© Vic Nguyen
© Vic Nguyen

Vic Nguyen

Like the best arch viz, Vic Nguyen’s work uses of strong lines and lighting cues draw the viewer’s eye around the scene. But look closer and there’s a surprising amount of attention to detail: a coffee maker, or a drum kit, or even a hidden human figure give a sense of what it would be like to dwell in these marvellous buildings.

Vic graduated with a major in Applied Arts from Vietnam’s prestigious Huế University. He went on to work as an interior designer, but he felt frustrated by the design decisions his clients and directors made. So Vic started his own company - VicnguyenDesign - to give him complete control over the final image.

Vic’s now racked up work with clients in the USA, UK, France, Australia, Germany, Singapore, and Hong Kong. And he’s garnered awards from some of arch viz’s most well-regarded sites, including 3DTotal’s Excellence Award, 3D Artist Online’s Image of the Week, and other honors from CGarchitect Pro, Treddi and Ronen Bekerman.

We spoke to this talented artist about how he creates his tantalizing visions, and the future of the industry.

What’s your workflow for creating an image?

When I start a new project, I draw on my experience, as well as my understanding of aesthetics.

I begin with engineering drawings, including architectural and interior layouts, or SketchUp files. Looking up the project’s location on Google Maps helps me work out how it’s going to fit in the real world.

I’m also given illustrations of the expected style, and how the light should be set up to create mood and atmosphere.

With all these elements set up, I work out how the image is going to look in terms of color, planning, and lighting. At this stage, I model the project using 3ds Max and ZBrush if necessary. I usually try out some camera angles at this point too. I like angles which give a wide field of view while accentuating the look and feel of the building.

Next, I find materials, sculptures, and objects which suit the design of the building. I also need to find grass and trees for the exterior.

Then I test the lighting. This crucial step helps me match materials and objects with the camera angles, while establishing the mood of the piece.

© Vic Nguyen

Are you influenced by eastern or western arch viz?

My inspiration comes mainly from architecture companies based in the USA and Canada. Western design and architecture have always had a huge influence on my work - even though I’ve never visited any of the countries, and don’t understand much of the culture.

What do you like about V-Ray?

My favorite things about V-Ray are the V-Ray Dome and V-Ray Sun. Together they create a tangible sense of space and time, and this is very important for artists.

What would you like to do next?

I’d like to improve my studio, and branch out into other fields such as animation, realtime rendering, and virtual reality. I’d also like to build up a big design team.

© Vic Nguyen
About the author

Henry Winchester

Henry Winchester is Chaos Group's chief writer and editor. He's passionate about VFX, arch viz and design. He lives in Bristol, UK, but you'll often see him at Chaos Group events in Europe and the US.