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Freelance Artist

Temporary Shelter

Amjad Alhosaini

A few weeks ago, Amjad Alhosaini from Syria made a sensation with his personal project "Temporary shelter". Reading his article we noticed something which made us see deeper inside the artist's soul. He was creating on his digital canvas while he was thinking that he may soon be dead...

Hello everyone,

It's a really great honor to write my "making of" about my last work "temporary shelter" after having accepted this site’s request. I'll try not to make it boring and just use as few words as possible. I hope to be useful to everyone.

In this project my aim was to stay far away from pre-made models, textures & materials. I wanted to test my abilities by trying to do unusual things for me (after all I think it was a test for my laptop performance), I focused on keeping away from usual, clean and neat architectural visualizations. The idea of the scene was to make a messy interior environment full of old-fashioned elements such as scratched tables, old peeled sofa, broken glass, scattered tools and peeled paints (Actually this work was my first experience in such a field). The first source of references was my room..! It consists of most of the objects you have seen in the renders and what's better than having the reference itself..! I depended on my imagination to create the whole chaos in the scene.



Making of articles are always a great source of both education and inspiration! Reading them we are able to learn several tips and tricks which are useful for our evolution as 3d artists. But what about an education method from scratch?

LEARN V-RAY comprises various complementary activities and possibilities to ensure continuous and satisfying training.



-programs used: Max 2013 / PS cs6 / Vray 2.30
-machine used: Toshiba Qosimio laptop (intel i7CPU - 8GB RAM –NvidiaGeforceGt 330M)
-rendering time: I don’t remember the exact numbers but the maximum one was about 8 hours.
-working period: it was about 3 months in my free time.
-location: Syria/ReifDemashq-Annabk..(Why mention such info? just to make you realise that this scene was done under bombardment with the fear of being a deadman. Just trying to revive the disappointed souls, telling them we stand strong here in the middle of the crisis and we will not lose hope that God will bring salvation soon).

My work flow.

I can’t give up paper and pen; sketching always comes first in all my works.

I used uncommon workflow this time starting from modeling the wanted objects and then specifying the needed materials. Here is where I get my digital camera and start shooting the needed textures which will be edited in PS later. Next, I do some test renders after I have assigned the material and finally my model is ready.
Determining the camera angle from the beginning was very helpful because this way I could specify the wanted models in the render image after doing a composition sketch in PS every once in a while.


The room was very simple,


I wanted the blocks which were attached to each other using concrete to have an obvious imparity in depth. The bump didn't give me enough results and the displacement was very heavy in rendering. So I had to think in a different way which could let me handle these tiny details in the wall as objects and then convert them to vray proxy so I could avoid the use of displacement.


Don’t forget to do the fifth step because we need to use the same mapping when applying the material later.


Maybe some people think this is very odd, but it worked well as I wanted it to.


Most of the objects were done with the common techniques of edit poly.


Sometimes I use "pro-optimizer" to get the lowest count of polygons possible.


Textures & Materials.


Some people ask what the most important step which we need to focus on to get a fascinating realism is. Actually you need to focus on all steps; you have to get a good and proper modeling, high quality textures,well tested shadersand nice sense of lighting.
And don’t think that the more complicated materials are, the more realism you’ll get because I know many professional works which just depend on simple shaders.But here we need to talk about another factor which adds more points for more realism. It’s the composition of the elements for the entire sceneandhow you fill out your scene.
In this project I tried to do that once in a while; just make a test render and you can draw what you need to add with photoshop.For me this was a very helpful step which gave me a clear picture of the needed objects in some places to get a nice looking image.
At the end of the day the artist’s eye makes all the difference…


There were about 200 textures used in the shaders. Most of the textures were captured with my digital camera (8 MP) and edited in PS. But there are some textures which have been downloaded from CG textures because I didn’t find them around, (about 6 files in total, plus one texture from evermotion). You can find tons of free textures in the “cg textures” site.


A few more details about some shaders:


Most of the objects had “UVW mapping” and there were some that had “unwarp mapping”.


Very simple... ;)

And remember that all materials must have a reflectioneven with unnoticeable values.



For the cloudy atmosphere I used two v-ray area lights in both windows with yellowish intensity and the sunny atmosphere was done with the same lights plus v-ray sun.


In night lighting I used a sphere light (v-ray light) as a halogen lamp with the same lights of the windows but with dark bluish color and low value and one bluish v-ray light above the board.


I put two area lights (also v-ray lights) with white intensity to give the last case (power failure).

Sometimes I need to add more lights to balance the lighting according to the camera angles and each shot has its light & render settings. I wish I had shown you the whole scene with the lights, but I couldn’t. The scene was too heavy (sometimes I needed about 15 minutes to load it and I needed the same time to isolate anobject).



After doing some tests, I knew the suitable render settings for my laptop…

As I mentioned before, every shot has its render settings.


Post Production.

I used different techniques according to the image, here is an example.


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