Loudly Quiet - Let the renderings speak for me | A virtual exhibition film rendered with D5 Render

D5 Render | SketchUp | Blender | Animation | Exhibition | Art | Design
Exhibition is meant for audience. In this period when everyone's restricted to their homes, some refuse to pause when it comes to delivering works of art to a mass audience online. That's why Jordi and AVA CGI decided to work hand in hand for Loudly Quiet, a virtual exhibition rendered with D5 Render. In this interview, learn more about how the artists breathed life into renderings and the story behind this virtual exhibition.

Meet the Artists

Jordi Fornies

Contemporary artist, painter,
sculptor and music composer.  https://www.jordifornies.net/
Co-founder of AVA, a 3D visualisation studio specializing in the creation of architectural and garden design imagery and animations. https://www.instagram.com/ava__cgi/

Sam Taylor from AVA CGI

About the collab

During lockdown, Jordi was working on his exhibition, Loudly Quiet. He wanted to explore the possibility of creating a virtual space for the exhibition, and an animation he had seen on YouTube crossed his mind. It was a work of AVA CGI created in D5.
Jordi was impressed, and felt it should work for his exhibition too. With the idea in mind, he approached Sam from AVA. That's how this project began.
Like many other collaborations going on at the time, Jordi and Sam had their conversations through phone calls to discuss the aspirations for the project. They decided to expand upon the existing scheme – the museum extension.

Loudly Quiet

Q. What is the meaning of Loudly Quiet and what are the messages this exhibition tries to convey?
Jordi: I believe artwork is unique to how an artist observes and embraces the world around them. Through that lens, the viewer can experience a glimpse of how I interpret things. This work is my response to a year locked down. Life has been tumultuous, but also very quiet in the studio, absent of interaction, and devoid of the substance that previously fulfilled a need.
Loudly Quiet is a contradiction. On one hand, I am talking about being loud, which is represented by the bold colours of this exhibition. On the other hand, it's also quiet, like how I felt during the pandemic and the time spent alone in my studio. It voices my need to be loud, during a period that we were forced to be quiet.
Sam: Loudly Quiet is representative of a desire to create and engage with the world at a time when it simply wasn’t possible. Being fixed geographically during lockdown placed severe limitations on certain aspects of our lives, and places that had once been busy fell silent. Everything went indoors. It was a shared experience, but for a huge number of people it was a very lonely and isolating one. We wanted to try and convey this through the use of materiality, lighting and the typology of the various gallery spaces. We decided early in the project that simplicity was key and we would keep the interior as uncluttered as possible, to represent the absence of the events and interactions that made up every day life pre-pandemic.
Q. Which is your favorite piece of work in this exhibition and why?
Sam: My favourite piece is the painting Just Like You. There's something about the colour of the bold form in the centre of the piece that always draws me to it.
Jordi: Strangely enough, I love the images showing the rock patio, the roof moving, none of which are my artwork but I found them incredibly well done. The way that the material of the roof speaks to the material of the sculptures is amazing. I also love the work in the central patio with water. That sculpture floating in the water is stunning.

Sam, Rendering with D5 Render

Q: What is your usual workflow?  Why did you choose D5 Render?
My typical workflow for architectural projects is SketchUp > Blender > Post processing. We in the studio are nowing using D5 for our regular projects.
We chose D5 to create this film for the speed and quality of output. Changes can be made to any aspect of the model with such ease (thanks to it’s seamless compatibility with SketchUp), materiality can be adjusted instantly, and 4K clips can be rendered quickly. It was an ever-evolving project for us, so we chose D5 to ensure there were no bottlenecks at all.  
Q. What are the advantages of D5 Render, compared with your previous workflow?
Q. Differences between rendered exhibition and a real one?
Virtual exhibitions differ from real ones in that there is an absence of the real-life visiting experience where visitors follow a processional, curated route through the architecture. We designed the buildings to incorporate into one, but when it came to the final piece, we tried to avoid capturing the sense of moving through the building physically in favour of capturing rooms and individual pieces of art in a more dramatic / cinematic light.
Q. How do you like the results?
D5 absolutely lived up to my expectations. There are several clips in the animation that came out exactly as I'd hoped they would.  
Q. How did you adjust the materials of paintings and sculptures in D5 for a realistic effect?
It might seem hard, but D5 has made material adjustment quite simple yet effective, so you can achieve great details and fidelity effortlessly. I used the materials Jordi provided, and applied them in D5. I used the native controls of D5 to add maps and manipulate scaling etc.
Q. Which is more difficult in rendering? Recreating the artwork, setting the environment of an exhibition, or arranging cameras?
I would say setting the cameras. It was never easy to capture the right angle, combined with the right movement and lighting. Fast camera movements tended to affect the smoothness of the shot, so I slowed clips down to avoid this. Although initially adjusted to improve quality, the slower shots actually accentuated the feel of the piece in general. So it was a happy accident! Depth of field is also a key component, so I used that wherever possible. Getting the perfect shots was a process of trial and error.  
Another difficulty was finding a good balance with the lighting, particularly direct lighting from the native sun. I found myself avoiding the use of strong, directional light in favour of a more neutral even coverage and I increased the use of artificial lighting where necessary to find a good balance.
Q. Tips on lighting and modeling?
In terms of modelling, focus on the details. All the little elements are crucial. Bevelled edges, shadow gaps at the base of walls and other connection details. They might not be obvious, but they make a huge difference. With lighting, use artificial lights in places you wouldn't necessarily find in real life to add drama and accentuate objects or spaces.  

Jordi, Arts and more

Q. How did you come up with the idea of a virtual exhibition?
The idea of bringing the exhibition virtually to people struck me when my exhibitions in Europe were cancelled due to Covid. I wanted my work to be seen, not just on social media, but as if the artwork was in a real physical space, allowing people to feel like they were out there visiting it.  
I checked a lot of platforms created to show virtual exhibitions, but wasn't convinced by any of them. Then I saw the work of AVA. I especially love their approach to showing space, images of the interior of the building mixed with artwork. I loved their virtual museum so much I wanted the same for mine.  
I reached out to them and we started to work together on this project. I wanted to let them define the space, work with my artwork and place it according to their expertise, like a curator deciding the story of the video.
Before the Orange
Q. Did you enjoy making this project?
I enjoy making the making of my works more than any other part. I love what I do for the creative process, ideation, and execution.  I see myself as a real studio artist that loves to spend time in the studio working.
Q. I heard the bgm of this video is a piece you produced. That's impressive! What else are you working on?
Yes, I am now focusing more on my music career, trying to push my work in this very competitive environment. At the same time, I am preparing a new collection of paintings, so who knows, maybe another possibility to collaborate with D5 and AVA :)
More music by Jordi
Q. I've noticed that some of the sculptures are quite photo-realistic with scratches and smudges, so how did you make it?
We did spend a lot of time with the sculptures as I wanted them to look extremely real. While the paintings were photographs, we used original 3D files for the sculptures. I provided Sam with all the materials for sculptures, so that he could apply it to each sculpture in D5 and scaled appropriately to suit them.
Q. How do you like the rendered exhibition?
While it's hard to see exhibitions at one's own pace and take a closer look at the works as in a real exhibition, AVA has managed to produce animation with a artistic yet natural route through the space. The materials of paintings and sculptures are also a hard nut to crack, which took us a long time. Fortunately, what we get from the renderings turns out quite photorealistic. The rendering also brings the possibility to place artworks in any position in the whole space, without limits to our imagination.
Now that I've seen my works displayed in a D5 rendered virtual exhibition, I'm open to more like this in the future. It contributes to making an exhibition universal and reaching more people, so I do feel that art needs to be seen.
Q. How do you like the output from D5?
AVA did phenomenal work on the delicate video that shows space and artwork with great mastery. I am beyond happy with the result they produced with D5 Render.  With this animation, I got to show the artwork to curators and I am going to exhibit the real work this December in Spain.  
At this special time, an exhibition and many other events we used to enjoy can be out of reach, but thanks to the creativity and efforts of Jordi and AVA, they made it possible with D5. If you're dreaming of somewhere you can't visit now, or if you have untold stories like them, join us in the D5 Render Challenge II.
Interviewee: Sam from AVA CGI, Jordi Fornies
Arranged and posted by D5