In the past few weeks, I've received a number of emails and messages from recent graduates, expressing their passion for architectural visualisation. Creating stunning 3D visualisations of design concepts has been a source of joy during their college or university days and now, they aim to embark on a fulfilling career in this field.
I can completely relate to their aspirations, as I was once in their shoes, eager to become a 3D visualiser. However, the journey wasn't as simple as landing a 3D role. If you want to delve deeper into my personal story, you can find it in my blog titled "The Road to Resolution Studios."
In this blog post, I aim to offer valuable advice and address questions to help the next generation of Architectural Visualisation artists kick start their journey in this ever-evolving and captivating industry.
For all the recent graduates eager to break into the architectural visualisation sector, my first advice is to focus on honing your skills and building an impressive portfolio. Each new project presents an opportunity to learn and improve, gradually enhancing your skill set and achieving remarkable outcomes. With every project, you'll be nurturing a 3D portfolio that showcases your ever-evolving talents.
If securing a 3D role seems challenging at first, consider dedicating some of your own time, either evening or weekends to complete personal projects.
Also, don't hesitate to display your skills to your current employer. When the right opportunity arises, seize it and demonstrate what you can produce with your current skill set.
Software plays a crucial role in our work. During informal chats with aspiring graduates, I often discover their familiarity with SketchUp. While that's commendable, I encourage them to take the next step and explore one of the most popular 3D packages in our field - 3D Studio Max. Becoming competent in this software will undoubtedly strengthen your expertise in the 3D world, despite the initial learning curve. Trust me, it's worth persevering, as you can model almost anything with the tools provided.
At Resolution Studios, we also use the V-Ray render engine, this is the industry's number one choice, for architectural visualisation. Although mastering it demands effort, the breath taking results and photorealistic results it brings to your final 3D visuals are amazing.
If you're aiming to enter the ArchVis sector, I recommend familiarising yourself with both 3D Studio Max and V-Ray.
The industry is also witnessing the rise of real-time engines and Game Engines. I encourage aspiring artists to explore these tools, as they are likely to become even more prevalent in the future. At Resolution Studios, we use Unreal Engine 5, but Unity and Twinmotion are other noteworthy alternatives.
Of course, mastering these powerful software requires training and the internet is a treasure trove of resources. You can find free tutorials on YouTube, covering scene setup, complete geometry modelling, and various case studies.
For more structured training, consider checking out Udemy, where you can find comprehensive 3D courses starting from just £15. I highly recommend Adam Zollinger's training; his courses are easy to follow and immensely beneficial. His YouTube channel is also a valuable resource.
Additionally, Epic, the creators of Unreal Engine, offer tutorials on their website, specially designed for architects looking to maximise their use of the engine. Don't miss out on these free learning opportunities.
Building a professional network is as crucial as enhancing your skills and portfolio. LinkedIn is an excellent platform to connect with industry professionals. Just remember to limit your connection requests to no more than ten per day to avoid getting your profile blocked.
Regularly showcasing your portfolio online is essential. Posting examples in smaller segments increases visibility and attracts more attention from potential employers. Also connect with professionals in our field, as they might be looking for someone, just like you.
... and as the old saying goes:-
"It's not what you know, but who you know!"
If we are not already connected on LinkedIn, then send me a connection request
Build My Talent
Lastly, I recommend exploring Alex Ramsden's Build My Talent website, this is a social media network for construction industry graduates. Alex has plans for a parallel recruitment system, making it a valuable platform for connecting with like-minded individuals. When reaching out to Alex on LinkedIn, let him know that I sent you!
I hope this blog answers some of your questions and propels you towards a fulfilling career in the ArchVis industry.
In the future, I believe real-time environments and VR will become standard expectations, and mastering tools like Unreal Engine will prove invaluable.
If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out, and I'll be happy to assist you.
Wishing you the best of luck on your journey, and do keep me updated on your progress - I'm certain you'll have an incredibly rewarding career!
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About the Author
Jamie Wilkes has worked as a 3D visualiser and has over 20 years experience working with 3D CAD in the architectural industry. He is now owner and director of Resolution Studios, a 3D visualisation firm based in Halesowen in the West Midlands.
Starting out as an Architectural Technician, Jamie worked on a number of commercial and residential schemes, producing CAD plans, elevations & sections of buildings. After completing his Masters in Digital Architecture Jamie then followed his passion for 3D & took a role as a full time 3D visualiser working mainly in the leisure sector.
Resolution Studios was established by Jamie in 2008 and has since provided 3D visualisations, animations and interactive imagery for planning applications and marketing developments in many sectors throughout the UK and abroad.
Do you want to be making use of the latest tools and technology with your next project, if so then please get in touch and we can see how we can work together.
Email me at email@example.com or 0121 674 40 20