I’ve been trying to move apartments, which in Berlin can be a daunting experience, as I’m sure it is in many large cities. There is essentially very little on the market, and what is there is either very expensive or not that great.
Very early in my search though, about six months ago, I chanced onto the dream place: A large renovated former workshop with a big garden in the center of the city. I put in an offer, but I was second on the list and within two weeks, the place was gone. I haven’t seen anything quite like it since, and it was pretty affordable too, at least for Berlin in 2023.
Call it personal therapy, but the best way I could find to deal with the disappointment was to make my own version of the place, digitally, and to call it my own.
It’s not an exact replica for sure. It’s embellished in many ways, but it definitely has the feel of the place as best as I can remember it. Now it can be yours too, and you can get it in the warehouse.
As always, the scene is a full, 360-degree environment, which you can use in a variety of ways: As a modeling and texturing learning tool, as a showcase for your own model, and obviously as a big collection of high-quality models to populate your own Archviz projects.
As I normally do, I’ve tried to focus here on special pieces that would be difficult to find elsewhere. One of them is the Charlottenborg wicker armchair and table, a very early design by Arne Jacobsen. The two models are hyper-realistic in their detailing and will look good at close range.
There is also a favorite of mine, the vintage Braun KF20 filter coffee machine. The level of detail on this one is over the top and completely out of a proportion with its role in the scene.
You can expect the same attention to detail as in my other projects: The plastered walls use a scanned surface material, something that is only visible at very close range, there is a little bit of translucent dust on the window panes, the light switches and power sockets are accurately modeled and realistically placed, a lot of work went into such fixtures are the door and window handles, the kitchen’s water faucet, the joinery, the (copyright free) artworks dotting the place, etc. And check out these imperfections where concrete meets plaster.
One of the two sofa models included in the scene was entirely scanned and retopologized by hand. It’s a versatile design, it can accommodate any type of fabric texture, and has the potential to become a regular in many Archviz interiors.
Other details include microfibers on all soft furnishings, scanned cushions and pillows for that extra bit of realism (all properly retopologized and UV unwrapped to fit your own textures), modeled or textured seams, and a very lush rug.
The same attention has been given to the materials, which were optimized for maximum realism. One example: the curtains are not only translucent but also include a degree of transparency, albeit only from a certain viewing angle thanks to a falloff mask.
I’ve also tried to provide variations on typical Archviz settings by adding a small design studio at the back of the apartment–very much what I would like my CG home office to look like. It includes marble samples, tiles, paper sheets, veneer swatches and all sorts of items you would expect to find there, not to mention a big wall of art.
The exterior is also fully modeled. It includes a handsome garden with some highly detailed trees and other plants. Very high-quality Luxembourg garden furniture models, and several facades for surrounding buildings. The top of the building isn’t modeled but what is there is largely sufficient to cover most outside shots.
There are the usual limitations you should be aware of before buying. The scene comes as a 3ds Max 2019 file for V-Ray 6 (GPU). It will work in V-Ray CPU but some materials, particularly the bump values, may need adjusting. It may even work in earlier version of V-Ray but some things may look different or need converting. It will definitely not open in versions of Max earlier than 2019.
Rendering this will require some serious GPU power. On my system, the scene used about 16GB of VRAM, which could probably be adjusted down quite a bit by using on-demand texture optimization, which I didn’t do here. The preview renders shown here took about 10 minutes each to render on one 3090 card. They are straight out of the V-Ray frame buffer.
The scene can be easily modified to work in Vantage. It basically boils down to replacing the V-Ray Fur objects with scatter systems and tweaking the material of the scattered grass. Some more advanced features, such as the edge imperfections on the walls and floors or SSS materials on the small bust and the marble samples will not show in Vantage.
Below is an animation done entirely in Vantage, as well as a real-time walk-through of the scene, also in Vantage.
One last quick note: While both floors of the apartment are modeled and equipped with all the basic fixtures, only the ground floor is furnished. There is nowhere to sit or lie down and nothing to read or eat on the first floor!
And here are a few wires to finish. Hope you give this scene a try and feel free to ping me here or on Instagram if you have any pre- or post-purchase questions, or if you just want to say hi.