This week The Render Guy meets Phil Buerer from Guachinarte, Switzerland a fantastic artist which work has been widely published on different forums. He is an advanced VRAYforC4D user.
I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.
1. Hi Phil, thanks for taking the time; tell us please who you are and what you do.
Hi, I’m Phil. I am a freelance digital artist based in Switzerland, with a great passion for architectural visualization.
2. how did you get in the field of Archviz?
It was a long process. I graduated as an architectural draftsman in the year 2002 and I started making my first visualizations even during my apprenticeship. At that time, it was more of a hobby and personal interest. From an early age, I was fascinated by the photo-collages and physical models, and growing up it used to be my dream to, one day, build my own models. After my apprenticeship, I’ve worked in different architecture studios with the ambition to create visualizations. But unfortunately, most projects didn’t foresee any visualizations at all. And in those projects, that had budgets for visualizations, they were usually for external graphic professionals. Since it was till my goal to create visualizations, much rather than plans, I decided to leave my job and enter the visualization field as a freelancer. But, lacking experience, or a good portfolio. My first own projects were mostly drawing plans, with an option to create a visualization. In 2008 I enrolled in a multimedia academy and visited courses for cinema 4d, along with other topics like graphic-design, web-design, photography and movies. During that time, I learned a lot. Because all those topics, in one way or another, play a role in architectural visualization. Today my work is mostly visualizations, but I still have to take on other jobs every now and then. So, in a way I’m still trying to get into the field.
3.Can you tell us a bit more about your work, how do you approach it, what do you try to achieve, what do you like about it and when do your consider a project ready?
The first thing is to get as much information as possible about the project. The blueprints, textual descriptions, concepts, information and pictures of the location etc. Then I feel it’s important to thoroughly interview the client. I often ask for some reference images/renderings to get an idea of what kind of aesthetics they like and what kind of quality they expect. With all that, I start to sketch and imagine the result for myself. I always aim to one up my last work, and exceed the expectations of the client. I want to impress my client, so they can then impress their clients, or the target audience of the visualization. I think the project is finished when looking at the result leaves me with a good feeling. Meaning there are no more details that feel out of place, or disturb the image in a way. The scene shouldn’t look bare nor overfilled with clutter, the colors should be right, the lighting look natural etc. The image just has to look “right”.
4. Who is your biggest influence when it comes to finding inspiration?
Inspiration is just everywhere. In photography, film, music, traditional art, paintings, other 3d artists… I’m a big fan of Luis Barragán’s work, also Richard Neutra, or photographers like Julius Shulman, Ezra Stoller, or Slim Aarons to name just a few. Pinterest is a really good tool to get inspiration. The most inspiration I draw from traveling. Unfortunately, that is also the most expensive way, but it doesn’t have to always be far. Often it is just a matter of having a closer look at something that I previously overlooked. Maybe even in my own backyard.
5. You are obviously a VRAYforC4D user, what pushed you towards this software?
I remember it well. I was working on an interior scene that was very hard to illuminate, I just couldn’t get it right. At that time, I’ve worked with the cinema 4d built in renderer. Then an experienced cinema 4d user gave me the advice to make the ceiling invisible for the sunlight, to let the sunlight in directly, and then darken the ceiling with ambient occlusion. That “work around” seemed just wrong to me and frankly rather crazy. This was the moment when I decided that I’m in dire need of a good renderer. I’ve tried different render engines and in the end, not the least, because at that time my CPU was far more potent than my GPU, I settled with vray. A choice I never regretted.
6. You now work with Version 3.4 can you tell us a bit more about this upgrade?
I’ve only just upgraded a week ago, thus I can’t give much feedback so far. The new version looks very promising. I have great expectations. I was very happy with the 1.9 version. What I understood so far is that 3.4 is easier to use and faster. So, what can I say? I’m happy.
7. Can you tell us one of the funniest things that happened during your career as a 3d artist?
One time, I was at a client’s office for the initial interview. I was talking to the owner of the company directly, and he seemed very busy. So it happened, that we didn’t really sit down for a normal meeting, but rather I was just following him around the office while we talked, when suddenly, without notice, and as if nothing weird were about to happen, he walked into the bathroom. And kept talking from in there :O!?
8. How do you think the industry will change in the near future?
What’s still very complicated today, will become easy to achieve tomorrow. But at the same time customer expectations will increase, naturally. So I guess the quality will always increase in general. Virtual reality has just started, even though I think it will take some time. In my opinion architecture will not be at the forefront of VR however. In the end, it’s always the tools that are changing, the tasks will remain the same. The same way roman architects built models with “sticks and stones” of their visions to share them with their sponsors or principals, we will create virtual reality tours from bases to be built on mars to convince investors. Bus as I mentioned above, I think it’s a looong way before the classic image will disappear.
9. If you were to mentor someone about this career, what would you suggest or recommend? Or if you could back in time to 10 years ago, what would you say to your younger self?
You need a lot of patience, everything will take time. Patience and passion are maybe the most important abilities. As a visualizer, you are a designer, photographer, painter and a storyteller so it won’t hurt to learn this too. Always compare yourself with the best artists, but also look at their work critically. Ask why instead of how.
10.Now on the geek side, what is you do to give your image that final magic touch?
There is no magic, unfortunately. Only a good model, realistic materials, natural looking light, proper scene composition, quality rendering, and subtle but skilled post production will make a good image. If it’s just one part that lacks finesse, the result will not look right. Easy as that.
11. Thanks a lot for doing this for us, if people wanted to contact you where can they find you?
It was a pleasure. Thank you render Guy.
My website is http://guachinarte.com
or you can find me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/guachinarte