Development's Future Vision Revealed in CGI
November 27, 2012

Development's Future Vision Revealed in CGI

SAN FRANCISCO, MOSCOW and BERLIN — The principals of the international next-generation creative studio Transparent House (TH) in collaboration with Lennar Urban, a leading builder of quality homes, created a rendered, detailed vision of the future for the 702-acre redevelopment project currently under way on San Francisco's old Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

The project ultimately is expected to generate more than 12,000 permanent jobs, 10,500 residential units and 320 acres of parks and open space, along with considerable retail and office space. This was illustrated in the new TH renderings, which artfully combined 3D and photoreal objects.

"Transparent House has used their 3D photorealism imagery to bring our design and concepts to life," said Kofi Bonner, president of Lennar Urban. "We look forward to continuing our relationship as we develop our plans further. The 3D modeling enables us to adapt, scale and retool our designs to enliven and enhance the planned urban community for the Hunters Point Shipyard."

TH’s work with Lennar Urban on this long-term project began in 2009. "Our role began with developing a complete and accurate 3D model of the development site, and updating buildings as new architectural drawings have become available," said TH principal Denis Krylov. He explained that TH designed more than 30 building types and rendered them as temporary placeholders for those not yet finalized. Those structures include some biotechnology buildings, mixed-use commercial spaces, and more townhomes.

Based on its standard workflows developed over the past eight years, the TH team carefully analyzes all input, which usually consists of CAD drawings or 3D models, such as those done in Revit or Sketchup. Missing information is added as those elements are converted into detailed models in Autodesk 3ds Max. “Once a model is built, we add entourage elements,” Mollion said. “A lot of them come directly from our library of 3D elements, like trees, light poles, benches, cars, and street signs. We give a lot of attention to lighting:  It really makes or breaks images. This is when the work really begins coming to life.

"Having us build a comprehensive digital model of the entire site allows our clients to see every nook and cranny of their development, often for the very first time," said principal Krista Mollion. "From there, we are able to help them select the most advantageous angles to take to full photorealism, and we can render those visualizations very quickly as needs arise."

"We have focused on allowing everyone – from the developer to members of the community, and everyone in between – to better visualize what the site will come to look like," Krylov added. "According to our client, this represents the first time they've seen the full picture of the site in such amazing detail, and we were especially proud to see our rendering featured recently on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle."

Finally, Krylov emphasized that it is never too early to get TH involved. "Large projects take time," he said, "but investing in building a good digital model of a whole development is very worthwhile when you consider all the uses. From design studies to press kits to city presentations all the way to the sales office, it is a very cost-effective strategy that delivers benefits throughout the development process."