CG Conversation with Architectural visualiser Elif

“My interest for CG became stronger than architecture, so I decided to enter the world of 3D”

Could you introduce yourself?
Hi. People know me better by my nick, Giraffe, at all CG forums. My name is Elif. I am from Turkey. I started my career in cg in May 2003 and since then I have always been trying to learn new things. I didn’t get any chance to attend a CG school or pick up some formal training but I am trying to learn by experimenting, and with tutorials I find on the Internet.

Tell us about your background and how you originally became involved with computer graphics and the architectural industry?
I have studied architecture at the university. But my interest for CG became stronger than architecture so I decided to enter the world of 3D. I believe in specialization so I thought it is impossible to commit yourself into 2 things; both architecture and CG asks for strong commitment, focus and time. So I stopped practicing architecture & making architectural designs. But when you become an architect, I think it gets somehow coded in your DNA and you just cant get enough running away. Being an architect I always had a vivid way of looking around places and all the elemental forms. So although I stopped designing, I couldn’t help myself design the spaces in my personal scenes. (Love In Paris, House In Squares)They are both virtual, non-existing, imaginary spaces.

Your work ‘ Love in Paris ‘ got listed at the BEST OF EVERMOTION, VISMASTERS image of the week, a recognition that every visualization artist thinks of. How does it feel?
I was very happy for this. It is a great feeling that there are so many people who take immense interest in your feelings that you try to express through your scenes and to hear from them about your scene. It is a great honor.

Where did you get the inspiration from? Tell us something about “Love in Paris”
A pure white-bluish feeling… It stands between real and virtual.. a place where 2 lovers made and painted the entire room themselves and built the bed themselves and placed everything inside the room- where they were constructing a world of their own, so personal and so unique. Different from the rest, depicting their style and persona.

The lighting and shaders used in this render is one of its kind! Could you discuss something about the entire process?
Oh I am honored. Honestly lighting this scene gave me very hard time .A very pure subtle white feeling was my target. But I had one big issue. When I was trying to achieve this, I was losing the depth and contrast in the image. It had to undergo many lighting tests and setups. In the end, I decided on this lighting setup though not very physically realistic. But as I said, the room stands between real and virtual…

What software, hardware and techniques did you use?
I used 3dsmax and vray. My PC is not very speedy: P4 2.4ghz, 2gb RAM, nvidia 6800GT.

Of your professional and personal work, could you tell us which piece of work you are most proud of and why. Tell us a little bit about that image.
I like my personal portfolio scenes, House In Squares and Love In Paris. I love them because they are close to my heart, I can express my feelings or I can experiment some new techniques because there are no limitations, no deadlines. I can improve my skills further with such scenes. You can make things as slow as you want, no running against time, setting each step as a steep challenge. Now I am preparing 2 other personal images for my

How much of your final image is straight from the renderer and how much is edited is post production?
Before I never used. But nowadays, I have started tweaking them in the post production process

Your artwork House in Squares have been at the front pages of major architectural visualization forums, and won tremendous response. Could you discuss something about the lighting and rendering process?
Thanks again Lighting setup is basic, with sun and skylight. I used a standard max light (direct light) as the sun. I rendered in vray and used GI. I used photons to calculate secondary bounces.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of working in the Architectural Visualization industry?
I think most challenging part is to meet deadlines. Because when you are pressed for time, it is sometimes impossible to experiment new techniques or make something different not to risk the result in such short time. Of course this also brings some monotony.

You usually use Vray for your rendering needs. How about Maxwell, mental ray and other render engines?
I use Vray and I like it a lot. It is developing and improving rapidly according to our needs and offering a lot of potential in every new build. But I believe other render engines are very good too and I see many amazing results with each of them. If I have enough time, I would like to experiment with them and learn them as well. I always believe that these are like brushes for an artist the artist.

How do you see the industry evolving over the next 5 years?
The industry is improving rapidly. I see very nice images each day and now first images of newbies are much more upgraded and detailed than my first images. We all improve, cg industry, our knowledge, hardware and software. With forums, we see the works of masters and can orient ourselves and define better goals. Regardless, the technology is still behind our imaginations. I mean sometimes we have to limit ourselves due to capacity of our hardware and sometimes the software limitations. I believe each new day, all software and hardware developing rapidly to give us this chance.

Who has influenced your rendering style the most?
Many of them! I am impressed how the artists portray photo-realism in their renders

What do you suggest to wane architectural visualizers?
Some people search a magic button or a magic recipe behind good renders and scenes. I suggest them not to be one of those people. Because they cannot realize that the main tip is to spend enough time with that scene, to test and experiment and trying to make better.
I myself try to take advice of the master Michelangelo:
“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem wonderful at all.”

What are your future plans?
My dream and goal is to learn more things each day and improve myself and make better scenes. I am so much interested in cinema. I would like to work in the cg team of a film like Sin City or Troy. Each day, the more I learn, I feel there is much more to learn. This is also much fun to me. I just wish that this journey never ends, and the more I learn I believe I will able to define my style better.

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