Atkins Global turns to cloud for large projects with fast turn around



Design | Architecture | Engineering


United Kingdom

Atkins Global is UK’s largest and one of the world’s most respected design and engineering consultancies with offices in all regions of the world employing 18,000 employees worldwide. We talked with Aaron Wright, senior 3D visualiser, a member of the Creative Design team within Atkins group about his team’s work. His role is to provide support for many of the projects Atkins are involved in to add impact for marketing purposes and to better express the designs. Aaron turns to GarageFarm.NET Render Farm for help with large projects that need fast turnaround, which has proved to be highly valuable on many projects we worked on together.

We couldn’t talk about the projects we rendered and Atkins work in detail as most of it is classified, but we hope you can enjoy this short conversation with Aaron.

What’s your name, where do you live, and what do you do professionally?

Aaron Wright, London. I’m a senior 3D visualiser.

Can you tell us about your role in Atkins Global?

Atkins is one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies. We build long-term trusted partnerships to create a world where lives are enriched through the implementation of our ideas.

I work for the ‘Creative Design’ team within Atkins. The 3D visualisation teams role is to provide support for many of the exciting projects Atkins are involved in. This could be for added impact within bids, public consultation etc or for media and marketing purposes.

What’s the typical type of work your team does?

Atkins provides services to a variety of Engineering sectors and as a result, the types of visualisation we, as a team, carry out can vary greatly. A couple of examples would be projects for the transport sector, also projects within the architectural industry.

Can you talk about the early stage of your career?

My visualisation career started within the product industry and changed very suddenly when I took a job as a junior within the Atkins 3D vis team. This was a steep learning curve for managing larger scenes, with changes in process, software and as a result a lot of learning and growth as a designer/visualiser.

What drew you to CG in the first place?

I like making things look real. I also like being involved with new technology and seeing how the world is changing around us. Working for Atkins lets me see a lot of exciting innovation from day to day.

Can you talk about the most meaningful your team worked on?

If I told you I would have to kill you ;)

There have been many projects you rendered with us. Can you talk about some of them?

These projects have mainly been relating to transport clients. They have been a core part of the offerings for public consultation. We all know the saying a picture says a 1000 words, but an animation can say a whole lot more. In order to adequately express the benefits of change, animations and visualisations are often key to help prevent any confusions that can arise during the process.

Let’s talk about your software and the tools you use.

Generally, we use 3ds Max for our animations, rendering with V-ray. Render times have been pretty good and you always seem to accommodate the need for a fast turnaround. Our animations are often only minutes long so we are looking at frame ranges of up to 5000.

What’s your take on cloud rendering?

Cloud rendering has proven to be highly valuable on larger projects with fast turn around. We do however render in-house when the timescales suit.

Any observations regarding architectural visualization and how it has changed over the years?

We are highly invested in new technology, with an interactive visualisation team working on exciting AR, VR and RT projects. What route we take (interactive/standard vis) will always depend on the project’s requirements and what will best suit the specific project.

What comes first for you, art or design?

I think as a visualiser you are always trying to improve your work. There will always be details that we add to improve visuals and the level of realism that may only be noticed subconsciously by the end viewer, but without them, the quality wouldn’t be the same. So in my view, there is always a need for the artistic eye. It is also important to consider the requirements of the project/client, as the most exciting and artistic approach may not be to the right approach for the job. Time is obviously always a big factor also.

How did your journey with GarageFarm.NET start?

I was given your details from a colleague. Your quick and easy communication is a big reason why we have continued to use your services. You are very accommodating and do your best to help even with the tough projects.

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