Luciano Neves
Issue: Volume: 28 Issue: 5 (May 2005)

Luciano Neves

Basilique du Sacre Coeur “The actual basilica’s proportions, structural details, lighting, and integration with its surroundings made this study particularly difficult.”

When Luciano Neves, a project coordinator for a Brazilian 3D production facility specializing in broadcast and cinema, creates digital artwork, the process usually becomes a reality check of sorts for him. That’s because Neves virtually re-builds some of the world’s greatest architecture in photorealistic detail as a way to perfect content-creation techniques. Moreover, he views the models as “building blocks” that, with further development, could be used in a film if the opportunity ever arises.

Re-creating well-known buildings and structures such as London’s Tower Bridge and Notre Dame Cathedral is a tall order, as viewers inevitably compare the virtual version with the real construction. As a result, Neves researches the locale and its history, and takes pictures to use as references. Then, when working in 3D, he tries to imagine how people created these structures-which today are historical landmarks-when resources were limited.

According to Neves, one of the key aspects to achieving a 3D photorealistic image is maintaining an attention to detail, particularly to how the light reacts with the environment and the materials and objects in the scene. “My objective is to use computer graphics for cinema, in ambient creation or large constructions and scenarios where the lighting and design of the scenery require significant attention to have maximum similarity to the real world,” he says.

A sampling of Neves’s architectural re-creations, which are modeled and lit in 3ds max, appears on these two pages. Additional information about the artist and his works can be found on his Web site at -Karen Moltenbrey

Tower Bridge “The study of light and its properties are vital for achieving photographic detail,” Neves explains. “In this study of day and night illumination, I used separate areas of light influences on the model of this famous London landmark.” On average, the artist spends 25 to 50 hours during a one- to two-week period developing a 3D architectural scene such as this one-far less, he points out, than would be required for a film project.

Train Station “This project, involving a rendition of the decaying train station in the city where I was born, required the re-creation of aged, rusty, dirty materials. I prefer modeling great old architectur

The White House “When placing the virtual architecture into a scene like this, I often add complementary photographic elements, such as skies, trees, people, and, here, the fountain.”