Dune Apartments by Jakub Gramczynski

September 3, 2011 |  by  |  Forum Spotlight

Here’s a selection of images Jakub Gramczynski showcased on the forums that were made while working at Mellon Architekci architectural office. They both served as a design tool for checking if the project is heading the right way and as a marketing tool too in the promotional project website and print. Jakub also made several video recordings of his process to share with you all.

Here’s what Jakub had to say about this project…

Dune Apartments is the first out three buildings in a complex designed by Mellon Architekci on the Polish Baltic seacoast. I took part in the design process but mostly focused on visualizing different concepts, details, landscaping features and preparing final images for marketing purposes.

110519 Dune stA NB 1 duo thumb Dune Apartments by Jakub Gramczynski

The whole project has been executed in Archicad. The raw file had to be prepared for exporting to 3ds file, deleting hidden parts, checking for overlapping elements, detailing some important design features, etc. After importing to 3dmax the usual stuff had to be made: lighting, texturing, choosing shots, detailing model (landscape shaping, adding vegetation, furniture, and more).

110520 Dune stA NB 1 thumb Dune Apartments by Jakub Gramczynski

Since the time for each shot was pretty slim (everything had been done during normal working days in between other projects) I had to render simpler views and upgrade them in Photoshop. I used custom made material id passes extensively to enhance particular parts of images. That way, when asked, I could also present different shades of materials without having to render everything again.

110331 dune od plazy v2b thumb Dune Apartments by Jakub Gramczynski

All in all, around 40 different images had been prepared for the final concept (each with many variations), from which around 10 for the final final ;). Numerous images had been produced for earlier designs (at least 4 different concepts). Here are some of them below…

dune v3 a thumb Dune Apartments by Jakub Gramczynski

dune older 2 3 thumb Dune Apartments by Jakub Gramczynski

dune older 2 2 thumb Dune Apartments by Jakub Gramczynski

dune older 2 thumb Dune Apartments by Jakub Gramczynski

dune older 4 thumb Dune Apartments by Jakub Gramczynski

Dune Apartments visualizations were being prepared with the aid of many great programs and plugins and since the time span for this project had been so long, they traveled through many different levels of quality.

110422 dune promenada 2 thumb Dune Apartments by Jakub Gramczynski

Some of the programs were: Artlantis 3.5 / 4.5 / R;  3dmax 9 / 2009;  VRay 1.5;  Photoshop CS1-CS4 and  Forest Pack plugin by iToo Software.

dune z tarasu v2 B thumb Dune Apartments by Jakub Gramczynski

For four years a large library of “dune stuff” had grown, with custom furniture and plant models, entourage people and vegetation, background shots, seaside images (lots of those!).

dune wejscie 1a thumb Dune Apartments by Jakub Gramczynski

It took several years and many designs to get where it is. Finally, the project is finished, the building is being built, selling has started and I get to show my part of work to the public.

110701 Dune z promenady NB thumb Dune Apartments by Jakub Gramczynski

I’m grateful to Ronen for allowing me to present this work to you. I welcome any questions and comments.

Kind regards,

Jakub Gramczynski.

110519 dune stA stoliki nb thumb Dune Apartments by Jakub Gramczynski

The project promotional website looks very good with the images taking up the main focus as can be seen in the following link – Luksusowe apartamenty nad morzem – Mielno Dune

As some of you know, those images have been posted on Evermotion forum as well, but as I produced some making of videos based on those images, I decided to share them with you too. And I try to pay off my debts towards this site and people here… never forget how important for my skill development Ronen’s site has been.

Jakub has recorded some videos showcasing entourage composing (adding people in Photoshop) and the Photoshop post process of the seaside sunset image.

Entourage Composing

In the following 2 recordings, Jakub attempts to present to you a method of composing cut out people in architectural visualizations using Adobe Photoshop.

One thing you have to remember, according to Jakub, is that probably the most crucial element of the whole process is selecting the right entourage. Ideally the photo of the person would be lit in a similar way as your render (indoor, outdoor, studio, overcast, hard shadows, dusk, etc.); a person would be standing on a similar ground (pavement, grass, etc.). Taking your own photos is probably the best possible solutions for creating a good cut out people collection that you can use in any scenario… but there are some great commercially available collections like those coming from VizPeople.

If you’d like to see people being pre-composed in some other light scenarios, please let us know by commenting below.

Seaside Sunset Image Postwork

Visit Jakub’s original forum thread – Dune Apartments Stage A


Great render!The modelling is flawless.


Hey kiernan.may,

For daylight I used Standard Direct Light and Vraysky- I tweaked the sky to give me a deep blue colour. I have some bluish colour in white balance slot in Vray Physical Camera and I use Reinhard with 0,3 Burn Value too.

For dusk images I used a technique learned from the great Ronen :):


Kind regards,



A lot of things really stick out with your renders but what really grabbed me is your lighting. I think it is among the best I've seen for arch viz, bright sunny day and hardly any contrast and your whites are white without being overblown.

May I ask if you used HDR or a sun + sky setup and what kind of tone-mapping process was involved (physical cam or just reinhard tonemapper). I find lighting the most difficult part of my job, beautiful work!


looks really great. I tried archicad to 3dsmax and never goti it to work properly. what is your workflow after modeling in archicad?



Sorry for the delay- just posted some Archicad views form the project.

Kind regards,



Thanks again for the oportunity to share this with you. Planning to share some more "dune stuff" very soon...


Can you show us some images from archicad to see the level of detail you made in archicad


Some interesting methods Jakub, very nice read, congratulations


really great work & thanks for sharing the videos

Sigid Prasetyo
Sigid Prasetyo

Just One Word.. "WOW"

How to make it as real rendering..??

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