Expert's words: Bruno Lopes

Senior 3D archviz artist at 3D Design Bureau

19 Feb. 2020

Bruno Lopes

Bruno Lopes specialized in architectural drafting in Portugal. Before becoming a full-time 3D ArchViz Artist, he started his career as an architectural drafter in several public and private architectural studios and later joined Arqui300 as a Senior 3D artist and 3ds Max/VRay instructor for 10 years. He now works for 3D Design Bureau, a Dublin-based visualization company.

Someone you worked with said about you that your are “hungry for knowledge”: what kind of knowledge does it refer to? Architecture, 3D, art in general, a bit of all that?

I like to say that I'm most problem solving driven, and to get problems solved I do a lot of research, I follow forums, Facebook groups and other mediums, asking questions and / or helping others when I can. Also I do a lot of testing before deciding to implement something into my workflow, being that new technique, scripts or plugins. I'm not a script/plugin maker, I use what others have made when they faced similar problems as mine. And when I don't find what I need, I have a couple resources that can make them for me, but normally I find what I need online.
I do this for every field that I'm interested in, being that Architecture, 3D, 3D Printing, Design, etc, etc.

One of your specialty is organic modeling. Can you tell us a bit more about what you particularly like? Is it a bigger technical challenge than modeling buildings?

I do like to do organic modeling but being a 3D Archviz Artist, I don't have much opportunity to do it anymore! I do apply organic modeling techniques when I need to model a specific item of furniture, like a chair or sofa, etc. When I started, we didn't have as many already made and readily available resources for 3D models as we have now. Evermotion, Design Connected and 3DSky are my main resources. Many people have a problem using resources like this, because they think that they're not doing their job. But we are not here to reinvent the wheel (we'll do it if we can), it's effective, cheaper and your clients will be happy too. Creatively everything is still depending on you, for texturing, shading, lighting, composition and post production. I normally don't have weeks to work on an image, I have a couple days, so I need to be as effective as possible in the timeframe I have to work on it!

You are a 3ds Max /Vray expert: did you try other combinations and do you think you will stick with it or consider changing and why?

Yes, I try many different software and render engines as much as I can, I do love Corona but currently our pipeline is Vray based, so we will stick with that for now but at 3D Design Bureau, we are encouragedto research, develop and bring to the team new and improved ways to improve our work technically and aesthetically. One big change I've made many years ago was switching all my architectural modeling to Sketchup. It's so much more effective, quick and light as 3ds Max supports natively Sketchup files. It has so many plugins/extensions to do things that in 3ds Max we need way more clicks or techniques and pay for the majority of those tools, and the result may not be as precise or good! We have a great team at the 3D Design Bureau in all fields, but especially the Revit modeling team that does a great job modeling and preparing in Revit for the visualization team. 

A big mistake people often do when modeling architecture in 3ds Max is trying to model it with organic modeling principles! Building are simple volumes with different shapes combined, rinse and repeat, there's no need to make it harder than it really is. Of course there are challenges but don't make your life harder. Also ForestPack and RailClone are part of our visualization pipeline.
But in the end we need to stick with concepts for modeling, shading and texturing, lighting and composition. Software and render engines are just tools! We need to be as agnostic as possible to be able to switch quickly from one pipeline to another!