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Thread: Improving visualization skills

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Aki Hirvikangas
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    Default Improving visualization skills

    Hi,

    I am an Architect and doing occasionally visualizations, but I'm not gratified to the results. They are ok, but requires tons of photoshopping. Renderings is mostly just a 3D-geometry and some lighting and everything else is made in PS. I want to learn to make better renderings, but I'm not sure what is worth of learning.

    I use Archicad to model everything. That's my basic tool. I have done renderings with cinerender but there is some issues with that. Vegetation is maybe the biggest. I haven't solved how to get realistic vegetations to the renderings with AC and cinerender. Maybe it's just not possible?

    So the first question is, should I learn to use some other 3d-modeling software? I know that 3ds max is almost a standard in architectural visualization, but I have a mac and Cinema4d seems the best solution for that. Blender is also tempting because it's free, but is it easy to import archicad model to Blender? And are there available some 3rd party vegetations for that?

    Is it necessary to buy and learn Cinema and maybe external renderer to get next level in visualizations? I know that learning is slow, but I want to do it. I just need to know which direction should I go?

    So what do you guys recommend to start doing?
    ditakrol likes this.

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    Senior Member digitalputty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improving visualization skills

    First thing I would do is download a trial of Cinema4D. This way, you can see if the software is for you. Also, there is a Mac version of SketchUp (https://help.sketchup.com/en/article/36208). Both Cinema4D and SketchUp are suitable tools for modeling, and setting up a scene. Once you feel comfortable modeling, try out VRay and Corona for materials, lighting and rendering.

    Just take baby steps and don't rush and get frustrated. Learning 3D visualization is a long process... and everything fits together to make a nice render in the end.

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    Default Re: Improving visualization skills

    Thanks a lot for the advices!

    Yeah, I am conscious that I'm stepping to the path that has no end. I already have a student version of C4D in my personal computer and I have messed around little bit with that. And I have also used SketchUp moderately lot, not to visualizations but the modeling is quite familiar.

    But because I always have a very accurate model already in Archicad, I hope that I could use that to the visualization as much as possible. So one of the most important things is the easy communication with Archicad. Local reseller of AC has told that the integration between AC and C4D is very easy but maybe I have to try how it works for me.

    Is there a demo version of V-ray for C4D available somewhere?

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    Default Re: Improving visualization skills

    As far as i know, since Archicad uses the cinerender engine - and that is essentially the c4d render engine, both the geometry and the material setup you have in Archicad should be easily ported to c4d. When in c4d you could easily add vegetation and more detailed models of furniture and whatnot to spice up your renderings (archicad does not really have any detailed models, and if you try to import detailed 3ds files your model usually gets pretty slow pretty fast.)

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    Member lewisgarrison's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improving visualization skills

    Or if you want to keep going with the Photoshop route i'd check out the work flow Alex Hogrefe uses:
    https://visualizingarchitecture.com/
    Or Arqui9:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBz...i-Z5-x_svnZV1w

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    Default Re: Improving visualization skills

    Maybe I'll going to start getting familiar with C4D. Another important feature is that it's possible to save layered render from C4D. Everything from Cinerender is always flatted so the post-production is much harder.

    Thanks for the Photoshop links, those are amazing and improving Photoshop-skills is definitely important too.

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    Junior Member bertabob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Improving visualization skills

    Quote Originally Posted by akihirvikangas View Post
    Hi,

    I am an Architect and doing occasionally visualizations, but I'm not gratified to the results. They are ok, but requires tons of photoshopping. Renderings is mostly just a 3D-geometry and some lighting and everything else is made in PS. I want to learn to make better renderings, but I'm not sure what is worth of learning.

    I use Archicad to model everything. That's my basic tool. I have done renderings with cinerender but there is some issues with that. Vegetation is maybe the biggest. I haven't solved how to get realistic vegetations to the renderings with AC and cinerender. Maybe it's just not possible?

    So the first question is, should I learn to use some other 3d-modeling software? I know that 3ds max is almost a standard in architectural visualization, but I have a mac and Cinema4d seems the best solution for that. Blender is also tempting because it's free, but is it easy to import archicad model to Blender? And are there available some 3rd party vegetations for that?

    Is it necessary to buy and learn Cinema and maybe external renderer to get next level in visualizations? I know that learning is slow, but I want to do it. I just need to know which direction should I go?

    So what do you guys recommend to start doing?
    Hi akihirvikangas,

    I can recommend C4D since the connection is very good with ArchiCAD.
    You have the possibility to update your model in Cinema if you have to export a new version of the same model from ArchiCAD later on. Just open the cinema scene in C4D you already adjusted with better materials for your first AC model, then
    go to File menu > Merge in C4D. It will open the Update Merge dialog where you can choose which data you want to update (Geometry / Lights etc.)
    If you have the Cinema 4D Exchange ArchiCAD Add-on you can bring in from Cinema to ArchiCAD some complex geometry which is hard to model in AC :
    Go to File menu > Interoperability > CINEMA 4D > "create new element in C4D " in AC. This will bring the live connection active and open C4D in parallel. You can send back the geometry from C4D to AC from file menu.
    Unfortunately the polygon count AC can handle us fairly limited though.

    Cinema 4D is easy to learn so I have no doubt you will enjoy the learning phase in the end!
    I'm afraid that you can't install any plugin for your Student version but there are 2 different Student versions andI don't know which one do you have.


    https://kallai.net

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Improving visualization skills

    I have the most limited free educational version. Just because I still happen to have a valid student card and I think it's easier to start learning with educational version than just 30 day trial. But the absence of plugins might be a problem. Maybe I have to buy expanded edu-version. At some point I can ask to buy the full versio to my work, if it look like that results are more than just time consumption. Unfortunately that's the reality. Better visualizations are desirable but they have to be done in same amount of time.. That's actually the reason why I want to learn to make better renderings, so I can use the time of post-production more efficiently. Now I use vast of time to mask and replace almost every material and trying to make reflections look realistic.

  9. #9
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    Aki Hirvikangas
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    Default Re: Improving visualization skills

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/j2dyo2edh...-5_-tGV9a?dl=0

    Here are some of my visualizations from recent years. I can see now that there is lots of mistakes and awkwardness, but what's done is done.. I've learned something new with every image i've made. I've struggled a lot to achieve a realistic color scheme and some times trying to hide it with "artistic" colouring which actually looks just odd. But it's very easy to get blind to own work.

    Now I have learned from Arqui9's tutorials why it's essential to keep some reference photographs beside all the time, to remind of what the reality looks like.
    bertabob likes this.

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