SOA Academy Day #5 – The Gathering

I’m seating at SOA‘s studio, as I write these lines, going over the recorded interviews with Roberto and and thinking how I’m going to summarize the great experience we had here in written form – it’s not easy and probably impossible, but I’ll do my best… So here we go!

I kindly thank David Connolly for his great photos in this article.

Interview with Christiaan Klaassen / DBOX

Interview with Christiaan Klaassen / DBOX

Being my 4th visit to SOA’s Academy day, first two presenting and the later two attending and enjoying it from the other side of the podium, I can say that it is far greater than an ArchVIZ event for me. I get to upgrade the level of acquaintance with many people from online to real-life, and this time was no different, which makes it first and foremost a gathering of friends. Friends which have in common the fact they work in the architectural visualization industry or have strong ties to it. This is The Gathering if you ask me – A yearly highlight I full-heartedly recommend all of you to visit.

I’ll try to cover as much as I can here before the flight back home…

From A to Z via DBOX

DBOX is something else. Christiaan from their London office offered a glimpse into what they do but being the full branding agency that they are that only scratched the surface. I admire DBOX for taking care of every detail, tailoring the full suite for their client doing what ever needs to be done for that. You don’t get the EMMY for less than this!

Getting ready! - Christiaan Klaassen / DBOX

Getting ready! – Christiaan Klaassen / DBOX

“we don’t tend to say we are photorealistic – we are illustrators”

Projects that were showcased include : 425 Park Avenue, The Buckingham NO. 6, 432 Park Avenue including a special screening of the film the produced for this project! Christiaan also brought along with him printed materials so we cam all appreciate the level of detail and attention they dedicate to this aspect which you rarely get to see (unless you picked an apartment at one of these projects)

Check out 432 Park Avenue project previously mentioned on the blog…


MIR is A Restaurant

MIR is a big source of inspiration for me in many aspects, not just the visuals but also the way the go about doing their work, and their presentation hit the nail on its head regarding that.

About to begin - Trond Greve Andersen / MIR

Since first interviewing them for the blog back in March 2011 I hoped to meet Mats and Trond in person and have a chat with them, learning more about them the studio and all else – Between their presentation and my live interview with them I hope some of this got covered and we can share with you soon.

"Waiting for the shit to hit the kink" - Trond from MIR

“Waiting for the shit to hit the kink” – Trond from MIR / You really need to attend to get some things!

During his presentation, Trond took us for a trip to in the MIR mind and story of rebirth that formed it and how it works today, stating clearly that it is not what they want it to be… Drawing, he says, is like following a trail in the forest – You never know where it will take you.

MIR arrived at their Natural Visualization philosophy after a period of soul searching and making the analogy to the way restaurants operate – good ones and bad ones. How do you pick which restaurant to go to? How much are you willing to pay for it? What’s on the menu? Does the restaurant serve it all or specialize in a specific dish or few dishes very well?

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MIR is a restaurant with tables you can book for specific amount of time. They keep a tight book and say no if they are full.

Touching other aspects it is important to make note of the fact that MIR puts a lot of weight on stability vs greatness and on the project locale, The visualization equivalent of Terroir – Which is basically the “Sense of a place”. It shows!

They encourage their chefs to go home early. They get a decent launch each day and 12:00 to 13:00 is dedicated to Ping Ping. Get ready for the ArchVIZ Ping Pong Championship taking place sometime soon!

I can go on and on, but you really should be here so… tough! just get your ass over here next time.

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Living in A Parametric World a la iToo Software

iToo Software came back this year with a special project, which was conceived during AD#4, showcased by Paul Roberts. They recreated the Move Hotel in which the Academy Day takes place using RailClone and ForestPack!

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To those of you who attended, you can get the model of the hotel and explore it!

Trying to convey the full extent of what can be achieved with a plugin is never easy, even more so with a versatile one such as RailClone. The session answered the most common question that every artist should ask before creating parametric models. Picking a single project, which all the attendees know and actually are in as it is being presented helped immensely in that regard. Good job iToo!

Have some time before boarding so here we go about…

New Kids on the 3D Block

Adam Hotovy comes back to present this year wearing a different hat, this time as Render Legion revealing new features and technology which will be available in Corona Renderer 1.0 for 3ds max, and also sharing prices and release date. You can find full information in his event followup post about this topic – Prices & Release Date of Corona Renderer 1.0 for 3dsmax. You can expect new article later and many more to follow describing new functions of Corona Renderer.

Along side Adam, Juraj Talcik & Veronika Demovicova showcased their work and workflow highlights with the Corona Renderer engine and why they prefer it so much. Juraj basically reduced the entire process of working with corona to “Just press render and that’s it. It works”.

Juraj "It Works" Talcik / TD

Juraj “It Works” Talcik / TD

Corona Renderer most definitely captured the audience attention, aided also by the fact that Peter Guthrie showcased how he uses it in tandem with Mighty Tiles Pro. That dude apparently has no boundaries… or does he?


The two days of the conference are pretty packed, but you have time to visit the iconic city on the waters that is Venice. I just couldn’t get enough of it, even though I did allow for one more day just for that.

This year I visited the Architecture Biennale, With Gianpiero, David Connolly, Peter Guthrie, Henry Goss and Phil Hunter (Last 3 would be henceforth referred to as “The Boundary”), being held at the Arsenale and Giardini and just strolled in the picturesque streets with friends drinking spritz and having great Venetian food… and a bit scared by the prospects of being hit by a Massive SHIP!

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Academy Day #5, much like the previous one and even more so, was remarkably organized and managed by the SOA team… so big thumbs up goes to Gianpiero, Roberto, Manuela and Riccardo.

Do read Gianpiero’s post on the SOA’s site – SOA AcademyDay#5 / The Arch-Viz Manifesto

Pizza Time - Da Pino's

Pizza Time – Da Pino’s


6 replies
  1. lasse1309
    lasse1309 says:

    ah, great you have the toilet image. “when the shit hits the kink it really wants you make to puke” – this sentence is the best analogy to describe pictures evoking feelings; loved this year’s soa, even i’ve there quite too short but: see you next time 😀

  2. ronenbekerman
    ronenbekerman says:

    During their presentation, MIR showed photos of their home town and Norway in reference to how a place can inspire you and impact your work. I found this great time-lapse by Rustad Media covering Norway so you can get a feel for it too (other than visiting which is an itch I’ll have to scratch one day).

  3. ronenbekerman
    ronenbekerman says:

    During their presentation, MIR showed photos of their home town and Norway in reference to how a place can inspire you and impact your work. I found this great time-lapse by Rustad Media covering Norway so you can get a feel for it too (other than visiting which is an itch I’ll have to scratch one day).

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