Based in Hamburg in Germany, Moka-Studio is a small company with a big vision and a great deal of experience and expertise in advanced digital services for architecture and conceptual spatial visualisation.
The company has an impressive global portfolio having completed projects in more than 50 different countries, and works with some of the most renowned architecture offices and developers worldwide.
Moka-Studio’s international team of artists largely focus on architectural visualisation at the conceptual or competition stage and the company’s recent visualisations include the renderings of the new Guggenheim museum in Helsinki for HaasCookZemmrich, the visualisation of a 128m long ‘unique circle yacht’ by Zaha Hadid Architects and a new concept for the reconstruction of the igloo in Pittsburgh by VITAL inc.
Jean-Pierre Monclin, owner and founder of Moka-Studio, said:
“I think our size is one of our strengths, being small enough that we do not lose our identity or start producing generic images, but we are a big enough company to take on large scale visualisation projects. One of the fundamental elements to our success is the atmospheric quality of our images, they are very ‘compositing’ heavy, and I think this is definitely one of our differentiating factors.”
The company’s creative expertise is backed by its use of the latest technological innovations, and one of its go-to tools is The Foundry’s MODO, which Moka-Studio has used on more than 1200 wide-ranging projects to date.
“We started trying MODO on the modelling end, initially with the MODO 301 and 401 versions. At first, it was used as an additional tool, as our pipeline was originally based on C4D and Final Render. We subsequently started using it for more and more renderings, specifically because of the live preview work-flow and eventually we switched to MODO as our main 3D package, starting with version 6,” continued Monclin.
Moka-Studio found the use of the tool has brought many benefits, in terms of both the creative process, and the significant time and efficiency improvements to the workflow.
“MODO has allowed us to set up a really good and fast work-flow. We often have to deal with quick turn-arounds, typically one or two weeks from start to finish on a job. The render preview is invaluable for this, as it is a real time-saver. Our pipeline is based around MODO and rhino/moi for modelling, and around MODO’s engine and octane, for rendering. However the core program is very much MODO.
“A large part of our work also involves a great deal of per-material adjustments in compositing and the options that MODO gives for generating masks is great in terms of material, selection sets and render passes.”
Moka-Studio currently employs nine highly-talented artists and architects, and the team has adjusted extremely well to the new tool, despite working with other software in the past.
“The experience has been very positive for the team. Everyone who works in the studio were familiar with other software, and it inevitably takes time to get used to a different workflow. It is really positive to see MODO now open to third-party render engines, as that makes it even easier to integrate people who have experience using other engines.
“Selecting The Foundry’s software was very much a conscious choice, I like the fact that we are supporting a younger company, the price to feature ratio is extremely good in terms of render notes and updates, and we also very much like the user-centric licensing mode which MODO uses.”