Novedge: Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do
Victor Enrich: I'm a 37 year old former Architecture Visualizer. In 1999, while I was studying architecture at Barcelona University, I started to work as a 3D visualizer mostly for my teachers, who little by little became permanent customers.
I had my own company for 12 years, during which I contributed to most of the urban changes in Barcelona, working for great firms, acquiring not only experience in project management but also very valuable knowledge in architecture.
Around 2005 I started to feel that something was missing as I was not feeling fully satisfied with my job. I didn't want to settle so I looked into new opportunities, related to computer graphics and architecture, that could better fit my emotional needs. Finally, in 2011, I decided to change careers and to focus exclusively, at least in what relates to 3D, on Art.
At the present time, I'm part of a collective that is working on bringing about social transformation in Barcelona and in Catalunya. We want to create a system to provide us with basic needs for a healthful and joyful life without being dependent on established powers.
Novedge: Your project, NHDK, went viral: how did you come up with the idea for this series?
Victor Enrich: NHDK is one of a series of images that I've been producing about buildings and architecture in general. I wanted to find out my own limits in terms of improvisation and imagination, through a medium that doesn't invite a lot of work in those areas.
Why 88 and 123 or 232 images? Well, I needed to set a limit, otherwise I could be producing images even today, in a never ending cycle. The number corresponds to the amount of keys on a piano and, as I am a piano player, I thought that I could assign a variation to each note.
When I was a kid my music teacher told me that I have absolute audition, which means that I can distinguish a note and then another one, just by listening to them, as if each note had a particular color. This project is my attempt to join two disciplines that I've learned in my life but that until today have walked parallel to each other, without any sort of contact.
Novedge: Looking at the building you chose for NHDK, the first thing I wondered was: why this building? I mean, there are many more beautiful skyscrapers out there…
Victor Enrich: Generally I don't choose a building for its beauty, I choose it because it inspires me. I am fond of those places that I visit or pass by many times. It's as if they entered my life and started talking to me.
The story of this building comes from my first few weeks in Munich. I moved to Munich because I got a job offer as a caretaker for a woman with disabilities. The job was perfect because it didn't require me to speak German. On the other hand, as a result of this traveler's soul of mine, instead of finding an apartment right away, I chose to do some couch surfing within Munich. Couch surfing is a wonderful experience that lets travelers get acquainted with the local people. So I did that for two months, during which I stayed in more than 15 different places in Munich. However, I left all my big luggage in one locker at the central train station, which I had to visit every 3 days.
It so happens that the NHDK building stands right in front of the station, so I couldn't help but doing something with it.
Novedge: Can you talk about your creative process? How did you approach the work? How long did it take?
Victor Enrich:This project took over 7 months of full time work, of which, 5 months and a half were dedicated exclusively to the preparation of the base rendering. The final 88 images came out at an average of two to three per day during the last month and a half. Finally, the video was produced in less than 5 hours.
Generally speaking, the part of my work that consists of capturing the 3D geometry of a place from 2D photographs takes 80% of the time, as the level of details has to be very high in order to "cheat the eye" and make the final images look real.
During all this long process I have plenty of time to think about what I'm going to do with the work. In the case of NHDK, the idea just came out near the end.
Novedge: What software do you use?
Victor Enrich: I use a combination of software. For the 3D part I use AutoCAD, Rhino and 3ds Max. For the final retouching I use Photoshop, but not much.
After shooting the picture, the process starts with something called "camera matching" or "perspective matching". It is a function that major 3D software titles include and which lets me extrapolate the perspective of any given picture.
Once the perspective is captured, the long lasting process of capturing and drawing the geometry starts, then applying the materials and finally the lighting to the virtual scene. It's like having reality in the palm of my hand. Once all this is done, the fun begins.
Novedge: What's next for you?
Victor Enrich: Now I think it's time to hit an American city. So, if everything goes as expected, 2014 may be the year of New York.
Novedge: And here's one last, fun question: what architectural site would you like to visit and haven't yet?
Victor Enrich: Everything in Asia. I haven't been to Asia, so anything in Shanghai or Tokyo would be a perfect spot to start. For a closer visit, I'd like to visit the Ugalde House, by J.A. Coderch, which is quite near to Barcelona but the gates are closed to visitors….pity.