Architectural Images: Truth or Fiction?

More than 20 years ago I attended a lecture by author and educator Michael Benedikt, who proclaimed that virtual reality would supplant the building of real buildings. Clients could be so impressed with the”reality” mimicked in the computer that they would forsake the added expense and headaches of making the construction real.

While this bit of hyperbole hasn’t come to pass, the increasing ability of computer modeling and rendering to replicate reality is undeniable. By the same token, the change of photography in film to pixels, followed closely with the ubiquity of Photoshop, has attracted photos nearer to renderings. Ironically, Photoshop is used to wash up the messiness of reality, while advanced 3-D rendering applications incorporates a bit of chaos to make the image appear more genuine.

At the domain of architectural training, renderings have been utilized to communicate a strong comprehension of the architect’s vision and possible results to the client (they work better than rough sketches and 2-D drawings such as floor plans and elevations), while photos function to present the last product in the best way possible.

The pictures that follow straddle the fine line between photograph and rendering, the real and the virtual, fiction and truth. While it could be claimed that all pictures are their own reality, the focus on those that follow is the origin of the homes depicted. Are they life-sized models which people inhabit (fact ) or virtual versions in the pc (fiction) in their way to get a constructed reality?

Bertram Architects

Truth: Many pictures on Houzz may initially appear as renderings when viewed as a little thumbnail, but they lose that attribute when viewed larger. Pictures of the Lookout House, however, will fool the eye in any given size. In this exterior view of the poolside, a combo of HDRI (High Dynamic Range Imaging), where various exposures are merged to a single image, and a softening in Photoshop, result in a picture where real surfaces seem virtual.

3DR Design Studio

Fiction: The lighting and materials in another poolside image are extremely persuasive, but a few things are not quite right: What’s that tree trunk so smooth? Why not the pool have some depth to it? Would a house photographer shoot with the leaves in the foreground such as that?

Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects

Truth: Just about everything in this picture lends the impression that it is a rendering: the carpet-like bud; the absence of context; the picture-perfect skies; the regularity of this artificial lighting. Yet a photograph it is. 1 hint is that the inclusion of the exterior socket covers in the bottom of the wall . That is a detail which would hardly go to a rendering.

Kanner Architects – CLOSED

Truth: The flat surfaces of this house give the impression that it is a rendering, but that’s immediately countered with the shadows and reflection of the power lines, another element that would hardly be included in a computer model. Removing these traces in Photoshop could have confused the reality of this image even more.

Fiction: The question arises in this case because this rendering is accompanied by photographs of the completed project in the architect’s project portfolio. Nevertheless a stronger sign of where the sun is (as is, it looks like an overcast day at which the sun is somewhere to the right of this photo) could have created stronger shadows and contrast and made this rendering even more realistic.

Michael Lee Architects

Truth: At first glance the lighting and softness of this image make it look as a rendering, but the context at left is a dead giveaway that this is a photograph. Renderings will frequently opt to either not show adjacent buildings — screening behind vegetation, for example — or reveal them in a fantastic light. Here the neighboring house just looks normal.

Elad Gonen

Truth: you have to be asking,”Are you certain, John? This is definitely a rendering.” Well it’s not, even though the flatness of the house’s white surfaces along with the almost-perfect bud make it look so. Hints can be seen in the drain in the driveway, the little bit of dirt in which the grassy incline meets into the walls in the foreground, and the fact that the bud is, as I mentioned, almost perfect.

Fiction: One sign that this is a rendering — a very remarkable one at that — is that the two-dimensionality of this fire in the fireplace . Since substances in manufacturing are 2-D”maps” employed to 3-D versions, they frequently look out of whack due to the camera’s view. Here the fire is a map facing the chairs but without the thickness of a real fire. And a fire during a hot day? I really don’t think so.

Andre laurent

Truth: Initially I marked that this tact, but that striping of this bud tipped me off into the scene’s reality. At the same time, the put of this outside pillow on the left looks somewhat too imperfect for a rendering.

Jennifer Weiss Architecture

Truth: here’s an opinion where the lighting appears just too even. Most likely the consequence of HDRI, the sunset, inside lighting, and exterior lights, are given equal weight. But again with the neighbor. What rendering would actually include that house next door?

Contemporary house architects

Fiction: Computer models and renderings are definitely getting complicated, but frequently landscape components are a dead giveaway. The plants in the bottom-right corner seem too perfect, likely as they’re replicated entities in the digital environment. Frequently Photoshop is needed to overlay real plants on a rendered scene, merging fiction and truth.

Fiction: This inner view is stunning in how in which the lighting, reflections, and substances work to give the rendering a specific tangibility. But note how the cubic benches in the right foreground seem to hover slightly above the wood floor. That is not perfect. Also, a close look at the floor shows that some of the knots repeat every six boards.

Fiction: This intricate space features components which make it look like a photograph, particularly the flowing curtains in the center of the spectacle. But the landscape bits are a tipoff.

Elad Gonen

Truth: The lighting in this view screams”rendering,” however, the materiality of this concrete still comes across. Vertical joints and traces of the horizontal formwork are evident, touches which would be rather hard to pull off in a rendering.

SVOYA studio

Truth: Here is another one I initially marked as Fiction. However, if anything is difficult to pretend in a rendering, it’s an Eames lounge chair. This one’s real.

Truth: The light in this opinion — another consequence of HDRI — is lacking the contrast which exists if it’s still light outside. And though the wide angle further confuses this image’s reality, the throw onto the back of the couch seems, well, thrown. Truth, assess.

Jennifer Weiss Architecture

Pop quiz: So with each of the aforementioned images in mind, what is this last image, Truth or Fiction? * The job is a Sculptor’s Pavilion, also it’s quite sculptural with its drama of structural steel.

Next: Inspiring contemporary and contemporary architecture

* Response: Fiction. If it appears too distinct to be real, then it likely isn’t. Oh, and if you seem really closely in the patch of light brown in the bottom right corner you will see the words”exterior rendering.”

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