The interview recently published on Treddi, the Italian website for 3D graphics.
For the past nine years the Academy Days by State of Art have been a fixed appointment with the big names from the international architectural visualization. The upcoming edition, scheduled for October 12th and 13th, seems destined to call into question what we have seen in previous editions. To understand what is happening at the Venice Hilton Hotel in Mogliano Veneto (TV), historical venue for the Academy Days, we met Gianpiero “Peo” Monopoli, the deus ex machina of the event organized by State of Art.
What are today the Academy Days?
(GM) – A reunion of great international artists for an audience of students and professionals in the architectural visualization. Two days in which the great players of the industry meet in the same location, where, in addition to attending their workshops, it is possible to establish a human contact that goes beyond the pure aspect of technical-artistic knowledge. In addition to the two “official” evenings, many moments of the event are specifically designed to create a network between those who have a great and sincere passion for this fantastic discipline. This year we will have with us Dionysios Tsagkaropoulos (RPBW), Simon Che de Boer (RealityVirtual.co), Fabrice Bourelly (Epic Games), Eric Anton (ArteFactoryLab), Christophe Robert (Obvioos) and many others.
Some moments of the previous editions of the Academy Days, whose program alternates the sections dedicated to the workshops and the cheerful moments, often and willingly accompanied by a beer or a good Prosecco.
Which future does the architectural visualization have to look at today?
(GM) – After the launch of lot of technology, in our opinion in the future there’ll be the need to really put the artist at the center of the architectural visualization industry. In this edition we want to mainly focus on this aspect. In addition to the usual review on the state of the art of archviz, which will also include several exclusive contents, we will try to understand what are the trends and the most important aspects that professionals who work in or are approaching this field should follow: from the artistic, technological and professional point of view. Exactly as it happens in any other industrial context.
The Academy Days were in many ways the mirror of the evolution in the architectural visualization industry, which year after year introduces always higher technological levels. If we look at what was produced ten years ago by those who were at the top of the industry, we are now impressed by today’s results. But the thing that really strikes professionals is the way in which the industry itself has evolved, regardless of the artistic outcome.
(GM) – Absolutely. Many things have changed in these years. And it is the reason why it is perhaps the right time to stop for a moment to reflect on the future of our industry. Now it does not make sense to speak only of rendering but it is necessary to consider all the aspects that affect the creation of an image, a video or an interactive experience. Year after year, the Academy Days have become an increasingly exclusive experience because they consist of moments that one has necessarily to experience in first person to realize what is happening in terms of news and cross disciplinary involvement.
To give a practical example, I’ll go through a specific case. In the Academy Days # 5 we spoke for the first time about VR in architecture. We saw the Samsung VR for the first time with 360 photorealistic works and understood that Unreal Engine could be a valuable resource for architecture and not just for the development of video games.
At the Academy Days we often present some results from internal researches and development processes. For example, the Unreal Engine course currently included in the Academy calendar is the result of about two years of work, carried out in close collaboration with Epic Games. During these two years we realized that to develop interactive experiences, it is absolutely essential to involve other disciplines in addition to those connected with computer graphics. For example, that’s the case of neuroscience, of artificial intelligence, or of all those skills that converge in a cross disciplinary manner in the development of VR experiences. The Academy Days acknowledge this need, and spread it through the talks and workshops presented by what we believe to be the leading experts in these very specific areas.
Only by offering a range of skills in many disciplines, it is possible to give a truly exhaustive vision and culture on what the profession requires at high levels.
Exteriors and interiors by ArteFactoryLab, present at the Academy Days with Eric Anton (credits ArteFactoryLab).
The unique style of Dionysios Tsagkaropoulos (RPBW) whose creative abilities in light control have made school for many artists. In addition to realism and maniacal attention to detail, Dionysios invests his time and his boundless experience to always create images that are primarily able to generate emotions in the eyes of their observers (credits Dionysios Tsagkaropoulos).
The Academy Days express and reiterate an international vision of the archviz industry, very clear from the first editions of the event. Will there be space for some Made in Italy?
(GM) – Even in this case our position, as you rightly stated, is quite clear. For us there is no Made in Italy as differentiation. For us, and we grant it in first person, Made in Italy is something that, today, to make sense, must be contextualized in the international market. It is a message that we will never be tired of transmitting, especially to the youngest people, to those who are starting today approaching the archviz to make it a profession.
To limit oneself to the Italian market is equivalent to foreclosing too many opportunities. It is possible to work successfully in Italy, but it is necessary to select a clientele with certain characteristics, which allows to have time and budget that are matching the expectations, in terms of quality (which is much easier to find abroad). There is more competition, it is true, but the pool of possible clients is infinitely superior.
The Academy Days are projected in this dimension and believe that the architectural visualization industry should be understood in global terms. The message is spreading and we are convinced that English is no longer a barrier. This is demonstrated by the growing number of Italian guys who prefer to book a seat in the international batches of our courses, originally created for foreign students. We will not certainly go back.
Animation by Obvioos with Unreal Engine 4 for a residential complex in Melbourne (credits Obvioos).
What big news should we expect in the Academy Days # 9 schedule?
(GM) – The two official days, scheduled for Friday October 12th and Saturday October 13th, will be preceded by an entire day dedicated to workshops. Every member of the Academy Days can join us already on Thursday and participate for free (upon booking) in three workshops, which will include the following topics: Substance Designer, V-Ray + Corona, Unreal Engine & Lighting.
In the evening the Academy Days leave space for the famous pizza party, where all the participants, including the speakers, sit at the same table to informally share their passion, have fun and know each other, also by virtue of possible professional collaborations.
The Academy Days represent an experience that goes beyond the rich program of daily events, thanks to the official events scheduled for the two evenings.
(GM) – This year we have focused a lot on this aspect, trying to involve our sponsors too. The evening of the first day will have the Epic Pizza Night: a big pizza party offered by Epic Games, which is expected to host over 200 people. All these people will also have the opportunity to participate in the big party with dj set which is closing the event on Saturday night, which will be officially offered by Chaos Group. Thanks to the valuable contribution of our sponsors, the participants in the event will not have to pay any additional cost. The fact of guaranteeing a high level of relaxation to the participants has always been one of our priorities, also because we believe that this contributes to make this experience, which hosts artists from 35 nations, even more exclusive. The fact of placing the Academy Days in the sphere of a truly international event implies a considerable responsibility for us and we intend to repay in the best way the trust that every year hundreds of people demonstrate to us.
For information and registrations at the Academy Days – https://shop.stateofartacademy.com/