2018 CG Architect Best 3D Film Award Winner

Introducing Cahaya by Wai Kin Lam

Last modification: 7 Jan, 2019
4 mins

Congratulations to Wai Kin Lam for winning the CG Architect - Architectural 3D Award for Best Film (non-commissioned). His exceptional film Cahaya features the buildup of a wind and solar energy control center, which he developed from inital concept through to music composition, and film editing. We asked Wai Kin to share his journey and insipration for his film.

Inspiration behind Cahaya

In the architectural visualization industry, we are expected to know all aspects of production. I attempted to take it a step further by doing all aspects of this short film; from creating the storyboard to composing the music.

It was my first time editing and composing music for a film. I found that it sped up my 3D workflow tremendously as I didn’t need to go back and forth with editors and musicians on the timings of shots. I knew exactly what I wanted when I was working in 3D the whole time.

3ds max Ryan Lam 3d Architect building

How to tell a story with architecture

I wanted to do a film that is very close to what we do professionally in the office but also to add a creative touch that we rarely get to do. Anyone that ever worked in architecture would know the most common request is to make our art “blue sky, green trees”.

There is no way a film would work artistically if every single shot shows that template. So, I made it a point to make the climax a “blue sky, green trees” moment. I felt it that it could work if every shot before it was building up to this moment; the sun slowly rising as the construction carried on.

Architects are slowly realizing the value of films as a storytelling art piece more than a client requirement. I hope I get to play a part in showing them that not all films or images have to be the usual template.

3ds max Ryan Lam 3d Architect lights

All the 3D work was done in 3ds Max. The vegetation was distributed with ForestPack. I chose 3ds Max because of its power in handling instanced objects and lights. The array tool made everything super simple. 

3ds max Ryan Lam 3d Architect Final

For more information on the 2018 Architectural 3D Awards, please visit 


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