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Making of CGRecord CH1

Leandro Silva 2014-06-10 12:49 tutorial  > 3ds MAX  > rendering

Exterior tutorial for 3ds Max and V-Ray by Leandro Silva.

Software used: 3ds Max, V-Ray, Forest Pack, Photoshop.

Web: www.leandrosilva.pt

Email: leandrosilva.arq@gmail.com


Hi everyone!

I will provide some insights about one of my last projects for CGRecord Rendering Competition. For this contest, the participants were invited to recreate the entire environment of the Crescent House designed by Saota & Antoni Associates, with the only restriction of keeping the basic house geometry as it was.

Click on image to enlargeintroduction_1100_1824.jpg

Finished work


Concept & References

Before starting, it is essential to schedule the work and focus in the main concept behind the project. The inspiration for this work emerged when I tried to imagine what could this house and its surroundings look like by creating a nature atmosphere, simple, quiet and, most importantly, that expresses a natural extension of the house into the landscape. As a first step, I always collecte several references about the building, landscape, materials, mood and lighting that could express the concept I was after. Here are some of the reference images.

Click on image to enlargereferences_1100_01826.jpg

Reference images


Basic Setup

Once I gathered the references for the project, I started by configuring the units setup and the gamma. I always work with gamma 2.2 and linear workflow.

Click on image to enlargebasic_setup_nr_01822.jpg

General scene setup settings.



The main 3d model of the house was provided to the participants of the competition by CG Record, with which I began to work by making some adjustments/improvements, mostly chamfer the edges and fix some modeling issues, so then I could focus in the atmosphere and the environment of the building straight away.

Then I added the interior furnishing such as chairs, tables, lights and curtains to fill up the kitchen, the bedrooms and the living areas.

Click on image to enlargemodeling_1100_01825.jpg

Basic model


Environment & Vegetation

The terrain model is created with a simple plane which I converted to an editable poly, added a noise modifier and deformed with a few push/pull tools to enhance the effect of terrain imperfections. To scatter the vegetation, I used the Forest Pack Pro plugin to achieve a more random result with different types of models mostly from R&D iCube and Evermotion. First I began with spreading the grass with different types and sizes, and then added some flowers and leaves, the bushes and finally the trees. Here’s the overview of the scattered vegetation inside the 3dsmax viewport.

Click on image to enlarge01_vegetation_nr_1832.jpg



Click on image to enlarge02_vegetation_nr_01837.jpg



Camera Setup

For the camera placement, I adjust it throughout the process, exploring the various options for positioning the cameras. I think the most important is always try to capture the best lighting and composition of the scene, showing the building, the environment or a simple detail in the best and most appealing way, as close as possible to the real world. You can see the V-Ray Physical Camera settings from both shoots in the image below.



In my opinion, lighting is one of the most significant element in 3d visualization, emphasizing the mood and the atmosphere of an image. For this project, I used a HDRI Map inside a V-Ray Dome Light (default), using Peter Guthrie’s HDRI 1224 Clear Sky and 2028 Dusk, combined with a V-Ray Sun to get strong shadows and a little warm highlights. In the night shoot, I also placed some additional Vray Lights that throw warm light from the interior.

Click on image to enlarge01_lighting_nr_01829.jpg

HDRI settings used for both views in the scene.


You can see how it all looks in the clay renders below.

Click on image to enlarge02_clay_render_1100_1833.jpg

Clay render


Click on image to enlarge03_clay_render_1100_01840.jpg

Clay render


Materials & Texturing

In this step of the process, it’s important to collect real material references to have a good base and understanding for texturing the materials in the scene. Most of the textures are self made, based on those available at Arroway and CGTextures, with specific adjustments in Photoshop (contrast, color, dirt) to get a better result and make all the tests needed until the materials achieve the desired look.

Click on image to enlarge01_concrete_nr_01827.jpg

Concrete material


Click on image to enlarge02_white_stucco_nr_1838.jpg

White stucco material


Click on image to enlarge03_stone_nr_01842.jpg

Stone wall material


Click on image to enlarge04_glass_nr_1843.jpg

Glass material


Click on image to enlarge05_water_nr_01814.jpg

Water material


Render Setup

I rendered this scene with V-Ray and aimed keeping render times acceptable with an Irradiance Map and Light Cache solution. Also, I enabled some render elements to use later in post production stage. Here are the final render settings that I usually use.

Click on image to enlarge01_render_setup_nr_01831.jpg

Render setup


Below are the final raw renders.

Click on image to enlarge01_raw_render_1100_1830.jpg

Raw render


Click on image to enlarge03_raw_render_1100_01841.jpg

Raw render


Post Production

For the post production phase, I generaly focus in making little tweaks and adding some artistic retouching with the main objective of enhancing the atmosphere and “beauty” of the raw images. Below, I show the highlights of this process done in Photoshop for the day view.

Click on image to enlarge02_curves_1100_01834.jpg



Click on image to enlarge03_brightness_contrast_1100_1839.jpg

Brightness / Contrast


Click on image to enlarge04_levels_1100_1812.jpg



Click on image to enlarge05_hue_saturation_1100_01813.jpg

Hue / Saturation


Click on image to enlarge06_color_balance_1100_1815.jpg

Color Balance


Click on image to enlarge07_v_ray_reflection_1100_01816.jpg

V-Ray Reflection


Click on image to enlarge08_v_ray_refraction_1100_01817.jpg

V-Ray Refraction


Click on image to enlarge09_v_ray_extra_tex_1100_01818.jpg

V-Ray Extra Tex


Click on image to enlarge10_light___shadow_1100_01819.jpg

Light / Shadow


Click on image to enlarge11_v_ray_zdepth_1100_01820.jpg

V-Ray Z-depth


Click on image to enlarge12_sharpen_1100_01821.jpg



Click on image to enlarge01_final_render_1100_1828.jpg

Final render


Click on image to enlarge02_final_render_1100_01835.jpg

Final render


If you want to see more of our work please visit our website and don’t forget to follow our Facebook page.

Best regards, Leandro Silva.

Author: Leandro Silva Editor: Michal Franczak
Tags: leandro
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leandrosilva 15:30:21  |  10-06-2014
Many thanks Evermotion!
Iain 22:36:50  |  10-06-2014
Great tutorial and really nice work. My only criticism is that this Evermotion trend (not nearly as bothersome as the nuclear-white interiors one) of showing off your vegetation skills to the detriment of everything else leaves excellent renders looking really quite messy. It's like The Road but all the gardenerers (or proud homeowners with lawnmowers) were the first to go. Can't we just have nicely tended grass with no weed clumps? That's what I'd want if I lived there. Just sayin'
bentadeja_cg 16:55:43  |  30-06-2014
thanks for this man! really appreciate it!
leandrosilva 17:16:49  |  05-07-2014
Thanks @bentadeja_cg for your comment and @Iain for your point of view :)
ahsanworld 23:16:36  |  09-07-2014
the render is fantastic perfect realistic but lot of user are not using 3ds max thats why i want to achieve this type of results in maya or cinema 4d please make a video tutorial next time please for maya 2014 vray or cinema 4D R15 vray ..i want to purchase no matter how it will be expansive i can purchase..thanks