This article will explain the process I went through to create architectural marketing materials for a residential apartment block in my hometown of Curitiba, Brazil. I'll talk you through how I used Enscape’s real-time rendering tool to help test design ideas, show the architect and contractor various facade and material options, and create beautiful renders.
For those of you know don’t know me, I’m Pablo Correa. I'm a qualified architect and 3D artist who works with 3D renderings, architectural presentations, and I teach other architects how to use SketchUp and Enscape to improve their renderings.
Model preparation with the help of real-time rendering
At the start of this project, I agreed with the contractor that I would create interior and exterior renderings of the project to help complement the artistic spirit of the building.
One of the initial premises about the project was that some facade details were still under development, and the interior of the apartments only had a layout plan. Therefore, when preparing the model for the renders, it was necessary to choose materials, furniture, and decoration, among other details to make the beautiful images that would attract future buyers. This required many test images to be created, and so Enscape's rendering speed was perfect for this process.
After a few more meetings, we started the execution. With the plans drawn in AutoCAD, we converted them into 3D using SketchUp. At this initial modeling point, the number of construction elements was quite large and the organization of layers was essential. We usually organize the 3D construction of the building by constructive elements like: slabs, beams, pillars, frames, etc. Interior elements we usually classify by furniture, decoration, vegetation, lighting, and so on.
At this stage of the work, we usually make renderings in white mode, so we can show the contractor how the process is going. We also start to study natural lighting and how it adapts to each environment, the direction of the sun, the composition with shadows, and other details.
Initial white rendering. We present white renderings to show the modeling progress and to study the lighting.
Using real-time rendering to rapidly test ideas
For this project, Enscape's rendering speed was fundamental in helping the architect and contractor to decide which materials and construction elements to use.
In the past, when we didn't use a real time renderer, it took a long time to create our renderings. It wasn't productive to create many versions of a building's facade, for example, with different material options like we did in the image below. But with Enscape, there is no such problem, and so we now have the ability to quickly test design ideas and visualize all requested versions. This means that our job for this particular project was not just to create renderings, but to be part of the design process.
Facade material study in Enscape. We created multiple renderings so the contractor could select the most suitable and beautiful facade for the project.
Process optimization was the most important reason in choosing Pablo's office, because during the creation of the images, many finishing materials and architectural details were defined or changed based on the composition generated in real time by Enscape. We were very efficient in making decisions with the architecture and engineering team, in addition to optimizing the workflow with an emphasis on achieving high-quality rendered images.
Luis Peralta, Vinci Empreendimentos, Curitiba, Brazil
Speaking of external images, let's analyze some points that made them aesthetically interesting and commercial.
1. Optimal camera positioning and framing
The choice of vertical framing is consistent with the verticality of the building. A horizontal frame that shows much of the surroundings would take away the main focus of the image, which is to enhance the architectural project. Here is one of the final renders that we used for this residential project:
One of the final exterior renderings
2. The 3D neighborhood is close to reality
Building a 3D environment similar (or exactly the same) to the place where it will be, reinforces the relationship of the future building with its locality. In this sense, it is important to observe and place elements that are characteristic of the region.
In my city, we have a tree that is a prominent part of the landscape, called Araucaria (Araucaria angustifólia), or Pinheiro do Paraná. So here, in addition to the surroundings, some Araucarias are present.
Close to the main facade rendering, we have an Araucaria. This image shows it in the Google Street View camera on the left and in the rendering on the right.
For the surroundings, we used several assets from the Enscape Asset Library, such as houses and trees (these are high-quality, low-poly assets that are ready for us to drop straight into our models):
Trees, houses, and buildings from the Enscape Asset Library were used to complement the surroundings.
3. A view in front of the building
In this image, we explored a view simulating the following situation: "What would it be like to get in front of the building and look up?". It was a suggestion from the contractor that we adopted, and we really liked the result!
One of the final exterior renderings
4. Cozy lighting
The color temperature of lights has immense power over our subconscious. In this sense, we thought, how can we create a night image that projects the warmth of home? We used warm lights in meeting places like the social hall which you can see on the ground floor, and to illuminate the apartments. The final aesthetic result was very interesting and very well balanced with the night-blue sky.
Exterior rendering at dusk with lights
Creating beautiful interior renders
Now let's talk about interior renderings!
As previously mentioned, the interiors were only in the layout, requiring us to add furniture and choose the materials and colors. For the social hall / party room (which is a common feature in Brazilian apartments, where residents can go to host larger gatherings), we presented several alternatives, thanks to Enscape, to achieve the best design result:
Materials and lighting studies with Enscape
Social hall / party room - final version (image 9)
Another area of the project that we created an image for, was the garage. We used extremely well-modeled cars so that the render had an excellent quality. Knowing that high-poly assets can weigh the SketchUp file and make 3D navigation difficult, we used vehicles as proxies within the model. They weigh almost nothing in 3D but appear with total fidelity in the rendering.
Garage with 3D proxy vehicles
Garage - final version, rendered in Enscape
For the apartments, the main goal was to create cozy and modern spaces that delight and generate a feeling of well-being at home. For this, the interior composition sought to combine colors, textures, and objects in a harmonious way within each other.
Living room - the use of wood in several elements of the space brought coziness and sophistication to the room.
In some spaces such as this integrated living room, we added some elements to help buyers imagine enjoying living in their potential new home. In the image below, we included some objects that represented afternoon coffee with the family – something that is quite typical here in Brazil.
The kettle tells you that the water is ready for coffee!
The use of natural lighting was also an important element of these renders. In order to bring even more of the “cozy home” feeling to the scenes, we allowed a warm late afternoon light to enter the environment. Enscape can accurately represent the time of day and geolocation so that your renders can benefit from the perfect lighting. Learn more about setting the time of day and geolocation.
The evening light enters the living room and fills the apartment.
Although these are only illustrative images, an interesting detail in practically all environments is that the furniture is not fictional. It can be found in Brazilian stores and design offices. So, if customers would like to buy the apartment and furnish it in a very similar way to the image that enchanted them, it’s possible! Some of these assets can be found on SketchUp's 3D Warehouse, especially on the brands page.
Furniture found in Brazilian design stores. Including the painting in the background by the artist KIOLO.
In the balcony and terrace images, the idea was to show how spacious they are and how pleasant it can be to spend time there.
6th floor balcony - a place to eat, drink, and spend quality time with family and friends.
8th floor terrace - it is possible to admire the sunset and a beautiful view of the city.
For the bedroom scenes, we chose natural early evening lighting coming from outside to illuminate the room. Once again, looking to provide that feeling of coziness within the space, balancing between warm lights and materials.
Creating rendered floor plans with Enscape
The third stage in preparing the marketing materials for this residential project was the creation of rendered floor plans. This brought us the challenge of innovation. During the process, Enscape upgraded to version 2.7 which included the novelty of rendering plans in orthographic mode. So, we thought, what would it be like to create rendered floor plans for this project using Enscape?
The old way of creating rendered floor plans was to use Photoshop. But with Enscape's Orthographic Views, floor plans could now be created with incredible ease within SketchUp and Enscape itself. This would save us a significant amount of time.
An advantage of using Enscape to make rendered plans, is that we could take advantage of everything that had already been created in SketchUp. This generated an extremely interesting fact: the rendered floor plans exactly correspond to the perspective views.
This, according to the contractor, helps customers to better understand the spatial location when placing plans and images next to each other.
Ground floor using Enscape method. The social hall is exactly the same as the perspective view (image 9)
Check out some more rendered floor plans that we made with Enscape:
For this residential project, we made 22 final photorealistic renderings using Enscape, not counting the test images. After finishing the work, we can highlight some points about the use of the software:
- The speed to create several test images allowed the contractor and architects to make better choices regarding materials, colors and furniture.
- Enscape's Asset Library provided almost all the elements needed to create the building's surroundings, such as houses and trees.
- The possibility of creating rendered plans directly in Enscape generated even more quality and connection with the 3D images, since they use the same 3D modeling.
- Enscape proves to be an extremely powerful software in terms of delivery quality for commercial presentations.
Check out some of the images from the final marketing materials:
Building and sales: Vinci Empreendimentos
Architecture: Rafael Haliski
Interior concepts: Pablo Correa, Rafaela Gossner, Rafael Haliski, Luis Peralta
Renderings: Pablo Correa, Rafaela Gossner – Render Eficaz