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Swimming Pool in Miami - Tip of the Week

Michał Franczak 2014-08-28 14:57 tutorial  > 3ds MAX  > rendering

Making of Archexteriors vol. 23 scene number 5.

This outstanding sunny pool scene was made by Piotr Mróz from Evermotion and it is available in our recent Archexteriors vol. 23 collection. The scene was composed with simplicity in mind. It has only one light source (VraySun) and VrySky.

This scene was modeled and set with 3DS Max and rendered with V-Ray (check V-Ray price in our shop!).



Click on image to enlarge Z_FINAL_AE23_005_PP_nr_2361.jpg

Final image



Click on image to enlarge 1_ae23_ov_1.jpg

View from camera


Click on image to enlarge 2_ae23_ov_2.jpg

Overview of the scene. As you can see we put some buldings behind. The arc in the back is a squashed hemisphere (VrayLightMaterial) with background sky map


Click on image to enlarge 3_ae23_ov_3.jpg

Another overview of the scene


Click on image to enlarge 4_ae23_ov_4.jpg

Close-up. The camera is visible below the column in the front


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Array of buildings on the right side of the pool



Gamma settings. to achieve realistic results, use Gamma 2,2



We use metric units system.




Click on image to enlarge 8_ae23_light.jpg

Lighting in the scene is achieved with VraySun that is placed behind the camera


Click on image to enlarge 9_ae23_camera.jpg

Camera settings


Click on image to enlarge 10_ae23_enviro_settings.jpg

There is VraySky in Environment Map slot. Its settings are visible on the left



Click on image to enlarge 11_ae23_bg_obj_properties.jpg

Notice that background hemisphere is not casting nor receiving any shadows


Click on image to enlarge 12_ae23_bg.jpg

Material of hemisphere - VrayLight Material with map of blue sky slightly desaturated with Color Correction node


Click on image to enlarge 14_ae23_water_obj.jpg

Pool water is - as you would expect - just a plane with displacement and turbosmooth. Displacement is not too strong (0,02 cm), because we just wanted a subtle waves




Click on image to enlarge 15_ae23_water_displ.jpg

Pool water - displacement map settings



Click on image to enlarge 16_ae23_water_mtl.jpg

Water material with bump map. Bump map strength is only 0.5%.


Click on image to enlarge 19_ae23_building_ov_2.jpg

Just behind a pool we put a tall building. It consists of 5 main elements: block, windows, windows' frames, curtains and floors.


Click on image to enlarge 20_ae23_frames_obj.jpg

Frames, windows and curtains visible. Main block and floors are hidden.


Click on image to enlarge 21_ae23_window_frames_and_building_mtl.jpg

Very simple material that is shared by main block, windows' frames and floors.


Click on image to enlarge 22_ae23_windows_obj.jpg

Windows and frames selected


Click on image to enlarge 23_ae23_windows_obj_2.jpg

Only windows and curtains visible. As you can see we have MaterialByElement modifier in the stack. It distributes three submaterials assigned to windows with different frequency.


Click on image to enlarge 24_ae23_window_mat.jpg

Multimaterial of windows consists of three VrayMaterials. The only difference between them is refraction value: 151, 174 and 191. This material combined with MaterialByElement modifier gives us more realism - we get different windows in our building.


Click on image to enlarge 25_ae23_storeys_obj.jpg



Click on image to enlarge 26_ae23_storeys_mat.jpg

Curtains material


Click on image to enlarge 27_ae23_pool_mat_1.jpg

Pool material. Bump map has strength of 20%.


Click on image to enlarge 29_ae23_tree_pien_obj.jpg

There are many plants and trees in the scene. This particular palm tree was made from simple mesh and then we added displacement modifier.


Click on image to enlarge 30_ae23_tree_pien_mtl.jpg

Tree trunk material. To achieve specific palm tree displacement we mixed noise map with romboid shapes


Click on image to enlarge 33_ae23_leaf_mtl.jpg

Leaf material


Click on image to enlarge 31_ae23_lodyga_obj.jpg

Another leaf element.


Click on image to enlarge 32_ae23_lodyga_mtl.jpg

And its material which is VrayMaterial with gradient ramp


Click on image to enlarge ae_23_s5_render_settings.jpg

Render settings


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RGB color ouput


Click on image to enlarge pp2_AE23_005_VRayLightSelect_nr_2362.jpg

VrayLightSelect element


Click on image to enlarge pp3_AE23_005_VRayObjectID_nr_2365.jpg



Render settings

Click on image to enlarge pp4_AE23_005_VRayReflection_nr_2366.jpg



Click on image to enlarge pp5_AE23_005_VRayRefraction_nr_2364.jpg



Click on image to enlarge pp6_AE23_005_VRayZDepth_nr_2363.jpg



Click on image to enlarge pp7_hue_saturation.jpg

Photoshop part. First, we change hue / saturation a bit


Click on image to enlarge pp8_rgb_exposure_gradient.jpg

We made bottom of the image a bit darker with RGB exposure with gradient mask


Click on image to enlarge pp9_rgb_desaturate_highpass.jpg

Desaturate and highpass filter


Click on image to enlarge pp10_reflection_refraction.jpg

Reflection and refraction layers


Click on image to enlarge pp11_colorbalance_vignetting.jpg

Added vignette effect in upper left corner


Click on image to enlarge pp12_zdepth_color_filter.jpg

Added orange / yellow filter on the background buildings using ZDepth as mask


Click on image to enlarge pp13_photoshop_layers.jpg

Photoshop layers


Click on image to enlarge Z_FINAL_AE23_005_PP_nr_2361.jpg

And again - the final image!



Thanks for reading! Please, leave your comment if you have any questions.

Remember - you can browse and buy the scenes from Archexteriors vol. 23 in Evermotion Shop and on reseller sites. :)



Author: Michał Franczak Editor: Michał Franczak
Tags: archexteriors tutorial exterior swimmingpool miami makingof scene5 vol.23 ae23 sunny
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Hesham Elshipli 20:38:06  |  28-09-2014
Great tutorial. I find it strange not to use Embree in V-Ray settings,It can make your render much faster.
architect.aliqais 09:09:32  |  02-09-2015
Thanks great lesson
YAQUBBHAI 11:51:56  |  03-06-2016
I think when light is leaking, then embree prevent the leaking,