Binyan Visualisation Success Built On Artist-Based Philosophy

Digistor Solutions Anchor and Expand Architectural Visualisation Business

Binyan Studios

Binyan Studios has grown rapidly to become one of Australia’s dominant Architectural Visualisation companies producing photorealistic 3D stills and animations for architects, interior designers, property developers and real estate agents.

Driven by a strong commitment to meticulous detail and quality, Binyan focuses on the creative process of its artists to deliver high quality work using the best tools available.

“Right from the beginning we were never an interior design or an architecture company,” said Andrei Dolnikov. “Our visualisation work is more artistic, more creative and more interesting to work on than technical shadow diagrams and renderings for councils. Most people here have ambitions of doing creative work, not just being a technical consultant, so what we do combines those two things. That's where our passion lies.

“There are various software companies that are constantly updating their offerings in terms of rental schemes or outright purchase and of course associated support packages. We knew more or less the software that we needed and what works for us.  Digistor figured out how best to provide what was appropriate for us.”
Andrei Dolnikov

“Our work might be a quick competition render that's done in four or five days for an architect or a commission of 40 renderings and a film that we literally work on for eight months. It's all about selling the vision, the dream, to someone - be it to the council, the client themselves, the market, the media etc. It's always a marketing exercise in some way.”

Binyan library

With 85 staff spread over three offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Binyan Studios utilises nine teams that work together on projects. A team usually consists of up to nine people - five lead visualisation artists, two 3D modellers and production managers who deal with the timelines, asset gathering and client requirements. 

Planned expansion

To meet these demands and cater for current and future growth Binyan recently enlisted technology solutions provider Digistor to unify, anchor and expand its workflow technologies. The brief called for a rapid rollout to support Binyan’s new render farm installations.

“We had previously dealt with Digistor and there aren’t that many companies in Australia that can service a business like ours. Digistor has a great reputation so it was a really easy decision to work with them. They had everything we needed and helped organise the finance,” said Dolnikov.

“There are various software companies that are constantly updating their offerings in terms of rental schemes or outright purchase and of course associated support packages. We knew more or less the software that we needed and what works for us.  Digistor figured out how best to provide what was appropriate for us.”

“Binyan was committed to using industry standard software from Autodesk and Adobe together with Chaos Group’s V-Ray for 3ds Max” detailed Digistor representative Darren Goodwin.

“Digistor supplied licensing for Autodesk 3ds Max design software and Autodesk Building Design Suite software for use by their entire creative staff. In addition, their artists all required Adobe Creative Cloud bundles and a large amount of V-Ray rendering capability.

dong river 300 “The challenge was to standardise workflows to ensure everyone was using the same toolsets and systems to enable teams to easily share projects.

“What we've done is separate the licenses in such a way where they have dedicated resources per location with their own render capability or they can collectively send jobs to the central render farm when needed,” said Godwin. “In addition they have the flexibility to re-distribute licences according to changing demands at a local level.”

Production tools
“We use Autodesk 3ds Max and Adobe’s Photoshop and After Effects - they are our key post-production tools and then V-Ray as our main render engine,” detailed Dolnikov. “We’ve also got a whole lot of scripts and plug-ins and various other tools that add all the extra features and make everything come together.

“Architects give us their Autodesk Revit models but they're not really modelling it with visualisation in mind. So we have to have a whole team of modellers whose job is either to model things from scratch or to clean up and optimise the Revit model. From there our 3ds Max artists weave their magic.

“We also have a huge library of assets that we've collected over the years so these days most textures can be created from what we have in-house.”


150615   Jewel   V21   Beach   Final 300 Dolnikov believes the upgrade outcome has helped to secure Binyan’s future. “We are now able to deliver more timely outcomes for our clients and without compromising quality because the software and the hardware is able to produce what we want. So that's been a big, huge step forward. We always try to do it that way but the more the systems are at the cutting edge the more they allow you to do,” said Dolnikov.

“I think in many other similar companies and environments, particularly in making Hollywood film visual effects, there's an emphasis on workflow improvements to produce high quality and refined results in tighter timeframes. There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors and even though our films are not the scale of Hollywood productions, we operate a similar pipeline and still strive for that level of highly photorealistic clarity. That requires the best tools. We want the production workflow to be test driven and bug-free - we're quite niche in what we do and we just want to be the best in the world.”

Philosophy and the future
andre_063 2 300“The majority of the work we do involves still images and we love to do that - we love illustration and we love storytelling whatever the media. Our films can be a lot of fun to work on though they can be challenging in terms of making sure there’s enough time to do it really well and sometimes you lose the creative control because there are other companies involved. So our business plan is to keep doing what we do and do it better and better and eventually do it on a more global stage.

“What I've learnt to appreciate more and more over the years is how much of what we do is a combination of technology and talent. Some people work in a way that the software is controlling the process and the poor old artist is doing their best to get an okay outcome. Whereas we try to up-skill everybody by training in-house with our very best artists and the software is like an extension of themselves so it's a very seamless process.

“It's what each artist brings to a project that counts and I think that's often overlooked. What we do is to use the software in a creative, kind of artistic storytelling way. The emphasis is on the people and their talent. It might sound cliché but I think that's a big thing - it's about the passion and the creativity you inject into it, that's what it's all about ultimately.”