GarageFarm.NET team archviz collaborative project


Hey guys!

Andrew here from GarageFarm.NET Academy.

The recent year was surprising and tough for everybody. But it also triggered many changes like moving from working at the office to remote work. It also affected the CG industry.

In our team, we wondered if it is possible to put together a team of artists from different parts of the world and work on a common project only via the internet. Wondering is not enough, so we decided to do it.

As a subject, we have chosen exterior visualization. Exactly a holiday cabin, to not make the whole thing too complicated. We will try to simulate a real-world scenario where a client is giving us his design and project brief and we need to deliver great visualization.

Here is our team:

Jarosław ‘DJ’ – Blender| modelling the landscape, art direction | Poland
Marco – Blender, Substance | modelling, animation, project management | Philippines
Tomas – 3ds Max + Corona | putting together the scene, rendering | Poland
Amiel – Substance | texturing | Philippines
Michał ‘Andrew’ – 3ds Max + V-Ray | designing the cabin, ‘the customer’ role, modelling | Poland

We started with assigning Andrew the role of an architect giving us the job since he has experience in this matter.

Since Marco lead the team of modellers for our assets store project, his role will be to keep everything in check and make sure we don’t miss the deadline or get lost in an overabundance of ideas. He will also create additional assets like fire or birds.

DJ has experience in interior design and visualization and very good communication skills so he will have the last word when it comes to the final effect. He will also choose the location for the cabin and prepare the terrain.

Amiel is an expert in Substance (you can check his tutorials at our GarageFarm.NET Academy YT channel) so he takes on himself creating the most difficult materials and overlooking the project from that angle.

Finally, Tomas will put together a visualization in 3ds Max and Corona.

Based on this project we will release a series of videotutorials. We want to also put together a video from our video meetings. I’m not sure if the material will be interesting enough to publish, but we will try.

Different members of the team work in different software. Since recently Blender exploded with lots of improvements and features there is a discussion going on whether it can be a legit archvis tool. We will have an opportunity to check this out. There will be problems with moving the data between different software so it’s even better :blush: We also live in different time zones, (Philippines and Poland) so we will be able to check if you can put together an international team online and create such a project.

Here is the design we got from the ‘architect.’ I know that it has some design and construction flaws (like the corner), but it is good enough as an input material.

Also, we got a list of materials used

And a ‘brief’ or rather a description of the design idea and a list of important design features which need to be emphasized and sold in the visualization.

General purpose:
Holiday cabin for a couple with 2 kids
Buyers are 30+ years old

No fixed location. Possible to assembly on a location chosen by the buyer

Function for kids:
Safe terrace.
Sandbox function as a part of the terrace
2-level bed for kids

Other functions:
Fireplace\barbeque grill

Selling points:
Glass corner with a big view from beds.
Safe terrace (for kids)
A place for installing a sandbox, or a little swimming pool
Part of the terrace is under a roof ( you can grill regardless of weather)

Additional info:
I need all the functions to be visible in the main shot. Other shots can just add more information about the cabin design.
The cabin is going to be installed in a location chosen by the buyer, so the exact location used in the visualization is the choice of the artists’ team.

Used materials:
Black zinc, black wood, black steel (optionally brighter wood).
Double glass sheet window panes.
Concrete feet foundation.

Small architecture (surrounding): gravel car park place

For now, DJ found a location (I will add more info on the next post) and put together mood boards as a source of inspiration.

I will soon post here the progress of the project. I hope for your critique and comments! :blush:


Hey guys.

Andrew here from GarageFarm.NET Academy

We have the next update of our collaborative archviz project! As I said in the previous post, we are trying to complete a full architectural visualisation project with the whole team working remotely from different parts of the world and with different software.

The first thing we needed to do was pick the location for the cabin. It had to have a cool view, some visible features of a good place for leisure time, and in general, be a good basis for creating a compelling environment.

DJ took care of that and he has chosen not only the general vibe of the place but actually a real location for the cabin. He did it thanks to the BlenderGIS addon for Blender. It allows the creation of a general model of terrain based on its GIS location from Google Maps or other GIS vendors.

Here is the place he picked.

Location: Dj checked for different mountain lake locations in different parts of the world, as the idea was to show the cabin design in a spectacular environment immediately communicating vacation mood.

Finally, he picked English Lake District as a perfect balance between mountain height and family accessible leisure. A place suitable for hiking and canoeing without too many extremes, beautiful sights guaranteed nonetheless.

It has all the features we needed, and we could use Google Maps to find pictures of the location. We used them as a reference for creating the surroundings, like the trees, ground, local technology for roads, small architecture and other features of the landscape and vegetation.

DJ created a basic model with as much detail as possible with the BlenderGIS addon.

Then he needed to export it so Thomas could build the scene based on that in 3dsMax. He exported it as fbx from Blender.

The basic exterior layout included some initial scattering of trees and stones blockouts which was also exported as meshes to give Thomas an idea about DJ’s concept which he could then recreate and/or modify using 3dsMax’s tools like Forrest Pack for the final scene setup

BlenderGIS addon website:

General BlenderGIS addon GUI

Example location in BlenderGIS addon

The BlenderGIS addon is free and pretty impressive - it allows for Google Maps (and other like OSM) integration inside Blender and directly importing map textures and 3d height data into Blender.

After some minor mesh corrections, we had a ready base for setting up the cabin’s environment

In the meantime, Amiel created materials for the cabin in Substance.

Working on the darkwood planks of the cabin external walls.

Adding detail to back zinc sheets on the facades.

Andrew has finished the model of the cabin. It wasn’t difficult since it’s a perpendicular shape with not very complicated detail. It was modelled in 3ds Max, so it was easy to pass it to Thomas who is a 3ds Max user as well.

Cabin model

Marco helped with the additional elements of the landscape to give more life and countryside vibe to the scene. He created a pier model in Blender and textured it in Substance Painter.

We also wanted to add dome sheep or birds to underline the countryside mood, but we cut that feature to make it before the deadline. But don’t worry - we will create all kinds of variants of the visualisation later.

Since the location has a lake we created a canoe (in Blender) with Substance textures.

Tomas job is to prepare the final render. Here are the first interior shots versions (3ds Max + Corona), There is a lot to improve but we have a general setup.

This is what we have at this stage. We will continue to work on the project and create video tutorials on how the elements were created on the way

Renders straight from Corona.

Guys, I’m very curious about your opinion on our work and the whole idea. So if you have a moment to comment it would be great.

In the meantime, we are working on the videotutorials and polishing the renders.



Hey guys.
Here are the renders we came up with. They are “finished” but I hope for your critique and comments so we can make them better.
Any comments and critique is very welcome.

What do you think?


Hey guys.

Andrew here from GarageFarm.NET Academy!

Our online remote multiartist multisoftware archviz holiday cabin project relase is coming. Check out the teaser.

We will publish the first video this Friday, so stay tuned!



Here is a video made by DJ about his art directing experience with Holiday cabin project. I hope you will find it interesting.