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Making of Time under The Tree

Alfa Smyrna 2009-05-28 00:00 tutorial  > Making of  > modeling

I am happy to share the Making Of Story of my scene: Time under The Trees. I decided to make this series of images When I saw some photos of Toorak Residence in a book. I thought it would be nice to make different season images of a place inside forest, under trees. I changed some of the architectural forms, colors, and materials to a large or a small extent. The whole of Time Under The Trees was done in 3dsMax9 and rendered in VRAY.

My project consisted of images with different seasons and lighting so I needed to make
- variations of some models (like trees and ground),
- variations of some materials (wet and dry materials, dry leaves etc),
- variations of lighting.

So from the beginning, I tried to keep everything organised, named everything properly and used layers to organise things and grouped layers. I believe this is very important and saved me a lot of time.

First, I modeled the base layout of the concept and adjusted my camera point of view. This is a important step because I can adjust level of detail in my models according to how close they are to the camera. So I defined zones:
1.zones with high detailed models,
2.zones with medium detailed models
3.zones with less detailed models

or in other words, Foreground,Midground and Background.



Most of the models on this project are basic and simple, rectangular building parts. I modeled everything with editable poly and the basic tools such as chamfering, connect, extrude etc.

- Rocks:

- Little Stones:
I used a composite technique for the pebbles on ground:
- Foreground: Meshes distributed with ParticleFlow with higher density
- MidGround: Meshes distributed with ParticleFlow with less density + Displacement
- Background: Normal Mapping

First, I modeled few different little stones.

I converted these meshes into VrayProxy to save RAM. VrayProxy is an excellent feature of vray. Neil Blevins has written a very good tutorial about scattering objects in After reading this tutorial, I decided to use a similar method.


Distribution with ParticleFlow:
I created a Particle Source. You can control all parameters of your ParticleFlow when you go into Particle View. I made a sphere as a helper object to scatter around the ground. This is essential to be able to use the proxy characteristic of my vraymeshes. Proxy objects loose their proxy charecteristic if they are scattered directly. I replaced this sphere meshes with proxied pebble models in the later steps.

ShapeInstance operator is to choose the particle geometry object. In my case it is the sphere. The PositionObject operator is to choose the emitter object. From birth operator, you can adjust the amount of particles. If you want to scatter different type of geometry, you can make a parent dummy object and link the child objects to this. In my case, this is not necessary.

ParticleBake Script and Baking the Particles Into Mesh: After distributing the spheres with the particle flow, I baked the particles into a mesh by using Bobo's BakePFlowToObjects script. By making this, all particles become a mesh so they can be replaced. You can find this very useful script in

Replacing The Particles With VrayMeshes (proxy objects of little stones):
For this part, I used another great script ObjectReplacer by Neil Blevins. ( I replaced all dummy spheres with the meshes. This steps were necessary to be able to retain the proxy characteristic of the scattered objects. Position, Rotation, Scale properties are adjustable.

After I made the models, I needed to make an organisation of the workflow for variations in models due to seasonal changes.
- I needed some falling leafs on the ground for autumn scene and the leaves.
- For same reason, on trees should be less compared to the summer scene.
- For the foggy scenes, I wanted to have the trees without leaves because they can have more effect in fog with a stylish silhouette.
- I wanted to put some water puddles for the "after the rain" scene.

So I started from the trees and made the variations of the same model with less leaves and with no-leafs. I saved these models to use as I progress with the project.

I used exactly the same method for the autumn scene ground. I just added a leaf mesh to the stone cluster and re-made all the steps.

Most of the other changes are in the texturing stage.

I unwrapped most of the models. This give me the chance to paint textures as I want for every different light-rig.This is the most direct and easiest way for me as I have the full control over the textures. I was able to paint all the marks of time and weather on aged materials and I could also easily handled the leakages, holes, even could even paint the leakage going inside the hole in concrete and going out again or the handprint on glass.



I used different light rigs for all the different scenes.
For the summer scene, I used a VraySun and VraySky with a VrayCamera with the exposure.

This scene is only lighted with a white environment light. There is no GI in the scene, so it is not the Vray Environment Skylight but the 3dsMax Environment Light.

I used IBL(image based lighting) for the Rain Scene. There is only one Vray Domelight mapped with a HDRI image in this scene.

Again one Vray Domelight and two sphere Vraylights for the interior and exterior lamps.

I used almost the same render settings for all of the scenes except the fog scene. There is no Global Illumination in the fog scene. Here are the settings for the scenes.

Rendering Fog Effect:
I used the VrayEnvironment Fog for this effect. I rendered it as a seperate layer with a black-matte material in override and composited it later in post-production. You can view the settings below:

I used Photoshop for the post-production. These are the very basic steps such as:
- Curves and
- Color Correction and nothing special.

Rain Drops ON Glass:
First I painted a texture of black and white raindrops in Photoshop. Then I mapped this onto glass in max and made a render mask of this texture on glass. With this mask, I applied a couple of filters on glass and made the effect.

Thank you for all your feedbacks and comments about my work. I hope this tutorial answers the questions that have been asked about my workflow.
Best Wishes For Everyone :)

Author: Alfa Smyrna
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Madi.rad 22:08:54  |  30-05-2009
any pdf version
Nazgob 17:11:01  |  01-06-2009
I have a question, How did you make the puddles in the rain scene?.Could you show the settings and positions of the different lights?. Good job and thanks in advance.
tomchang 12:45:08  |  03-06-2009
Cant see any picture, is it normal...?
e76cfubr 08:23:45  |  16-06-2009
Thank so much im a student of architecture, and i need to congratulations for the time and to be generous for the new ones.
siek 12:59:23  |  15-07-2009
yeah i have an same question about how to make the puddles, can u share.... good share! thanks!
leonwcn 11:41:01  |  16-07-2009
Nice tutorial!but..can u share how to make the puddles?Thanks!
Lioxa 01:50:59  |  01-08-2009
Great nice atmosphere, thanks for posting.
tracer_agw 06:57:24  |  03-08-2009
wow, what an amazing image!!! Thank you for your wonderul tutorial.
northstar1804 09:12:16  |  12-08-2009
i can not see any photos ,,,,wahhhhhh..what to do
prettysue7 16:16:29  |  13-08-2009
Plz, pdf version?!
mona fareed 02:52:22  |  22-08-2009
wonderfull work..really very nice..
KARABETCA 15:39:41  |  25-08-2009
wonderful work..well done. but how did you do the pebbles?
mpnguyen143 18:27:53  |  02-09-2009
Very nice rendering but how do you support the roof? It seems to be floating and only having the glazing and the frame underneath...
[hidden] 07:42:38  |  08-09-2009
can't see pictures too! :(
schwertfisch 16:21:00  |  19-09-2009
congrats and a 1000 thanks for the tutorial. I try to do something similar, but the water puddles come out too dark. I have no fog color, I've set the reflection to low but still yours is very realistic. I don't have caustics enabled because when I enable them bright spots appear on other objects. Any suggestions on how to make the water puddles realistic?
jaia 21:51:00  |  11-12-2009
great .....
jvm 22:43:26  |  02-01-2010
mpnguyen143 - the roof is supported by the 75x150mm columns inset from the frame, best seen in the spring scenes. As explained this is an existing building and it works just fine. Great tutorial mate - really appreciate it. I'd love to see more tutorials from you.
nevil 11:13:02  |  06-01-2010
so nice and thanks can i achieve to vray settings...i am a beginner :) please help me to improve my skills in max and animating my works...thank you
deanto 06:30:08  |  18-01-2010
.pdf ,please !!! thnx
blackbeard 07:35:37  |  03-03-2010
no image, i wish you guys can make a video tutorial
afrand 10:49:10  |  14-03-2010
دستتون درد نکنه. خسته نباشین!
hm_vai0 08:43:07  |  30-04-2010
oh my god. @@
frizzolotto 13:21:56  |  25-05-2010
romey 17:15:11  |  04-06-2010
Dhp 11:09:48  |  17-07-2010
itzmefaz 20:23:51  |  30-07-2010
Ramilsmall25 14:49:45  |  31-08-2010
Великолепно !!!
Mohammad Reza Hosseini 17:08:10  |  24-09-2010
Thank you. very nice
princess S 14:02:28  |  30-10-2010
RonH 01:33:30  |  10-11-2010
FANTASTIIC!!!! I saw your images in the gallery and therein had questions which I addressed in a personal email (no response) however just came upon this site which explains most everything so thank you. The trees were generated from?? So nice of you to provide this for all of us.........thanks!!
136913135 08:13:28  |  19-11-2010
very nice
ktstrung_uce 04:18:30  |  28-12-2010
Can you give me materials ????... my email: or thanks very much
hassan tahoori 14:47:54  |  01-01-2011
PDF Please. :)
sultanekrem 11:22:18  |  12-01-2011
hi! perfect job (please tutorial)
GiulioDesign94 14:19:52  |  17-01-2011
Hey , Your work is simply awesome! Anyway I made a my version of this image with only vue. Can you gave me the permission to post it on deviantart please ? I make a reference to this tutorial as an " inspiration " . Thanks in Advance!! Reponse to . If you tell me yes, you will make me the happyest man in the world !! XD Thanks Again. P.S. This image is very beautiful.
GiulioDesign94 14:20:50  |  17-01-2011
Give me***
Gabi Petri 02:06:58  |  26-01-2011
Perfect Tutorial, very good. Can you send to my e-mail (, please. Thanks in advantage...
sinbala 05:49:09  |  27-01-2011
Really super pls send me de scene file(
mickyx 04:11:56  |  09-03-2011
The Tutorial is not detail , can you give step by step tutorial?, i appreciate.
pickprooflemon1 16:53:50  |  15-04-2011
can send to me the tutorial too? pickprooflemon1@gmail. this is what i been looking more. This is great. this could be a big help in my assignment. PLSPLSPLS highly appreciated! :D:D
berolino 16:54:21  |  18-04-2011
ok...can send to me the tutorial too? ... I highly appreciated by me!
dunke 11:00:32  |  22-04-2011
Great job..can you help me
Oliya 14:14:30  |  27-04-2011
How to makeing the puddles? Can you help me and send the scene flie? ( Thank you so much~ *^^*~~
WapplerS 15:33:59  |  19-05-2011
amazing! Would you be able to send the file to me please?
jaychoupham 10:40:53  |  12-06-2011
Perfect Tutorial, very good. Can you send to 3dmax fire
nive 09:03:11  |  13-06-2011
very nice work!
nive 09:15:12  |  13-06-2011
Could you tell me better system configuration to give better render! please help me!
architworking 20:50:13  |  29-06-2011
very nice , tnx
luizifer 14:53:01  |  06-08-2011
amazing work can you send me the entiere file to congratulations and thanks!
end-k 04:10:10  |  29-08-2011
Please give me a copy of MAX files? Thank you! Thank you very much!
end-k 04:10:13  |  29-08-2011
Please give me a copy of MAX files? Thank you! Thank you very much!
end-k 04:11:13  |  29-08-2011
Would you be able to send the file to me please? Thank you very much
young asdf 12:30:09  |  04-09-2011
great!!would you be able to send me this file??
xiaogui5413 09:51:23  |  09-09-2011
Your work is great!!! Would you be able to send me the max file ??? thanks you very much
adamdetka 21:00:57  |  17-09-2011
Amazing! Congratulation! can you give step by step tutorial too? And can you send my your materialas? My e-mail:
Shyboy 03:41:09  |  27-09-2011
amazing work can you send me the entiere file to congratulations and thanks!
mr.Palkin 15:34:46  |  17-10-2011
Great job, would be appreciated if you send me entire file on . Thanks a lot
kedharnath 12:26:42  |  21-10-2011
aze1306 12:40:57  |  08-11-2011
Superbe Pouvez vous le faire pour c4d Merci
CMDDP 12:19:01  |  10-11-2011
God, how the water reflect the building...
berat001 12:06:27  |  21-12-2011
wow.. wonderfull. pls give me too...
daphny 08:30:17  |  24-12-2011
perfect tut!!!can send to me the tutorial too?it ... I highly appreciated by me! (
progress 20:39:12  |  22-01-2012
Is there anyone for answering to me ? i have many question.
jpzl129042 09:45:26  |  03-02-2012
Please give me a copy of MAX files? Thank you!
dare_air 20:55:38  |  16-02-2012
great work [pls send max file!
luofei1987 04:38:07  |  14-04-2012
Please give me a copy of MAX files? Thanks!
Mona amini 17:20:22  |  25-04-2012
Please give me this file max (save Archive)
Mona amini 17:23:06  |  25-04-2012
sorry I mean a copy of file Max. thanks alot
kingwood 14:02:37  |  13-05-2012
It is great to see your tutorial,but i can't get it . Could u give me some advice . I really want to get file as I can start it .My email :, Thank you very much for your supported.
xuanhai_0272007 14:05:40  |  27-05-2012
Xin vui lòng cho tôi tập tin này tối đa (lưu Archive) thanks.
xuanhai_0272007 14:06:53  |  27-05-2012
Please give me this file max (save Archive)thanks.
MUFLON85 11:33:11  |  31-05-2012
amazing work, it's realy look wonderful! Could you send me the entiere file to thanks!
VLADMIGUEL 07:38:20  |  05-06-2012
Great job. Would you be able to send the file to me please
aset1106 08:06:47  |  19-06-2012
Divine work! Could you mail the file to Tnx!
Irina Voinova 13:26:02  |  21-08-2012
Excellent! Very picturesque work and good tutorial! Please, send me the file to
samuel simon 15:44:56  |  07-09-2012
gostaria de saber como eu faço a iluminação eu terminei meu curso de 3ds max tem um mes abraços a todos
christian.fian 15:29:37  |  09-09-2012
Please give me a copy of max files? Thank u ""
SUPER_MUNNA 13:29:39  |  12-09-2012
pls give me max file copy
quachrung 11:00:16  |  13-09-2012
please give me a copy of your max file. thank you so so much
amirwfa 23:20:05  |  26-09-2012
very nice plese give me 3ds fle of that thank you
vickovic 10:35:20  |  03-10-2012
Verry good, wonderfull.Can you send me a 3ds file to Thanks
yq 04:37:41  |  26-10-2012
yukatal 09:00:51  |  28-11-2012
i hope you share for me this file save as Archive thank for share email:
28527 08:20:11  |  17-12-2012
Perfect !! can you send me the scene to ?thank you very much.
toppkm 04:21:34  |  10-01-2013
perpect! Please give me this file max (save Archive)thanks.
irving richard muntu 12:33:08  |  13-01-2013
very nice plese give me 3ds fle of that thank you , :)
wzy285696281 12:51:13  |  13-01-2013
perfect,i realy like it,could you send me 3ds file for me ,thank you very much ,my e-mail adress
wzy285696281 12:51:17  |  13-01-2013
perfect,i realy like it,could you send me 3ds file for me ,thank you very much ,my e-mail adress
nanisai 08:05:06  |  22-01-2013
thank u for posting........
ljyjjy 09:59:03  |  22-01-2013
wow, it's so amazing!!! Would you be able to send the file to me pleeeease?
rcscad 07:30:51  |  13-02-2013
I like a lot! You can send me the file? Please? Thanks my email
feng0901 09:08:10  |  04-03-2013
thanks for posting the work,wonderful,and may you share your max project
cc123411 04:52:59  |  21-04-2013
(Very nice model, do not recommend to my model data?
hankl 14:12:41  |  11-06-2013
Very nice!I hope you share for me this file to Thanks you very much!
hankl 14:12:49  |  11-06-2013
Very nice!I hope you share for me this file to Thanks you very much!
yong o 15:15:38  |  06-07-2013
Amazing! Thanks for sharing. Could you be kind to please send me the MAX file for me to learn? My e mail is:
long364758590 07:46:36  |  20-07-2013
I really want to get file as I can start it .My email :, Thank you very much for your supported.
Eunice mimo 10:29:58  |  26-07-2013
I was shocked,I want the max file too,my E-mail for sharing.
guozi123vgbc 05:39:56  |  12-08-2013
That's awesome! Well learn!
guozi123vgbc 05:40:45  |  12-08-2013
That's awesome! Well learn! 363863936@QQ.COM