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Case studies

3D illustration. Breathing new life into 3D illustrations of field developments for Apache Corporation.

The brief

Apache Corporation, now a subsidiary of APA Corporation, required a set of updated illustrations detailing the pipelines and facilities they operate in the UK North Sea. Legacy 3D models were stored in various locations throughout the company, but nobody could access them easily or confidently predict their content. We were asked to gather the files together to create two up-to-date 3D illustrations covering the Forties and Beryl field developments.

Our solution

We began by importing the existing files into our 3D modelling and rendering software of choice, Cinema 4D. The original files were created using bitmap images to texture specific areas on some of the models. As those files were missing, we chose to retexture all of the models and carefully light the scene so it was optimised for quick rendering.

Apache’s subsea engineers supplied pencil sketches of the Forties and Bravo pipeline schematics to help us update our new 3D illustrations. This required modelling new pipeline layouts and assets including wellheads, tie-in structures and PLEM Pipeline End Manifolds. The two completed Forties and Beryl illustrations were then annotated and keyed to make the scenes useful reference tools for engineers and stakeholders.

The results

The two scenes can be rendered from any camera angle, allowing revisions to be shown from any perspective. The finished models are regularly updated and can be rendered at any size for a variety of purposes including the company's safety case report, technical documents, webpages and wall graphics for the boardroom in Apache's UK office.


pipeline layouts


detailed models