Tell us a little about your role
I oversee Gensler’s visualization technologies, managing rendering workflows, training, documentation and R&D into new technologies such as VR/AR/MR. I consult on a lot of projects too, figuring out what might be the best solution to a specific problem. For example, a couple of years ago I worked out of our San Francisco office on the NVIDIA headquarters. I was tasked with bridging the gap between a design team’s workflow and NVIDIA’s in-development hardware. I worked on IRay and Visual Computing Appliance (VCA) solutions for network attached rendering; which has since morphed into the DGX station, a deep learning hardware platform.
It’s great to work for Gensler, employees are presented with big opportunities, especially with the sort of clients we have and the variety of projects. We work on everything from the 600m tall Shanghai Tower to wine labels. I’ve been here about 10 years now and have always been able to try new things and work on exciting projects with incredibly talented people. Oddly enough, I don’t really have experience elsewhere. I got hired right out of school, a week before I graduated. When I walked in on orientation day, Gensler had something like 2,500 employees and 37 offices, now we’re at 5,500 with across 44 offices. We’ve grown a lot since 2007 and I feel like I’ve been a part of it.
What design tools are employed by the team?
Our core design platforms are SketchUp, Rhino, Revit and to a degree 3ds Max. V-Ray is our core visualization engine, we also use a little IRay and a handful of other apps. We do in-depth work in the Unityand Unreal gaming engines and produce some interactive visualizations. We manage our network resources and essentially create a global render farm by using Deadline.
How does the team set out to produce powerful and engaging imagery?
This definitely varies per project and per designer, since we have so many. One constant, however, is that people want really good quality outputs. With V-Ray 3 across all of our platforms, I feel like that’s a baseline we can easily achieve. I’ve been using it since version 1.4 so I’ve seen it evolve over the past twelve years or so. It astounds me what Chaos Group keep producing and our designers just enjoy using it. The new interactive mode allows rendering whilst simultaneously working on a project, not having to stop-start over and over again is a big win.
The latest features have given our designers whole new view on rendering quality, what they can expect. It’s kind of up to the artist how far they want to take things, from very conceptual, to diagrammatic, to as photo-realistic as they can make it. The system is flexible enough to do anything.