3 stunning architectural visualisation animations

Movies get the most attention when it comes to animation. But some of the most exciting and imaginative work these days can be spotted in the world of architectural vizualization. And here are three great examples: the winner and runners-up respectively of the Best arch-viz animation category last year's CG Awards.

This year's awards – which honour both software and the artists that use it – are now open for nominations (details here), so you can nominate your favourites today at thecgawards.com.

In the meantime, here are the arch-viz animations you loved the most last time around (here's more on archviz if you'd like to know more).

01. Avivi Smart Kitchen (OVO Wroclaw and DoubleTree)

There is a grace and majesty to Studio Aiko's animation for the OVO Wroclaw Project – a bold nine-storey multifunctional building whose construction began in April 2014 – and its Hilton DoubleTree five-star international hotel, whose intriguing motto is "business without a tie".

The main concept of the animation was to show the building in all natural light conditions, from sunrise through to sunset. To achieve this, Studio Aiko adopted a time-lapse approach, using 3ds Max and V-Ray to recreate the changing lighting conditions. Daylight was simulated using VRaySun, while the lights in the penthouse's night scene are standard VRayLights. The people in the exterior scenes were created using an(i)ma, AXYZ design's crowd animation system.

With the rainy exterior shots helping to heighten the feelings of comfort and security inside the hotel – and the reflections from the wet road adding interesting extra visual elements – the result is a stylish, photorealistic animation that perfectly serves the client brief.

02. Serenity

There is a real sweeping delicacy to Serenity, the first non-commissioned CG animation from Hamburg's on3studio. In addition to the animation, the studio designed the architecture, interior and landscape part of the project, with all of the rendering and post-production done in-house.

According to CEOs Zsolt Szeibert and Nikolaus Türk, the aim was for the viewer take the place of the 'missing' main character – the inhabitant – in the apartment on an emotional level.

03. 1 Minute of Bilbao

"An unusual take on the 'museum tour' concept," said DreamWorks Animation's Shelley Page in her judging notes for 1 Minute of Bilbao. Xoio's wry short – a side project inspired by the work of artist and director Alex Roman – divides its focus between Guggenheim Bilbao's exhibits and the legendary building itself.

As Xoio's founder and CEO Peter Stulz comments: "The Guggenheim does a fantastic job in providing the right environment for great art through form, space and material. If we managed to translate this in our animation, I guess that makes our work a little different. It was a challenge to render the shiny panels of the museum."

The CG Awards 2015

The CG Awards 2015 recognises the work of the entire industry: from software and hardware to artists and technicians. This year's awards are now open for nominations, so you can put forward your candidates right now. Just visit thecgawards.com and nominate in one of the 17 categories.

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