Making of: "Mistery forest"

How often do you manage to create a project in one go within a very short period and at a high level?

The work I want to share with you today fits this description perfectly.

Hello everyone! My name is Makary, and I'm a 3D Artist. I began exploring computer graphics at the age of 13, and now at 21, I am actively continuing to develop in the CG world. Currently, my main job involves visualizing private gardens at the landscape studio Derevo Park.
This project was a collaborative effort at every stage with architect Daria Ragozina (Instagram: Daria Ragozina's Instagram).
So, the project involved a small area in the suburbs of Saint-Petersburg, nestled among pine forests.2.png

Taking into account the knowledge of the prevailing weather in these latitudes, the decision was made to create visualizations in grayscale, depicting a lack of sunlight on a foggy day. However, key landscape elements were illuminated with warm lights, and warm lighting was also accentuated inside the house. This approach helps to create a sense of coziness.



The work followed a standard pipeline:
- Building the entire scene geometry.
- Working with lighting in a gray material.
- Gradually revealing materials and working on each shader.
Typically, the material of any model needs to be adjusted or even created from scratch. This is the easiest way to align with the color palette of the project and to accommodate all shader settings.


However, there are a couple of non-standard techniques that helped create the atmosphere of a mysterious forest and add realism to the visualizations. This includes creating fog and atmospheric perspective.

In addition to the standard method of creating fog using a box and the CoronaVolumetricMtl material, fog was also placed around the scene in the form of meshes with the same material. This is a very useful technique that helps fill the scene with atmosphere.

During post-processing in Photoshop, mistiness was also added using brushes.

Screenshot_6 copy.jpg

Additionally, when creating the project, it was decided to produce one winter visualization as an experiment. It can be said with absolute certainty that this was a very interesting experience - transforming a summer scene with vegetation into a winter version.
I utilized two tools to achieve the desired result. The first is a plugin for 3D Max called SnowFlow, which generates snow geometry on selected objects.


The downside of such a plugin is the heavy geometry it generates. At some point, the scene becomes extremely heavy and starts to crash.

However, the second tool comes to the rescue. It's a procedural snow material that manifests during rendering, thanks to Displace, on horizontal surfaces and, conversely, disappears on vertical surfaces and surfaces facing downwards.


The method of application involves copying the object without displacement, which should be covered in snow, and then applying the snow material to this copy.


At the conclusion of the project, a 3D panorama was created. A spherical camera was positioned at the desired point in the scene, high-quality HDRI sky was used, and the scene was refined relative to the viewing point. The result was an incredible opportunity for interaction with the area from all 360 degrees.


Panorama 360

In conclusion, I would like to say that achieving such a pleasing result was not due to any particular scene settings or a special HDRI map, but rather due to a consistently structured process, constant reliance on selected references, and, of course, collaborative work with the project's architect. This included discussing frame compositions, placing plants, and architectural forms.
In my view, when visualizing an architectural project, it is crucial to stay in touch with its creator to have a full understanding of the concept and to achieve the most cohesive result, reflecting the architect's work in the field of 3D graphics. It's not always easy to achieve such teamwork and quality results, but when it happens, it's extremely valuable.

Full version of the project can be found at the link:

I hope the post was interesting to you, be sure to write your questions and thoughts in the comments. I wish you creative success and professional victories in your projects!

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What a captivating title! I'm intrigued to learn more about the "Mystery Forest." The process behind its creation must be fascinating. I am looking forward to diving into your blog post! Beautiful home pictures you have shared.