How to mix photoreal and conceptual renders

Archviz artist Leandro Silva explain how to combine photorealism with conceptual 3D.

Axis Viana Hotel is a personal project by my archviz company LS • ROOM, based on the amazing photography by Nelson Garrido of an existing building created by VHM in Viana do Castelo, Portugal.

When conceptualising a project like this you have to consider several issues. First, we considered the two distinct lines of approach we intended to explore: photorealistic and conceptual.

We wanted to reach a high level of photorealism, getting the most precise and accurate result possible, in a way that's difficult to distinguish between the 3D image and reality itself. We also wanted to reinterpret the same building and transport it to a new atmosphere focused in a personal vision, in a post-apocalyptic future.

Starting point

"The level of detail was intense," says Silva

Through mixing conceptual and photorealistic techniques, the starting point was the building. To recreate the building faithfully, the level of detail was intense – there was a huge difference between the first raw image and the end one. The concept is not so focused in details, but retains a more flexible and experimental output. The environment work was fairly minimal as the scenario didn't demand much detail.

I believe that more than a series of stages in the process, the workflow should focus mainly in the idea and concept of the work. At the same time, choosing proper techniques, design and tools is crucial as it determines the final image and pace of the work.

"The workflow should focus mainly in the idea and concept of the work," Silva comments

I refuse to approach different projects equally, keeping as much flexibility as possible throughout the process. This helps me develop and makes new projects a challenge.

It's nice to learn new things that push your work quality further, though it's not always easy knowing where we want to go – everything has to make sense and mean something, from initial planning to post-production.

Words: Leandro Silva

Leandro is co-founder of arch.viz studio LS • ROOM. This is a revised version of an article in the current issue of 3D World magazine – get your copy today!

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