Photorealistic renderings today are the standard. They can be done quickly, cheaply, and clients expect them. But are these renderings truly accomplishing what they set out to do? Those on the forefront of new 3D design techniques argue that, as an industry, we’ve gotten stuck on conveying information, when what we should really bring to the table is emotion. Now that the playing field has evened in terms of technological capability and hyper-realism, what’s the next step? By introducing an emotional layer and creating a sense of place, renderings can provide even more value to a project, firm, client, and community.
All architectural visualization can be categorized as either “informative” or “emotional.” While informative might include construction documents and BIM models, on the emotional side are the napkin sketches and the abstract paintings meant to convey a building’s concept and experiential qualities. Both have distinct purposes: you wouldn’t present a construction detail to sway public opinion any more than you’d hand a contractor ink-covered napkins. Photorealistic rendering, however, began to blur the line and continues to do so more and more as designers find new ways to inject emotion into the final product.
Visualization firm Ten Over Media borrows techniques from the world of film to make their renderings and marketing videos more relatable to viewers. By introducing “lifestyle details” (which may have no inherent bearing on the architectural design itself), such as ambient sounds, a view of a sunset, or simply a camera resting on a chair, they’ve found significantly more engagement from their audience. The art of using the architecture as a “set” rather than the star of the show gives people more of a connection to what life would look like in that space.
Using the same approach of conveying emotion, Dutch architect Paul Spaltman was able to go beyond the connection with an individual user and instead used rendering to draw in collaborators and the entire community for a project in Suriname. Through his visuals, the community was able to get a sense of their shared endeavor, “They could see that the project wasn’t just a dream, but one step further,” wrote Spaltman. Rather than being the final product in themselves, these types of renderings are instead used as a tool and a foundation on which to build other opportunities.
For more information, read the full article on The Architectural Review’s website.