What 15 Years of architectural visualisation Has Taught Me – Dave Edwards

Dave Edwards has been our midfield general creating architectural visualisation for 15 years. He is our Associate Visualiser , let’s find out how his world has changed in that time.

Since graduation in 1998, he found the shores of Architecture In Motion in the early 2000s and is one of our wisened heads for advise and producing great work.

Now in his 15th year with the company, the world looked a different place back in 2001.

This particular year presented a monumental shift in the way we consumed music with the introduction of the very first iPod. Before the days of touch sensitive screens, remember the scroll wheel? After a days work back in 2001, would have meant a visit to Bristol Cineworld to see either Shrek or Monster Inc. Two films that paved the way for a leap in animation.

How has the way of working within the world of architectural visualisation changed since then? Let’s find out some more.


Dave’s first image using Scanline Rendering.

What Has Been The Biggest Change In 15 Years?

One of the biggest changes in 15 years has been the sophistication of rendering technology.

Whilst the functions and tools are still the same with 3D Studio Max, speed and agility have now become one of the biggest transformations.

I guess this notion of speed is the biggest mind-set change since I started.

Whilst technology is probably the easiest answer, it goes far deeper than that.

Let’s take everything back to 2001, when The Strokes first album would have been playing on CD in the office (still here at Princes Wharf, in Bristol). For most projects, when it came to presenting CGI drafts, I would have burnt a CD and posted it to a customer. This would then mean a window of one or two days for a customer to open the envelope, look at and come back with their comments.

Today, delivery is instantaneous. As soon as a draft is rendered, it is emailed. That two-day wait is now superseded by a customer being able to open their mobile and the process is a matter of minutes.

Agility, speed and demand have become the biggest changes in my 15 years with the company.

Call me a purist, but I believe that the best way to consume a piece of work is on the largest medium possible. Whether this is on a hoarding, a brochure or within a newspaper, the viewer can take everything in. This is something that a mobile phone may not necessarily achieve.


This was produced using a render called “Final Render” which was along with “Mental Ray” the first time Dave started using Real world global illumination.

What About Your Best Project?

During my early days projects would have been with customers such as Wimpey Homes. Over the years, hundreds of projects have left my computer and seen all over the world.

I have to say that there isn’t one particular project that I should be proud about, that could become a bit too self-indulgent.

What I am proud of is being part of company that has grown since the early days of an office with three people in it (Chris Jackson, myself and a chap called Simon). We have managed to ride recessions and we are still here. I feel this is more of an achievement.


One of Dave’s recent projects.

Where Is The Architectural Visualisation industry Heading?

CGI will become an even bigger part of our lives, from wearable technology to how we interact and communicate. Within a day-to-day business aspect, rapid delivery will become ever more prevalent.

Real time rendering will become a process that we will all accept as the norm. No rendering time will mean that work will be turned round quicker.


If You Could Go Back 15 Years What One Piece Of Advice Would You Give To The Younger Dave?

I am still fortunate to be within an industry that I enjoy and have learnt a huge amount over the years (and still learning).

If I would say one thing it would to be 100% confident of the work that you are producing. As visualisers if we are assured that we are creating is the best work we can do, then that is the best place to be.

Thanks to Dave for sharing his knowledge and look forward to coming back to the 20-year interview.

Why not read one of Dave’s favourite pieces of work and the Brew House project from last year.


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