Building up an arch-viz project with 3ds Max & Corona Renderer


Many artists work by looking at the render engine from a theoretical point of view, improving their knowledge about each parameter and how the whole rendering process evolves to the minute detail. I totally respect this attitude, but for me, taking a more artistic approach is more important, so I try to spend my time more on how to create an environment and space which catches the eye, so for a few seconds, the observer imagines himself inside this environment. This process needs a lot practice to make the space come alive, studying different lightings and observing many similar works from other artist until you feel it’s time to start. But in conclusion, with enough knowledge of any render engine will still help a lot during your rendering process.


When we are going to make a big scene full of polys, it’s vital to consider that in the end there will be a high-resolution final render, so scene management is very important. As you see, not everything is high poly, to make it clear: the closer an object is to the camera, the higher the poly needed. Otherwise, low poly for the rest will work perfectly.

model scene of house

Collect your garden

If you have any kind of urge to create faster, then this may help you. First of all, when regarding my work, I will consider which species are applicable for my scene and then import and gather them all in a specific place, or maybe use an eye-catching spline to show all the species in one place – then you will never miss a plant. The advantage is that if at any point you want to select or find a species, it will be very fast.

models of trees and plants

Models by VIZ Park, MAXTree, R&D

It is not very technical and maybe it’s more supernatural, but after a while, when you do not stop trying, you will begin to see the results.


Proxy, proxy, proxy

As an intelligent artist you should be conscious of how important managing your scene is. So, the more of a plan you make, the fewer problems you will have when your rendering regarding the large number of polygons or how heavy the scene is, negating the hardship of moving in the viewport or relocating another object. Using the proxy object, everything is made easier. In my opinion, if there should be more than one of an object in your scene, proxy it! (Otherwise, show as box.)

model of house

Lose billions of additional polygons

Be meticulous on scattering

Sometimes you see an amazing artwork and you say, how is this possible? I’m sure he has a high intelligence when imagining environments, but the answer is that the artist is a really hard worker, especially when scattering the plants and species. If the first time you can’t achieve your desired result, or it’s not similar to your references, don’t give up. The first time is always hard but the more you try different scattering methods, the easier and better the results in your future work becomes. Also, do not stick to one plugin and don’t limit yourself to the plugin’s abilities; start using different ones and take advantage of them. After a while it becomes one of your favorite parts of visualizing.

model of house and environment

I used Corona Scatter, Forest Pack, and Advance Painter here

Make your own shaders

Having the skill to create realistic shaders is an asset, but making realistic shaders in the way you love is something else. In this case, your references and your imagination should work together, with a number of tests to show whether your idea is working or not. You should have the courage to begin the process and accept your failures – in some cases – and try more and more until you get the result. It’s not condensed only to the plants, but it could be everything! Here we had colorful leaves and golden trees in the twilight but maybe the variety should face towards the mountains and other objects in your scene, depending on your desire and story. Experiment! Even if sometimes your default shaders don’t look very realistic, do not hesitate to change them and improve them to the better version. That’s something I do most of the time in my works.

make your own shaders

Golden leaves shine in twilight and colorful trees dance in the winds

Place light like a god

After all the previous steps, now we have this chance to bring the best possible and most artistic light to the scene. In my personal experience, each project is a chance to shine and show your talent, so each time you should see a project as a gift and try to do your best. Not all the time is the process fast, but in any step there will be lots of fun.

The color of the light, direction of light, harmony of the ambient light and direct light, and sometimes the artificial lights, are all factors which produce a nice lighting composition. In a clearer example, you feel the power when lighting – you are the creator of that world, you are the god, so create it to make everyone “wow” about how it looks. The creativity of how you use the light you choose to use is the most important aspect.

Make your art in your mind

Depicting your artwork is a phenomenon which doesn’t always take shape. Sometimes something is so far out of reach, even in your mind. Sometimes all the references you gather are not enough, or are not good enough to use in your artwork, and maybe you feel empty. Sometimes there are some missing elements that you could not figure out. In these situations, the only way in my opinion is to be tough. Start testing, no matter how much. Delete previous results if they can’t satisfy you. It is not very technical and maybe it’s more supernatural, but after a while, when you do not stop trying, you will begin to see the results. From the heart of sadness, light will appear. Maybe there are many artists who disagree with this opinion, but that was something that happened to me a lot.

modern house in countryside

Final image

Die creatively

The process of creating an image from beginning to ending is a creative process, so you can do many things such as having different references, taking photographs of a natural phenomenon, using videos, inspiring other artists, and so on. But keep one thing in your mind: live the process and die in the process. I mean, making any artwork will be a big part of your future life, so be creative as much as you can and try to have something really new in any of your future artwork.

saving civilians

My latest matte painting image

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