Autodesk 3ds Max
Posted by Area Editor, 29 August 2006 2:13 am
Today I thought I'd write my first blog entry that has to do with my job. A couple months ago I visited Paul Steelman Design Group who specializes in casino design and a subsidiary Phrenic Studios that specializes in visualization. I personally think that the way they are working on large scale projects in 3ds max is incredible and a huge advantage for them. Let me give you the run down on the workflow in a competitive situation.
Someone with way to much money, who wants to make a hell of a lot more, decides they want to make a casino. They ask a bunch of design firms to bid on the project based on a description of the property they have and some description of what they are looking for in the casino itself. Its at this point that the clock starts ticking. For Steelman, its not unusual to have less then two weeks to put together a presentation. The first major difference between Steelman and other companies is that the designers and visualization people work together in the early stages to flesh out the property. In the couple weeks the team at Steelman and Phrenic, design, model, texture and light the whole project. On top of that the whole thing (often thousands of frames) is rendered on their render farm.
Imagine youre a client who two weeks ago ask for proposals for a billion dollar casino project. Amoungst the proposals with some blueprints and rough sketches and foam core models, one of the bidders not only has great design ideas but also hands you a completed professional DVD with thousands of frames of animation showing your dream project as a living breathing environment that you can walk through. Who are you going to buy from?
Now for a lot of companies this is where visualization ends. The project has been won so you can send the max guys back to the dungeon right? Well at steelman visualization is an important part of the whole process from start to finish. Every design change, right down to the texture for the carpets is put back in the visualization. This allows the multitude of designers to see what changes have been made in other parts of the project on a regular basis and visually look for errors or issues of consistency. Finally the fully rendered DVD is sent to the builders with the plans to help clear up any interpretation issues. This alone can save millions of dollars. I have seen a lot of companies do amazing visualization but this is one of those rare instances where a company has taken visualization to heart and used it to improve every part of the design process not just the approval and sales stages.
I'd like to point out that Phrenic Studios isn't a one trick pony and is available to do other work as they are branching out from just doing desing viz work for Steelman. If your looking for a job I believe Phrenic is also hiring max artists for their Vegas location. I'll be putting some videos up from this visit shortly. If you want to read more about Paul Steelman and his upcoming project in vegas check out this article in forbes magazine.
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