Autumn House - Creating a step by step environment


I will show my development process, for an environment model with production for cinematic, modeling, texture, lookdevelopment, light and rendering. I will present my techniques used for textures in addition to the way I used HDRI to fill my scene.

playhouse 3d realistic model render
Final image


First of all, I always try to find as many references as possible to develop the project. But be careful, avoid accumulating too many images that will not be used, this can confuse the direction of development.

Be objective when choosing references, according to the client's briefing.

reference photo imagery research visual information

Modeling, style and shapes

I don't have a concept, so I start modeling and try to adjust the shapes according to the selected references. I try to control my mesh density well so that I can experiment with different shapes without damaging my model.

As I start hitting the shape, I try to adjust the loops in the best way, thinking about making my job easier when opening the UVs.

playhouse 3d render setting environment playhouse
3d render setting environment playhouse
3d render setting environment playhouse
playhouse 3d render  environment playhouse
playhouse 3d render setting
render setting environment playhouse
basic mesh colour 3d render setting environment playhouse
nature autumn 3d render setting environment playhouse


I have some more organic models to model like macaw and frog. I make a very simple block in Maya and play for Zbrush.I finish the sculpture and open the uvs inside the Zbrush. I export the low model and the higth model to bake the Substance Painter.

parrot sculpture basic colour modelling 3d
Zbrush Modeling

Open Uvs

Ready models, I started to open the mesh uvs. I take the opportunity to open the Loops partor that I prepared. A hint. Look at the elements that will be the same, or that will be the same and used in different ways, such as rotation or mirroring, so that you open only one UV and duplicate the model with the UV already open, saving working time. Another tip is to always try to maintain a correct orientation for your UV Shels.

This makes it easier for different circumstances, such as wood grain. With the UV following the same orientation in all Shels, it facilitates your work when it comes to texturing the model.

UDIM UVS mapping setting 3d planning

Texture, Look development

To work with textures I look for new references. In addition to colors and combinations that work best. I need references on the aspect of the materials, textures, details, scales and others. I work with textures inside Substance Painter, keeping my non-destructive layers as much as possible, in order to need to revise something, which is easy and practical.

substance painter 3d model layers play house

Look Development, Shaders Corona Renderer

With the textures ready, I export from Substance and pull into 3DMax, start applying shaders. I always use color correction nodes, like color correct, or even create layer textures to be able to create some blends with colors, masks and ramps when necessary.

I try to solve within the 3DMax adjustments as specular, reflect to avoid having to go back to Substance. With that I am already testing the shaders with a still temporary light, but close to the end.

3d render setting environment playhouse

Light and render

In the light and render stage, I usually work in the most natural way possible. Only in specific situations that I use fake light. In this case, in the first place, I hit my main light, Corona Sun Light, done that I applied my HDRI as ambient light next to the floor shader to connect with the background. (Corona Shadow Catcher Mtl)

After that, I worked adjusting the floor texture to match the background, in addition to the light. I used some corona lights to complement my ambient light. At this stage I missed an element in front of the camera to tell more story, so searching my references, I found the small bridge, a good opportunity to compose a better framing.

In addition, I still did some tests with atmosphere in the environment, but I decided to apply it in my post production. After hitting the light, I prepared my rendering passes to work on the composition.

atmosphere environment composition rendering
playhouse 3d render setting environment playhouse
playhouse 3d render setting environment playhouse
playhouse 3d render setting environment playhouse
playhouse 3d render setting environment playhouse


To finish my image, I pulled my render passes to After Effects, where I worked with blends modes between my layers to compose my passes to highlight certain points of my rendering.

In addition to cooling my casualties, I forced the brightness and saturation of my high tones. Giving an air of fantasy that interested me. With my Zdeph pass I used it to apply my fog, saving time for rendering and getting good editing control.

composition 3d rendering layer effects playhouse
final model rendering 3d effects children's play area

Bonus movie - Turnetable project

I worked on a turnetable to be able to present the project in a broader and more detailed way. It is possible to analyze details not seen from the camera of the final render.In addition to strengthening the story that the image tells.

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