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Making of 50s Kitchen by Krzysztof Studziński

Krzysztof Studziński 2016-08-31 11:08 tutorial  > 3ds MAX  > modeling

See how this beautiful stylized retro kitchen was made with 3ds Max and Corona Renderer!

Check Corona Renderer licenses prices in Evermotion Shop.

The main goal of „50's kitchen” was to recreate some old catalog illustration in 3D but with a rule of use appliances available in stores. The idea came naturally when I was washing the dishes (most of my ideas comes in during such oridnary actions). Besides I really like 50's. If I was in a posession of the DeLorean i'd set the timer back to 50's.

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The first step was of course gathering the references, both for this particular interior scheme and for manufacturers who sales appliances with retro look.




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Appliances references.


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Once I've completed gathering of references I put illustration of the kitchen as a background image for the viewport and tweaked camera angle and focal to this illustration as close as possible. The trick was that the illustration was painted by hand so the exact camera matching was just impossible. To match the camera closest I could I modeled the walls, floor and furnitures and tweaked both camera and geometry simultaneously.


I'll let myself skip writing about how I modeled each thing because it's boring and propably you all know how to model. In this part I will just give You an overview and tips that are worth to mention. For modeling I used most common techniques except curtains, pillow (Marvelous Designer) and few of households (Rhino). Nurbs modeling comes really handy when there are some surfaces that seems to be more time consuming with classic polymodeling. Rhino gives you a way better solutions and natural surface flow with the addition of better UV mapping which is produced almost automatically.

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An example of kettle body modeled and unwrapped with Rhino.


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Curtains right after simulation was accomplished. For garments I used Marvelous Designer. Handling with MD requires some experience. It look simple on video tutorials but in fact it takes some time to manage simulation and it's parameters. There is some kind of „strategy” also that appears to come naturally with time spent with MD.


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End result of a pillow simulation. It's also great that it gives you custom texture feedback in a viewport. Additional tip related with inflatable garments such as pillows or beddings – always, really ALWAYS simulate it with internal (puffed) and external (loosed) shell. It'll give you natural behavior of pillowcase.


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Couch modeled with classic method with a use of pre-prepared, repetitive element.


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Whole scene after modeling


Like for modeling part I will skip unimportant things and briefly describe the shaders that in my opinion are the most interesting. The floor shader was the most tricky I believe. Once I've seen this PVC flooring in some store and couldn't find a manufacturer to obtain some references so I decided to build it from memory. I remembered that it was slightly sparkly just like a carpaint. To achieve the „exploited” look I used few bump maps, normal maps and specular maps that controls the final result.

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Material editor screenshot of floor shader


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General explanation of floor shader


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Similar method was also applied to a steel countertop. I wanted to achieve double anisotropy effect so I mixed two shaders as a layers with falloff blending.


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General explanation of countertop shader


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Curtain shader is pretty basic. It's a combination of a diffuse map, a translucency map and some normal maps to add a bumpiness.


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The stove flames is a simple geometry with pretty simple CoronaLightMaterial applied.


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Material editor screenshot of flame shader.


I really like to treat 3D scene as real photography studio. Photographers don't hestiate to use additional light sources like softbox or deflector. You shouldn't either. In many cases the light that is coming from the outside (e. g. through the windows) is insufficient. The „50's kitchen” is an example how to handle that.
For general lighting I used one of Peter Guthrie's HDRI ( The only thing I've done with it was filtering through Color Correction map and sliding saturation down a bit. Additionaly I used two more spotlights. These are simple disc-shaped CoronaLight sources with directionality around 0.5.

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Spotlights setup


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Comparison between lighting stages


The postproduction was pretty simple process. I don't like to overuse photoshop and I'm a real enemy of heavy color gradings when making an interior shot. Here you have some examples of postproductions stages:

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Raw render.


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Added background.


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Alien Skin Exposure X tweaking


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Soft window bloom.


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Some selective curve adjustments.


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Even more window bloom


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After adding vignette and really subtle chromaric aberration the image is complete!


Ummm… that's it. Hope You'll like it and you can use some ideas for your personal improvements. Good luck!
For more of my work take a look at:

Author: Krzysztof Studziński Editor: Michał Franczak
Tags: kitchen retro corona studzinski 50s
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thatworm 16:02:32  |  02-09-2016
really great :) what type of falloff did you use to mask/blend your floor and counter top materials? thanks Mike 10:13:39  |  12-09-2016
Nice kitchens! Could use more wood thou :)
junior1985 13:02:11  |  05-12-2017
Hi thatworm, it's basic fresnel falloff :)
junior1985 13:04:01  |  05-12-2017
Hi there, the goal here was to match rendering to original art as close as possible :)
stefanomimmocchi 19:23:12  |  31-07-2018
Nice tutorial! Very helpful....thanks!