Visualizing Paradise

January 13, 2013 10:46 am

Tags: Architecture, C4D, Cinema 4D, e-on software, Maxon, Meleah Maynard, Vue, xStream

3D artist Jacque Janoyer on creating enticing architectural visualizations in French Polynesia

In the early 90s, Jacques Janoyer was “crisscrossing the world to find windsurfing spots” when he decided to settle down in French Polynesia, which he describes as, “A piece of paradise with beautiful islands that are all different in their own ways.” Today, he’s a busy 3D artist specializing in architectural visualizations of resorts that draw tourists to those same islands, especially Tahiti.


At first, 3D was just a hobby for Janoyer, who tried out several different 3D software options before going with Maxon’s Cinema 4D. Everything changed the day an architect friend asked him to create a 3D visualization of a wood-frame house he was working on. “I have two passions, wave riding and 3D,” he explains, “and things have really taken off so now 3D architectural visualization is my profession.” See some of his work here:



Working from plans he receives from the architects he collaborates with, Janoyer creates detailed 3D visualizations of hotels, resorts, individual residences and other buildings, including interior spaces and the lush vegetation outdoors. “All projects made for the Pacific need to include the vegetation that we are known for; that way we don’t lose the soul of the reality of this place,” he says.


Visualizing ideas

Because so many of the architectural visualizations Janoyer designs produce files that are quite large, he often keeps various elements separate inside an XRef. That way, as revisions come in, those elements can be revised quickly and easily before being updated in the main file.

Janoyer used XRefs extensively, for example, when he created 3D visualizations of a high school for a local architecture contest, recently (see the next two images below). In addition to providing the jury with the detailed designs, he also gave them shots from different angles, as well as ground and elevation plans.



Janoyer used the Vue xStream plug-in and photographs taken from a helicopter to create the stunning vegetation at the Nahm Sébastien Nouvelle Calédonie resort on the island of New Caledonia in the visualizations below. Natural-looking textures were created using photographic references and 3D materials applied directly on the models.



Site plans and photographic references were the basis for the visualizations below of a hotel renovation Janoyer created for Tahitian architects Éric Raffis and Nelly Gay. To model the lagoon and coral wall he used the new sculpting tools in Cinema 4D’s R14. Coconut trees were made with Vue’s xStream, and the realistic, worn look of thatched huts was achieved using multiple textures with alpha channels layered on the object. Final images were rendered using Advanced Render.



Working with Argentine architect Edouardo Guerrero, Janoyer created the visualization below of a new home’s central courtyard. The look was inspired by the local lifestyle, as well as the Kanak tradition, which incorporates natural elements such as dry branches, carved bamboo and totems.


When working with the architecture firm Pascal Beaudet on a visualization of an eighth-floor condo with a rooftop pool, Janoyer again used 3D elements and photographic references to complete the look. Vegetation on the nearby island of Moorea can be seen in the background because this architect, in particular, believes it is important to have all of the surrounding scenery be as realistic as possible. “That way he can see how the colors and other elements will all come together in the finished design,” Janoyer explains.


Currently, Janoyer is working on a project on an island formerly owned by Marlon Brando. The constantly changing nature of his work is one of the things he likes most: “This work is always very cool, and I always get to learn something new and meet interesting people,” he says.

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Meleah Maynard is a Minneapolis-based writer and editor. Contact her at her website:



January 14, 2013

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