October 6th – 7th, 2017 – Italy. Lectures on the Architectural Visualization, photography and CG.

SoA Academy is organising the 8th edition of the Academy Day: a two-day workshop for professionals and passionate architectural visualisation artists. By combining the knowledge and expertise of international and renowned Artists, the Academy Day is meant to let people in the Arch-Viz world meet and share their esperiences on recently completed projects.

The Academy Day is the right place where you can exchange views and learn from the best Artists how they’re growing to always keep up with technologies’ big changes.
During the 2 days, speakers will hold workshops and interactive tutorials to highlight the latest techniques in the Architectural Visualisation field and share their secrets to achieve effective and impressive results.

AcademyDay#8: what is it about?

This year, the event will cover topics such as AI that nowadays is part of our daily life. Although many people know AI only in relation to the automotive (self-driving cars), not so many people know that also computers are learning to build things independently: from music to poetry and images. Computers create actual artworks which are even shown in museums. We’ll put artists in opposition to machines to see how our future will be shaped and we’ll try to understand whether machines are a real opportunity or they are slowly replacing humans also in the creative field.

Other topics include virtual reality, to see how it is influencing our lives; GPU renderings related to offline and online renderers; and the way in which our brain perceives images. We’ll understand what process is involved when people recognize some artworks and then express emotions deriving from those artworks. Thanks to neuroscience applied to Arts, we can study the phenomena that are beyond the Gestalt’s flow. Last but not least, we’ll also talk about business, cinema and special effects.

Further details on the event are coming soon. Stay tuned!


We would like to give a special thanks to our sponsor for the AcademyDay#8. Thanks to their participation we will have the opportunity to learn more of these powerful softwares used by great artists during specific lectures. The AcademyDay#8 is covered by our media partner Ronen Bekerman. So be ready for news and interviews which will be pusblished after the event.




Recent Spaces

Alex York is co-founder and Partner of London-based Recent Spaces, an architectural visualisation studio well-known for its “whole model” approach, intense attention to detail, photographic image-making workflow and innovation with its ‘Fluid Images’. He started out in 2005 at Hayes Davidson, formed Atelier York in 2010, working primarily on high-end luxury residential projects for London-based architects and interior designers, and then co-founded Recent Spaces with long-time university friend and colleague Iain Banks in early 2016.



Recent Spaces

Iain Banks is co-founder and Partner of Recent Spaces. He studied 3D Computer Animation at the University of Teesside graduating with honours in 2005. He went on to work in the computer games industry for 1 year before joining the team at Hayes Davidson in 2006, where he was a project lead artist working on many high profile schemes. In 2010 he decided to pursue freelancing for various other London studios and clients before co-founding Recent Spaces in early 2016.




Alongside being a Partner at MIR Nicholas O’Leary is an internationally exhibited painter. In joining MIR in 2009, O’Leary migrated from the sunny surf beaches of New Zealand to allegedly the rainiest city in Europe; Bergen, Norway. With the cold, dark Nordic winters comes more time to huddle in the studio and paint. And when the light emerges again, exposing the rugged landscape, wet, foggy and dramatic, O’Leary can be found trekking in the mountains with an easel and his brushes.



When Johannes started with 3D, it was all about cars, but after slipping on a banana shell straight into IKEA’s 3D Department, his goals were clear; chase the Bertrand Benoit quality. After about 5 years at IKEA, doing their 3D images for web and catalogue, he decided to experience the “real world”, and now Johannes is about to start a new company with a good friend of his.




Artist, CGI videographer and entrepreneur Tomasz Wyszolmirski founded Dabarti in 2009 with one aim: to build the industry’s biggest and best CGI stock portfolio. Dabarti team is small but highly effective, and together with Monika Olizarowicz and couple of CG generalists produced nearly 3,000 clips to date. Purchasers of Dabarti’s animation include Lockheed Martin, HTC, Valve and can be spotted on Discovery Channel, Netflix and many various news outlets and TV commercials. In his spare time, Tomasz develops pipeline tools and works on his blog.




Monika is partner at Dabarti with Tomasz. She will be present at the event to answer questions on doubts about Dabarti’s products.


Alexander Mordvintsev


Alexander Mordvintsev is a Research Scientist working in Google Zurich on problems of understanding and debugging Deep Neural Networks. He is mostly known for bringing public attention to the emergent generative properties of neural image classification models, the effect became known as “DeepDream“.


David Wortley

Taylor James

David Wortley is the Technical Director at Taylor James and is responsible for VFX Supervision, studio workflows, pipeline development, photography supervision, and research and development. You may also know Dave from his 3ds Max community blog and Facebook page Max Made Easy, contributing tutorials, scripts and tips to the community. Dave also speaks at technology events such as SXSW discussing what the future of the creative industries holds.


Marta Calbi

Neuroscientist at University of Parma

Marta Calbi is a post-doc fellow from the department of Medicine and Surgery – Unit of Neuroscience, at the University of Parma (Italy). After obtaining in 2013 her master degree in Neuropsychology at the University of Milano-Bicocca, she attended the electrophysiology laboratory of Professor Alice Mado Proverbio at the same university, thus learning and applying high-density EEG techniques to the investigation of neural mechanisms underpinning emotional body language (EBL) comprehension.

From 2014 to 2016 she attended a Ph.D course in Neuroscience at the University of Parma with the supervision of Professor Vittorio Gallese and the collaboration of Professor Maria Alessandra Umiltà. She further explored EBL mechanisms by means of EEG and eye-tracking measures. She also took part in several studies investigating the role of embodied cognition for human cognition and interaction, and more specifically aesthetic expression and appreciation of visual arts and cinema.



for Corona Renderer

Jakub has been in love with CGI for 11 years. During his career he collaborated with architects like Rem Koolhaas and Isay Weinfeld. Long time collaboration with creative agency Watson&Company helped to evolve his taste. Inspired by Alex Roman, Jakub took one year off to create a collection of 30 images and book called Beautiful Computer Generated Images. Deep technical understading allowed him to develop unique color mapping and looks used troughout his works and create applications for 3D reconstruciton from photos and Oculus Positional tracking. 



Render Legion

Adam is partner and CEO at Render Legion – the creator of Corona Renderer. Prior joining Ondrej and starting Render Legion together, Adam was working as an architectural visualiser for well-known studios like Vyonyx, AsymmetricA and VIZE and was recognised for his artistic approach in ArchViz.



iToo Software

itoo Software, founded in 1999 in Spain, is a 3D software developing company, and creators of Forest Pack and Rail Clone, plugins for Autodesk® 3DS Max® and 3DS Max Design®. Our main objective is customers’ satisfaction with our product, providing a high quality software and personalized support.



Epic Games

Chris Murray is an experienced 3D artist/animator and creative technologist. His daily role includes technical evangelism for the Unreal Engine in the Enterprise Division of Epic Games. He is the former Technical Marketing Manager for Autodesk’s 3ds Max. He has created digital 3D content for clients such as, Walt Disney Attractions, Johnson & Johnson, CanonUSA, ABC television, Nickelodeon, and Sega. Murray has maintained a career-long relationship with learning. He was research associate at the Institute for Simulation and Training – Media Convergence Lab at the University of Central Florida and was a department chair in Digital Production at Full Sail University. Chris is an experienced presenter, Youtube personality, and book author (Mastering 3D Studio Max, Sybex) He holds an MFA in computer animation. Follow Chris on Twitter @chrismmurray or on his Youtube channel “3dsmaxtrainer”


Nigel Hunt

SiNi Software

Nigel is co-founder and CEO of startup software developer, SiNi Software. He has over 25 years in architecture, broadcast and film vfx. As CEO, his leadership and shared ambition, is driven by the desire to create a company that redefines the way software is used, making it accessible on-demand for any task or project.

Prior to SiNi, he managed Glowfrog for 20 years, a studio specialising in architectural visualisation and visual effects. Before this he was CEO and creative director of 3D software company, ReplicaNation. He trained in architecture and graphic design.


Simon Donaghy

SiNi Software

Simon is co-founder and CTO of startup software developer, SiNi Software. He has over 20 years software programming experience for computer games, tv, visual effects, visualisation and film. He starting working as a game engine programmer for Inter-Dimension and migrated into the world of 3d visual effects and animation as a technical director.
Before co-founding SiNi Software, Si worked at Glowfrog and Squint Opera and was CEO and creative director of 3DPusher and Herding Cats.


Lon Grohs

Chaos Group

CCO and VP Strategic Marketing, Chaos Group

Visualization futurist and award-winning artist, Lon Grohs oversees customer strategy, and is founder of Chaos Group Labs — a collaborative research and development hub, exploring the next generation of rendering technology and virtual reality. Lon was Principal and Creative Director at renowned architectural visualization studio Neoscape, and led projects with top architecture firms Foster+Partners, Zaha Hadid Architects, SOM, Gensler, Perkins + Will, HOK and KPF. He taught at Boston Architectural College, studied at the Ecole d’Architecture de Versailles, and holds a degree in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

A lifetime advocate of the art and science of architectural visualization, he currently serves as the Vice President of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators.

Media Partner

Ronen Bekerman

With more than 15 years of professional experience in the Architectural Visualization Industry Ronen is currently heading Polytown Media providing visualization solutions and training for architects and designers looking to better thier skills at visualizing their designs, founded and running the popular ArchVIZ Blog at since 2009 and is a co-founder of The Craft established in 2015.


Gianpiero Monopoli

SOA Academy

The passion for architecture and computer graphics took Gianpiero to look for new ways to represent through images designers and archtects’ ideas. After some work experiences in Italy, in 2007 he started working as Project Lead Artist for the well-known English Studio Hayes Davidson. There, he created images for Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Kohn Pedersen Fox, John Pawson, David Chipperfield, Hamiltons Architects and West8. In 2009, together with Roberto and Manuela, he set up State of Art and became Managing Director.


Roberto De Rose

SOA Academy

Roberto’s passion for graphics shaped his personal education and led him to become Web Designer and then 3D Artist. In his work experience, he moved on working in the Computer Graphics for Architecture. Together with Gianpiero and Manuela, in 2009 he set up State of Art. Roberto is now working at State of Art Academy as a teachers specialized in the use of Adobe Photoshop, which recognized him as a certified expert.

Schedule is currently under development. The time table could change anytime before the event.


9.00 – 10.00


  • Nicholas O’Leary: oil on canvas

  • Nicholas O’Leary: oil on canvas

  • MIR – Zaha Hadid Architects copyright

10.00 – 11.00


Art and creativity

All images speak the same language. O’Leary will share his thoughts on the cross pollination within image-making, in particular; painting and architectural illustration.

11.00 – 12.00


V-Ray and VR technologies

Architectural visualization artists are transforming the future of virtual reality. Lon will share his thoughts on why 1:1 scale is a new architectural superpower, and the responsibility arch viz artists have to create a better virtual world. Lon will show and compare several new technologies for rendering photorealistic room-scale VR with 6 degrees of freedom. (Live demos will be available during breaks.)

12.00 – 13.00

Marta Calbi

Image perception and neuroaesthetics

Although the contemporary world stimulates a progressive exile of the “Body” in favor of an extreme virtualization of human experiences, Neurosciences have demonstrated that the same Body has a fundamental and inalienable role, thus taking part in human cognition in its own right. Recently, both Neuroscience and the neurophysiological study of the human mind have emerged from the boundaries of medicine contaminating themselves by dialoguing with different disciplines. The most interesting amalgam relates to contents classically derived from exquisitely humanistic fields that refer to Aesthetic, to the aesthetic experience of visual arts and cinema.
In her talk Marta will outline the recent neuroscience discoveries that demonstrate a fundamental role of the body and the human motor system in one of the most specific human experiences: aesthetic experience.

13.00 – 14.30


14.30 – 15.30

Taylor james – David Wortley

Creativity and Machines: How AI will change the way we create.

It won’t have escaped most peoples’ attention that a wave of automation is threatening jobs all over the world, but most seem to think that the jobs deemed creative are the safest ones. However, with  the recent progression of Deep-Learning and Neural Networks computers are able to do things that even as recent as 3 years ago were thought to be decades away.  Dave will be taking a futurist approach to this talk, looking at what has developed recently, what is coming soon and how this will fundamentally affect the way that everyone works in the creative industry.

15.30 – 16.30


FStorm gives power to freelancers

Johannes will talk about the reason why he got to where he is today in a pretty short period of time (mainly thanks to the unbiased GPU renderers). He started out with Octane, and later got very involved in the development of FStorm Render. Now FStorm is the only renderer he uses and thus he will share his views on it and why he thinks it’s so powerful for a freelancer like him.
His life certainly changed when he started trying FStorm on a serious level, and he believes some of you may experience the same. Other than that he’ll also go through his workflow both internal and towards clients.

16.30 – 17.00


17.00 – 18.00

ITOO SOFTWARE – Paul Roberts

What stands behind a software’s development

Developers must choose what to develop. There are infinite possibilities from which we select a handful for each release. How do we decide? What are the limitations? The life cycle of software products is truly an artist vs. machine story. At the most fundamental level, computers are nothing but a collection of ones and zeros. Raw and untamed, they present a limitless landscape from which we mine valuable ore, the tools that users need and love.
In this presentation we look at a typical development cycle. Taking the recent and upcoming releases as examples, we’ll go behind the scenes to look at iToo Software’s development team and philosophy.

18.00 – 19.00

Recent Spaces – Alex York and Iain Banks

Approaches, tips and techniques for image making

Alex and Iain, co-founders of London-based architectural & design visualisation studio Recent Spaces, will be running through some of their key projects from the last couple of years, including a unique set of visuals that required some special techniques to achieve, and revealing the workflow methods they’ve developed and refined.

from 20.00

SOA Academy and Chaos Group

Happy Hour Party

To celebrate Corona Renderer’s acquisition, our main sponsor Chaos Group will offer a happy hour party at the AcademyDay#8 to all the attendees!
The party will take place on Friday October 6th, 2017 from 8 pm at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel (the AcademyDay#8 venue).


9.00 – 9.30


9.30 – 10.30


GPU rendering in production

Tomasz will explain how Dabarti’s team utilizes GPUs for their daily work alongside of internal tools and advanced workflows based on their recent creations.

  • Fabrice Bourrelly for Epic Games

  • Fabrice Bourrelly for Epic Games

  • Fabrice Bourrelly for Epic Games

  • SOA Studio

10.30 – 11.30


Thinking like a game developer: What I had to relearn and what I didn’t to use a game engine.

Do you want to add game engines to your toolkit but aren’t sure what you’re getting yourself into? Then this class is for you. In this session you’ll hear from a 20-year 3ds Max expert about his transition from the rendered world to the real time world. You’ll hear about how to make sure your data is relevant to the context of a realtime environment. This class will explore the path one usually unknowingly embarks on and will help provide direction as to where you should be spending your time, and where you shouldn’t, to make  your projects successful.

11.30 – 12.00


12.00 – 13.00

Sini Software – Simon Donaghy and Nigel Hunt

From Maxscript, Plugins to full 3ds Max Automation (And everything inbetween)

Nigel and Simon’s talk will discuss the importance of learning Maxscript and Python to enhance your ability to stay competitive. They will reveal how software automation of mundane tasks are a positive benefit to all artists as well as offering their view on how AI integration will set new benchmarks in workflow and practices.

13.00 – 14.30


14.30 – 15.30


From Teapot to Artpiece

An extensive behind the scenes and deep technical information about Jakub’s story from teapot to artpiece including detailed talk about Beautiful Computer Generated Images series and talk about understanding everyone’s own taste to pave a unique path.

15.30 – 16.30


Art of Deep Neural Nets

Alexander is going to make an overview of recent advances in Machine Learning with focus on creative applications of Deep Neural Networks.

16.30 – 17.00


17.00 – 18.00


Coming soon.

18.00 – 18.30

SOA Academy and Ronen Bekerman Architectural Visualization Blog


Award ceremony for the first Academy ArchViz Awards.


Double Tree by Hilton hotel Venice – North ****

The AcademyDay #8 will be hosted in the conference hall at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Venice – North in Mogliano Veneto, which is situated 15 minutes from Venice – Mestre.
The conference hall is equipped with 6 HD projectors, free wi-fi connection (after registration), tables and power supply for your laptop.

Single room – € 101.00/day w/Breakfast
Double room – € 117.00/day w/Breakfast

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Venice – North

Other places where you can stay close to the  AcademyDay #8 Venue. When booking, remember to tell them you’re attending the AcademyDay #8 to get the special price.


Villa Braida is set in an aristocratic Venetian manor in Mogliano Veneto, city of art, ideal for holidays and meetings. The hotel is also near to Venice and Treviso. Villa Braida offers a stay in the quiet Venetian countryside. The premises feature spacious traditional Venetian interiors, with exclusive Italian Renaissance furniture and upholstery. Suites and superior rooms are situated in the main building, overlooking the paddock and recalling ancient atmospheres. Enjoy a really exclusive stay amongst Renaissance style fabrics. Villa Braida also offers modern accommodation in the annex building.
Prices in the annex building (tourist tax not included)
Single room – from 70.00 to 85.00 €/day + Breakfast
Double room – from 80.00 to 100.00 €/day + Breakfast


Duca D’Aosta Hotel features modern-style décor, free Wi-Fi and elegant rooms with a TV. The hotel is 200 m from Mogliano Veneto Train Station. Rooms at the Duca D’Aosta have air conditioning, minibar and private bathroom with a hairdryer and toiletries. Some also have a balcony and wooden floors.
Single room – 65.00 €/day + Breakfast
Double room – 75.00 €/day + Breakfast


The splendid Hotel Floris, located in the historic centre of the famous art city, Mogliano Veneto, offers quality hospitality in a charming setting, with spacious rooms furnished with refined elegance to provide its guests with a totally relaxing stay.
Single room – from 60.00 to 64.00 €/day + Breakfast
Double room – from 68.00 €/day + Breakfast
Triple room – from 83.00 €/day + Breakfast
Apartment (max 4 persons) – €98.00 €/day + Breakfast



Event duration: 2 days
Attendees: professionals, CG lovers and artists in the Architectural Visualization field.
Dates:  October 6 –7, 2017.
Seats available:  240 seats.
Timetable:  09.00 am / 1.00 pm – 2.30 pm/ 6.00 pm.

Location:  DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Venice – North, Mogliano Veneto, TV – Italy.
Price: the Early-Bird Fee for the first 100 tickets sold is € 229 – the full fee for the event is € 249.  

The registration Fee includes: attendance for the 2 days conference, 2 light lunches, the AcademyDay#8 gadgets (1 T-shirt, 1 block notes, 1 pen, 1 bag).

Prizes: Coming soon.

Accomodation not included.



Coming soon.

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