Concrete Panels – Ganesh Raman







Throughout the course of the digital visualization sequence of classes I have learned exponentially more about 3D modeling, Parametric design, modes of presentation, and the over all process one takes to begin to design effectively for a variety of functions and situational demands. That being said I was pretty ignorant to many of these prior mentioned abilities and believe we have barely scratched the surface of where such skills can take us. This set of classes has set us up to expand the skills we’ve achieved through various assignments to mold us into better designers that are more aware of the needs to which we design for and more competent in our ability to do so.


Coming into the first Digital Visualization class I honestly did not know what to expect. My background consisted of largely hands on based art mediums and I had minimum to any experience with computer modeling or even photoshop. As the class progressed my eyes were opened to methods I previously would never had considered myself capable of doing. The introduction to rhino was both mind blowing and pivotal in helping me make it through the first semester. Only in the Digital Visualization class did we cover how to expressively utilize the program rather than leaving the class to their own devices. Additionally the introduction to grasshopper was both intimedating and inspirational. I would say that the projects from that first semester, within a smaller class size, were some of the most informative and helpful projects to date. The possibilities grasshopper potentially offers as a design tool are numerous as are the ways it can increase ones workflow. I have found that Rhino has become one of my most useful tools in working through an idea on my own or presenting it to a panel. The use of V-Ray within Rhino has also been very helpful in moving towards a rendering style. While I would like to know how to render realistically I would also like to begin facilitating a style all my own that incorporates all the skills we’ve learned thus far.


In terms of 3D modeling the Digital visualization II class expanded our tool box with the introduction to maya. Maya like Rhino allows the user to freely manipulate digital objects with a variety of tools and techniques. At this point in the semester I had begun to feel relatively comfortable with rhino and used it as a primary tool for visualizing ideas for other classes. The implementation of Maya expanded this tools set. Maya allowed for greater control with manipulating meshes and was more forgiving in the building of organic forms. The main tools I picked up during this time were the blend shape tool, which allows for two objects with identical polygon counts to be blended into a new hybrid shape, and the animation snapshot, which creates a series of objects based on a set number of frames and tracking of the source object through an animation. Since then I’ve become more adept at building from the ground up much like I do in Rhino. In exercise four I learned the technique of baking colors and textures to mesh surfaces. This can become beneficial in designing skins for the exterior of buildings using the colors as perhaps areas of daylight vs shade. I also think this could be utilized in interiors where electric lighting is necessary. Using the baked light technique to simulate how the electrical lighting will effect a space and design appropriately to that condition would be a valuable skill.


The final exercise in Digital Visualization III class dealt with the idea of virtual reality and its potential to share and present ideas. As an idea I think that this can go many places and be a very powerful tool in allowing clients to experience you structure before it is ever built. This approach could also be arranged much like todays modern video games. With a program like Unity a designer could create an entire environment that would allow individuals to move through it in real time. In the case of our exercise we used three different programs to display the concept for the skyscraper competition. The first program was Adobe Showcase with enables you to move around your 3D model in a preset environment. While the idea behind using this program is great I found it difficult to achieve my desired product. One issue may have been that my concept had an excess of overlapping geometries in the form of super extruded frameworks. Another issue had to do with the scale of the structure compared with the environments the program had automatically built in. I found that none of the environments really worked with the structure in terms of scale or atmosphere, this no doubt is limitation that could be overcome with other programs to provide a more suitable environment. My final issue with showcase was the interface itself. It seemed that creating a sinuous animation around the structure should have been more intuitive and the movement options seemed limited, while it wasn’t too difficult to set up I still ended up with a glitchy video. The other two programs, augment and P3d, I found to be more useful but not necessarily without problems. The augment program could be an incredible tool for presentations and could make the need for a physical model obsolete, that is however if you can get your model to successfully render in the program. The biggest problem with using this program is that I think you need to build your model a very specific way initially in order make the best rendering in augment. The 3D model file was far to big to put into the program and after I cut most of it out the render still only displayed half of the meshes. I think this tool could be great with a more developed program that can handle complex geometries. The issues with the P3d program were very similar to the issues with augment, file size and complexity. I do think P3d is a interesting tool for its ability to display a 3D model withing a website or blog-feed without the viewer needing the source program to view said model. Assuming these issue get work out, possibly with more developed versions of these programs, I think that virtual reality in the realm of architecture is increasingly more important. Many clients may not have the imagination to fully understand or visualize and idea with renderings alone, meaning that the need for presentation techniques such as these will become truly invaluable.



p3d: Manny’s Puzzle Box




PB (Click to view in 3D)

E4: (Late)

Digital tools are becoming the standard in todays creative persons tool box. In the field of architecture this is even more true. Many of todays contemporary architectural works are produced with data and performance driven design. Data driven design put simply is designing based off a set of numerically logged parameters that dictate specific outputs based on their deviation. Performance driven design is design based around a key function or set of functions whose success is determined by how well they perform under any number of circumstances. Both approaches are important in understanding how parametrics are implemented into a design and how that design holds up in a real world context.


Group two in exercise four were to focus on creating a skin with varying sizes of apertures that are based on how different colors of light hit the skins surface. In this case these different colors could simulate the sun, electrical lighting, or even wind flows. This process starts in the 3D modeling program Maya, where a volume or surface is either created or imported in the workspace. Once the form finished I then set up lighting around the object in the form or point lights, some red, some blue. I then bake the diffused colored lighting onto the vertices of the object making each point of the surface correlate with a specific color. In the next step the form is exported into Rhino where a grasshopper script will be implemented into the object creating triangular opening of various sizes based on whether a certain vertice was designated red or blue. This script allows for the form to react to the lighting that was set in place in Maya giving the blue areas larger openings and the red areas smaller openings. A practical use for this could be seen for a skyscraper or perhaps office building whose aim was to utilize passive solar heating while controlling the amount of daylight that enters the space.


The main benefit in creating a system in this manner is that the system is designed to successfully perform in very specific way in a specific place. Lets say I design a partition wall in my bedroom to reduce heat and light in a particular part of the room, this technique will allow me to do that however it is so specific in its placement and use that the same partition would likely not work in another situation. Here in lies the flaw with using a performance based design such as this. The design is only as good as the one setting the parameters and determining the function. While its beneficial to have a wall specifically designed for my work space, it then become a con when I move and that partition is no longer effective due to different circumstances. I think the future will be adaptable parametrically designed skins that will acclimate to the present condition. While this exercise is beneficial and informative it is only the first step towards a new way of thinking about data and performance driven design.

P2: Cement Panels (Late)

E2: Clay (Late)



Virtual reality is a technology which is often considered as a natural extension to 3D computer graphics with enhanced input and output device. The integration of this technology with software systems for engineering, design, and manufacturing is providing a boost to the field of computer-aided engineering. This 3D engineering process is a mean to envision, refine, and develop a product or process with significant cost and time savings. In this project, I’ve studied how to visualize 3D models with Showcase, Augment, and p3d website.

Showcase is a great tool for 3D visualization and 3D presentation. It’s easy to create a presentation design exploration video for architects and designers. I could quickly open fbx file into the program and set the 3D environment, light, shadow, and material. With setting video shots, the model was amazingly animated in the viewport through zooming, rotating from many perspectives.

My favorite part of this project was the Augment process. Developing augmented reality systems improves methods for the construction, inspection, and renovation of architectural structures. Augmented reality systems add virtual computer-generated material to the surrounding physical world. We can use it to show the location of columns behind a finished wall, the location of re-bars inside one of the columns, and a structural analysis of the column. I’ve been interested in this Augmented Reality technology which is enriching the real world with digital information and media, such as 3D models and videos, overlaying in real-time the camera view of any digital device such as smartphone, tablet, or PC. It provides a wide variety of user experiences with contextual information, allowing to place life-size 3D models in viewers’ environment. Viewers can easily point or drag their smartphone at a building to display its estimated value.

The potential impact of augmented reality on architecture and structural engineering will increase as the technology is tied to other emerging technologies. Real-time at-site training systems could guide inexperienced users through complex construction operations. The continued evolution and integration of these and other technologies will yield systems that improve both the efficiency and the quality of building construction, maintenance and renovation.

Reflection maps in p3d were amazing for realistic materials. I could integrate my model with an environment of reflections and light and improve the sense of 3D. It is exciting way for all designers to present their work without building physical models. With the public gallery, models can automatically be visible to the world through any device.

Especially, detail maps in p3d are basically about textures such as diffuse, bump and normal channels and allow maintaining patterns over the object even when viewing a model up close. It’s really simple to play and fix the textures of models. The great functionality of p3d is that people are able to zoom, pan and even rotate the model along auto-spin with clicking and dragging.

Traditional ways of educating students have well-proven advantages, but there are also some deficiencies. A typical problem has been how to engage students with appropriate Information and Communication Technologies during the learning process. To implement innovative interactive communication and learning paradigms with students, the instructor made innovative use of new programs in this class. And multimedia material is provided in a number of formats including textual, images, video animations and aural, educational systems are well organized according to current teaching and learning requirements. That requirement is to efficiently integrate these formats in well proven ways, through the web. I’ve been taught the system by introducing 3D visualization websites, virtual and AR in the same web based learning support application.

Educational systems associated with the use of 3D technologies are very limited. A number of different applications were ranged from 2D to 3D visualization. One of the most appropriate means of presenting 3D information is through the Showcase. On the other hand, a promising and effective way of 3D visualization is AR which combines computer-generated information with the real world and it can be used successfully to provide assistance to the user necessary to carry out difficult procedures or understand complex problems.

I’ve got an improvement of the understanding through the use of practical programs and AR presentation websites. These design applications will support the studying of architecture concepts and emphasizing the visualization of 3D objects because 3D immediately enhances the process of learning.

In this class, I could work on great projects for supporting the performing of architecture design. These experiences will help different courses or different sessions to describe the works; provides a brief idea of my architecture concept; and illustrates how my design might be used to improve the life style using Showcase and Augment technologies.



Video Process

E5_Part D

The Design Visualization courses have allowed us to develop and enhance skills that most of us have never tapped into. There are a vast variety of techniques that I am pleased to have learned over the last three semesters. I was in uncharted waters with parametric modeling, but I quickly let go of any ill will I had towards this approach to design after discovering the endless possibilities. Take for example Grasshopper. A plug-in, which at first was foreign, complicated, and overwhelming to learn, became a great tool to creating complex 3D geometric forms. In each semester we were introduced to new software programs and each of these programs have a different approach to design visualization. Programs like Rhino, Grasshopper, and Maya seem to have infinite design possibilities. With this many possibilities I want to keep exploring and learning different techniques that I can apply to future projects. I previously only used Revit for my renderings but through other tools like v-ray for Grasshopper and mental for Maya I can achieve a better quality and photo-realistic rendering. However, these renderings can take hours, even days, for complex designs. The quality is great but wouldn’t it be even better if we could achieve the same quality using a program in half the time. For our last exercise this semester we learned how to use a real-time rendering programs. Augment reality, Autodesk Showcase, and P3d are the programs we explored through our last exercise. These programs all have different advantages and disadvantages. Even with their disadvantages, these programs have made me re-think the way I present design concepts and information.

It seems as with any software program, there are flaws. I had problems with file sizes with many of these programs. Take for example the skyscraper project, the more complex my skyscraper became, the larger the file became. This sometime effected the uploading time for my model. For the virtual reality and augmented assignments I had to make changes to my skyscraper. I would not have been able to upload my skyscraper because of the complex geometry. I hide my complex geometry’s and used the transparent part of my building for the augmented reality and the p3d programs. I also had a couple of problems trying to download showcase 2015 and 2014 on my IMac. Once I had the 2014 version uploaded, it ran very slowly. Took quite a bit of time for my model to upload and to change the environment. I decided to uninstall Showcase and use the school’s computer instead, which was running much faster.

Showcase has the capability to modernize any presentation. With a number of material and environment options, this animation program gives the opportunity to showcase unique characteristics of a building. Seems to be an easy process for changing material and re-creating an animation to present. This allows for different and quick iterations for a presentation without having the agonizing wait for a rendering to render. The accessibility and options makes Showcase a great tool for communicating a design concept to any client.

Design is becoming more accessible. Augmented reality is a great rendering program that allows us to show real time rendering to clients. It allows various ways to for clients to interact with your model. It gives the clients the ability to zoom in, rotate, and look around the model. This program allows us to see our designs become a reality through the augmented reality software. I had a few issues with baking my model in Maya. When I initially baked my skyscraper there were a few sides that were black and that did not bake. It took awhile to figure out why my skyscraper was having this issue but with Professor Ming’s help we were able to figure it out. In Maya I had to reverse the sides that were appearing black. Once I reversed these geometry’s and re-baked the skyscraper, all surfaces were baked.

We were exposed to an immense amount of information over the last three semesters. We are heading toward a digitalized world and slowly architecture firms are catching up with this. I emphasize the word slowly because most firms are using Revit, sketch-up, and AutoCAD. What we have learned is bring us one step closer to being able to help utilize what we have learned in future courses and on our co-ops.


Augment link