View Full Version : ArchitecturalPrevizComposite

07 July 2003, 04:24 PM
This model is intended to be entered into my portfolio.
Modeled and Textured/Rendered with Lightwave3D7.5
Textures were shot with a digital camera from real materials.
Photoshop used to make "semi-seamless" textures.

Mainly, i would like C&C on the Composite, but critiques on the modeling, textureing, background choice and such are just as welcome.

07 July 2003, 04:30 PM

07 July 2003, 04:31 PM

07 July 2003, 04:38 PM
Do you mind if I ask a potentially silly question as well as a critique? Asusming the BG is a photo, and you have some surface under the house withwhich to cast shadows on, how did you get the surface below to dissapear but the shadows to remain?? I am using Lightwave aswell and this thought just struck me!

My critique is that it looks very new and stands out a bit from its surroundings. If this is supposed to be photorealistic then we need some wear and tear around the house, a path, some weeds and flowers etc.

I like it though!

07 July 2003, 04:51 PM
Its difficult to see being so small. It just seems really empty. Maybe frame the house closer and not so centered. You might also concider including some landscaping around the house. It has very "dropped-into-a-photo" look.

Are the widows modeled or part of the map? The framing around them seems really flat.

Otherwise you did a good job compositing it into the background

Hope this helps.

07 July 2003, 04:52 PM
[this'll probably be deleted because it's a technical issue, but here's the basics for ya'll and a PM is sent to ya MVP]

Hey bro,
If you set up the Color channel's image projection to "front" and set up a back ground image in the compositing section of the scene>effects area, then you will have the "shadow catcher" surface disappear into the background.

Play with the brightness and diffuse settings to then determine the shadow darkness where:
High Brightness to diffuse ratio = light shadow or no shadow
High Diffuse to brightness ratio = darker shadow

And, remember to get the brightness and diffuse channel's percentages to add up to 100% or you'll have a "shadow catcher" that is too bright or too dark, regardless of being mapped with the BG image.

I recommend Dan Ablan's Inside Lightwave Book. It has a compositing chapter that walks you through the basics.

Hope that helps.
Thnx for the crit!


07 July 2003, 04:57 PM
Hey, thnx... hehe, if it looks like it was just dropped into the photo then, it can't be good compositing!:hmm:

What makes it look dropped?

The windows are modeled, but they are low releif and the 20k limit is choking out a bunch of the detail. :annoyed:

oh, well, thnx again.... explain the "dropped" issue, plz

I just realized that i only had disgruntled types of icons when i didn't mean to put out that vibe at all...thnx for the crit:

07 July 2003, 05:06 PM
I think the dropped remark is meaning that the building doesn't fit in with any of the surroundings. Like I said there is no obvious wear on this house, no paths leading up to it, no weeds around the steps or anything, nothing to make you think it has been there for any time at all. There is also no reflection in the windows and the roof is WAY to clean. All these things are immediately noticable and tell our brain that something is wrong. Ask yourself: what can you see about this house that makes it look like it has been there a while?How has the surrounding environment reacted with it (back to the weeds and path etc again). It is a lovely model but it and its immediate surrounding just needs roughing up big time.

PS Cheers for the techtalk!

07 July 2003, 07:00 PM
MVP said it best with his last post. But even though there are missing characteristics it is place well in terms of perspective.

I guess thats what I meant. :)


07 July 2003, 09:36 AM
The main reason the house looks pasted in, is because the lighting is all wrong.

It's hard to say what exactly to change, but one main problem is the lightcolor. If you look at the lower part of the house, it's quite blue. However, since there's a lot of direct sunlight on the grass just in front of it, the light hitting that part of the building should really have a lot of green bounce in it.

Getting the right color for the lights is crucial for this kind of compositing.

07 July 2003, 01:49 AM
Okay, what about now?
What's wrong or what could be better?

07 July 2003, 02:14 AM
Needs, trees, bushes etc. I would suggest looking at some landscaping books for what typs of trees,plants and ground cover are used around houses.

The composition is better, more focused on the house.

a driveway or sidewalk is in the ground not on top of it.

The lighting still needs work. The two walls seem a little flat.


07 July 2003, 08:35 AM
The compression makes it very hard to see exactly why this doesn't work...

The lighting is still too blue. The highlights on the section of windows as well as on the stairs look too harsh IMO. Some areas need more contrast, while others (particularly the shadowed wall to the right) need less contrast.
And the driveway (as mentioned above) should be "sunken" into the ground.

The main flaw remains to be the overall lighting. The backdrop photo looks like a sunny afternoon, but the house looks like something else, maybe a very late evening, just at sunset. You need an allround global illumination. Either a skydome or equivalent, or maybe drop a dome of 30-50 spots around the house... I dunno.

07 July 2003, 04:35 PM
Too blue? Okay.

The photo was taken around 7:30ish. So, it was pretty near sunset, but, yeah, I see what you're saying now 'cause the grass just doesn't show it. What to do about it...

More tweaks to come, but here's a radiosity version with the driveway lowered to the ground:

07 July 2003, 05:45 PM
Okay, i used a bunch of area lights to mimic a dome light.
Is this the direction you were looking for this to be taken in?

07 July 2003, 07:08 PM
Heh heh... Sorry about the time of day there... All I know is what I see...

Anyway! It's starting to look really good now! :thumbsup: Lowering the driveway helped a lot. It really looks like a natural part of the ground. I guess the only thing left to do now is some environmental integration like Riptyde suggested - - -

But, on the other hand, I'm guessing that the purpose here is to show the architecture, not a photorealistic house-on-the-hill-composite... If so, you're more or less done

07 July 2003, 12:48 AM
Okay, here's one with the Dome of Area Lights and Radiosity.
I think the complexity of the values and hues are most complex and realistic in this one...

I guess i just have to embelish it with foliage and pots and maybe a wall, eh?

Thanx for the C&C so far!:beer:


07 July 2003, 06:48 PM
I was just cruising through the forums and saw your work, and I noticed a definite improvement through your revisions. The thing that catches my eye now is that the windows on the right side of the house are all reflecting a pure white. The scene's main light looks like it is coming from the left, so I'm a bit confused by what seems to be a higher intensity light source coming from the right. What are you using to generate the windows' reflections? The reflections on the front windows seem great, but that other side has me wondering. :hmm:

Best regards,
Michael A. Barnes

07 July 2003, 08:55 PM
Originally posted by Solace9
I guess i just have to embelish it with foliage and pots and maybe a wall, eh?
Well, if you want to go all the way I guess there's no escaping the fact that you need a lot of stuff around the house that sort of makes it look like it has been there for a while - plants, a lawnmover, the odd garbage can, maybe a nice car parked on the driveway... The problem is that there is a limit somwhere, and if this really is supposed to be an ARCHITECTURAL previz, I would say that those things are not really necessary. But I'm definitely not an expert...

Note michaelb's post about the reflections in the windows - it's a valid point, IMO too.

07 July 2003, 10:30 PM
okay, the brightness was due to a freshnel shader which peaked the relection and opacity at that angle. So, i turned it off and things look better, if not fine.

Here's a render w/out the radiosity on:

07 July 2003, 12:27 AM
Yes, that is a nice improvement. Now that you fixed that, something else caught my eye. :) Why is the roof overhang black around the edges? Is that on purpose to capture the look of a specific material? I'm not sure, but it looks a little dark and out of place. Nice windows, though. :)

Best regards,
Michael A. Barnes

07 July 2003, 08:44 PM
Okay, good eye. Thnx.

It's not the materials. That section is the same as the blue portion of the roof's gutter so it really is too dark.

I thought that the darkness might just be because of not having radiosity on that picture, but the previous radiosities are pretty dark too.

So, i put in another Area light pointing straight up from the center of the house, effecting only that portion of the model w/ no shadows... I think it worked.

Here's the result:

07 July 2003, 09:46 AM
Well, that lightened it up a bit, but it's still pretty black on my gamma corrected monitor. Still needs more brightness IMHO, but don't go by me if that's the look you want.

Michael B.

07 July 2003, 02:06 AM
i'm just going to comment on the modeling a bit... i wonder why you've got a 360* deck on that house when it's on grass. usually you only see those on beachfront homes, or in mountain areas where they tend to get a lot of snow. also, the overall design of the house is around this single square. you don't see that in a lot of architecture nowadays because it's... welll... boring, and noone wants to buy that. now if you're going to add this to your portfolio on the basis of it blending seamlessly with the bg and looking quite photorealistic, then that's fine and you're on the way to a photoreal image. unfortunately, from the architectural standpoint, it's not "all that".

plus: who wants an elevated front door when the stairs that get you there are like twice the length of the driveway?

07 July 2003, 02:30 AM
lol, yeah, i hear what you're saying.
And, yes, the intent is to have a 3D piece of Architecture seamlessly integrated into a 2D photo.

If you're wondering, this is an explanation of the rest:
1. The deck is high because, in reality, the actual placement of the house has large boulders all around it... and under the deck.

2. The 3 sided deck allows for always having some shade when you go out side.

3. The original deck had a more direct approach to the top door, but like the box archetype of the actual house... it was boring. So, the less convenient deck form is to enhance the form... which it does in reality... where the deck stairs wrap around a large rock and actually have to extend down another level.

4. So, the box design doesn't knock your sox off? [looks at feet] Yeah, mine are still on too. But, there is a reason behind the madness. 1. economy of materials and 2. the house is on top of a wooded hill. So, the height and roof top terrace allow for an excellent view.

Here's a new picture w/ plants to boot now, but as a minor change:

07 July 2003, 02:47 AM
Big difference between your first pic and the last one... talk about progress. But you definitely have to post high rez pics in order to appreciate what you are trying to accomplish. All the pixelation is killing your pic.

Now, one thing i recommend you do is to add a bit of extruding green in the edges of your house, especially around the posts and cement walkway (trying of course to match the coloring of the original grass), that way, it would look like the grass is actually growing naturally around the house... I hope I make myself understood :shrug:

07 July 2003, 10:07 PM
You made perfect sense. So,...

Okay, i added some grass image map on vertical geometry to break up the "too perfect" border areas.

Pretty subtle... but effective i think?

I think i'm going to add some boulders... that way, when i show this to Donkey from Shrek, he'll have something to compliment me on. ;)


07 July 2003, 07:42 PM
Here's a link to a larger version on a Tripod site...
Flowers on the lawn too now.
I uped the lightness in the midrange via Photoshop, but it took out some details... i'll have to up the global lighting setting to get a brighter, but detailed render.

But, that's it for now.

Any new crits?


07 July 2003, 10:52 PM
Well, the overall look is OK, but those new flowers sure look like they are made of plastic. They are too uniform, and it's easy to see they are duplicates of each other. Are you going for a natural looking lawn, or are they supposed to be some sort of special lawn ornament? :hmm: Plus, the foliage in the planters looks kind of skimpy. I don't mean to imply they couldn't be right in the right setting. They just caught my eye as being out of place in this picture.

Best regards,
Michael A. Barnes

Mangled Poly
07 July 2003, 07:27 AM
There has been tonsof great progression however i must know why such a simple backplate? in the end it seems like it was to much work for the little of the backplate you accually see... just a thought

07 July 2003, 01:25 AM
I know you are making an effort to satisfy your critics and all, but I think those plants look more pathetic than just leaving it empty. My eyes focus almost exclusively on the plants in your large final Tripod image, instead of seeing the house. If you are going for compositing prowess, why not try finding some actual images of bushes/flowers/trees and overlaying them on the top of your architectural image?

Since you speak like this is an actual house somewhere, why not attempt to imitate this house's environment as you've described it? This way you don't have to try to learn landscape architecture :) just use what someone else has done. You wouldn't need to use photos as I mentioned above, you could instead model/texture the various boulders and plants the house has around it. This would definitely impress me more than the made up stuff you have now.

Now, back to the house. The larger image shows a lot more detail, and I'm seeing several areas that could use improvement. In main, I'm seeing an obvious repeating texture in the edge of the deck and the beam seperating the first floor from the second. Perhaps you can tweak this, or eliminate it altogether and try a procedural bump map here, that wouldn't repeat.

Also, the colors have suddenly become washed out. Maybe it was the jpg compression on the smaller images, but the walls seemed to have more variation of color and texture, and now they just seem to be flat grey. Since this is stucco, you probably need to stick with earth colors, but can you lighten the walls? And they need some sort of really light variation, like a bump and color fractal map. Also, I think since this is stucco and all, you could make the house where it meets the ground look like it has a bit of dirt on it (like the dust a lawnmower would kick up) or maybe even some streaking as if someone tried to rinse off the wall and there's still dirt in the crevices of the stucco.

Hope that's not too much for you...


07 July 2003, 09:31 PM
great critique
i hope to implement your suggestions, but i'm currently finishing up another project which can be viewed:
your critique would be very welcome
thnx again


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