View Full Version : Studying Architecture?
06-17-2010, 06:35 AM
Besides the obvious looking at and drawing/modeling buildings I see around me, what would some of you more experienced 3D environment artists recommend really studying in terms of architecture?
What practical stuff should I learn that will really enhance any concepts or models I make of environments?
06-17-2010, 06:52 AM
Get a copy of something like 'A Visual Dictionary of Architecture' (Francis Ching), so that you can learn basic terminology, and learn about how architecture works in terms of internal support structures, etc.
06-17-2010, 07:35 AM
In addition to terminology, actual working dimensions (or human scale relations) are something many people over look.
In the states, a typical door is 6'8" tall. Typically, the windows in a house will share the same head height as a door (but the sill height will vary per window height). The maximum stair rise and run are 7" riser and 11" tread (anything more is difficult to comfortably climb). etc. If you want your buildings to look real, they need to look like real people could live in/use them.
Something many people don't seem to notice is the modularity of building components. A CMU block is 8" tall and 16" long, three bricks stacked (including mortar) are 8" tall. When choosing windows for a brick or block building it's best to make window openings fit within these parameters. When laying out a floor plan, it's important to maximize the benefits of modularity (otherwise the contractor building it is going to think you're a fucking idiot when he's out there cutting bricks and blocks).
There's a book called the Architectural Graphics Standards, you may want to see if you can find a used student copy (or look for a digital version on the internets).
06-18-2010, 09:30 PM
Thanks for the recommendations!
I'm looking at getting these two books:
Architectural Drawing: A Visual Compendium of Types and Methods (3rd edition) - Rendow Yee - amazon link
Materials, Structures, and Standards: All the Details Architects Need to Know But Can Never Find - Julia McMorroug - amazon link
The first book is actually the textbook for a architectural drawing class available at a local community college, I plan to take that class this fall.
The second book is one of those quick reference standards and such books that should have those little details like brick and mortar sizes alongside stair measurements and such.
Would these two be fine?
06-19-2010, 02:36 AM
I did my masters thesis on architecture theory and practise in virtual game environments. I genuinely feel the future of games depends on absorbing other artistic backgrounds and work flows. I will take another look at my stuff when I get home and post you a few good books that helped me on my way.
06-20-2010, 12:55 AM
http://www.amazon.com/Grammar-Architecture-al-Emily-Cole/dp/0760774455 <-- I love "Grammar of Architecture," a really handy concise reference for almost every architectural style. Ignore the 1 star rating on Amazon, it's just some random dude complaining about something no one cares about :P
06-20-2010, 11:58 AM
I'm on my final year of an Architecture degree and I'm not entirely sure of the importance of the majority of Architecural technicalities with relation to game art creation. Personally, I've found what Flava-Fly said about exploring various artistic backgrounds has been a real help. So in that regard, Architecture is another notch on the belt so to speak.
Studying architecture visually is probably gonna benefit you most I'd say. There's a LOT of structural details and sciences involved in architecture, things like structural loading, and a lot of 'behind-the-scenes' stuff you're likely to never need for game work. For example, you're unlikely to ever need to know the exact dimensions required for a lintel over a certain sized window... however there are of course examples which would help. Like the minimum tread-depth on a staircase, or the number of supporting members on a ceiling, these things will help add realism and believability to your scenes.
Is a massive book, a great visual reference on some fantastic architectural design. It covers a lot of details and has floor plans of a lot of the buildings featured which is a nice insight into their creation.
One other thing which has helped me a lot (despite it not really showing in my portfolio) is learning about lighting. Knowing how much light a room should have depending on it's purpose, and the way lights should be placed to achieve that, as well the technicalities of different types of natural / artifical light, it's a subject that should help quite a bit with 3D work. Also a lot of studios seem to list a good understanding of light/lighting a preference on their environment art openings.
Hope that helps a bit.
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