It may be a week before Halloween, but this is not a trick. Believe it or not, these are RENDERS! They may look like photographs, the uncanny attention to the way light falls on painted wood would indicate so, but incredibly, it is actually the 3D rendering skills of a very talented, Julius Hahmann.
The Berlin-based digital artist started working in 3D at university studying architecture. During this time, he realised he was “more interested in working with 3D than designing buildings or houses” and when he finished his studies, he knew he wanted to delve deeper into the digital world. Dedicating himself full time to the medium once he graduated, he worked tirelessly to excel at accurately representing reality, practising by finding images on Pinterest then attempting to replicate them. “At first, it was quite frustrating,” Julius tells It’s Nice That. “I knew the tools and I knew how to use them but I just couldn’t understand why my renders weren’t as good as others.”
Striving to sharpen his artistic eye, he realised that, like most art forms, 3D rendering is “a never-ending learning process that is now [his] way of life.” For Julius, “creativity is nothing but the passion that you have for something, no matter what you do, once you love it, it comes naturally.” Drawing on his personal experiences, the artists isolates a meaningful memory, then highlights certain aspects of that memory through his work. He chooses to depict simple and trivial scenes, highlighting how “something ordinary can be beautiful, it just depends on how [you] show it.” Even if it’s just a regular corridor, that doesn’t seem like anything special until you look in the right place. “And that’s my job,” he says, “to make people look in the right place.”
“It’s all about the details,” Julius emphasises. “I draw parallels with life, pulling out a place, a look, any part of life that when you put it altogether, it has a meaning.” When working on his renders, he always has this in mind, injecting hoards of personality through intricate imperfections on each surface. For his corridor series, there are no 90 degree angled corners for example. He takes the time to gently crumple some of the postbox doors, wear down the painting on the wall and subtly reflect the natural light off the surfaces it touches.
Altogether, these characteristics “bring the scene to life,” the marked surfaces indicate that someone is indeed living there and that people pass through that hallway every day. But if you “imagine the same scene where everything is perfect,” adds Julius, “you would be able to tell immediately that it’s a render and a fake image, because once you take away the mess and the chaos, you also take away the life.”
Growing up in Brazil, Julius recalls his first introduction to the 3D medium, through video games. As a kid, spending a lot of time on his Playstation One, he remembers wondering how all the animations, models and textures were made. “I wanted to turn it into a job,” he goes on to say, “but at that time in Brazil, working with VFX, 3D modelling or video games was a distant dream. Nowadays it’s completely different, if you’re a good artist and have good material, you can go wherever your dreams take you.”
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.