Computer Generated Images, CGI, Architectural Visualisation or 3D renders as they are commonly referred to have quickly become the mainstay for property design and marketing strategy. How we manage to create photo-quality images from sometimes incomplete half-thought out architectural scribblings remains, for many potential clients, a dark art and one they can feel apprehensive about, despite the obvious benefits.
Perhaps the greatest misconception about architectural renders is that they are produced by technicians. That because we are creating computer-generated images a methodical mind is required to translate the two-dimensional into three. But in fact there is no programming involved, no formulae, no engineering.
Although the job involves an interpretation of architectural drawings, this process is one which can be learned in a relatively short amount of time. The dimensions of a planned building, the height of its walls and the types of windows provide the nuts and bolts of the CGI image, but these would look like a roughly-drawn cartoon without the integrity and talent of the individual artist.
In the same way an artist working on a life drawing must deconstruct light falling upon their subject to produce contrasting hues with several brushstrokes, the CGI artist works in reverse, processing the flat lines and measurements of the architectural drawing into a photo-real image. They must imagine the way the light will fall on the building once it’s complete, then translate this into a series of hues and computerised brushstrokes to create an image of a property that not only looks real but also feels homely, welcoming and aspirational.
So if you imagine the modern CGI studio is an orderly place of linear, formulaic thinking, think again. We apply rigorous production deadlines to a group of temperamental, highly creative artists; no mean task, but one which is integral to our production process since it is the scope of their imaginations combined with the depth of their experience which determines the quality of the final image alongside the quality of the equipment and programs they use.