Tag Archives: Architectural Rendering

Another inspiration (#7)

INSPIRING RENDERINGS BY MUHAMMED TAHER

Here’s another entry from my “Inspirations” file.  Every so often, I see examples of amazing 3D renderings that I want to share because I find them so inspirational for my own rendering work.

I first saw today’s inspirational renderings on CGArchitect.com (an inspiring site in itself). What can I say about this rendering by Muhammad Taher, a freelance architect and architectural visualization artist in Alexandria, Egypt, except that it’s stunning and a true inspiration? There are so many things in this image to study and learn from — models, lighting, texturing, staging of the scene, camera settings and placement, and more.  For me, the only element in this rendering that doesn’t work quite as well as the rest is the bouquet of flowers.  Roses? A middle Eastern flower I’m unfamiliar with?  I’m not sure. But it definitely doesn’t spoil the overall effect.

"Master Bedroom" _renderings by Muhammad Taher

Inspirational “Master Bedroom” rendering by Muhammad Taher

Muhammed also does excellent exterior renderings, but I’m particularly partial to his interiors.  Here is another one of my favorites (but truthfully, there are so many, and all so excellent, that it’s hard to choose favorites):

"Moroccan Majlis"_renderings by Muhammad Taher

Inspirational “Moroccan Majlis” rendering by Muhammad Taher

This image of a luxurious sitting room in Doha, Qatar (see the whole series of renderings here), is full of wonderful details and impressive architecture.  Those windows must be 20 feet tall! Muhammed’s work is modeled in 3DS Max and rendered with VRay.

You can see more of Muhammed’s inspiring artistry on his website.  He also has a Facebook page showcasing his recent work.

Sometimes when I see work like this I get discouraged, doubting that I could ever achieve this level of technical and artistic expertise.  But then I remember that it’s always good to have something to aspire to. So I’ll continue to share things that motivate me to keep improving.


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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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One home plan, two styles

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

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graphic demonstration of a home plan’s flexibility

CastleView 3D recently completed a fun and interesting project.  I was contacted by Alex Schenkar of Schenkar Construction, a design/build firm in the Seattle area.  Alex was preparing for an upcoming home show and wanted some renderings to show off his new home plan. He sent me the plans for a lovely mid-size home designed in a traditional Craftsman style.  His goal was to show people how his firm could customize the basic plan to suit their style preferences.

Alex requested an exterior rendering of the Craftsman style home, but he also asked me to change up the roof lines and finish materials to create another version of the exterior that was more modern or contemporary in style.  He emailed a couple of photos as examples of the style he was looking for, and specified that he wanted the roof to be either flat or no greater than 1/12 or 2/12 pitch (versus the 8/12 pitch on the original plan).  Other than that, he invited me to use my own judgment and creativity.

Below is a comparison of the two very different looks created from Alex’s home plan.

Two 3D renderings of a house, one Craftsman and one Modern, modeled from the same home plan

Two different looks from the same home plan
(click image to see full-size details)

When Alex saw these exterior renderings, he told me that I had “hit it out of the park” and decided he also wanted to showcase two versions of the kitchen and master bathroom in this house.  So, following some basic specifications from Alex about materials to be used, I created Craftsman versions of the kitchen and bath using warm colors and traditional Craftsman details, while making the Contemporary versions cool and sleek, with European-style cabinets and a minimalist color scheme.

3D renderings of two different interior styles applied to the same kitchen and bath layout

Two different interior styles applied to the same kitchen and bath layout
(click image to see details)

I really commend this builder’s creative idea about how to highlight his firm’s flexibility and ability to customize their work to suit a homeowner’s tastes and preferences.  I hope these renderings help draw a lot of traffic to their booth at the home show!

Which of these two styles, Craftsman vs. Contemporary, do you find more appealing?


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Living vicariously

By Kathleen MooreCastleView 3D | Like CastleView 3D on Facebook
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one fringe benefit of a career in 3D rendering

Lately, the short winter days have me missing the long twilight hours of summer. So I put together this 3D rendering of a patio and reflecting pool at dusk to remind myself how great it feels to sit out on the deck with friends on a summer evening, drinking wine, talking, and laughing as the light slowly disappears from the sky.

CastleView 3D rendering of a waterlily pond at dusk

[click to view full-size image]

And it started me thinking about one of the reasons that my work in architectural modeling and rendering is so rewarding:  I get to live vicariously.  When I create a 3D model of your new home or remodeled space, I get to know it very intimately.  I live in it during the time I spend creating it.  I explore all its nooks and crannies.  In some ways, I may know your home better than you ever will.  So many details about a home that the homeowner never thinks about, I have to think about in order to make it look convincingly realistic.

And when I’m working, I also get the vicarious thrill of watching someone’s dreams take shape.  It’s really very exciting when something that previously only existed inside a client’s mind — or perhaps as a 2D blueprint, if they’ve gotten that far — suddenly comes to life in full color on the screen, looking almost as real as a photograph.  It’s magical.

I may be blessed with a particularly vivid imagination, but when I’m adding new granite countertops to a 3D rendering of someone’s kitchen remodel, for example, I can almost feel the glassy smoothness and rounded edges as the image develops on the screen.  I find myself trying to picture the lives that will unfold in that space.

Same with the rendering of the summer evening on the patio above:  I can imagine myself sitting on the warm flagstones, dangling my bare feet in the cool water, smelling the slight tang of chlorine and citronella in the air, feeling the breeze lifting my hair, and hearing the cries of the birds as they head for their nighttime roosts in the surrounding trees.  Perhaps creating something in such fine visual detail necessarily engages the other senses as well?

Because of this vicarious existence, I know that when I finally walk through the doors of the Clubhouse at The Reserve (the rendering project I posted about the other day) and see it for the first time, I’ll have an eerie sense of recognition and deja vu.

Because I’ve already spent many, many hours there.


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Interior renderings of a private clubhouse – Part II

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


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Interior renderings of a private clubhouse – Part I

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


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Recycled architecture

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

Posted by Kathleen Moore, CastleView 3D:

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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?


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