Creating crisp arch-viz scenes

Arch-viz whiz Alexandre Jarek explains the 3ds Max workflow he followed to craft this IKEA-inspired ideal home

Hello everybody! First of all, I'd like to thank the 3dtotal team for asking me to write my second making-of for their website. This is an honor and also a great pleasure!

The main objective was to recreate an ambiance that I found on IKEA's website. This was also an opportunity to improve my modeling skill with Marvelous Designer 3.

So the first step was to gather references picture of the scene. In the end I used 5 or 10 images.
I also took some external references from different 3D artists such as Juraj Talcik, Ramon Zancanaro, and BBB3Viz


First of all, I started by setting up 3ds Max's unit system and made sure that I use Linear Work Flow. I'm using 3ds Max 2014 so I can't find the Gamma options under Preference / Gamma & Lut anymore. The only way to do this is to change the CurrentDefaults file by applying the InputGamma setting at 2.200000 and the OutputGamma to 2.200000.

Changing settings

Changing settings


There wasn't anything hard to do during the modeling process in this project, except for the bed and fabrics. For that I had to use Marvelous Designer 3 to recreate realistic folds and match the reference pictures. Instead of words I'll show you some wireframe views.

Modeling the fabrics in Marvelous Designer 3

Modeling the fabrics in Marvelous Designer 3

The floor

As I did for my last scene featured on 3dtotal (Rear window), I modeled the floor, plank by plank. I wanted to give each plank a different height from the other and put them in place separately. Of course this takes a bit of time and I could have used some plug-ins such as Floor Generator but I didn't. Also I unwrapped the planks to create different Map for about each plank.

Modeling the floor, plank-by-plank

Modeling the floor, plank-by-plank

The fabric

As I said, all the fabric parts like the bed-sheet, the pillows, etc, were created using Marvelous Designer 3. This is a very powerful software giving great results. I won't go through the all process about how to create fabrics since there already are a thousand of tutorials on the web. I'll just show you some wireframe shots.

Wireframe shots of the fabric parts

Wireframe shots of the fabric parts


Three different lights were used in this scene. There are two V-Ray lights (set as 'Plane') coming through the windows, and also a V-Ray sun. And, finally, I used a V-Ray light material for the picture I used as background (with Multiplier set to 17). You can see that I used a wide size for my sun (size multiplier set to 16). This is because I wanted smooth shadows coming from the sun.

The light setup

The light setup


Most of my shaders used V-Ray Dirt and custom Specular map. Here is a sample of the main materials I used.


I used V-Ray physical cameras and the general settings can be seen in the next pictures. The only things that I changed were the shutter speed and the f-number from one camera to another (not the Film ISO). I set the f-number to 4.0 and the shutter speed set to 50/75.


I used a mix between Brute force GI and Light cache. Since V-Ray 3.XX.XX is way faster than the previous version why wouldn't I used Brute force? Also Brute force is quite easy to set up, the only thing you have to do is to change the subdiv. Value (and wait…).

The render settings

The render settings

Post process with Adobe Photoshop

I used Adobe Photoshop and this is a very general workflow that I will show you. The same steps were used for the rest of the renders.


That is it for my tutorial! I really hope you enjoyed reading this one and learned something about my methodology. If you liked this scene you can check the full project here.

Related Links:

Check out Alexandre's portfolio here
For more tutorials by Alexandre, try our website
Looking for Arch-Viz textures? See our texture CD

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