Can I Sue My Architect if Zoning doesn't pass?

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Get with the modern times. Normal maps! ;-)
Or, come on... your computer is beefy. Go for displacement.
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Bump etc. only go so far. A good example is bricks. Maybe some programs can create bumps on edges, but in most of what I've seen, if only bumpmaps are used (displacement is, as far as I know, just a procedural bump map, not an actual surface deformer), the edge of the building doesn't look at all like brick - it's just the same old knife-edge thing.
That annoys me.
So for my current exercise, I'm making "panels" based upon a particular brick texture. I spent some time counting bricks on the sides of local places, and it seems to go 30 bricks vertically for a one story house. (I'll eventually just go buy some differnt bricks and measure them). So each panel will be 30 bricks in height and have a corresponding real-life texture. I can then use the panels to assemble the exterior.
THat way, at the corners, it will look like bricks, not that typical knife- edge look.
WHich is something else that bugs me. I like to use either the Chamfer tool or the Fillet tool to soften corners, because in real life, building edges can't cut paper.
Molding is another item where the corners and edges are telling.
The thing is that I got started by doing buildings for a game project (that went belly-up due to lack of management, but that's another story). They wanted things that would look right from any camera angle. I found early on that sometimes, modeling is the only satisfactory way to go.
Also, there are instances where light and shadow simply don't interact with "fake bumps" in the same way they interact with a modeled object. It's like trompe l'ouil <?sp?>. The eye is fooled for only so long.
- Kris
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If it's creating profile, it isn't doing bump or the hot new normal mapping. It would have to be doing displacement mapping.

They told you wrong. Displacement moves geometry. I think Splutterfish has some good pictures...
http://www.splutterfish.com/sf/gallery_view.php?photo_id 6&screen=1&cat_id=4&action=images
You can really see the occlusion.
http://forums.splutterfish.com/blog/archives/images/displace01/rain3d_01.jpg
http://forums.splutterfish.com/blog/archives/2005_05.html

knife-
And in the middle it will look...? The question is "how much better" and "at what cost"?

Are you really getting close enough that a quarter or half inch groove really shows up?

corners,
And they catch the light nicely. Generally a bit of chamfer is recognized as good.

Yes. And where it can be fooled it should be.
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Oh! Okie Dokie, thanks! I'll certainly look into this in more depth. (Interesting image BTW)

Well, the thing is that I like to do one model, and be able to have all views from it - all angles and distances - be taken from it, as opposed to making multiple models. If I need (or want) to have "innards", it's all the same model - for one thing, I like to be able to see through the windows. I know they can be painted planes with a shiny finish, tho', and that satisfies most folks.
I understand that Modern Times emphasize fast and faster, but I've been looking around to see whether there is still a niche for Detail Work.
OK, so, to make a short story long, it might help you understand if you knew that, before my hands got trembly (a separate long boring saga), I used to do pen-and-ink work ("wildlife art", in my case meaning birds adn occasionally insects) using a 0.01mm-tip KohINoor pen, and under a magnifying glass; a couple of professional artists saw some of my old work and told me that I "needed" <!> to do it professionally, but the hands just don't work they way they used to. I also used to so something similar with oil paints on eggs, started as sort of a variation on the Ukrainian/Slavic traditions of Easter egg decoration. At any rate, so, I'm a detail freak - it's something of a sickness if you go by what other folks and the "medical professionals" have told me, esp. since I also tend to be a perfectionist when I decide to actually do something. ((Of course, I otherwise have the attention span of a gnat and all the social graces of a carrot, tho' I'm better than I used to be.)) Although the detail obsession made me a superb analyst (since I was able to pick up on things that others thought insignificant), I've yet to find any other earthly use for it - most poeple I've come across just think it's annoying and, well, stupid because it's not efficient, and tell me to "relax" <?> - but it's more of an unfortunate compulsion than a choice. It's not "unfair" and it's not "everyone else's fault" or any of that sort of crap - it's just how Life goes sometimes. So, realistically, I also understand that I might (OK, will probably) end up doing my 3D as just an insignificant hobby rather than professionally, tho' I might possibly be able to sell a few models here and there, buildings and/or landscapes etc. for Poser folks, or something like that; I'll eventually put a few houses and whatnot up on a commercial "3D consignment" site I know of, and see what happens. The thing is that the 3D (etc.) is what I do, and is what I will do, regardless of whether it's for $$ or merely as a hobby. I love modeling buildings and their surrounds - obviously, since I'm willing to forgo other things so as to plunk savings down on a faster computer - and that's just how it is, tho' I might try to expand a bit into critters. I do creative things because, regardless of whether they are or are not good enough to sell, I'm not able to *not* do them. So there ya go <fake theatrical sob!!>, my sad sad story <LOL!>
It'll be easier once I get a decent computer. My current graphics machine is only a measly 1GHz Athlon Thunderbird with 1.5 GB RAM (tho' Win98 only "sees" 999KB of it) :p . My Solstice <G!> present will prob. be a dual- core Athlon FX-57 with 4 GB Ram and an NVidia *7800 video card, which will make work and esp. renders go much faster. ((Plus be a heck of a lot of fun!)) I'm also finally able to start getting back to my Webpage (well, once I finish hleping with beta-testing a plug-in a fellow wrote for the 3D prog. I'm using). I have some new JavaScript I'm working up that I think will be better than what I had been trying, make a more "active" interface. But I digress as usual...
So that's the story behind my High-Poly-Modeling.

I like it when I see it. IMO it's esp. important when I'd playing with doing adobe-type of other "hand made look" things - I've been wanting, for example, to model that mud Musque in, what, Timbuktoo I think, I saw it on television and need to get some images to reference. Can't have knife- edges on something that's been made and smoothed by hand.
Poeple have long recognized that textures can't be "too perfect", but it's also true that computer-generated edges are often "too perfect". In this respect, I think hand-drawn structures are often better. ((Plus as I've mentioned, IMO at least some are in themselves an Art).

True. My own compulsion doesn't extend to what is not seen, only to what can/will be seen at some point.
Anyway, thanks for that info re: Displacement - I'm going to go look into it more closely. (Did I just make a pun...?)
- Kris
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http://images.google.com/images?svnum &hl=en&lr=&safe=off&q=djenne
Technically, I don't think so. But it was good.
I forget, what are you using for a renderer?
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Beats my 300 MHz.
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Gadzooks! How old is it? My early 1990's one is a Pentium 450 MHZ...
Heh, you gotta stand some kids at road intersections with cans for The Gruhn Relief Fund ;)
((That just comes to mind because one odd thing here is that the busiest intersections are manned all day by people asking for $$. Everything from people claiming to be homeless, to kids with the perennial "help our school 'cuz we can't milk more taxes outta you" campaigns.))
- Kris
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Got it when I came to PHX. 1998. It is a dual. re: your _early_ 90s 450, somebody here is not remembering at least one number correctly.
I got my 486-33 in.. no earlier than 1990 I think. Right when the DX2-66s were turning out to be broken.
see here: http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/licweb/chiphist.htm

Word.
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of
http://www.pcguide.com/ref/cpu/fam/g4I486DX-c.html April 1989. The 33 in May 1990.
When I got my 33 it was "getting old" and the DX2-66s were out but as noted starting to oops. The timing's about right.
Note that back then something like the 486, especially with it's onboard math proc. would have been "oh no, normal people don't need those. Servers only." and that would have been "true" and actually observed for some time.

Somebody else will have to check, but the P5 would have still been rumour at that point I _think_. (One google hit says 1993.)(Fall back to the "oh no, servers only" argument)

whoa....
I remember Range and me standing around outside the office on Kildare Farm (:. 1993, 1994) talking about the almost afordable 1gig drives and how luxurious those 3giggers just coming out sounded. I bought a maybe 320 Meg jobbie around that time. Drove all the way to Greensboro to git it.
Are you sure about that 40G in '95? My dual 300 killer five grand machine in 1998 came with 6Gig.

anyone
That's a useful number of rams. I'm not sure any machine in this office here has over a Gig. This very machine is 1 Gig. I think the newer one is only haffagig. (The extra just isn't needed for what it's doing.)

that
See what I mean? You musta meant 40Meg.
I play with the 3d tools. 3d still will eat as much machine as we can throw at it.
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Again I am saved from the bedevilling encroachment of senility.
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very possible, I got it when I was living in Brampton - oh, ok, late 90's. Sorry...

;) !
- Kris
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Whew.
No worries. It's just that this stuff is of CRITICAL importance ;-)
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Yeah, but you also said you like to collect them. That I can see. I jsut don't understand how someone can work on them. Well, OK, basic word processing but..... .....OTOH I *am* a graphics weenie <LOL!>
"Whaddaya mean I can only get teo measly GB of RAM with your Athlon dual- core systems?!?! I'm going to look elsewhere!"
What can I say, I really do have to laugh at myself sometimes <G!>
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culprit
12mhz ?! been a while since I heard that rating! ;] sweeeeet!
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Depends upon a lot of factors though. If you're far enough away it won't matter. I'd suggest before you reinvent the wheel you look into how other people handle it. (Just do a search of the Autodesk groups)
If you model it you're going to add significant modelling time and you're rendering times will go up as well (as they will with a displacement map). If you're going to render an animation than you'll be screwed! A short 60 second animation has ~1440 images, the more complex your lighting and modelling solution is the longer each one will take. Even at a low resolution it's fairly common to have a "render farm" do it overnight. If you're not careful you could end up with something that takes 3 minutes/frame, which will take 20 days to render! Then, once finished you realize there's a minor change or tweak necessary and you've got to re-render the whole thing!

knife-
A good learning exercise, but almost every job will be different so don't expect to be able to pop in panels. Bricks come in lots of different sizes/shapes/coursing so you need to know how to do it for each job.

Add some "noise" to the map (try a "smoke" map scaled appropriately to make it look more natural - slightly warped) and you can make it less "cartoony" looking (if you really want to get REAL you could add a simple nailhead bumpmap that's randomly repeated every 16" or so. The thing is, to make it truely likelike does take time, and some projects (most?) don't need that level of detail nor does the budget allow for it.

(that
Another "trick or the trade" for Architectural Rendering is to only do what you have to. For example, that means don't model the entire interior for an exterior rendering. Sometimes things have to be "faked" rather than done right, which doesn't make it wrong, as long as the output meets (or ideally exceeds) the expectations of the client.

with
Yep. Radiosity is a great thing, but sometimes even that requires "fakeosity" to look perfect.
Michael (LS)
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Trying to make a rendering on the computer in the first place is "fake". Any complaints that the fake is fake (should be) are misguided ;-)
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Well, technically, yeah, you're right. It also depends upon screen resolution.
OTOH, any work - whether it's an architectural illustration, or a movie, or a painting, or any other visual work - is supposed to draw the viewer into its world, and allow the viewer to suspend disbelief. However, for this to be done successfully, the work must be Internally Consistent. If it sets up a certain internal logic, it has to abide by its own logic.
So, let's say one models a structure that is an elongated inverted U of brick, and "inside" that another inverted U of glass panes divided by small protrusions of concrete, and inside that another inverted U again of brick, and the glass U is set in from the others. The sun is at an angle that shows the changes of depth. But let's say this depth is created using bump maps.
So, the front view looks fine, all well and good. But the client asks you to rotate the model to show what the sides look like - and suddenly, all those depth changes disappear and the edges are all flush and sharp.
The "world" of the image is internally in-consistent. And the result is crap. Doesn't matter how far away the camera view is. The inconsistency is there and also, it fails to show what the thing will actually look like. Now, the *client* might not realize this right off the bat - after all, the entire, the only, reason one presents 3D or perspective views is quite simply that the vast majority of people do not have good *2D* visualization abilities, never mind 3D.
However, the modeler should know better. It's the modeler's responsibility to do better than the average person.
Now, one can argue that the client won't notice if a whole-structure view doesn't show a slight ripple/"nubbiness' indicating bricks at the edge. OK, maybe that's "good enough". I don't know. All I know is that it wouldn't be good enough *for me* - meaning, if I did my render and all I saw was knife-edges, it's bother me a lot because that wouldn't be how the thing actually looks (or would look).
Even if one is modeling a SciFi scene, the rules of Internal Consistency still hold. Sure, there are movies that get put out where things get skipped over, and sure, probably most audience members don't notice - so it's "good enough". But *I* see them. I've seen it in any number of films, even some big-budget films, and it feels in my brain the same way fingernails on a blackboard sound. It makes my teeth hurt.
What looks "fake" is having a textured (brick, clapboard, etc.) siding/envelope illustrated, or something with stringcoursing, etc., and then seeing those knife-edge corners in the renders. That's what's in my old renders I'm sad to say, and I've been deciding whether to go back and re-work everything I wanted to load up onto my website, because it really irritates me. But what's far worse is that I've also seen that in renders that are supposed to be professional. What can I say, it's just something that bugs me <shrug>.
Anyhoo, I have to look into those displacement shaders...
- Kris
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It can be a very good wage, it also can be a crappy wage. Depends upon how your pay is structured (i.e. hourly, per project, a combination, etc.) If you charge on a per project basis what happens when the cliet wants to make changes? What happens when the changes never end? I'd recommend charging a flat fee (say for 4 still images) and then an hourly rate for any additional changes, supplimental views, etc.

When I said "mechanical" i guess I meant a bunch of different things. To clarify, forget "mechanical" and let's use the term "non architectural" (that way it'll include CAD/CAM, manufacturer renderings, game rendering, etc.) Basically, architectural renderings tend to serve a different purpose than some of the others. A solid understanding of what makes a rendering successfully for the client and their application is important (i.e. an Architect wants accurate lighting, especially if you're doing daylight studies. A developer OTOH wants an appealing picture to show investors/buyers and total realism isn't as important. So if one side of the building is going to be perpetually dark because next to it is a 10 story office tower, the Architect might want it shown with the dark side while the developer wants to make his project as nice looking as possible. Clear as mud?

People in renderings..... that's a whole discussion by itself. Some people love em, some hate em. People can give a better sense of scale but there's other ways to (i.e. vehicles, trees/plants, furniture, camera height/angle, etc.) What makes a building rendering "architectural" is that the building is rendered in such a way as to show off the building. That means sometimes "fudging" the lighting, showing/not showing landscaping (i.e. don't show that tree right in front of the house! Well, unless you screen it or just outline it), etc. Entourage is the term for this "fluff" but like lighting, it can make or break a rendering.

to
get
When I first got Viz I wanted to learn it from the standpoint of eventually offering rendering services to my clients. I worked through some tutorials to get a feel for just the basics and then decided to try a "real" job for free. I talked to one of my Architect clients and explained what I wanted to do, and asked him for a CAD file of a project that I hadn't worked on (I wanted something to work on where I'd have to ask the right questions). In exchange for him answering my questions I'd give him any renderings I did free of charge. He sent me the file for his personal cabin (which actually worked great because it was a small building but very high level of detail and custom elements). I worked through modeling and rendering it and learned a lot. Unfortunitely I had to move on to paying work before I ever got it finished but it was a great learning experience. Another one of my early renderings was for a pergola, very simplistic modeling but it allowed me to really play with lighting and materials (this also was done for free for one of my projects). All told, I rendered 3 of my projects (I was doing design/construction documents for the projects) for free. The clients all loved them (and when it's free they can't complain that they wanted green carpeting when I was showing it brown!). This was a great way for me to learn rendering while also being able to add them to my portfolio and also "advertise" my work to the Architect/Builder/Homeowner (one of the renders I did was for basement remodel and the homeowners put up the rendering on the wall of the basement so the subs and all their friends could see what the finished space was going to look like). Free work is a great way to learn, it's also great "advertising" but it isn't going to pay your bills this week, so for some people it might not be an option.

Yep. "Rumor" has it that a couple years ago she had a problem (IIRC, Autodesk(?) used one of her renderings in a magazine ad without her permission). Anyway, I think of rendering like photography. My mom takes snapshots, but the goal should be to take pictures you'd want to blow up, frame and hang on your living room wall. The "subject matter/model" is the same but the lighting, lens, focus, framing of the subject, background, etc, etc, all makes the difference.

of
Yep. I don't follow the Viz groups very frequently but when I'm working on a project there's no better place to go to get feedback and help. I don't know if Ted and Daniel still hang out there but there's nothing like being able to ask the author a question about something in one of their books (Google "Ted Boardman" or "Daniel Douglas" to see some of the best books written on 3D modeling and rendering).

True. One thing to keep in mind though is that a lot of factors effect the finished rendering (i.e. fee, how it's going to be used, time alloted, etc.) Fran's work is amazingly real (look at the coffee stains on the inside of her mug) but she also tends to spend more time on them. Michael (CDI) and Fermi are doing this stuff day in and day out so their work is maybe a better example of actual professional work being done. Their stuff doesn't normally look as appealing as Fran's but it's also done in 1/3 the time and tends to serve a different purpose (i.e. for a developer who's going to have it blown up to put on a billboard or large jobsite sign).

OK, here's some of my "portfolio" bookmarks (in no particular order): http://www.3d-win.com/html/gallery1.htm http://www.command-digital.com / http://www.kitchensinkstudios.com/ - Annoying flash site but great renderings http://www.pechara.com/html/architectural-rendering-portfolio.htm http://www.richardrush.com/portfolio.htm http://www.vize.com/ - Slow slide show but nice work http://www.3d-city.com/index1.htm http://www.deltatracing.com/deltatracing.htm http://www.alexcasanova.com / http://www.rendering.net/indexiepc.htm http://www.baumbergerstudio.com http://www.millerhare.com / http://www.visarc.com / http://www.pechara.com/html/architectural-rendering-portfolio.htm
If that doesn't keep you busy for a while look at: http://www.cgarchitect.com/default.asp - Sort of the "portal" to start at if you're not sure what you're looking for. Lots of good links to anything to do with CG (textures, models, portfolios, tutorials, etc).

That's all for now,
Michael (LS)
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[ snip ]

http://www.google.com/search?num 0&hl=en&lr=&as_qdr=all&q=file+format+tru eSpace++converter+OR+conversion+%22.DWG%22
Is that any help?
Or, alternately, and I've no idea at all whether this is any help, but my 3D prog is supposed to be able to open, and save, DWG. If you want, I can send a msg with an attached DWG file and, if you can open and edit it, maybe I can try to open and then save the DWG you were sent...? Or would it be a problem since I'd be exporting it from a 3D prog rather than from a 2D prog...? Anyhoo, if you want to try it out, let me know.
Sorry, the only other idea I can think of is to scan it and then save it yourself...
- Kris
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Kris Krieger wrote:

I'm not quite sure how you are using the term "designer". Are you using in regards to the pure aesthetic design of the building? All architects are designers in some sense. Sometimes specialty in certain aspects occur due to someones specific skills that have developed over time. It all depends.
Example: When my firm does a project in the US, we typically will do ALL of the documents, from Concept all the way through Construction Documents. This is pretty standard. So we cover the range of what the building "looks like" and presentation drawings to how it's actually put together and constructed.
OTOH, when we do a project in another country we will typically only take the drawings from Concept thru to Design Development, with a local architect or contractor doing the Construction Documents. Usually due to different local standards found in each said country which would make it nearly impossible to do the technical documents from the US. In this case we are considered the "Design" architect. This specialization has also happened on some US projects, usually due to certain expertise on a particular type of project that the client is doing. You'll see this happen on large mixed-use projects where there are many different building types involved in one development. You'll sometimes see a firm brought in that specializes in doing say Hotels, Retail, or Office. In that case, different design firms will be working and coordinating together.
We also work with many other consultants who are "designers". Such as landscape, lighting, interiors, and enviromental graphics. You name it, every project is different. In the case of these types of designers, they usually fall under our scope of work contractually. In other words, they have been contracted by us, to coordinate with us.
Just trying to clarify what you are asking when you use the term Designer. Hope I haven't added confusion to your question.

Concerning 3D visualization. In my particular case, 3D design is part and parcel of everything I do. There is not a project I work on that some form of 3D isn't done. In Concept and Schematic design we typically do all of our own 3D and visualizations. In certain instances we will go "out of house" if we need a really "fancy" 3D rendering done. Usually at the specific request of the client, or we are just too damn busy to do it ourselves. I remember a different thread covering this topic a while back in this group. Everybody seems to have their own "process" on how they design, so I'm sure you'll get many different answers. This is just my particular corner of it. Hope that helps.

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