12th April 2022

Recreating Peter Zumthor projects in Unreal Engine 5
During the summer of last year, I wanted to improve my 3D modelling skills and began learning Rhino. The more I learnt, the more I began thinking about doing a series of buildings by one of my favourite architects: Peter Zumthor. Not only were they on a manageable scale but I was also able to find plans, elevations and sections for many of his iconic works. 

The early access version of Unreal Engine 5 also got released around this time and after seeing the possibilities with Lumen (realtime global illumination) and Nanite (high poly meshes), it became apparent that real time rendering was quickly catching up with offline renderers such as V-Ray and Corona, which were the gold standard when it came to architectural visualisation.

After some trial and error, tutorials and experiments, below are six short films that, hopefully, showcase both the architecture and the engine.      

I’ve put together a list of all the software and products that helped me create the final pieces:  

  • Reference imagery organisation with PureRef by Idyllic Pixel
  • Image editing with Photoshop by Adobe 
  • Modelling with Rhinoceros 3D by Robert McNeel & Associates
  • UVW unwrapping with 3dsMax by Autodesk 
  • Offline rendering with V-Ray by Chaos Group 
  • Texturing assets with Quixel Mixer by Epic Games
  • Instancing with RailClone by iToo Software 
  • Heightmap design with Gaea by QuadSpinner
  • Rendering and animation with Unreal Engine 5 by Epic Games 
  • Lighting with HDRI skies by Peter Guthrie 
  • Landscape editing with Brushify by Joe Garth 
  • Various textures and assets with Quixel Megascans by Epic Games
  • Animal models and animation by Protofactor Inc
  • Audio editing with Ableton Live by Ableton
  • Video editing with Davinci Resolve by Blackmagic Design 
  • Video encoding with Handbrake by HandBrake Team