Making of Church of the Light

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March 22, 2012 |  by  |  Making-Of, Native, Tutorials
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Elvin Aliyev’s 3d recreation of Tadao Ando’s Church of the Light and adjoined Sunday School extension is one of the best made and look better than any photo I’ve seen of these projects. His render set showcases the design in a remarkable way with his attention to the materials, camera placement and light which shows great respect to the work of the master that Ando is. Now we can have a glimpse into Elvin’s work process.

elvin avatar Making of Church of the Light

Author: Elvin Aliyev

Introduction

I started the 3d recreation of Tadao Ando’s Church of the light for self-education purposes only. After some time working on it, I took a long break and returned later as part of trying myself at an Evermotion competition.

The experience that I had during my work on the “Church” cannot be compared to anything I’ve ever done before in the realm of 3d architectural visualization. This only made me more eager to share this experience with you all… hoping it will be useful for you too.

See the real Church of the Light photos at archdaily – AD Classics : Church of the Light / Tadao Ando

And here are some of the finished renders I made…

church of the light interior1 728x860 Making of Church of the Light

church of the light interior2 728x860 Making of Church of the Light

You can also see more in the Church of Light spotlight

Modeling

The modeling process of the “Church” was pretty easy. I’ve found a pre-made SketchUP model over at the 3d Warehouse and did the rest very quickly.

church of the light 3d warehouse 528x314 Making of Church of the Light

When it comes to the details, like organ or a floor lamp, I had to do them based on reference images and this part of the modeling took some time. There is an overload of photos for this project online and so finding the right ones was just a matter of putting in the time, prowling it all.

Here are some reference boards I made…

church of the light 3d warehouse 728x434 Making of Church of the Lightmaking of the CL and SS Introduction 1 728x141 Making of Church of the Light

making of the CL and SS Introduction 3 728x402 Making of Church of the Light

making of the CL and SS Introduction 4 728x258 Making of Church of the Light

Helping me with the initial SketchUP model cleanup was a very basic plan, and it did not take too long to have a general model ready for texturing and further development.

making of the CL and SS models 1 Making of Church of the Light

And the basic model within 3dsmax ready to go for more advanced work…

making of the CL and SS models 17 728x565 Making of Church of the Light

Here are screenshots of more specific elements that were modeled for this project…

making of the CL and SS models 000 728x500 Making of Church of the Light

Here a more specific one showing some hint of cables going down from the microphone stand… it is not 100% perfect, but it doesn’t have to be – just what shows in camera is ok.

making of the CL and SS models 12 728x434 Making of Church of the Light

There really isn’t that much to the macro modeling of a Tadao Ando project… it is all in the play of light on the materials – in 3D, much the same as in real life too!

Here are some overall views of the model…

making of the CL and SS models 18 728x439 Making of Church of the Light

making of the CL and SS models 19 728x439 Making of Church of the Light

Textures & Materials

This part of the work was the most complicated one for me during the making of this project… being able to make qualitative materials and textures. 10GB less on my HDD and hundreds of cigarettes later I accomplished that… I hope.

Here a final image showing an area with both woods and concrete…

church of the light school5 728x424 Making of Church of the Light

I used Arroway Textures for the concrete and wood which I mixed up with various other textures from cgtextures.com for the dirt and blur effects. The concrete texture resolution was a large 12000pх X 5000px and I had 4 of them (2 for the Church and 2 for the Sunday School).

The wood textures resolution was 10000pх X 3300px each. I used these big sized textures only in the diffuse channel though… I reduced the other maps to be 2500px wide (bump, reflection, etc.).

Why? Because it saves resources and helped with a little side effect I needed of blurring the reflection map a bit. When you make the reflection map smaller 3dsmax diffuses it a little, so you get the needed effect.

It also should be noted that I practically don’t have objects without textures. I don’t like doing an unwrap and drawing a texture on it in PS. That’s why I’ve been using the VRayDirt everywhere it was possible to overlay dirt layers on top of the clean texture version.

If the object was bright, I’ve inverted the normal and made the dark corners, and if the object was dark – vise versa. Bright and dark materials have one main difference – to get the realistic look of a light material is much more difficult. So, I’ve used 3 wood materials for the church and 8-9 different wood materials for the school. Textures can be the same but you have to give them different reflections, colors and glares. In some cases you have to mix them to get the right effect given the light that falls on the surfaces.

The Concrete

The concrete materials are a blend of clean texture maps from Arroway Textures and various stain, dirt, etc. maps gathered from cgtextures.com. You can hardly ever use a clean ready-made concrete texture and pass it as a believable one… real life is much more complicated than that. Concrete tends to show the marks of time on it more than other types of materials and this aspect must be addressed to get as photoreal as possible.

Here’s a detail shot focusing on a concrete intensive corner in the project…

church of the light outside2 728x970 Making of Church of the Light

Here is a collection of the maps that I used during my work on this project…

making of the CL and SS Textures and materials Allconcrete 728x337 Making of Church of the Light

Arrow Textures offered a great base to start from with hi-fidelity detail that will show great up-close. Using VRayDirt allowed me to overlay various other maps to mimic the natural patina that any concrete surface gets after some time.

It is important that for the base you get high-resolution & high quality textures, but for all the rest you can work with pretty much anything, resizing, cloning and hand paint it in.

Here is the concrete material node tree view…

making of the CL and SS Textures and materials1 728x595 Making of Church of the Light

Here are some of the nodes in greater detail…

concrete settings 728x407 Making of Church of the Light

I layered the textures in Photoshop so that I can mix them up… although, as mentioned, this was a very small impact process. Most of the layring was done inside 3dsmax using VRayDirt maps.

making of the CL and SS Textures and materials PhotoshopLayers 2 Making of Church of the Light

Here the mix of the original clean concrete texture and some dirt to form a more real looking diffuse map to be used as one of the various concrete version made for this project.

making of the CL and SS Textures and materials 3 mix 666x1000 Making of Church of the Light

The Dark Wood

Unlike the concrete textures, I had to work more manually here. I did not look for too much dirt & scratches maps for this one… I did them myself in Photoshop using the small brush for scratches and spots and the large brush for the larger bump detailing. As I’ve said before, I’ve used 8-9 materials for the textures of the church & Sunday school.

Here’s a close-up shot on the dark wood benches and flooring…

church of the light interior4 728x389 Making of Church of the Light

Here is the dark wood material node tree view…

wood dark 728x595 Making of Church of the Light

Here are some of the nodes in greater detail…

dark wood settings 728x407 Making of Church of the Light

A screenshot from the viewport…

screenshot 728x439 Making of Church of the Light

The dark wood for the bench was based on a very bright wood texture map that with some paint work turned into what was needed…

dark wood mix 728x455 Making of Church of the Light

The Wood Floor

Here are the settings, textures and node view for the dark wood floor material…

making of the CL and SS wood FLoor material 728x595 Making of Church of the Light

making of the CL and SS wood floor material setting Making of Church of the Light

And the texture maps used…

wood floor map 003 728x157 Making of Church of the Light

wood floor map 002 728x157 Making of Church of the Light

wood floor map 001 728x406 Making of Church of the Light

Ground Material

Here’s a really brief overview of the ground material node tree and maps… first the master node tree, with several sub materials.

ground mats Making of Church of the Light

Focus on one of the sub materials…

ground mat1 728x623 Making of Church of the Light

Diffuse map…

diffuse 728x728 Making of Church of the Light

Specular map…

specular 728x726 Making of Church of the Light

Displacement map…

displace 728x724 Making of Church of the Light

Paper & Books

You won’t find anything white and 100% clean in this world. VRay actually helps in that regard by producing noise and maybe not so clean GI solution when using lower render settings (pretty cool as it saves time and promotes the photoreal look). Even so, I mixed it up a bit anyway.

The most difficult thing was to find the books (especially religious ones) in Japanese. I ended up translating some pages to Japanese as I didn’t want to make too much of a focus on books anyway.

church of the light book 000 728x595 Making of Church of the Light

2011 08 24 1439 001 Making of Church of the Light

church of the light book 001 728x141 Making of Church of the Light

church of the light book 004 728x509 Making of Church of the Light

Lighting

Lighting such a dark interior is not so hard as you might think… You just put skylight portals with the “simple” option enabled, thus ignoring all outside elements that might affect the lighting going inside (this cuts calculation times) taking only the sky map lighting into account.

If you don’t have anything outside the window, you can disable this feature.

Using a VRayDomeLight with an HDRI assigned to it, doesn’t make too much sense for the interior, but for the illumination of the exterior I’ve used it with one of Peter Guthrie’s HDRI maps which I find are very good.

In general, the illumination is a very delicate matter, you can’t use the same methods and you should be careful with textures – don’t lighten or darken them too much, even if the floor is rather dark. make room for some adjustments in the postwork stage… better that than re-rendering.

Here are the lights used in the scene…

making of the CL and SS Light 1 728x439 Making of Church of the Light

And the lighting settings…

lighting settings 728x500 Making of Church of the Light

Rendering

The render settings here are very simple. Just take a look at the settings in the screenshots below…

render settings 728x383 Making of Church of the Light

Postwork

I saved of the renders into *.exr so that I can open them in Adobe After Effects and use PHOTOLOOKS, MSFIRE and COLORISTA plugins (by REDGIANT). I actually didn’t use Photoshop for this because it has several restrictions when working with 32-bit photos.

Here are some raw renders for show…

making of the CL and SS Postproduction 3 728x946 Making of Church of the Light

making of the CL and SS Postproduction 2 728x860 Making of Church of the Light

I used FRISHLUFT for the depth of field effects, as I find no sense in wasting time and render this effect with the built-in DOF in the VRayCamera… however good it is.. I also used MSFIRE for the vignette effect, as it’s flexible and reconstitute the needed effect more accurate. And, of course, PHOTOLOOKS fasters processing, simple and flexible post possibilities and the steady habit it introduces to any kind of effects. The process takes less than a few minutes, if you’ve done everything right.

Here are the settings screens if After Effects (not much explanation here, i know… but feel free to ask whatever you like about it).

making of the CL and SS Postproduction 1 728x123 Making of Church of the Light

making of the CL and SS Postproduction 4 Making of Church of the Light

making of the CL and SS Postproduction 5 Making of Church of the Light

making of the CL and SS Postproduction 6 728x520 Making of Church of the Light

Conclusion

That’s all! I had great fun describing my process here. I hope you found this information helpful… Feel free to ask anything by commenting below!

My best regards and gratitude goes to Mr. Ronen Bekerman for his excellent blog.

Elvin.

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28 comments
jjduncs
jjduncs

Just wondering what map you had linked to the radius of the vray dirt for the concrete material?

bluesteel
bluesteel

Bloody hell - there's only one nag to this and its that you must've taken the pictures in the church - not drawn them ! :)

danielchavez971
danielchavez971

Nice work and very informative, I have some questions, why the two Crush tools in Looks?, one yellowish and the other bluish. Is there a difference adding two differents colors instead of one? Thanks.

john borsberry
john borsberry

on the lighting settings img there is an editable poly with a vraylight modifier? impossibral!

nicoribas
nicoribas

Man this is absolutly amazing!! I don´t use 3dmax, but i really enjoy to try to understand your process. thank you very much, keep posting!!

pep
pep

Thanks for this useful making of, really nice work.

 

Just one question, for the interiors, since you didn't use VrayDome, what did you use? (I see a ColorCorrect map on the Environment slot...maybe for controlling some sky jpg?)

 

Best regards,

Frika
Frika

Thanks for making this Tutorial. What kind of "Color mapping" did you use?

Best regards

yellowpinkfox
yellowpinkfox

Really nice work!

 

Maybe a little bit too dirty, in my eyes.. :)

 

In image 25 you plug VrayEdge to a VrayComp.

Probably to soften the edges mixed with a bump of the dirt material.

 

What blending mode did you use- and could you give a bit of additional detail?

 

 

 

 

 

 

kukas
kukas

awesome work Elvin....

congrats and thx so much for this making of

and a big thx to Ronen for this great blog entry...

it will be very useful. 

 

Frika
Frika

Looks very good...

What kind of color mapping did you use?

Thank you for this tutorial.

ElvinAliyev
ElvinAliyev

It was a surprise for me to see this post today - thank you Ronen for posting it. This project is not less than a year already and now Id have 'done lots of thing differently. For example, instead of the Multi/Sub-Object I'd have used the Vraymultisubtex, as it tunes easier and needs less memory. etc.Thanks again and happy Novruz to everyone!

 

sassbh
sassbh

Fabulous post, yet another winner on the Bekerman blog!

 

I've read and re-read, and I'm afraid I'm still coming up short. Can someone explain why the diffuse of so many materials described above is made up of a comptex that blends two identical vray dirt maps (one inverted, the other normal)? I gather that it was something about the material being either light or dark, and about how the vray dirt is working on the corners, but I'm afraid I just don't fully follow. Thanks to anyone that can clear it up for me!!

bbb3viz
bbb3viz

Fantastic piece and very instructive tutorial. Thanks a lot for that!

DeanMoran
DeanMoran

Great images and making of.

 

Can someone explain to me the use of a fall off map before the bitmap in the reflections? Is it to create less reflection close up and more reflection in the distance, or is it for something else?

Halori
Halori

tnx for the tutorial, esp. the post work in AE :)

more of these would be great :)

ThomasGruender
ThomasGruender

again...thank you ron for offering so amazing tuts

ElvinAliyev
ElvinAliyev

 @pep I''ve used vrasky and the colorcorrection which has increased blue

ElvinAliyev
ElvinAliyev

 @ThereWillBeJustice look better, it's the same project ! )). No jokes, some of the technique is borrowed still, for example, the concrete and the postworks. Alex Roman is genious, you have to learn from him, but I still think that some new info always helps.

ElvinAliyev
ElvinAliyev

 @sassbh I have used two Vraydirt maps  - one for the dirt in the corners and the other for the dirt on the corners

ronenbekerman
ronenbekerman moderator

 @DeanMoran In these cases it is to control the amount of reflection for viewing angle of the surface... what will it be if looking straight at it (perpendicular) or from the side in various angles all the way to grazing angle (parallel, like standing next to the wall shoulder touching it and looking along that wall).

 

You can also control this effect by choosing to work with the Fresnel option in the VRay Advanced Material settings... the fall-off map is kind of a "hack" of the real physical thing... but it is really down to whatever work for you. Fall-map can be very flexible to tweak. 

StephenInglis
StephenInglis

@ronenbekerman @DeanMoran If reflection glossiness is the glossiness of the overall reflection, and the overall reflection IOR is being controlled by the fresnel setting, wouldn't the reflection glossiness automatically have the same IOR as the overall reflection?  Was there a glitch in earlier versions of VRay which required a falloff map to be used to make glossiness physically correct?

DeanMoran
DeanMoran

 @ronenbekerman Tnx Ronen. Been doing some test with a simple chrome dome and the effect is really nice, adds nice depth to the material. Guess I'll be editing quite a few library materials tommorow... ;)

DeanMoran
DeanMoran

 @ElvinAliyev Tnx for the information Elvin. I'm wondering how it all relates to Mental Ray, which is what I work with. In Ludvik's making of (http://www.ronenbekerman.com/making-of-esherick-house-part-2/) he doesn't use fall off maps. Maybe the IOR setting in MR does more than Vray? Or he doesn't think it is needed. Been testing it out and I've been getting some nice results, although tbh they seem less about the actual reflections and more the added effect it has given. For example adding a fall off map with a scratch texture in the A&D Chrome material gives a nice smoky mirror look, but adding it to a wood mat. doesn't seem to do much. I'll keep testing ;)

 

Cheers.

ElvinAliyev
ElvinAliyev

 @DeanMoran If you look with more attention you will see that I use Fall off map for reflection glossiness only. Fresnel reflection is responsible for only reflection intensity of the not glossiness reflection ! I use fall off map to regulate the reflections glossiness. In this case, the further we look, the sharper the reflections are. It's strange that Vray doesn't have an option like Fresnel reflection for the Reflection Glossiness.

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