I’ve been fortunate to work on some personally inspiring projects the past few months.
Starting off was a really sweet modern design for a large private residence. The design was done by an architect I’ve helped out with renderings on other similar projects. This time, instead of just a simple 3D massing study, I was tasked with making a more realistic rendering showing the site. The house sits up on the crest of a small hill, and the angles come from a responsed to two primary view sheds. I used V-ray proxies to be able to render the vegetation in 3D and give the image much greater realism. This was rendered in Sketchup, but I use Blender to bring in the trees and make the V-ray proxies that I can then bring in to Sketchup.
The next design I worked on was a floating semi-spiral stair that I helped design for a local design-build firm. I was given the general configuration then looked at how to make the geometry fit the space and options for how to detail the pieces. This is a house I’ve been drafting the blueprints for as well, plus have done exterior 3D studies throughout the course of the project.
I’ve finally gotten back to doing some computer generated video, this time doing a set of fly-over animations of three apartment projects in DC that are currently under construction. For these, I took the Sketchup models I’d already completed when I did the exterior renderings, and brought them into Blender. I find Sketchup is very limited in the ability to control animation, as it uses a very basic interpolation between still scenes, which gives the camera a sort of yo-yo feel where it bounces between the keyframes. With Blender I can draw a smooth curved path for the camera to follow. Fortunately, the developer of Blender for V-ray has done a great job with the program, and I was able to easily set up the model for rendering. I’m really pleased with how these came out.
A wildflower meadow was my task for this last project. Again, I used the Sketchup to Blender workflow to bring this into Blender for rendering with V-ray. With Blender particle physics, and vray proxies, I was able to render out an entire field of flowers in full 3D (I added in some people in Photoshop later to give a bit of scale.) I’m so grateful for the technological tools that allow for basically unlimited artistic expression!