The stage between research and inspiration moving into creating concepts and then 3D visuals is a tough one. You ask yourself questions like.. How do I generate ideas from my research? Well look at the image above. This is from my MA Inspiration Booklet entitled, The Manifesto, it is of Christian Precht's Voronoia concept. This form has ultimately inspired the following process you are about to see.
Ok so I have these organic forms with abstracted circles as my inspiration. I almost always usually draw a quick sketch to envisage what the render will look like and therefore the direction I want to go with this concept.
Quick sketch of envisaged concept
As you can see the image to the left is that very quick sketch. This took no more than 15mins as they are used not for presentation purposes but for a rough guideline to how I want the 3D CAD concept to somewhat look.
Now it's time to create CAD concepts using the above images as inspiration for forms. My CAD program of choice is RHINO 3D. It is a modelling tool which can handle creating organic forms effectively. You can do similar things in 3D Max but out of personal preference I use Rhino. A free trial version of Rhino can be downloaded at www.rhino3d.com.
1. In the floor plan view create your 2D abstracted line using the control point curve tool.
2. Then using the PIPE command create the 2D line into a 3D form.
3. Repeat pattern as required to create different forms varying in shapes and sizes.
4. Then using the line tool create a box around the perimeter of your pattern. Then use the Command PlanarSrf to turn this into a solid 2D shape. (We need this box when projecting this pattern).
5. Create a solid 3D shape. This is used as a support structure when projecting the pattern. To do this create a few spline lines and use the command Loft to join the lines creating a solid shape. You are now ready to project the pattern to the surface you have just created.
6. To project the pattern use the following command. FlowAlongSrf. Highlight the pattern (not the box surrounding it) with the cursor. Follow the instructions in the command box. It will then ask you to select the box surrounding the pattern. The next step is to then click on the shape created in the previous step. Click Enter.
7. Delete the solid shape previously made.
8. Then you are left with your form that has been stretched along the surface of the 3d shape made. All that is left now is to create a scene to render.
9. By creating a box enclosing the form you are creating a scene that is suitable for rendering. To render I used the Vray for Rhino Plugin available from www.asgvis.com. Set the materials you want by using the material bar in Rhino (Right hand side of screen under materials) and then turn the ceiling of the box into an emissive material in the Vray Material editor. Therefore you are creating a scene with lights that replicate interior down-lights.
10. Change the render settings to Studio Print Quality in the Vray Options menu and click render. I have assigned HDRI settings to the materials to give them that extra photo realistic look.
And there you have it. With practice and time this is very easy and adds a whole new depth to your 3D skills.