DEVELOPER: Liberty Proprety Trust
ARCHITECT: Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA)
LOCATION: Camden NJ, USA
Views can inform design. RAMSA engaged with Volley early on in the process while their master-plan design was still schematic; because the client engaged Volley for view studies before fully articulating the details of their design, we were able to help inform RAMSA's design process. This allowed us to tailor our views to their master plan, and, in turn, ensured that the client maximized the effectiveness of their design efforts with respect to what was visible in the image portfolio.
Sometimes, reality is a necessity. For this portfolio of images, we made multiple trips to Philadelphia to obtain back-plate photography for a number of the views. When it comes to context, we can (and do) use CG to re-create context but sometimes there is no replicating the detail and lighting of reality from site photography. On any site photography commission, the primary task is to best capture the camera angle and time of day that we have mutually agreed upon with the client during the view selection phase.
Conditions permitting, we usually pursue a secondary goal once our photographer is in the field to explore alternative view angles and times of day because...you simply never know what you might find. In this case, we shot at multiple times of day - from sunrise through to dusk - and made scouting trips to discover other possible compelling views, like from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
On occasion, these back-plate shots stand as professional photography on their own; as seen below, one of our photos that never became a CG back-plate (bottom left) ultimately found its way into the project's high-profile press announcement presentation (bottom right).
We are architects. We understand the care with which our architect clients have designed their buildings so we have a rigorous series of previews that first ensure we capture the design intent; when we have met this criteria, we then layer on our expertise in visualization to develop lighting and material refinements that add to the clarity of the desired architectural effect.
The process image below was an early step produced to confirm with the client that we had properly imported the 3d geometry and correctly interpreted the materials in the architect's design.
After discussions with the architect, Volley developed the images further; the following process image was used to coordinate through a significantly-progressed image that is a mostly accurate depiction of Volley's intended final lighting, material finishes, and post-production effects.
Finally, we take the task of "entourage" (or more simply "people and life") very seriously. We are committed to entourage that looks "natural" in a scene, which means all of the following criteria must be met before we place a person into a scene: viewing angle works with scene perspective, lighting on person is in sync with scene, styling is consistent with place, and that the people add to the reality of a scene. In this case, we felt strongly about the "less is more" aesthetic to keep the viewer focused on the view across the water.
It depends. We stand by producing images that are photography-based. That means that we are relentlessly seeking to produce images that come as close to feeling real as possible. Site photography is often the best (and most economical) way in which to capture the real feeling of context and views supporting the architecture. That said, our set of images for the Camden Waterfront project featured prominently the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in both photographic representation and CG representations.
The image below is from the same portfolio of images and shows the Benjamin Franklin Bridge as a completely CG-rendered element - in this instance, it allowed us to create a cleaner representation of the underside of the structure.
All Images Copyright Volley Studio 2016.