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GM_Anim
06-14-2011, 01:12 PM
Good afternoon folks,

I have been a LW user off and on for a several years, but I have never had the pleasure of doing an architectural walk/fly through. Well, I may finally have my chance. I have many questions however, please keep in mind that I am a newbie in this area, but I will try to keep them to a minimum.

First of all, my client is seeking a photo-real rendering of three animated fly-throughs consisting of two external views, and one internal view. The project is a building with a lot of glass on a street corner, and would need to have cars, people, and foliage (shrubs, flowers, and trees). The source files would be coming from Autodesk's Revit software. In order to complete this project I will be upgrading to LW10.

1. What is the best way to get models from Revit into LW?
2. Would the resulting import require any additional modelling and/or texturing?
3. Are there any good libraries for people, cars, items, foliage, textures, and other related items?
4. Any recommendations for lighting and/or rendering such a scene?
5. How many hours would you estimate that such a project would entail?
6. Any suggestions on how to price something like this?

I would appreciate any and all suggestions and advice. Thank you in advance for your time.

Glen

Ryste3d
06-14-2011, 01:48 PM
Buy a book. just kidding. But that was a lot of questions:D

GM_Anim
06-14-2011, 01:57 PM
Thanks. :)

I'm not opposed to that actually, know of any good books on the subject?

As is often the case though, my client needs me to get back to him ASAP ... and ASAP is a lot shorter time frame than the length of time it would take me to read a book unfortunately. :)

BTW, that is some great stuff on your site. ;)

Nicolas Jordan
06-14-2011, 02:19 PM
1. What is the best way to get models from Revit into LW?
2. Would the resulting import require any additional modelling and/or texturing?
3. Are there any good libraries for people, cars, items, foliage, textures, and other related items?
4. Any recommendations for lighting and/or rendering such a scene?
5. How many hours would you estimate that such a project would entail?
6. Any suggestions on how to price something like this?

I would appreciate any and all suggestions and advice. Thank you in advance for your time.

Glen

1. There are probably multiple formats that will come out of Revit but if I were you I would put aside some time for clean up of existing models and you may even have to remodel some of them if they are poor quality. Expect to redo all the surfacing to make it look decent in Lightwave.

2. Refer to 1.

3. Dosch and Evermotion tend to have good quality content available. You may want to work that into your price especially if you don't expect you will reuse them much in the future.

4. Totally up to you but most clients expect GI these days.

5. Expect it to take weeks to complete.

6. It may be best to give a wide range.

BigHache
06-14-2011, 02:59 PM
Price out rendering to a farm and see if can work within budget. Otherwise, as Nicholas said, it'll take a hot minute to render.

GM_Anim
06-15-2011, 09:38 AM
Thanks for the input folks, it is greatly appreciated.

Is there a cross-platform rendering solution that I might be able to use? While I work on Mac, I do have a couple fairly powerful PCs in the office I would like to use for rendering.

Any good books/tutorials/sites on architectural modelling, texturing, lighting, and rendering? A book geared toward Lightwave would be ideal.

Thanks again.

Glen

Ryste3d
06-16-2011, 02:54 AM
1. Load your revit (DWG) model into Sketchup Pro. Depending on the DWG polycount on the model it can take forever, but it will load eventually. You may have to give the building new surface/renaming. Do that in Sketchup first and then apply your texture in Lightwave. Export as 3ds or .obj.

2. Load into LW. Resize the model to real world (important). Apply texture materials to the building. You properly have to model the site around the building. Roads, parking and sidewalks. Use LWCAD. Many good tutorials on www.wtools3d.com.

3. Buy all you need from Turbosquid.

4. For rendering I would suggest using Kray. Easy daylight and fast render. A must have for interior rendering. I can provide you with some exterior and interior light preset setup.

4.1 Make/ad a Geo-location also in Sketchup. Export to Lightwave. Now you can draw reference buildings from the map.

4.2 Make a dome in LW and apply a 360 photo from the location (you need a 360 photo)

5. To price this is not possible from your information. That depends on how much you have to model yourself, the length of the animation, is it for web, SD or HD video? Do you need animated people and cars in the scene? Do you have to edit the animation in a video editing program, apply sound, music and voiceover.

The best and cheapest render farm in the World www.garagefarm.net

6.We charge $120/hour

biliousfrog
06-16-2011, 06:10 AM
A lot of your questions (and answers) will depend on the level of detail your client requires. Photo-real is actually quite a subjective term, it shouldn't be but it is. As an example, the models from Revit will likely be very accurate from a structural view (unlikely if done by an architect but you might be lucky) but very likely not very 'realistic'. The glass will probably be a single polygon (or two-tris) rather than a solid object, the edges will be sharp rather than bevelled and some of the details considered unimportant from a design POV (roof tiles, guttering etc.) will possibly be missing or very simplistic.

Before giving a quote you need to know what you're dealing with. How detailed is the object, is it accurate, what is missing, can you use any of it at all...?

If you've never dealt with architects you've probably got a shock coming to you. Admitedly I've mostly dealt with 2D plans from AutoCAD but, in 10 years of arch-viz, I can think of one project where the CAD data was actually correct. It is incredibly common for elevations and plans to not line up...walls which are different heights, areas which have been left purposely vague, areas which have not been designed yet, plans which are different shapes despite supposedly having the same footprint...

So, first step, I'd ask the client for the CAD data, materials, landscape plans, examples of vehicles, trees, people type (clothing, ethnicity, age)...everything.

From there you can work out how much work you've got to do, how long it might take and how much you need to charge. Alternatively, you can try to find out their budget and discuss what you can do for them...sometimes you have to do both, give a price, wait for the stunned silence, then explain alternative options which will fit their budget.

Everyone wants an animated fly-through...very few want to pay for it. Often they only need a selection of stills but it's up to you to educate them in how 3D works and how animation increases rendering time and production time.

Danner
06-16-2011, 05:10 PM
Be prepared for changes, sometimes I would deliver a set of renders only to find out they changed the whole idea (for the third time). So make a financial agreement that takes that into account somehow. (charge extra for changes, or use a daily rate.. what ever)

The basic formula I use to give an estimate goes something is this:
I know how much I should be making per hour. I talk to the client to know everything that has to be done. I try to imagine how long it would take me, and multiply the time with the hourly rate, then add 50% of that, because things ALWAYS take longer than I imagined at first. =)

biliousfrog
06-17-2011, 02:24 AM
To follow what Danner has said, I'll always break down a project into sign-off stages.

If it's an animation I'll break it down into:

Storyboard/Animatic
Massing/Modelling
Surfacing/Lighting
Animation preview
Final delivery

I'll make it clear that any amendments to a specific stage after it has been approved will incur an additional fee relative to the amount of work required. As an example, if the client makes a change to the animation at the storyboard stage, it is fairly easy to plan for those changes. If they change it after you've modelled everything you might have to model areas which were previously unseen which will increase the workload.

If it's a large project and/or with a new client I'll also often schedule stage payments on approval of those stages...that way both parties can pull the plug at any time if something isn't working with minimal wastage, you get a regular income and the client understands how important it is to sign things off properly rather than just getting the PA to do it.

GM_Anim
06-29-2011, 07:46 AM
Thank you for all the fantastic responses folks, I really appreciate it. Many points have been brought up which I would have never thought of ... and would have no doubt learnt the hard way.

Glen