To better learn about architectural visualization, I chose to create a fly through animation of a previous assignment that was made in Unreal Engine 4. This project was exploration into a future train station located within the existing dense urban context of Beijing. Previously for this project I screen captured within Unreal Engine to produce two dimensional renderings to represent the architecture. This worked well when it was supplemented with VR/AR during the final representation. The renders however do not convey the full story of the project when they are isolated without VR/AR. The missing part becomes the circulation path throughout the building, as well as some interior special qualities. This is where a fly through becomes useful, as it is able to follow the path that a user of the building may take, as well as offer the user better interaction with the spacial qualities. The benefits of Unreal Engine really are prominent in this process due to the fact that the program offers real-time rendering capabilities. The process to produce the fly through becomes just making a camera and adding a path through the building for the camera to follow. Unreal Engine allows the user to do all this within the program itself. The steps to accomplish this are as follows.


1. Load Unreal Engine File


2. Add Camera to Beginning Location


3. Add Matinee (Under Cinematics) While Camera is Selected


4. Select Camera Button To See Camera View


5. Move Camera in Viewport / Move Time Slider Forward / Press Enter to Add Keyframe


6. Check “Play on Level Load”


7. Render Movie (Under Matinee Expanded Toolbar)


8. End Capture

The benefits of this process that I found was that you don’t have to go directly into the Blueprint for the level to set up the fly through. This speeds up the overall process of creating an animation, and exporting it at a high quality. I see this being a powerful tool to use if you were wanting to quickly show a client a predefined path within a building, and have it rendered quickly. The overall process of setting this animation which is a minute long took less than 30 minutes, and could possibly take even less time than that. This becomes powerful in situations where VR/AR tools are not available and other representational tools like renders, plans, and sections are unable to provide the full picture.

E-5 Video

E3. Setup a Drivable Car in Unreal Engine 4

Part 1_Configure a car model in AutoDesk Maya

Part 2_Drivable car programming in Unreal Engine 4

E3 eye and brain tracking

E3 Mindwave

E3 – Chad Summe

The rendering I chose to carry out for Assignment E3 is a perspective section rendering of my first master of architecture studio project; the Columbus Athenaeum in Columbus, IN. The rendering is composed of a rendering from V-ray for Rhino, line work from Rhino and Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop for additional lighting features, and entourage.

The first step was to use V-ray for Rhino to create a realistic scene. Using the Rhino Document sun, I was able to position the sun in such a way that it was able to shed just enough light into the section of the building. The final image was to face West/Northwest, so the first scene I attempted was to have the sun rising from the east shining directly into the building. This made the scene way too bright, so I decided to move the sun behind the building to the southwest. This created a more visible view of the inside of the section, and I added a directional light of low intensity to shine into the building to get just a bit more light to the back. This created a late afternoon/early evening shot, which I thought would look great with some interior lighting. I used rectangular lights placed on each of the light fixtures I created in Rhino to give a subtly lit interior effect. Using the V-ray Interactive Render, I was able to see how the lights were affecting the scene and adjust them accordingly.

Unfortunately, the interior lighting did not come out as obvious as it was shown in the interactive render. But the rest of the interior looked quite good and the materials were showing well. I decided I would use Photoshop to emphasize the interior lighting later. For the next step, I decided that I wanted to make the section cut a bit more obvious, and I would achieve by creating a 2D vector image of the section view (Make2D), and adjusting the line weights in Illustrator to make them pop from the image, and make the section cut clear. This also helped me show the basic construction of the materials shown, which was the overall goal of this drawing. After the vector image was complete with line weights, I used Photoshop to project the line work over the raster rendering.

My last step was to make final adjustments in Photoshop. My first mission was to accentuate the lighting and shadows. I used the gradient tool to create simple but effective streams of light to pour down between the volumes within the building. The raster image hinted at this, but I wanted to enhance it to show the intent of the design rather than a completely realistic image. I also used gradients to create some interior lighting effects that were lacking at the completion of the raster rendering. Lastly, I added entourage with carefully angled shadows to further show the direction of light in the image.

The creation of this final image was a fairly long yet rewarding process. In my opinion, complete raster image look nice, but layering different images using line work and Photoshop can really help explain the things that aren’t seen at face value at the completion of an architectural process.


For my rendering I chose to try out Sketchup and see what kind of renders were possible through the VRay application designed for Sketchup. It was pretty good. For the subject of the render, I decided to use a model of a round greek temple in Epidauros. It’s called the Tholos at Epidauros. It was designed to worship the god Asclepius. Anyway, the rendering that I captured started off as a basic model with no textures applied. Once I applied my textures to the model (ground, stone, and roof tiles) I set up my shadows and postponed the building within its correct mountainous context and lined it up correctly with the sun. Once I had the shadows how I wanted them, I set up my Vray settings. To save time, I switched the setting “Brute Force” to “Irradiance Map” and turned on Ambient Occlusion. Then, I adjusted the resolution to be 3200×1800 pixels. This resulted in a rendering that was able to produce itself rather quickly, but also be at a relatively high resolution. Once the rendering was complete, I saved the image as a png. By saving the file in this format, I was able to avoid cutting out the background of the render in post production. This way, the sky is completely transparent, which made it easy when adding in my desired back ground in Photoshop.

Now we’re in Photoshop. I imported the single rendering that I captured from Vray and started there. My plan was to overlay a a dashed wireframe to get a sort of X-ray setting, but the model was too complex for my computer to handle exporting the lines. Anyway, once I put the image into Photoshop, I decided that I wanted the rendering to instead be a nighttime rendering. The trickiest part of the entire process was figuring out how to balance the levels, saturation, neutrals and curves to end up with an scene that looked as though it were illuminated by moonlight. I went with a slightly more blue hue than one would normally expect to see because that way, I could accentuate the temperature of the scene and convey a sort of full moon type of atmosphere.

Next came adding grass. The base layer from Sketchup that I used to represent earth material was terrible. It looked too flat and blurry. To remedy this, I used the clone-stamp tool with a brush type that stamps tufts of grass. After I filled in the ground plane with the long and unkept grass one would expect to see at a prehistoric temple, I realized that it was still reading felt and kind of monolithic. To fix this problem, I grabbed the burn tool, fitted that with a grass brush, and lightly went over and sort of “combed” the grass blades that I painted. This gave the grass a layered effect that looked much more realistic. After I finished the grass I added a starry night sky and a UFO to be cheeky.


sketchup- no materials, shadows                               sketchup- materials added

Vray- export png                                                      Photoshop- add night sky

Final step is the completed render at the top. Simply add grass and use the burn tool to achieve good shadows. And a UFO.

Last spring for part of our Senior Capstone we proposed putting operable fins on the exterior of the building to control daylighting. Because it wasn’t essential we ran out of time to create a rendering with the fins or create an animation. Using SketchUp, VRay, and Microsoft Photos I was able to create a short animation of the fins opening and closing. Essentially created numerous scenes in SketchUp and combined as if it was stop motion. Fins were moved through careful layer control. In the animation the right side of image may look a little glitchy.  Did not realize until late that the axis of rotation for the fins was not parallel to the building. I tried adjusting with mixed results.

(I did the Computational Creativity essay which is in a separate post)

Rendering of Fins in “Closed” Position

Rendering of Fins in “Open” Position

E3 Render

Architectural Visualization Paper  Process 1

 Process 2 Process 3

Interior Render Final

E3 Render

Still 1 Photo rendering Using Sketchup, Vray and Photoshop.

E3 – Daniel Anderi

Architecture Visualization

Architecture visualization can be a helpful process to understand the possible visual outputs in an architectural project. In this case I used the rendering software of V-Ray as multiple steps and checks in my model processing. It allowed me to verify proper camera output, lighting, shade and shadow, and also material output.

For this rendering I went back on an old studio project from undergrad. The first thing I did was update the rhino model itself to include closed planar surfaces as well as landscape within the surrounding context. After the rhino model was fully built a camera was located along the corner of the site. Before rendering with lights, materials, and shadows I rendered a material override to ensure the rendered frame and model were complete.

Next, settings with V-Ray sun were completed so that a mid-afternoon shot could be implemented. I actually used the Rhino Standard sun and mingled with its geographic settings. Since the site of this particular project was located in Detroit Michigan, I was able to set the suns settings to that location. I also set the time initially for a 5:00 pm render but the shadows and sun light were too intense so I eventually changed the time to roughly 8:00 am. It should be noted that there isn’t going to be too much direct sun on the framed exterior since this is a northern building elevation.

After that, materials began to be added as overlays on the built model in Rhino. Mostly composite materials and finishes were added. Issues with glass arose as you can the panes of glass on the left have a nice reflection but the entire curtain wall on the right side of the building did not develop the same effects.

A uniform interior light was given to this rendering to make the inside slightly more readable. A rectangular light with the settings of invisible and double sided were selected. Its intensity was also lessened to roughly 5 instead of the standard 30.

From there a final output rendering with the sizing of 1600 x 1200 was created. Post rendering additions of people and landscape are the next steps for this rendering.