How carpentry led Ben Eves to 3D and architectural visualization

From hammer and nails to...CAD and lighting algorithms? How can working with power tools possibly lead to designing powerful graphics? As unlikely as it sounds, that’s the path that architectural visualization artist Ben Eves took in his career. 

Ben Eves is the founder of Eves Visualization, an architectural visualization (archviz) house based in Australia. He may be all-in with archviz now, but he didn’t exactly start out that way. Let’s listen to his story of how he got here:

“I have always been around the building industry. My father is a carpenter. Back then, I would help him out during school holidays. I then went on and trained as an architectural draftsperson. That was my career for a few years before studying computer graphics part-time in Sydney. From there, I got my first archviz job in an architectural firm. I did this for about 3 and a half years to build experience. Then went back to a local job as a draftsperson so that I could build my own portfolio and start building my own studio after hours. Once I built a good client base, I started my Eves Viz studio. Eves Viz have been running full time for about 7 years now.”

Just based on his story, Ben was more of an architectural guy than a 3D guy up until he took that part-time computer graphics course. But what triggered that? This was an interesting plot twist in Ben’s career. It was a chance glance at a colleague’s work back when he was working for an architectural firm:

“When I was studying as a draftsperson, BIM software was just starting out. Back then you could only see basic images in 3D from your architectural drawings. Then in my first full-time drafting job, there was a guy creating semi-realistic archviz renders of the in-house projects. This is when I look into this area more seriously. I decided to take up a Computer Graphic Course to learn all I could. As soon as I completed this course, I got my first Arch Viz job in a major Sydney Architects Firm.”
Ben Eves

“There was a guy…” As Ben’s story has shown, one should never underestimate the power of chance encounters. Life-changing inspiration can literally just be a desk (or a Zoom call) away.

Speaking of Zoom calls and work from home, we all know that the last 12 months have been tough on everyone in the world. However, at least based on Ben’s experience, the archviz industry has had some luck. After experiencing a relatively short time of minimal work requests, things turned for archviz artists when real estate people started needing more archviz to help their sales. Here’s Ben on his pandemic experience:

“This year has been a tough year for everyone around the world. However, I have been fairly fortunate here in Australia. We have not been as majorly affected here unlike a lot of other countries. Personally, we had a couple of quiet months in the middle of the year but since then, we have actually become busier than ever. I think this is because property developers need to reach the market and try to keep sales coming, so they need more renders and animations.”

Especially with COVID protocols in place, virtual walkthroughs have become indispensable. With demand for 3D visualization on the rise even during an economically tough year, archviz has clearly proven to be a very good career choice for Ben and other 3D artists. Ben also thinks that the future is bright for archviz:

“I think a major factor [for the industry] is going to be architecture students learning archviz during their studies and use it for their presentations, along with the rise in BIM software use. This is leading to architecture firms developing in-house capabilities to cover a lot of the initial rendering needs. Soon all they will need to outsource is the ultra high-end marketing renders and animations which may cause problems for little studios or freelancers.”

And this is of course where render farms come in handy. In Ben’s experience, the benefits of tapping a render farm like GarageFarm.NET definitely outweigh the cost:

“I now use GarageFarm on most projects as it is a more time- and cost-effective way for me to produce my final renders and animations instead of the cost and space of setting up a small render farm in my office.”

A render farm is top of the list for Ben when it comes to 3D work, along with a couple more items:

“A render farm is essential, especially for animations. Other third-party services [that are important] are 3ds Max plugins like ForestPack and the Corona render engine. Also, good sources of 3D models and textures are a must.”

Other than speed, there’s one major factor that makes Ben rely on a render farm, particularly GarageFarm.NET--support:

“I actually found out about GarageFarm from another archviz artist I partnered with for a large project. We were discussing the difficulty of using a render farm when you are in the Australian time zone. With other render farms I have used previously, you would always have a system rendering problem but I could not get support as it was after hours in the rest of the world. With GarageFarm, I don’t usually have issues with the system but when I do, someone is always there to chat live with and they get the issues sorted straight away. This lets me run my business smoother and keep my clients happy.”

Keeping clients happy is what Ben is about, and so is being on top of his 3D chops. Ben is excited for the future of archviz as both the architectural talent and the 3D software keep on improving:

“The whole industry is constantly pushing boundaries. The quality of work that is being produced is incredible. The software is developing so quickly, too, and you need to keep on top of it or else you fall behind. I always like to see what the next innovative thing is being created or developed. It keeps artists inspired to keep developing and learning new skills also.”

How inspired is Ben as an artist? Just check out these stunning visuals he produced with rendering help from GarageFarm. These images are a CGI recreation of a beautiful property in Beverly Hills, California.

Reference: Oak Pass Main House

Architect: Walker Workshop

If, like Ben Eves, you want fast and cost-efficient rendering with 24/7 live support, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at GarageFarm.NET.

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