Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Operations

The Archilime Academy: Creating Photorealistic Visualizations of Sustainable Living in Real Time


Lenovo, NVIDIA and Chaos teamed up with the Archilime Academy to visualize a stunning Palm Springs, CA home designed by leading architectural firm Koto Design. Archilime used the new features of V-Ray 6 for SketchUp, rendered on NVIDIA RTX powered Lenovo Workstations, to create a gorgeous set of images and animation that showcase what this special eco-friendly house will look like when it's built.


The Archilime Academy


Lenovo, Chaos

Use Case

Photorealistic Visualizations in Real Time



The Archilime Academy visualizes a sustainable house by Koto Design with Chaos Vantage and V-Ray, NVIDIA RTX, and Lenovo Workstations

The Archilime Academy is a creative visualization agency based in the UK, dedicated to teaching the world builders of tomorrow through SketchUp and V-Ray. Their passionate and assured team of leaders has decades of experience in the ArchViz industry. They provide in-depth, empirical coaching, consultation, and content to architects, interior designers, and landscape designers who want to learn the language of 3D design and visualization. Since 2018, hundreds of aspiring 3D visualization artists have attended courses or webinars hosted by The Archilime Academy.

The Archilime Academy recently collaborated with Koto Design, a leader in prefabricated, energy-neutral structures, to create a compelling visual story that showcased one of Koto’s latest projects in Palm Springs, California.

Using advanced technologies from Chaos, Lenovo, and NVIDIA, the team at The Archilime Academy could tackle the design project easily. Using Chaos V-Ray and Lenovo Workstations powered by NVIDIA RTX™ professional graphics, The Archilime Academy was able to create photorealistic visualizations of the stunning Palm Springs home in real time.

Image courtesy of The Archilime Academy

  • The Archilime Academy was tasked with creating a photorealistic visualization of a stunning, sustainable home in California.
  • With Chaos V-Ray, NVIDIA RTX, and the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 mobile workstation, the team modeled a complete 3D scene of the Palm Springs site.
  • The team used V-Ray 6 for SketchUp to create photorealistic cinematics that captured the design and its surrounding environment.
  • The designers used NVIDIA RTX A6000 to render the entire animation in three weeks, and the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 allowed them to collaborate on the move with live Chaos Vantage workshops.
  • The team took advantage of the industry-leading VRAM in the NVIDIA RTX A6000 to manage and navigate the full project in real time.

Creating Beautiful Animations with Chaos and Collaboration

Inspired by Japanese and Scandinavian elements, Koto’s design is surrounded by the Palm Springs rockscape, creating a serene oasis that harmonizes with the nature around it. The site’s unique and sunny climate was prioritized when designing the dwelling and can be seen through the windows which frame the rocky outdoors and allow light to permeate inside.

One of the main challenges of this project was visualizing the rocky, desert landscape and subtle play of light shade throughout the day on the Kotodesigned home. With the help of Chaos V-Ray, NVIDIA RTX and the Lenovo ThinkPad P1, the team at The Archilime Academy modeled a complete 3D scene of the Palm Springs site.

The team used V-Ray 6 for SketchUp to create cinematics that captured the personality of the structure at one with its environment. With a heavy focus on adding tangible texture to every surface, The Archilime Academy used a collection of maps and procedural modeling and rendering techniques to ensure that every object and surface looks photorealistic when viewed at any distance.

V-Ray 6’s new feature ‘Enmesh’ allowed The Archilime Academy to create complex geometric patterns. Enmesh was used to generate detailed geometric patterns—like the metal mesh surrounding the stone (gabion) blocks—which makes the process much faster (automatic) and it keeps the scene lightweight and interactive. Achieving realistic lighting conditions was also critical to tell the story of this unique home. The designers employed Chaos’s fully customisable procedurally based sky system, allowing them to simulate a variety of cloud types and weather conditions that perfectly communicate the unique personality of the Koto home at various times of day.

The team relied on the powerful NVIDIA RTX A6000 desktop GPU to render every single frame of the animation without the need to use CPU-based farm rendering. Thanks to the GPU’s large amount of memory, the designers could render the frames in about three weeks. And the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 mobile workstations enabled the team to collaborate on the move with live Chaos Vantage workshops.

Watch: Archilime, Chaos V-Ray and Lenovo Workstations Bring Koto Designs Palm Springs House to Life.

Image courtesy of OutdoorLiving3D

NVIDIA RTX Brings the Power, Performance, and Memory

Using professional RTX cards for the Palm Springs project was critical for successfully rendering the high number of final images, but it also enabled the designers at The Archilime Academy used Chaos Vantage and rapidly iterate on views to create the most compelling visualization more quickly. These live workshops allowed the internal team to discuss and visualize key camera angles before presenting them to the client and involving them in those chosen key decisions.

Having built a CPU render farm within the studio over the past 10 years, the Archilime Visualization team found great flexibility on how they utilized both GPU and CPU rendering. They could send final images to the CPU farm and then do quick-fire high-resolution drafts on their local workstations with the RTX GPU.

The team took advantage of the 48GB of VRAM in the NVIDIA RTX A6000, which made it possible to manage and navigate the full project in real time. These powerful cards rendered every scene successfully whereas other cards failed and bottlenecked. There were even times when one RTX GPU was rendering final images in 5K resolution faster than their 336-core CPU farm.

“A lot of our past projects would bottom out with lower VRAM capacity GPU cards just because of the complexity of the scenes, so having the RTX A6000 was a true game-changer for us in that we could actually take the card right through to the final render stage–something we weren’t able to do before,” said Jack Dicker, Managing Director at The Archilime Academy. With the RTX A6000, The Archilime Academy team has now been able to offer clients high-quality animations created in V-Ray with graphics that are full of hyperrealistic elements and materials.

The staggering amount of VRAM in the RTX A6000 GPUs allowed the team to showcase an impressive amount of information in their V-Ray scenes. With these cards, the designers could render thousands of frames from the Palm Springs project animation in an incredible time. Without them, the comprehensive animation of the full, render-ready site would have been impossible. “Without these cards, the animation would have not been possible, and the service we now provide would have not been designed and launched,” said Dicker.

“Having the RTX A6000 was a true game-changer for us in that we could actually take the card right through to the final render stage – something we weren’t able to do before.”

Jack Dicker
Managing Director at The Archilime Academy