David Santos is no stranger to the blog, with a very popular article already posted before – The Making of Lake Lugano House. Today he is sharing the process behind making the Sarmiento Museum project in his studio. To recreate this National Historic Monument in the northern suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina, David and his team used SketchUp, V-Ray for SketchUp and the new Skatter Plugin for SketchUp for scattering all the vegetation in the scene. Follow David in this article as he takes us from start to finish on this one. Enjoy!
We start with the end in mind. Above you can see a closeup shot, and here are more images from this project set.
First of all, I would like to thank Ronen for the opportunity to participate in his blog once more. I´ve been a huge admirer for some time now and I´ve gained a lot of knowledge about modeling processing, and most importantly techniques. Also, I want to admire the big effort that Thomas and Ronen have done with such an amazing software that Skatter is. Without them, this project could not be possible.
With great pleasure, I would like to present our project.
After the Lake Lugano House Project, I always wanted to do another project that would take advantage of all the new tools that SketchUp and V-Ray for SketchUp are offering.
In my recent travels to Argentina, I discovered an amazing place that contained a “Caged House”. I was so intrigued to find such an interesting structure right beside a river, it immediately called my attention.
The Sarmiento House Museum is a historic house preserved in a Crystal Cage. It´s the creation of architecture to preserve architecture. Once I got back home, I immediately started the project with my team. The project demanded a lot of vegetation which worked perfectly with SketchUp´s new Skatter plug-in.
About the Project
Sarmiento House is a National Historic Monument in the northern suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was built as a residence in 1855 by the 7th President of Argentina. In 1966 it was declared a National Historic Monument and it´s presently a museum.
It´s always important to gather good references to be able to start a project. The photos that I was able to take from the site was a great start. Some important information to take into consideration :
- Type and density of vegetation.
- Shadows and lighting conditions.
- Glass materials and the color of the water on site.
- References (Collage).
SketchUp and 3D Modelling
The next step to develop a SketchUp model was to locate the site on Google Earth to confirm dimensions and view the project´s context. Up next we´ll display a breakdown of the final SketchUp model.
The Exterior Lights
The Internal Bridge
The Glass Enclosure
It is very important to give special attention to the details of the model to make it realistic.
Skatter – The Smart SketchUp Plugin for Scattering
The most challenging step in this project was the incorporation of the vegetation since it was such an important part of the site recreation process.
In reference to the type of vegetation that we found at the site, here are the proxies used in the project.
Once we decided on the proxies, we started to find various ways to distribute it and get a dense vegetation.
We divided the process into three steps :
Here´s a top-view of the tree types of vegetation as placed in the scene.
The tool we used the most to distribute the vegetation was the Skatter plug-in as we mentioned before. Here are some settings used for our process.
Proxy materials are different depending of the type and general layout.
After we´ve finished modeling the next step is applying materials.
The Crystal Cage materials are basically standard materials with a reflection layer.
The Wood is a mix between BRDF and standard material depending on the detail it requires.
The Stonework is composed of a BRDF with various levels of detail.
Other materials used are 2 sided materials for exterior lamps, roof tiles, and water.
The lighting process also has three important steps :
Exterior lighting is basically small globe lamps, with a two-sided material and a sphere light on the inside of them. Two of them are placed in the entrance and the rest are randomly placed in the model.
Interior lights are mainly sphere lights.
The reflectors lights that are inside the crystal cage are the main lighting of the scene. They are a mix between Spot Lights, Rectangular Lights, and Emissive Material.
Final lighting setup…
Composition and Rendering
As always, framing is a fundamental aspect of an image composition, below you can see the process for framing the final images.
Rendering setup for daylight and dusk images.
Stages of the Post Production :
1. Photoshop compositing (Screenshot layers).
2. Correcting rendering errors (RAW render).
3. Color correction (Comparison).
4. Levels and brightness (Comparison).
5. Color vision (Effects).
6. Photographic effects (Finishing image).
To give a vintage look to the image we used NIK software to apply film, dirt and vignette effects.
Before and after post-production
Finally, I would like to thank everyone in Lab Visualización Team that collaborated to make this project : Alex, David, Jessica, Francisco, and Esteban.
I will be happy to answer any further question you may have… just ask in the comment section below.
David Santos is a 3d Artist from Ecuador. He studied architecture for 5 years in Universidad San Francisco de Quito. He started using SketchUp since the beginning, and ArchViz has become his passion. He specializes in 3D visualization and have been working on his own since 2014, mostly on local projects.