Humble Beginnings

Humble Beginnings

Jonathan Ridell
by JonathanRidell on 28 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

Looking back, this is the apex of the tumultuous year that has been. From my quiet start at YRGO in Gothenburg, Sweden, these projects have been the defining part of my journey into the professional world of architectural visualization.

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After finishing architecture school in UmeƄ, Sweden, the decision to continue my passion for architectural visualization was a given. By dipping my toes in the water of this creative branch, I started studying at YRGO in Gothenburg, Sweden, to continue this development. A year later, my interest in visualization has only increased, and the potentials to reach have only become higher.

This entry aims to reflect a balance of various elements within the visualization field. From exteriors, interiors, modeling, and the process that follows. Through varying the setting of the project, with urban/rural and large/small scale projects, this variation becomes even more spread. Within these aspects, the importance of a strong composition, a dynamic color palette, and attention to details become essential factors and the common ground for each of these images.

The Artise

This project was a stepping stone into exterior large-scale visualizations, with the goal of illustrating the developing urban fabric in downtown Bellevue, Washington. Between the skyscrapers, and next to the famous Paccar Building, The Artise rises from the street to create a dynamic interplay between exterior and interior. By opening up and creating a transparency in the ground floors, activities and events are shared with the public, further engaging the streetscape.

From this, the composition, mood and vision of how The Artise can blend in while simultaneously stand out became the main concept of the project. To illustrate the glass facade reflecting the sky, while at the same time showcasing the interior life became a major key point in the decision making process.

This project simulated a real time working environment, with files received from a client of the building and frequent communication to ensure the end result was satisfactory. Through a very basic provided environment, the entire cityscape had to be built by hand, and the entire building had to be heavily modified to work within 3ds Max and V-Ray respectively.

Smaller assets downloaded, all textures modified/changed.
Environment self-built & textured.
3ds Max, V-ray, Megascans, Forest Pack, SiNi Software, Photoshop

Homely Hideaway

As a forest retreat facing the south, with a flowing landscape, lush embankments and a well maintained garden, this piece was the focus of an educational project working with creating a scene from a simple plan drawing of a building. By studying the drawings, visualizing the architecture, the goal was to create an environment in which the house presents itself as an attractive object.

Within this project, new tools were used to create the vegetation and different elements of the house, such as Forestpack, Railclone and an introduction to V-ray. As an extra study, the various images were an experimentation in composition, light and atmospheric visualization.

Most assets downloaded, all textures modified/changed.
Building & environment self-built & textured from drawings.
3ds Max, V-ray, Megascans, Forest Pack, RailClone, Photoshop

Vallgatan 4

This personal project focuses on an atmospheric attic apartment, with a glimpse into the life of a hobby musician. With all of the environment personally modeled, this dinner space highlights the afternoon mood of a traditional but modern space. Working with direct design choices that blend well together in a wooden and soft scenario, the various materialities reflect a calming and inviting atmosphere.

A weak point that I have been attempting to resolve is my interior design skills. This project played a part in experimenting with different styles and furniture to further strengthen this quality, and find combinations, decorations and various elements that interplay and mesh well with each other. Without using an HDRI and only experimenting with CoronaSun and sky, I attempted to rely more on the fine-tuning controls in order to get the lighting I conceptualized.

Most assets downloaded, all textures modified/changed.
Interior self-built & textured.
3ds Max, Corona, Photoshop

Sling Chair

As a modeling challenge, this project was based on reproducing and visualizing a designer chair. With a heavy focus on creating a 3d model that was well made and modeled correctly, the Fernweh Sling Chair provided the opportunity to showcase organic shapes and various materials in different detailed levels. Models, materials, environment and post-production was made entirely from scratch, to match the chair reference as closely as possible.

Bringing the chair into an environment and revealing additional details assisted in providing context for the woodworking marvel made by Fernweh woodworking.

Few assets downloaded, all textures modified/changed.
Chair & Environment self-built & textured.
3ds Max, Corona, Photoshop

New Orleans

The basis of this project was introduced as a hotel challenge, conceptualizing and designing a hotel space based on a certain location. As a group project, the various spaces found in a hotel were divided according to the needs and requirements of the location. The hotel, being set in New Orleans, brings in a focus on the musical heritage and the distinctive style of the cultural melting pot. With a colorful palette and a lush vegetation located in the Louisiana environment, this bar reflects a rough but modern aesthetic, providing a sense of playfulness.

The major challenge facing this project was the notion of collaborative and cohesive difficulties between three people doing their own separate images. Optimizations had to be done with the complexity of the scene, by doing displacement compromises, texture size changes and further X-REF scene modifications.

Most assets downloaded, all textures modified/changed.
Interior & Environment self-built & textured.
3ds Max, Corona, Megascans.

Delft Station

Before my education began at YRGO, I took on some personal projects, where Delft Station became an exterior piece that showcased something different. Working with Sketchup and V-ray, this project was created solely as a creative exercise. By relying on the general formal language of Delft Station in The Netherlands, and drawing inspiration from the environment, this sunset piece relied on a heavily saturated purple color palette to draw the attention and eyes toward it, separating itself from the crowd.

The major challenge with this piece was the limitations of Sketchup and its capabilities to create larger scenes with limited possibilities in regards to materials, geometry, and lighting. With a strong lighting and composition setup, various aspects of the compromises created from these limitations were solved through creating the strong focal point of the sunset bathing in the glass facade of the station.

Few assets downloaded, all textures modified/changed.
Exterior self-built & textured.
Sketchup, V-ray, Photoshop

Bonus: Desert Dunes

Architectural visualization can be done with a wide variety of tools and methods to achieve the desired results one wants. While not doing a traditional architectural project, this bonus image reflects a different workflow and methodology to display something different.

With a sole focus on Photoshop, this matte painting piece became a project focusing on capturing certain moods through a referential process, bringing the atmosphere and mood from one image to a new conceptual piece. With a simple focus on the shape in 3d, the Photoshop process of blending and merging photographical assets became a key point into producing the image.

By matching perspectives, colors, values and context into a composition, the image highlights a storytelling foundation, bringing the user to experience their own story within the different parts of the Desert Dunes.

All assets found online
3ds Max, Photoshop

Final words

As a final note, these projects are just a sample of the multitude of different creative pieces I have created. These curated pieces highlight the results that my education, family, and friends have helped me achieve. I can't thank them enough for the support, and look forward to the coming years of storytelling.

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