Arman Hamid, Architectural Visualization

Arman Abd. Hamid is a Malaysian 3D illustrator focusing on architectural visualization. 10 years of experience has made him a fixture to developers and consultants in Malaysia.

His focus on quality and detail has put him on developers and consultants short lists. A more artistic presentation to architecture is becoming more commonplace in his work.

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» How did you get started in Architectural Visualization?

I met Ahmad Johari, another Strata user, in 1997. He introduced me to Strata Studio Pro 1.75. I was so excited about 3D, I travelled 300 kilometers to Kuala Lumpur from Ipoh to learn from Ahmad frequently. I am very focused on architectural visualization as a career.

» What made you pick up Strata 3D? Was there a specific problem/need that caused you to seek out a 3D application?

Modeling has never been a concern, as all the models come from VectorWorks. I'm more concerned with textures, lighting and rendering. I researched a lot of software in the market, and encountered many problems, especially in placing lighting and material mapping. I found that Strata 3D is the easiest way to produce a quality image.

» What other software do you use on a regular basis?

I use Vectorworks for modeling the main building structure, tree software to model trees, Poser to model humans, and normally Photoshop for the final touches.

» How much time do you spend creating the environment around the building?

In my images, the building is the main character, and has to be modeled carefully. This is because the detailing and materials that will be used have to be considered before any model can be made. The trees and landscape is definitely important to the entire image and mood, but I spend at least 60% of the time focused specifically on the structure.

» Do you think there's a certain element of a rendering that really "sells" the realism, or is it just a combination of all the little details?

Good planning is the key to this question. The level of detail depends on how we're focusing on the image. For example, on big buildings I don't need as much on smaller details because I'm focusing on the whole idea of the building. Not much detail is required on window frames because they are too small to see when we are focusing on the whole picture of the building.

A sufficient but detailed mapping will help to make the building look complete. Strata 3d is very well suited to the type of detailed texturing I need to accomplish.

» What's the most helpful feature in Strata 3D for your work?

No specific feature. Tools that are easy to use and a very cooperative community definitely help.

» What kind of resources do you typically have to work with when creating a pre-vis image? Are you simply given blueprints to work from?

Normally, my clients provide all the AutoCad files needed to start modeling. Some clients also provide sketches as guidelines. This is where my design starts.

My job is to ensure that the realization of what my client sees becomes reality. As a rendering artist I have to solve problems - not create them.

» Any advice for new users in Architectural modeling/rendering? (Any hard-learned lessons that could save them some headaches early on?)

Begin with simple objects. Don't be satisfied too quickly, be critical of your own work. Listen to all comments or criticisms with patience, even if they are hard to accept. Start with Strata 3D, the best tools in 3D imaging. Thanks Strata!