FACTORYFIFTEEN are a creative studio specializing in film, animation and architectural representation. Our backgrounds range from architecture and architectural visualisation to engineering, animation, film making, and photography. We are researching different ways in which the built environment can be recorded and augmented through film, using experimental tracking and animation techniques to communicate our visions. We are all also actively involved in education, lecturing and presenting our work to various architecture schools around the UK.
By John Gaudiosi
DALLAS, TX—One of the leading architectural firms in the world, HKS, has quietly been revolutionizing the way sports stadiums, luxury hotels and state-of-the art hospitals are being designed. The company recently signed a licensing deal with Epic Games to bring Unreal Engine 3 into the company’s development process, allowing the clients who spend hundreds of millions of dollars on sports arenas and cutting-edge buildings to see what the final structure will look like in real-time 3D.
While most architecture firms still draw up 2D blueprints that require the buyers to use more than their imagination in envisioning the final building, HKS has a team of four architects dedicated to using UE3 to bring one-third of the company’s annual workload (roughly 60 of 300 projects) to life in glorious, lifelike 3D.
Feng Zhu is a Master illustrator in concept art for Feature Film and Games. He has included free tutorials at the FZD website.
FZD School of Design was established by industry veteran Feng Zhu in 2009. For more than 12 years, Feng Zhu has contributed to some of the highest profiled projects in the
entertainment industry. His broad design skills allowed him to reach across into many fields from hit movies, to triple-A games, memorable TV commercials and toy designs. Founding
his own design company, Feng Zhu Design (FZD), his clients included Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Sony, Activision, Industrial Light+Magic, NCSoft, Warner Brothers, Lucasfilm, Bay Films,
Epic Games, and many other top studios. In Hollywood, he has worked closely with well established directors including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Michael
Bay and Luc Besson.
Yes – it’s now available for free download – the latest Game Engine graphics development kit. It comes with a sample Forest environment to experience in sight and sound.
What does this mean for the Architectural Visualization community. I think it needs serious consideration for the next generation of visual effects we produce for our clients.
Arch. Viz. artists can produce immersive interactive experiences for clients within game engines rather than costly traditional linear animations. It is cost prohibitive currently to purchase licenses for game engine technologies, but different
development companies are working on pricing structures for Architects who want to export environments to clients for real-time walk through simulations. The possibilities I think will be tremendous.
Until this point in Architectural history, design concepts were sold to clients from sketches, cardboard models, and recently – 3D renderings. The cost for Archtitects has been prohibitive and therefore design solutions have met many a fate on the chopping block of “value engineering”. What if we could give clients an “experience” – like test driving a car before you buy. We have, at best, tried to sell design concepts with pictures not able to give clients something to actually walk around in at a photorealistic level.
Sure we charge tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce short linear animations which are all of forgotten minutes after viewing. But what if we could export a 3D world that clients could walk through at leisure and experience our proposed design solutions. I think clients would see and want to pay for Architectural solutions proposed at the onset of a project rather than cut them out. Just think how different the world would look if Architects actually had their visions built, and clients would gladly pay for them. And why not – they are always willing to pay for expensive luxury items like cars, boats, clothing etc. – and it is because they see and experience them first before buying. With Architecture it’s not possible – you can’t put a building on a retail store shelf and sell it – until perhaps now. We can export a game environment with the new graphic technologies as a product to clients including their buildings that they can experience even on mobile devices.
It is all in the design concept sale to the client where they want to spend the money to purchase the design concepts. It is what Architects have never been able to achieve on level par with the advertising or retail world. The feature film industry has been, of recently using game engine environments for creating environments impossible to actually build. Special effect shots have also been used within game engines. It’s time for the Architectural community to include the game industry just as they have done with movie industry in creating another level of the way clients can experience future projects.