Tag Archives: 3D Rendering

Interior renderings of a private clubhouse – Part II

BKathleen MooreCastleView 3D | Like CastleView 3D on Facebook
.

The Reserve on the Erie Canal, Brighton, NY

This is the second in a series of two posts sharing the interior renderings done by CastleView 3D of the Clubhouse at The Reserve, a new residential community being built by Anthony J. Costello & Son near the Erie Canal in Brighton, New York. You can read Part I here.

Part I showed renderings of the spaces on the main floor of the Clubhouse, and today’s post will share the spaces on the ground floor as well as some views of the balcony and pool area.


Interior renderings – ground Floor

After descending the spiral staircase from the main foyer down to the lower level, off to your left will be a lounge area with pool table.  At the end of the hall is the Wine Cellar.  Each Reserve resident will have a private wine locker, and the space can be used for wine tasting events or private parties.

[click each image to see full-size interior rendering]

CastleView 3D interior rendering of the private Wine Cellar in The Reserve Clubhouse

Next door to the Wine Cellar is a 30-seat Movie Theater, which can be used by residents for watching movies, sporting events, or other televised shows.

CastleView 3D interior rendering of the Movie Theater in The Reserve Clubhouse

Movie Theater, The Reserve Clubhouse, Brighton, NY

At the opposite end of the ground floor hallway are the Fitness Center and its related amenities.  The equipment room and connected Yoga/Pilates Studio are supported by a fully-staffed fitness team for instruction and personal training.

CastleView 3D interior rendering of the Fitness Center equipment room in The Reserve Clubhouse

Fitness Center equipment room, The Reserve Clubhouse, Brighton, NY

CastleView 3D interior rendering of the Yoga/Pilates Studio in The Reserve Clubhouse

Yoga/Pilates Studio, The Reserve Clubhouse, Brighton, NY

Across the hall from the Fitness Studio is the Spa, containing a hot tub, sauna, steam bath, and massage studio.  The Men’s and Women’s Locker Rooms are located adjacent to the Spa.

CastleView 3D interior rendering of the Spa  in The Reserve Clubhouse

Spa, The Reserve Clubhouse, Brighton, NY

CastleView 3D interior rendering of the Men's Locker Room  in The Reserve Clubhouse

Men’s Locker Room, The Reserve Clubhouse, Brighton, NY

CastleView 3D interior rendering of the Women's Locker Room  in The Reserve Clubhouse

Women’s Locker Room, The Reserve Clubhouse, Brighton, NY

The Fitness and Spa areas have large windows looking out onto the Pool and Outdoor Recreation Areas.  CastleView 3D did a series of renderings of these spaces; however, due to some later design changes, the client ended up not using these images for their marketing.  However, I’m sharing them here (even though they’re not really “interior renderings”) to give a more complete picture of the great outdoor spaces, including a pool, hot tub, waterfall, outdoor kitchen with pizza oven, gas firepits, and multiple seating areas, including the Grand Balcony overlooking the pool and the Erie Canal from the main floor of the Clubhouse.

CastleView 3D rendering of the view of the pool area from the Grand Balcony of The Reserve Clubhouse

View of the pool area from the Grand Balcony of The Reserve Clubhouse

CastleView 3D rendering of the view of the pool area from the East Walkway at The Reserve Clubhouse

View of the pool area from the East Walkway at The Reserve Clubhouse

CastleView 3D rendering of the pool area looking toward the Grand Balcony at The Reserve Clubhouse

View toward the Grand Balcony at The Reserve Clubhouse

CastleView 3D rendering of the view of the pool at The Reserve Clubhouse

Pool close-up, The Reserve Clubhouse

For a great overview of the entire development (including some of these interior Clubhouse views), watch this wonderful flyover animation created by Gary Jacobs.

The Reserve on the Erie Canal is an ambitious project that has been in the planning and approval stages for 7 years, so it is exciting to see it finally underway.  All the planning has really paid off in terms of attention to every detail.  I was honored to work with this very talented team of architects and designers.

Technical notes on this project:  The Clubhouse interiors were modeled by CastleView 3D in Chief Architect X5 from the architect’s plans.  The exterior models were created by the landscape architect in Sketchup.  All exterior and interior renderings were completed using Thea Render.

 


Does The Reserve sound like a place you’d like to live?  They’re now accepting lot and loft reservations! Call (585) 272-6500 for more information.


LIKE OUR BLOG? VISIT OUR WEBSITE, CASTLEVIEW3D.COM, FOR MORE 3D DELICIOUSNESS!


Interior renderings of a private clubhouse – Part I

By Kathleen MooreCastleView 3D | Like CastleView 3D on Facebook
.

The Reserve on the Erie Canal, Brighton, NY

The Reserve is a new 327-home residential community being built by Anthony J. Costello & Son alongside the historic Erie Canal, just south of where I live in Brighton, New York. The development will include loft condominiums, townhomes, patio homes, traditional brownstones, and custom-built estate homes.  It will also feature a private Clubhouse, built directly beside the canal, which will be available to all residents and will serve as the social hub of the community.  CastleView 3D was engaged to create photorealistic interior renderings of a variety of spaces in the Clubhouse.

In our meetings, Mr. Costello was very clear that the renderings of the Clubhouse spaces should be absolutely authentic in order to show potential residents exactly what they could expect, so I worked closely with the development’s interior designer and with Costello management to ensure that all furnishings, finishes, and decor were depicted exactly as specified in the plans.

This was one of the biggest, most challenging, and most rewarding projects I worked on in 2012, and I’d like to share some of the renderings I did for it. Because there are quite a few images, I’m going to break this into two separate posts.  Today ‘s post will show the spaces on the main floor of the Clubhouse, and tomorrow we’ll go down to the ground floor and pool area.


Interior renderings – Main Floor

The main entrance to the Clubhouse opens from a porte cochere on Reserve View Blvd onto a Grand Entry Foyer.  At the other end of the hallway is a balcony (not shown in this rendering) which overlooks the pool and the historic Erie Canal.

[click each image to see full-size interior rendering]
CastleView 3D interior rendering of the Grand Entry Foyer, The Reserve, Brighton, NY

Grand Entry Foyer, The Reserve, Brighton, NY

On the right is a comfortable seating area, and on the left is the Concierge Desk.  The Board Room can be glimpsed down the small hall next to the Concierge Desk.

CastleView 3D interior rendering of the Concierge Desk  in The Reserve Clubhouse

Concierge Desk, The Reserve Clubhouse

CastleView 3D interior rendering of the Board Room in The Reserve Clubhouse

Board Room, The Reserve Clubhouse

Further down the entry hall on the left is the Harvard Room, a comfortable lounge with overstuffed chairs, game tables, and a library, and across the hall, the Dining Room, which seats 80 with overflow seating for an additional 40 people.  Both of these rooms also open onto the balcony.

CastleView 3D interior rendering of the Harvard Room in The Reserve Clubhouse

Harvard Room, The Reserve Clubhouse

CastleView 3D interior rendering of the Dining Room in The Reserve Clubhouse

Dining Room, The Reserve Clubhouse

Finally, adjacent to the Dining Room is the Gourmet Kitchen, which will be used for catering as well as for gourmet cooking classes.

CastleView 3D interior rendering of the Gourmet Kitchen in The Reserve Clubhouse

Gourmet Kitchen, The Reserve Clubhouse

The main floor will also house the sales and administrative offices for the development.

A grand staircase with a water feature descends from the center of the foyer down to the lower level.  I’ll share renderings of those spaces in my next post.


LIKE OUR BLOG? VISIT OUR WEBSITE, CASTLEVIEW3D.COM, FOR MORE 3D DELICIOUSNESS!


6 Things I’ve Learned About Myself in My Life as a Solopreneur

By Kathleen Moore, CastleView 3D | Like CastleView 3D on Facebook
.

This week marks the one year point in my new life as a 3D rendering solopreneur.

In September 2011, I made the leap from a secure job in higher ed administration into full-time “solopreneur” employment in my own CAD architectural rendering business.  I’m happy to report that, one year out, things are going even better than I hoped they would be at this point.

3d rendering of CastleView 3D's World Headquarters

CastleView 3D World Headquarters

The past year has been a crash course in how to run a business — marketing, advertising, PR, finance, SEO, legal issues, customer service, questions about growth and scalability.  You can read more about some of those issues here.

But it has also been a learning experience on a more personal level.  Here are 6 things that I’ve learned about myself and my work habits over the past year:

  1. Time has become seamless, and somewhat meaningless.  There is no “work/play” distinction, no “workday/weekend,” no TGIF, no particular specialness about holidays.  I often have no clue what time it is, or what day of the week — and that’s OK.
  2. Without the structure of a normal work day, it’s hard to know when to stop working.  This is perhaps the most surprising thing I’ve learned.  My fear was that I’d become a total slacker without some kind of external structure propping me up.  But exactly the opposite has happened — I frequently find myself still working at 4 or 5 am, simply because I lose track of time.  I love what I do so much that I don’t want to stop.
  3. Shoes are a thing of the past.  Slippers, flipflops, or barefoot, depending on the season.
  4. I don’t work in my pajamas.  But sometimes I sleep in my work clothes.
  5. I will never again wear the majority of the “professional attire” items in my closet.  It’s pointless to have more than a couple of professional outfits when I do most of my work virtually.  But I’m finding it hard to part with my beautiful clothes and shoes.  This will  have to be a very gradual “letting go” process, perhaps requiring an intervention at some point.
  6. photo of an elf owl -- This solopreneur is definitely a nightowl.

    In case I had any doubts…

    When you work according to your own circadian rhythms, rather than fitting yourself into some corporate structure, you find out once and for all whether you’re an early bird or a night owl.

One not-so-surprising thing I’ve learned as a solopreneur:  Setting my own schedule, being my own boss, and running my business the way I think it should be run is absolutely WONDERFUL!

So, all you solopreneurs out there, what surprising things have you learned about yourself by stepping outside the corporate structure?


Like our blog? Visit our website, castleview3d.com, for more 3D deliciousness!


Another inspiration (#6)

Posted by Kathleen Moore, CastleView 3D:
.

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.


Like our blog? Visit our website, castleview3d.com, for more 3D deliciousness!


Recycled architecture

“I need an oil change and two tickets to Macbeth, please”

Posted by Kathleen Moore, CastleView 3D:

.

I love the trend of “recycled architecture”:  reusing and repurposing existing buildings.  I admire the creative minds that think up new uses for structures originally designed to be something else.  Turning old churches, barns, or industrial lofts into homes and condos, and converting railway stations or homes into restaurants are common examples of this, but there are lots of others.

photo of Pattaya Thai Restaurant, Penfield, NY, an example of recycled architectureFor example, a run-of-the-mill branch bank building in a neighboring suburb has been turned into a Thai restaurant. The first time I visited, it felt a little odd to be eating my Pad Thai near the location of the old bank vault. But the space has been beautifully adapted.

Another great local example of recycled architecture is SPoT Coffee, a popular coffee shop located in a classic Art Deco Chevy dealership. I can remember eyeing that location many years ago and thinking it would make a great bar or dance club — guess I was ahead of my time.photo of Spot Coffee in Rochester, NY, another great example of recycled architecture

photo of the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, now recycled as a museumIn Rochester, NY, where I live, we are blessed with many large, stately 19th- and early 20th-century mansions, remnants of Eastman Kodak‘s heyday, along beautiful East Avenue. Many of these old homes have now been converted into offices for doctors, lawyers, and professional associations, spas, and retreat centers. George Eastman’s home (photo above) is now the International Museum of Photography. Hard to believe that these were all once single-family homes!

Rochester really has some fascinating architecture, and the Monroe County Library has created a website chronicling a number of the adaptive reuse projects in the area which have helped preserve our beautiful and historic structures.

And now we get to the 3D modeling and rendering part of this post….

As a community theater afficionado, one of my favorite recycled architecture examples in the local area is the transformation of a sad, decidedly non-historic little building into a community theater rehearsal and performance space for Blackfriars Theatre.  The building most recently housed a used-car dealership, but looks like it might have started life as a gas station.  Here’s what the building originally looked like (image from Google Maps):

photo of a sad-looking building awaiting a new life as a community theater

In the initial stages of the conversion, I did a 3D model of the building and surrounding spaces for a client who was submitting a bid to do the landscaping for the project.  She proposed converting the corner section of the lot into a shared community space with a bench and plantings, and needed some quick graphics to illustrate her ideas. Rendering of a proposed landscape plan for the new Blackfriars Theater

Unfortunately, due to budget constraints, I don’t believe the developers hired her to do their landscaping.  But since I already had the building modeled, I decided to use it to do a little experimenting with lighting effects in a night rendering in Thea:

Photorealistic 3D Rendering of new Blackfriars Theatre at sunset

Since it’s not attractive, historic, or valuable in any way, this little building is exactly the kind of structure that, in the past, would most likely have been torn down to make room for new construction.  So I applaud the fact that these developers had enough creative vision — and a green enough conscience — to give it a new lease on life instead.

I’d love to hear about more examples of adaptive reuse.  What kinds of creative “recycled architecture” projects have you seen or participated in?


Like our blog? Visit our website, castleview3d.com, for more 3D deliciousness!


Had enough turkey yet?

Posted by Kathleen Moore, CastleView 3D:

.

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.


Like our blog? Visit our website, castleview3d.com, for more 3D deliciousness!


Some advice on outsourcing architectural renderings

By Kathleen Moore, CastleView 3D | Like CastleView 3D on Facebook
.

“Just say NO to architectural rendering sweatshops!”

Architects, developers, and builders need high-quality photorealistic renderings to help illustrate and sell their projects and ideas.  Some have the expertise to do this work themselves, or have staff members in-house who handle it, but most choose to outsource their renderings, at least occasionally, for a variety of reasons.  We live in a global world and outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular in all fields, including the world of architectural rendering.

But how do you decide when it’s time to outsource?  And who should you hire to do the work?

photo - Is this an "architectural rendering sweatshop"?I’ve been interested in recent discussions on the architectural illustration lists I subscribe to about outsourcing 3D architectural renderings.  I was surprised by the consistent levels of anger and frustration in the comments from these professionals about the so-called “rendering sweatshops,” particularly those in China, India, and Korea.  Below are a few comments I collected as examples of the prevailing sentiments:*

“CAD and the internet have made it possible to draft anywhere in the world with all the communication and transferring of plans done by email. The overseas rendering sweatshops are more trouble than they are worth to me. To do anything more complex than a simple box is beyond their capability from what I and quite a few others have seen from first hand experience. As a result of focusing only on the bottom line instead of the value they receive for the money, the company that I used to work for is in a world of hurt now, and they have no one capable of getting them out of it.”

“I called a couple of these last year that showed some pretty impressive work on their $195 per illustration advertisements. I even thought about farming out some work to them if they could do that kind of work at that price. Turns out the images they show on those pages are really $2500+ when they are done. When I asked what they could do for $195 it was as expected. Total crap.”

“I have used Indian based drafting services and even though the cost was much cheaper I was not happy with the service or the finished product and I wouldn’t try it again.”

“The advent of the 3D sweatshops in China, India, and Korea are wreaking havoc on the US market.  They are probably the worst offenders for depleting jobs.”

“The strange (and most predictable) thing about outsourcing to Korea and 3D sweatshops is that they do the bare minimum and get away with it. At first, something looks very good, but the longer you look, the more you realize it’s made by an uncoordinated flock of Koreans profiting on our laziness.  I see too much of it in the arch visualization business.”

“I had a couple conversations over the past year or so with potential clients who have used the sweatshop outfits. They said the initial contact about the job was a great experience but then it all went to mud from there. They couldn’t get call backs, there was a language barrier, they couldn’t get the landscape switched from desert geography to tropical like it was supposed to be according to the landscape plan. They said it was just a miserable experience from the second call on. I was encouraged after hearing that different people from different markets were having the same problems. You get what you pay for, including personalized service.”

It’s true that these comments are from professionals who perhaps feel the pinch of a slow economy and want to place blame somewhere for their lighter workload.  But I have also heard similar stories first-hand from several of my own clients about their experiences of getting burned when outsourcing.

Many of these architectural rendering companies (I’m really not comfortable labeling them “sweatshops”) look professional, have attractive web portfolios, and quote amazingly low prices.  But sometimes the perception of “cheap” prices overseas may be inaccurate.  The diminishing value of the US dollar and a gradual move toward a more comparable cost of living are contributing to an equalization in pricing over the last 3-4 years or so.

One of my builder clients told me about his previous difficulties with outsourcing:

“My architect creates plans using Autodesk CAD and he is very good at it, but he does not do any 3D views. So we used to outsource to a Singapore company that was using 3Ds Max. The problem is that their timeframe is always way too long for us and they are really expensive.  For this new villa, we have used their service again for external views and I am not really satisfied by what they have done.  Each change takes them forever. When I want a simple thing to be changed and when it is only done after 4 requests, then I am dissatisfied.”

And my virtual colleague Patricia Abood recently shared this story:

I ran into a guy on a plane who is an architect, working in Sketchup. We talked about renderings and he sheepishly said his firm sends their renderings to China because the cost is so cheap. I asked him “how cheap?” He showed me a simple building he designed in Sketchup that he sent over to China. China put in the landscape and did the rendering. He said this “only” cost him $600. I said, “I’m moving to CHINA!”

The architect said the only downfall of using China is that communication can sometimes be cumbersome, but once they get the idea across, they can put together a render pretty quick. I asked how long is the communication and he said sometimes it takes a couple of weeks to get exactly what he wants:  “Tree here?” “No…. tree there.”

So how do you decide when to outsource your architectural renderings? 

Sometimes people are uncomfortable spending money on something they think they should do themselves.  But a good rule of thumb is that if someone can do it in half the time that you can… or twice as good… then it’s time to hand it off.  Most people’s time is simply too valuable.  Less frustration, quicker turnaround, and higher quality results are all worth spending money on.

Below are a few tips to help decide when outsourcing can work for you:

  • If the project requires something you don’t do well or which is not part of your core skill set, and it would take valuable time to become proficient at it.
  • If you need to deliver projects to clients quickly and at a quality level equivalent to or better than your competitors – or risk losing the clients.
  • If you have too many projects in the pipeline.
  • If the opportunity cost of spending your own time producing renderings is greater than the cost of outsourcing.

Once the decision to outsource has been made, the difficult step remains of choosing between local quality (which typically involves greater control, fewer communication issues, and fewer cultural differences) versus the often more competitive rates abroad.

To avoid problems, it’s critical to get your research done early and build established and trusted relationships before the need for outsourcing arises. For the most part, those who get burned by outsourcing have not done their homework and get stuck trying to set up a job with a new resource while under time pressure.

Ultimately, you will need to assess your requirements and how you would like your client to perceive your vision. A good architectural rendering professional will be able to understand, work with, and develop the ‘story’ you’re trying to tell. They can intelligently translate your ideas and convey them in a way that will be true to your design intent.

A few points to evaluate when trying to decide who to outsource to:

  • Ratio of price to quality is the primary thing to consider when outsourcing. First look for the quality level that suits your needs, then try to establish a good collaboration.
  • Remember that in most cases, you get what you pay for.
  • A lot of good designers use a lot of different software.  High-end software requires a big financial investment but doesn’t always guarantee superior results; a skilled renderer can produce excellent work no matter what platform they use.
  • Many people feel that it’s best to work locally and build a long-term creative partnership.
  • Be aware that you may encounter a language barrier if outsourcing to a distant country.
  • Working across different time zones can make revisions or follow-up challenging.
  • A reliable firm or freelancer should be willing to update you on the progress of your project whenever you want.
  • When using a new company for outsourcing, make sure to build in time for corrections.

And here’s one final comment from the discussion list:

“After 18 years of doing this, I would recommend choosing someone close to you, wherever you are, someone you can build a relationship with and come to trust their vision and decision process. Otherwise you are going to be baby-sitting the process and waiting for the renderings the morning before your presentation, praying for a good result. Believe me, I’ve been there myself too many times.”

I really like the following very sensible quote from Penelope Trunk’s blog:

“If your project is important, find someone who has done it before, with someone who was great. And hire that person. You could get another bid, but the work would be different, right? And you should hire someone who does good work. And if everyone does the same work, then pricing can’t be that varied.”

In other words, if quick, low-quality renderings are sufficient for your project, then it probably makes sense to go with the cheapest price you can find.  But when quality and attention to detail matter (which they almost always do, even when you think they don’t), you should hire an architectural rendering artist based on the quality of similar work they have done – particularly if you can get a recommendation from someone else they’ve worked for – and then pay them what they’re worth.

Why try to shortchange such an important aspect of a project?

If you have stories or comments about your outsourcing experiences, I’d be very interested in hearing about them — good or bad. 


* The comments used here are unattributed to protect privacy, but these are all actual remarks from renderers and graphic artists on a number of different 3D design and architectural rendering discussion lists.  [Back….]

.


Like our blog? Visit our website, castleview3d.com, for more 3D deliciousness!


Creating with what you know

Posted by Kathleen Moore, CastleView 3D:
.

A French country style rendering project

A builder came to me a while back with a new floorplan he had designed.  He wanted to showcase it with beautiful renderings on his website and marketing materials.  His only instruction to me was to “make it look French Country style.”

I’ve been to the French countryside exactly once, in August 2003.  Some friends and I spent a week piloting a houseboat through the locks of the Canal du Nivernais in the Burgundy region of central France.  My memories of this delightful trip include lots of good wine and the best boeuf bourguignonne I’ve ever tasted (so good we went back to the same inn the next night and ordered it again).  They also include canalside views of rolling hills and interesting architecture — lovely churches and chateaux, charming lock-keepers’ cottages.

When I took on the rendering project for this builder, I wasn’t especially familiar with what’s known as “French Country decor,” so naturally these were the images that immediately flashed through my mind.

I consulted various design websites, books, and other resources to educate myself more about the style.  In case you’re interested, here’s the list of design elements I put together to define French Country style:

  • Used to be called French Provençale or French Provincial.
  • Rustic, old-world, welcoming; warm and casual; lavender fields and bright sunshine; casual and relaxed with light and airy spaces.
  • Colors:  Sunny yellow, golds, terracotta red, French blue, lavender, bright and dark greens.  Color palette mixed and matched on fabrics, accents, and walls, with accents of black and gray.
  • Fabrics:  Colorful Provençal prints combining primary colors with greens, lavenders, and bright orange. Toile with white, cream, or yellow ground and large motifs in a single contrasting color, such as black, blue, red, or green.
  • Motifs:  roosters, olives, sunflowers, grapes, lavender, beetles [beetles? really?]
  • Rough stained or painted plaster walls, hefty beamed ceilings and walls, delicate carved wood details.
  • Rustic flooring of stone, clay, or brick, covered with wool or cotton rugs.
  • Gently worn, weathered paint; rough plaster, stone, wood, wrought iron, terracotta, clay, zinc, glass, linen, and natural fibers.
  • Textured walls, informal wood tones, weathered patinas, hand painted furniture.
  • A large dining table, rectangle or round, with a dull waxed or low-sheen finish; chairs are ladderback or have vertical slats, often with rush seating.
  • Rusted metal furniture, lighting fixtures, and furniture
  • Woven or wire baskets, colorful ceramics and tiles, carved wood pieces, Chinoiserie pottery, and natural grasses for accessories
  • Faience, creamware, antique lanterns, decorative birdcages, candlesticks, urns.  Iron candle holders, wire baskets, heavy pottery water pitchers, colorful tablecloths.
  • Wrought iron chandelier
  • Old, dark, or colorful paintings
  • Natural flowers in baskets, an old pitcher or copper pot, or clear glass vases.  Geraniums and lavender are popular.
  • Outdoors: concrete statues, potted boxwood, wrought iron accessories; seamless flow between house and garden.
  • Deeply cut window sills with tall, narrow windows.

My research was helpful, but the images from my trip were probably more influential in determining the final look of the renderings.  It was hot during my week in France (perhaps you remember the record-breaking heatwave they had in 2003?  that’s when we were there), so the exteriors and especially the interior rendering have a sultry, sun-baked feel to them (click to view renderings full-size).

CastleView 3D rendering of French Country style house, exterior front view

CastleView 3D rendering of French Country style house, exterior front view

CastleView 3D rendering of French Country style house, exterior rear view

CastleView 3D rendering of French Country style house, exterior rear view

CastleView 3D rendering of French Country style interior

CastleView 3D rendering of French Country style interior

I’m not sure this was exactly what the builder had in mind when he specified French Country, but he was pleased with the renderings so it must have been close enough.

Every artist has their personal favorites among their own works, and these are some of mine. When I look at these renderings, I recapture the sense of relaxed warmth and the spirit of discovery and adventure I had on my boat trip through the French countryside — and my hope is that some of that comes through to other viewers as well.


Like our blog? Visit our website, castleview3d.com, for more 3D deliciousness!


Newly released update to Thea Render

Posted by Kathleen Moore, CastleView 3D:

.

Sandro Sorce's 3d recreation of Carapicuiba House, designed by Angelo Bucci & Alvaro Puntoni

Sandro Sorce’s 3D recreation of Carapicuiba House, rendered with Thea

My rendering engine of choice, Thea Render, just issued a new update yesterday, v1.1.  I haven’t had much of an opportunity to try it out yet, but already I can tell that it’s  much faster than the previous version.

Here are just a few of the new features/fixes in this release, as listed on the Thea user forum:

  • Optimized environment resulting in a speed up factor close to x2 and better memory footprint.
  • Addition of Render History functionality. [Allows side-by-side comparison of render versions.]
  • Integrated support for large previews (256×256) for material and texture editors (high resolution).
  • Colimo integration with the unbiased TR1 and TR2 engines. [Colimo sounds very intriguing and I’m definitely planning to check it out.]

Sandro Sorce (a Thea beta tester) had this to say in a review on Ronen Bekerman’s Architectural Visualization blog:

Thea Render is packed with features. Whether you prefer to render using biased or unbiased methods, Thea Render has a lot to offer – the render quality (IMHO) is excellent, and I’m sure there will be a lot more examples of great renders as the user base grows… Thea Render is a very young, yet already very mature product, and I honestly think it’s going to go from strength to strength.

And Ronen Bekerman responded:

I’ve been playing with it on and off, but recent updates really look good. I like the Interactive Render very much… Although very similar to V-Ray RT in how it looks, it is much more capable in that you can navigate it and select elements inside it…

I been exploring the material lab today and I love it very much too – the preview is very fast which is nice and helps in developing materials much more at ease.

I’m happy to hear positive reactions to Thea, which was only introduced a little over a year ago.  For me personally, it took a while to initially warm up to Thea, but the more I use it the better I like it.  I’m sure the new features in this release — including more SPEED — will make it even better.

There’s a great video tutorial here that goes into detail about some of the new features.


Like our blog? Visit our website, castleview3d.com, for more 3D deliciousness!


CastleView is a verb!

Posted by Kathleen Moore, CastleView 3D:
.

At a party celebrating my recent leap into full-time entrepreneurship, a friend  suggested that one of my goals in building my business should be to make the name of the business synonymous with the product.  In other words, I should aspire to be the defining standard in the 3D rendering business — to become such a known and trusted quantity that people would use the name of the business to refer not only to MY product, but to the entire class of similar products.

Great examples of this abound:

  • kleenex
  • jello
  • band-aid
  • popsicle
  • post-it
  • velcro
  • q-tips
  • frisbee

Frisbee

What else would you call these things?

But there are also company names that go beyond being merely synonymous with a product — they have become familiar verbs:

  • Google (“I just googled myself.”)
  • Xerox (“Could you xerox this for me?”)
  • Facebook (“I’m facebooking that photo right now!”)

or the curious case of

Spam

My friend suggested that CastleView 3D should aim to become not only a noun synonymous with 3D rendering — as in, “does your contractor provide castleviews?” — but also a verb:

I’m thinking of remodeling my kitchen.

How exciting!  Have you castleviewed it yet?

His suggestion made me smile — as it was intended to.  But it also got me thinking… hey, why not?

I wonder if Google or Xerox ever imagined that their company names would become common verbs?


Like our blog? Visit our website, castleview3d.com, for more 3D deliciousness!