As an Architectural Engineer working at his family’s studio in Italy, Enzo Pasqua has been designing projects using BIM (building information modeling) specifications for the past five years. Using Allplan’s object-oriented 3D design software, he primarily designs concrete and steel structures.
But Pasqua is also experienced at architectural visualization and, on a freelance basis, he uses Cinema 4D and Allplan to create photorealistic images for a wide range of architectural projects.
To learn more about how the integration between Cinema 4D and Allplan has been helpful to Pasqua, we asked him to tell us about several recent projects.
When did you first start using Cinema 4D and Allplan?
Pasqua: I started using both programs at University. I already knew what I wanted to do because of my family’s business, which we’ve had for three generations. My style is more architectural visualization, but I am also trained as an engineer, so I am in the middle between the architect and the engineer.
How does that combination of software help you in your work?
Pasqua: I think the two programs work really well together because they complete each other in many ways. Allplan has strong architectural tools that give architects and engineers the opportunity to model architectural elements very quickly and parametrically. And Cinema 4D manages all of the complex geometry with the possibility to implement scenes with the details you want and PBR materials.
What do you do to get from 2D CAD drawing or sketch to a 3D model?
Pasqua: I always import 2D or sketch assets into Allplan to digitize and maintain for reference inside the project folder, sort of like a flexible database. I scale things whenever possible, and I try to create a concept from the start. I also create a structure for the project so I can order all of the parts in a hierarchical way.
My usual workflow is to do the initial modeling in Allplan. Then, I import the model into C4D to check materials and lighting and make any other adjustments that are needed. I like to maintain the subdivision of the model, and I can work very fast in C4D to set up cameras and materials because I’ve already imported the structure. Changes are easy to make because the model is divided into small pieces, so I can change just one part rather than having to redo everything.
Say more about how you prep files once they’ve been imported into C4D.
Pasqua: First, I select a point of view with a certain composition because every aspect of a successful image starts from that. Next, I lock the camera in position so there aren’t any unwanted movements and I all of the detail that would be impossible to manage inside Allplan.
My goal is to create a composition that I like before setting up illumination and starting to think about the scene in white to understand best way to use the light rays. To do that, I use the capability of the rendering engine to override the materials already imported from Allplan.After that, I modify the materials from Allplan into PBR materials for Corona Renderer, which I use inside Cinema 4D. Then, the file is ready to be rendered and improved.
Tell us about some of your architectural visualization projects.
Pasqua: Moniga was a project for an architectural atelier. They asked me to translate their 2D project into a 3D model that they could send to their clients. They thought it would be a good way for the clients to see if they were okay with the style of the house before building started on Lake Garda in northern Italy.
The main part of the model was made in Allplan, and the details were created and rendered in Cinema 4D. Allplan is great for things that are not heavy, like the inside of the house. I used Affinity Photo for the background during post-production.
For another recent project, Ponte di Legno, which is in northern Italy, I made an interior scene to help buyers visualize apartments in a new high-end residential complex. The client asked me to start with a model made by another guy, so I imported that into Allplan.
I used C4D to add details and create all of the objects in the room. I don’t always do that if I can easily find something online. If that’s the case, I will download the object and modify it in C4D, especially if there’s a tight budget or deadline.
Is there anything else you want to say about using C4D and Allplan in your work?
Pasqua: I think it’s rare to find two pieces of software from different teams that are so linked in the way they treat objects. Because they complete each other, you can really reach a deep level of detail during the design process, which is really helpful for engineers and architects who need to create something very complex or custom.