TSR 011: Six Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) and More with Lon Grohs from Chaos Group

Big News in VR

We kick off this session with big news — Chaos Group just announced that they would be joining forces with Epic Games to make V-Ray for Unreal Engine. Lon says it’s been on their radar for awhile, and now it’s finally happening. The goal with this merger is to make the dream of seeing ArchViz projects in real-time a reality. Although a timeline isn’t in place yet, they’re working to create as many ways as possible to improve the AR and VR experience by building a bridge to the real-time engines their customers are using.

Six Degrees of Freedom

Lon also shares their plans to open up the doors to VR from three degrees to six degrees of freedom. Six degrees of freedom will give architects and their clients the ability to move around freely in their renderings. Lon calls this a “room scale” experience, and the most natural experience that you can have in a virtual space. He shares the technologies that will create the best VR experience, including Nozon and Lytro, and the differences between the two.

Artist or Client — Who’s Using VR?

In my experience, VR is more user-friendly for the artist than it is for the client. When I asked Lon who should expect to have the most significant experience with these technologies, he told me it is for everyone. From the artists and their team to the client presentations, their goal is to create a technology that can easily be used throughout the entire project. Although still in the experimental phases of creating the six degrees of freedom in every VR experience, Lon and his partners at Chaos Group are definitely well on their way to figuring it all out.

We discuss the role that architectural education had in Lon’s career, upcoming projects, new technologies, and some of Lon’s biggest ideas yet. A whole lot is coming down the pipeline at Chaos Group, and you can hear all about inside this session of The SpectRoom with Lon Grohs.

Main Quotes

“VR is an architectural superpower.” — Lon Grohs

“Showing a still image will always work.” — Ronen Bekerman

“I want to see ray-traced AR in a meaningful, fast way.” — Lon Grohs

“It’s very easy to have too many ideas.” — Lon Grohs


TSR 004: The Evil Twins of ArchVIZ – Peter Guthrie and Henry Goss about Pushing The Boundary!

Creating The Boundary

Peter and Henry share the driving reasons and goals behind their decision to join forces and create The Boundary. From friends to business partners, as their individual capacities increased they decided to raise their game and share the burden of their work together. Although they just call it the next logical step, the results have been incredible.

Current Projects and What’s in (their) Store

Despite detouring from traditional architecture, Henry and Peter are more involved in architecture and design than ever before. They’ve been working with their heroes on fundamental design details from an early stage, including Peter Zumthor on the Los Angeles Museum of Art. We put Corona Renderer up against VRay, discuss animations and VR deliverables, and examine what it means at The Boundary to be a project manager, 3D artist, or project visualizer. We also chat about The Boundary Store, which they’ve set up to help people gain access to their scenes. The store is evolving to become a place where people will go to find the top brand, top-quality images.

Five Years into the Future

When I asked Peter what we need to start thinking about now so that we are still relevant five years into the future, he admitted that although he may not be excited about VR and augmented reality, he is passionate about creating beautiful images, moving images, and films. Henry recognizes that the change will be constant in this industry — there will always be other companies coming up behind you, so you must constantly push forward with your energy. And that thrust toward success is the future of business at The Boundary.

TSR 002: SOA Academy Day #6 Special

The Boundary

Sharing an update on the first year of their new business, Peter and Henry call their first year “an incredible one.” They cover how they’re keeping updated on new technology, including Unreal Engine, the plans for their new shop, and what they’re looking for from potential employees. Their morning routine starts with sleeping in, and their motivation comes from learning new things and having fun, but I’ll let Peter and Henry explain how that works for them. You can gain access to their workflow by grabbing scene files from The Boundary Store, where they share work files and more.

The Boundary Store

Hayes Davidson

Hayes Davidson pioneered architectural visualization with 25 years behind them. They have produced over 20,000 CGI images in those years, and it was a real pleasure to sit down with David, John, and Luis, at SOA Academy Day #6. From planning to marketing, those years of experience give them an edge over their competitors, which they detail in our conversation. When looking for new employees, the first thing they want is someone with a good eye, and possibly someone who is exceptional at a game of squash.

London Fast Forward

London Fast Forward


Squint Opera is a creative studio and production house based in London that produces extraordinary work in everything from video content and animation, branding, websites, design, games, and strategy. I chatted with Silvia, who is an intern-turned-3D artist, and John, music- producer-turned-technical editor. They share some of the technology tools they’re using, what they’re looking for in new hires, how they train their employees to meet the Squint standards, and one major perk that’s located just downstairs from their main office.

The Doodle Bar

The Doodle Bar

Beauty & The Bit

Victor and Eva are brothers at Beauty and The Bit, which is based out of Madrid. They specialize in architectural illustrations and visual creation. In our conversation, they share their approach to testing out new technologies, what they’re looking for in new employees, and what they love to do in their spare time — provided they happen to find some.

B&TB Team 😉

Bloom Images

Bloom Images splits their efforts between two offices — one in Hamburg and one in Berlin. We chat about how they manage multiple locations, the ideal team size, and how they use people leaders to develop their whole team. They give a glimpse into their newest venture — set design, creating surroundings for advertisements for games, movies, and more, and again, share what they’re looking for from anyone that is looking to join their team.

Herzog & de Meuron / Elbphilharmonie / Hamburg, Germany / 2012

Herzog & de Meuron / Elbphilharmonie / Hamburg, Germany / 2012

Making of Vipp Shelter Unreal Engine VR Environment

Tav Shande is a technical artist with experience in the games industry working at EA, Crytek, & Activision on titles such as DeadSpace, Crysis 2, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, MW3, WWII & more. The Vipp Shelter UE4 VR environment is a spare time project Tav did try out new software and techniques. Inspired by the clean architectural and surrounding nature, this is the making of this project, sharing workflow, techniques, and thoughts that went into the creation of the scene. Enjoy!

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Amsterdam Apartment

We are pleased to announce our first official walkthrough demo done with Unreal Engine 4! Walkthrough is done for PC and all still shots and animations were done in Unreal engine.

Watch demo here: http://www.darkroom.rs/amsterdam-apartment/

You feedback is most appreciated!