From photoreal architectural renders to aesthetic and abstract installation art, ALT/SHIFT specializes in crafting innovative 2D and 3D designs for global clients across architecture, interior design, design visualization and motion graphics. Based in Hamburg, Germany, the company develops high-end visualizations, animations and 360-degree VR/AR experiences using an arsenal of powerful digital content creation tools, including Autodesk 3ds Max modeling, animation, rendering and visualization software.
ALT/SHIFT co-founders Patrick Vogel and Tanja Nikolić-Vogel established the agency in 2017 to rethink the rules of traditional architecture and design by incorporating modern technologies with innovative creative approaches. The duo's strategy and unique design aesthetic have attracted major industry players and helped them acquire a robust roster of international clients from Adidas to Audi, BMW, Faber Castell, Mutabor, Quantum and more. "For us, making the design and concept development phase fun is what it's all about. If we can have fun with the client and surf the same wave, everything tends to turn out great," Vogel noted.
"We are constantly exploring the possibilities of our creative tools, like 3ds Max, to see how we can work more efficiently and effortlessly to take our designs to the next level," he added. "For instance, we love pushing the boundaries of 3ds Max with cool plug-ins and render engines like TyFlow. It's an approach that has made our job more enjoyable while also helping our work stand out."
ALT/SHIFT's typical workflow begins with CAD files or floorplan jpegs provided by the client. The team then works alongside the client to develop a concept that aligns with their desired vision, whether a 360-degree VR tour of a room, an animated motion design trip through a building or a high-fidelity visualization of a real estate property for a brochure or marketing materials. Once each concept is fully fleshed out, ALT/SHIFT begins creating its designs in 3ds Max.
"The floating viewport in 3ds Max is incredible. It allows us to see and compare multiple windows at once, which has helped maximize our productivity so that we can focus on the creative aspect of our work," said Vogel. "3ds Max is key for our workflow. It's awesome and has grown increasingly stable over the last few releases. In terms of feature set and performance, there are no other programs out there that compare to 3ds Max."
For designs that require visual effects enhancements, ALT/SHIFT uses tyFlow, a 3ds Max plugin and particle simulator capable of managing large inputs of geometry. It's also found Revit integration in 3ds Max particularly useful in streamlining the import and export of Revit models and scenes for more flexible design in 3ds Max.
Some of ALT/SHIFT's most memorable work, however, is represented via passion art projects that live on its Instagram account, which has quickly become a marketing platform for the duo's talents, featuring everything from Star Wars fan art to a CG replica of Patrick's brain MRI and more.
"Whether creating a detailed visualization for a client or developing fun and quirky art for our insta page, we channel our passion for technology and innovation to uncover new techniques for lighting, color and effects that drive our designs forward. Tapping tools like 3ds Max makes this process more fun, while also ensuring we deliver more riveting visuals," expressed Nikolić-Vogel in closing.
Images: Courtesy of ALT/SHIFT