For the past three months we have been working on a project in Versonnex, France; a twenty-three home development with apartment flats, and we are now proud to say that in releasing these images, we have completed phase two of this project. We were asked to produce both interior and exterior CGIs including an overview CGI for marketing purposes, with the intention of selling from the plan so we are hoping to be able to release these interiors in the next newsletter (March). The client has now received the finalised exterior visualisations and we are happy to share them with you.
For this phase, we were asked to produce exterior visuals for each house, along with an increasingly popular service that we offer; 3D Site Overviews. After gauging the scope of this project, we soon realised that with such a large amount of modelling to do we had to get to grips with the logistics of how to optimise our systems to produce the heavy 3D model as seen in the overview; we will try to talk more about how we used components, and for what purpose, below.
The first step to any project is compiling as much information as possible, one particular part of the information needed to create the large overview was the received 2D site information (CAD files – usually in .dwg format, topographic maps, material lists etc.) for the site and individual plots. Once received, we imported the CAD files into SketchUp 15 and got to work modeling the distinctly-styled houses. This project, in particular, is a prime example of how using components aids us in our workflow. In essence, we can (if the CAD dictates a repetitive design feature) model one singular window or door, and have it applied across each individual house across the development allowing us to really focus the detail on one specific model at one time.
We used the plans provided to model the buildings to their specifications, in separate files. Once the massing was in place we moved on to the detailing stage where we used components (as mentioned above) to modify multiple models (with relative speed) for the windows & doors, wooden exterior cladding, slate roof tiles and coated aluminium rainwater systems. We then compiled our models into a master file where we began to form the overview shot once the close single plot views were drafted up. This was when we then sent out a series of the draft, clay images for each building awaiting any feedback the client gave us, then applying any needed modifications to the model, enabling us to align our model with the client’s proposals before focusing on materiality.
At this point, we referred back to the material list that was sent through with the other information at the start of the project, and assess our material libraries for matching textures and maps. We then rendered a series of different passes and moved onto the post-production stage where we were able to control the overall mood of each exterior scene.
We opt to use scripts in Adobe Photoshop CC to load up the various passes that the VRay engine renders into one image in one go. We then, using a series of blending options, adjust the colour and light balances. One of the passes that we used is called a Material ID pass, which represents materials in the form of different colours; this made it easier to select entire textures and tweak them individually. We then inhabit the image more so by adding people and cars along with slight focal blurs, by using depth of field passes to bring focus to certain areas of the images.
We are very pleased to announce the release of phase two of the Versonnex development project. We are now looking forward to producing interior visualisations and continuing to work with everyone involved in the project.