Art Wanted! Featuring Wittaya Wangpuk
Friday, June 15th, 2018 by Julian Karsunky
3D reconstruction has become a popular exercise among the archviz crowd. Wittaya Wangpuk went the extra mile for his faithful recreation of the ‘Wine Ayutthaya’, repeatedly visiting the building in the Thai city of the same name in order to capture its unique atmosphere.
Continue reading to learn more about Wittaya’s remarkable approach to the project, his humble beginnings as a 3D artist and his unwavering dedication to his craft.
Wittaya Wangpuk’s 3D reconstruction of the ‘Wine Ayutthaya’ looks every bit as good as the original.
Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. In the field of architectural visualization, recreating real world buildings in 3D has become a popular exercise for aspiring and established artists alike. With the lines between reality and CGI becoming more and more blurred as technology advances further, digital artisans have elevated this process of virtual reconstruction to an art form in and of itself.
Wittaya Wangpuk, 37, works full-time as a graphic designer at an interior design firm in Bangkok, Thailand. In his limited free time, he does freelance architectural visualization work for clients as well as the occasional personal projects to hone his technical skills, often in the form of 3D reconstruction. “My main motivation for doing these type of projects is not to compare myself with other artists”, Wittaya says. “It’s about challenging myself and pushing the boundaries of photorealistic CGI.”
His latest project, a meticulously detailed recreation of “The Wine Ayutthaya”, is an impressive display of both the artist’s keen and experienced eye for architectural forms and his ability to transpose this understanding into a 3D landscape.
Reconstructing the intricate interior of the ‘Wine Ayutthaya’ is a demanding task in itself.
Located on the banks of Chao Phraya River, the Wine Ayutthaya is a tourist attraction for visitors to Ayutthaya, an ancient capital city 85 kilometers north of Bangkok. Designed by Boonserm Premthada of Bangkok Project Studio, the exposed wooden framework is made to make the building, which houses a luxurious wine bar, blend in with its surrounding trees. Inside, an intricate structure of staircases twists around steel columns and provides access to four raised platforms set at different levels, offering a range of vistas.
“When I stumbled upon the Wine Ayutthaya while researching a subject for a new project, I was immediately captivated by its forms, materiality and breathtaking environment”, Wittaya recalls. “I had wanted to try my hands on a scene from my home country for some time, so at that point all the pieces just fell into place.”
Universalized architectural styles and developments often appear at odds with regional characteristics. While one might fear that this dynamic threatens unique cultural identities, it frequently produces original and eclectic results, seamlessly blending traditional and modern design elements. Wittaya tells us he is delighted by how the Wine Ayutthaya “strikes this particular balance by incorporating contemporary design philosophy without losing its regional heritage.”
This model of the main structure shows the raised platforms set at different levels.
With his subject found, Wittaya set out to work on reconstructing the Wine Ayutthaya in 3D. Although he refers to the project as such, his approach is anything but “recreational”. Before creating even a single model on his computer, Wittaya spent a large amount of time on preliminary research, gathering reference material such as photos, blueprints and other publicly available data.
Not satisfied with solely working from a distance, his preparation also included several on-site visits. “Reference material is no doubt very important for both the accuracy of the proportions and the completeness of the elements”, Wittaya explains. “But in order to do this remarkable building justice, I felt I needed to see it for myself. During my trips to Ayutthaya, I not only obtained additional references, first and foremost I was able to really absorb the atmosphere of the place!”
The realistic creasing effect in the plastic is just one example of Wittaya’s exceptional attention to detail.
First-hand impressions fresh in mind, Wittaya finally felt sufficiently equipped to start his most ambitious personal project yet. Over the course of almost six months he would work relentlessly in his spare time, overcoming challenges at every stage of the way. “The hardest part overall was probably the details”, he reveals. “I spent so much time on every nook and cranny to make the render as realistic as possible. The same holds true for the shading, I had to come up with creative solutions to achieve satisfying results.”
Wittaya began by building a basic 3D model of the Wine Ayutthaya in 3ds Max, adding more and more details. From the plywood interior to the PVC banners on the outside to the vegetation surrounding the main structure, he had to work with a wide variety of different materials, all requiring unique textures and shading. “For certain parts of the scene, I used Marvelous Designer, while the environment was created with the help of Forest Pack”.
“As the scene involves a lot of cameras and since I wanted to have different lighting for each angle, I ended up animating the position of the sun in each frame for each camera to make my life easier”, Wittaya goes on. Furthermore, his workflow included Corona Renderer and Photoshop for rendering and post production respectively.
The Wine Ayutthaya’, lighting test. You can find a detailed making-of here.
A result of careful planning and mastery of craft, Wittaya’s 3D reconstruction of the Wine Ayutthaya looks every bit as good as the original. The trained industrial designer has come a long way since his first attempts at CGI: “I vividly remember how confused I was when first encountering 3ds Max during my studies, the results were less than desirable, to put it mildly.”
The turning point came years later when his employer asked him to create a realistic interior scene for a client presentation. “My skill back then was obviously too low, but I was motivated to catch up using every resource available to me,” Wittaya says. With the help of books and online tutorials, he completed the assignment, developing a passion for 3D in the process that remains to this day.
Wittaya succeeded in capturing the unique atmosphere of the ‘Wine Ayutthaya’.
Contrasting Wittaya’s humble beginnings as a 3D artist to the skillset required to successfully complete demanding projects such as the ‘Wine Ayutthaya’, stands as an inspiration for up-and-coming artists everywhere. His dedication to his craft, all while working a full time job, cannot be understated.
Thus certainly deserving of our ArtWanted! feature, Wittaya is “thankful for the opportunity presented by the RebusFarm render service”. Asked for any final remarks, he decided to leaves us with more inspirational words: “Always keep observing the world around you, believe in what you see and never stop learning new things.”
Keep up with Wittaya Wangpuk here:
How to join ArtWanted!