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Vanilla Studio

El Masjid Nabawy Expansion

Fouad Ahmed

Hi everyone! First of all we would like to thank VWArtclub for inviting us. We would love to share with you the "making of" El Masjid Nabawy Expansion project. I hope you will find it useful.



Vanilla Studio is a small business located in Egypt. We started our business in 2016 and since then it has been a very rich and exciting experience. We have done a lot of great projects. New members,who have had great impact on our work, have joined our team and have helped us bring out those great projects. One of these projects was Al Masjed Al Nabawi.

This particular project was one of the most interesting projects we’ve worked on and we had a very short deadline to meet. The challenge was very big but in the end we managed to do the work.



The first thing we did after receiving the client brief was to start browsing online and get some inspiration images (photography - architectural visualization). The purpose was to achieve the atmosphere and the feeling. In our case we are in KSA - Al Madinah, so we need to communicate through the atmosphere and the architecture itself.


First we started the modelling of facades referring to some images sent by our client.  


Going into details of the shades and pattern, trying to achieve the Islamic look and keep the identity of El Madina.



Then we started gathering our presentation probs, things we will use.


And the landscape elements



Basically, we didn’t have many materials but a quick overview on the main materials.


Lighting & Rendering.

Here we started the most interesting part of our work. Normally we have references for the mood and atmosphere, taking the location into consideration. We started with a general illumination and then we added the other lights depending on how much we needed them. 

Here is the setup for a GI



Then we figured out that we may need a stronger sun so we added one over here. The fun part is that you will need to match the shadow coming from  HDRi with the new shadow from the sun. In our case we matched the direction but the sunlight would introduce such long shadows, so we kind of faked it to be shorter xD.



For the render output we exported some render passes. We always use

Multimatte Elements - Specular - Reflection - Refraction - Lighting - Zdepth



Post Production. 

After long hours of rendering we began post processing our images to get them ready for the final delivery and we used the same hierarchy for all the photoshop files.

Here is a quick overview for one of the PSDs












And here are before and after images


Also we had an unpublished shot to be revealed for VWArtclub



Also check the other shots here






Hope that was useful. For any questions don’t hesitate to contact us. Here is my E-mail:


Ahmed Fouad,
Vanilla Studio.



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