Moving without walking...

...it's either you gotta be running, in a car, or flying. In this case flying. As in a "fly-thru" (or walk-thru) animation.

Initial brief of the project: The client wanted to see shots of various areas of the development. And it was suggested that we based it on the still (hi-res) images that we had given much earlier.

I came in later as to help amend part of the 3D model, light-up and do texturing...all these so that we could come up with these hi-res images. As soon as it was confirmed that an animation had to be done, it was my job to "finish" this animation within a month -- composed roughly of 10+ shots, 2 minutes length, and lotsa-lotsa render times -- almost all by myself. (Aaaaargh! Had they given me this responsibility a few years back, I would have probably fainted straight away.) Good thing, experience taught me to look-up for possible hiccups and problems that must be taken care of even before starting to work on the model, and Previz animation. Advice with the "master chief" as well was taken in consideration.

To start of with, I had to optimize the 3D scene as to come up with shorter render times. This included cutting-down on unnecessary 3d models, making use of vray proxies, and minimizing high reflection / glossiness settings. The tricky part to this was not to over-compromise on the 3d model as to gravely affect the look of the images.

I also had to set-up simple the camera paths for the shots. What I had in mind was nothing fanciful and yet it wouldn't just involve simple wipes and cross-fades from one shot to the other. I wanted it to look like there was a natural flow from one space to the other,rather than a montage of some sort.

By the time I gotten some feedback and notes on what to amend, it was rather easy (but still tedious!) for me to work on the model due to the preparation I had done earlier. And it was good that some of the elements could be rendered in a separate pass and/or added in AfterEffects later. The images are screenshots of the final animation.

Addt'l Tech note: Most of the elements are 3D created in 3dsMax. To easily render, plants were converted as well into vray proxies. The "custom" background was prepared in Photoshop and mapped onto a sphere -- rendered separately. Some foreground elements were either a separate render or simply "blurred-out" 2D images composed in AE.
Compositing: Adobe After Effects (AE)
Editing: Adobe Premier
Rendered with Vray @ 3DsMax