Orban Design

Providing the highest quality architectural rendering for Charlottesville and beyond.

Venturing into V-Ray for Sketchup 3.4

The release of the new version 3 of V-Ray for Sketchup has taken a bit of effort to incorporate into my workflow. There are many changes in how V-Ray handles materials the net effect of which has made large swathes of my existing models obsolete. On the one hand, the render engine that uses video card rendering has been substantially upgraded, which makes for fast renders. On the other hand, the workflow changes have been most pronounced in this method of rendering. The massing study image above is the first project for which I’ve actually used the latest V-Ray for Sketchup.

The image below is a photo-realistic view of a commercial project that I had rendered previously in a watercolor style.

Conceptual interior renderings of a proposed shared office space in an existing building.

Exterior renderings of a small-footprint development within Lochlyn rendered with Vray for Blender.


Between the vacations the past couple months with my wife and kids, I still had plenty to work on over the summer. Here is an assortment of work I’ve completed recently, in a wide range of scales and styles.

Marketing renderings for an apartment building with a complex stepped series of roof terraces. I’ll probably work some more on these to show the terrace spaces with occupants, and maybe add some more variety to the green roofs. Often I’ll go through numerous iterations of my renders as I add in enough detail to satisfy the client.

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Massing study for a new custom residence. These study models are very helpful to the architect and the client so the can quickly see if the schematic plans and elevations are heading in the right direction. There is an review board for this development and this is very helpful to use in presenting the schematic drawings.


Custom display cases: I generate these renderings to show how the displays will look to get approval for building them.

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A watercolor style marketing image for a proposed dining room interior.


Interior rendering of a small library renovation that will become a kids learning laboratory space.


Digital Watercolor for marketing images

Sometimes there is a need for a softer look than what a photorealistic rendering can provide. Using digital watercolor (a watercolor image that is made on the computer instead of with paint on paper), I can provide a much looser look to engage an audience without the crisp detail that is a hallmark of computer rendering. Here is a sampling of a few of my recent projects, interior, exterior, and neighborhood scale to show the style of illustration that can be achieved with digital watercolor.orban_design-watercolor-digital06 orban_design-watercolor-digital04orban_design-watercolor-digital05 orban_design-watercolor-digital02 orban_design-watercolor-digital01

These Places to live are at the opposite ends of the spectrum

It was fun to have both of these projects in process during this month. These two projects couldn’t be much more different. The first project is a single family residential that is on a heavily wooded lot. It’s a traditionally styled house with wood and stucco. The rendering is in a watercolor illustration style and was prepared for presentation to an architectural review board.

watercolor residential woods

The second project is a contemporary/ modern styled 6 story mixed-use apartment building on the H street corridor in Washington, DC. This rendering was completed for their marketing website and the idea was to do a photo realistic render to give it a sense of liveliness and urban context.

watercolor residential woods

New for September… plus some updates of previous images

My feature project for this month is a watercolor style illustration for a new home that is currently under construction. The builder wanted to have a marketing image that would show the house well, and it would have taken a lot of time and effort to clean up the site and get a good photograph of the house. Here is the view of the house under construction

and here is the watercolor style illustration that I prepared for the client

The other house illustration I posted earlier ended up with several design revisions, so I had a chance to update the drawing for the client. This is an update of the same view

The second project update is to the town center project of which I posted the restaurant image earlier. I have some additional views of the project, one is a view on the terraces showing the character of the space, and the other is an overhead aerial view.