Architecture Special - part 2 of 1 2 3

Published 01/03/2003

Once the concept is agreed with the client it is time to make the first approaches to the statutory bodies to obtain outline permissions and agree some basic requirements on architectural matters. You need to know at the outset if the building you are planning to knock down to make way for your new project is standing on the remains of a Roman Amphitheatre!

At this stage the engineers, designers, surveyors and quantity surveyors get to work to put flesh onto the concept and work out exactly what the new building is going to look like and what materials it is going to be made from.

As soon as the draft engineering drawings are available people like Voas can move in to produce visualisations for the planners and clients to approve. It is much easier to remove a wall with a swipe of a mouse than a kango hammer, so it is best to get all the parties to agree at the earliest possible moment.

The engineers and designers work almost exclusively in AutoCAD (or its rival ProEngineer) but the translation into Discreet's 3D Studio Max is relatively seamless, including doing all the hard work of preparing masks. Once the building is placed into 3DS it is joined by the picture of the surrounding, taken at the survey stage or after the ground has been cleared. 3DS has the ability to interpret map and survey information and with this the camera angle positions are set up.

For realism the camera angles set for the surroundings are used to distort the virtual building to make it match. Thankfully this also drags the shape of all the components such as windows with it and so the entire glass work can be exported as an Alpha Channel which Photoshop can employ as a mask to control the added reflections at a late stage.

In the visualisation, reflections are invariably placed in the windows. Photoshop handles this part of the job best using stock images of sky and clouds or, if the angle of view requires it, a flipped view of the surroundings. This is taken by standing in the position of the new building and making a photograph looking out at the view. This reflection is usually dulled, blurred and blued slightly to make it more realistic. Photoshop noise and blur filters are also used to take the edge of the hard lined vector drawing and blend it to the photographic structure of the scene image (including image grain if appropriate).

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1st Published 01/03/2003
last update 11/11/2019 12:43:09

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