Get real about design with 3D visualisation artist Samuel North
Samuel North specialises in work for garden designers and landscape architects. He started his career as a surveyor and worked for many years in the construction and architecture industry. When his partner, Sarah Keyser, set up a garden design business, he began working with her on design drawings and 3D visuals to show her clients. Since then, his business has grown, and he now works for some of the top garden designers in the UK, helping to bring their plans and show gardens to life. Here he talks to us about his latest project, and how he works with designers.
What are you working on at the moment?
I have just started working on a residential refurbishment project in Buckinghamshire, which encompasses multiple zones within a large woodland garden. I will be working with the garden designer and Pre-Registered SGD Member Emma Griffin to prepare a series of outline concept visuals to illustrate the initial design proposals. The intention is to bring the design to life and facilitate discussions between the client, designer and, in this case, architect. As the project evolves, highly detailed photo-real visuals will be produced to reflect the final masterplan and associated architectural design.
What is your design process?
I start by discussing the project in detail with the designer or landscape architect to determine what is required. Then, using their drawings and supporting information, I start to produce a complete 3D digital model of the site, including planting, structures and furniture, as well as custom-made elements if required. When I have completed the first draft, the designer and I work together to review any issues and refine the details. This initial stage helps the designer to see how their design will work on the ground, as the 3D model is a true virtual representation that can be viewed from any perspective. The final rendered visuals provide a detailed photo-realistic portfolio for the client and designer to approve, and gives the contractor a vision of how the project should look when completed.
How do you achieve the photographic realism in your work?
I research the plants and materials my clients are using in their designs to reflect the intended look and feel as closely as possible. Most elements are created from scratch, which offers greater flexibility and detail. Finally, the model is rendered to create the realism using accurate lighting, materials and textures. The whole process takes about a week, including revisions and rendering.