Greenville SMART

About this Project

Greenville SMART is an ongoing project that aims to connect local entrepreneurs with the resources needed to succeed, via a building in downtown Greenville. I was asked to create 3D renders of the interiors of each floor so donors could see what the rooms would look like, and decide if they wanted to sponsor it. The project is currently ongoing, and the photos below do not necessarily represent the final product.

Interior Render Photos

VR VIdeos

The Process

I used Blender as my software of choice, mainly because it’s free, opensource, and lightweight. For the floor and walls, I found some free textures with normal and bump mapping to create a realistic feel. The white drywalls are a procedural material I made with the node editor in Blender. There is also a light source in the project that shines into the building’s interior to create realistic shadows. I modeled all the furniture based on some reference images and other generic images in order to add as much detail as possible.

To ensure the renders were as close to the architect’s plans, I brought the floorplans into Blender and used separate layers to keep them apart. I then traced over the floorplans as a plane mesh and extruded them up to the correct height. The result is as close to the real deal as possible, with realistic texturing and lighting.

The Road to VR

To render a VR video, the process is similar to rendering a single image. I change the camera to render an equilateral image, like the one below.

As you can see, the image is warped and stretched as an equirectangular panoramic image. At this point, I took this image and pulled it into my video editing software of choice, Premiere Pro. I made the video one minute long, and exported the project as an mp4 file. Google offers immersive 3D videos to be published on its platform, YouTube, as well as tools necessary to ensure the best experience.

Google has a script called Spatial Media Metadata Injector, which takes a 2D panoramic image and injects metadata into the file to convert the 2d video file into a 3D spherical file. I uploaded the file to YouTube, and the file is processed to allow for a full 3D viewing experience.