Creating architectural illustrations
Creating realistic architectural illustrations using CGI techniques relies on interpretation and creative skills. Our architectural CGI artists combine technical know-how with visual creativity.
Working with a variety of companies in the housing, construction and civil engineering industries, over the past few years we have seen increasing demand for computer generated images (CGIs) for a wide variety of purposes, including product visualisation, packaging design, installation instructions and property presentations.
Certainly, one of the most popular applications of CGI related technology has been in the creation of artist’s impressions of new housing and property developments, also known as architectural illustrations or architectural CGI, where CGI can be used to create internal and external views of properties and houses that have yet to be built.
Previously the domain of specialist, talented artists, house and property illustrations would have been created using traditional art techniques to create the desired finished result; airbrush, charcoal, pastels, water colours, etc. would have been employed to present the properties in a way that reflected the developer’s vision and met the promotional objectives.
Today, computers have taken over the role of the traditional artist’s media. However, whilst the process has become a little more technical, the quality of the finished result still relies heavily on the creative skills, imagination and vision of the architectural CGI artist. The software merely provides the artist with the means by which to achieve the finished architectural illustration.
As with all commercial creative work, the secret to success is in making sure that the client’s brief is as accurate and comprehensive as possible.
Sometimes the artist will be lucky enough to have architectural plans from which to create the technical aspects of the building, together with specifications for the materials and finishes that are to be used. In such circumstances, creating the CGI is a relatively straightforward process.
In other situations, the brief might be as vague as ‘we need a railway station with a car park, station building, platform and track’. In which case, the artist (or in our case, account executive) needs to use their knowledge and experience to extract as much detail from the client as possible in order to narrow down the brief and make sure that the first ‘wire frames’ or sketches are as accurate as possible.
Often further research is needed to obtain references for elements of the illustration. For example, photographs of station buildings might be obtained so that the client can choose a building type they prefer.
The computer generated imaging systems allow a great deal of versatility in the way in which the final architectural illustration is produced; the finish can be anything from rough sketch to photo-realistic, can incorporate a variety of finishes, can be viewed from any angle and can have lighting effects applied to create day, night, full sunshine, overcast, etc. All to meet the needs of the client.
CGIs can also be incorporated in animations and fly-throughs, with videos created for a wide variety of presentations. The possibilities are endless.