The eye for imagery

Author: Talal Ali – T Point Visuals

Project Design: Bab Nim Nim Architects

Location: Kuwait

Description: The idea behind the story of the images is to represent a vibrant family home. In the first image it was more to show the architectural details and aesthetics rather than story telling. However for the court yard shot, the aim was to produce an active scene, showing the different aspects of the home. I made use of the diffused light to create an almost utopian feel to the image, while utilizing the interior lighting schemes in the different areas of the home to maintain focus on the courtyard space.

© T Point Visuals

W Thank you for joining us. Let’s first hear about your journey, when and how did you start your career?

TA My name is Talal Ali and I began starting architectural visualization once I graduated in 2011. I’ve always had a fascination with architecture, and the ability to bring something to life that doesn’t exist really enhanced my passion towards the industry. That feeling of creating those hero shots of full stadiums for sporting events or a simple house which tells a story made me realize that this is something I would truly love to do as a career.

At the moment I am the sole artist behind T point visuals as it is newly set up business situated in Kuwait. I had worked in London for the last 3 years and have decided to take the leap of bringing high quality imagery back to my home country.

W -- You talked about the art of storytelling through images and your passion towards it.

Could you give us some examples, insights, tools or techniques you use to create a characterful scene, and tell a holistic story? (You mentioned a good example with lighting and how you used it to create this powerful image)

Red clay scene © T Point Visuals

TA -- For me the art of storytelling is something you learn progressively. I have always reverted to books to learn about lighting and colour, to try to enhance my knowledge of how to story tell through images. The main principles of it rely on the composition and the emotion behind the image. I think when speaking to 3d artists they all have their own methods of how to achieve this. For me I use a variety of methods, these include:

- White card renderings testing different lighting situations with a composition already established.

- Taking a basic draft image and sketching over it adding finer details. Sometimes trying to figure out what assets need to be added to an image is a lot quicker to do by hand, and once you are happy with your sketch you use it as a reference to add to your 3d models.

- Using people or objects as a focal point in the foreground and background as a composition. - Also understanding the audience, you are targeting with the props you are using and making sure they harmonize correctly within the atmosphere of the image.

- Rendering out draft images as a ratio of 1:1 to allow for crop testing. Sometimes cropping is a great tool to remove unwanted areas of an image and can help develop ideas for a composition for your final image.

- Using colour theories as a method of achieving the desired feel of an image. Whether it is a warm colours on a sunny evening or desaturated colours on a rainy day, colour correcting is one of the most important aspects of correctly portraying the story you intend to tell. A book that really helped me develop an understand of this is “Color and Light” by James Gurney.

© T Point Visuals

© T Point Visuals

W — Who inspires you in the field of CG?

TA -- In terms of CG heroes there are so many to name. Personally I am a big fan of Darc Studio and the way they convey the story behind their images. Playtime Barcelona are another who produce some unreal work that are truly inspirational, and help develop a drive to work harder to achieve that level of architectural imagery.

W— How is the profession today, and where is it heading?

TA -- As the industry has rapidly developed over the last decade, from the introduction of Itoo Software, the development of Corona Render engine and the huge resource library of Quixel megascans, it has made architectural rendering a lot simpler and easier for those who are just entering the industry. I feel that it will continue heading in that direction in terms of ease of use. However I truly believe further down the line that Real-time rendering will be the future of the industry and will take over once the level of detail and quality can be matched to that of still imagery that is being produced today. It is a saddening thought that all the hours of learning software and understanding materials may become meaningless in the future with all the automated software that is being developed.

© T Point Visuals

W -- About the future and real-time rendering replacing still imagery, if learning software and understanding of materials will not have the important role they have today, what will replace them? What are the useful components or methods of today that could carry on as drivers of industry in the future?

TA -- The learning and understanding of software will always be essential, however my belief is that it will be made simpler and less daunting for those who are new to the industry. I think there will be more emphasis on those who have “the eye” for imagery. Artists who have better understanding of composition and what makes an image great, that haven’t developed skills for material creation etc., will be a lot more successful as it's a subject that is quite hard to get right. Some people have that vision from the early stages whereas others must work hard to understand the aesthetics of what makes an image great. With PC power consistently improving, allowing itself to handle more complex geometry and heavier scenes, good detailed modelling will always be a component of the industry that will slowly become more essential. As you see with 3d scanned assets, the more realistic the model the more realistic the final image. Especially with the latest release tester video of unreal engine 5, the amount of geometry it was capable of handling is phenomenal. But what happens when it's not a scanned asset and a building that needs to be modeled from scratch; will they still try to keep the polycount low? Or will they want to achieve the most realistic 3d asset possible through complex modelling? With these points covered, I do believe the most important factor is a willingness to be adaptable. To continue to strive to keep up to date with the latest releases and updates of modern software to progress as a 3d artist both in knowledge of the industry and the art that one produces.

At the end, I would like to wish everyone good health during these times and hope the arch viz industry continues to grow stronger, together. | IG tpointvisuals


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