Much of the detailing for the project has changed recently, after much deliberation over the structural and construction feasibility of what I initially proposed. Gone is the concreted ceiling, and instead very warm and characterised timber panelling, which would be held in place with rectangular aluminium channels, and all bolted down onto the glass framing. An aluminium fascia painted black would be wrapped around the panelling from the exterior to hide this.

The glass framing itself would be a combination of epoxy glue, and countersunk bolts. I have seen this on site a few times, and is actually very neat. Where the two glass frames meet at the corner (as seen in the image) will be held using braces, painted black to conceal it, with silicon strips running in between to seal it from external air.

I was initially concerned about condensation (misty glass, dew drops, etc), but I wanted to temper this with the brief of low energy use. Thus, 5cm wide air venting integrated into the 2-3mm resin flooring was necessary. This will be passive however, as a relatively small space will not need an aggressive HVAC system.

So after all of this was modelled into the – ahem – model, I wanted to capture the essence of the interior, as the title suggests. Partly for later reference for myself I thought it useful to create a walkthrough. I still have some things I want to integrate, but getting a feel for the style of an image is better understood early on. The details are still very much draft, but the feel is there.


1. Raw render. I use Indigo Renderer to complete all the work I do, as I am not a fan of the stale, clinical images produced by others. Indigo allows for the user to set a camera response function for the image. Similar to Alien Skin Exposure for Photoshop. I chose Agfapan-apx-400CD, which has low contrast, and provides a neutral image.

Project Inset_V4_Camera015_apx400CD_D65_2.5_100_rawrender

2. Ironically, I then set about to boost the contrast, but just enough to maintain the exposure, and not wash out any other colours. To do this, I used the free program, Motiva RealCamera. Using this, the image was applied another camera response, Agfacolor Futura II 400.

Project Inset_V4_Camera015_apx400CD_D65_2.5_100_futuraII400postpro

3. I was now in the territory of deciding whether to extensively post-pro the image, which I don’t normally do as Indigo provides beautiful renders out of the box, or go that extra step. It is not often I choose to extensively post-pro as I do not like the idea of adding elements that were not there in the render, such as lights, lens-flares etc. It is often a good approach to model or include these in the initial image.

Consequently, I made sure that any extra work to the image would be a) sympathetic to the original, and b) not complicated enough to make replicating it in the future difficult for other images.

Usually GIMP is the editor of choice, but more control was needed and that called for Photoshop.

A bleach bypass was added to the image to provide extra delineation between bright and dark colours.

bleach bypass_screen

4. A boost to the contrast again was added, by using an adjustment layer attached to the bleach bypass. The layer was put down onto the base using Saturation at 100%.

bleach bypass_curves_screen

5. With the base layer unhidden again, a glare layer was the next step, which was an image that came about because I accidentally pressed down on my camera during a walk in the park. I never deleted the photo, and curiously, it works well with my CG images. I like the idea of simulating a real camera lens, and sometimes a subtle blue or red haze gives an extra spice to the image.

glare layer_screen

This was added using Soft Light at 50%, and then modifying the blending options as seen below.

glare layer_blending options_screen

6. Final step was to add a bit of haze to the lights. Carefully cutting around the lights, a diffuse glow was added and layered with Luminosity at 100%. I could have actually used aperture diffraction through Indigo, but that gave me extra effects I did not want.


Project Inset_V4_Camera015_bleach_glare

The result has a distinctive colour cast, which under normal circumstances would not be appropriate. However, Project Inset is not an average project/exercise – it is a culmination of all the architectural, visual, and technical ideas that I have collated both in the past and the present.