Furnishing an interior visualization is no easy task, and the time it would take to determine AND hand model the right assets for a room can easily take much longer than preparing the room itself. Thankfully, third party asset providers are here to help shorten this part of the pipeline.

Our very own DJ shows how with our assets and online asset manager, it is now possible to get through the furnishing process for your projects even faster, thanks to our app’s automatic shader generation feature for V-Ray. No more hand linking textures! Hooray! Sit back and enjoy the video!

Assets used in the video:

3DBee App Overview

[00:15] Hello, my name is DJ, and I’ll guide you through a quick tutorial on how to use the 3DBee app to create a photorealistic bedroom visualization using 3ds Max and V-ray. So, let’s have a look at the interface first.[00:27] The left column is for navigating through the assets—different browsing, different categories. The main window in the middle is a browser that can be viewed with thumbnails. Let’s check our free category. To download any asset, you just need to press “add” and “download,” then the downloader will start the process. Once it’s downloaded, you can just drag and drop to your Max scene or merge it. It will be added with all the textures applied and materials set up. Pretty convenient; on the right hand, you have some detailed preview of each asset you pick. You can read about the polycount and other details of the mesh, as well as browse through its preview images.

Render Engines

[01:20] To make our bedroom, let’s first select the render engine that we’re going to use. Our app right now supports the most popular render engines like V-Ray, Corona, and Arnold. For this tutorial, I will use V-Ray. Let’s set up in 3ds Max render settings. Let’s pick v-ray render and let me show you.[01:46] (For Render Setup) I just pick Scanline Renderer and added some assets. I’ll need to delete them and add them once again after selecting B-Ray as the render engine because, otherwise, the materials might not work perfectly.

[2:01] I picked a paid asset for “bed” because it fits my design scheme more—you can also check the free bed, it’s also very good—I use this one because it has this gray and black covering, and I want to keep my room in this minimal kind of color palette. So, you can see that having this and the “Material Picker” tool; you can see the shaders are all set up and ready to go.

Adding Room

[02:32] So let’s add the room. Because “bedroom,” as the name suggests, consists of a bed and a room! We already have a bed, now let’s add the room from our free assets category. Just drag and drop. Easy-peasy, like that. Now just position this using the gizmos, pressing “w” activates the move tool in 3ds Max.

Adding Camera

[03:01] Now let’s add the camera to have a look at our 3D scene. We must have the camera to view the models through and render them out. So, we will add V-Ray physical camera (PhysCamera001) for that. It defaults at the zero-level of the axis, so let’s raise it up a bit by selecting both the camera and the target. Now, let’s pick the camera up to a good fourth viewport for our final rendering preview. For now, let’s leave it like that—or maybe just adjust the settings a little bit.[03:47] Let’s change the focal length of the camera because, right now it’s in standard lens. In such a small interior, if you would like to photograph and see a little bit more of the interior, you would use a wide-angle lens, which has a shorter focal length. Let’s adjust this and also pan the view a little bit. Let’s make sure the vertical tilt of the camera, the perspective shift is taken care of by enabling the automatic adjustment for this. Auto-vertical tilt correction and it will sure that the vertical lines are parallel to the camera edges. Let’s hit render and see what happens.

[04:35] And… Some of you might have guessed that it will be a pure black screen. Don’t be discouraged by this because we already added new models.

Let the Sunshine in

[04:47] But we need some light inside the room, so let’s add a “V-Ray Sun” for this. Let’s click “yes” on the environment map in standard settings for now and let’s position the sun up, so it shines down through the window inside our room. The glass is already set to transparent. Everything’s ready for rendering; let’s just make sure that the Exposure Control is also set up. …And let’s render now.[05:20] Oh, I forgot to change the viewport to view under the physical camera. Lock it, so that we don’t have to worry about this later. And… as you can see right now, there’s some light in the room. You can see it’s a little bit over burnt, we’ll take care of that later. As for now, we will adjust some basic exposure settings in the V-Ray frame buffer so let’s hit “Exposure” here and let’s drag it a little bit down so that everything isn’t just like, overexposed, so you can see what’s going on here: Pretty basic empty room with a bed. Let’s enhance this by adding some furniture and arranging the bedroom.

Arranging the Room

[06:14] So let’s have a look at our library, wanting to ensure we add to our nice, cozy bedroom a rug that will tie the room together. And we have a colorful piece right here.[06:32] Let’s pick that black commode here, five credits, but you can also do that with the free assets. I wanted to make the design a bit more sophisticated for this interior.

[06:48] As you can see, you can buy assets for a pretty low price, but if you pay for each asset, you can buy credit packs of twenty-five or fifty dollars to pick individual assets and buy them in the app. I highly, highly recommend buying an asset subscription, which is on sale right now. Grab it while it’s really cheap and you will have access to the whole library of assets without limitations; the asset library is ever-growing, so a year subscription is really worth the price. It’s already full of assets and, in a year’s time, it will grow larger in numbers. Cool assets are added every week.

[07:41] So let’s place a nice cabinet here as well. You can add hearts to each model you really like, and you can filter by categories in the left panel. There are favorites down below. You can view the ones you marked with a heart. Pretty useful if you want to pick specific assets that you are going to use often, You can drag from the middle window or from the asset preview.

[08:18] So, to place it, you can use also the Place-in-Position tool, but it’s adapting the model according to the normal of the face—corresponding upwards toward the face it sticks to, so it can be quite unpredictable sometimes—but if you get used to it, it’s pretty useful and it makes sure that the asset is really standing on the surface. Now, we just need to rotate it. Press “e” on the keyboard into the rotate gizmo.

[08:54] That’s a lighting fixture. I already downloaded this before, so I’ll just drag and drop and add this to my scene. May have to wait a bit and… there you go. Let’s drag it upwards. Now let’s use the snapping tools. Right-click the properties and set it to “stick to faces,” maybe, and now, when I drag this around my scene, it will automatically stick to faces of other elements.

[09:42] But right now, you can’t see it in the viewport. Let’s adjust the camera a bit. We can put it upward. Right now the snapping is irritating so I’ll turn it off, and… I’ll just drag it upwards. There you go, you can see the lamp right now in the shot. Now, adjust the focus a little bit more so we can see the whole room in the shot.

[10:19] Now let’s search for some shelving. There’s a nice rack here in black and white colors. I’ll drag and drop this one. I have one piece of it which I’ll just copy and position next to each other so you have a nice arrangement of shelving modular units. You can do that by holding the shift button and then dragging. Now confirm, make a copy of the object and rotate it along the y-axis—90° and 180°. Let’s just drag it upwards and, there you go. You have a nice kind of Tetris vibe setup for the shelves.

[11:19] Now for the bedside tables and some lamps for reading in bed. Pick a nice lamp here and…

[11:39] Okay choose here. Down below, we have bedside table three. I really like it. Let’s drag—oh, first we need to buy and download.

[12:01] Though it has a little bit of a lag while adding, but, you know, 3ds Max has to add all the materials and textures loaded onto the scene. It takes quite a while depending on your computer setup, but it shouldn’t take very long. And I really like this lamp, the modern one.

[12:45] Now, the lamp is standing on the bedside table. I’ll just pick both these assets and copy them together so, with CTRL, you can select multiple assets. Just do the same as with the shelving: press “Shift” and drag it by the axis and, okay. Use the “Tools” roll-down menu and find the mirror tool. By default, it’s set in the x-axis and that’s okay for us right now as it fits our design perfectly. So, I guess we have the basics of the room set up.

Fixing the Overburns

[13:27] Now, let’s hit render to see how our interior looks like. But now you see these overburns here where the sun shines in and that needs some fixing. Let’s look at what we can do to improve our rendering. One of the crucial things to remember about creating realistic lighting is that the materials that you use should keep realistic values; that is, for example, white walls should not be 100% white in the RGB space.[14:04] So we’ll fix this. Let’s have a look at where the wall’s materials are. It’s in the “ID8” of our multi-material. Right, okay, this is the one. I can see the white walls and the “Diffuse” setting here is set to a maximum white color in the RGB space. It’s too bright; it just behaves unrealistically—a perfectly white thing. There’s no such thing in the real world as 100% white. So it’s just incorrect values in the PBR workflow. Let’s also try decreasing the power of the V-Ray Sun a little bit. We’ll set this to a quarter and increase the size. The size of the sun is responsible for the sharpness or softness of shadows. The default setting gives quite sharp edges for the shadows and right now, they ought to be blurrier.

Adding Decorations

[15:09] Okay, so now let’s add some decorations. I decided to remove the lamp and just add a plant instead. Because we already have lamps next to the bed, so I think some greenery would add a little bit more life to our interior. Let’s place the palm right in the corner. Looking nice, but it’s quite big and kind of like, it doesn’t fit into this tight interior. Let’s try rotating it, positioning it a little bit. The assets are provided as they are, sometimes, you need to adjust them a little bit to fit your specific scene.[15:48] So let’s have a quick tip on that: how to manage shapes so our leaves don’t go through the wall. Let’s get rid of these additional headphones that were accidentally added… To fix this I will just isolate the view of just the palms so by CTRL + clicking the palm and the interior. Right now, I’ll isolate the selection. This makes me see only the object selected. I have a clear view of what I’m doing, so let’s search for a modifier, “FFD cylindrical” (FFD(cyi) 4x6x4). It gives us a lattice shape around our object and will serve as a deforming cage for our geometry. I’ll just move the whole lattice above a little so it doesn’t affect the pot, just the leaves. Right now, I’m picking the points in the lattice and just scaling them as usual objects—scale, move, and transform the points, just as any other geometry in the scene, and adjust this shape proportionally according to your liking and needs. It gives quite good control and doesn’t destroy the inner geometry of the object.

[17:30] It stays as it was, but now just a little bit deformed. We could do some more adjustments. I’ll also get to the “Editable Poly” below that a little bit and correct the leaf sticking out with the freeform tool. Yeah, just like that. Right now, if you go to the upper modifier it applies even more deformation. It kind of fits right now; it’s a little bit tighter and fits our bedroom.

[18:16] Let’s do some corrections here with the headphones. Place them nicely on the corner and add some more stuff. Decorations are the category that I’ll browse through. I’ll add some sculptures, figurines, stuff like that. Maybe some candles as well. You know, random stuff that people put on shelves to decorate the room—make it look cozy and welcoming, instead of empty space with just furniture. I’ll just pick some and download these. Let’s speed up through this process.

[19:12] The objects added are added in an incorrect real-world scale. So, you can see this head was quite a small figurine. I will place it on the shelf and try to make it a little bigger, so you can always adjust the assets to fit your design. Nobody will ever know that this head was a small object. I want it to be a bit bigger and it will work in my scene. Right, so now, just to position this on the viewport… It’s closer to the object now. Press “E” to scale the object. Make sure you have the right scaling mode. I’ll just make sure that it’s proportional in scale with all the objects and drag them up. A bit bigger and rotate a bit. It’s in the top view, right now we can’t see the face. We can do a profile view.

[20:43] Let’s add the candles. When we’re adding things to the shelf, I’ll maybe, just for convenience, I’ll zoom in a little bit with the view. Let’s place the candle first and—it’s quite far away, it’s hard to see. So, let’s change the view and camera to perspective. Right now, we’ll leave the camera where it is and manipulate the viewport the way we need it—now, make it closer here and simplify the candle. It’s here and now, use the positioning tool like this. Place it on the shelf.

[21:44] Now, let’s repeat the trick of copying the object and, to make the three candles uneven, I’ll just scale this one and the third one for three different-sized candles of the same type. You can see it looks better and it will fill our ceiling a little bit more than a single candle. Pretty nice.

[22:21] Now, sometimes, it’s good to avoid a perfect setup, like everything is super even, because that’s not how things are in real life. Make sure that even if it’s tidy, don’t make it like, super perfectly tidy, because it will be unrealistic. So, let’s try to introduce a little bit of realistic chaos into our scene.

[22:54] Let’s make this a bedroom for a horse lover. We have two horse figurines here to decide from. Let’s put one here. There’s another one, there’s also an angel, an—oh, a starfish—whatever to fill our shelves and not leave them empty.

[23:29] Yeah, so let’s throw in another horse figure and put it on the commode next to the windows. We just need a little bit of position correction… yeah, now you can see the photos as well, not just the frames. Yeah. I think it’s quite nice and now the second shelf needs something too.

[24:04] Okay, we’re standing there. Maybe let’s make it the angel. Ah, this bell looks nice. Let’s download this and it’s just the same trick as with the candles.

[24:31] Using isolated selection is quite nice if you want to just focus on a specific part of the scene and not have to worry about everything else getting in the way.

[25:03-25:07] Let’s end isolate mode and see how that shows up.

[25:07] Less empty now, I’ll throw in some shoes. Let’s look at “Fashion” and see some shoes to pick from. I like this one; I’ll squeeze a pair of shoes next to the bed. I suppose you would want—when you rotate it a little bit, like that, and now also copy this and use the mirror tool to have the opposite shoe here. Now I’m just rotating. Give some variation, randomness, to this scene, so that it looks more natural. As you can see through the camera—yeah, I think that looks nice.

Another Brick (in the) Wall

[26:34] Okay, so one last thing I want to do with this scene is to make the feature wall of white brick. So to do that, we’ll just separate this wall from the rest of the objects. Let’s go to the modifiers, “Editable Mesh,” and let’s pick “Polygon Mode,” so that we can select every polygon. Choose between Vertex, Edge, Polygon, and Element. Element is for bigger selections.[27:00] We’ll choose “Polygon,” we need it to select and control every piece of this wall. Now, let’s press “Detach.” Let’s detach this from the wall, now it’s a separate object. We can now select this on the wall. Let’s create a material for this. So, let’s go to the material editor and let’s add Materials -> V-Ray -> VRay Mtl. So, the basic setup. Let’s plug in quickly a few bitmaps and we’ll use bitmaps from CC0 textures so you can apply any kind of textures you have in your drive.

[27:57] I’m using “VRay NormalMap,” and then plugging a normal map that’s a regular bitmap. While loading normal maps for V-Ray, it’s good to override the Gamma to “1.” It’ll just work better but plug it in to mount the map. Now you can see it gives us a nice little bump. I use the AO from this picture as the color map, but I’ll also plug in color correction, here. Plug it in and I’ll just tweak the values, like make it brighter… maybe less contrast, so that we have just a kind of a white wall with bricks. Just a basic material, nothing fancy. Now, I’ll just plug this into one of the slots, make an instance and name this material “Brick Wall.”

[29:06] Now we can apply this material to our wall. Just by dragging from these dots to the viewport, it should work just fine. As you can see, this is just a gray image because the wall is not correctly UV unwrapped.

[29:28] Let’s quickly add the modifier. Let’s type in “UV Map,” set to default shading, hit render, and see how it looks like right now. It’s looking pretty nice, but I don’t really like the framing of the shot, so let’s have another look at the camera. Let’s select the object on the camera and go to the rotate tool and look at how it’s rotated. You can see on the x-axis it’s almost 90°.

[30:03] Select the target of the camera, move it just slightly, so that it’s correctly positioned. Now, let’s move the camera with the target. Let’s move both of these and move slightly toward the door. I still don’t like the viewing angle. So, I’ll choose the preset “APS H (Canon)” and not 18 [for focal length], but maybe, let’s go crazy. Fifteen mm focal length, I think it’s better. It’s showing a little bit more of the interior, a little bit more of the lamp, and generally, a better frame.

[30:50] Also this thing that bothers me a little bit that’s happening behind the window… We’ll set up for a shot from different angles so let’s pick “Element,” do this, and we’ll get this and move it closer. Now it’s feeling better. Okay now, some trees. Something to show in the background.

[31:25] I guess we’re ready to go for the final render. Let’s have a quick look at the settings. The setup is for HDTV resolution and the GI setting is for interiors; for the primary engine, it’s best to use “Irradiance Map.” You can experiment with others but this is probably the most used.

[31:48] Light Cache for our secondary engine. For the “Irradiance Map,” let’s do it low for now. For “Light Cache,” the subdivs are by default at 1000. You can settle the noise threshold for the rendering to stop…
(voice fades; music interlude).

[32:35] That’s it. The final result. Of course, you can always improve it and play around with the assets, change different layouts, this is just an introduction of how to quickly make an artist picture. You can see that it took less than an hour.

[32:51] (Repeated, in slo-mo) Less than an hourrrrr.


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