In AIMIR’s architectural visualization experience in the past decade, most of the projects attach more importance to the architectural design itself, while the landscape merely plays the part of enriching and embellishing the image. Most of the time, designers won’t provide a detailed landscape design. In this case, AIMIR will develop the landscape details based our understanding of visual aesthetics. For instance, the combination of trees and shrubs can be freely grouped, or they grow in clusters, in isolated or in interwinding shape; the lawn and flower beds mirror the tranquility of the environment, nevertheless, these are only used for regular decoration and will not be overly portrayed to weaken the appeal of the architectural design.

What we are going to talk about today is how AIMIR deals with landscape-demanding projects. Let’s see how we do from following,

1. Inquire. Communicate. Comprehend.

In the phase of project evaluation and quotation, both parties need to communicate the landscape plan requirements beforehand in a detailed and specific manner. We recommend that customers provide the following landscape design materials as completely as possible.

  • Terrain/landscape design model or CAD drawings (namely, hard landscape)
  • Plant landscape (namely, soft landscape) includes shrubs and trees distribution and species specification.

Note: Depending on the complexity, the cost & timeline may increase accordingly.

2. Solutions.

In compliance with different levels of landscape requirement from customers, AIMIR has different practice:

Case A:

When you simply provide a landscape plan and do NOT specify the plant species, we will choose common species from our library.

Case B:

When you provide a landscape plan which specifies the plants’ categories but not exact species, we will use common plants from our library following the categories.

Case C:

When you have strict requirements on plant species, in other words, when you need the plants to be “highly similar” or “exactly the same”, we will do as follows.

AIMIR recommending using mostly 3D plants + a small amount of post-work in Photoshop. 3D plants are being put in a high priority is for the sake of guaranteeing the best visual quality.

  • a. If you are very sensitive to plant species, first you will be required to select the plants that meet your requirement from AIMIR’s model library.
  • b. If you can’t find applicable plants from our library, you can try to search the internet and provide the corresponding 3D model for us to apply in the production.
  • c. If you can neither find applicable plants from our library nor provide usable 3D models, alternatively, you can provide some high-res photos of the plants that we can use in Photoshop. Only in this way can the accuracy of the species be achieved. Nonetheless, Photoshop plants would not look as realistic as rendered 3D plants due to the lack of variety and the lighting & shadows not being able to accurately fit the scene. The overall visual quality will be affected. So, our suggestion would be that less than 10% of the plants in one image should be placed through Photoshop.

A BAD example of 100% Photoshop landscaping:

Vast species diversity determined that a CG company cannot provide 100% the same 3D plant model for all species. Comprehensive communication is always critical for both parties when it comes to how to deal with landscaping in architectural visualization. Based on the client’s requirements, the integrity of the project data, complexity and difficulty, budget and many other relevant factors, we will find a method that is workable for both sides.

Have you ever had any troubles with landscaping in architectural visualization? Are there any points you’d like to add? Welcome to comment below!

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