Luxembourg’s Garden

Luxembourg's Garden

A few weeks ago, I started modeling Fermob’s Luxembourg line of outdoor furniture–itself a sensitive revamping of the original furniture of the Senate’s gardens in Paris. I wanted to showcase them in an outdoor setting, and that little project kind of took on a life of its own. I had fun experimenting with various techniques to make vegetation and developing the high-summer look I was aiming for.

The plants were the main challenge and the most fun part of the project. Below is a random list of the techniques I played with.

  • The main hero trees in the garden surrounding the table were an attempt at combining the GrowFX workflow with scanned data for the trunks. Instead of stitching together the GrowFX tree with the trunk scanned model as I’d done before, this time, I displaced the trunk part of the GrowFX model by projecting it on a scanned trunk asset. This provides the rough displacement while a normal map takes care of the smaller details.
  • I used leaves scanned with Dabarti Capture on most of the trees, taking advantage of the amazing normal maps this tool can generate.
  • The ivy (or is it vine?) was my first attempt at using GrowFX for climbing plants thanks to the Object React modifier. For the leaves, I used scanned ivy (or vine?) leaves which I distributed as instances. This made for a very heavy mesh, which had to be converted to a proxy.
  • For the box bushes, I modeled a few single branches in GrowFX and distributed these on bush-shaped meshes with Itoo’s Forest Pack, using this method.
  • The moss followed a similar workflow, explained here.
  • Most of the other plants are standard GrowFX creations, some using GrowFX’s built-in leave meshes and others instances for the leaves and flowers.
  • The big cactus-like plant at the back of the image above was modeled from scratch in Max.

Other technical details:

  • Forest pack was used extensively to scatter the vegetation, moss and pebbles (home-made scanned rock assets downscaled a bit).
  • The bricks textures are from the excellent textures.com. Most of the other textures, including the rock-and-plaster wall at the back, are mine.
  • The scene uses V-Ray’s environmental fog, but rendered as a separate pass and comped to speed up rendering.
  • Post-production, as always, was done in ArionFX.
  • You can check out some close-ups of the Luxembourg chair models on my Instagram feed.
  • As for references, the garden is loosely based on this creation by landscape designer Kate Seddon in South Yarra.

As always, feel free to critique and comment below. You can see higher-res versions of the images here.

Luxembourg's Garden

Luxembourg's Garden

Luxembourg's Garden

Luxembourg's Garden

Luxembourg's Garden

Luxembourg's Garden

Luxembourg's Garden

Luxembourg's Garden

Luxembourg's Garden

Luxembourg's Garden

Luxembourg's Garden

Luxembourg's Garden

Luxembourg's Garden

Luxembourg's Garden

    • fiuoj
    • July 27, 2017

    dear bertrand
    its so great and i always injoy from your renders
    I have questions and im thaksul if you answer me: whats the value of intensity multiplier at vray sun and do you use filter color ?
    whats the value of shutter speed and ISO at the physical camera ? Thanks

    • saleh
    • July 28, 2017

    This is absolutely fabulous! Thank you for this beautiful feast.

    • LC3D
    • August 30, 2017

    Lovely work Bertrand! (as usual)… I actually live in South Yarra (melbourne) and hadn’t seen this before so cool to know.

    do you get your DOF ‘in-camera” in max or are you comping it in in post with zdepth?

    would be really cool if you did a tutorial on how you using ArionFX – there’s little information on it out there…

  1. Hey. Thanks a lot. That’s fun! The DOF here is in-camera.

    • LC3D
    • August 30, 2017

    Brilliant, did you use HDRi for this one too?
    the photo-realism is amazing.

  2. Yes, only one hdr map for lighting and background.

    • LC3D
    • August 30, 2017

    ah very good.

    sorry to hound but did you use a aperture map for the bokeh effects in the physical camera to get those specular highlights in the DOF?

  3. No, not this time, although I use them regularly. B

    • Fer
    • September 1, 2017

    Amazing work!… do you use PG hdri’s in your projects?

  4. @Fer: I’m not looking at the scene right now, but from memory yes. I generally use either PG or CGSkies, or sometimes my own crappy HDRs.

    • liloy
    • September 3, 2017

    do you use growfx for the plants?, and what rendering software you use

  5. @liloy Yes, I used GrowFX for everything and V-Ray for rendering. B

  6. Hey,

    Your work is amazing!

    I’ve hear you talk about rendering Vray fog as a separate pass to save time, could you outline your process for this?

    Many thanks

    D

  7. Hey Dave. Sure. I first render the scene with the environment fog switched off, which is a lot faster, until I get a clean image. I then render a second time at lower settings, this time with the fog switched on, and stop the render as soon as the atmosphere element looks usable. Of course, the element will still be very noisy, so that grain has to be removed in post. You can then composite this denoised element on top of the first, clean, render using an additive blending mode (if you’re working in 32-bit), and collapse your layers for further post work.
    Another approach consists in rendering the scene with the fog and a full black (RGB 0, 0, 0), non-reflective material plugged in the material override slot of V-Ray. You can get a clean fog pass very quickly that way, but it has two limitations. First it won’t show the nice GI scattering you get when rendering the full scene with proper materials. Second, the override material will ignore whatever opacity maps you’re using in the scene, for instance for tree leaves, meaning the pass will not overlap nicely with your non-fog beauty render. So for this scene, this wasn’t the way to go.

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