In this tutorial we would like to present you with a visualisation created for client Jorg inc. For this photorealistic visualization we used our hdri 1750 as a lighting. Over six months ago, Noreststudio received a bid to create a visualisation of an office complex. As the main distinguishing element of this visualization was to be greenery and its combination with the building.

Phase 1

Modeling a Landscape

As with any visualization, we start by choosing the inspiration, atmosphere and lighting for our building. For the lighting of this scene we chose our 1750 spherical panorama. Strong light with a blue sky will highlight the glass and give us very nice reflections. When choosing lighting, we were guided by our inspirations. If the Hdri texture is done correctly it should give a very similar light to that found in the natural environment. The site of the proposed building is a flat plot of land covered with wild grass and a path running alongside the building. The client proposed not to focus on the urban part of the office building, but to show it as blended with nature. A very important thing is to model the terrain carefully, checking that there are no errors in the grid somewhere. Everything will then be verified when we start testing the lighting using the hdri map. On the plot, the architects have proposed a small car park for a few samcohods, we will also make one, it will be visible in the background. When modelling the terrain we are constantly adding more detail, here for example the kerbs from scans.

Remember to optimise each model as much as possible with Pro-Optimizer! It's enough that our hdri already takes up a lot of memory, let's not exhaust our processor with an unnecessary mesh of 3D models. If you have a good displacement, the mesh can be smaller.

Phase 2

Modeling the House

The next stage is to model the building. As always, we start by drawing the bases, but in this project we used Cad bases. We always start with placing the columns, then we model the partition walls and finally the beams. Remember, we don't use chamfer or other modifiers when modelling the interior of a building, they overload the scene and don't affect the end result of the visualisation, here it matters what hdri we use to light the scene. The most visible element that will determine the quality of the rendering is the glass facade of our building, its modelling is a key issue and we need to do it as well as possible. Remember to use the chamfer modifier for the glazing bars between the windows and the silicone between them. If we use a good hdri it will bring out this detail and it will add realism to the whole visualisation.

Phase 3

CG Adding Details

At this stage we have the most important elements of our 3D scene done. The terrain is ready, the building is ready, we can move on to adding details and refining elements of the environment. We prepare ourselves the plants that we will spread with the help of the Forest Pack plug-in. The more types of plants, the better our hdri lighting will bring out the realism in the scene. Just remember not to overdo it and to control the whole composition and colours of greenery. Look to your inspirations and try to replicate the natural environment. We felt it was best to combine greenery with a photograph of the existing site to get the best visual effect and to get as close as possible to photographic quality.

Phase 4


Texturing is a very important part of the visualisation process, although I still believe that it is the skill of placing light that determines whether a visualisation catches the eye or not, a very good Hdri texture is also key to success. We start our scenes by applying terrain and greenery materials, the greenery is usually already applied with its base materials from the manufacturer, although we always advise to adapt them to each scene. Once we have the main elements of the scene textured, we can move on to applying materials to the building, in order for our hdri to bring out the best of the office building we need to take care of a good glass material, just remember not to overdo the IOR level. 2 degrees will be enough, or even 1.9. We can also add some detail in the form of maps - dirt to the reflect glosiness slot, but let's not overdo it to get the effect of a clean building.

A very big mistake that many beginners make is to ''dirty up'' the elements of a scene and, as I call it, to fiddle with the materials. There is some truth in this, but as long as we have high focal length shots at high zoom. If we have a static shot of a whole building visible somewhere in the distance, it is unnecessary. Remember that the investor wants a visualisation that will encourage his customers to buy or rent, so everything has to be neat and tidy. Even the best hdri will not help in this case :)

Phase 5

Lighting and adding background

Time to have some fun with the stage lighting. In my opinion, this is the hardest stage, on which the final effect of our visualisation will depend. For the lighting of this scene, after many tests we chose the hdri from Noreststudioskies- 1750. It has strong shadows, nice light and does not tint the shadows blue. The key element was to light the building in such a way as to best show the trees reflected in the talfi glass, but also not to overexpose it. Our foreground should also have a strong accent in the form of strong shadows and strong. We will use it to make our hdri a less saturated colour if necessary, but remember not to change any other parameters in the colour map, especially exposure! daylight. Don't give up if your lighting doesn't meet your expectations, keep trying until you achieve the desired effect, try playing with shadows and reflections.

Step 7: Post-production
This is already a more pleasant and less demanding stage of visualisation. In this step we will focus on enhancing the contrasts. Replacing the sky texture if necessary and adding grass. Once the final visualisation and masks have been rendered we can proceed to post production. We first select the sky, grass, trees and the building itself. In order to have better control over what is happening, we write them on different layers. We raise the contast and lighten our greens a little, where necessary we take off some of the saturation. The sky is very good quality thanks to our Hdri, there is no need to change it, we only slightly increase the contrast and take off the saturation.

In this project we made the decision to replace the foreground with a photograph. After visiting the project we took a photo corresponding to the angle of our sun with hdri. This way we achieved a photorealistic effect on the visualisation, everything works together and creates a coherent whole.