Recent Spaces Turns One!

It's been a truly amazing first year for the studio. We've worked with some of the world's best known and respected architects, designers and photographers, developers, design agencies and agents, on a huge variety of unique projects all over the world, and of course we've had the pleasure of working with some of the most talented artists too.

We were fortunate enough to spend our 1st anniversary with some of our friends and colleagues over a few games of pool, some seriously spicy wings and a few Kozels (We're a Corona Renderer studio and RS co-founder Alex's wife is Czech so Czech beer is more or less mandatory!).

Here's to an incredible year and many more ahead!

Cheers,

The Recent Spaces Team.

A massive thank you to our great friends and talented photographers Simon Migaj and David Connolly. Thanks chaps!

House in Notting Hill Photoshoot

 

HOUSE IN NOTTING HILL | PHOTO-SHOOT

By Alex York, Co-Founder of Recent Spaces


Back at the tail end of 2013, when I was still operating as Atelier York, I was commissioned to produce a set of interior still images and a short animated film of a beautiful, unique house refurbishment in Notting Hill, together with one of our very talented artists Jan Galliott. The idea was to help the client understand what architect Brian Ma Siy, together with ABA International and the rest of the design team, had designed and envisioned for what was to be their client's family home, filled with the client's own extensive, unique and precious artwork collection, much of which we photographed, scanned and converted into 3D assets for use in our CGIs (see the African masks in the reception room for a good example). Some time after the project was completed at the end of 2013/early 2014, it was decided that the house would instead be renovated to a very similar, although not identical but very high specification, and marketed.

One year later, in the spring of 2015, work had more or less completed on the refurbishment and we were commissioned to carry out a full interior and exterior photo-shoot of the house for the agent, for their marketing brochure, for which I enlisted the help of a super-talented photographer and long-time friend of ours, David Connolly. Both of us had extensive experience shooting architecture and interiors, but neither of us had shot anything quite on this scale, with quite such exquisite detail. Architect Brian Ma Siy is also a wonderful and experienced photographer, so between the three of us, and with a significant amount of kit including multiple shift lenses, a range of primes and zooms and the extraordinary Canon 11-24mm f/4l for the really tight spaces, we managed to cover the whole house in just two very intense, tiring but rewarding shoots, followed by many late nights of editing and post-production over several weeks.

A year and a half later, we've finally been given permission to publish these, and a select few highlights from the set can be viewed below, in two sections - Firstly a CGI V Photo comparison set that reveals how close we got with our visualisations and how similar the final, built design is to the original concept (and how interesting the differences in design details are), and secondly a small selection of some of our favourite photos from the set.

This was a very special and memorable project for us and we're extremely proud to finally be able to show it to the world.

Enjoy!

Alex York
Co-founding partner at Recent Spaces

A word from architect Brian Ma Siy:

"Working with Alex York and his team at Recent Spaces is a joy.  Alex has an architect’s eye for spatial depth and a designer’s instinct for strong composition.   He is also fastidiously detailed in his approach and execution.  In the middle of the design process, Alex created computer generated images to test interior compositions and to help the client understand the spaces he was going to be living in.  At completion of the building works, Alex and his team made a beautiful set of as-built photographs of the house.  We worked very closely together on the two commissions to ensure that both the CGI images and photographs precisely reflected the architecture and the wealth of details.  Due to this highly proactive collaboration, the results capture the modern design interventions as well as the period character of the house.  It also meant that we had a “before” set of images and “after” set of photographs.  These naturally link together and emphasise the consistency of the architectural vision from start to finish."

 

PART 1 - CGI V PHOTO

PART 2 - MAIN PHOTO SET HIGHLIGHTS

Check out our new Fluid Image Tool

Check out our amazing new Fluid Images!

Turn some lights on!

With our amazing new tool we're able to let the viewer dynamically control time-lapse animations and videos, depth of field so you can change what you're focused on, control movement of objects and cameras within a space, turn lights on and off and pretty much anything else you can imagine... All in real-time, on PC, mac, tablets, smartphones and more.

For more information head over to fluidimagetool.com

THIS IS ISLINGTON SQUARE

 

"... A love letter to the original great post office buildings." - Piers Gough — CZWG Architects LLP

Take a brief tour around Islington Square; a project we're soon to publish. Pictured above are a selection of recce shots of the existing old Post Office building in Islington, which is currently undergoing major works by Sager, Cain Hoy, CZWG, Capita Lovejoy, WISH, Argent, Amos & Amos and others.

Keep an eye out very soon for our full set of CGI stills, animations and VR tours of this beautiful and unique project.

- Recent Spaces

 

CORONA DENOISING COMPARISONS

Here at Recent Spaces we had the pleasure last month of testing out the new adaptivity and denoising tools in a Corona daily build on a commercial animation job. We’d hoped that it would work more or less as promised, with both tools acting together to help produce a cleaner, noise­free image in fewer passes (i.e. in less time), with the engine working out where it needs to throw more samples and then, after the render is completed, denoising it without sacrificing too much (or ideally ny) visual detail. If it worked as described, this would allow us to render shots with fewer passes and therefore in less time. Of course, time is money when it comes to rendering. If you can shave off a few minutes per frame that translates directly to significant cost savings for animation work, or indeed for stills.

We were expecting a few minutes to be shaved off per frame, but the results were in another league completely…

Spec for reference: ­ Rendered resolution is 1080p & workstation is a dual xeon E5­2670­v3 @ 2.3ghz (48 threads at 2.3ghz) with 64GB RAM, running Corona daily build from 12th March on Max 2016 SP3, Windows 10. Adaptivity was enabled in all cases, so the results below are a comparison of denoised v not denoised. We might do a comparison of adaptivity V no adaptivity soon as well to show the effect on noise distribution.

First, let's do a simple comparison of non-denoised V denoised, both at 75 passes:

300 PASSES NOT DENOISED 75 PASSES DENOISED

Denoising has worked very well here. Details are preserved in the wood grain, fabric textures and in small details, but the noise has been removed completely.

Now, let's compare a 300-pass non-denoised render with a 75-pass denoised render:

300 PASSES NOT DENOISED 75 PASSES DENOISED

As you can see from the images above, we’ve gone from 300 passes and 42 mins per frame for a reasonably clean image to 75 passes and 11 mins per frame, with the same visual detail and noise quality (perhaps even slightly improved).

This is an almost 74% reduction in render time.

And let’s not forget that the loss of detail when using denoising is negligible if you are careful with its strength (we keep it at around 0.6 instead of the default of 1.0). Furthermore, you can use the new Beauty render element to save out multiple versions of the shot/frame with varying levels of denoising. You can then use masks/mattes to denoise only certain areas such as large white walls and ceilings where noise is typically more visible. I’m sure that we can also expect a simple include/exclude option for denoising in a future build as well, to make this even simpler, and perhaps tools for denoising based on object ID, mat ID etc.

Currently there is an issue with using adaptivity with DR in Corona, where if both are enabled, adaptivity will only be calculated on the master machine, not on the DR nodes. DR and denoising together also seems to present issues for some users. This should all be fixed for 1.5, we’ve been told, which is just around the corner also. 

The images above are from our recently­ completed Primrose Hill project.

Click here for more information on Corona Renderer.