You are running a successful CGI or visualisation service in London. Can you tell us a bit about your professional background?
My background is in architecture. Three years after having earned my Bachelor of Architecture degree I started running my own company. I’ve been involved in both design and visualisation tasks ever since. Our architectural background helps us work closely and effectively with architects and interior designers to ensure that their vision for the project is realised to its full potential.
What kind of services do you provide and how do you define your client profile?
We are a London based Architectural Visualization company that provides conceptual design, high quality photo-realistic Computer-Generated Images and Animations of architectural/interior design projects or products of all size and type. We take on all types of work from smaller domestic work to larger commercial projects. Our clients range from architects, designers, construction companies, homeowners to developers and investors.
The past year was an unprecedented year for all the people in the world and you also must have had hard times to cope with it. How was your past year in terms of your ambitions and targets and what are you aiming to achieve in 2021?
2020 was not a pleasant year for us either. Our business was growing at a significant pace until the pandemic hit the economy. It was heartbreaking to see our clients struggle. As a result, some of our projects were put on hold and some were cancelled. We realised that this was a time to grow our network and broaden our client base. Investing in social media during these challenging times helped us increase our recognition. Thanks to our existing loyal clients and new ambitious customers looking for better quality services, not only we managed to survive but go beyond what we expected by the end of 2020.
Having worked hard in 2020, delivered many successful CGI and built some reassuring relationships, we have no doubt 2021 is going to be a much better year for us.
Did you observe particular changes about the demands of your clients since you’ve started your business? What kind of images are now favoured more compared to earlier years of your career?
We have noticed a significant decrease in demand for workplace CGI which wasn’t a surprise for us. 3d visuals of residential projects were more in demand during the pandemic along with several mixed-use projects world-wide.
How do you define a successful computer generated architectural image?
An architectural CGI is an effective way of communicating between the architect / designer and the client. Therefore, the CGI must be accurate in terms of design and reflect what the client has in mind. But the result should also be an impressive illustration that makes people desire the product. It must be attractive and informative at the same time. Some artists achieve this by “telling stories” with their visuals and some use colour and lighting techniques.
Some architects defend the power of sketches, hand-drawn perspectives or abstract illustrations to transfer the idea better than a photo-realistic image. They claim that by eliminating any kind of abstraction, photo-realistic images leave no room for imagination. What do you think about this assertion? How could different types of representations may be mixed to better convey an architectural idea?
Ever since I was a little child, I carry a pencil and a piece of notebook everywhere I go, so that I can sketch anywhere, anytime. As a BArch holder myself I believe in the power of sketching as an excellent way to quickly explore concepts or illustrate your design in an imaginative way.
There is no one correct way to convey an architectural idea. The culture of the architectural / design practice should be shaping the type, style, character and quality of the illustration. But on the other hand, an agency or an investor would be focusing more on their target audience and ways of better promoting their project which might lead to trending presentation styles.
Do you think a good CGI artist has to work with a good architectural photographer before setting up the rendering conditions?
A good CGI artist should at least have a decent knowledge about photography and filmography. Knowledge of lighting, colour theory and composition techniques are a must for the 3d artist to accurately reflect either the reality or the idea conveyed. Although the computer software assists you with scientific calculations it is the artist who creates the atmosphere.
An architectural visualiser can always benefit from services of a professional architectural photographer. Especially if an accurate and verified view is requested for planning purposes.
What would be your most crucial advice for your clients before starting to work with an external CGI artist like yours?
It’s always a good idea to set your expectations and provide the cgi artist with some sample images before the work commences. This will help the artist better understand the type of illustration you are after.
What was the most challenging project you undertook in the last year?
We take on different types of projects and each one has its challenges regardless of the size. One project was significant due to its time constrains. We had to deliver a series of external 3d renderings of a residential development consisting of 9 houses in just a couple of days. Compromising on quality is never an option for me and I’d rather decline the offer than to submit a work I’m not happy with.
But this was an important client we could not turn back. So, we had to work hard and efficiently. Sometimes the more challenging the work, the more rewarding it is in terms of the feedback you get in the end.
As an external CGI Artist, how do you gain new clients and market your own services?
Over the 20+ years we’ve gained many loyal customers due to our quality work and work ethics and my network usually grew with word of mouth – spread from one client to another by recommendation. Although we rely mostly on this strategy, we try to improve our presence in Social media as well.