The One Constant In Architectural Visualisation Is Change – Chris Jackson

The world of architectural visualisation is now part of the consumer mainstream. This is a long way since the early days of Architecture In Motion back in 2000.

Following on from Dave Edwards look back at his early days with the business (click here to read ‘what 15 years at AIM has taught me’), lets find out from Chris Jackson how the architectural visualisation industry has evolved, from a personal perspective.

“It is too easy to say that a lot has changed. We all acknowledge that we have come a long way since foliage and trees were cuts out for the images we produced in the early days.

However, all we have done is add to the complexity and more importantly people’s expectations have increased over time.

Take for instance, rendering times. The time has not changed; all we have done is add more complexity to the imagery we are producing.

I believe that we are all pushing things to a limit to challenge us and to take things to a further next stage.


Moving To 4K

In terms of pushing boundaries we are all about to embrace the world of 4k resolution. Not just those within the architectural visualisation industry, but also within the consumer marketplace too. Just when a homeowner thought that it was a safe bet that they were at the cutting edge with a 1080p HDTV having pride of place in a living room, now the world is taking things to Ultra High Definition.

Take this back 10 years ago when Architecture In Motion was still a fledgling company, the world of 4K was not even a pipedream. I can recall the issues for any animation to play on a TV. This was before a USB port in a TV and it was a complex process for a DVD to play with an animation contained within it. We had to invest in software to translate the final rendered sequence to play.


The Biggest Change

We can all look back with a sense of nostalgia at how realism has progressed, but here is where I see the biggest change.

The ‘WOW’ moments are still there when a customer sees for the first time the vision they had now transferred within a virtual world. It is just that the expectations are now perhaps even higher.

CGI is now part of the mainstream. It is all around us, from having a role to play in advertising to the watershed moment of Avatar being released in 2009. The evolution of CGI for cinema audiences also represents the evolution of our work. I think we now expect more than we did 15 years ago and the demands are even higher. A company that delivers consistent ‘ok’ pieces of work, will eventually been trampled on by a business that can raise the bar when it comes to any animation.

What I feel is that the longer that you are within an industry, the more you have to progress your skill sets and adopt new approaches. We are all constantly learning. For instance, three years ago the ability to produce realistic animation for minute detail such as a wake on an ocean would be a high expectation, today this is something that we can say we are comfortable with. It is the detail that becomes even more of a focus as expectations are rising.


To Round Off

What has not changed though since 2000 is the care over an image or animation produced. What was once considered by many as an expensive luxury and as part of a campaign, has now become an aspect that is integral for showcasing a future vision.

A virtual world can be crafted from anything that is put in our direction. From boats, to museums, to houses. Whilst the subject matter has developed, our whole belief to create work that tells a story is still embedded within the company.”

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