Omar Medina, 3D Architecture
Omar Medina is a Mexico City and Cancun-based architectural illustrator with a focus on housing, condos and resorts. During his 9 years of design experience, Omar has worked with such high profile clients as Diego Villaseñor Arquitecto y Asociados, Sánchez Arquitectos y Asociados, Arquitectura y Diseños del Caribe, Arquitecto Gregorio Winer Rostenberg & Roberto Shapiro Shein, Horizone Developers. Also as part of teams for the projects area of McDonald’s, Ford Motor Company, Banamex-Citibank, Casas Geo, and more.
How did you get started in the graphics industry?
During my times at the University as an Architecture student, I started with a friend an small firm dedicated to architectural blueprints, cardboard models, watercolor and oil paintings. Several clients asked for 3D renderings for their projects. By then, another friend of mine Pavel de Prado worked with Strata and was our 3D rendering supplier. In time, Pavel trained me and I started my own works and firm.
What made you pick up Strata 3D? Was there a specific problem/need that caused you to seek out a 3D application?
I think that Strata 3D solved the main problems of ease of use and ease of learning. Other applications were too complex to understand, slow and with poor quality. As a Macintosh application Strata 3D is stable and reliable. By then, PC applications were slow, poor in quality and results. So Strata 3D was the perfect choice because it combined the Macintosh easiness with the easy learning and organization of Strata.
What other applications were part of your workflow, and how did Strata 3D work with those applications?
In my work, Adobe Photoshop is closely linked to Strata 3D, first as a texture producer and editor, later as a retouching and output application. On the other hand, in Mexico, 95% of the architecture firms work with PC and Autodesk AutoCAD, so the information I receive from my clients must be converted to be read in a Macintosh environment. For such task I work with VectorWorks where I read blueprints, model the buildings and most of the elements. Other times I require a freelance modeler who works with 3D StudioMax. I think that all these applications work very well with Strata 3D since many of their output/export formats can be read by Strata 3D.
How did you learn Strata 3D, and would you recommend your method to new users?
First, I was trained by Pavel del Prado and after I became a self-learner. The best way I have learned Strata 3D is by facing the client’s needs and requirements of time. When I meet a new project I find many variables, things and objects that must be modeled and rendered in very specific ways. Most of the clients have short agendas and I have to be very fast and conclusive. So the best teacher I ever had is the work itself. I recommend users to face all client’s needs. In my experience up to the date, there has been nothing that Strata 3D can not do.
Has the introduction of 3D into your workflow caused you to branch out and explore opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise?
Yes, definitely. Architectural illustration is an ancient art but as contemporary artists I think that we have great methods and tools that allow us to go beyond in details and options. I have seen that the introduction of 3D renderings into the process of architectural composition and design is very important and sometimes it is the only way to make an idea clear and visible. Some of my clients use the 3D renderings as fast and precise images of their work. Then, I see how the projects change and improve continuously. The decisions you take when you have a digital photo are more reliable and conclusive. That saves time and money.
Also, I would like to express that teamwork has been a significant opportunity too. We are a team of four specialized people that I would like to mention: Litifah Medina for marketing-client research, Jaime Guerra for administrative issues, Leticia Solis for 3D modeling and myself, Omar Medina, for rendering and image production.
Have you tried other 3D applications? How did Strata 3D compare?
I have not tried any other application as user but I am constantly watching other’s rendering methods and applications. I have to say that I am satisfied with Strata 3D because of the latest improvements. I am satisfied also because Strata 3D has always been up to the date. Raydiosity rendering and Soft Shadows are some of the most important improvements even before any of the other applications I have seen around all these years.
Do you use any other applications to complement Strata 3D?
Yes, applications for 3D file conversions and lately applications for vertex welding and polygon optimization. And as I said before, Photoshop for textures, retouching and output.
How has your personal style and workflow changed since learning Strata 3D?
Well, Strata 3D has become my daily life application and as user I consider it as the main form of expression of my ideas and those of my clients. With Strata 3D I am able to foresee specific and precise ideas and also to open my imagination. The illustrations I produce try to express situations because they are for architecture and are meant to serve living people. Strata 3D helps me to make these principles achieved.
Was there anything else regarding your experience with Strata 3D that our readers would find interesting or useful?
I would like to tell readers and users that work has to be a little funny and exciting. I think that the applications should be focused on the freedom for the user and not the excessive parameters, complexity and steps that distract the mind. For that reason, I have chosen Strata 3D as the main application. It makes me feel comfortable and lets me learn every day better ways to express.