Making of Nordic House

I found the Nordic House visuals by Héctor Javier Diez Valladares during my routine browse on Behance. My eye landed on it rather quickly and I could understand perfectly why it won first place in the First Latin-American CG Contest it was intended for. With snow being a rare treat for me I’m always drawn to such images, and this one had a great feel to it and so I wanted to know more and this article came to be. Enjoy!

AuthorHéctor Javier Diez Valladares

Héctor Javier Diez Valladares is an architect graduated with a Bachelor in Architecture from Catholic University of Honduras. Studied abroad as an intern at Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. He specialized in 3D visualization and have been working as a freelancer since 2011 with experience in local and international projects.

I’ll start with special thanks to Ronen Bekerman for his interest in my work and the making of “Nordic House”. It is an honor for me to share my work and inspiration with all of you here.



The Nordic House visuals were done for a competition and I want to express my deepest appreciation to the organizers of “Primer Concurso Latinoamericano CG” (First Latin-American CG Contest). Special thanks to Eddy Guzmán for having the initiative and making this contest a reality. It is a real honor for me to have been selected as the first place winner from such a prestigious jury – Julio Lazarte, Juan Carlos Ramos, Thi Lima, Iván Guillén, Javi Martínez and Ricardo Ortiz.

Here are the images I created for this house :





My inspiration for this project came from Nordic architecture. I love cold weather, clean and somber environments. This is an architecture I have worked with for some time and one that I constantly strive to improve on in my renders.



These are the basic settings for my scene. I usually use LWF (Linear Workflow) in my work.


The base model for the house is Eddy Guzman’s and was provided by him for this contest.

My contribution to the base model was in working the small details. I used basic poly modeling techniques – extrude, inset and chamfer. The exterior walls are made out of boxes with a small chamfer on the edges.


Same techniques mentioned above were used in modeling the other details.


To model the windows I used the 3dsmax sweep modifier and as a profile I used the shape you can see in the picture below.


To model the exterior and interior floors I used the Floor Generator script. It is very easy to use and you can download it for free at CG-Source. Best article to read to get you started with it, is right here on this forum, written by Bertrand Benoit following his GH House Challenge entry – Using Floor Generator Script by Bertrand Benoit


The snow and ground I modeled by using a plane to which I applied extrude and deformed it using 3DS Max Paint deformation tool.


For the trees and bushes I used 3d models from R&D Group and Evermotion libraries.




The material for the exterior walls is a VRayBlendMtl made from two wood materials, one dark and another lighter. These were later blended together using a mask.



The interior wooden floor has a VRayMtl with a Multi Texture in the Diffuse slot. Floor Generator script works well with it since it assigns different ID’s to each plank. Below is the interior wooden floor I did following same instructions.


The condensation in the window glass was created with a drop texture in the Bump slot and using the same texture inverted in the Refraction slot. For the interior part of the glass I used the same materials without Bump.


The water material is composed by two VRayMtl and blended with a noise map.


The cushions texture is a VRayMtl with a Falloff in the Diffuse slot.


Using color correction can be of much help to get Reflection and Glossiness maps.


Here is a crop detail of the cushions…


Lighting and Camera

The exterior lightning I created by using a VRay Dome Light with”>Peter Guthrie´s HDRi 1941 as texture and a bit desaturated.


The same Dome Light is used in the interior lightning and I added V-Ray Plane Lights as portals on the windows.


The VRayPhysicalCamera parameters for the exterior are the same that appear as default. I deactivated Vignetting and for White Balance I put in neutral and also corrected verticals.


Interior VRayPhysicalCamera parameters :


Post Production

Starting with a RAW render…


Overlay 40% opacity


Curves & Saturation 1


Curves & Saturation 2


Curves & Saturation 3, Chromatic aberration and Vignetting


I hope you enjoyed it and you might find it helpful in future projects.


Faruk Ahmet
Faruk Ahmet

As a newbie, this just overwhelms me :) Beautiful work, indeed.


Beautiful work, did you use an environment fog or something similar in this scene? as your sky looks quite different from HDRI that you've used?


Very high quality project, from the concept to the details to the composition! Stunning renders. 


Thanks for sharing, a really nice in-depth write-up.