Terragen 3 and Fox Engine

Terragen 3 - Good enough for superman

 Image by MPC

Image by MPC

As a comic book nerd from childhood and being Kansas born and bred, I was pretty excited for Chistopher Nolan's interpretation of Superman in "Man of Steel."  He was able to make Bat-Man feel believable so I had faith that he could do the same for Superman - despite the fact that everything about Superman is just plain over the top.  And, just like every sci-fi/action movie these days, the visual effects play the primary role in convincing viewers of characters abilities and the environments they inhabit. 

 

 Image by www.jakubcech.net

Image by www.jakubcech.net

Terragen has been convincing you of these environments for a while now, used often in Vfx studios and seen in movies like Oblivion and Man of Steel, but it seems to just now be crossing over into the ArchViz world.  A recent post on Ronen Bekerman's finished work forum showed some stunning results (image above) and there  certainly are instances where this would be the ideal software to fill in context surrounding certain buildings, but in ArchViz most showcased buildings are surrounded by...well, other buildings.  The software has an incredibly impressive GI engine, but for how rarely my projects would need it I don't think I'll be adding it to my workflow.  Unless of course I happen to win a free license for their current give away...

 

Solid Snake is at it again...

Kojima Productions, makers of the popular Metal Gear Solid game series, have created their own render engine used in the newer installments of the games.   The big take away from this software that should be applied to all architectural renderings is to really focus on lighting.  Though you should have a high bar for minimum level of detail to model in your scenes, the real world has too much detail to recreate digitally.  Lighting will almost always be the first attribute that people engage with when viewing an image.

 Image by Kojima Productions

Image by Kojima Productions

This is the whole idea behind the Fox engine but what is most impressive is that it is a Real Time rendering engine - so the lighting qualities are constantly updated and can be effected or obstructed by objects and characters introduced to the scene.  The video below shows a live demonstration of the software.