Nakagin Capsule Tower

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Long time no see.

Here’s one I’ve been working on for over three months, very much on-and-off depending on the day job. I call it finished though it could use more details in places (and has some superfluous details that are hardly visible).

This is my rendition of the 1972 Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo by the late architect Kisho Kurokawa. This is a full-CG environment and an attempt to model and render a detail-heavy urban scene. As usual, the modeling was done in 3ds Max and the rendering in V-Ray.

This is another example of a scene I couldn’t have done without IToosoft’s RailClone and Forest Pack. In order to keep the scene as light and reactive as possible, I used RailClone to model the highway on the left, the fencing on the right, to position the trees and to build some of the most complex buildings (though not the capsule tower).

For lighting, despite the uniform look, I used quite a few different HDR skies from various vendors, including this one, this one and this one by Peter Guthrie. The last exterior render (with the bright sunny look), uses a nice free HDR sky by Vizpark.

The trees were modeled with Exlevel’s GrowFX (three different versions) and left as GrowFX objects in the scene, which turns out to be a very lightweight way to work–as opposed to converting the trees into poly objects and then into V-Ray proxies, as I would normally do. One advantage is that you retain access to all GrowFX variables.

I’m considering trying to render a video of this scene, though I’m going to have to tweak the render settings considerably for speed.

Here’s a link to a series of test renders done throughout the project, and more views below (click on the images for full-res renders on Flickr).

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Nakagin Capsule Tower

  1. Great work Bertrand! What is the lightening that you used in the room shot with the Tv ?

  2. Thanks Inulo. For the interior shots, I used the exterior HDR (Dome Light) and a V-Ray sphere light for the ceiling lamp.

  3. wow you so talent
    can you leave for us some tips how to get this look of the sunny day.. the hdri need some color correction? this is dome light with vray sun? i can see the realizem is boost up in the post procces.. any tips please? we love you work man

    • carlocki
    • August 2, 2015

    the “a series of test renders” clarify at the best what is your workflow. this new wolf theme site is nice, just maybe I would love to see a gallery more then flicker.

    • adanmq
    • August 2, 2015

    Amazing job Bertrand. I think your work it´s going better and better in every project. I really will love to know more about the project, i know it´s maybe to much to ask, but can we see some RAW/Post images?.

    • LC3D
    • August 2, 2015

    Just incredible Bertrand, well done.

    • Wedel
    • August 3, 2015

    Amazing work! Your level of realism never seize to amaze me. Only critique is the reusing of the map under the windows in the closeup: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bbb3viz/19606843403.
    Are the motion blurred cars with lights also rendered out or are they postpro?

  4. Orenvfx: the sunny image uses only the HDR. No V-Ray Sun. I lower the HDR’s gamma a tiny bit in order to obtain crisp shadows.

  5. Wedel: thanks a lot. I have quite a few variations in the textures of the capsules, but perhaps not enough for the close-ups. Yes, the cars are animated and rendered using the motion blur option in the V-Ray camera.

    • joaopedrosilva
    • August 3, 2015

    Absolutely incredible… I have one question, albeit a simple one: did you map a texture for the road markings or are the arrows and such modeled geometry?

    • mitviz
    • August 4, 2015

    amazing work, they day you decide to do some training videos is the day i will start paying for training videos, simply amazing work from a master

    • LA
    • August 4, 2015

    Could you share some tips about making the roadmarkings?

  6. Good idea. The road was quite a struggle. I might make a separate post on it. But for now, the short answer is the material has many different textures on top of each other, using many different UV coordinates.

    • mitviz
    • August 5, 2015

    is this brute force and light cache or im and lc?

    • HuXY
    • August 6, 2015

    amazing work! for the interior shots. could you pls share me some tips how to reduce noise when using HDR(Dome light) to light up interior space which has a small opening window such as your scene here . are you using vraylight as skylight portal puting in front of the window? and how do you set up the subdivs of skylight portal and Dome light(with HDRI maps)? many thanks.

    • HuXY
    • August 6, 2015

    amazing work! could u pls share me some tips on how to reduce the noise when using HDR(DOME LIGHT) to light up space which has small opening window (e.g. your scene here). do u use v-ray light as skylight portal in front of the windows? and how do u set up the subdivs firgure of skylight portal and the dome light (with the HDRI MAPS)? many thanks!

    • Lionofjudah
    • August 7, 2015

    Hi,
    Awesome renders.
    I’m curious if you ever work with multi tile UVs. Also interested to know if you mipmap (using maketx for example) your high resolution textures and if so do you see any major speed increase.

    Cheers

    • JoeyR
    • August 7, 2015

    Hey Man!
    Absolutelly stunning work! You are probably busy, but is there any chance that you could share some of your material settings? I really miss your materialism series. Thank You.

    • Dr.Hashemi
    • August 8, 2015

    You Are The God Of Detail . . . .

    • SeBass
    • August 8, 2015

    Hi. Did you use linear or reinhard?

    • Leonel192
    • August 9, 2015

    BIG….BIGGER….BIGGEST!!!

    • SeBass
    • August 10, 2015

    Hi bertrand one more question. wich “system units” do you usually work with in your projects? wich one did you use for this?

  7. SeBass: I normally work in cm. But for bigger scenes, I sometimes change to meters.

  8. SeBass: Always linear.

  9. JoeyR: Have been crazy busy (with non-CG stuff), but still planning to upload a little explainer on how I shaded the road here.

  10. Lionofjudah: Neither of these. The fanciest thing here is using several UV layers. But no multi-tile and no mipmap.

  11. HuXY: Just insane DomeLight subdivs. For an interior it can be 200 or more. If that slows down your render too much and you’re still getting noise, try to add some interior lighting (that’s what I ended up having to do in the interiors here).

  12. mitviz: BF+LC

    • SeBass
    • March 2, 2016

    Hi Bertrand. Today I was watching these beautiful renders you did. Actually I usually come to your website when need some inspiration : D. I was watching carefully the test renders and realized that in some images the sky looks overexposed while in others doesn`t (you can even see clouds and pretty define sun rays like in image 3) I was wondering if you used reinhard at some point while doing these test renders or maybe you used the burn value slider in the vray frame buffer. I’d also like to know y you use mid grey (128-128-128) for lighting tests. And finally, any special reason for those black and white test renders?

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