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JOB : Luxury residential flats and apartments

CLIENT : Redrow Homes

ARCHITECTS : Holder Mathias Alcock

LOCATION : Rigarossa, Cardiff Bay, South Wales

As you can see from the image, we are some distance away and a highly detailed model isn't needed in this case. The building and site are AutoCAD modelled and the trees are added in 3ds as 4 opacity mapped faces. The model is then exported as a 3ds file and imported into 3ds to begin texturing.

Exact camera and lighting positions are not important at this stage, i'll usually just set up a nominal 50mm camera, shadow casting omni light and medium-high ambient light and fiddle around with exacts later on. Now you must texture and material up your model as you would any other model. Photo-realistic textures aren't as important in this scene because we a so far away from the building for them to show up, so to save render time you might want to use just plain flat materials instead. In fact this can apply to every would be texture in the model, although if you do plan on using the model for a more close up study at a later time it may be worth doing a full texture job on it, as I did with this example. By the way, no reflection maps are needed for this example - the glass in the windows is just dark grey/blue. You are now ready for camera matching.

This is where the fun begins and is probably the most frustrating stage. To start with, copy the original photo and down-size it to the correct aspect ratio near 640x480 pixels (as in this case) and bitmap fit it as a backround image in the camera view. You now have to use good judgement and fiddle about with the camera/target positioning and roll, lens size and field of view to get as close as possible match between wire frame model and backround photograph. I appreciate this is some what a vague description but time and effort will pay off. Persistence and patience are important here. This example originally took me close on 3 hours to match up, so stay with it. You will finally have a close match but it wont be exact. Dont worry, this will be corrected in Photoshop later.

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