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.


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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CVs, portfolios, jobs and the dead ends of casual thinking… 1. Forewords

I didn’t write too many CVs in my life; clients recommended me and that was enough to have jobs.
In the most of my life I was freelancer, ‘independent’ advisor/project manager, volunteer, whatever. That offered me freedom with my critics and ideas.
I never wanted to build a so-called career, I never went for big salaries as a motive.
I wanted interesting tasks and enough money for my definitely not luxury lifestyle.
I never imagined that I will be responsible for others, I never thought that I have to organize projects.
It just happened somehow as a task.
I always tried to go for the ‘flow‘.
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Misconceptions in Blender vs something else debates – 04.

‘If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will use it’ (Linus Torvalds)

I read this quote related to the missing  ‘quit-warning’ of Blender and someone used it as an argument to defend the lack of this feature (by default).

It is a very wrong way of thinking.

First of all, generally speaking human beings are idiots.
Of course not in everything and not all the time, but we used to do stupid things. All of us.
We are not machines.
So even clever guys and very experienced users could make terrible mistakes.

In the 21th century IT is not a playground for some elite programmers and scientists anymore, it is for everyone.
The way any program operates and handles user interactions simple couldn’t be ‘elitist’.
And if most of the users has average IT skills and they got used to fact that the apps they use warn them for unsaved data in case of quitting, then it should be a must in Blender by default.
And a pro Blender user, who knows how to disable it, could do that in 5 seconds, if it so disturbing…
On the other hand it would appear just if he/she didn’t save…

Misconceptions in Blender vs something else debates – 03.

03. Blender is Blender… … and it was not intended to be X, Y or Z app

Another typical argument when someone misses a ‘basic/useful’ feature what was implemented in most of the other apps and suggests to build it into Blender.
It is not just a wonderful example for circular reasoning, but also a nice demonstration of being emotional on a ‘thing’ (or with a more common expression: reacting as a ‘fanboy’).

The problem with this argument and the related attitude is that it completely denies the implementing of some really useful features into Blender.
If ‘Blender is Blender’ (doesn’t need to be compared to other apps), then Blender is perfect, because it is Blender.

The wonderful news in this case that even the already existing features could be removed for future releases.
It is enough to offer a simple icon, what starts the program with one simple feature: printing onto the screen: Blender rules.
It wouldn’t require any hard development work and  would also make Blender to run more stable.
Isn’t it an awesome idea?

Misconceptions in Blender vs something else debates – 02.

02. Blender is for hobbyists and it is not a quality app…

One of the typical arguments against Blender in flame wars that Blender is for hobbyists and cannot offer professional quality.
Although technically it is true that Blender users are usually hobbyists, but it doesn’t mean that Blender is not capable to deliver professional results.
Blender definitely could deliver premium quality results, just check the tutorials of Andrew Price at BlenderGuru.

The features of a tool are very important for a professional.
But being professional – in general – means to have the ability to choose the proper tool for a task and instead of prejudice having the skill to be objective in app preferences.
Blender as a complementary tool could be really useful for almost everybody.
And – as an example –  for a freelancer archviz professional or for an indie game developer who doesn’t have to compete in all factors (quality, speed, price)  it could be the ultimate professional tool – for free.

Let’s count! Misconceptions in Blender vs something else debates – 01.

As I read forums, I cannot avoid to read flame wars; this why I made this blog moderated on the comments section. I also used to read misconceptions, especially related to the FREE vs commercial topics.
Because of the fact I mostly read about Blender nowadays, I would like to deal with Blender-related misconceptions.

01. Blender is free, so you save money with using it

It sounds quite logical and I have no doubt that it is logical in some cases.

But being a sarcastic person I have to say:

1. I’m sure that the people who use this argument, go everywhere by foot (because it is cheaper than having a car or using mass transportation).

2. I’m also sure they never eat in restaurants, drink a beer, buy a camera and so on, because they can save money with it. They can cook at home, drink water, use their brain for memories.

3. Furthermore if they wanted to break into the market  of  DHL and UPS, they would force their employees to make the deliveries by foot, too (and it is not just cheaper than investing into trucks, but also more environment friendly).
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