I had some conversations with other CGI experts, related to visualisation trends and apps in the last weeks.
I have to say that it was a good feeling that we agreed in many things.
Archviz went back to the era without 3d modeling and rendering.
In those times architects used pencils, inks and produced ‘moods’ instead of exact and realistic drawings to present their plans to the clients.
Today it is the almost same. We both saw very ‘high-rated’ renderings which had nothing to do with a correct/expected presentation of a building.
Extreme usage of DOF, focusing on non-relevant parts, extreme amount of CA & vignette, over-saturated colors, massive post-processing instead of setting up the scene properly.
Instagram-visualisations for the PS-generation.
And – this is the sad part of the story – we both have to do the same, to fulfill the expectations.
I turned my personal portfolio to this kind of over-processed stuff (after having some talk with some potential employer who lacked these from my portfolio).
I test these ‘post-processing’ effects in the apps I try (although I think that it is better to have an unused/rarely used feature – requested by the market – than not if it is a need from the users of an app).
Cinematic quality/weather conditions
We both agreed that cinematic quality as an output is a nonsense if we talk about archviz. Again, it is not about the quality of the materials or the quality of the model. It is about the efforts; the time of the rendering and post-processing, the style of an animation and so on. The required time and energy for a cinematic quality render could be huge and not necessary to present a building properly.
The task is to present a building, to offer as much information as possible for the client.
We were talking about the ‘fashion’ of the ‘bad weather’ renderings. In almost 20 years I was never asked to render any rainy scene. I was asked to render day/night scenes, sometimes kind of shadow (lighting) studies, but no rain at all. I was asked to change the people on the pictures to ‘supermodels’ (I completely disagreed with this), rotate to sun to show always a ‘happy, sunny lighting’, but I never, NEVER was asked to make any rainy scenerio (although I could completely accept if the clients in England require it).
If I wanted to determine my definition about archviz, it would be like this: ‘To achieve the best necessary quality within the less time and effort.’
And the ‘necessary’ part should come from smart people, not from the market.
Something is definitely wrong with the way of the brain of the ‘crowd’ operates.
Let me to say it in a different way: the ‘Goodfather’ is a great movie, even watched on a VHS video player.
The movie ‘Avatar’ or the most of the hundred million dollar blockbusters are sucks, even in 4K.
So back to archviz:
A good architectural visualisation starts with a good plan of a good architect.
A good presentation for me – as a customer – is about things that matter to me. And it is not about the wonderfully animated leaves in the wind, the climbing ant on the bark of a tree or the vignette/CA in the corners.
It is about representing the real building with its real materials and its real ambiance.
It is about targeting the human-eye equivalent FOV (because I will be disappointed after facing to the IRL size of a room after watchimg a wide-angle render) instead of pentagon-shaped bokeh (what is something my eyes never produce).
It is about lighting what doesn’t fool me and shows me if there is a skyscraper in the neighborhood what casts shadows to my ‘future’ office/apartment for a significant time of the day.
Archviz should be about reality, but in important details.
So wasting energy on unnecessary things should be not OK for anyone who thinks that sustainability and environment protection is a good idea.
That is one of the reasons why I support real-time archviz solutions like Lumion3D; that is why I think that virtual reality could be an ultimate tool for archviz.
It could show everything, what is important with a limited environmental footprint.
And as a former render-farm owner and a person who was working on sustainable projects a lot I have to say that RT archviz is a big step forward.
The image quality with ‘classic’ rendering engines fit archviz needs since years, now we should focus on the speed instead of adding unnecessary ‘realism’.
Of course it is a personal opinion and I know that people love their unnecessary Retina Displays in their iPhone or the zillion megapixels in their cellphones on a fly-shit-sized sensor, so I have doubts.
We will see.