Tag Archives: 3d modeling

Rehabbing an old house – virtually!

HELPING A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION BY REHABBING AN OLD HOUSE IN 3D

CastleView 3D recently completed a very interesting project.  A remodeler in Illinois contacted me on behalf of his client, a non-profit organization.  The organization was interested in rehabbing an old, run-down house.  They wanted 3D renderings showing the house as it might look AFTER the rehab was finished, to share with their stakeholders and members.

All I was given to work from was two not-especially-clear photos of the current property, which they had affectionately dubbed “Big Blue” — no floor plan, dimensions, or roof plan.  My task was to try to recreate Big Blue as accurately as possible from these two photos, adding foundation landscaping, raised garden beds in the side yard, and some kids on bikes playing outside.  In other words, I needed to make a derelict house look safe and inviting.

Photograph of Big Blue house from front

Photograph of Big Blue from front

Photograph of Big Blue house from side

Photograph of Big Blue from side

It’s obvious from these photos that the house has “good bones” and was once a grand home, but is in desperate need of both cosmetic and structural rehab work.

Here’s the virtual transformation (click image to see full-size):

3D Rendering of Big Blue house from front

3D Rendering of Big Blue from front

3D Rendering of Big Blue house from side

3D Rendering of Big Blue from side

I found out a bit more about the non-profit organization and their plans for Big Blue after the virtual rehab project was complete:

  • The organization is called Beacon Place, and is based in Waukegan, Illinois.  Beacon Place was started by a group of volunteers who had worked in that part of Waukegan for years running a food pantry, among other programs. Last October they decided to move some programs that were piloted at the pantry into a new and larger facility.
  • Once rehabbed, the house will be used by people from the surrounding community, in particular — but not limited to — the children.  There will be a technology room for use by children after school and for their parents; once a child spends enough time learning about the computer, they will be given one to take home (how cool is that?).  Volunteers will help them sign up with Comcast for the $10/month fee that they qualify for due to their income status.  
    There will be a teaching kitchen, gardens for the children, and a summer lunch and backpack program. They plan to listen to the community and provide them with space for ideas they bring to the table.
  • The location of Big Blue is perfect for what the group wants to do. The east side of the house is open space  owned by the park district.  Beyond this open space is a park and beyond that is Lake Michigan.
  • The organization will be relying extensively on volunteers and community members to rehab Big Blue.  It is currently uninhabitable since there is no electricity or water (the pipes have all been stolen).  Please contact them if you live in the area and can help out with this worthwhile project, or would like to support it with a donation.
  • Visit Beacon Place’s website for more information about their programs.

This is the kind of project that is a pleasure to complete.  In some ways, it reminded me of the “roof with a view” project I did a couple of years back, where I added a virtual second story and deck to help sell a home with a fantastic view of San Francisco Bay — but, inconveniently, you had to stand on the roof to see it.  Both projects involved recreating existing buildings from photos rather than from blueprints or plans.  And both involved showing the potential of a house beyond its current state or condition.

I love what I do, and I never get tired of saying how passionate I am about the power of 3D modeling and rendering to help people visualize the future and watch their dreams take shape!


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3D Camp in Houston, Texas, 9.29.12

 Posted by Kathleen Moore, CastleView 3D:
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Haven’t you always wanted to go to 3D camp?

logo image for 3D Camp Houston

Here’s a great opportunity for anyone interested in 3D technology:  the upcoming 3D Camp in Houston, Texas on September 29th.  The event includes a variety of speakers and even an art show.  In addition to the interesting information sessions, this conference is a great opportunity to network with like-minded folks, share ideas, and explore opportunities.  Offered at the University of Houston, the registration fee of only $15 includes breakfast and lunch.

Topics on the agenda are wide-ranging:

  • Design Visualization: The Process of Visualization + Digital Design in Architecture
  • Building Information Modeling (BIM) for Healthcare Architecture
  • A Cast of Thousands – Expanding your creative reach with Poser and Daz Studio
  • 3D Art – Fabric to Frankenstein
  • Bridging the Gap Between the Traditional and Digital Sculpture Studio
  • Digital Sculpting and Anatomy
  • Hollywood 3D Props
  • iPhone Game Development
  • Basic Character Rigging
  • Introduction to 3D Photography
  • Medical Illustration and Animation

It sounds like you can learn a lot at this camp, as well as meeting interesting, like-minded folks and making some great connections in the field.

3D Camp Houston - Design Visualization imageI encourage you to encourage anyone you know in the Houston area who’s interested in graphic design, animation, architecture, engineering, or the arts to attend this cool event, because 3D is definitely where the fields of design and architecture are headed. The conference registration link is here.

Doesn’t 3D Camp sound  like fun?  Wish I could attend, but alas, it’s over 1500 miles away.  If you go, or if you attended the previous event in 2009, please leave a comment and let us know what you got out of it.


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3D Home Visualization

Posted by Kathleen Moore, CastleView 3D:

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“Visualize Your Home Improvement Project in 3D”

photo of audience wearing 3D glasses - "The amazing miracle of 3D home visualization!"This is the title of a seminar on 3D home visualization that I’ll be giving this weekend at the Rochester Home Builders Association 2012 Home & Garden Show.

I’m truly excited to be giving a seminar at the show.  I feel that homeowners are just beginning to glimpse the value that 3D home visualization can bring to their home improvement projects, so I appreciate the chance to share even more information with them about the potential of this technology — in addition to chatting with interested folks who stop by the CastleView 3D booth, of course.

Basic topics I’ll cover in my talk include:

  • What 3D technology is — and what it isn’t
  • Some current uses of 3D technology for home building, remodeling, renovation, and redecorating
  • Specific examples from projects I’ve worked on with my clients, with lots of before-and-after images
  • A real-time demonstration of how 3D home visualization works, using Chief Architect X4 software
  • An overview of currently available options for using 3D visualization technology, from using simple DIY software packages (such as Chief Architect’s Home Designer Essentials) to working with specialty firms like CastleView 3D

I’m really looking forward to sharing my passion for 3D visualization with people at the seminar, as well as answering their questions and hearing about their home improvement projects.

When I wrote about last year’s show, I said:

Next year I plan to be an exhibitor myself, so I’ll be able to talk with people directly and get them excited about the benefits of “seeing it before you build it” with 3D visualization!

And here I am!

This promises to be a great show — in addition to all the seminars, exhibits, and garden displays, there will be culinary demonstrations (looking at this list makes my mouth water!), plus wine tastings from a variety of Finger Lakes wineries.  Can’t beat that!

Show info:

  • Saturday 3/24, 10 am – 7 pm
  • Sunday 3/25, 10 am – 5 pm
  • Rochester Riverside Convention Center
  • Admission is $8 (but save $2 with this coupon)
  • CastleView 3D will be exhibiting in Booth #815

If you’re in the Rochester, New York, area this weekend, I hope to see you at my seminar (1:30 pm on both Saturday and Sunday), or stop by the CastleView 3D booth #815 to say hi.

UPDATE:  If you weren’t able to make it to the Home Show and would like to know more about 3D home visualization, leave me a note in the Comments section below, or contact me through the CastleView 3D website.


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Another inspiration (#6)

Posted by Kathleen Moore, CastleView 3D:
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Inspiring 3D renderings by Ramon Zancanaro

Here’s another entry in my “Inspirations” series — and wow, this one is really inspiring, especially to those of us who do 3D renderings of interiors and are always looking for realistic draperies, bedclothes, and the like.

Inspirational 3D rendering by Ramon Zancanaro

Inspirational 3D rendering by Ramon Zancanaro

This is one of a series of renderings done by 3D artist Ramon Zancanaro as a “cloth study” (see more on Ronan Bekerman’s blog).  The cloth was created using a modeling software called “Marvelous Designer” — an app for clothing designers, but obviously put to beautiful architectural use here (perhaps this would be called an off-label use?).

The face count on these cloth models must be astronomical (although I believe Ramon uses some modification to reduce the poly count).  My understanding is that he plans to do a “Making of…” video explaining his process, to be posted on Ronan’s blog.  That promises to be very enlightening, and I will include a link to it once it has been posted.

UPDATE 9/16/2012:  At last, here is the promised “how-to” from Ramon explaining how he used Marvelous Designer for the cloth modeling in this scene!  www.ronenbekerman.com/3d-cloth-modeling-with-marvelous-designer/

 

Here’s another fantastic example of Ramon’s 3D rendering work for you to enjoy.  Look at the cutwork on that tablecloth — fantastic!

Another inspirational 3D rendering by Ramon Zancanaro

I’m truly so impressed and inspired by skill and talent like this — I hope you are too.


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Photorealistic 3D design — in miniature!

Posted by Kathleen Moore, CastleView 3D:
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awe-inspiring scale miniatures showcase true photorealistic 3D design

Christmas is coming!  And in honor of the upcoming holiday, I want to share an aspect of 3D design that has made many of my Christmases merry and bright.

I have had a lifelong love of dollhouses and miniatures.  As a very little girl, I got one of those two-story metal dollhouses with plastic furniture, and thought it was the greatest thing in the world.  I used to catch tiny toads, dress them in bits of kleenex, and make them live in the dollhouse.  (They were not amused.)  When I was a bit older, my dad made me a sturdy wooden dollhouse, which I kept for many, many years.  Troll dolls, not toads, lived in that one, and my helpful little brother drew electrical outlets on all its walls with black magic marker.  Grrrr.

But there’s one Christmas that really stands out in my mind.  I was 10 years old, and for months I had been drooling over the seductively lighted display in the Sears store of “Petite Princess Fantasy Furniture,” made by Ideal Toys.

Petite Princess Fantasy Furniture store display(If you’re interested, you can read more about the history and construction of this unique set of 3/4″ scale dollhouse furniture here.)

 

I was hoping with all my might that Santa would bring me a couple of pieces of this beautifully-made furniture.  Maybe the grand piano, and the satin bed, and the brocade sofa?  Well, Santa didn’t disappoint — I got up on Christmas morning to find not just a few pieces but THE ENTIRE SET. Yes, I got every piece pictured in this display, and more! I’m sure you can imagine my total delight. The manufacturers described Petite Princess furniture as “The fulfillment of every girl’s dream,” and it certainly was mine.  Thanks, Santa (and mom and dad) for a breathtaking Christmas morning that’s still vivid after all these years.

I actually still own this furniture, and lately I’ve begun to think about selling it on eBay.  But I’m not sure I could ever bear to part with it.

As I got older, my life went in other directions, and my love of dollhouses and miniatures was put on a back burner, except for an occasional trip through the Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago.  The Thorne Rooms are an absolutely awe-inspiring 1″ scale collection documenting in miniature all the major periods and styles of interior design — probably my first brush with true photorealistic 3D design and modeling.

photo of Thorne Room:  "English Dining Room of the Georgian Period, 1770-90" - an example of photorealistic 3D design in miniature!

1″ Scale Thorne Room: “English Dining Room of the Georgian Period, 1770-90”

 

House of Miniatures scale reproduction furniture kitsWhen I was in my mid-30’s, someone who loved me and knew me well gave me a build-your-own-dollhouse kit for Christmas, and my passion bloomed again.  In the intervening years, the field of miniatures had become much more popular, and more sophisticated.  There were magazines like Miniature Collector (I think I still have the original issue, plus many more, of this magazine.  Will probably try to sell those on eBay as well.)  There were regular miniature shows and workshops around the country.  One-inch scale was everywhere.  I discovered the Xacto “House of Miniatures” mail-order kits and built and finished a number of beautiful, 1″ scale wooden reproductions.  (Apparently these kits are now considered “vintage” since the HoM line was discontinued in the mid-1990’s.)

A few years ago I created a 3D symbol of my current dollhouse and included it in this rendering of a little girl’s dream room:

CastleView 3D rendering of a little girl's room with dollhouse

 

Photo of "The Oysterville" 1" scale miniature house created by Pat & Noel Thomas - exceptionally photorealistic 3D design!

“The Oysterville” 1″ scale miniature house created by Pat & Noel Thomas (click to enlarge and see the incredible detail)

Amidst the “mini-mania” of the 1980s and 90s, when everyone and her sister was making and selling miniatures of sometimes dubious quality, there were some real stand-outs, true artisans creating museum caliber miniatures.  And two of the best were Pat and Noel Thomas, masters of the craft of creating photorealism in miniature. Their particular genius was in realistically aging the beautiful miniature architectural masterpieces they created over a span of about 20 years.

Here are just a couple of examples of their work, showing the incredible attention to every detail, from handmade bricks to hand-cut gingerbread trim to the careful “aging” of their structures using all kinds of natural materials.  The image below is the basement of their “Bear River House.”

photo of "Bear River House" basement -- 1" scale miniature by Pat & Noel Thomas

Pat and Noel recently retired from the world of miniatures, but Pat is now sharing stories and photos of their creations over the years in a very entertaining blog called smallhousepress.  I encourage you to check it out for great stories and more examples of their wonderful “photorealistic 3D design.”

This post was fun to write (and turned out a lot longer than I expected).  I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour down my “miniature memory lane.”  Did you ever have a dollhouse?  What kinds of experiences shaped your own passion for architecture and 3D design?


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Time-lapse video demo of 3D architectural modeling

Posted by Kathleen Moore, CastleView 3D:
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An example of 3D architectural modeling “in action”

Today I’m sharing a cool video made by one of my “virtual colleagues,” Rod Kervin of Kervin Home Design in Courtenay, British Columbia.  Rod shared his video on Chieftalk, the Chief Architect user forum, and I thought it might be interesting to an even broader audience.

In the video, created using Debut Video capture software, you can watch Rod model an entire house in only 12 minutes — instead of the 82 minutes it actually took (and Rod is a very seasoned Chief user).  It’s a great opportunity to watch the process of designing a home using Chief Architect, whether you’re considering purchasing the software or simply curious about the design process.

Rod had this to say about the value of the video for him personally:

One thing that this time lapse does is reveal to me where I am taking a lot of time to get a simple thing done. The roof is one example, where I drew the roof over the back patio several times before getting it right….  This is also one of my favorite designs to play with. I am trying my best to keep to simple form in my designs, and this is an example of that effort.

Doug Park, Principal Software Architect at Chief Architect, also found Rod’s video valuable, and shared this comment on Chieftalk:

I found this to be interesting to watch as it helps me to understand how someone works. I could see this as a tool to show us how you work so that we can learn how to better design the program and perhaps how to improve our training…  This particular type of video is fast enough that I can see in minutes what would otherwise take hours.

Thanks, Rod, for giving us all a useful glimpse into the process of 3D architectural modeling by sharing your cool time-lapse video.


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Had enough turkey yet?

Posted by Kathleen Moore, CastleView 3D:

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A 3D modeling project halfway around the world

In honor of American Thanksgiving last Thursday (the one day of the year when an estimated 88% of U.S. households are eating roast turkey, the traditional Thanksgiving meal), today I’m featuring some 3D modeling work I did for a client in Turkey.

This client is a builder, specializing in designing and building elegant villas on the coast of Turkey.  He had floorplans for his new project in Bodrum, and had already commissioned a few exterior renders.  But he needed some virtual interior decorating to show off the interiors.  He hired CastleView 3D to do the interior modeling only, since he preferred to do his own renders.

But of course, once the interiors were modeled, they looked so beautiful and inviting that I couldn’t resist generating a few renders.  Here are a couple of them.  The views out the windows are photos of the actual views from the house!

3D Modeling and Rendering of Kitchen/Dining Area of Turkish Villa

The image above is a kitchen with bar, dining area, and breakfast nook, decorated in a modern style but with classic Mediterranean touches.  (The wonderful “Sputnik” chandeliers were modeled for me by my friend and virtual colleague, Bryce Engstrom.)

3D Modeling and Rendering of a Tower Bedroom in a Turkish Villa

This image is a tower bedroom overlooking the Mediterranean.  Ne kadar güzel!  (Google Translate tells me that that’s Turkish for “how beautiful!”)  I can just imagine curling up on that round bed in the tower to read and gaze out at the amazing view.

3D Modeling and Rendering of a Tower Bedroom in a Turkish Villa

I also modeled and “decorated” a marble entry hall with inlaid floors, and a cinema room.  You can see my client’s renders of those rooms, plus the exterior renders and his versions of the rooms shown above, here.

Here’s the website’s description of this particular villa:

Mesa Construction has selected a 4 hectares land in a bay where the most luxury villas of Yalikavak are located…  From this land there is a wonderful view of the bay of Yalikavak and nature is really beautiful. Mesa Construction will build a luxury villa inspired by french style “belles demeures”, equipped with all american comfort (central air conditioning, smart home system, jacuzzi, elevator, …) but also full of the turkish charm. A unique combination to fully enjoy Bodrum’s life!

As of this posting, I believe this villa is still for sale, so hurry up and make an offer if it appeals to you!  You’d better believe I’d buy it myself if I could.

This was a great 3D modeling project to work on, even more amazing because it involved collaborating with someone literally on the other side of the globe.  It’s my fantasy that someday I’ll get to visit Turkey and see some of these beautiful villas in person.


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