How Award-winning Architectural Visualization Studio Uses D5 Render

Architectural Competition | Rendering | Architecture | Design
CAT-OPTOGRAM, a studio dedicated to artistic and realistic visualization of architectural design, says no to stereotype for any of their archviz projects, whether residential or commercial. As long-time users of D5 Render, they love to make animations from novel angels with creative storyboards, conveying their perception of humanism and innovation through their design and rendering.
"We are to display aesthetics in architectural design."
--- 4 architects from CAT-OPTOGRAM
World Architecture Festival Winner
Awards Received by CAT-OPTOGRAM STUDIO:
D5 Render Challenge - Grand Prize
2020 WAF - Excellent Design Award
2020 Global Future Design Awards
2021 International Residential Architecture Awards
2021 Ideal Architecture Festival Winner(Architecture) - Office
2021 Zhuhai Design Award - Urban Design Award

To Design, To Visualize

"We adjust and improve our design based on the feedback on render visualization which directly shows how the project will look."
We have been adhering since our days in school to the idea that visualization and design should go hand in hand. In this case, a real-time rendering tool, namely D5 Render, which allows us to instantly preview our improvements becomes critical.
We preview the space and structures inside D5, which helps us create a 3d design that suits this area. Being able to walk through the design in D5 allows us to find out if anything's wrong with the design itself, and gives us an insight into how the project is going to be carried out. The real-time viewport shows any change to the models, and environment immediately, saving us a large amount of time.
Another convenience of D5 Render is that you can easily arrange the whole scene and decide on your camera shots. In this regard, we tend to immerse ourselves in the scene and animation so we can create interactive, immersive, and story-telling visualizations for our clients.
That's normally how we work with D5, and once everything's set, we export the scenes and animation as a demo render that serves as a quick illustration of our design ideas. This is highly efficient when we need rounds of meeting and discussion with our co-workers and clients.

Animation making

"A building after construction may look a bit different from the renders, yet the design won't ever change. That's why we have to fight against cliche."
Before making animations, we often ask ourselves the following questions:Do the storyboards make sense?
Does the camera movement resemble architectural photography in real life?How to make people feel like they were actually there?
Take this project in Chengdu, China for example.
It shows the community of local residents: casual, and full of life. So we shot the animation from angles that were often used in movies, introducing the architecture from the residents' point of view.
In order to make the scene more vibrant and realistic, we added a wide variety of plants, characters and stuff like fruit stalls, vendors that represent the lively market on city streets.
tip: the placement of plants such as lawns and flowers can be painted with the Brush tool in D5 for a more randomized and layered look.
After adding these assets into the scene, we were worried at the beginning that D5 couldn't handle so many faces of models. Yet D5 proved its capability for handling large scenes with smooth operations and relatively high FPS. Seeing D5‘s performance, we trust it with all our large-scale projects.

More archviz projects rendered with D5 Render

Another example is Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, the Alma Mater of Oliver Deng and MickZhu, who are both founders of CAT-OPTOGRAM STUDIO.
The project was an extensive campus complex including classrooms, art gallery and spaces for after-school activities. Before diving into the detailed adjustment of textures, lights and assets, we had to make sure that the overall visual is in line with the functionality of the spaces. This laid the basis for a logical and touching display of the buildings.
In the project of Bantian Middle School, we used some architecturally-used camera shots to display a large-scale green roof including orthographic projection for the Top view and long-focus axonometrical drawing for a particular area.
At first we were prepared that the uniqueness may not be accepted by the clients. Luckily enough, they seemed to be impressed with what we had to offer, and kindly allowed us to add our own character into the design and animation.
Finally, to all the designers and architects:
“Aesthetics and design skills are a must to architects. An efficient workflow can be a plus. Requests and ideas from clients should not be driving this market. We are looking forward to more artistic and impressive works made with D5 Render. ”

Interviewee: CAT-OPTOGRAM
Arranged and posted by D5