DJS and the London Visualisation Market: Growing together.
From Little Acorns: Way back in the heady days of 2010, a visualisation company called DJS CGI was born. These were simpler times; the days when we borrowed the back office of our mate’s PR company and pooled together enough cash to kick things off with some trusty but basic equipment... and a lot of hard work. With the property industry still trying to work out where it left its trousers after the punch-up that was 2008, everyone was a little budget conscious, and that suited us just fine. Being a small and nimble operation, we were able to get in front of the right people and in turn started to get some great enquiries coming through.
We hit the phones and attracted some valuable work that funded our organic growth. In time, we said “goodbye” to the back office and “hello” to sunshine and the actual windows that came with our first proper office. Come on down Vitamin D! Our growth continued, and by 2012 the property industry was pretty well dressed again, not only having found its trousers but some segments wearing a natty bowler hat, too.
Since then, we’ve taken on many more excellent clients and numerous new staff members to contribute to our progressive expansion. Five (!) office moves, a ton of packing tape, lots of fun, and a fair few headaches later, we have come far enough along in our journey that we can now give some modest reflection to our company, our imagery and the London visualisation market. We also thought that architects and developers looking to hire a CGI company in the UK and London might like to gain a better understanding of the market from a company that’s been working with its sleeves rolled up in the industry for many years now.
Our Development: Like any creative company, but especially one that harnesses technology at its core, we should be able to show some pretty tasty development by now. And we can. The pace of change in the London CGI market is so quick that the cliché phrase “if you are not progressing you are going backwards” rings especially true. We constantly search for new technology that can give us better results in less time with greater flexibility of service. Flexibility is a key factor to the quality of service that we provide, which allows us to truly assist and work in synergy with our clients. We embrace their design process and work with their creative teams, sharing progress images and reacting to changes immediately. This approach yields images that are much more impactful to the client, clearly and accurately communicating their design.
We frequently implement and explore new technologies, such as the progressive new Corona Renderer, which we are currently experimenting with for future relevant projects. RP manager is a render management software that we currently use, allowing us to make changes to multiple versions of an image at once. This ensures a consistent product and helps us to provide our clients with high quality images in less time. Parametric modeling software like Railclone and Forest Pack further enable these offerings by producing repeated images and landscape foliage automatically, speeding up the design and adjustment processes. Our outlook as a company is to embrace innovation. After testing new technologies, we implement them into our processes in order to ensure our continued development, as well as to demonstrate advancement in every project. Our goal is to continue our ongoing self-improvement, challenge other top competitors in our industry, and above all, to create exceptional images. Exciting times!
Along with software and hardware investments, we are always looking for talented individuals who will fit with our team. Good CGI artists are an understated bunch. They not only possess artistry skills, but also must have a deep knowledge of the job’s complex functions, from reading 2D CAD, to mastering a labyrinth of software, to understanding construction processes in order to create the perfect 3D model for each project. They must also understand concepts such as materials, lighting, colour and photography. Finding the right CGI artists is a key element to our success, and something we pride ourselves in accomplishing.
London a Hotbed of Visualisation: Why is London such a hotbed of architectural visualisation? Certainly a part of the reason must come down to London’s ability to draw talent from all over the world, while another factor is surely linked to the strong presence of associated industries, such as architecture and VFX. You could also point to the UK's strong history in areas of creative education such as graphic design, product design, photography and architecture which has lead to a strong home-grown talent network, boosted by overseas arrivals. The capital city has a rich culture of conversation among all architectural visualisation studios and artists at events like 3DS London and State of Art Academy. This community of knowledge and communication sharing aids in the progression and development of all artists involved.
The visualisation market is now very mature, with a great deal of suppliers to choose from both in the UK and overseas. There are some very low cost options available, which can be ideal for architectural projects that are not complete, as well as some conceptual images that need to be developed for design reviews. These affordable options are ideal in many situations as often times such images might only have a life-span of a day or so before the design has moved on. At DJS CGI, our production is focused toward delivery marketing visuals; images that will be used as part of a wider property marketing campaign. We work closely with about six of the largest marketing agencies in London and New York, and regularly take on global campaigns, thus the images we create need to have a high impact over a long period of time. Quality is and always will be a top priority in all that we do. It is at the heart of our strategy to continue growing and become one of the leaders in the market.
Here’s to the next 6 years!