A Year in a Day / 2011 on the Blog

What a RIDE 2011 was! I began the year, summing up the second architectural visualization challenge – HOVER, that ended in November 2010. The winners making-of articles were being posted one by one and I also posted about the 12 most favorite articles of 2010 that had been published on the blog…


I kick-started 2011 with a cool miniCHALLENGE featuring RailClone by iToo Software.

Both BB’s amazed us with their super cool visualization! GH House Grand Prize Winner, Bertrand Benoit with his Tribeca Loft Set and HOVER Grand Prize Winner Benjamin Brosdau with his Minotti 3D Furniture series.

The winners of the RailClone miniCHALLENGE were announced, with Bertrand Benoit grabbing first place with this complete façade recreation. Taking second place with a very unique entry was Nicolas Richelet’s ‘Falling Apart’ image that featured on the cover of 3D World Magazine, Issue 142 of May 2011.


The first BrainTRUST session debuted on the blog, offering focused and constructive critique from architectural visualization professionals such us – Adam Hotovy, Alfa Smyrna (pixela), Alex York, Bertrand Benoit, Ivo Sucur, Roberto De Rose, Tom Svilans and Zoran Gorski (kizo).

My baby girl – Dana, is not such a baby anymore – Turning 4 years old in March, and starting to be very opinionated about the stuff I showcase on the blog!

The second BrainTRUST session was published and the third miniCHALLENGE – NGA House with Maxwell Render started.


At this point, my inner battles with how I do my own visuals… being pure 3D about it or doing more postwork, drives me into exploring how the best in our business are going about their own work.

This sparked the Interview with MIR, A Norway based studio that has been an inspiration for me for a long time. Their unique style and heavy relaying on Photoshop was very fascinating and I leaned a lot from this interview!

It didn’t take me too long to do an Interview with LUXIGON from France – to keep at learning about the process of visualization from leading studios and also get to know the people.

By now I had a big dilemma with my own workflow, and were I’ll take it… Peter Guthrie made it all too difficult for me with his Kilburn Vale renderings. LUXIOGN pulled me yet again to the other side with their amazing render of Wadi Rum Desert Lodges. The obvious technical downsides of their images viewed at 100% size and yet even more obviously having such a ‘WOW’ and emotive effects really made it hard on me.



On one side stood the likes of Peter, Bertrand & Benjamin – representing the super pure 3d visualization workflow… getting it all done in render. On the other side stood studios like MIR & LUXIGON.

Both getting a superb result but in a completely different workflow… but seeing that most of the leading architecture firms went with the MIR / LUXIGON way, I decided to further explore this and get to know exactly why is that?

The miniMAX#01 – Black & White Towers session on the forums was an attempt at exploring how many of us approach a fast exercise of mostly postwork type of work.

Tiziano Nespoli wins the periodic DesignConnected Submitted Image Giveaway, and I’m amazed by ‘The Mountain’ timelapse video made by Terje Sorgjerd… so should you!

The winners of the NGA miniCHALLENGE were announced with Samuel Conlogue grabbing first place with a unique ‘Scale Model’ style entry, and Lasse Rode’s (studio xoio) Casa Barragan 3d visuals being featured on the blog sparks two great articles. The first is the making-of Mountain Retreat scene and the second is a great intro to the use of Exlevel’s GrowFX plugin for 3dsmax in making foliage 3d models.


The Pure 3D vs. Postwork style visualization workflow dilemma is disrupted by the introduction of LumenRT Review for SketchUP and the further development of Lumion & Twinmotion.

took LumenRT for a spin writing a shot review about it… while keeping a sharp eye on Lumion as they announce a $10,000 Cash Prize in a Lumion Real-Time 3D Competition.

Mental Ray is getting some serious love while showcasing the work of Alex York on ‘The House’, one of the best architectural animation work I’ve seen with an in-depth making article about it too! Yet another great work done mostly in render, rather than relay heavily on post – but this is an animation… not exactly the same as making just still images.

I recorded my first video response to a comment made by alex_starc on the 10 free HDRI Spherical Skies Maps post. The HDR Image Based Lighting 3D Scene Setup showcases my personal workflow using HDRI on the MS House scene.

The blog turned two years old on August! I’m pretty happy about that vs. my wife having to share here birthday month with it. Plenty of giveaways to go round sponsored by DesignConnected, model+model, Viz-People & CGAxis as well as announcing my participation in State of Art’s Academy Day 2 in Venice!

Wacom announced what seemed as a very revolutionary product at the time – The Inkling. Since the I learned it is not the only product of its kind and it is less usable from what I initially thought it would be… bummer.


The third architectural visualization – CityLIFE started with a bang and a brand new website too! I also had a great interview with Roberto & Gianpiero from State of Art Studio… Roberto being a member of the CityLIFE jury panel, and both my hosts during the Academy Day in Venice during October.

That was a great event! masterfully organized in a great venue with a great crowd of artists & blog followers I finally got to meet in person… I’ve probably known Peter Guthrie, and been in contact with him online the longest time… ever since the early PushPullBar.com days, while I was still first year in architecture school – that’s near 10 years! it was great to finally meet him in person in such a friendly gathering.

Lets me just say VARA CHE BEN Roberto & Gianpiero! I hope to see you both and all the others yet again during 2012 too.

I posted the first of the “plus” tutorials series – Forest Fly Over written by Javier Pintor. The mix of written tutorials along with resource files and probably video recordings will be something I plan to work harder on during 2012.


Baby Ran turns 1 year old!!! – Time to introduce him to SketchUP… this way he can plan his lego towers and then execute 😉

Mental Ray gets some serious love yet again by Ludvik Koutny and his 3d recreation of Louis Khan’s Esherick House followed by a very insightful 4 part making of series! Nicolas Richelet counters this pure 3d masterpiece with a postwork insight based on his AP002T Tower visuals.

I’m at a dilemma still… as the Lumion 2011 competition winners were being announced and something started to shift in me yet again. The real-time tools are getting better and better at closing the visual gap vs. the rendering workflow most of us use in our daily work being super fast at it. The production times possible are truly disruptive to the current workflow I use!

Turning 34 in November marked two things – I finally got an iPad! and the notion of it being a content creation tool sparked while seeing Tree Sketch 2.0 in action! I posted about in The Magical Touch post, and since then the iPad turns to be a content creation tool even more… not just in 3D but also for blogging in my case, as well as many other things too. IT is truly magical!

2011 ends with the release of Lumion 2, a tool I started to use a lot in my work. Clients seem to like it as much as I do and it opened up the world of animation for me for the first time – Something I’m very excited to finally learn about and experiment with.

The CityLIFE Challenge has also come to an end with 29 finalists and entering the judging stage which will continue on into 2012.


ronenbekerman.com served over 4.5 million page views to near 1,000,000 unique visitors. This amazes me! and I have to thank all of you for this big vote of confidence and support for my efforts building this blog, forums, challenge site and many more things to come. I feel very fortunate to have all of you at my side as we keep creating a great architectural visualization community both on and off-line.

I invite you all to take part in the visual summery of 2011 by uploading your images to the forums threads I opened specifically for this in 4 topics – Modeling, Lighting, Texturing & Postwork.

Thank you all for a great year. Here’s to all the new, interesting & crazy stuff we’re going to see and do and think in 2012!

3 replies
  1. leel0u
    leel0u says:

    thank’s Ronen for the “visual summery of 2011” great idea and great gift to everyone!

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