I always wanted to design buildings - interview with Anh Thi Ly

Evermotion 2013-01-15 10:17 article  > Interview

Anh Thi Lee is an architect and CG artist from Hochiminh city, Vietnam.

How did you get interested in architecture and cg visualization? What is your educational background? What was your first job in cg/architecture industry?                                           

When I was young, every time when I was coming to big city, I got overwhelmed by big & high building with nice architecture and I have dreamed that someday I could design buildings like that, so I followed my dream and became an architect. The passion for CG visualization just came to me a few years ago, when I got inspired with the beauty of architecture greatly expressed through 3D by some talented artists like PaweÅ‚ Podwojewski, Peter Guthrie or Bertrand Benoit…and since then I have a great motivation & interest in CG.

Interior view of a penthouse by ATdesign.
 
Currently you are running ATdesign studio where you are leading a group of architects. What tools do you use in the studio (software, libraries, renderings, plugins, scripts, equipment)?
We mostly use Sketchup & 3dsmax software, Vray for rendering and 3d libraries mostly from Evermotion, which produces really good & quality models. We are also equipped with good engines that can handle big size projects.
 
What is current market for this type of offer: are more photorealistic visualizations or stylized ones more popular, are there any trends in visualizations?
I think photorealistic visualization trend is more popular now, as clients always want to see in advance, how their buildings will look like in reality, so to bring that to clients, we are trying to do visualization as close as possible to reality, even better in some ways. But stylized trend is also important as it defines a specific style of an artist/studio, so our goal is to combine the two trends to create a photorealistic visualization with specific style.

Pool bar area at Den Gion Resort
 
Can you describe the process from order to delivery? What are the stages, how much time take each of them and how is the process of contacting the customer?
When we begin a project, we often get all informations about it and the files from clients. Then we may have some questions to be more clear about the project and their requirements. When we are done with that, we proceed to first stage - project modeling. This stage often takes most of the time and depends on the project size. Then we show them raw modeling of the project to make sure that there is no problem with that, and we continue with texturing and draft rendering, and after some adjustments, we can complete the projects. This stage should also take a lot of time, as we have to wait for comments from clients (and sometimes they change their designs). We mainly contact clients by email and skype as our clients are from many countries in the world.
 
What are the most labor-intensive parts of the visualization process, which tend to be the most problematic, what needs special attention?
The most labor-intensive part of the visualization process is often modeling stage, as it usually takes most of the time and manpower to do. I can say the most problematic part is often the texturing as it's not easy to achieve realism when it comes to materials. Rendering & post production stage need special attention as it is the final stage which decides about the final quality of the product.

Details of a staircase
 
What types of projects interest you the most and why? Are there any projects you will never do? Are there any projects that you dream of?
Resort, hotel & office projects are my favorite types, which interests me the most, as clients often have very high requirements for these types of projects in order to do marketing to attract people and we like to do such challenging tasks. We do all kinds of projects as long as they belong to architecture & interior. We are dreaming of doing projects with popular architects of the world like Richard Rogers or Tadao Ando...
 
You have worked on many different projects over the years, but which have been the most interesting and challenging? Are you going to work on something interesting in the nearest future?
Currently we are working on a resort-like hotel & villa complex, and the idea for design & visualization is the combination of modern & resort style so i can say this is the most challenging and interesting work so far. Another challenge is the time pressure - big load of projects has to be done in a short time. Currently, we have more clients from Europe, and I hope there will be many interesting projects coming in the near future.
 
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I often visit some websites like Evermotion, Cgarchitect & Ronenbekerman for CG inspiration and Archdaily & contemporist for designing inspiration.
 
What do you think the computer graphics and visualization will look like in the future? Do you predict any significant changes? Is there any direction in which you would like software and hardware to evolve? Are there any features missing in the current tools?
I think computer graphics and visualization will be automated in the future, when people will design software that produces high quality CG images with just few simple steps, not so complicated as now. But if that happens, it will not be interesting anymore, as there will be no distinguish between good & bad visualizators, anybody will be able to do good CG and people will fall behind with learning. Its just my thinking & prediction for the future, but I hope it will never happen.There are actually some features missing in 3d software, but those are minor issues and people can always find a way to handle them in certain ways.
 
Student dormitory 2 by ATdesign

What do you like to do when you are not working? Do you have any hobbies besides the 3d graphic?
When I am not working, I like to find news about world computer graphic and new building design of some world's popular architects, it is my interest. I also meditate to relax mind after a hard working day.
 
Do you have any advice for young 3d visualizators who are beginning now? Can you share with us your method for success?
My advice for beginners is: never stop keeping yourself motivated and passionate for CG, learn and find out things yourself with any means available on the Internet. The most important thing is that success always comes along with hard work & patience.
Thank you for an interview!


Visit ATdesign website
 
Author: Evermotion Editor: Michal Franczak
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