. If you aren’t 100 per cent satisfied with an image, don’t show it in public.
on Monday, February 18th, 2013 at 4:27 pm under Guides, Tutorials.
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Tags: arch-viz, architectural visualisation, tips