Firefly Cottage by Ifthikhar An.

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…

2 replies
  1. ronenbekerman
    ronenbekerman says:

    Thank you for sharing this work with us 😉 by the way… I got curious over them Fireflies. Can’t remember ever seeing them when I was a kid so I searched some real reference for what you tried to do and stumbled upon this great photos by Japanese photographer Yuki Karo –

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