Conversations – archviz in the past and now

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).

Wasting resources

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.


Bad things happen

Ok, this time I will be personal. Before getting back into the archviz business I spent a few years with volunteering in various projects. Although I managed some projects during this time (Skype rocks), but I focused mainly on some ‘testing’, related to the improving of the life quality of small communities. With the help of the friends of mine we were able to start some reward programs for talented students in Europe and so on. I spent the last part of this period in Africa, working on a ‘green’ and sustainable housing project (almost European quality level of living environments for cents).
I asked for the help of the leaders of the nearby NGOs, asking for an empty plot (they had a lot unused ground), resources for building some prototypes, etc.

The bad thing is not the fact that they said no.
The bad thing is that the reason of the ‘no’ was related to one member of the management of the NGO I worked for, who made some ‘bad’ marketing for this project.
And a few days ago I got the info that this guy stole money from the NGO we worked for and escaped from the country.
My instinct worked.
Never trust anyone who handles the property of an NGO as his own property (our first conflict was related to this attitude of him).

It also made me think again about priorities.
I’m running this blog, I’m good at my profession, but this ‘living environment’ project could change the life of millions in the Sub-Saharan region.
These things should work together. They could work together.
I just have to find the way.

Gaps on the market

Before I migrated from Quest3D to Unity3D, I tried to ‘push’ Act3D developers to fill a gap with a product for real-time architectural visualisation.
Answers on the forums were similar to discussions in some of the Blender forums (‘no need for that’, ‘you can write it yourself’, etc.)
A few years later they came out with Lumion3D, but for me and for some of the former Quest3D users it was too late.
I haven’t write the review about Lumion3D yet, but I think there will be no surprise that it is the best dedicated RT archviz tool on the market, although its interface is definitely not for me (it is too ‘basic’) and it still misses some important features, especially compared to the unlimited possibilities in Quest3D.

Anyway, as they state on their site:

26 of the top 100 Architect companies in the world are now customers of Lumion.’

If they had listened to me, maybe that number would be even bigger…

I still see several possibilities in CGI market in different areas; I’m curious when will some companies recognize them and make extra money.

Readers from 35 countries

Since the blog started I wrote 60 posts in 2,5 months, I had readers from 35 countries.
The TOP3  countries of the visitors are Germany, the USA and France.

Some of the visitors just read a few posts, but what really makes me happy, some of them reads 10-20.
I would like to go in this way with the topics. Thank you, folks!

Most of the visitors comes from Vimeo, the Blender mail list and from the home of Blender CADTools.
For the last 2 I have to say thank you to Remigiusz Fiedler, developer of CADTools.

Since starting the blog I learned a lot about Blender, what became the most popular app on the blog for now.
Any time I start this app, I feel how good the fact is that there are dedicated people in the world who share their knowledge with others for free, giving opportunities for everyone to learn 3D.
Keep it going and thanks!

I have several post waiting for me to finish.
Some of you will feel that it is not so close to the topic of 3D.
Maybe you are right.
But in my opinion any knowledge worth nothing without sharing or using it.
Now I start heavily focus on finding a job I can do with joy and what fits my future plans to make some art schools (music, video, photo, CGI) for talented kids in the undeveloped countries.
I have to say that it is not easy at all; I was far more flexible employer than the most of the studios.
So be patient, I will continue with tech-stuff soon.:)

CVs, portfolios, jobs and the dead ends of casual thinking… 2. Equal opportunity I.

It could be an interesting post for some of you, because I try to show both sides (employer and employee), plus it will be definitely not politically correct.

I read in some of the job advertisements that ‘We are equal opportunity employer’.

Very funny, if we think about it.
First of all, in developed countries and democracies it is a must (enforced by the law).
So mentioning it in a job advertisement is unnecessary (although I can imagine a stupid law to force it to mention).
But I’m tolerant, so maybe they should put into the ads some additional info like these:
‘To get salary from us you have to be employed or contracted by us _and_ you have even to work!’
‘Successful candidate has to be able to breathe in the atmosphere of Earth’.
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Not funny…

‘… anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge”.
(Isaac Asimov)

Ok, it will be a weird post now, just after having a really terrible conversation with someone (on the other hand I respect him for his altruistic attitude in other things).

In the last few years I had a feeling that the world started to become a place where the most of the population thinks that being an idiot has an extreme coolness factor.
People are proud for their poor results in science studies like math, chemistry or physics or on the fact that they cannot add numbers without a calculator.
I think it is really sad.

I don’t expect outstanding knowledge from average people, but come on!
I’m loosing my patience when people with a degree agitate against vaccinations in a way like ‘There is Mercury in the vaccinations and Mercury is poisonous!!!).
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