3D Rendering for Secoya Apartment in San Diego, California: Case Study
3D rendering can be very helpful in visualizing and designing the exterior of a building project. It allows architects, designers, and developers to create a realistic, computer-generated image of the building’s exterior design before construction begins. Using 3D rendering, different design options can be explored and compared in terms of aesthetics, functionality, and feasibility. It can help identify potential design flaws, allowing for adjustments to be made before construction begins. Additionally, architectural visualization can be used to create visual representations of the building’s exterior design for presentations to stakeholders, investors, and potential buyers.
Ryan from Murfey Company is planning to build an 8-story apartment on Fifth Avenue, San Diego, California, USA. Thus, to ensure the building’s exterior design meets the desired aesthetic and functional goals while also addressing any practical considerations such as zoning regulations and building codes, AIMIR created three exterior renders for this apartment. Now, let’s take a tour to see the process of visualizing this structure.
3D Rendering Process for Secoya Apartment
#Stage 1: Briefing
Secoya apartment is a new way of living. It is an iconic, 8-story, 100 unit community of modern apartment homes located less than one block from Balboa Park. On the ground floor, retail and amenity spaces provide convenience living for all residence. Despite its density of over 400 units per acre, Secoya contains a variety of common areas for residents to enjoy including a landscaped courtyard, spa, and rooftop terrace.
Requested by Ryan, we needed to create three renders for this apartment. They are:
- A street view of the overall building. Should be the same as the render draft our client did before;
- A view looking at the building heading north on Fifth Ave;
- A view heading west on Redwood Street.
That’s basically a render package to demonstrate the structure from different angles.
At the same time, more information were provided to help our 3D team understand this structure more. We’ve received:
- A SketchUp model.
- The site plan. This is to help get an overall idea of the site, including the location, property boundaries, easements, and landscaping arrangement.
- Mood references. Ryan typically listed the atmosphere he wanted for each of the images. He described clearly the time, season, sky, lights, and other activities in the images.
- Floor plans. They provide detailed drawings that show the layout of this apartment. In this way, we know the arrangement and dimensions of rooms, windows, and other features.
- Elevations. These exterior views are clear visual representations of the building appearance design.
- Landscape plan. Especially, Ryan shared the plant schedule that he emphasized on some of the plants to be showed in the images.
#Stage 2: 3D Modeling
The SketchUp model had elevated the modeling process a lot. Although it cannot be used directly, we saved time creating the model. So, what we did was to input the model into 3ds Max, and fine-tune it. During the process, our 3D modeler needed to remake the geometry, such as a missing face or flipped normal. Anyway, a SketchUp model saves time in 3D modeling process.
Because there are some materials attached in the original model, the 3D model drafts are like this:
Ryan and his team responded fast on the model drafts. In particular, they mentioned the balcony railings. Actually, they are exquisitely designed to fit the apartment. As a result, Ryan shared the balcony handrail design and commented on the drafts:
- They’d like to update the mural design. So remove the current mural and smooth the white stucco;
- Update the vertical mullions aligning to the steps in the ceiling on the storefront;
- Make screens less transparent.
After updating the new model, the next step we would add colors on the structure.
#Stage 3: Applying Materials and Textures, Lighting, and Post-production
As an all-concrete structure, this apartment is more than that. Our 3D artists strictly followed our client’s design concept, and selected the matching materials. In addition, materials and textures stage is a crucial part of the 3D rendering process, as it can greatly impact the final look and feel of the 3D scene.
After learning the instructions about the mood and activities Ryan shared in the first place, our 3D artists selected the proper sky for each image. Furthermore, 3D specialists adjusted the lighting based on the sky, and added people, cars, and activities in each scene.
At last, the colored drafts were here as below:
When receiving these drafts, Ryan commented on some detailed parts such as the lightings and plants. In all, he wanted to:
- Relocate some of the balcony lights, and remove some at the same time;
- Reduce the motion blur of the cars in foreground;
- Thin out one of the Jacaranda trees and make it able to see more through;
- Differentiate the plants on the balcony.
As a consequence, our 3D specialists modified these details and Ryan agreed to move forward and get the final rendered images! Here are the final 3D renders for Secoya Apartment:
The Secoya Apartment finished construction and open to home buyers in October 2022. Before it’s complete, Ryan and the marketing team use the renders for advertising this apartment. Now, when we see the structure’s photos, we’re surprised by the similarity of the photos and the renderings. The photos are here:
It was sheer pleasure working with Ryan and his team. Although they have changed the design during the process, the communication was efficient and clear. Firstly, the notes on drafts are super clear and consistent. They’re experts in giving comments. Secondly, the briefing is excellent. All types of materials are provided at their convinence. At last, they know how to save time in 3D rendering process. For example, they provided balcony railing design files to articulate this complicated part. Also, when they wanted to update the plan, they only sent the updated part instead of the whole model. This greatly saved time in the process, and brought results that makes both sides happy.
Want to sell your property faster? Thinking about hiring a professional 3D team for visualizing your project? Talk to our project manager now and get a free quote for your project. AIMIR is always here delivering head-turning 3D architectural visuals for the world.