Celebrate Our 2021 V-Ray For SketchUp Challenge Winner

Josh submitted a unique swimming pool concept for his “Design Your Dream Room” Challenge, after being shortlisted and becoming a firm favourite with the public, crowning him a very worthy winner.

Josh, father of three, works for Design Engine Architects as an Architectural Assistant and also run my own visualisation business.

Shell Cove – Square Edit Facade

So Josh, How did you come up with your incredible winning concept?

As I design buildings and rooms for a living and help clients realise their ideas, I thought I would take the brief and reinterpret it into a more literal ‘dream’ like image of a room – Detracting away from the more conventional approach of conjuring up an idealised room. The result was a much more vibrant and playful approach to designing in 3D, with little to no end goal. 

Through working in this way, I was able to create the necessary separation from what I do on a day to day basis. This meant that there was no preconceived notion of what the outcome would be and the image slowly grew and evolved over time. 

As the image developed I found myself swapping out the more conventional item or finish you would expect to see and replacing it with something more quirky or fun, this approach also applied to the colouring of objects with the idea of colour theory helping to inform choice .

Inspiration for the image came from various sources, from digital artists like Charlotte Taylor of Maison des Sable and Massimo Colonna part of Ilmagma to stylised cinematic sets of films, architects and more traditional artists. More technically, it was a great way to test rendering techniques – volumetric fog and emissive materials that I wouldn’t use on a day to day basis.  

Nice! How to you currently use V-Ray in your workflow?

On a day to day basis for Design Engine Architects, I tend to create 3D models of small areas of buildings and external parts of buildings. These would often be quick and rough to get an idea of the type of space, detail or finish that you might be designing or specifying for a certain client. 

These would then have basic V-Ray materials applied and lighting added to simulate real life conditions, the results of which would then feed back into the design. This would provide reassurance to both myself and the client that the direction the project and design was going in, was one that would create the best and most suitable outcome.  

My general approach to each new project is that I try to learn a new technical skill or plugin for each new design project. Sketchup and V-Ray are two incredibly straightforward programs to learn, but both have the capability to create outstanding results in an incredible short space of time – something that’s invaluable in this day and age. 

What has been your proudest project worked on so far?

There are two images that I would say stand out – One is the first image that I created with Sketchup and V-Ray. The image was of my bathroom that I was renovating at the time and I thought I would see what outcome I could get from modeling it up and rendering it. 

The result of which has pretty much influenced me to start a business and work on Sketchup and V-Ray on a daily basis. The second image was one that Chaos Group used as the start up image for when you loaded V-Ray 5 onto your computer back in November 2020 up until recently. 

I was blown away that they used it and forever grateful that they did.

So who is Josh? (Other than a V-Ray Champ)


Our brand new SketchUp top trumps give you a speedy breakdown and the 411 on everything you need to know about Josh…


From where he calls home in the digital design space, to his secret SketchUp power, you’ll find the ins and the outs of his SketchUp Journey here…


If you want to have a personalised SketchUp top trump made for you, email us at marketing@elmtec.co.uk and let’s get the ball rolling! 

About Elmtec

Elmtec have been the UK distribution partner for SketchUp since 2010, and service a network of UK and Irish resellers. We have over 22 years’ experience within the digital design community.

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