Making of House Roces

November 6, 2012 |  by  |  Making-Of, Native, Tutorials

I’ve seen a lot of great 3d visuals being made with Cinema4D + VRayForC4D lately and this set by Mouton Burger is not an exception to that. Picking a great house design such as the Roces House by Govaert & Vanhoutte architectuurburo and doing that using ArchiCAD, Cinema4D and VRayForC4D – all of which I never used… Made it a prime subject for a blog article which Mouton was happy to take on and share a bit of his workflow with us all. Enjoy!

260617 1135014695 1580151152 s Making of House Roces

Author : Mouton Burger

Mouton Burger is a freelance 3D artist living on a farm at the foothills of the picturesque Kammanassie Mountains in the Western Cape, South Africa. Self taught and started with 3D rendering at the age of 16. He’s been doing visualization work for MCP Architecture for the last 5 years and have a solid background knowledge of architecture too.


Hey all, I’d like to start and thank Ronen for having me here, sharing my knowledge of VRayForC4D in creating House Roces.

  • ArchiCAD 14
  • Cinema4D
  • VrayForC4D 1.2.6
  • OnyxTree
  • Photoshop
  • Lightroom

The Roces House

Let’s start with seeing the final renders I made in this project before we get started…

House Roces fog cam 1 b thumb Making of House Roces

House Roces fog cam 2 b thumb Making of House Roces

House Roces fog Cam 3 b thumb Making of House Roces

You can see more of this house on Archdaily – House Roces / Govaert & Vanhoutte architectuurburo but here are some photos I used as reference here too…

1336098598 03 roces thumb Making of House Roces

1336098131 mainimage 02 roces thumb Making of House Roces

1336098910 05 roces thumb Making of House Roces

1336100002 site plan thumb Making of House Roces

1336099269 basement floor plan thumb Making of House Roces

1336100054 section thumb Making of House Roces


Getting good references and study your subject is vital in getting the results you look for your renders. I found a couple of photos of the actual built house as well as sections, elevations and floor plans on Archdaily as shown above.

I used ArchiCAD 14 to create the base mesh that was further detailed later in Cinema4D where I softened the model by beveling sharp edges, etc.

Why ArchiCAD you ask?

It is very user-friendly and has ready-made elements such as walls, windows, doors. etc. which are editable using pre-defined parameters instead of modeling them from scratch. The wall tool for example is very fast to use and allows full control over the geometry.

making of house Archicad Wall Tool thumb Making of House Roces

The window tool allowed me to create custom widths and heights and I took care of all the extra details needed later… inside Cinema4D.

making of house Archicad Window Tool thumb Making of House Roces

Below is the model inside ArchiCAD viewport…

making of house Archicad model thumb Making of House Roces

And after export, inside Cinema4D…

making of house c4d model thumb Making of House Roces

First thing I did before starting further work was to turn off C4D LWF and set the input color profile to sRGB.


The conifer trees were modeled using Onyx TREE CONIFER 7. Pretty straight forward basic Onyx workflow. I won’t go into the specifics of it at this stage.

I obtained the yellow dandelions from the high quality grass selection by 3dmentor’s HQ Plants and Grass, and all the vegetation was scattered using a plugin called SurfaceSpread – made by C4D-Jack, I couldn’t do this scene without it. It helped with the natural scattering of vegetation around the scene.

First step was to create a SurfaceSpread tag via the plugins tab in C4D. Then, make a child for the grass scatter in it. Then, starting to assign it to a plane / surface object. Once done, I made sure the editor weight was set to 10% in the general tab.

making of house Surfacespread General tab thumb Making of House Roces

After this I went to the effects tab, where I set a random scale and rotate for the scattered elements.

making of house Surfacespread Effects tab thumb Making of House Roces

That’s it for SurfaceSpread… very simple!

The rest of the shrubs were created by the user-friendly Onyx Grass application.

Below you can see and overview of the model with all the scattered elements displayed as boxes for saving on-screen update resources.

making of house model on terrain proxys thumb Making of House Roces

Texture & Materials

I got most of my textures from the great Arroway Textures collection.

Concrete Material

They have great concrete textures. You can see a setup for it below…

The Diffuse

making of house concrete materil Difusse layer 1 thumb Making of House Roces

The Bump

making of house concrete materil bump thumb Making of House Roces

The Specular

making of house concrete materil Spec layer 1 thumb Making of House Roces

Steel Material

The steel material was very simple…nothing special about it. See below the material set up for it.

The Diffuse

making of house steel materil diffiuse layer thumb Making of House Roces

The Specular

making of house steel materil Spec layer 1  thumb Making of House Roces

Glass Material

I just used IOR values in the Specular Channel.

The Specular

making of house glass materil Spec layer 1 thumb Making of House Roces

The Refraction

making of house glass materil Refraction layer thumb Making of House Roces

Grass Material

I used a texture I found online for the grass blades. After Creating the material I inserted it into a 2 Sided material. And that goes for the rest of the vegetation materials.

The Diffuse

making of house grass materil Difusse layer 1 thumb Making of House Roces

The Specular

making of house grass materil Spec layer 1 thumb Making of House Roces

The Refraction

making of house grass materil Refraction layer thumb Making of House Roces

The Bump

making of house grass materil bump thumb Making of House Roces

Lighting & Camera

You can see an overview of the lights in the scene below…

making og house Light OBJ thumb Making of House Roces

I find lighting setup to be most important to the scene. I mostly use HDRI for general lighting because it gives me sharper shadows and a much nicer atmosphere.

Camera settings

making of house camera settings thumb Making of House Roces

A lot of people asked me about my lighting so I made a short making of it for Peter Guthrie’s blog, but I’ll go over it here too…

I used Peter’s HDRI 1941 dusk blue for this scene.

First step in creating the light is to make a VRayDome Light. The steps I used are :

  1. Create cinema 4d Area light.
    2.  Add VRayLight tag to it.
  2. Set the intensity to 1.6.

making of house intensty setup thumb Making of House Roces

  1. Go to Area Light tab and set the Area type to Dome.

making of house are type setup thumb Making of House Roces

  1. Add your HDRI in the texture slot and set the color profile to sRGB.

making of house HDRI Color Profile setup thumb Making of House Roces

  1. Insert the HDRI in a Filter shader and set the gamma to 0.75 or 0.8 (This is for getting sharp shadows. See Bertrand Benoit’s explanation for that).

making of house filter shader setup thumb Making of House Roces

For all the interior lighting I used IES files as it gives me the quality of light distribution I look for.

making of house IES setup thumb Making of House Roces


Nothing special about the rendering settings for this scene. I used Brute Force (BF) and Light Cache (LC) for Global Illumination (GI) calculation. I rendered the images at 3200 pixels wide. I don´t have a big machine, so optimization is what I do most. rendering times went around 4 to 5 hours.

Here are my render settings…

making of house render settings thumb Making of House Roces

Post Production

For postwork I used Adobe Lightroom. First some basic color correction and gradient filter to bring out the blue sky some more. I also took down the gamma and gave it more contrast.

making of house PS Brightness Contrast thumb Making of House Roces

making of house PS Hue Saturation thumb Making of House Roces

I added a mist layer and used screen mode to overlay it, setting opacity to 25%.

making of house PS Mist Layer thumb Making of House Roces

After that I added some Chromatic Abbreviation in Lens Corrections.

making of house Lens Correction thumb Making of House Roces

And that is it for post production! Nothing special really, considering the depth others went into in past making-of articles.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and find something new or interesting to add to your workflow… Feel free to ask away using the comment section below about anything you like or something I might have missed.




Hi Mouton. Greetings for such a work! 

I wanted to ask you why you putted a refraction channel in grass material. It has no transparency, so why? :)


Hi mouton;

 love the renders you are doing really... awesome!!!

I am a maya user that uses Vray.. but i think that is pretty much the same..

How can i get to obtain that kind of reflections in the windows?? is that postproduction?? or is it in render time??

where do i need to put the hdri texture in the dome light or in the environment slot???


awesome work


Awesome.. I'm a newbie in C4D & VRay.. but I'm archicad user for long time. 

Looking at your explanation about your work, I wonder how much time I'll have to learn those all by my own...

Good work..


Wow...Absolutely BEAUTIFUL results!  I'm not a C4D user and saw something I'm hoping you can clarify:  What does the "Material Weight" option do?  


how can I control the brightness of the hdri, not the illumination part just the visible background.. it's a little too dark and I want to make it brighter but keeping the same illumination on my scene... Thank you for your time and your work inspires me!!


do you use a back plate for you background? or is it from the dome hdri?


Absolutely fantastic! Last 2 renderings are my favorite ones

thank you very much!


I've been asked how long did it take me in total to produce this image set .

well i took me a total of 4 days 



It is possible to share your dmc sample? setting... thank you so much


Gratz Mouton! You rock mate! Stunning images, I love the colors and the lighting. I remember some interior test you did and they were good too.Rob.


Great images Mouton. It's nice to see more fellow Archicad users in the community. I personally recommend Archicad for architectural modelling- lot's of parametric objects like windows, doors, beams, etc. really fast and pretty good as a base model for further tweaking in 3d max, Cinema... Of course models from Archicad tend to have some bugs (like hidden or doubled surfaces) but it saves a lot of time for me, everyday.

ps. I don't know how you get anything done living in a place like that :)


I have always heard ArchiCad is Good but Revit is more user Freindly . I personally use Revit and export to FBx and then do the tweakings and adding in Max . 


Rivit For me is not that User Friendly , Archicad  For is very user friendly . Thats Why i use it 


Good to see BIM being used. I use Revit, which is perfect for exporting to 3ds max, seamless workflow and you can revise the model without breaking the set up in 3ds max.


Hi man 

Thanks For nice word Well the windows are pretty easy its double glazing ,modelled woth two panels like in reality 

and the window material is just the reflection layer to ior value of 1.512 and refraction layers enable volume fog in it and set it to blue/ green color and set the ior value also to 1.512 

the Hdri was put in to the dome light 


Mouton (MOT Renders )




Thanks man I agree About Archicad Upgrading to 16 soon so lots of new tools :) 

and its really hard to do work leaving in this environmenta :)

ronenbekerman moderator

@RossMillaney I get mixed responses about BIM modeling when used for viz. From my experience with Revit for example I got way too much polys than I should when exported to max or sketchup. 


@Mouton @Marvey  ok thank you! really nice work on this scene! thanks for the tutorial


@ronenbekerman @RossMillaney Absolutely true, im an archicad user and i love it but as you say exporting the model into another app becomes a tedious work, objects get split into different meshes and faces get triangulated making it imposible to use good displacement into them and it gets even harder if you try to uv unwrap them. With revit and filelink manager in max workflow is nice but if you try to give more detail to your model (for instance bevel a corner) that workflow is ruined.



Only one Hdri is used , it is mentioned in the making of  



Thanks Marvey , I tried to do my best on this 


@chmuramaciej @ronenbekerman @Mouton @lynchon @RossMillaney Sure, archicad rules when we talk about speed modeling and precision, but is useless if you are concerned with topology or detail modeling. Im always speaking from a modeling point of view, of course archicad is still the king of BIM apps


@ronenbekerman @Mouton @lynchon @RossMillaney I have 7 years experience in working with ArchiCAD, and can not imagine something different for modeling. Sure, 3ds max and other software can do the same, but Archicad speed up work a lot! Especially for modeling architecture. Few times I tried to do something in Sketchup but never liked it, looked like working around instead of doing it the way it should be.

ronenbekerman moderator

@Mouton @lynchon @ronenbekerman @RossMillaney I must say... in the end - Using SketchUP as the main modeling app WINS for me BIG TIME. Every time I try with something else it gets complicated so early on with such simple things I just give up ;)


@lynchon @ronenbekerman @RossMillaney 

For my when i Export from Archicad to C4d i use great plugin but stil need to do some work in C4d like chamfer corners etc . . .  but thats not time consuming for me in fact thets what gives the model realism :) Archicad for me is just to make the base mesh for scale etc ... later on if i need i can remove windows and replace the with nice HQ windows

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