We’ve decided to make one experiment and try to create realistic night render using only image references from Internet (one exterior image and one plan image). We use one condo building image from famous Canadian building company Mondev. Reference images are from their Le Botanik II – Hochelaga-Maisonneuve which has pretty good architecture and nice clean render:

The Production Stage

Software used in the project

  • ArchiCAD
  • 3D MAX
  • Vray Render
  • Photoshop

The process itself involves:

  • Loading floor plan and exterior render into the ArchiCAD
  • Creating camera based on render perspective
  • Modeling building and exporting it as 3DS file
  • Importing 3DS file in 3ds Max software
  • We used Vray on this project and Vray camera with matched position with the one form ArchiCAD model
  • Scene setup in 3ds MAX – lights and atmosphere, adding additional 3d models¬† (3D people, 3D tree model, 3D models for balcony, 3D models for interior), rendering.
  • Post production was made in Photoshop using Nik collection plugin Color efex pro 4
  1. ArchiCAD setup:
  • Inserting image plan and creating building walls and contours:
  • Matching camera angle and modeling building details – windows, balcony, railings etc.
  • End result with ready 3D model

2. 3D MAX setup

  • Importing 3DS file in 3ds MAX software.
  • 3ds MAX Scene setup- Scene is pretty standard: Vray sun for main lighting, Vray dome with HDRI for overall light but with low multiplier as lighting was sufficient with first tests, one hemisphere with HDRI mapped for background and reflections. ¬†
  • Adding 3D models in the scene- 3D cars, 3D People, 3D models for interiors, 3D scrubs at floor level and on balconies.
  • Adding interior lights inside building (Vray spheres with 3 different colors for more diversity of light) some directional lights with size of the windows. Position is behind curtains to generated more light coming from inside, especially in the area of balcony.
  • Main render settings- Color mapping is Reinhard with Burn value at 0.6, Irradiance map with Light cache. Detailed settings in the screenshots bellow:

3. Photoshop work

  • There is nothing fancy here. I use Color Efex Pro – Filters for Creative Effects – Nik Collection – very fast filters with plenty of adjustments.
  • In this scene I use Pro Contrast and Sun Light with 25% opacity of this filter.
  • I change background because the one from 3D MAX wasn’t dramatic enough.
  • Add some light flares for the street lights and for the front car lights.
  • Add one tree for the front view
  • Add some motion blur for the front car
  • Add build in lance flare effects in Photoshop for entire image.
  • Some Lance effects in Photoshop on top of the image and image is ready.

I show bellow final image, raw render and original image from Mondev to see the difference. Hope that you like our little experiment and making of the scene. Stay tuned for more posts soon.