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Hi everyone! My name is Federico Ciavarella, I’m an Italian Architect and a freelance 3D visualizer. Before beginning, I have to thank Evermotion for this great opportunity and I also have to credit Alex Roman and his book "From bits to the lens" that was essential for the vegetation that I created for this work.
Software used: 3ds Max, Vray, Photoshop, Marvelous Designer and Zbrush.
Basically, I started this work to test some of the vegetation tips I found in "From bits to Lens" book by Alex Roman, which is an excellent reading for 3d visualization artists. The house, instead, was inspired by a Villa found on "Elle Decor Magazine - Italia" that in some way reminds me the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe or the Glass House by Philip Johnson, but at the end I tried to create something personal and not just a copy. Let’s start!
Following the Alex Roman’s tips, I started with a plane, I applied the texture and then I added the subdivision to follow the shape of the leaf. This is useful, because opacity maps require lot of calculation time. If you leave only a few parts in ‘black’ the calculation time is acceptable and the leaf still maintains the fractal natural form.
After testing some specific software to create trees, I realized that, for my needs, the best solution was the most simple one. Branches and trunk are mostly hidden, so I modeled them by hand.
I unwrapped them with Xray Unwrap plugin.This was very tedious but at the end I modelled only 2-3 branches and 1 trunk for the trees, and then I added symmetry modifier. Thanks to Multiscatter, I could get a lot of variations of bush structures that was made from just one model. All the leaves were scattered with this plugin and once I found a good setting it was very easy to change seeds and obtain different configuration of trees and bushes. Multiscatter was also used to place branches on the tree trunk, before scattering the leaves.
The other advantage of this method is that if the leaves and the branches have a noise rotation before scattering, it’s possible to achieve the ‘wind effect’ for animations.
For the distribution I used Vertex Paint. In the future I’ll probably also use another good tip from Alex Roman - I will customize pre-made trees, available in collections such as those by Evermotion, to avoid the tedious process of creating the structure of the trees. In my opinion on what really worths to be customized: the leaves and the roughness of the bark (if visible).
To optimize rendering time I increased cutoff of the tree leaf material to 0,1 for all trees that are far from the camera.
Nothing special to say here, Just a couple of things that someone can possibly find useful.
For exterior and Interior light I used HDR skies inside of a Vray Dome light. The skies are completely desaturated with color correction inside 3ds Max, this is a thing that I usually do for the 90% of the interior images and rarely for the exterior. The gamma was left mostly at 1, some images have it at 0,9, this is because the skies in this scene are overcasted. I usually decrease it at about 0,8 / 0,75 with other types of skies. Skies used: 1044, 0902, 1008 by Peter Guthrie.
I added two Vray planes to give an extra touch to the homogeneity of the light. Similar settings were used for the other images, with or without extra Vray planes.
The Vray sphere was put inside the filament to avoid the ‘too perfect’ effect.
The post production was very fast. As a lover of photorealistic rendering I tend to treat raw renderings as photographer treat raw photos. I start with Magic Bullet Photolooks to work at 32 bit and after I use common Photoshop tools included Photoshop Camera Raw (especially now that it has an easy access from the filter menu) mainly to check overexposed area, have an easy control of individual colors and to use the noise reduction tool.
That’s it! Thanks for reading, I hope you can find it useful. For any clarification you can write me here, or on my Facebook and Behance page. Cheers!
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