Analog Insights: Orchard Beach Visualization Case Study 

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OB-AB_View 1. · Analog Insights: Orchard Beach Visualization Case Study 
Andrew Brown
25 Jan 2023 News, Research, All

Digital drawing tools make it possible to move quickly between computer-generated models and hand drawn overlays, combining the strengths of each medium. Drawing by hand is intuitive and immediate – there is no intermediate software to master in order to create an image. Meanwhile, digital modeling tools permit working and testing at speed while ensuring precision is maintained. The capacity to move back and forth – leveraging the precision and output of the digital model, while adding a human touch through illustrated overlays – is a powerful combination. A series of renderings Marvel created in partnership with CONICA studio for the Orchard Beach Pavilion Restoration in the Bronx present a case study.

Orchard Beach is a very important site for the local community, and renovating the pavilion is a symbol of renewed investment. In creating imagery to share with the public, capturing the character of the place and the diversity of the community was just as important as depicting the architecture. It was critical that members of the community recognize themselves and the site they know so well in each one of the images.

To achieve that goal, we worked across digital renderings and hand-drawn overlays to storyboard a series of images leading viewers through the restored pavilion. Starting with raw images from our digital model to frame views and provide an accurate base, we drew digitally overtop to develop each scene with unique details. Our sketches illustrated the architectural richness of spaces long closed to the public, highlighting the pavilion’s distinctive terracotta tiles, terrazzo floors, and sweeping loggias. But equally important are the beachgoers and the details recalled from our site observations. A family wheels a cooler stocked with food for a beach day up the new accessible entry ramps. Visitors take refuge from the summer sun in a renovated cafeteria space and enjoy the new concessions. Couples lay down their umbrellas and towels and finish the day with a drink and a view in the elegant, restored loggias. The drawn overlays allowed us to define the artistic intent quickly, drawing on our observations from the site to capture typical summer scenes at Orchard Beach.

The process of creating final renderings is iterative, starting with a sketch, then building a final image that speaks to the design narrative.

Our hand-drawn images then became the roadmap for the professional rendering team at Conica. They skillfully translated the mood, light, time of day and color into photo-realistic imagery, while we continued working with digitally drawn overlays to emphasize key details in the proofs. The final images have been featured at the project groundbreaking, utilized in public meetings, and published in several local news outlets around New York City. Today the renderings are included as best practice references in the New York City Department of Parks guidelines for creating project imagery.

To read the introduction to the Analog Insights series, follow the link here: Analog Insights Hand Drawing at Marvel

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