Posts tagged ‘architectural rendering services’



Sotto Luce Awa. Elegant. 3dsMax/Indigo.

Fun with Nitrous


A slightly different experiment here – I tried to use the rather powerful capabilities hidden within 3dsMax itself – Nitrous. By switching to the Quicksilver Renderer, and then making use of the NPR Explorer (which gives hidden, custom, fine tuned options on how the graphical styles turn out), it is then possible to create some very interesting images from a resource that is usually overlooked.

One of the added benefits with Nitrous and Quicksilver is that standard lighting options can still be used – so I added a daylight sun and then modified the lighting until I was content with the fall of the shadow and glare intensity.

The graphical style used for this image was “Graphite”, and then the aforementioned NPR Explorer was used to modify the line weight, black/white levels, and even the angle of the pencil strokes.

Turned out quite well, and the image rendered under two minutes. Too bad that I canned the architectural idea I was pursuing with this image and a few others. Still – it probably would work well for a desktop background.

Doodle #6

Not technically a new doodle – one from a while ago. A fluffy teddy bear with nearly 120 million polygons. 3dsMax slowed to a crawl using the ‘Hair and Fur’ modifier, and then corrupted during the save. So all I have left of the work are a few renders.

Oh well. At least the images came out nice.  Maybe I will try revive the project one day.

Lines to Infinity

‘Lines to Infinity’ is an optical illusion and challenges the perception of scale and distance. Every intersection of line develops a grid plane both vertically and horizontally; the intersections forming deep chasms which reveal an exaggerated depth with an unquantifiable scale.

Moreover every intersection between the lines is a ‘handle’ towards another set of grids – with scale and distance both repeatedly shifting and merging between each other. Mathematics and precision work in tandem to develop a complex system of lines that provide the basis for an endless platform – one that is not necessarily bound to the regular distinctions of architecture.

Modelled with 3dsMax, and rendered with Indigo Renderer.

Endless Grid to Horizon

The ‘Endless Grid to Horizon’ is a dense lattice made up of infinite grids intersecting each other repeatedly upon the vertical axis. The intricacies of detail within the intersections of each grid develop illusions that faintly resemble what one would call architectural formation, despite being anything but. Grids rise above the horizon line much like a canopy, lines tailing off into various directions and off the canvas, continuing for as long as the mind wants to. The larger the image, the more one is drawn in…

The density of the grid fades away as if being a gassy substance – all aiding towards an ethereal perception – a complex formation that transcends the limitations set by Earthly elements. A precise structure conjured not from Earth, but of the mind.

Modelled in 3dsMax, rendered with Indigo Renderer.

Planes to Infinity

An endless grid continues forever into the distance, with a sequence of planes swooping over and beyond. Clouds flow and drift overhead, dozy birds gliding aimlessly past. A kid runs past with a colourful kite; his playtime never ends because distance and time are unknown. With the atmosphere set and the sun glaring down, passers-by stare into a limitless void that never ceases.

Inspired by the work of Superstudio in the 1960s.

Modelled in 3dsMax, rendered with Indigo Renderer; post-production with GIMP and Adobe Photoshop.

Doodle #5

Another doodle in quick succession. Or maybe I procrastinate too much. Tall glass cubes, black background and a singular directional light. Quick.

Doodle #4

JDT Arena_DayFine_45_45_dscs315_D65_postpro

JDT Arena_DayFine_45_90_dscs315_D65_postpro

A slow burning doodle of a fantasy football stadium. The subtle element to these images is that there are hardly any three-dimensional elements to the detailing, just 2D alpha textures. A clever way to keep polycount down, without compromsing detail. Rendered with Indigo, modelled with 3dsMax (with a tiny bit of help from Blender, which I am more familiar with now – but not to the expert level I am with 3dsMax). Neat.

Experimentation with Processing (P5)

Processing is an open-source platform that allows one to script code to their hearts’ content, with a satisfying visual outcome – if you know what you are doing. The experimentation I undertook was to create a pseudo-fractal sketchpad, which was entirely controllable via mouse, with left-click to pause, right-click to re-draw, and a host of keyboard functions.

Turned out quite well, and developed many iterations of the same experiment, until it got rather complex (and visually very interesting), as seen below. The ‘biro-pen’ look was entirely intentional, to give a sense of a sketch.

The final version developed was entirely mouse-interactive; depending on where one moved the mouse, the circular spirals would shift in scale (minuscule to huge), and in direction (the spirals would move either clockwise or anti-clockwise).

As a result, the user is entirely in control of the image that is generated – in contrast to previous versions which were automated and the only control the user had was the placement of the spiral, relative to the page (either on the X or Y axis).

One of the aforementioned earlier versions below. It generated interesting results – rather colourful in appearance.


Experiment 1

While absent from the blog for a while, I have been experimenting with a combination of Grasshopper, Rhino, 3dsMax and Indigo. Geared more towards the extreme abstract, the end result of such an investigation is quite satisfying — whether “they” like it or not, I cannot help but scatter eye-candy over a plain old wireframe.


A simple mesh built in 3dsMax was sent into Grasshopper and then morphed and then lofted to create these forms (which can be adapted on the fly with a simple slider)  and then sent back to Max to render with Indigo. Could an architectural form be conjured from such chaos? Who knows, but the form is so intriguing that I don’t really care. Parametrics FTW.

Doodle #3


This one was pretty quick. An extruded box, with subdivisions all the way up. One side had polys removed every two to three subdivisions, to allow light (as I had the idea of setting up a camera inside the box). A bend modifier applied, and then Greeble was employed to mix things up a bit. Slice modifier was used to open up the box from inside and to get a wider perspective when rendering. The slithery vines were due to the Ivy plugin, which was at first just an experiment which turned out good.

Post render, haze/diffuse glow was added as well as a slight chromatic and blur to the image. The darker (almost night) version was very similar in approach, although I couldn’t resist lighting things up a bit. Curiously, the render time was somewhat shorter as I used a HDR map instead of sun/sky. Not bad for a 30 minute experiment. Another satisfying doodle.


Eyeline Entry #3: Overlap Cinema

Overlap Cinema is not a typical cinema space. The concept developed is to create spaces from just one plane, which would fold over on itself, and form the basis for other key areas within the building.

The attraction of this principle is the possibility for a floor to fold into a wall, and then fold over again to create a ceiling. The ceiling would then fold and form the wall for an entirely different space. It would then appear to have the illusion of overlapping – consequently the inspiration behind the name Overlap Cinema, a wide ranging academic project.

This was a project that was re-modelled in Max (specifically for the competition) after the original was made in SketchUp for academic purposes. After leaving that program behind, it was only logical (if I wanted a fully operational model) that it had to be re-made in Max. This also meant that I could experiment more with the atmosphere and intent that was to be portrayed, which was key to the basis of the image. The original version can be seen below.

InteriorView4 copy

While on one hand I wanted to keep the camera view that was in the original image, but with light being the catalyst in which everything followed, extra features such as mesh cladding and fluorescent lights behind them to diffuse the illumination were added. With a more mature approach to architectural design, it was also an opportunity to add features that would give feasibility to the image, and also the chance to omit features that retracted from that.

Tiny details such as fire exits, spotlights for secondary illumination, heating pipes and floor air extraction were all added to improve the totality of the image. There is a general nod to the original image, but it was imperative for this version to take on a mind of its own. A very successful render.

Key words: intricacy, dynamism, form, shadow, light

Eyeline Entry #2: Glass House

The image that was eventually commended by the RIBA Journal to feature in the magazine.

In conjunction with Enclosure Architects, the Boathouse (or Glass House) is a project located near Regent’s Canal, with extensive ground and first floor renovation, plus addition of a thermally isolated glass house on the second floor. The basis for this image, was to portray the weightlessness and freedom of the design.

A high resolution HDRI map was employed for this image, in a change from the usual Sun/Sky system used for other images. I wanted to capture some drifting clouds both in the near and far constraints in the image, which resulted in some beautiful reflections from the glass structure. Particle based grass was modelled and instanced in relation to a diffuse map, which is effectively a colour map which tells Indigo what colour to give to each grass blade, all of which results in a very realistic depiction of grass.

As mentioned previously, the model was ready to go given that it was used for work purposes. Therefore I was able to spend more time getting the image to a depiction that suited me.

Colour grading and post-processing including sun glare, and slight haze were added. I was not entirely happy with the image, and thus two different versions were created.

The entry images came in at 4000×2250 which are some of the largest resolutions that I have ever produced.

Key words: dreamy, ethereal, sympathetic

Eyeline Entry #1: Panopticon



This was an image that was reworked from the initial original depictions for work purposes. The model itself was very simplistic, because more focus was spent on the texturing and composition.

Personal favourite, especially due to the foreground elements. The image for the composition was colour-graded before final output.

Designed by Enclosure, and based on the competition that ran a few years ago, this project embarked on the process of trying to find a convergence between between landscape and architecture, hard and soft.

It is hoped that the structure will change appearance with age, due to the effects of weathering and other environmental factors. It is in this sense that the Panopticon would be seen to be dynamic; as the trees lose their leaves and change appearance, as the grass starts to turn brown in the winter, the Panopticon would also be transforming, akin to a living structure/organism, that can be seen for miles.

Key words: evolution, omnipresent, blend, transition

Doodle #2

I have recently been busy with freelance commitments, as well as the RIBA Eyeline competition, a drawing/visualisation contest looking for the best representations of architecture from concept to design, exclusively in the 2D format ranging from the hand-drawn to the computer generated. It is obvious which route I have taken for that, and it will feature here very soon. During my downtime however, I found inspiration to experiment with a pseudo product visualisation shot with a model I had put together some time ago.

I puy my modelling skills to good use to create the Karlsson Rainbow Pictogram Clock, which has featured in my images regularly due to its interesting colours and general design. The modelling was quite easy really, so I made sure that the texturing matched the standards of the model.

Using GIMP, a series of guides were set up and I employed the use of paths to create a seamless and symmetrical oval for the time markers. These were then duplicated and rotated around the clock face. This did take a bit of experimentation, and because of the lack of diagonal guides, I had to set up a new transparent layer and crudely, using a pencil drew diagonal lines to assist with the placement.


When applicable (and within the right time frame), creating your own textures is always the best approach – maximum control over the output, and the resolution. The above is at 2048×2048. Sure, it could be possible to nab one from the Internet, but most likely it will be compressed, low resolution, and will make close-up shots a problem.

I treated the render output with a true studio setup, with subtle light placement and slight camera placement. A satisfying doodle #2.



The Auditorium is an attempt to imitate a photo from parts of the Baluarte Convention Center of Navarra, designed by the architect Francisco Mangado. The main aim for this series is 100% realism; in other words blurring the distinction between photo and reality.

Modelling for the space is done purely by sight, and all details must be adhered to. Very interesting so far, but I am in no rush to get the key features down. In time, there will be a series of images which would have employed a range of techniques, including IES lights, which I had never used before this project.

Project Inset VI

After a long absence, Project Inset has been rebooted. I was never fully happy with the first set of images I produced, which partly stems from the limitation of Indigo to use HDRI and Sun simultaneously.

This time around, I have ditched the HDRI, in order to regain the beautiful shadows. Hopefully I can get some things going before the next one. Another project, unimaginatively titled “Auditorium” has occupied my time more than “Inset” currently, and is shaping up quite nicely. Even so, Inset still has some room for some “creative manoeuvre”.


To spice up my CG stuff a bit, I found time to scour the net for a furniture piece that I liked, and made a Leitmotiv LM753 Wooden Stool recently. However, I found that the slight taper to its legs and the curvature between them made replicating the veneer strip fixed to them quite difficult.

So I took it upon myself to UV unwrap the model, which I had always found tedious and somewhat hard to get my head around. This time around I found it quite easy to assign the seams and pelt map the faces where required. Due to the way the model was constructed there are multiples of seams, but these do not detract from the final quality of the piece.

After this stage, it was a case of assigning textures (multi-sub materials) and modifying the textures where required. My version is actually darker than the real-life piece, just for personal preference.

The render itself turned out very beautifully (full size image linked below), and after some post-processing, it is safe to say that I am satisfied with the end result. Another mini-project unrelated to ‘architecture’ as per the title of this blog, but never mind – this was somewhat impulse driven.


From time to time, I find it something of a relief to break away from the architectural, and create something from the unusual. This is an example of that. Another doodle I guess, but one that I enjoyed putting together. Sometime later, I will try to attempt rigging it (the technical term for animating it if anyone is wondering — or even reading this — now that is a surprise), but that is an adventure for another day.

Urban Inspirations

A set of images taken during an exploration of the back streets situated at Kings Cross. Fragments, pieces, individual objects all with their own subtle definition, but with a fuller understanding as a collective. By looking at the smaller details, it puts the larger into perspective.


Project Inset V

The purpose of the flush glass framing against the flooring really works well, in illustrating the idea of a seamless transition from the interior to the exterior, with the architecture being as unobstrusive as possible.

Nearly 7 million actual polygons in the scene (and rising) with nearly 37000 instances at around 35000 polygons. Grand total of nearly 100 million polygons in order to recreate the very realistic landscape. Clearly the design has moved away from becoming an “underground” space, as it was initially intended.I have also again changed the visual direction of the images, in contrast to the last set.

Project Inset IV

Much of the detailing for the project has changed recently, after much deliberation over the structural and construction feasibility of what I initially proposed. Gone is the concreted ceiling, and instead very warm and characterised timber panelling, which would be held in place with rectangular aluminium channels, and all bolted down onto the glass framing. An aluminium fascia painted black would be wrapped around the panelling from the exterior to hide this.

The glass framing itself would be a combination of epoxy glue, and countersunk bolts. I have seen this on site a few times, and is actually very neat. Where the two glass frames meet at the corner (as seen in the image) will be held using braces, painted black to conceal it, with silicon strips running in between to seal it from external air.

I was initially concerned about condensation (misty glass, dew drops, etc), but I wanted to temper this with the brief of low energy use. Thus, 5cm wide air venting integrated into the 2-3mm resin flooring was necessary. This will be passive however, as a relatively small space will not need an aggressive HVAC system.

Project Inset III

Experimentation with items and foliage destined for the Inset model. These ones seem to be good images in their own right.

Doodle #1: Part 2


Often you will find that when you scribble on paper, your drawing will often transform into many forms. It seems that is what has happened with my “digital” doodle, as it were, because I saw an opportunity to take the experimentation one step further, by focusing on specific parts of the scene.

A bit like an eager photographer skipping through a garden and taking various macro shots of beautiful flowers until they find one that clicks. I think that may have happened here, but the advantage of the work I do is that you can modify until you are happy. To give some extra spice to the image and to characterise it, I added a Design Ideas’ Cabo Pencil Cup; as with all my CG stuff, I like to keep an element of realism. No aliens here thank you.

Three different tonemaps were blended together to give the image its final colour grain. For flexibility, the lights were also separated, hence I could render two completely different images in just one go. I like the catalogue-style product shot in these images, works really well. I am not sure which I prefer; the moody lighting of the second image is quite seductive. Not so much “architecture”, but interior design. Even so, it is the detail that counts.


Doodle #1

From time to time, I like to put together a random scene, and make something out of it. Similar to how someone might scribble on paper and create an awesome drawing out of it, I do the same, but just digitally. Not to mention that it gives me the opportunity to experiment a bit. Sometimes a lot. This particular “doodle”, as I have called it, was like being in an empty room. I already had a lot of objects I modelled from scratch to hand. So it was just a case of picking and choosing, akin to arranging furniture in a space. To put this scene together probably took only 10 minutes. More time was spent on small tweaks, like the books, and the rug. It turned pretty awesome to be fair. There’s something of a retro style to the image with a splash of modern from the pictures on the wall.

As always, I aim for CG realism, so almost everything in the space can be bought; the Karlsson Pictogram clock, the Ligne Roset Sala Chair, Accademia Agra Side Table, various Taschen books (which I actually own, and then scanned, and then textured onto the book models), and the Domus Pit table lamp.

Some post-pro; tonemapping, some high-pass sharpening, and slight change to colour balance.

I don’t normally like uploading full-resolution images because I would like to think that I, the “artist” in this instance, should have some level of exclusivity over the image. But this one deserves it. Might do a few more soon.

Site Modelling

The site model was made in SketchUp using Google Maps and Slicer3, and then imported into 3dsMax, as an obj, then stylised trees and buildings where instanced over the originally textured model, in the correct places. The illuminated strips are supposed to represent the road markings – more style over actual information extraction. Intriguing all round. Site is based on a small quaint corner of London.

Project Inset II


I am taking something of a different approach to this project, and building up the interior before assessing its context within landscape. Not intended to be the centre of attention, but the WC needed some design intent. All parts of the structure, interior and exterior, are to have the same visual treatment — cold, harsh, brutal. Flush surfaces, all correlating on the same plane.


Project Inset 1

Lots of brutal concrete surfacing, harsh fluorescent lighting, but tempered with the greenery that will surround it.

Concept renders for now.



Take a seat, thank you.


Challenging, but totally worthwhile. Part of my ever-growing asset library were a set of chairs to be used in current and future interior visualisations. Key to these were edge flow, and flexibility, so that I could go back and edit them if I wanted (and most probably will, picky as I am.). These turned out well. Also helps to understand the construction of such beautiful items in addition. Always helpful. Once again, modelled in 3dsMax, and rendered in Indigo.


The Elk Coat Stand,  currently manufactured coat rack. Produced by Hive Space.


A Countryside Intervention

This one posed a different challenge. As part of a competition, our entry was to be something of an interactive sculpture/architectural structure, rusting with age, merging and becoming one with the environment, strengthening with age, and hopefully, increasing with beauty. Just a two man team, myself and the architect. Architect handled the design, and myself the CGI work. A lot of compositing work and dabbling with alpha maps was involved in this project, which is still ongoing. Modelled in 3dsMax, rendered in Indigo, and composited in GIMP.