House of nature
3d visualization and animation ‘House of nature’
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3d visualization and animation ‘House of nature’
Ronen here from Gen-X saying that we are currently in Generation Alpha, which is damn close to being called Gen-AI if you ask me and see what’s happening online. Crazy, fascinating, scary, mind provoking, unethical, the next evolution. You name it, and you’ll be right.
let’s dive into the rabbit hole – blue pill or red pill?
I’ll be writing this article and follow-ups to it based on my experience as I go. Don’t expect any structure to it. Things change too fast anyways.
The idea that humanity might be living in a simulated reality gained significant attention in contemporary times due to the work of philosopher Nick Bostrom. In his 2003 paper, “Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?”, Bostrom presented the Simulation Hypothesis, which posits that we may be living in an advanced computer simulation created by a highly advanced civilization. This idea is not new, and you can trace it back to ancient philosophical concepts like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, which can be interpreted as an early precursor to the idea of “living in a simulation” in the sense that it explores the concept of humans being trapped in an illusory or limited perception of reality.
In the context of generative AI, these philosophical inquiries become particularly relevant. As generative AI models advance, they can create increasingly realistic simulations of various aspects of our reality, such as images, sounds, and even 3D environments. These AI-generated simulations may eventually become indistinguishable from the real world, leading us to question the authenticity of our experiences and the boundaries between simulation and reality.
There’s no need to venture into the realm of the Matrix to grasp the concept at hand. The mere presence of advanced text-based AI agents, voice AI agents, and visually stunning AI avatar agents operating freely in our digital environment is sufficient to illustrate this idea. Indeed, such technological advancements are already taking place, transforming our interactions and experiences in the virtual world.
Generative AI has been a game-changer in numerous fields, but its rapid advancements have also raised several controversial topics and concerns. Some of the most prominent issues include:
These controversial topics highlight the need for ongoing research, dialogue, and collaboration among various stakeholders, including AI developers, policymakers, and users, to ensure that generative AI, or what is now widely discussed as artificial general intelligence (AGI), is developed and deployed responsibly and ethically.
I’ll address these topics in follow-up posts.
You know that feeling when you’ve got a super cool idea in your head, but you just can’t get it out for some reason? Like, maybe the process is a drag, you’re not in the right headspace, or the tools are just annoying. Well, guess what? This new AI stuff is changing the game big time! No more excuses – it’s time to unleash that creativity!
Generative AI refers to a subset of artificial intelligence that focuses on creating new content, often based on a given dataset or a set of parameters. These AI models learn from existing data and generate novel output, such as images, text, music, or 3D models. They can augment human creativity or automate specific tasks, making them an exciting tool for artists and designers.
Some of the most popular generative AI techniques include Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), Variational Autoencoders (VAEs), and Transformers. Each of these techniques has unique characteristics that can be harnessed for architectural visualization.
GANs consist of two neural networks, a generator and a discriminator, that work together to create realistic output. The generator creates new content, while the discriminator evaluates its quality. GANs have been used to generate photorealistic images, textures, and even 3D models, making them an invaluable tool for architectural visualization artists.
VAEs are unsupervised machine learning models that learn to encode and decode data, enabling them to generate new content based on a given input. VAEs can be used to create variations of existing architectural designs, interpolate between different styles, or generate new design elements.
Transformers are a type of deep learning model that has demonstrated remarkable capabilities in natural language processing and image generation. They can be used to generate textual descriptions of architectural concepts or create visually coherent images based on a given text input.
So far, I’ve been exploring and using DALL-E, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion for generating images. I’ve added ChatGPT into the mix very recently as a way to get better at prompting.
“prompting” refers to providing an initial input or a seed to an AI model, which then guides the model to generate new content based on that input. The prompt serves as a starting point for the AI model, shaping its response or output in a specific direction depending on the desired outcome. You can also use images as a prompt or as part of a prompt.
Prompting seems to be a rising skill, with talks about “prompt engineer” being a new job position created by AI already. Sure enough, you can already see such job posts published online.
And below you can see the result after several generation frames as I was aiming for an “epic” scene! Each new square with a prompt to generate the specific things I wanted in the “tile”.
Below are the very first images I’ve made with Midjourney a year ago!
And below a few from the recent month!
Boasting unparalleled flexibility and the ability to run on your own hardware, this particular generative AI tool offers a wealth of plugins, addons, and customization options for controlling the output, most notably through control nets.
I primarily use this tool for intentional generation, taking advantage of the numerous models available online or even training it myself. Furthermore, it paves the way for creating animations, an area I’m particularly eager to explore in the near future.
Or the modern-day equivalent of the California Gold Rush of the 1800s.
You can joke about it all you want, but you need the [blank] prompt to get the desired result. And I keep it blank since it is not “right,” “correct,” or “best,” to name a few options. It is undoubtedly something, but that is for you to figure out!
Much like digging for gold, the quest for success has remained the same: a combination of hard work, skill, and a bit of luck.
That was the point I decided to bring in ChatGPT. I’ve been conjuring up countless prompts on my own before that, but I decided to get more methodical about it.
Taking it for a spin in the #ChatGPT + MJ process I’m exploring. My aim is to make this look more like an architecture photographer professional has taken the photos. You can indicate a known photographer for the style (not sure how ethical that is, but it works) to get very interesting results.
This is totally text-to-image, and MJ decides about the output, but there is a lot you can do in a prompt to direct it.
Midjourney is far better (in my tests) than stable diffusion for generating the first result.
The first (left) one is the result. The second one is an old matte paint I did. The process was feeding the matte paint to midjourney new describe feature to get some prompts, taking that to ChatGPT for making a better version to feed back to midjourney, using the original image in the prompt as well, upscaling a favorite result and back to photoshop for final edits. Overall “title” of the image remains the same for me.
Factory Fifteen, an acclaimed London-based CGI studio led by Bafta award-winning directors, specializes in visualization, 3D design/animation, and immersive industries. They are seeking a Senior Creative / Art Director to join their expanding team and contribute to their portfolio of award-winning projects. Are you passionate about pushing the boundaries of art and technology and want to work with a dynamic and talented team? In that case, this is an excellent opportunity to join an industry leader.
The position is full-time, hybrid on-site & remote working.
At the heart of this role is your ability to communicate ideas with clarity and confidence to both clients and artists. Your solid technical and presentational skills will be essential to :
Although Factory Fifteen operates in multiple industries, all our work is spatially oriented. Therefore, candidates must demonstrate a solid understanding of 3D space and cinematic composition. We expect you to have experience working in production and a keen interest in continuing to be part of the production environment. However, you will approach the role with a lighter touch, as your focus will be on leading and guiding the creative process rather than being directly involved in the day-to-day production work.
At Factory Fifteen, we recognize that attracting and retaining the best talent requires more than just exciting projects and a great team environment. We believe in offering our employees competitive compensation packages that reflect their skills and experience, as well as a range of benefits to support their overall well-being. In this section, we outline the salary and benefits that you can expect when you join our team as a Senior Creative/Art Director.
Think you are the one (or know someone who is) – please applay directly at – firstname.lastname@example.org
Factory Fifteen is a London-based CGI studio known for pushing the boundaries of art and technology. Their innovative approach was recognized when they won the “The Vinyard” challenge in 2016 with a fantastic “LA GERIA” entry demonstrating their ability to test and adopt new technologies in their daily workflow. They were among the first to use Epic Games Unreal Engine in ArchViz and have since continued to be at the forefront of innovation in the industry. This Senior Creative/Art Director role is a dream opportunity for anyone with the required skills to work alongside a dynamic and talented team at the cutting edge of visual effects and immersive industries. I recommend giving it a go and wish you the best of luck with your application.
Discover the secrets behind creating a stunning architectural visualization project in this in-depth article by Descover Studio. Learn about the gathering and use of reference imagery, the process of 3D world-building, the creation of textures and materials, the importance of lighting methods, and the post-production workflow used to achieve a photorealistic result
You’ll also get a glimpse into the tools and techniques used by the team to bring this project to life, as well as some valuable tips and best practices for your projects.
La Casa Nell’erba, a contemporary residence by Descover Studio, embodies a design philosophy that celebrates the natural landscape. The house harmoniously integrates with the environment while showcasing its unique and captivating natural features.
The studio’s approach prioritizes the relationship between the dwelling and the landscape, creating a seamless bond. The construction of the house utilizes simple yet striking materials, including concrete, corten steel, stone, and glass.
Descover Studio employed several design strategies to maximize the site’s potential, such as orienting the bedroom wing to the southwest to capture the morning light and optimize the landscape views. Additionally, the house boasts sliding glass doors that effortlessly connect the living spaces to the natural surroundings, inviting a sense of calm and serenity indoors.
The design also incorporates multiple hidden courtyards that offer intimate glimpses of the lush vegetation and encourage exploration and wonder. The garden, located by a grand heritage pine tree, provides a peaceful retreat and a visual delight for residents and visitors alike.
Gathering and working with references is essential to any creative design work, including architectural visualization. In the case of La Casa Nell’erba, our team conducted extensive research and used many studies to gather visual references before finding the inspiration for the project. We looked for buildings surrounded by beautiful gardens filled with local trees, bushes, and flowers, allowing people to connect with nature and enjoy it continuously.
Gathering various visuals when using reference imagery in creative work is essential to create a comprehensive and diverse reference library. This library should include images of the design concept and inspiration from other sources such as art, nature, and architecture. The more varied and diverse the references, the more creative and unique the final design.
It’s also essential to critically analyze the reference imagery to identify the elements that make them compelling. By doing so, designers can incorporate these elements into their designs while maintaining their unique style and vision.
Additionally, it’s crucial to communicate effectively with the team and clients about the reference imagery used as the basis for the work. This allows for a shared understanding of the design concept and can help streamline decision-making.
Finally, it’s important to remember that reference imagery should be used to inspire and inform the creative process, not to copy or replicate. A well-researched and diverse reference library can provide a solid foundation for a unique and inspired design that seamlessly blends into its surroundings, as seen in the case of La Casa Nell’erba.
3D world-building is an essential process in architectural visualization that involves modeling the building and the surrounding environment to create a realistic and immersive experience for viewers. We use Autodesk 3ds Max, which allows for precise modeling and manipulation of elements within the scene.
In addition to modeling the building, 3D world-building requires incorporating various landscape elements, such as trees, grass, and other vegetation. To achieve this, designers often use models from external sources such as Maxtree, Globe Plants, or Turbosquid, with minimal corrections to their materials to fit seamlessly into the scene.
In this rendering, the Descover Studio team utilized tree models from Maxtree Bundle #25, grass models from Maxtree Bundle #20, #27, #33, #45, and #60, and vegetation models from Globe Plants Bundle #12 and #26. By utilizing these pre-made models, architectural visualization artists can save time and focus on the more critical aspects of the design process.
To create a more realistic and natural environment, the team at Descover Studio utilized iToo Software’s Forest Pack plugin. This plugin allows visualization artists to populate the scene with many objects, such as trees, rocks, and other vegetation, to create a dense and immersive environment.
Forest Pack offers advanced settings that allow precise control over each object’s placement, scale, and orientation, allowing designers to create unique and dynamic environments.
In the case of La Casa Nell’erba, the team at Descover Studio used a combination of different textures and masks to create the final result. This process involves analyzing reference images to find the most suitable textures and materials, then combining them to mimic real-world surfaces.
The team also paid attention to the materials used in the scene, focusing on concrete and corten steel. Concrete is popular in modern architecture due to its durability, strength, and versatility. In the rendering of La Casa Nell’erba, the concrete was treated with a texture that added depth and variation to the surface.
Corten steel, on the other hand, is a material that has gained popularity due to its natural-looking, weathered appearance. In the rendering, the corten steel was used in a way that complemented the surrounding landscape and created a harmonious relationship between the building and its environment.
Post-production is an essential process that can significantly affect the final output of any 3D project. In the case of the La Casa Nell’erba project, the team adjusted the color correction in Photoshop and its Camera Raw Filter to achieve the desired effect. Even though they tried to get as close as possible to the outcome at the rendering stage, they still had to finalize the desired result with the help of adjusting the color gamma and the reflection and inserting some elements such as fire and sun glare.
The post-production process is highly dependent on the purpose of the project and the artist’s approach to delivering optimal and efficient solutions to the task at hand. For instance, the path to post-production may vary for projects intended for marketing and advertisement purposes and those meant for academic or research purposes. In some cases, 2D elements in post-production may be auxiliary, while in others, they may be central to the entire process.
In the La Casa Nell’erba project, the team used 3D as the backbone and 2D elements in post-production as an auxiliary. The process involved adjustments to the color gamma and reflection and adding elements such as fire and sun glare to achieve the desired effect. The team’s approach to post-production was highly effective, and the final product was a realistic and aesthetically pleasing representation of their initial vision. A video demonstrating the progression from the RAW render to the final product showcases the effectiveness of their approach.
In this article, we explored the process of creating a photorealistic architectural visualization of La Casa Nell’erba. We started with gathering and working with references, followed by the 3D world-building process, texture and material creation, lighting methods, and 3D rendering process. Finally, we discussed the post-production process and how it can enhance the final result.
Using Autodesk 3ds Max software, we combined models from various sources, such as Maxtree and Globe Plants, to create a detailed 3D model of the building and its surroundings. We paid particular attention to textures and materials, combining them with masks to achieve a realistic effect.
Lighting played a crucial role in achieving photorealism, and we used Corona Sun and Corona Sky to illuminate the scene. For interior lighting, we used regular Corona Light. We also used basic LUT Kim_Amland_Photographic_01 to apply to our renders.
Post-production was a necessary step to achieve the final result, which we accomplished by adjusting color correction in Photoshop and adding elements such as fire and sun glare. We combined 3D and 2D elements to finalize the desired effect.
Despite the tight deadline, we are proud to have created a spectacular and photorealistic image using simple tools. We hope this article provided valuable information and insights into creating photorealistic architectural visualizations.
Happy to answer any questions or comments, so please feel free to ask; we will happily answer them in the comments section.
Thank you for dedicating the time to read our article!
Showcasing a commissioned project by Studio Visequence for Moser Wohnbau & Immobilien in Lans, Austria. The project aims to create a unique blend of comfortable living spaces and nature, highlighted by attention to detail and modern architectural elements and natural influences. The final product is a one-of-a-kind residential development captured in detailed 3D renderings created with industry tools such as 3ds Max, Corona Renderer, Forest Pack, and Photoshop. In this article, we look at the creative process and the tools used to bring this project to life.
This project aims to create a truly unique residential experience, one that seamlessly blends comfortable, private living spaces with an open and tranquil atmosphere. Our goal was to highlight the close relationship between architecture and the natural environment while also showcasing the luxury townhouses from the perspective of the residents who will call them home.
Attention to detail was of paramount importance throughout the design process. We carefully selected materials that accurately reflect future development and paid particular attention to the landscape design, which plays a crucial role in the overall aesthetic. Each townhouse features its own private terrace and garden, further emphasizing the connection to nature.
The exterior and interior design of the townhouses are a harmonious blend of modern architectural elements and the influence of the surrounding natural environment. Warm, natural materials and generous use of greenery further enhance this connection. We made sure to include all important details in the renderings so that the final product truly captures the essence of this one-of-a-kind residential development.
The main tools used in creating the project were 3ds Max (both for 3D modeling and setting up the scene), Corona Renderer for lighting, Forest Pack for scattering elements, and Photoshop for post-production. With 3ds Max, we could create highly detailed models, while Corona Renderer allowed us to simulate lighting and shadows realistically.
Forest Pack was essential for creating realistic environments, as it allowed us to scatter objects, trees, and vegetation with ease. Finally, Photoshop was used for editing and post-production, enabling us to fine-tune the final image.
In creating the visualizations for this project, we drew inspiration from reference photos we gathered showcasing the spectacular mountain panorama surrounding the site. The client desired a mix of commercial and cheerful images, as well as some more moody shots showcasing the atmosphere of the development at different times of the day and in different weather conditions.
Throughout the design process, we experimented with various options for materials, camera angles, and lighting, ultimately settling on a warm and sunny aesthetic for the majority of the views.
Camera and lighting tests (were not chosen):
We also utilized actual photos of the surrounding area to ensure that the images of the future buildings were as accurate to reality as possible, including aerial shots for a broader perspective.
Post-production played a crucial role in the final outcome of the project. We found that it was beneficial to add elements such as foreground greenery and certain background elements in post-production, while other parts that looked good in 3D were best left as they were. This approach allowed us to achieve a balance of realism and aesthetic appeal while also being mindful of the time and resources required for each stage of the process.
Here’s a short GIF that represents an example of the stages of post-production:
The project is inspiring because it’s always enjoyable to work on something that looks good and makes you eager to see it come to life.
Visequence is a creative studio based in Gdansk (Poland) which specializes in delivering high-end visualization solutions to architects, designers, and real estate developers worldwide. We have an individual approach to every project, and our main goal is to show future architecture in the best possible way. We are always open to new cooperation and waiting for Your projects.
The ASAI American Society of Architectural Illustrators invites you to join a unique conversation harnessing the global village of visualizers, architects, developers, marketers, creatives, place makers, and artists who collaborate to depict our cities’ future. The conference takes place from 16 to 17 November 2022 at Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, London, UK.
The conference takes place over one day, followed by an evening social event. Theme: “CAUSE & EFFECT” Newfound Visions. Transforming Decisions. The first-ever gathering of the global village of visualizers, architects, developers, marketers, creatives, place makers, and artists who collaborate to depict our cities’ future.
This year’s theme encourages presenters to explore their unique views of how the future of these cities might look in the not-too-distant future, either through a critical lens of what could occur if we make poor decisions now or by illustrating an optimistic view of how things could be if we make better choices in the present day.
Village Underground, London, UK. 1 Day event – 15 speakers, 1 Panel, Evening Awards and Party.
The American Society of Architectural Illustrators, ASAI, is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing and recognizing architectural illustration’s art, science, and profession. Through communication, education, and advocacy, the Society strives to refine and emphasize the role of illustration in the practice and appreciation of architecture.
Get TWO Tickets for the price of ONE using the code TWOFER (the button URL should automatically add this code for you.)