Article written by Patric Verstraete.
Hello everyone, my Name is Patric Verstraete, I’m a CG and 3D architectural visualization artist based in Belgium, starting as a freelancer in 2009 and now head of Vizcon3d.
First I want to thank RenderSpirit for giving me the opportunity to share my tutorial.
After some crazy and hard work in the beginning of this year, I needed a break, and the idea came up to me to make a little scene just to relax myself. As this was done in a Sunday afternoon I couldn’t spend much time to make a large scene with lots of objects.
I didn’t have any references for this scene, this all came up in my mind.
The scene was made with 3ds max 2011, Vray engine 2.0, and some plugins which I will speak about a bit later. So let’s started:
A very important step is to set the correct unit scale for the scene. This is very important for modeling, texturing and lighting. Without correct scaling, things and lights and parameters for anything will not be coherent with each other. I always use cm as my system units and display units.
Another very important matter is the gamma settings, here I used LWF for gamma setting in my scene, and turned the gamma to 2.2.
I started with a box and used basic poly modeling tools: extrude, connect, move, weld etc.
I would also like to show some other assets I’ve been modeling for the scene, for example the photo frames, these were very simply modeled with the bevel profile modifier and a rectangle as a base.
The Bevel Profile modifier extrudes a shape using another shape path as the “beveling profile”. If you want to see some tutorials about that you can visit Viscorbel.
Other models came from my library, like the Hans Wegner’s CH 445 chair from Carl Hansen, (which I found for free here). Some models came from designconnected: coffee tables Fat fat, Pendant lamp (free) , Floor lamp from BD Barcelona – Flamingo
The floor was created with the amazing plugin (which I use very often) FloorGenerator, from CG-Source.
Tip: Keep in mind that you always take the same measures of wood textures, in my case: 1539x236pix.
So in 3ds max when I use cm as unit setup I set the length in 153cm and the width as 24cm
To produce the grass and trees I used the MultiScatter plugin to distribute the vegetation. It is a great plug-in to scatter objects on a surface. Most of the trees came from iCube collection.
The floor part was the greatest challenge for me, because I wanted to have a nice, soft reflection. I’ve painted the Reflect, Glossy and the Bump Map separately in Photoshop from some textures which I found on CG textures. If you want to create your own reflection map in photoshop: start with black and white and increase contrast with levels and curves.
The other advice I would like to share is to set the Blur to min 0,5 and summed area on which give you the nice crisp textures in renders:
For the floor I used MultiTexture Map, this free plugin enables you to load different bitmap textures and assigns these textures randomly on the FloorObject elements.
Next thing I always use is the color correction map, it’s a kind of basic Adobe Photoshop colour correction workflows within 3ds Max.(more on Jamie’s Jewels website).
I prepared a simple scene with the floor material and textures (max 2011-Vray2,0), You can download it for free here.
As for the wall part, I did not use any particular map inside the diffuse channel, I used only the glossiness and bump map with a concrete texture to give the imperfections I wanted for the wall surface.
Metal and Fabric texture for the Wegner CH445 chair.
I used VRay Sky and I manually connected it with the VRay Sun, because I wanted the glare of the sun in the VRay Sky the same as the VRay Sun position, with skylight portals at the windows, they are not meant to lighten the scene, they are meant to navigate the light particles from exterior into interior. I also added a landscape texture using the V-Ray material as the background of the room.
Camera configuration and color mapping are two things that always go together. Both of them can control the exposure and gamma of the scene. Because I work with gamma 2.2, and my color mapping is also set to gamma 2.2 (in order to avoid over exposure) I like to set my camera, in this case, to f/number 5, and ISO to 100, white balance to neutral. For the shutter speed I usually do some tests until I’m satisfied.
COMPOSITION-Rule of thirds
Here came the fun part, looking for the right composition. I wanted to have the chair in focus of the image (Have a break, you know!)
I always use the Rule of thirds in my viewport, it’s a quick way to help compose your images, ”Rule of thirds”, as we should know, it’s a very simple rule that allows to create a good composition in a simple and effective way.
The method consists in dividing the viewport into 3 equal parts, horizontally and vertically, resulting in a grid. To use this, in the viewport go to Configure> Viewport Configuration. (Keyboard Shortcut > SHIFT + F) and set the values as in the image. (I did some explanation about this issue on Jamie Jewels site)
Nothing very special about the rendering and rendering settings of the scene. Here is the render setup:
Here below you can see the RAW render without any kind of post production.
Very little post production in PS was done here, I always tried to get the most out of the beauty render as much as I can. Some color correction and exposure control was made in Photoshop.
For the smoke above the coffee cup I used a bitmap, that layer was set to Screen blending mode.
You can download the smoke map here.
And this is the final image:
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and found something new or interesting to add to your workflow… Feel free to ask me anything more in the comments area below. Thank you!