Vray – The Making of ‘Tavistock Road’

A Rendering / Modelling Tutorial for Rhino + Vray

Some recent work done for Rogers and Jones Architects for a local developer – these buildings are actually being built on site currently, but the company required some marketing images to help sell the scheme. For those interested, I’ve included a short tutorial below on how I went about rendering this scene.

General Modeling view, taken from Rhinoceros
Row of houses in-situ, being modelled
Closeup of guttering being modelled

For the blocks, I imported the CAD drawing over to Rhinoceros 3D and used the information to build up the unit types. I even modelled the cedral effect cladding used on site. Thanks to the NURBs modelling, curved shapes like the half-round guttering were a doddle to manipulate. I used sample XFrog trees to help fill in the site’s foliage – they import quite nicely into Rhino. (Although many others say that it’s faster to export to 3DS Max before rendering, I don’t have that luxury available to me and the Vray plugin for Rhino seems to work just fine.)

Nothing too out of the ordinary here – loosely based on the “Making of Griehallen” render settings posted to Ronen Beckerman’s site a few weeks ago. Simply used a medium/high quality Irradiance Map and Light Cache at a resolution of 4000px wide. Importantly, I used Peter Guthries’ HDRI skies to light the environment with a cloudy/sunny day setting.

The fun stuff – Photoshop post processing

Here’s where I tend to really enjoy adding a little flare to my renders, so lots of blur/dodge/burning to the image done, and also adding entourage (from Gobotree) for a sense of dynamism in the scene. Admittedly, I’m still not 100% happy with the people placed in this scene, since the lighting in the photographs must have differed to the rendering, but I feel it’s always important to give the rendering a sense of scale. Also, I tend to find that exporting the alpha and material IDs with the Vray render makes things a lot easier – for instance you can use the materials to select the whole road at once and then apply it as a mask to a texture, rather than manually selecting the area.

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