Pasquale Scionti gave a talk on ArchViz, Ray-Tracing technology and how it helps in his workflow.
I’m Pasquale Scionti, a 3D archviz specialist born in Vancouver, Canada. With more than 13 years of professional experience in the architectural visualization industry, I work with high attention to detail and realism in order to create the best visualizations possible.
I’ve worked in a number of countries and with several international clients. Now, I live in Tampa, Florida, and work full time as a CGI manager for Ashley Furniture creating photorealistic renders and animation.
Joining Archviz World
Photography, the composition of lifestyle and passion inspired me to make this particular career choice. I started out as an enthusiastic photographer. I have always been interested in the latest technology, and I taught myself about the world of 3D.
I got into the world of archviz after working for interior designers and architectural international companies, learning more about archviz and passion related to furniture led me to what I always wanted to be.
What to Pay Attention to in ArchViz
The most important features of a good archviz piece are lightning and materials. You can create great models and textures but if the lightning is not accurate and realistic, those assets will be overexposed or not accurate in terms of color turning everything into a flat and not photorealistic scene.
Other important things, from my experience, are composition, color scheme and an eye trained for details.
Integrating Ray-Tracing into the Workflow
Most archviz designers render their content in V-Ray but in the future, I know for sure that real-time and ray-tracing will substitute it. My workflow before included rendering in various render engines like V-Ray, Corona, Octane but now I usually use ray-tracing with Unreal Engine 4 and RTX2080ti. Having everything in real-time is a life changer in terms of time and quality. I still use V-Ray as my primary render engine though, because the quality is so realistic and accurate.
I think Unreal Engine 4 is the best choice if you want to go for real-time realistic archviz, and today, it is performing better and better as continuous updates improve quality and performance.
A few years ago, game engines were used only to create games and the quality was not that realistic, but today with advanced technology and more detailed renders, game engines are capable of producing highly realistic architectural visualization. Ray-tracing is especially important in the game art industry because it will change the way we see video games and different elements like reflections, accurate realistic soft shadows with great AO, Global Illumination and more. For now, there are not a lot of titles that support ray-tracing but as I mentioned, it is our future. Having everything at the tip of your fingers and replacing materials in real-time is a great investment to generate more content in a faster, scalable, and cost-effective way.
I personally integrate ray-tracing in my archviz scenes to have accurate photorealistic environments. I ussually use Datasmith plugin which helps to transfer your scene from a 3D package to Unreal Engine 4. Then, inside UE4, I tweak the texture to get an accurate result in the lights. In the scene below, I modeled and unwrapped the sofa using a reference image, all the other props and models are from my personal library. I purchased them online as it saves a lot of time. For textures, I usually use Substance Source plugin for UE4 – it has so many variations and great quality. If needed, I create my own textures. For my exterior archviz scenes, I utilize Quixel Megascans.
As for lighting, I used HDR sky and, to push the details inside the room, I created rectangular lights outside the windows. Everything is made with ray-tracing, with no baking.
Hope you enjoyed this article! Be sure to check my website for more work.
Pasquale Scionti, 3D Archviz Artist
Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev