Dusk Scene Tutorial – a commercial development

Senior Architect Bong Bernabe has more than 12 years of experience in planning, designing and evaluating activities in architecture. In this tutorial he shows us how to produce a nice dusk scene using his SketchUp model of a commercial property, V-Ray for SketchUp and finally some post processing in Photoshop.

Shadow Settings

Firstly I set the shadow settings in SketchUp to a late afternoon, something like shown in the image below. The Light slider was set to 100 and the Dark slider around 11. Time is about 15:20. Display shadows on faces and ground was also selected.

Late Afternoon Shadow Setting

Entourage Settings

Ok let’s take a look at the extensive entourage we have in this scene.

Entourage in Scene

This 3D building I modeled already uses a large number of polygons, so I have used a lot of 2D entourage in the background and only use 3D trees in the foreground. An unfortunate small compromise to keep the poly’s down. In the Diffuse Layer the Color is set to 1 and Transparency to 1. I enabled the option “Use color texture for transparency”. Remember that the images should be .png or .tiff or native SketchUp transparencies. Under Options Double-sided is also selected.

Entourage Settings

Car Paint Settings

The Reflection layer Highlight Glossiness was set to my liking. Settings ranging from .5 to 1 are the best, 1 being the sharpest. I clicked next on the Reflection M button and set the IOR to 1.5

Car Paint Settings

Wall Cladding Settings

Glossiness was set at 1.0, IOR at 1.55 and Bump at 0.5

Wall Cladding Settings

Glass Pane Settings

Glossiness was set at 1.0, clicked on M button next to Reflection and set IOR at 1.0

Glass Pane Settings

Spotlight Settings

I made a group of it and copied it. Radius was set at 12.0 and Decay set to Linear. You can find more info on spotlights and settings in this PDF guide.

Spotlight Settings

Global Switches, Image Sampler and Camera Settings

Global Swithes, Image Sampler and Camera Settings

Indirect Illumination, Irradiance Map, Light Cache, QMC Sampler and Color Mapping

More Settings

Final V-Ray Settings

You may have to experiment a little to get what you like. These are my settings that I have accumulated from various tutorials and they worked for this model. Final settings, Setting Environment (GI Color 0.9 and BG Color 2.0). Selected M button next to GI Color. Then in Sunlight panel set Turbidity to 3.0, Size at 4.0, Caustic Subdivs 1000 and Shadows Subdivs at 32.

Setting Environment and Sunlight

Photoshop – post processing

I firstly adjusted the exposure on the Background Sky Layer behind the building.

Adjust Sky Exposure

Next the model exposure was adjusted (notice the Layer stack).

Model Exposure Adjustment

Volumetric Lighting

I selected the white background (where the sky would be) and then created a new Layer. I called it ‘Volumetric’. I filled this layer with white, using the Paint Bucket tool. I then went to Filter>Blur>Radial Blur and adjusted the Blur center to where the light source was.

Volumetric Lighting

Still working on the ‘Volumetric’ Layer, I adjusted the intensity by using the Gaussian Blur Filter (Filter> Blur>Gaussian Blur).

Adjust Intensity

Next I turned on the Background Sky Layer. Adjusted the intensity of the ‘Volumetric’ Layer by adjusting the Opacity. You can amend any unwanted lighting by using the Eraser tool.

Adjust Opacity

Creating a Vignette

I created another Layer and set the Blending Mode for the Layer to Soft Light. I named it ‘Vignette’. I filled this Layer with black using the Paint Bucket tool. I finally erased some of the ‘Vignette’ Layer using the Eraser tool to highlight the building and draw attention to the center of the image.

Create a Vignette

Thanks for reading this tutorial and I hope you will be able to use some of this in your own workflow.

Bong Bernabe

Check out Bong Bernabe’s own website where you can see more of his professional work  ATELIERMAX29

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