Valmik Shah is a self-made 3D architectural visualizer and environmental artist. After beginning his career as a 3D cable stay bride designer in 2008, Shah decided it was time to create his own studio.
Today, Shah and his team provide services in the field of 3D architectural animation, exterior structures, interiors digital nature, product presentations, stall designing and fabrication, and much more! Find out more on how Shah has incorporated VUE into his every day workflow in this Spotlight Interview!
e-on software: What is your background?
Valmik Shah: I had no idea I would enter 3D architecture and visualization when I was first starting out since I was still in the process of completing my degree in mass media and advertising. However, throughout my studies, I had been drawn towards learning 3D and decided to obtain a certification in 3D animation alongside my degree. I then started working as an intern for a print media agency during my courses. In 2008, I began my career as a 3D visualizer at Dar Consultants - an Indian company where my main role was to create 3D visuals of the cable stay bridges and other infrastructure. After 4-5 years of experience, I started my own studio. Not only do I focus on 3D design and architecture, but I also provide services in the field of stall designing, VFX or environment scenes, product visualization, print media design and interior design. I hope to gradually continue expanding our services in the future.
The aspects of my career that I enjoy the most are when I can integrate the software’s unique functions for my projects final output. I don’t limit myself to relying on only one software either, like using only 3ds max and Vray. I make sure to use a variety of render engines like Mental Ray, iRay, Corona and many plug-ins that streamline the integration of my complete work process. For every project I do, I generally experiment until I can produce an output with a different look and feel. This technique helps me create different workflows and makes me more technically advanced and efficient.
e: What is your experience with VUE?
VS: I was introduced to VUE in 2008. When I saw the software, I was excited to learn more about it and its capabilities. Despite the fact it was not created specifically for architecture, the overall output and unique ability you could achieve was reason enough for me to start learning the software. I began integrating my scenes into VUE and even created a few walk-through's for my exterior scenes.
Since day one, when I would incorporate VUE into my projects, the output I could achieve on my exterior scenes was more improved and appreciated. Since then, using VUE has become a part of my daily work process. At times I use it for personal projects and learning, and at other times for commercial projects. The feature I love the most of VUE is the lighting and environment depth. The realism you can achieve from VUE is much easier than using any other 3rd party render engines. I typically use Autodesk Revit to make the basic model and then switch to 3ds max for a more detailed process of materials and asset setup. Once that is completed, I integrate VUE for the lighting, environment effects, and final rendering.
Almost all my 3D exterior projects are done with VUE. Either for a still renders or walkthroughs. For one of my projects on a 3D residential complex, “Sunrise Charkop,” located in Mumbai, India, I did an aerial view that was completely done in VUE. It was very much appreciated by the client since it was more unique than other standard architectural renders. All my cable stay bridge 3D renders are also done completely in VUE which provides a new look and feel to the final product. I’ve always noticed that in the 3D architecture industry, almost everyone is dependent on 3ds max, Vray, or Corona. I am proud to complete my work in VUE, it has given me a great professional response throughout my career. In short, VUE is the base of my workflow in 3D architecture and for producing landscape projects or VFX.
I would definitely recommend VUE to other architects and 3D visualizers. Integrating VUE into your pipeline helps to create faster lighting and environment setups. Other great features include the ecosystem tool that is extremely helpful in creating cityscape scenes, and the environment light option, “Radiosity,” which gives great depth and realism. It doesn’t matter which software you use for modeling or scene setup either, whether it’s max, maya, sketchup, cinema4D, etc., since VUE now has a good import option for all the 3D models you create.
e: Do you have any advice to share?
VS: My advice to all 3D artists and visualizers is to remember that there is no fixed rule to create 3D visuals. Do not follow fixed steps or protocols shown in online tutorials. Instead, try to learn any new software by reading its help files and understanding the terminology and tools in any given software. Until you have a more comprehensive understanding of the software’s terminology and what it solves, the actual application of the software will be very difficult. Also, always keep in mind that you should be aiming to deliver something different than just the status-quo. Having this mindset will ensure your work is unique and that you stay on the path of learning and adapting to evolving technology.
The most important technique I have that has helped me along my career path is by keeping myself updated with latest developments in the industry and always discovering how to integrate new software into my workflow. My advice to newcomers is very precise – stay focused and stay updated. I get inspired from social media platforms such as ArtStation, Behance, and many other 3D artist websites. I always try to keep myself motivated to try new things and experiment with new techniques and processes to continually grow.
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