Springfield, MO-based design and production company Brawner & Associates, LLC have been making extensive use of Texas-based Portal Design Services to enhance their previsualization experience.
Brawner & Associates specialize in turnkey design and production services for theatres, churches, video, concerts, corporate meetings, attractions and special events. As well as offering lighting design and consultation services, Brawner & Associates handle project management and event coordination. "Pre-production, including detailed CAD (computer aided design and drafting) drawings, WYSIWYG renderings, and models are a big part of all our projects," comments Donnie Brawner of Brawner & Associates. "Years ago, we had to try to convince the client that pre-production was necessary and would improve efficiency as well as save them money. Now with today's 3D technology in software, computers and programs our clients have come to expect this level of service. It's an element that everyone now has to depend on."
In order to improve the efficiency of their pre-production, Brawner & Associates turned to Portal Design Services who designed and constructed a portable WYSIWYG system for their use on-site and in the studio. Portal Design Service's "render farm" allows for a ten-fold decrease in rendering time. A render that previously might have taken ten hours, for example, can now be done in an hour.
"One of our goals here at Portal is to make other people's 'WYG-life' better," says Jordan Ray of Portal Design Services. "Helping existing WYSIWYG users with our drafting talents and rendering farm is just a part of what we do. As Brawner & Associates have worked on more and more complex projects, we have been able to increase their rendering efficiency with the use of our render farm and system capabilities."
Recently Portal and Brawner have been working together on renderings of a new 500-seat high school theatre project in St. Louis, MO. This is part of a larger project for a series of theatres for high schools in the St. Louis area with architectural firm William B. Ittner Architectural. An upcoming project for the combined talents of Portal and Brawner will be a 30 million dollar state-of-the art church being constructed in Northwest Arkansas. The core of this new project will be a 2,500-seat worship center that will feature a 100' x 60' glass wall as a backdrop to the pastor's message. The glass wall will provide clear views of a number of crosses erected in a lake behind the worship center. The facility will be fully modeled in WYSIWYG in order to conduct a sun study by looking at actual sunlight angles throughout different times of the year and the sun's effect on the worship center.
"Our staff and WYSIWYG equipment can get bombarded with active projects," remarks Brawner. "By calling upon Portal to assist us with renderings, we get things done in the time that we need them. A big part of getting renderings done is not only the drawing and lighting work, but also the time it takes to render the files. On the Arkansas church project Portal will certainly be involved due to the longevity of the study, and the speed at which renderings can be made for us. That way our system can continue to be used on our other projects."