I thought it might be fun to put a little mini tutorial in here every now and then. It takes a lot of time to get projects to a state where I call them finished. That doesn’t mean that they need to. It’s just that most of the work goes into the details, and it’s those details that eat up your time.
So Instead of just showing some finished renders, I’ll be doing a few posts that show how I make stuff like this.
I start with modelling the basic layout. When I was modelling this I wasn’t used to bmesh yet. Tried to keep everything as quads. Nowadays I use ngons a lot more.
Then I create and assign basic materials, to tell apart all the different surfaces. This makes it easier to recognize where to place seams for unwrapping as well.
Switch render engine from Blender internal to cycles, add an HDRI image as environmental light source, start tweaking lights and materials. No furniture or props yet. Just to get the general lighting more or less right.
Keep working on the materials until they look convincing. The more convincing you want it, the more and more time you can put in it. This is where you want things to start looking “realistic…ish”.
Unwrap and add materials to the props. If your scene is starting to get heavy (quite likely) then just move your props to different layers, go to local view OR just add a cube or plane in a new layer, and only preview the cube while you’re working on the material. If you unwrap something properly, you can often just leave it alone and work on the surface texture part without worrying too much if it’s in the right spot. As soon as the surface is okay, just make some tweaks for the unwrapped model, or to the UV map if your prop needs it.
Off course, a good way to go is to just import props and furniture that already exist, with materials and everything. In this case though, the furniture is made out of simple boxes with a slight bevel.
And finally, the finished render. Obviously, a lot more is involved in making a bigger scene. More furniture, props, etc. etc. I hope you enjoyed reading this. Happy blending!