Modern concept house/3ds Max and VRay

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  02 February 2013
Lightbulb Modern concept house/3ds Max and VRay

I am currently working in my last semester in college to get my degree in 3d animation/modeling. Before I graduate, I am required to complete a "Senior Overview". This can be a animated short with compelling characters, plot, etc, or a large amount of modeling work towards and object or set of objects.

I decided I wanted to go with the modeling side of things. I also found I am quite interested in architectural modeling so I am modeling a modern, rectangular themed, concept house (full interior and full exterior). I am modeling everything in 3ds Max 2013 and all rendering is being done in VRay. I am also skilled in Maya and ZBrush, as those were the software packages taught at my school. I found 3ds max and VRay on my own and taught myself the program as I feel architectural modeling is much easier with 3ds max.

Anyway, I have been working on the house since mid January. At the moment I am making a couple of changes to the house. The first thing I am doing is removing the second floor. I feel like I can do more with one floor, and an loft-like structure on the roof that flows well into the main floor. I will also have a pool that flows well from the rear of the house, with a bridge-like path going over the pool into a garden area.

The image attached is of the two story version. I am taking the second floor off now and will post a render when I am finished.

More images of the house can be found on my website at http://www.andrewschreibercg.com under "Works in Progress". Everything in that section relates to this house.

Sorry for such a long post, but I wanted to make sure I get the idea across completely. Thank you all in advance for your time and critique!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Feb14web.jpg (97.2 KB, 27 views)
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Andrew Schreiber
St. Louis, Missouri
 
  02 February 2013
Arrow

Here is the most recent render of the house. The front of the house on the left still has some work to do and the large black object protruding from the roof is a plexiglass skylight that will be above the patio/dining area of the house. It is black at the moment because it is reflecting the black environment. Please let me know what you think, it is much appreciated!
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Andrew Schreiber
St. Louis, Missouri
 
  02 February 2013
Hey man. The lighting is looking okay. Its looking very flat. I like the stuff on your website better But i know this is a WIP What is the main source of light? I would suggest going with a vray sun + dome light hdri combination. Have you heard of this guy? There are a ton of great tutorials and tips for max + vray. I've found it useful and I use maya

http://www.aleso3d.com/blog/?cat=4
 
  02 February 2013
Woaaaaaaaaaaah nelly! Slow down there a little! I see you are doing grass and trees and such, and there is still a lot to be done on the house itself!

Take a look at the renderings Alessandro Prodan did of the Mies van der Rohe Farnsworth House : http://marlas.cgsociety.org/gallery/

Look at things like the sliding doors, stilts, actual concrete treatments (beveled edges...tiny imperfections, etc), and how they add to the whole rendering. Architectural illustration is fantastic, because you can reuse many things you create-so you can really spend time on the detailing of the elements.

I don't know if you are using an actual architectural design, but if you aren't I highly suggest you search from some blueprints of an actual house to model.

Architectural modeling and proportion is an EXTREMELY delicate balance, as we, as humans, are used to seeing certain proportions every day. We can tell if a wall is too thick, a door too wide, or a ceiling too short.

The Farnworth House has some similar proportions to yours, so you could use it as a base for your model.

Downloading a Sketchup Warehouse model is also a massive help with proportions and scale, and gives you a really nice way to study the architectural form in 3D.

http://sketchup.google.com/3dwareho...671&prevstart=0

The lighting is also very far off, but honestly, until the model is 100%, I wouldn't even go near adding things like coloured lights and planting.
 
  02 February 2013
Thanks for the critique! I'm not going off of anything in particular, it is mainly something I envisioned in my head. Also I have never seen that aleso3d site, but it looks great! I will check it out. The grass took maybe 30 minutes max to complete. Just made it using a few variations of grass shaped planes and painted them all onto a circle to make a tuft of grass. I then saved it, loaded it as a vray proxy and just painted it all over the ground plane. Also the trees are free models that came with an issue of 3d world. I kind of wanted to see if it would help to have a few organic things around the house to help me with proportion. I will try all that you have suggested! Thanks again!

P.S. I made some progress last night and started a render. Here it is. Attached.
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File Type: jpg feb19web.jpg (60.1 KB, 21 views)
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Andrew Schreiber
St. Louis, Missouri
 
  02 February 2013
ALSO! Forgot to say, for exterior lighting I am using irradiance map and light cache. I am changing many many details. I will post more soon. Thanks again!
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Andrew Schreiber
St. Louis, Missouri
 
  02 February 2013
I am currently trying to correct all proportion issues. I believe I have most of them solved. I also set up a daylight system with VRaySun and SkyLight to create a more realistic look in my test renders so I can better determine where to go texture and geometry wise. I also have a basic HDRI environment from openfootage.net.

Render to come soon. Any more tips would be great! THANKS!!
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Andrew Schreiber
St. Louis, Missouri
 
  02 February 2013
Talking

Update! I have been working on the lighting system (Im still getting too far ahead of myself). However, with the daylight system mostly out of the way I feel like I can finish modeling the house. I am currently working on a loft structure that will be on top of the house on the right side that will blend nicely with the interior and exterior. The updated render for the front of the home is below with the HDRI daylight system and an HDRI environment. I needed a break from the black background. I had to adjust some levels in Photoshop because the daylight is a *little* too weak and needs minor tweaking.

Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments and help! I hope to have a nice looking model to cap off my portfolio when I graduate. I couldn't do it without you all! Here is the render

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Andrew Schreiber
St. Louis, Missouri
 
  02 February 2013
Hi,

It's a good start. A couple of pointers for you:

Exterior Model

I can't really add much to what Pyke has already said. Getting the scale right is paramount. When I'm doing architectural stuff, I set 3DS to whatever measurement system I'm working in (usually millimetres). This means that if I'm unsure about what size something should be I can always measure something around me, or check the internet for a reference size.

It can sometimes help, if you are creating something with no prior measurement scale, to import an outline of a person - if I do this I make the outline about 6ft tall, and use that to scale things against.

The February 2013 issue of 3D World, if you can get your hands on it, has a large amount of great advice on architectural visualisation, which might help you out.

I wouldn't worry about the exterior planting - grass / trees etc., yet. They can be added later and will speed up your test render times if you exclude them for the moment.

Lighting

You said that you were using a daylight system - while this is a good point to start from, you can get a better effect by scrapping the system entirely.

I would recommend adding a VRay dome light, with the HDRI map you are using for the environment in the texture channel. Additionally, it looks like you need to bump up the multiplier on the HDRI map - this will hopefully sort out your lightning issues. If it is a good HDRI map, you will still get the strong shadows as if cast by direct sunlight.

Obviously the downside of this is that you lose the ability to change the position of the sunlight / colour of the sun, unless you have a range of HDRI's covering different times of day.

When it comes to it, and if you have the time to spare, use the Brute Force option for the global illumination when you are doing your final render. It takes ages to do, but you don't get any of the artefacts that can arise from the irradiance map / light cache combo.

You can then add your interior / exterior lighting as you see fit.

Hope this helps!

Jon
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Last edited by mindgoo : 02 February 2013 at 05:55 PM.
 
  02 February 2013
Sorry if I'm coming off as abrupt! Its the end of the day and I'm leaving the office now, so I'm trying to type as quickly as possible.

The composition of the scene needs work. You need to have a foreground, middle ground, and background. Right now its all middle ground.

The actual house still needs a lot of detail on it. The concrete slab that's encompassing the house would not be made of a single solid piece, but rather be separate slabs, with joint lines in it.

The brown slabs that are on the facade need more texture to show what they actually are. Wood? Stone? Brick?

The grass is coming off way too lumo green. It should be a much duller shade of green, and have some variation in it.

Take a look for some tutorials on using just a VRAY Sun to light your image. It can create some really nice effects in terms of the colour of the shadows and general lightness of the image.
 
  02 February 2013
Here is a beautiful WIP which shows some really nice detail, as well as lighting using a direct single VRay sun:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...45&page=1&pp=15
 
  02 February 2013
Thank you MindGoo and Pyke! Your critiques are helping me greatly. I have really only done one exterior viz in the past so I surely need the help on this one.

MindGoo - I actually have a stack of 3d world magazines that I flip through to help with different aspects of projects. I have a subscription so I will most definitely take a look at the February issue. (5 minutes later) Oh! They have the Farnsworth House in the portfolio section. I had completely forgotten about that However, I can't seem to find the other arch-viz material in the issue. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong spot? Also, thank you for the pointers on the GI and natural lighting system. I will try those out.

Pyke - Thank you once again! The abruptness is needs no apology to me I need to get those rose colored glasses shattered as often as I possibly can, that is the only way we get better as artists. As far as the Tugendhat house goes, WOW! I love it, I will bookmark that for reference. Things like gutters - So simple, but I never would think of it. My mind goes to the major details of a house and not towards the functional structures. As far as the single VRay sun, I will try that as well as what MindGoo suggested and figure out what works best on this project. The brown slabs are actually stone brick that I still need to UV map. (Yeah I know ) And off with the grass! I was actually getting angry last night with how long it was taking to render. I was like, WTF? 5 hours? High detail? With trees? with grass? With multiple lights? HDRI environment? NO WAY! Yeah, I get a little ahead of myself at times.

Thanks again guys, I'm off to (hopefully) make everything wonderful and realistic! I will post again in the morning with what I have.
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SchreiberCG | 3D Artist/Generalist
Andrew Schreiber
St. Louis, Missouri
 
  02 February 2013
Okay, just a quick update. As MindGoo suggested I have imported an outline of a 6 foot tall person. (It doesnt look like a person its just a 6 foot tall, 1 foot wide, 1 foot deep, rectangle) It seems to fit through the doors as a normal 6 foot person would and fit inside as a 6 foot human would.

I'm glad I have this little helper now though. It will help me as I continue to model the house to proportion. Thanks guys!
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Andrew Schreiber
St. Louis, Missouri
 
  02 February 2013
Here is an update of what I have changed. I hid the grass and textured ground and replaced it with a basic plane with default VrayMtl. The areas circled in red are the changes I made from your suggestions, so it would help a whole lot to let me know if this is what you were suggesting.

1.) Instead of the slab encasement around the house being continuous, I took your suggestion and added some space in one corner and added a joint/steel plate where the slabs meet. I only did one to see if this looks more realistic than a continuous slab. If this looks more realistic I will be adding more of the same.

2.) I increased the space between the floor and ceiling to create more realistic proportion. I have a 6 foot "dummy" that was just about a half inch short hitting its head on the door frame. I lowered the bottom half of the house as well as everything in it so it fits that 6 foot dummy as a normal door or room would.

I also changed the size of the material on the front of the house to more accurately represent what it is. I UV Mapped the front so that the bricks are the same size as normal red bricks. It is hard to see in the picture because there is no direct light shining on them, but it looks much more realistic as far as size goes.

As far as the lighting goes, I replaced the daylight system with a VRay dome light that has the HDRI map that was in the previous render on it. It is a high quality one from openfootage.net. To render the scene I still used irradiance map and light cache, but since removing unnecessary things light grass it greatly reduced render time.

Thank you all so much for the comments, they are much appreciated. Below is the updated render and it would be a great help to get a critique .

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SchreiberCG | 3D Artist/Generalist
Andrew Schreiber
St. Louis, Missouri
 
  02 February 2013
That new lighting makes a massive difference! Concrete buildings always look fantastic in full daylight, as the white of the finishes forms fantastic contrast with the gardens and encompassing detail.

For the slab detail, right now it looks a bit like a modeling error. I would do something like this:



or



When doing your modeling and structure, keep in mind how the house would actually be built. The roof slab would rest ON TOP of the walls, with the walls taking the pressure of the slab. Having the slab rest inside the walls would be counter productive.

You can also chamfer the edges of the concrete. It creates nice detail, and lighting can glance off those edges and really help define the shape.

Also, most concrete gets finished with a shaved edge, or it chips too easily if you bump it. The shaved off edge helps with this.



You can also finish off your concrete with a nice texture. CGTEXTURES has some awesome concrete finishes!



Doing this breaks up the structure a lot, and adds to the overall feel of the image.
 
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