June 16th, 2023
Durrës is the oldest and second-largest city of Albania - a country that looks back on a long, rich, and troubled history, dating back to ancient Roman times. During its most recent history, the half-century-long communist era - which lasted until 1990 - prevented it from becoming the popular holiday destination that it is suited for. That’s why there is still enough space for a dynamically improving tourism and real estate industry even in the most valued coastline areas.
Durrës is a rising star among Mediterranean seafront cities, which is clearly confirmed by the fact that the Eagle Hills companies group chose it as one of its next targets for large-scale property development. The city and its historic downtown are Albania’s most important port and resort, surrounded by green hills and, of course, the Adriatic Sea. The new project, named Durrës Yachts & Marina, is under construction at a prime location along the city’s 10-kilometer-long riviera.
Among the several features and functions planned as a part of this project, Arqsix’s role was to create photorealistic 3D images and short animated clips for the 5-star Address Beach Resort. Both the hotel brand and the developer represent the highest standards with their services, and this is what we were expected to uphold during all phases of the visualization process. In addition to the quality we always provide - the exquisite richness of details and textures, as well as the final image resolution - Eagle Hills demanded truly innovative renderings that convey a complex experience to their prospective customers. With very high expectations of realism, our Client asked us to compose animated shots that compare to real-life footage in every possible way. Simply put, our task was to demonstrate how living in paradise would feel - not to mention the tight deadline we had to manage within.
Living our daily lives, we hardly ever realize how amazingly complex real-life experiences are. All our five senses cooperate every second to transmit information to our brains, taking in an astounding amount of details. A touch of a cool breeze on the face, the sound of waves in the distance, the smell of coffee, and the color of sunlight all contribute to the atmosphere that surrounds us during a dreamy holiday moment. When setting up a purely 3D-modeled scene for an animated clip, the 3D Artist has to design all these and plant visual hints all around the place to generate a similarly complex feeling in the viewer’s mind. During the next step, all elements have to be synchronized in time and space from the moving camera’s perspective.
Placing people on renderings is always an especially challenging issue, for the human brain is particularly attentive to the characteristics of other humans. Failing to choose the perfect style, scale, or shading for our 2D or 3D characters can easily kill even the most elaborately set rendering. With this project, bypassing this delicate problem was out of the question, of course. To achieve the most realistic result with our visuals, we often worked with carefully selected green-screen people - images and video alike. For animations, we even brought volumetrically scanned humans - so-called 4D people - into the picture.
As you see, techniques are way beyond the average boundaries of architectural visualization, used rather in professional filming and animated movies. It was a real experiment for us, working to bridge the gap between animation and reality. There is no end to learning and evolving in the archviz industry, as new tools and methods pop up time and again. We designedly seek opportunities to train and master the latest innovations, and Durrës Yachts & Marina was a perfect project for that goal.
If you are interested in taking your next project to this level of realism or open to discussing other exciting options for photorealistic visualizations, please contact us.