Author Archives: Robert Peebles

Robert Peebles_E3

Architecture Visualization

One of the increasing ways that I have begun to think about architecture visualization software is a way for me to test out lighting theories that I might have about my or others buildings. I have been increasingly trying to evolve my understanding of how programs like Vary and other rendering software interpret and create the illusion of light so that what I test can be as accurate and helpful to me as possible.

For this assignment I was interested in doing a lighting study tracking the movements of the sun through the program to test what different interior conditions are created. I chose to study the Pantheon, whose oculus seemed like a powerful enough and easily understood for me to have the freedom to test what I wanted to. For these renderings I used Sketchup Pro, trying to take advantage of what I think is one of the better sun tracking systems of the software I am aware of; and also due to the nature of Sketchups groups and components that allow me to model and map materials to like elements very quickly. To get the sun conditions that I was looking for I both referenced real world orientation of the building, as well using Sketchups geo-locate function; I also downloaded a program called true north that allowed me to modify the direction of north within the file so that I could be sure I had the orientation correct.

With the materials for this rendering is largely contained varying types of marble, both in color and in texture and reflectivity. The surface of the Pantheons dome for example if a very rough surface, in stark contrast to the material of same color on the floor which is much glossier. I think one of the points that I did fail to achieve within these renderings is the secondary bounces, or the marbles ability to reflect ambient lighting to create a little brighter space. I understand that the oculus is the only true light source within the space, and that by nature most if the interior space is rather dark- but there seems to a larger ambient light level than I was able to achieve within the rendering that I produced. I ended up having to “cheat” placing a very low level spherical light right below the oculus to make up for the light I felt I wasn’t able to figure out through the material bouncing. As far as using the other lighting systems, I felt like I was able to gain good control over the program to do what I needed it to – and possibly I look at creating an emissive material torch out of a fire texture, but it felt counterproductive to what I was actually wanting to test.

I also used a very low level HDRI mapped to a dome light, partially to create a scene coming out of the open doorway and grill, and also to see if it would interpret a little stronger bounces from the image. Ultimately though I ended up just using the image as a background because it was starting to feel like I was adding a “second sun” to the scene that again felt counterproductive to the type of test I was trying to perform.



Robert Peebles_E5

Robert Peebles_E4

Size: 34″ x 34″ x 42″

Materials: String, Wood, Steel Rods, Marker

Estimated Cost: $70

Construction Technique: Laser cut and complete base in Wood Shop. String individual rows in the X direction through perforated sheets in the bottom and top of the base, using the Halo Lens at each completed row to color in the volume inscribed within the string matrix.

E2: Robert Peebles & Todd Funkhouser


New Rhino Document okay – all data contained in grasshopper file

E1: Robert Peebles