• February 06 2016

    Random mapping in Cycles materials

    Computer graphics are commonly recognised over realistic images because of repeating elements. In this sense, randomness usually adds an added level of realism to images. This is a method to randomly apply mapping of textures in objects. Beware that this only works with individual objects. This means you are left with a floor made of […]

  • February 06 2016

    Random colouring in Cycles material

    We can use the Objecto Info node to apply randomness to materials. The key here is to use a ColorRamp node to translate the range of random values into actual color values. These color values will then be applied to other nodes, usually affecting textures with a MixRGB node in which you can easily modify […]

  • February 06 2016

    Particle instancing to save Cycles memory

    When rendering a scene to Blender Cycles with lots of vegetation, we noticed how it took so long to load the geometry into the BVH. We also noticed a string of text saying “0 duplicates”. After googling a bit, we found this post in BlenderArtists, advising strongly to use particles instead of linked copies. After tinkering […]

  • February 16 2015

    Clamp with care

    Blender Cycles clamp setting is a saviour in hard to resolve fireflies, besides a myriad of other methods. Usage of clamp should be taken with care though, as clamping does not only clamp the high values of the mischiveous fireflies, as it also clamps the good brightness of the scene. Below, you can find a […]

  • December 02 2014

    WordPress gallery images get evertyhing

    While theming wordpress, the use of native gallery is very handy, but sometimes the Codex does not solve every need. Some of these needs are the attachment ID, href source or image dimensions. That is why we created this piece of code which comes in handy. Down below, an “echo” shows the variables in action. […]

  • September 14 2014

    CSS flipping panes

    This is just an idea boiling for a little while. A great wall of flipping panes. It was supposed to be developed in JQuery, but CSS3 is all the rage nowadays, so here it goes. Go to demo here: [Edit] This is a revised, more Kubric like version:

  • February 12 2014

    AZVAvisuals is hiring a webdesigner

    AZVAvisuals is now hiring a webdesigner in the Porto area, with experience in WordPress, PHP and jQuery. Immediate availability required. Contact for more info.

  • February 05 2014

    HDR IBL in Blender Cycles

    HDR (High Dynamic Range) IBL (Image Based Lighting) is a technique in which we use a texture to map the world (celestial sphere or sky dome) and, besides giving us a diffuse channel, it also emits light according to the texture itself. This produces very interesting and accurated results including shadows, most noticeable with cloudy […]

  • January 16 2014

    BSDF fun. All the shaders in blender 2.69

    While working in a project we were like: “what was that shader that while being transparent, you can put some roughness into it…?” And thus the big list of shaders was born. So that you have a visual reference when looking for the right node to use into your material editor.

  • December 23 2013

    Xmas presents – Glowing Snowflakes Tutorial

    As a Christmas present, we want to share with you the steps needed to create our Xmas2013 image in blender. This tutorial has it that you have a basic understanding of blender, how to create new objects and materials. We are going to explore how to use Particles to ramdomly populate a volume, create a […]

  • December 19 2013

    Emit direction

    We were in need of emiting light from a plane in only one direction, so that the back of it would remain in darkness. After googling a bit, we came up with this material definition.

  • November 14 2013

    Loft M&B

    Image developed by AZVAvisuals. Architecture by Rui Pitta-Groz.

  • October 08 2013

    House MD

    Image developed by AZVAvisuals. Architecture by Rui Pitta-Groz.

  • July 17 2013

    Menongue International Rowing Centre

    Images developed by AZVAvisuals for the Menongue International Rowing Centre. We used interesting techniques in these images. Trees were placed as particles in mesh points, following this tip from BlenderMama. Streets and other pavements were modelled with the Shrinkwrap Modifier; some attention must be given to remeshing and retopology as these modifiers are dependent on discrete geometry. […]

  • June 26 2013

    Haus M

    This house was modelled and rendered with Blender Cycles. We also used Gimp for post-processing. Architecture by PG.

  • June 25 2013

    Setúbal Public Library Competition – Visualizations

    Images developed by AZVAvisuals for paulasantos l arquitectura. This project, Setúbal Public Library Competition, was worked in Blender and rendered in Cycles, and lots of post-production in Gimp. We used the Tree Sapling add-on for some of the trees, and the excellent book collection by irokrhus.

  • June 04 2013

    Using fresnel shading in blender

    It might be hard to find where to use fresnel angle calculation. This is the angle forme between the vision ray and the surface normal. It is useful to simulate the reflection of many surfaces. When we are near a water pool, for example, we can see the pool bottom if we look downwards, but […]

  • May 28 2013

    Graphic design for the École Française exhibition

    We are proud to have designed this exposition within and about such a fine building by Manuel Marques de Aguiar, Luíz Cunha and Carlos Carvalho Dias: École Française in Porto. It was also our first experiment with Scribus, an open-source desktop publishing application. We will soon post more photographs by Carlos Castro. Panels, flyer and invitation […]

  • May 24 2013

    Future Traditions website and graphic design

    AZVAvisuals is very proud to have sponsored the CEAAD’s Future Traditions regional international meeting through the design and implementation of its website We also were responsible for the brand and logo design.

  • May 18 2013

    Opensource Visualization Workshop

    Within the 4000 Ateliers event, AZVAvisuals is organizing, together with Espaço2D, its first workshop focused in architecture visualization. Following some of our works developed with Blender, this will be the software used in the workshop, having open source software as its theme. The main objective will be the introduction to this software, and the output will be images in which […]

  • May 15 2013


    Architecture: Schwaighofer + Partner ZT GmbH Execution project/Costs calculation: Swietelsky Baugesellschaft m.b.H., A.S.T Bau Ges.mb.H.

  • May 14 2013

    384400 – eVolo Skyscraper Competition

    Images developed by AZVAvisuals for the 2013 eVolo Skyscraper Competition entry by architects Pedro Varela and Simão Pedro

  • February 27 2013

    Update geometry in blender

    When re-importing an OBJ into blender, there is no material replacement. Blender won’t assume either the materials in the .blend nor the ones in the .obj . So what does it do? It creates duplicates in the form of materialname.001 . forum user Alain has devised a clever modified OBJ import Add-on to circumvent […]

  • January 31 2013

    Material variation

    We tend to use open source software as much as possible, and blender fills the gap perfectly. However, it is quite usual that proprietary software is sometimes ahead of open source in terms of functionality. But it always comes to a moment when these projects catch on and reward us by our persistence. This is […]

  • January 02 2013

    Force randomness with components

    While browsing some feeds, I came across this post by Tuğrul Yazar at DesignCoding, which gives some solutions to force randomness in Grasshopper through the use of scripting. This reminded me of a solution I created some weeks ago. For native components purists out there, here is a definition which uses no script at all.

  • December 25 2012

    Merry Christmas from AZVAvisuals

    We want to thank all our friends and clients who supported the birth and development of this brand. A warm hug to all of you out there! Pedro de Azambuja Varela

  • December 01 2012

    Website created for José Campos

    We are very happy to finally make this work known to the general public. It has been some intensive months, but the result is much to our liking. We were approached by José Campos with one aim: create a fully-fledged online backoffice so that his team could easily upload and maintain content on a personalized […]

  • November 23 2012

    Tips for a faster Blender Cycles rendering

    This one comes from Andrew Price’s Blender Guru website. In case you’ve been living in some other Universe, you use or at least have heard of Cycles. On of its less good features is the time is takes for some simple renderings. So, get the information right from its source, but I’ll post here the […]

  • November 20 2012

    Blender batch rendering

    This amazing (not so) little software never stops to impress us with its thriving community. This time,  Nelson Fritsch has developed a Mac OS X software called bBatch, which deals with batch rendering in blender. Get it here.

  • November 08 2012

    Access PHP variable from anywhere

    Sometimes you need to transport the value of a variable from one page to another. In order to save using the SQL, you can simply write it out in a file, and fetch from it again. This is a simple strategy that came in handy on a recent project (more details soon). So, here is […]

  • October 09 2012

    Building in Rennweg, Vienna

    This work was comissioned by Archoffice from Vienna. One of the key points of these images was to show the relationship between the existing garden, new building and street.   These visualizations were developed with Blender using a model created by the architects with Revit. We used Yafaray in one of the images, and the […]

  • September 17 2012

    Row housing in Parada de Todeia

    We have uploaded a new work to the 3D.Visualization section. This image was produced with blender, yafaray and gimp. We used blender to import the 3d model and create custom trees using the excellent Sapling add-on. The image was rendered with yafary and all the post-processing (colors, background and people) was done with gimp. You […]

  • September 10 2012

    Minutes – a Mac OSX dashboard widget

    The Dashboard has had its better days. In Mac OS Tiger it was full of promises, and all sorts of widgets arose. Too many, in fact. But one has always sticked to my heart: Minutes. It still is, today, my favourite way of setting a quick timer/alarm while in the computer. For some reason, the […]

  • August 30 2012


    While browsing the web, it came to our attention these images. Published in ArchDaily’s Fishing Boat Harbor and ‘River’ of Liopetri / Various Architects entry , the project was designed by Iereidis Vasilis, Michael Aimilios, Zomas Alexandros, Mitakou Eleni, Raisi Alexia, Hatzopoulos Dimitris, Fanou Paraskevi, and Lada Anastasia … so we can’t really tell who […]

  • August 30 2012

    HTML5 elements in old Internet Explorer

    I came across this issue while noticing a < header > element was being rendered in IE8 as a block element. After a quick search, I found this page which gives a quick and clean solution. Basically, the idea is to create through javascript the HTML5 elements, give them block positioning and finally top all […]

  • August 25 2012

    José Campos Photography – Logo and Business Card

  • July 10 2012

    Vertically and Horizontally align

    I really wanted to use pure CSS to make this happen, but after some hours investigating, I resorted to Javascript (in the form of Jquery). To use this code do the following: 1. Make sure that the parent element has position: relative or absolute. 2. Give the target image the class “supercenter” 3. Paste this […]

  • July 05 2012

    Use background image to align perspectives

    Here is a quick tip to get an ad-hoc alignement for your photo montages. Use the photo as Background Image in the Camera viewport. Once there, it is easy to control your camera in the top and front views, so that we have a match.

  • June 25 2012

    AZVAvisuals logo

  • June 25 2012

    mag – marques de aguiar, arquitectura e urbanismo – Corporate Identity

  • June 22 2012

    WordPress function to retrieve first image

    I needed to easily get the first image in a post. There is a native function called the_post_thumbnail(); , but it does not work in all situations. I wrote the following function in functions.php in the theme folder: [sourcecode language=”php”] function azva_first_image($postID, $format) { $args = array( ‘post_type’ => ‘attachment’, ‘order’ => ‘ASC’, ‘orderby’ => ‘menu_order’, […]

  • June 19 2012

    Import OBJ while keeping materials

    Anyone who as used Artlantis as main render engine for ArchiCAD models knows how straightforward it is to update new geometry. The problem lies in Blender’s way of dealing with material entities. When a mesh is imported, Blender change it’s material name to “material.001” in case there is already a “material” in the scene, so […]

  • June 07 2012

    AZVAvisuals website launch party – Photos

    The party was a success. We want to thank all the friends that supported us in this venture. There was even a delicious personalized chocolate cake with our logo on it! If you feel like commenting, feel free to do so in our facebook photo album. Photos by Diogo Assunção.

  • June 04 2012

    AZVAvisuals website launch party

    Finally the footage arrived! We edited this video for all of you that couldn’t come to the party. Photos will come soon. The video was originally posted in our facebook page.

  • June 01 2012

    Better Blender defaults

    Blender is known for its lack of begginer’s user-friendliness. There are some settings you can change which well documented in Blair Willems’ blog, in this post. I have some additional tips which I use myself, which can be taken as extensions to this great tip by Blair Willems. Change default mouse button for selecting elements: […]

  • May 27 2012

    Translation to Portuguese

    The technical needs have been overcome. We still have to localize all the texts to portuguese, but it should be ready for launch day.

  • May 27 2012

    hello, world

    At AZVA, we tend to like computers. As such, our first post wouldn’t be complete without the classic “hello, world“. We hope to bring you various degrees of information regarding the technologies we use to keep AZVA running: 3D modelling software, 2D design software, webpage design coding languages and all that comes into our mind as […]