Learn new architectural visualization tricks as 3D Generalist/Architectural Visualizer Gaurav Kumar takes us through the workflow behind his project, "Penthouse Living Room - Shimla Hills."
This project was intended to be an eye-catching, soothing render of a penthouse in Shimla Hills, India. The client’s focus was on both the lavish interiors and the serene scenery of Shimla.
Importing AutoCAD Drawing
Initially, the floor plan for the penthouse (an AutoCAD drawing) was imported in 3ds Max, and coordinates of the imported drawing were made near origin of 3ds Max’s workspace.
The walls and columns are modeled using basic modeling tools in 3ds Max.
The floor is then generated using a 3ds Max Floor Generator plugin. This is a versatile tool that can be used to generate a wide variety of floor types with ease.
Placing Objects in the Scene
The shape of the curtains is created to match the mood/intent of the room. Some research was also done to determine what fit best in the given space before placing any objects. The balcony railings are modeled according to the floor plan.
Furniture and other various objects were either tweaked, imported models from my library, or were modeled according to the space's style and the mood of the scene. They are then placed according to the furniture plan.
Once all objects have been placed in the scene, the camera is set up from a suitable angle. Typically, it's best to set the viewpoint height to correspond to an actual human's line of sight, so the scene is better perceived and relatable for the viewer.
As the whole scene is to be covered, the focal length gets adjusted accordingly, and camera clipping is enabled.
Material Design and Texture Mapping
After placing the objects, the scene is now ready for designing materials and mapping textures starting with the wall, since this is the central, visible element in the scene.
The following shots of the Slate Material Editor demonstrate the floor materials and curtain fabric:
Some materials required more detailed design, such as the chair fabric, carpet, table top, sofa fabric, and stone wall.
Corona Sun was placed strategically to draw sunlight into the room through the window.
Corona light planes were used to balance sky lights to complement the mood of the scene.
Corona sky was used as the source of sky light. Corona sky was instanced on the material editor for tweaking.
An arc-shaped plane was used for the background image of the Shimla-Hills.
This image of Shimla Hills was used as the Corona Light Material, so it glows according to its own colors. Intensity was adjusted accordingly to suit the natural external environment.
After setting up objects, materials, camera and lights, a clay render was generated as a render-test. This demonstrates the lighting and shadows. For this, a render override was done during render setup. Some objects (such as glass and the arc-shaped environment) were excluded.
After being satisfied with the lighting test, final render setup was done by removing overrides and exclusions. Post-processing settings were kept the same as during clay rendering.
Post-processing consists of simple, tasteful adjustments of image brightness, contrast, color correction, levels adjustment, exposure, curve manipulation and LUT. Polishing was done in Photoshop until the desired result was achieved.
My name is Gaurav Kumar, and I'm an award-winning CG professional with rich experience in architecture and interior design. I've been featured, awarded and/or published by Autodesk, V-Ray (Chaos Group), Evermotion, Corona Renderer, 3D Artist Magazine and many more.