Artfully Communicating Architecture – Autodesk 3ds Max published an article and a case study about us and our workflows.
You can find the whole article here.
“We are communicating architecture – this is the simplest way to describe our mission and work. Just as communication takes many forms, we also use different tools and skills as well, to “talk” about architecture. We see ourselves as translators, who let people glimpse into the built future and make architecture designs understandable, human-centered and easily approachable. “
Six years ago Brick Visual was a small company of only three young architects who were self-taught in architectural visualization. They shared a vision of the profession’s future and a language they built their whole production pipeline on, this was Autodesk’s 3ds Max. Nowadays, in 2018, more than 65 professionals work at Brick Visual reflecting an industry that’s exponentially expanding.
While its capacity has increased, Brick Visual’s work remains detailed and expressive, like a boutique studio’s.
Art – driven visual storytelling
Brick Visual has developed a recognizably distinctive style that displays architecture in a highly artistic manner. This kind of approach helps create immersive and even multi-sensory experiences that resonate with the viewer for a long time. Visualizing architecture is not just about displaying buildings on their own. Great design considers their context and future use, while visualizations should create a narrative that tells stories and speaks in a language that is easy to understand. Art is a great tool to create this kind of connection between the viewer and the architect.
If done right, style and the forms of representation are not without purpose; artistic principles, such as composition, contrast, and the use of foreground and background are all consciously conceived on Brick Visual’s images.
If you look closely, you can easily see how the placement and even the direction of the characters leads the eye.
One of Brick Visual’s recent project shows this storytelling approach in practice. Oslo’s city council organized a competition for prestigious architect studios, asking them to design the stations of a metro line. For Brick Visual, it was an interesting challenge, as they were commissioned by several companies to work on proposals (one of the projects was a winner, while the others came second and third). A collaboration between ALA Architects, Dark Arkitekter As and Plus Arkitektur created an inspiring design for a station called Arena. That location is used by diverse crowds, depending on the time of the day. During work hours it’s used by business people, while at night, mostly by music fans going to and coming from heavy metal concerts. By closely investigating the movement of passengers the studios created a heat map that clearly showed the different ways people use the space at different times.
The dramatic design of the ceiling was inspired by the flow of people as reflected on the heat map. The waves echo the actual movement of the crowd of concert-goers. The architects asked Brick Visual to create a visualization in a post-concert setting, with metal-music fans in the focus point. The unusual concept inspired the team to use original characters, organizing a metal-themed photoshoot in their in-house green box studio. While revisiting their youth, actual team members posed as fans, putting on their own clothes from earlier days, and, sporting a lot of black, studded accessories and leather bracelets.
Mixing characters from different social groups created a realistic feeling and even allowed the storyline to hide a little Easter egg. The older knitting lady in the image is played by the same artist as the girl in the foreground, a subtle play with timelines also found in classical paintings.
Sometimes telling architectural stories is not about the buildings themselves, but about the feelings and moods they evoke. Here, the emphasis is on the wavy structure but the mood is clearly set by the characters. Beside still images, Brick Visual uses the same artistic approach to create movies from scratch. It also use these skills to produce VR/AR content and solutions.
Project 3.0 was a unique case in the life of the team: a competition proposal for a commercial building in Switzerland, executed in a super-short timeframe. In only two weeks, a set of still images and an animation with music – composed in-house – were created to communicate this specific project. A mini-workshop attended by the architect in person helped in achieving the crazy-fast delivery.
“When we created these compositions I was deeply obsessed with the amazing visuals of the movie Prometheus. If you have seen the movie, the strong influence can be recognized easily..”
– said Márton Zoltán Tóth, Brick Visual’s art director.
Although the design was not chosen as a winner at the architectural competition, the images won two Architizer Awards and the movie was nominated for a CG Award. The existence of visualization categories at prestigious architectural awards shows the growing recognition of this booming industry.
Fueled by Technology
Archviz is always evolving and looking to create new workflows and Brick Visual has always been at the forefront of the industry…
“When we began to work on architectural visualization projects professionally, our hands were tied by the absence of dedicated tools. We were heavily dependent on VFX workflows. This was fine in the first phase, but we had to focus on the question: HOW can I create this specific image?
Now, with more efficient tools, the question has changed to: WHAT can I create, which is a huge difference, not only for us, but for our clients as well”
– said Attila Cselovszki, the CDO of Brick Visual
Autodesk 3ds Max offered such flexible solutions, the company could streamline an environment that perfectly supports and suits the needs of architectural visualization artists. Even being a large company, the update to the 3ds Max 19 was smooth and effortless.