Making of Z'Axe Boutique — 3D Architectural Visualization & Rendering Blog

Making of ZAxe Boutique

Frank Raymond s ZAxe Boutique visual captured my attention for its color, light, composition and for being so rich in details to a point I awarded it the Best Visualization of the Week NO. 32/2014. Starting with SketchUP, Frank takes as through the process of creating this great visual using 3dsmax, V-Ray and Photoshop. Enjoy!

Frank Raymond is an Architectural Visualization Artist based in Quebec, Canada. He has 7 years of experience, 4 of them working at an Architecture Office as a technician initially and later as the main imagery director. He recently decided to make a big move and become an associate to an interior designer nearby Montreal City. With Symbiose Design they work hard together to get unique designs and imagery.

Hi everyone,

First, id like to thank Ronen Bekerman who invited me for this making-of ZAxe Boutique in Montreal, Quebec. I was glad to win Best of Week 32 on his blog and today its an honor for me to share and show you the behind the scene.

For me this project was a premiere. Back when I was working in an architect office in Quebec city, most of the projects I worked on were residential, commercial and some institutional. The owner of ZAxe Boutique contacted us to get a new and fresh look for the winter season. The main task was to integrate all sale products in order to offer a nice customer experience. This means that many custom objects and furniture had to be modeled and textured for the scene. I obviously shopped in my personal library and on the internet to find the best articles to fit in first.

Starting out it was crucial to have perfect dimensions of the space. Based on a technical drawings, I started modeling the space using one of my best programs, SketchUP. All of my base buildings and interiors are modeled with it cause its very easy to use, fast and really fun too! After 10-15 minutes of work, I get my rough model ready to import into 3dsmax.

SketchUP Model


Some views of the basic model inside SketchUP

Once the model is done, I always start by applying a neutral material (medium grey) on all the model to avoid any non V-Ray material causing strange results. This technique allows you to set your cameras and lights by imitating light absorption for the furniture you will add to your scene later on.


For the lights, I used some V-Ray planes for global lighting and hidden linear sources, sphere lights for pendant and .IES for spots on the ceiling.

Top view lights positions :

## Camera

For cameras, I set a low F-Stop number of 4,0 to get nice DOF for the final images. I left the ISO value at 100. Color balance set at neutral and finally adjusting the shutter speed value to get a nice and clear image. In this case, 1/90 was perfect for me.

Here are my cameras settings :

Extra modeling and arrangements

As previously mentioned ,I had to recreate some shelves, tables and objects with precise dimensions from the client, all the rest comes from the Design Connected, model +model (The best 3d models websites by the way) and some more. Placing, instancing, rotating, scaling to fit our design.


The floor was created with the popular Floor Generator plugin that you can download for free at cg-source.

Here is the material setup :

Making of Z'Axe Boutique - 3D Architectural Visualization & Rendering Blog

I collapsed the UVW modifier and rotate / mirror different tiles to achieve as varied pattern as possible.

For the deer print on the left wall, I used a simple V-Ray Blend material with two gypsum materials, a dark tone as main material for the deer print and a lighter one in the coat slot for the normal wall color with a pure black and white deer image into the mask slot. UVW modifier to set it in the right position and its done!

TIP. Dont use pure white or black colors in your materials. You can learn more about in Lasse Rodes article Photographic Approach in Architectural Visualization .

Here is the material setup :

I used Marvelous Designer for the cloth dropped on the chair and Hair and Fur modifier to create this realistic fur.

I wont go any further on theses two processes but heres just a quick tip for the Hair and Fur modifier.

First of all, when you import your mesh from MD, apply a ProOptimiser to decrease the polycount, a value of 40 seemed to be right every time I did it. Collapse it and then apply the Hair and Fur modifier. Brush, place, rotate to get a nice fur shape and then, apply a shell modifier and a turbosmooth on top if you want to be a little crazier!

I used a simple V-Ray Hair Material with a fur texture into the diffuse slot.

Here is the material setup :


For scenes with a lot of objects and large textures maps, I check Object Color into the display panel, This will help your graphic card a lot! Dont forget to lock your camera position too! Just select your camera and the target, go to Hierarchy Tab / Link Info and check all boxes.

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