Fortress Industries - Case Study
Realistic Remodel Renderings with ArielVision for Mozaik and SketchUp
In this case study we’re talking with Nick Pigg from Fortress Industries. Fortress manufactures high-quality cabinets and countertops for commercial and residential applications. Nick uses our ArielVision rendering extension.
Fortress is located in Ohio’s state capital, Columbus, a thriving city that’s home of Ohio State University, one of the largest college campuses in the US.
Hello Nick, tell us about you and your business.
I am the operations manager for Fortress Industries LLC. I do all of our drawings and renders. We do commercial and residential millwork and casework, mainly in the form of cabinets and countertops. Being in Central Ohio we do plenty of commercial tenant renovations in Downtown Columbus office buildings, as well as residential remodeling in the surrounding neighborhoods and suburbs.
When did you start using SketchUp and ArielVision?
We started about 2-3 years ago. We originally went with ArielVision because we use Mozaik cabinet software, and we could render images right from the 3D viewer that is a part of Mozaik. At the time we had just started doing our shop drawings in house, so we were trying to simplify our processes in any way possible. About a year in we started using SketchUp so we could have more control over our renders, and it was a great move. Being able to place lights and change the time of day let us get much more realistic renders. Not to mention you can export rooms from Mozaik directly to SketchUp for rendering. I should also say that I have never been professionally trained in any way to use CAD/CAM software or rendering software. We simply needed someone to make our shop drawings, so I figured out how. ArielVision is a great bit of software that makes generating renders very easy, even for someone with absolutely no experience in 3D rendering.
What do you like about ArielVision?
The ease of use is really the biggest thing. We didn’t need any of the super powerful render packages that you can render whole animated city blocks or anything. At most we will render 1-2 rooms at once and ArielVision does a great job of that. Once the 3D model is exported to SketchUp, I will typically have a render going within 5 minutes. You must remember that most average homeowners or business owners don’t look at 2D construction prints every day. Just seeing the room in 3D helps them immensely, but when they see their kitchen or office rendered in full color with lighting they are almost always blown away.
What elements do you pay most attention to when rendering?
Really, I just need the render to look clean and believable. Some of the other rendering programs that I tried out would have very unrealistic lighting and all the textures would end up looking very plastic. ArielVision does not have that effect on the textures that we use, and the lighting settings are very easy to adjust.
Please give us some background on a recent project you’ve done for which you’ve produced renderings using ArielVision.
Do you receive any feedback on your renderings?
Customers marvel at every render that we present to them, especially residential customers. I think that presenting them with a render with accurate textures and lighting rather than a black and white isometric view has been the deciding factor for many customers in choosing us to do their remodel. Customers love seeing their actual kitchen as they envision it before they pull the trigger. And since we are exporting from our CAD/CAM software (Mozaik) directly, the cabinets they see in the render are exact 1:1 models of the cabinets we will be making for them, not just placeholders.
How did the pandemic impact your business?
Over the last 2 years we have gotten much more into residential work. Initially the pandemic caused almost all the office buildings to shut down which meant that all our commercial work dried up. At that time commercial work was at least 75% of our business. The commercial contractors that we worked with didn’t care about renders, but when we proposed jobs directly to homeowners, the renders made all the difference in the world. I think that if you want to go after residential remodeling work, you are going to be looked over if you cannot provide the customer with an accurate render of the proposed work.
Thank you, Nick! It’s great to hear about the positive impact rendering has on your clients.
Would you like us to profile one of your projects?
Whether you’re a rendering novice or a master, it’s always interesting to see what you’re rendering with any of our renderers (IRender nXt, IRender SU, ArielVision, nXtRender, AccuRender)! Email Render Plus Support Email and we’ll contact you.