Fast Animation Rendering with Allura

CAD2Plan - Case Study

Rocking 3D Visualisation with Allura Plus for SketchUp

Dorian Walker is an architectural designer and runs his business, CAD2Plan, from the town of Kidderminster (where Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin grew up) in Worcestershire, England. He has a BSc Honours degree in historic building conservation and an HND in Building Studies.

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Here’s Robert, a better singer than Dorian, but Dorian is the better architectural designer.

Working in the commercial sector, he is proud of his ability to quickly produce as many drawings and 3D images as needed from a model to help his clients visualise whatever options they’re interested in before deciding on the final design.

Hello Dorian, we exchanged emails a couple of times during the period when you were trying our Allura Plus SketchUp renderer and I sensed a real passion for 3D design.
Very much. Since I started in CAD, it has been a personal mission to create quality drawings as efficiently as possible. After a couple of years learning the basics of 2D CAD, it made sense to me that 3D modelling was going to be the way forward and as things developed I also found myself being drawn into 3D visualisation.

Once I realized that I haven’t looked back and have developed my own unique system and style combining quality with efficiency. A bit like me really, I don’t conform to the traditional stereotypical architectural type and that suits me, I like it when people look at me and are surprised at what I do for a living.

And you’re designing in SketchUp?
Yes, I generate my architectural models in SketchUp, from which I also produce all the associated planning and construction documentation, which is why it’s important that the rendering software I use is intuitive and can be used from within Sketchup. Allura Plus checks those boxes.

I hear you’ve finished a large project recently. Congratulations!
Thanks. I have just completed a large project for a new UK head office for a software developer in the automotive industry. I am particularly proud of this project as the whole design is mine from concept to final scheme. Here are several renderings from the project that I generated using your Allura Plus SketchUp extension.

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They look great, and we’re obviously excited that the speed and flexibility of Allura Plus helped you impress your client. As Allura is a GPU based renderer, when you started using it did you use your existing hardware?
I realized that to get the best results from Allura I would need to upgrade my hardware with a new GPU and more memory. The investment was easy to justify based on the output from Allura. It fits in so well with the work I do and the tight timeframe in which I have to turn most of my jobs around.

Did you consider any other GPU based renderers?
I like to make business decisions based on fact and personal experience, so I decided to compare Allura with Podium's 3D Walker. I quickly realized Allura was superior in several ways. The decision to go with Allura wasn’t even close.

So you’re obviously pretty happy with Allura Plus.
I've been drawing and rendering in 3D for over 15 years now, and I've never had it so good. My clients are very happy with the renders Allura produces and they're even happier with how quickly I’m able to turn around their requests for changes.

Do you have any other projects in the works?
I’m getting all sorts of enquiries at the moment. It seems people like my work! My next substantial project will be ongoing, producing design layouts and 3D visualisations for pre-fabricated retail units, such as the ones housing Costa Coffee and similar which are popping up all around the UK, so I’m extremely happy with that.

Oh, and I have to tell you about another project! Last year I imported a 1949 Chevrolet 3100 truck from Texas and am in the process of getting it roadworthy. I’m drawing everything up in SketchUp to scale as I’m working on it, then I shall make it available freely to fellow owners worldwide to help preserve the truck that to me is the most beautiful, elegantly formed, yet completely practical piece of engineering to ever be made. I’m also rebuilding an early small block Chevy engine. Had to slip that in there!

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Dorian. We wish you continued success and look forward to you sharing more of the renderings you generate using Allura Plus!

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