Check out this architectural animation for the incredible mega mansion. In the realm of architectural visualization, 3D rendering and animation have revolutionized the way designers, architects, and real estate developers present their projects to clients. In this case study, we delve into a recent project undertaken by our architectural rendering studio, which involved creating a captivating 3D flythrough for a luxurious mega mansion located in Alabama, USA. This case study showcases how our 3D team utilized cutting-edge technology, creativity, and expertise to bring our client’s vision to life with architectural 3D animation services.
Now, let’s get started with the introduction of Drummond Residence.
Influenced by the Cape Dutch style of South Africa, this mega mansion is no doubt an incredible lifetime home to own. Located in Alabama, the exterior design of Drummond has a unique blend of European and South African influences. This distinct architecture features immaculate façade and beautiful roof lines. On top of classic Cape Dutch elements, Drummond also exudes timeless allure and modern refinement, offering a unique architectural statement that seamlessly merges the past with the present.
At the same time, Drummond has an incredible scale as to residence. The imposing structure features a meticulously crafted gabled roof, showcasing clean lines and a modern twist on the contemporary Cape Dutch style. The exterior façade, adorned in a whitewashed color, exudes timeless elegance. At last, no one can ignore the loggia and glass house, which offer panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and flood the interiors with natural light.
For such an architectural masterpiece, what did we need to do to bring it to life?
The Brief & Scope of Work
The primary objective of this project was to create a visually stunning 3D flythrough animation that would allow the owner to experience the grandeur of the mega mansion. Thus, the animation needed to capture the essence of the property, showcasing its architectural design, outdoor spaces, and its seamless integration with the surrounding landscape. Here, the architect who is also our old friend Christopher Architecture & Interiors especially emphasized on the landscape.
Let’s see what we’ve got from the design team:
Revit models. Models of the mansion and the landscape were sent through separately.
The flyover route. As professional as Chris’ team, they marked the camera route clearly in a screenshot of the model.
Landscape plan. As emphasized many times, the architect would like to pay attention to the landscape in the animation.
Floorplans. A serious of plans explaining the design.
After gaining a comprehensive understanding of the design vision and project target, the 3D rendering process started.
Real Estate 3D Animation Process
Generally, the 3D animation process involves setting camera path and storyboard, 3D modeling and camera setup, texturing, lighting, rendering, and post-production. Each project is unique, so the actual process may change.
#Stage 1: Camera Path & Storyboard
With a clear understanding of the client’s requirements, our team developed a storyboard that outlined the key scenes, camera angles, transitions, and overall flow of the animation. This process ensured a cohesive narrative and a visually engaging experience for the viewers.
For Drummond Residence project, it would be a simple demonstration rather than a fancy animation. And the most important was that our client hoped to focus on showcasing the landscape in the flythrough. Meanwhile, they shared the flyover route including the start, finish, and through details. It was a great help for setting up the camera.
#Stage 2: 3D Modeling
Although we’ve received a Revit model, the 3D artists still needed to rehandle it. To be specific, the model would be imported into 3ds Max, and our 3D modelers would retouch it. Our talented 3D artists paid meticulous attention to detail, replicating the architectural element with precision to reflect the grandeur of the design.
It didn’t take long when the 3D model was completed. Although some of the design features were not clear enough in the plan, we’re waiting for the architect’s comments.
The comments didn’t take long to arrive. In the comments, the architect articulated some features and made corrections on the design. In particular, they wanted to:
Show stone pavers for lounge chairs;
Change the wall of the water feature;
Adjust the wall corner details to the new design;
Also change some wall designs including tie them together and raise walls;
Add sculpture on the centerline of pool.
These requests were accepted and modified based on the instructions. During the process, our talented 3D artists paid meticulous attention to details. At last, the 3D model was confirmed by the architect as below:
With a confirmed 3D model, our 3D animators were able to put the model into the scene. This way, we could check the allocation of the structure and the relationship between the surrounding context and it.
The challenge lay in replicating the realistic materials and intricate details of the mansion accurately. So, our 3D team utilized the most realistic materials to ensure that every surface was recreated convincingly in the virtual presentation. For this project, our client insisted to have a pure and absolute scene of the mansion, instead of adding people, cars and activities. As emphasized at the beginning of the project, the animation should focus on showcasing the landscape.
Animation breathed life into the project, enabling viewers to navigate through the mansion seamlessly. We orchestrated smooth camera movements, guiding viewers through the mansion’s opulent outdoor living spaces, luxurious swimming pools, state-of-the-art entertainment areas, and the breathtaking outdoor amenities. And the key frames being shared were as below:
The architect team responded rapidly with their comments. At last, there were a few adjustments needed to be made, including:
Remove all lamp posts;
Change the color of some of the plants;
Lower the height of hedge;
Use pale lavender color for one of the flowers, also make the texture wispy.
Basically, these comments were about landscape details. Our 3D specialists adjusted these aspects based on the instructions.
#Stage 4: Post-production
This is the last stage in a 3D animation rendering process. In the post-production stage, the 3D artists check the overall animation and take actions to fulfill the scenes. For example, they add background music to the animation, or some special effects to light up the scene.
For this flythrough, we simply tuned the color of the scenes, and made the lighting natural and adequate. Just after one round draft, the architect approved it and the final animation was ready to deliver!
Before that, our 3D team checked again the full animation to make sure it was optimized for performance. To create a seamless and immersive experience, our team optimized the animation for smooth performance across different devices and platforms. This involved carefully managing the polygon count, optimizing textures, and implementing efficient rendering techniques to maintain high-quality visuals without sacrificing performance.
#Stage 5: Final Delivery
Let’s enjoy this fabulous Cape Dutch mansion and its splendid surrounding environment!
At last, this animation became an invincible tool for our client, empowering them to showcase the mage mansion’s unique design and luxurious lifestyle to its future owner. Reporting or presentation is an inevitable process during the real estate development, and a persuasive 3D animation is the best solution here. By providing an immersive virtual tour of the mega mansion, the animation enabled viewers to visualize themselves within the space, fostering an emotional connection and stimulating their desire to own a piece of this architectural masterpiece. It offered a compelling and realistic glimpse into the lifestyle that the mansion offered, solidifying its position as a coveted luxury residence.
The successful completion of the Alabama Mega Mansion 3D flythrough animation stands as a testament to our company’s commitment to excellence, creativity, and innovation in architectural visualization. Also, we won’t forget how excellent the communication was from Chris’ team. They are efficient and well-organized as always, let alone their incredible architectural design. They are always our best partner!
At our architectural rendering company, we take pride in our ability to bring architectural visions to life through stunning visualizations and animations. Whether it’s a mega mansion, commercial development, or any architectural project, we strive to exceed our clients’ expectations, empowering them to present their designs with confidence and make a lasting impact in the industry. Simply contact us for level up your design with our 3D rendering services and 3D animation services!
Architecture is a field that blends creativity and functionality, aesthetic appeal and practicality. It is a discipline that requires a deep understanding of not only design principles but also engineering, materials, and construction techniques. Architects must balance artistic expression with the constraints of budgets, timelines, and building codes. If you need a different inspiration for your current project or a catchy caption for your Instagram post, we believe these architect quotes will lift your spirits and add some cheer to your week. By the way, if you’re looking for more inspiration, please feel free to check our books recommendation for architects here.
The quotes featured in this collection have relevance to the field of architecture, and while some are well-known architect quotes spoken by notable architects, others have been expressed by authors and artists. Their insights and observations offer a glimpse into the complex and fascinating world of architecture and the power of design to shape our lives and communities.
Now, let’s dive into the architecture world.
“Architecture is the art of how to waste space.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“I call architecture frozen music.”
“Architecture is not about space but time.”
“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us. ”
“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”
“In Architecture there is a part that is the result of Logical Reasoning and a part that is created through the Senses.”
“It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”
Frank Lloyd Wright
“An idea is salvation by imagination”
“There are 360 degrees, so why stick to one?”
“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence.”
“Architecture begins where engineering ends. ”
“Make it simple but significant. ”
“Build, Don’t Talk”
Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe
“Less is more. ”
“Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style.”
“Architecture is the making of a room.”
Frank Lloyd Wright
“Freedom is from within.”
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”
“The job of the architect today is to create beautiful buildings. That’s all.”
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
“God is in the Details.”
“I believe that the way people live can be directed a little by architecture.”
“A real building is one on which the eye can light and stay lit.”
“Light, God’s eldest daughter, is a principal beauty in a building. ”
Louis H. Sullivan
“Form follows function.”
“You’ve got to bumble forward into the unknown. ”
“Architecture belongs to culture, not to civilization.”
“Architecture aims at eternity. ”
“The straight line belongs to men, the curved one to God.”
Frank Lloyd Wright
“A building is not just a place to be. It’s a way to be.”
“Architecture is not based on concrete and steel and the elements of the soil. It’s based on wonder.”
“To create one must first question everything.”
Mies van der Rohe
“Architecture is the will of the age conceived in spatial terms.”
“Architecture should be dedicated to keeping the outside out and the inside in.”
“Architecture is about public spaces held by buildings.”
Frank Lloyd Wright
“Space is the breath of art.”
Alvaro Siza Vieira
“Tradition is a challenge to innovation.”
“Form Follows Function.”
“Architecture is about trying to make the world a little more like our dreams.”
Leonardo Da Vinci
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
“There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature.”
Jorge Luis Borges
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
“We don’t create a fantasy world to escape reality, we create it to be able to stay.”
“Good buildings come from good people, and all problems are solved by good design.”
”Design is thinking made visual.”
“Architecture is the thoughtful making of space.”
“Any work of architecture which does not express serenity is a mistake.”
“Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.”
These quotes are from experienced architects and writers who have made significant contributions to their fields. Architects quotes often encapsulate the essence of architectural principles, design philosophies, and creative approaches. At last, we hope these famous architect quotes could inspire and motivate you someway.
When it comes to 3D rendering, creating a realistic and immersive landscape is an important aspect of the process. A landscape can set the mood of a scene, convey emotion, and make the viewer feel as if they are truly present in a virtual world. However, achieving this level of realism can be challenging. No matter you’re a landscape architect or 3D artist, as long as you’re thinking about bringing the design to life, landscape rendering is an inevitable topic. In this article, we’ll explore what landscaping is, why it is important for 3D rendering, and provide tips on how to make landscape renders feel alive.
What is Landscaping?
Landscaping is the process of designing and creating a visually appealing outdoor space. This includes natural elements such as trees, shrubs, mountains, lakes and coastlines, as well as man-made structures such as buildings, roads, and pathways. The concept of landscape is important in various fields such as architecture, urban planning, geography, and ecology, as it helps to shape our understanding of the natural and built environments and our relationship with them. A landscape architect is a professional who is in charge of the above job.
Landscaping in 3D Rendering
In 3D rendering, landscaping is essential to creating a believable and immersive environment. A well-designed landscape can add depth and complexity to a scene, making it feel more realistic and engaging. Landscaping can also be used to convey specific moods or emotions. For example, a lush, green landscape can create a calming and relaxing atmosphere, while a barren, rocky terrain can evoke a sense of danger or desolation.
In addition to creating a realistic environment, landscaping is also important for creating a sense of scale and perspective. The size and placement of objects in a scene can influence the viewer’s perception of depth and distance, making it crucial to get the landscaping right in order to create a believable environment.
Tips for Making Landscape Renders Feel Alive
Now that we understand the importance of landscaping in 3D rendering, let’s explore some tips for making landscape renders feel alive.
Use Dynamic Lighting
One of the most important aspects of creating a believable landscape is lighting. The right lighting can make a huge difference in how a landscape feels. For example, natural sunlight can create a warm and inviting atmosphere, while harsh lighting can create a sense of danger or tension.
To create dynamic lighting, experiment with different types of lighting such as natural sunlight, soft shadows, and harsh lighting. Additionally, consider adding volumetric lighting to your scene to give it a more atmospheric look. This can be achieved by using a fog or mist effect to simulate the way that light scatters in the atmosphere.
Adding movement to your landscape can make it feel more alive and dynamic. This can be achieved by adding elements such as trees swaying in the wind, water flowing in a river, or clouds moving across the sky. Using particle systems can also add a sense of movement to your scene, such as leaves falling from trees or dust blowing in the wind.
When adding movement to your landscape, it’s important to keep it subtle and realistic. Adding too much movement can make a scene feel chaotic and distracting.
Add Detail and Texture
Adding realistic textures to your landscape can make it feel more alive and believable. Use high-quality textures for elements such as rocks, grass, and trees. Additionally, adding small details such as fallen leaves, pebbles, or debris can make a big difference in the overall look of your scene.
When adding textures, it’s important to pay attention to the scale and placement of objects in your scene. For example, rocks and boulders should be scaled appropriately to the size of the surrounding environment, and grass should be placed in a natural pattern to avoid looking too uniform.
Use Color Theory
Colors can play a significant role in the mood of your landscape. Use warm colors such as oranges and yellows for a sunny and inviting scene, or cool colors such as blues and purples for a more calming and serene atmosphere.
Additionally, consider using complementary colors to create contrast and interest in your scene. For example, a blue sky can be complemented with orange or yellow foliage to create a striking contrast.
Maintain a Large Library
What is the quickest way to create a real-life scene? The answer is absolutely to have a large content library. A complete library of nature assets allows you to instantly use the objects to create lifelike landscape. What you need to do is to simply find and add the ready-to-use model from the library.
Also, to have a large library increases flexibility during the 3D rendering process. This particularly means you are able to experiment with different options and make adjustments as needed.
Pay Attention to Scale and Proportion
To create a believable landscape, it’s important to pay attention to scale and proportion. This means ensuring that the size and placement of objects in your scene are realistic and consistent with real-world environments.
For example, trees should be scaled appropriately to the size of the surrounding environment, and hills and mountains should be scaled to create a sense of depth and perspective. Additionally, pay attention to the placement of objects in your scene. For example, rocks and boulders should be placed in a natural pattern to avoid looking too uniform.
Use Environmental Effects
Environmental effects such as fog, haze, and atmospheric distortion can add a sense of depth and atmosphere to your landscape. These effects can be used to create a more realistic and immersive environment, especially when combined with dynamic lighting and movement.
When using environmental effects, it’s important to keep them subtle and realistic. Overuse of effects can make a scene feel artificial and distracting.
Consider the Story of Your Landscape
Finally, when creating a landscape, consider the story that you want to tell. What is the purpose of the landscape in your scene? Is it a peaceful retreat, a dangerous wilderness, or a bustling cityscape?
By considering the story of your landscape, you can create a more immersive and engaging environment that adds depth and meaning to your scene.
In summary, creating a believable and immersive landscape is essential to creating a successful 3D render. By using dynamic lighting, movement, texture, color theory, scale and proportion, environmental effects, and storytelling, you can create a landscape that feels alive and engaging. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating stunning and realistic landscape renders that captivate and inspire.
Having difficulties creating realistic landscape renders? Looking for realistic 3D landscape renders for your project? Consult our project manager now, and our photorealistic 3D rendering services will take your project to next level!
These beautiful images are high-rise architectural rendering we created for a stunning proposal in Nigeria. Awe-inspiring, wouldn’t you say?
Located in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, Tower of Africa, or TOA is envisioned as a lifestyle hub. This structure will foster a unique culture and community, bringing together people to exchange cultural ideas and values.
It is not true to say we didn’t enjoy creating 3D renderings for this head-turning project. This is not only an incredible inspiration for our 3D team, also a fun and learning experience for both our client and us. Now, let’s take a tour to the making of TOA. In this article, you’ll see how we created the 3D model and incorporated it into the photo. You’ll also learn about the architectural visualization process of a large and complicated project. Are you ready? Let’s dive!
Tower of Africa
Everything starts from the above concept. The architect arranges five organically-shaped volumes to form the structure. And these volumes emulate Abuja’s rock formations, with a similar texture and essence. Meantime, TOA has a biophilic design. This design connects the tower more closely to nature. To achieve this, the architect smartly combines elements such as natural lighting, natural landscaping and other green elements.
Green section plan
Lighting section plan
Practically, this mixed-use project is appealing to a broad range of people. It features cultural and conference centers, retail spaces, commercial areas, and unique recreational facilities. Also the building has a distinctive market hall and exclusive dining options. The development includes three skyscrapers, one of which is Africa’s tallest at 566 meters above ground level. High-end office spaces, luxury hotels and hotel residences with full amenities, as well as top-quality residential units are included in the plan.
In all, it is a sleek and futuristic high-rise tower development. And the 3D rendering task was to demonstrate the state-of-the-art skyscrapers as well as the structure details in accurate and appealing surrounding context.
High-rise Rendering Workflow
#Stage 1. The Brief and Scope of Work
Using architectural visualization as the tool to demonstrate the unbuilt structure is not a secret in architectural industry. But before that, there should be a clear and complete brief. The design team shared us the following information:
A 3D massing model
This undetailed model provides necessary information of the three towers. This includes the height of each tower and the podium sections. It is not ready to use of course, because our 3D modeler would take care of it with the help of other CAD design plans.
The CAD plans
The CAD drawings helped us to understand the design details of the structure. With the help of them, our 3D modeler were able to build a proper 3D model.
High-resolution site photos are great help with full information. On one hand, they provide an immersive experience to understand the site. On the other hand, 3D artists can use high-res photos as a way for photomontage to get 100% accurate surrounding context for project.
Before a project starts, our professional project manager always select some of our works to share with the client. These works somehow have the similar design or client’s desired mood or view. For TOA, we shared some commercial high-rises that have beautiful sleek glass façade. As a result, our client pointed out some of the renders to use as references for TOA. They like the mood, the material, the overall atmosphere, or the camera angle.
Other design details
To complete the design, the architect sent us some supporting information. As you can see, they enrich the design details such as section schedule, façade design plan, and monorail train reference.
Scope of work
Our client were looking at the following views:
An aerial view. A master plan view to incorporate the project with the surrounding environment.
Two southwest views. A same southwest view to show elevation in both day and night mood.
A semi-aerial close-up view. This is a night view to show specifically the middle of the tower.
One street level view. Focusing on the entrance and podium, the eye-level view has a vibrant shopping atmosphere.
Another bird’s eye view of our suggestion.
#Stage 2: Creating 3D Model
With all information at hand, our 3D team started building the 3D model. In fact, it was actually a refinement of the current massing model. This included inputting the model into 3ds Max, adding details based on the CAD plans, and setting camera angles.
After the 3D model was ready, we random got some screenshots to share with our client. In the first round, our client needed to check the details of the model.
Having viewed the drafts, the designer asked us to:
Remove all mullion that are over all the handrails;
Set back handrails for 40cm to the back away from the curtain wall;
Add mullions and pivoting doors on the podium;
Add floor and border detail on terrace.
Our 3D artists made corresponding adjustments. This time, we shared the camera angles with adjusted 3D model. So, in this round, the architect needs to confirm both the model and the views. Luckily, the designer was pleased with the outcome. Just after another round of camera view adjustment, the final 3D models are confirmed!
#Stage 3: Applying Materials, Textures, Lighting and Post-production
Once the camera angles and 3D model were confirmed, our 3D artists proceeded to color the scenes. By doing this, the 3D specialists needed to apply materials on the model, setting lighting, and post-produce them to refine details.
To support our client’s vision, which is to create a healthy environment for people, we strive on the landscape details. Since our client was not able to provide high-res drone photos for photomontage, we had to use the images from Google Earth. There was a compromise on resolution. However, this was the best way we could help our client. Apart from this, we pay attention to the balance between the Google image and the building. Only when the colors and atmosphere are consistent that we can create a good render.
The other thing we did was to create a dynamic commercial mood by adding activities. This included people shopping, cars passing by, people playing on plaza, and other activities. After finishing all these, we shared the colored drafts to the architect. Below are the drafts we shared:
Our client replied with comments such as:
Delete the greenery from top 4 platforms on all towers;
Light up the context to balance the composition in one of the views;
Add more cars on loading area;
Remove some of the furniture in the podium in one of the views.
When we made all the requested adjustments, the designer was pleased with the outcome and said they’re ready for usage. This means we could output the high-res final images! Please check out the final delivery with 8k renders!
As we bring our case study of TOA to a close, we cannot help but express our deep appreciation for the incredible design crafted by our esteemed client. Their unwavering commitment to delivering a tower that not only stands tall but also embodies the spirit of Africa inspired us at AIMIR to push the boundaries of what’s possible in 3D visualization. Our talented team worked tirelessly to capture every nuance of the design and present it in the most vivid and engaging way possible. It was a privilege to work with such a talented team and bring their vision to life through our architectural visualization services. And we are excited about the prospect of seeing their vision come to fruition.
If you desire to present your architectural project in the most impressive way possible, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for our exceptional 3D rendering services. Our photorealistic visuals will leave a lasting impression on your audience!
A’Raya Complex is a mixed-use development located in the Ministries District of Muscat, Oman. Developed by the government-owned company ASAAS, the complex offers a unique combination of amenities and services, including a 3-star hotel, a shopping center, and the new headquarters of the Royal Academy of Management. This amazing structure is designed to enhance the area’s appeal as a destination for business and leisure, providing a range of facilities and services for visitors and locals alike. The exterior design of the complex features modern architecture and striking contemporary elements, creating a visually stunning landmark in the heart of Muscat.
Our team worked closely with the developers at ASAAS to bring their vision to life, creating a series of stunning 3D renders that captured the essence of the A’raya Complex. From the sleek modern lines of the hotel and shopping center to the striking design of the Royal Academy of Management’s new headquarters, our 3D visualization allowed the developers to showcase the project’s full potential and gain the necessary approvals to move forward with construction.
Now, let’s discover this groundbreaking project which we did in 2020 and the story behind its 3D rendering process.
Situated in one of the most prominent location in Muscat, A’Raya Complex has easy access to the main road and surrounded by the Ministries area. The complex comprises three main sections: a 3-star hotel, a shopping center, and the new headquarters of the Royal Academy of Management.
The hotel is operated by Deutsche Hospitality under the InterCity brand, and offers a range of amenities and services to guests, including comfortable accommodations, conference facilities, and dining options. And the shopping center is designed to cater to the needs of the local community, with a variety of retail outlets and dining options. The center is located on the ground floor of the complex, with easy access from the main road, and offers a range of shopping experiences for visitors. At last, the new headquarters of the Royal Academy of Management is another key feature of the A’Raya Complex. The academy is dedicated to providing world-class management education and training to students and professionals, and the new facility will provide state-of-the-art classrooms, lecture halls, and other facilities to support their mission.
As to the design, the vision is to create a destination where Omanis will eager to go and spend time in order to not only satisfy their retail needs but also to enjoy leisure time and be entertained. In order to achieve this, the architect creates an experience akin to being in a lush green Oasis but with a tempered climate below a shaded canopy. The canopy sits above the retail courtyard is an iconic architectural statement as well as a highly functional intervention for climatic environmental control.
A’Raya & 3D Rendering Services
The A’raya Complex is a true testament to the power of 3D visualization in the architectural industry. By leveraging cutting-edge technology and advanced design techniques, we were able to create photorealistic representation of the complex that helped to inspire and engage stakeholders, investors, and the wider community. We are proud to have played a role in the development of this landmark project, and we look forward to seeing the A’raya Complex become a shining example of Oman’s growing real estate sector.
Now, we will separate the process of making 3D renders for A’Raya one by one.
Kick-off Meeting and the Brief
There is not always a kick-off meeting before a 3D architectural rendering project start. The purpose of a kick-off meeting is to bring both parties together and establish a shared understanding of the project goals, timelines, expectations, and deliverables. As long as the above aspects are clear to both sides, there is no need to have an actual meeting.
For this project, ASSAS has prepared various information about this project. And in the meeting, they were presented one by one to communicate their vision and requirements. Meanwhile, our 3D team offered suggestions and recommendations based on our expertise. At the same time, any concerns and questions were raised to ensure the final delivery meet our client’s needs and expectations.
In all, we know about A’Raya before the production started in the following aspects:
A project presentation slides. In the slides, we learnt the vision of the project, including the cultural background, location, the design, the surrounding environment, and other aspects regarding the project.
A Revit model. Although the model was not completed, it still gave our team a general idea of the project.
Design plans. Including site plans, elevations, floor plans, landscape plans, section plans. These design plans are essential tools for our 3D team to understand the project more deeply.
Other design details. Such as façade lighting designs, exterior envelope design, and material board.
Scope of the work. ASSAS were looking for a series of renders and an animation to present this project. In the initial stage, we agreed to create 13 still images and a one-and half-minute animation.
Once we’ve organized the project information, the next stage was around the corner. We’ll divide the process into 3D still images and 3D animation.
3D Renders of A’Raya
#Stage 1: 3D Modeling
Although Revit has basic rendering capabilities, using professional rendering software like Autodesk 3ds Max can offer more advanced and flexible rendering options. 3ds Max supports advanced rendering techniques such as global illumination, caustics, volumetric lighting, and complex material creation. These tools can create more realistic and detailed visual effects. For this reason, our 3D modeler input the Revit model into 3ds Max. This means we’ll need to take care the model again in 3ds Max.
The other thing to pay attention to is to check for errors. Importing a Revit model may result in messy lines, overlapping geometry, missing materials or other issues. Here is when our 3D modeler comes to stage. The 3D model drafts we shared are as below:
Of course, our client had their opinions on the model, including some minor design changes. They came back with some comments, including:
Add MEP equipment for a substation;
Update some of the roof design;
Add louvers to the hotel windows;
Adjust some fences.
Their comments are clear, with references attached. This greatly helped our 3D artists to deliver their vision and exceed their expectation. After some corrections, it was time to move to next stage.
#Stage 2: Materials, Textures, Lighting and Post-production
In some 3D rendering projects, this stage is usually divided into several steps. The reason to do this is to guarantee that each stage is on the right track. For example, we share texture drafts to confirm with clients the materials are all accurate and realistic. However, for ASSAS, we share the drafts with materials, lighting, and even post-production. This is because we’ve collaborated many times in the past years and our 3D team know their tastes. This makes the 3D rendering process easier.
This structure uses reinforced concrete frame and slabs cast in-situ with hollow concrete block infill, textured plaster rendering of façades. As for the canopy, which is an iconic architectural statement as well as a highly functional intervention for climatic environmental control, has two overlapping geometric patterns. These features would be perfected presented with our 3D renders with realistic material and smart lighting.
The First Round Drafts
Thus, our 3D artists created realistic scenes for this future structure and shared with our client. The first round of colored drafts are as below:
ASSAS team replied with their comments for these views. In general, there were some adjustments they hoped to do:
Change the color contrast for the canopy in aerial views;
Add water fountain;
Add digital screens in the front of the entrance;
Make surrounding buildings slightly lighter;
Add Intercity logo and Oman national flags;
Lit up some of the inner spaces;
Try different sky with more dramatic effect;
More people shopping in the shopping spaces.
After correcting all views, we shared the updated views again. This time, only a couple of comments await.
The Second Round Drafts
This time, we’re asked to make some minor adjustments on the signage and landscape, namely:
Make Omani flag stand out more;
Use reverse colors for InterCity flag;
Remove all car plate numbers;
Add some local taxis and public transport. References were provided.
The 3D specialists refined all the requested corrections. Our client approved them and were ready to get the final results!
Next, the 3D artists rendered all views in 6k and 7k resolution to get the best-possible results.
#Stage 3: Final Delivery
To be honest, a couple of the images were delivered during the project process because our client needed them to report urgently. But here we’ve collected all 13 views for your enjoyment.
To maximize the efficiency, our art direct started the project with a 3D still image team and a 3D animation team. Two teams work simultaneously and interactively to achieve the best result. The primary challenge was to showcase both the exterior and interior features of this mixed-use in an engaging and immersive way. And our object was to demonstrate the structure’s modern design, the lively atmosphere of retail space, and the welcoming atmosphere of the building as a whole.
To start, we sorted the camera path and story board our client wanted. The ideal fly-through would:
Start from Muscat city level, which is a huge aerial view;
Introduce master plan with sea background and surrounding context;
Approach project from near existing roundabout;
Enter the premises from the main retail entrance gate;
Introduce the inner spaces including central plaza basement and retails;
Followed by the hotel experience including arriving area, lobby, restaurants, meeting rooms, swimming pool, ballroom and guestrooms;
Showcase the office with lobby, public spaces, and rooms;
Finally end with central plaza and zoom out the view.
Our 3D animation team was excited to see such a professional camera path, let along attached references of story boards. However, to conclude all the above contents in 90 seconds was quite challenging. Therefore, the team started immediately to see how it went.
#Stage 1: 3D Model Refinement
The 3D model for still images were not good enough for animation. To be specific, the 3D model for an architectural animation should be perfect from all perspectives. As a result, our 3D modeler started to refine the model, especially the ones could not be seen in the still images.
After the model was ready, our 3D animator put the model in the scene and started to compose the fly-through draft.
#Stage 2: Camera Path Confirmation
What our 3D animator did was basically build the structure for this animation. This structure would strictly follow the camera path our client shared. In this stage, the building in the scene was still white model. Thus, the aim of this stage was to confirm the camera path only.
When doing this, our team had confronted with the biggest challenge in this project: the time duration was not enough to show all. Per our client, there were indeed tons of contents to show in this animation. After an internal team meeting between the 3D animators, art director, and project manager, we decided to tell our client about this. Of course, we came up with our suggestion as well. That was, to extend the animation to 120 seconds.
At last, the proposal was accepted. By skipping a couple of scenes, we rearranged the animation with smoothing and pleasant pace.
#Stage 3: Key Frames
Once the camera path was confirmed, the whole team proceeded with coloring the scene. This included applying textures, colors, setting lighting, and add people, cars and other objects. When finishing these steps, some key frames would be screenshot and shared with clients to confirm. This is a crucial part of the whole 3D animation process.
#Stage 4: Rendering, Motion Graphics, Post-production and Final Delivery
After two review rounds, the rendered scenes were all good to go. There was not much motion graphics in this animation because it is a peopleless fly-through that aims to demonstrate the building only.
Now, let’s enjoy this incredible structure in this 3D animation!
AIMIR is more than excited to work with ASSAS to create visuals for this incredible project. Here is the official site for A’Raya: http://araya.om/ and the mixed-use was officially opened on November 2022. Real estate professionals often use 3D rendering services before construction begins. They can get a more accurate and realistic representation of what the project will look like when finishing. At the same time, 3D visuals help to identify potential issues or design flaws early which in turn saves time and money.