Firefly Cottage by Ifthikhar An.

July 27, 2014 |  by  |  Case Study

Ifthikhar An. posted recently a set of magical fairy-tale like images and a short video showcasing his dream driven project about fireflies and the process of turning a day view into night using only Photoshop. The result is remarkable, and this is a short case study of it. Enjoy!


Author : Ifthikhar An.

Ifthikhar is an Award Winning Lead 3D Artist / Creative supervisor / Fine Art Photographer from India. He has 5+ years of experience in 3D Architectural Visualization; specialized in V-Ray & 3ds Max. He is a fast learner, and have worked both as a Creative Supervisor and as a Lead 3d Artist simultaneously, with some of the biggest 3d firms in India.

Project forum thread – The FireFly Cottage

Ifthikhar on this project motivation and process :

I started this personal project to study new techniques and to test out different styles of lighting, texturing, landscaping and post-production.


I once had a dream, of millions of fireflies (lightning-bugs), lighting up all around my house, I imagined them as stars falling down and brought to life hovering all around my house. Here I tried to recreate the same dream in 3d and Photoshop.

In order to improve my Photoshop skills in the process of making this project, I decided to render a day scene in 3d and convert it to night using Photoshop alone. The day and night shots you see started from the same base render.

The inspiration for the location and cottage I gathered in my various journeys through the mountain ranges of the Himalayas. The amazing places and pine forests I traveled through, those fairy-tale style houses where I stayed as a guest. Apparently I was falling in love with those mountains, especially the Himalayas.


Then I researched about this style of architecture, learned more about storybook or folkloric style and English Tudor style . After collecting various references from internet, I did some speed modeling as I am not really into modelling.

So I decided this will be my kind of dream house. It will be surrounded by pine trees and the lawn grass manicured and maintained as in parks, so that it will give me a mixed feel of the forest and that of a well maintained landscape. The cottage is made of natural rocks which would be available locally. I decided not to disrupt the terrain much, by keeping it as it is, the cottage will fit the topography.

Credits :

  • I used some stone textures from the Arroway Textures collection and CGTextures, mixing them in Photoshop for the siding of the cottage.
  • Two pine trees from Evermotion.
  • xoio textures for the barks of the pine trees.
  • Laubwerk’s Plumeria Rubra.
  • iCube plants.

Characteristics :

Green Building. Mix of Mountain cottages, storybook style, folkloric, and English Tudor style .Cross-gabled, pitched roof, with clipped gables. Gabled, enclosed entry with roof. Natural rock stone siding. Victorian style Porch Railing – Rectangular Balusters but in wood. Chimney with chimney pots. Small-paned bands of casement windows. Wooden deck / balcony.

Post Production Stages in Still Images

Below are single snaps of the post work process captured from within Photoshop…

The Firefly Cottage Visuals

Below are all the renders I made in this project with some detail shots and crops too…

Ifthikhar AN
Ifthikhar AN

Thanks a lot Ronen , its my honor to get featured here :)

Recent Posts
BEST Visualization of YEAR 2014

BEST Visualization of YEAR 2014

01/21/2015  |  5 Comments

I've rounded up all of the 52 Weekly Best Visualizations, Selected the best in each month to form the 12... more

12 BEST of MONTH Visualizations of 2014

12 BEST of MONTH Visualizations of 2014

01/12/2015  |  10 Comments

Following up on the 52 Weekly Best Visualizations, I'm proud to present today the selected 12 BEST of MONTH visualizations... more

52 Best Visualizations of 2014

52 Best Visualizations of 2014

01/01/2015  |  3 Comments

You have seen these during the year on the weekly newsletters (click to signup), but here they all are -... more

12 Favorite Articles of 2014

12 Favorite Articles of 2014

12/30/2014  |  2 Comments

2014 is behind us now but before we get started with 2015, here are 12 of my favorite articles posted... more

Striving for Real-Time Photorealism in Architectural Visualisation

Striving for Real-Time Photorealism in Architectural Visualisation

12/17/2014  |  25 Comments

Lasse Rode takes Unreal Engine for a good spin as he strives for photorealism using a real-time tool. He does this... more

Forest Pack 4.3 Pro & Lite Released

Forest Pack 4.3 Pro & Lite Released

12/17/2014  |  2 Comments

iToo Software announced today the release of Forest Pack 4.3 Lite and Pro versions. This update adds powerful new features suggested... more