This is from an article posted from the Philippine Association of Architectural Illustrators regarding different styles of architectural rendering…
Runddy D. Ramilo, MSc, BSc (Arch) PhD (Architecture) candidate, Australia
Design is a creative activity that is complex and influenced by numerous factors. The new trend in design presentations explore and takes place in a Virtual Environments wherein computer-simulated environment is used to communicate and perceive design. Most researches on Virtual Environments (VE) have been focused on Photorealistic (PR) simulation environments but there has been inadequate research on the use of VE in Non-Photorealistic (NPR) presentations to explore the most efficient method of interior design presentation.
This article discusses the use of VE to support the necessary means of interior design presentations i.e. Photorealistic or Non-photorealistic architectural rendering. Perception of spatial volumes within VE is assessed through comparison of representations using Photorealistic and Non-photorealistic means of presentations. A research was conducted to investigate the relative effectiveness of both Photorealistic and Non-photorealistic architectural rendering in immersive and non-immersive VE by interpretation and communication through design. It was found out that Non-photorealistic architectural renderings are still the most preferred method of renderings by designers and clients.
Virtual reality is a technology which allows a user to interact with a computer-simulated environment. Most current virtual environments are primarily made for visual experiences that displayed either on a computer screen or stereoscopic displays with simulations which include additional sensory information, such as sound through speakers or headphones. Immersive Virtual Environments (IVEs) perceptually surrounds the user, increasing the user’s sense of presence being within it. Virtual environments have been increasingly used for a variety of contexts such as learning, business, engineering, architecture and design. As the modern world develops and utilizes design technology for architecture and interior design, the subsequent demand for digital presentations had popularly emerged. Current visualization research have focused on achieving Photorealism (PR) in which essentially concerned with architectural rendering images as ‘realistically’ as possible through the integration of physics and algorithms (Halper et al, 2003). In virtual environments walkthroughs and picture-perfect simulations of objects have defined a practice where Photorealism is considered as perhaps the most important measure of a successful representation (Roussou and Drettakis, 2003). Since its emergence, the field of computer graphics has concentrated on making 3d images that are indistinguishable from reality.
On the other hand, while most designers and researchers in design and computer graphics have focused on creating Photorealistic presentations some have concentrated on Non-photorealistic presentations. Some have evaded the use of technology and most are inspired by human drawing techniques that are water color, pen and ink, crayons, markers and pencils. With the traditional techniques and human skills a lot in interior design practice are still using these means of presentations as it relates to creative and artistic creations of designs. According to Mausch and Magdeburg (2002), Non-photorealistic architectural renderings (NPR) are beneficial in many ways as they can support story telling, expressive, giving the image a certain artistic look and feel. Masuch and Rober (2001) also encourage the use of NPR as a good alternative as it is more artistic and convey a creative sense of design. A number of research article (Harper et al, 2003), (Kang, 2000) and Klein et al, 2000) states that Non-photorealistic .renditions appear more natural and are perceived far more easily than complicated technical drawings.
In the beginning of the emergence of digital presentations in interior design, many have been enthusiasts and have taken advantages on the use of technology for precise creation of design and presentations. Several designers have focused in 3d modelling and construction detailing and others started creating designs in 3d worlds. Several big architectural and interior design firms like KPF, Aedas, HOK and many others appears to intentionally trash out the traditional non-photorealistic means of presentations and have shifted to 3d modelling resulting to produce a Photorealistic rendition that range from still life to walkthrough animations. Ramilo (2007) points out that Photorealistic architectural renderings has been a good tool for visual communication wherein architects and designers can portray their imaginations into virtual reality. This provides the opportunity to extract the best from variety of different designs for built environment and realizing emotions of interior spaces.
However, as the field of digital media is becoming mature and virtual itself starts to develop a ‘picturesque language’ and even more realistic, there is a realization that in many cases what may interest is not so much about Photorealistic presentations but an image that communicates and easily perceive its underlying meaning. World’s leading interior design companies like Hirsch Bedner and Associates, Wilson and Associates, and Gensler are still using the traditional Non-photorealistic architectural rendering presentations and believed that it is about design as creating creative spaces and convincing environments, regardless if the imagery realistically emulates the physical properties of the world or not. Furthermore, as Photorealistic rendition is technically tedious and costly in which consumed a lot more time and efforts than Non-photorealistic rendering. In many small and medium size design companies, Non-photorealistic presentations appears to be more efficient as it can be done with several styles and options that is water colors, markers and others; in a lesser efforts that can be done by most of the designers.
Nowadays, finding the most quoted efficient interior design presentations has been a difficult task. What may appear graphically good and meaningful to other clients might be worst to other people with different background. In this study, it is argued that design is not just about form and images but about different layers of meanings. Interior spaces can be associated with different functional activities and values which may form a rich environment and cannot be understood by just watching ‘photorealistic’ representation instead ‘imbuing’ the place. For a better understanding and experience in a virtual design environment the most engaging environment is required, which may not necessarily be the most graphically realistic environment.
Despite of comparable technical research (Strothotte & Schlechtweg 2002) within non-photorealistic architectural rendering (NPR), research doesn’t exist in evaluating psychological knowledge regarding its effect on human cognition and perception in interior design presentations. While the Photorealistic image is defined by the singular principle of appearing as realistic or ‘life-like’ as technologically possible, the Non- Normal 0 photorealistic image is virtually infinite and artistic and appears to have variety of styles (Harper, 2003). The visual flexibility of Non-photorealistic holds inherent, though still undefined, potential to influence viewer responses in a variety of manners.
Non-photorealistic architectural renderings (NPR) have long proven useful in the fields of architecture and urban planning: presentation techniques initiated by the Berkeley Environmental Simulation Laboratory (Appleyard & Craik 1978) have been designed to improve user needs when viewing planning alternatives. Additionally, communication between experts and laymen has also developed due to improvements in CAD, visualization, and simulation (Linneweber 1993). In terms of laymen—citizens, investors, and future users, participatory designs must facilitate interactions as well as basic design understanding.
Schumann et al. (1996) demonstrated that Non-photorealistic architectural renderings (NPR sketch-rendered design qualitatively improves the dialogue between architects and clients, in contrast with dialogues elicited from Photorealistic renderings (PR) images. Psychologically, sketch-rendered designs maintain different affordances (Gibson 1977; Munz 1989), wherein sketched images appear preliminary, unfinished, and therefore open to change. Thus, the client is more likely to consider and suggest changes to the design. NPR can also be employed to guide behavior. Halper et al. (2003) demonstrates that increased levels of detail can effectively influence both navigation and exploration behaviors, wherein subjects asked to choose a path to explore or reach a goal in the distance tend to select the path with the higher levels of detail PR images. Potentially, subjects view in an increased level of detail PR is more interesting for exploration, relative to lower level of detail NPR.
Core Zero Creative specializes in NPR or Non-Photorealistic architectural rendering. We create architectural renderings for residential and commercial projects, helping our clients market their developments for many different applications, such as: sale, client review, city reviews, community introduction, etc. We pride ourselves on creating beautiful “digital watercolor” architectural rendering.