How to find examples of interior design to practice architectural visualization?

One of the things that my students always asks me is; how to find good references for practice interior design with Blender? If you ever started a visualization project with Blender, and tried to model and render a scene from scratch, you probably know that a good set of CAD drawings or photos can make a huge difference. With this kind of assets, all we have to do is follow the design guidelines and build the geometry in Blender. Since my students aren't architects, but 3d artists, they are not very comfortable to design an interior scene, and place objects like real professionals, so they want good photos with real design projects to use as reference.

If you are an architect, it won`t be hard to setup an interior design project to practice 3d visualization, but if you are in the same state of my students, I will post some great resources to find reference photos.

One of the best places to find image references for projects is Flickr! Yes, all you have to do is browse for a while into some of the Flickr groups to find a few groups specialized in interior design.

Mazzali: "Krea" bookcase / libreria "Krea" . Living and office area

Here are a few of my favorite groups, where I always try to find some inspiration for scenes and exercises.

With only those two groups, you will find a lot of images to play around.

How to use those photos? The objective here is not to copy the design, but use it as reference to add objects and details in the scene. I see that all the time in my classes, where the less experienced artists design a scene with almost no details, which will end up in a very minimalistic scene.

With a quick look in the photos at the groups, you will find that the details and objects that fill the empty spaces are the soul and heart of the scene.

If you want to take the challenge, here are a few things you can do to use those images from Flickr, to create exercises and practice your modeling and rendering skills:

  • Pick a scene with some challenging light setup
  • Another great exercise is to use a scene with lots lights coming from transparent walls or big windows
  • Pick a piece of furniture, like a table, and try to model this piece of furniture along with all objects placed above it
  • Try to setup a daylight and night shoot for the same scene

Well, those are a few of the guidelines to find exercises that I always try to work with my students. I know that those tips aren`t related to Blender 3D, but they can aid an artist to find a good place to start a project. The rest of the process is up to you knowledge of 3d modeling and rendering.

How about you? Where do you find image references for projects?

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