Orban Design

Providing the highest quality architectural rendering for Charlottesville and beyond.

Archives 2013

End of the year wrap-up, various renders

It’s been a great 2013, and I am looking forward to an awesome new year! Here are a few projects from the last couple months of the year to round out this years’ posts. Again, I have a coffee shop project (see this other one for comparison.) I like how this one came out after the few rounds of client feedback. It’s fun to pop these cafe’s out, they are lively spaces.

view4f view2f view3f

Here’s another round of revisions on this one master suite and bathroom remodel that’s getting close to starting construction. The clients were inspired by Italian interior design, hence all the marble. I am also doing the construction documents on this one, working with the architect/ owner.

Bellair_render_int11a Bellair_render_int11b Bellair_render_int11c

I’ve done a few renderings previously of this apartment building project. It has gone through a few iterations on materials and colors, I’ll be curious if this is the final color scheme.

3579_Dec13_view9b_300dpi 3579_Dec13_view7_300dpi

This last project is one I started on just before the holidays and will continue through the new year. Right now it’s just work on the lobby/ entrance sequence, but should continue through the rest of the building space. It’s a very dynamic space, so it’s very helpful to the architect to see the way the programmatic elements interact in 3D.

H_st_study_render51 H_st_study_render47

Shadow Catcher material in the New V-ray for Sketchup 2.0

**New: Added settings dialogue example for Vray for Sketchup 3.0 beta**

One of the materials that’s been sorely lacking in the previous versions of Vray for Sketchup is a “shadow catcher” or matte material that can define a transparent shadow in a scene. This is something very useful when you want to add an environment background under a rendering. The resulting shadows help integrate the model into the scene image very effectively.

It’s pretty simple now to add a “shadow catcher” material with the new Vray 2.0 version. In the vray materials editor, you need to right click on “Scene materials”, select “Add new material” and then select the one at the bottom of the list: “Wrapper Material”.

Here is the properties window for the new material you’ve created, now you’ll want to change the following properties:


Here are the same settings as they should look in Vray 3.0

1. Define and select a base material (over a grass background for example – use a grass material) This material will affect the GI – so you’ll get some color reflection
2. Change the alpha contribution to -1
3. Check all the boxes for Matte, shadows, and affect alpha
4. I reduce the GI amount so there is less color reflected into the scene. If you use a neutral color, you may not need to reduce this value.
5. You can lighten the shadow as needed by changing this “shadow brightness” value.

Now you can apply this newly created vray material to a plane that you’ve made under your scene. Make sure it is applied to the front face of the material. If you are looking at the back face of the plane, the matte material will not render as expected.


In the example rendering below, I’ve placed a background image in the Environment slot using the newly available “Screen” mapping. (Note that you need to save the image as jpg if you want the background to save with the image. Alternately, you can deselect the alpha channel in the VFB channels options and you will be able to save in png format without loss of quality)


Makes for very quick renders, and with the new RT (real time) rendering, setting up renders is a breeze!

from concept to reality

The most powerful testament for the use of 3D renderings is to see a finished space that was conceived and designed in 3D.

Here is the final rendering of this kitchen addition (I had featured it previously here and here.) The computer model was used throughout the design to test various cabinet configurations and material choices. It also provided a useful reference during the depths of construction to make sure that the decisions that were being made lead to this goal.

final interior rendering of proposed kitchen

The next image is the finished kitchen interior as it exists today. From the wood countertops and stainless steel sink, to the cabinet layout and butcher block table, all the different choices for interior materials and arrangements were filtered through the 3D model and through continuous iteration.

completed Locust Avenue kitchen addition

It proved very useful to also test different designs for the renovated areas of the house. This enlarged dining room is where the old kitchen and dining room used to be. The original dining room was on the left, separated by a non-bearing wall from the kitchen to the right. The stairs were originally accessed through a door opening, and one of the ideas was to open up the stairs with a stained wood bannister. The design of the bannister was done in 3D and then the measurements given directly to the carpenters. Here is the rendering of the stair opening.


And here is a photo of the finished space:

Locust Avenue kitchen addition dining room remodel

It was a very gratifying process to have the renderings to guide both the decision making and the construction process to give the desired result for the happy home-owners.

New renderings to start off the fall

It’s not for lack of work that I haven’t posted in some time. I have been a bit overwhelmed with all that has been on my plate. Between attending to the final stages of construction on my house, testing the new Vray for Sketchup beta software, and unfortunately having my computer CPU die, I’ve still been keeping up with a full plate of projects. Here are some selected images of my work from the past couple months. In addition to my rendering work, I’ve also had a variety of drafting projects – including several residences, and some commercial spaces. My workload seems to be getting back to normal, so I am looking forward to a productive and enjoyable fall.

Country club interior and exterior renovations:

country club exterior

country club interior

Photo montage of new mixed-use development:

photomontage mixed-use

photomontage mixed-use

“Construction” model – to show options for renovating existing chapel building:

existing conditions

proposed construction

Some new common spaces to be constructed in an existing senior living facility:

common space upfit

common space upfit

common space upfit

Simple residential massing study:

residential render