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  • Writer's pictureSergei Arseni

Architectural Visualisation - from inception to the final image. A step by step guide by Solaris17.

How we got this image...

We split this article into smaller sections that comprises of:

  • Introduction

  • Technical Documentation

  • Modeling

  • Texturing

  • Detailing

  • Post-processing

  • Revisions

Let's dive into this archviz journey together with us!

1. Introduction

Have you ever wondered why the visualisation is such an important and unique tool? Why do we need 3D visualisation of architectural and design projects? You'd probably agree that people first appraise the project visually, right? So correspondingly, the better the visual presentation is designed, the stronger impression and emotional connection it creates. With the help of 3D imagery, we have an opportunity to receive immersive experience on how the light gets dispersed throughout an area, how various colors interact with each other and what the design would look like in real life. Of course, you can draw a project by hand, as it was used to be done before, but nothing compares to a computer image identical to a real photograph. A designer or architect can effortlessly demonstrate future project ideas, saving a fair amount of his and his client’s time.

SOLARIS17 is offering you a walk through the project stages to have a notion of ​​how the visualisation process works from its inception to the final image, using an example of a real design project.

2. Project documentation

Any project begins with the client’s provision of a detailed task. It is important to understand that the clearer and more detailed the task is, the faster and more accurately the final result will be with substantially reduced number of revisions.

What to provide:

  • Floor plans

  • Wall cuts

  • Floor and ceiling layouts

  • Furniture plan

  • Perhaps there is a rough 3D model in Revit or Sketch

  • A document with marks on the plan and comments on the textures of furniture and decoration materials

  • Reference Images

  • Inspirational images that convey a sense of atmosphere and mood

  • The geolocation of the object

Sometimes not all of the above is available at a moment, but it does not mean it is unfeasible to start working on the project. The initial modeling can be started with the fundamental information of any architectural project such plans and drawings. The rest of the documentation can be sent as it is developed, though it is advisable to have all prepared and ready before the start of the project as it saves time and money.

3. Modeling, camera position and global light, the first render in white

If a rough 3D model is available, then we can modify it to use as the foundation of the project. If the model is unavailable, then we can build the space from scratch as per plan drawings. As we often create a view with all the materials and textures in it precisely for the angle of a camera, it is very important at this stage to decide what angle and composition of the frame are required as a whole, as well as global, natural lighting. This helps to avoid any sorts of delays in the future related to camera positioning. This stage does not require much time for its implementation, which makes it possible to quickly get a first impression of how the area looks. We make first renderings of the area in white and then send it to the client for their approval.

4. Texturing and customization of materials

After the revision of white renderings and the client’s corrections, we proceed to apply textures to objects in accordance with the design instructions. Our team of professionals has quite substantial knowledge of ​​what certain materials look like in real life and they are able to simulate all of their properties, e.g. the way materials reflect light, the degree of gloss and roughness to make a tree look like a tree, and concrete like concrete and so on. After this stage is complete, we make test renders in colour and send them to the client for approval.

5. Detailing

The world around us is full of details and the reality around us is made up of little things. Therefore, we always try to add more detail to an image in order to create a sense of realism. We are doing everything to remove the "sterility" from the image. Perhaps the client wants to create his own scenario, which we would then enact in the image. It can be an evening atmosphere, or a certain arrangement of related attributes. Upon completion of this stage, the image can be considered almost finished. We send the received images to the client for approval for final adjustments.

6. Post-processing and integration of people

After implementing all final comments of the client, we make the final touches in Photoshop. We adjust brightness, contrast and saturation. We do color correction, equalize all colors to a harmonious gamut. We insert people, if necessary. We do atmospheric and artistic touches to the image. Now the image can be considered finished.

7. Revisions

Having final images to hand, a designer or an architect can now demonstrate them to his client. Probably the client might want to change some of the design elements and has his own understanding of space. We are well aware that it can be the case and therefore, depending on the package of services, after the final result, we provide one to three revisions as free.

We hope this article clarified some of the processes in architectural visualization and gave you an idea of why it's so significant.

We are eager to share with you more of our experience in the next papers. So stay tuned!

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