Last month I attended a Cycles workshop during the BlenderPRO in Palmas (Brazil). I went for the BlenderPRO initially to give a speech on Game Development with Blender, and a Python workshop for Blender addon development. Luckily for me, the conference was beyond my own expectations and I had a great time also attending some of the other talks and workshops. A workshop that I enjoyed particularly well was “Cycles for Architecture Rendering” by Bruno Nitzke.
The workshop started with a pre-modelled scene, with a camera already staged (assets from SketchUp 3D Warehouse and Blend Swap). From there we started talking about lighting and different lens/camera settings. For interior scenes, Bruno starts with an HDR map for indirect ambient lighting. We then setup the HDR, a Sun light, a Point light for the side-lamp and lighting was pretty much done.
From there we covered architecture material settings in Cycles, with a lot of Mix Shader nodes, good UV-Mapped textures, and some procedural textures to add extra perceived randomness (e.g., in the Barcelona chair). It was a 4-hour long workshop so he couldn’t cover everything he wanted. To compensate that, I used the Color Management feature in Blender to bring my image somewhere closer to the final look I envisioned with Film Kodak Ektachrome 320T, exposure 0.755, Gamma: 1.55. By the end of it, my raw image was like this:
After the workshop, Bruno asked my rendered image so he could show me the post-processing his clients are used to (and pleased by). You can check the node setup, it’s nothing very fancy, but enough to give the image that extra punch. The final image you can check in the post banner
As someone who has touched Cycles code here and there, it’s nice to be able to use the tool and reconnect myself with my architect side. For new-readers of this blog you can check in the very end of my portfolio my 2007 renders with Blender, SketchUp, VRay, …
A big thank you for Bruno for being so clear in his instructions and the commitment with the class. And for the organizers of the BlenderPRO for putting together such a memorable event.
Have a great day!