Unreal Imagery: The Hunter House

Before we start, let us be clear, the images you are seeing of the Hunter House look real, but they are all computer renderings. As CGI technologies are making swift strides to mimic reality, very few 3D rendering specialists and graphics designers are rising to the challenges modern rendering software capabilities. Self taught Swedish graphic designer Dia, is one artist who is raising the bar and mastering these programs with his creation of unbelievably realistic images. The artist uses a cocktail of rendering software to blur the lines of real life and fiction.Dia became interested in graphic design at the age of 20 when he taught himself Adobe Photoshop. He began to mix his artistic sense with graphic design to create artwork as an outlet for self expression. This expression deepened a few years after, when the artist was first acquainted with 3D programs. Since then, Dia has been learning how to master the technicalities of 3D Studio Max, V-Ray, Snow Flow, Marvelous Designer and of course Photoshop, to create surreal life like imagery. Wanting to know more about the person behind the art, we reached out to Dia, who gave us some step-by-step insights into the creation of the Hunter House.

In Dia's own words: The process of "Hunters house" is quite straight forward. First off, I started to make some sketches of the house. When I say sketches, some of you may think I had pen and pencil, but I actually do all my sketches in 3dsmax as a 3d model. Mostly boxes to get the main shape. For me this way is the only way to go.

After I achieve the house shape and the main idea of the concept I started to collect images from internet to have some inspiration sources. For the modelling I start with Floor Generator to make the wooden cladding for the house. This is an easy way to do something that would take a lot of time straight in 3D studio Max.

For the furniture, I downloaded some pieces from 3dsky.org and others I modeled myself. The chairs and pillows were done with the sheep wool. I knew this would be a challenge and it took a lot of testing. First I created six different hair clumps in 3DS Max with the Max Hair System. When I was happy with the look, I converted them to meshes so I could scatter them out in the model.

The material was quite hard to get right. I tested Fast SSS2 V-Ray material and different approaches but in the end, a simple material was the key, a standard V-Ray material with a sheep plaid map, then I had to fake the SSS effect and use self-illumination on the object.

After I modeled the furniture,  I unwrapped and painted textures for the surfaces in Photoshop. For all cloth objects I used Marvelous Designer - this is a great program when its comes to making cloth of any type. I used it for all the pillows and the bed sheet as well.

For the exterior, the main thing here was to create realistic snow and I used a good plugin for 3DS Max called Snow Flow. Snow Flow lets you create snow in a simple way, then I re-form the placement of the snow until I'm satisfied. For example, with Snow Flow you can add some tracks in the snow or create some snow that has drifted. I used rendering.ru to implement pre-modeled trees, then I added snow to them, scattering the snow throughout the model using the Multi-scatter plugin.

As for lighting and effects, I used one HDRI dome for the exterior lighting, and obtained the depth and dynamic of the scene by adding some distance fog using V-Ray Environment Fog. It's slower to render but it gives you a very nice result. I always try to use a low value as possible in the settings when I use V-Ray Fog and it's often good enough. In the post work phase,  All of my images of "Hunters house" took only about 20 minutes to finish in Photoshop. Since I had worked a lot within 3DS Max, I didn't need a lot of post work.

Dia proudly works as a 3D rendering specialist at Wingardhs in Gothenburg, Sweden. "Working at Wingardhs is a pleasure, and I love what I do. Creating images on a daily basis is sometimes very hard, but lots of fun." Dia added.

Renderings by Dia