Arch Vis Workflow

The following article is a “guest post” written by Jamie Cardoso, a very talented 3d artist and blogger. In this particular article he talks about all the steps he takes when doing a project, starting from gathering materials to post production.


Hi All,

This is a project that I have finished recently for TP Bennett Architects.

The main brief was to try making the 3D renders look realistic and appealing.

The client had a vague idea of what they really wanted. However, they had already decided on the materials and finishes for their interior.

Pre-Production phase:

My first task was to quickly source for real photo references of similar spaces/designs that the client had produced in the past; in addition to new photos sourced from Flickr, etc.

In finishing that, I had put together a mood board to show them my vision of the art direction.

This first submission subsequently led to few more hours of discussion with the client about their ideas, art direction, etc.

At the end we both came to a final decision about the final art direction (i.e. final collage of the art work).


Having signed off the crucial Pre-Production process, I have begun creating, I have begun creating shaders and applying the textures, based on the photo references originally supplied by the client and sourced by me.

The next phase was to begin adding the artificial lights. Each light created was test rendered against a white non-reflective override material. This technique was to prevent the scene from quickly becoming "scorched" with too many lights.

I had also ensured that there was more info

a clear definition between bright & dark areas in the scene, in order to create DEPTH.

Once satisfied, I had disabled the override material to see the results.

Once the override material was disabled, the test renders begun taking slightly longer to render. However, there were fewer test renders to be carried out at that point.

I did the final tweaks and sent some big size region renders before sending the final big renders. This technique is to closely monitor any possible artifacts, prior to submitting the final renders.  

I had also saved few render elements for the post production: Object ID; Depth of field (DOF), etc.

Post Production:

I have adjusted the colors and the contrast of the renders using the "Curves" layer adjustment to closely match the Renders with the photo reference originally supplied.

Effects such as grain, vignetting, etc. were also used.

While I could easily apply these effects directly from Max, it is more advisable to do it in post, because certain effects are under more scrutiny by the client. And it becomes more efficient to add or omit such effects in post…as opposed to re-rendering the scene.

The above described workflow allowed me to finish the project in time and within the budget…with little or no stress. 

I hope you like the final result!

It was produced with Max and VRay. However, I also have the same version in mental ray.

This workflow allowed me to use a variety of different rendering engines and platforms without compromising the quality of the final results.

For more in-depth detail about this workflow, please visit:





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