What visualization tools are in your communications box? Annette Wright is learning as many as possible

By Marc Fredrickson

Annette Wright is the owner of the interior design firm OD360 Designs LLC, and a FormFonts 3D subscriber since March 2010. Periodically, she requests many models for her design projects via our for-subscribers-only 3D model request line.

She’s always very appreciative and communicative about how happy she is with our modeling her requests.  So when considering which FormFonts 3D Models subscriber I could profile for our blog, Annette quickly came to mind.

Communicative is the important adjective when describing Annette.  In talking with her, I came to understand that for Annette, communication is an essential aspect of her interior design practice.

On her website she says:

The foundation of our successful design experiences is understanding that there is a reach beyond just ‘hearing’. Focusing on really ‘listening’ to what the client and their space is expressing, the need and desire, has been our most valuable recognition.

Fig. 1 3D Visualization for Sassafras Lounge and Restaurant

Fig2. Interior Design 3D Visualization for a condominium

For Annette, an essential aspect of design communication is using tools that help the client best understand the design.  Sometimes this means hand sketching. Other times, she uses 3D computer visualization. And yet for other clients, she uses a mixed-media method.

I’d only seen examples of Annette’s 3D computer visualization and so I asked to see some of her hand sketches. She directed me to a friend’s blog that had helped her out in trying to decide to start her own blog that she has since started at Odon Design, and in return, she drew a thank you note depicting her friend in her friend’s space.

Fig 3. A hand-drawn thank you note made for a friend who blogs at “Design Manifest”

Upon seeing her sketch, I asked why she even bothers with 3D modeling. Annette’s sketch has character and feeling that can easily get lost in a 3D rendering.  She explained that for each project and client – she “sizes up clients and what kind of communication they need.”

And for herself she said sometimes she “likes a clean, straight, star-trekky look” and for other times a “romantic, imperfect look of a hand rendering.”

Annette started learning 3D about 5 years ago using SketchUp. Then with the design of the Sassafras Lounge and Restaurant about 2 years ago, she just went for it.

Go to the website of Sassafras Lounge and Restaurant

Fig 4. View rendered in SketchUp with Twilight Render for the design of Sassafras Lounge and Restaurant

Go to the website of Sassafras Lounge and Restaurant

Fig 4. A view of the booths in the 3D visualization for the Sassafras Lounge and Restaurant design

For this Maryland project, Annette brought together the initial design concept in a couple of months. More time would have been nice, but with deadlines and the client wanting to get construction started, she just pressed forward.

Leveraging more design time from clients is difficult because they think design is so easy.. and therefore, should be fast –  that I just “twinkles her nose and it happens” Annette explains.

Here are some views of the finished construction from the lounge and restaurant’s webpage. The client is so pleased with the design process and results that he’s hired Annette to design another lounge and restaurant.

Fig. 5 A view of the lounge and restaurant in its finished form from the restaurant’s website

The below image is of a current project Annette is designing for a condominium. I asked about why the restaurant was rendered without the realistic lighting while the condo is. Was this choice the result of a time constraint?  Annette explains that this is just the result of her learning more and more about 3D tools and workflow. The condo is a current project, whereas the restaurant predates it. For the restaurant she used SketchUp and Twilight Render.  But for the condo project, she’s learning and using Autodesk 3DS Max.

Fig. 6 A view of a current design project for a condominium

As a self-confessed perfectionist, Annette wants to learn continuously. I asked what she finds frustrating about the current 3D tools she uses.  She answered,”Good question!  I can’t think of anything.. there’s so much yet to learn.”

Annette’s advice for those that want to improve their skills, is to be versatile and continue to service your clients. “Be patient and reach out to people to teach you, and learn the programs”.  She continues  “It’s so worth it!  You have know the tools to master your creation and don’t be scared. Just like hand drawing, it’s a tool.”

For those intent on improving their 3D skills, she suggests attending anything—workshops, user groups, webinars, whatever it takes — to learn.”

“Its how you think in your head.. and then just put it down on paper or in SketchUp.”

Thanks for reading and subscribing – FormFonts 3D Models

P.S.: For fun check out Annette’s playful under-construction webpage.  It’s a goldfish swimming around on a white background. Annette says that she she gets different reactions to her goldfish.  Some love it .. but others like her brother “wants to ‘Taser’ it.” Click on the image to go to her website to decide to… Love It or Taser It?

Fig. 7 Annette Wright’s website is under construction. As a place holder a fish swims around in the background with text in the foreground that describes her philosophy.

P.S.S.: Be sure to check out FormFonts’ one2one for personalized training to get your 3D skills tuned up.

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About Formfonts 3D Models

Established in 2002, FormFonts 3D Models has served over 11,000 subscribers. FormFonts 3D Models offers over 50,000 of well-made and with the right-amount-of-polygons models and textures on a subscription basis. Throughout each month we upload new models for download. If you don’t see what you need, request it to be made. We offer models in the following formats: Google SketchUp ® | Autodesk®3ds Max®, Autocad®, Revit® & FBX
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