Skyscraper render with Blender Cycles (Profile)

The project profile series from Blender 3D Architect is an attempt to create an in-depth overview of architectural renders using Blender, and in the past weeks, we already published some great profiles from several artists. Once we find a project that has a unique look or shows some great skills from the artist, we reach the author to create a profile.

In today’s project profile, we have the work from Artur Szóstakowski that resulted in a great external visualization of a Skyscraper using Blender and Cycles.

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Let me thank Artur Szóstakowski for providing a detailed overview of the project and also some great screenshots and renders.

Here is the Skyscraper project profile:

Blender 3D Architect: Was it a commercial project? What can you tell us about the motivation for this project?

It was a personal project that I created with an intent to broaden my expertise in Archviz since I’ve only modeled lower scale architecture commercially so far. The skyscraper is a project of mine from 2014 that I created during my studies in college. I literally pulled it out of my closet (ok I just copied it from my old hard drive). I’ve always liked it, and as I already had the model I felt like it deserved new visuals. Old project was modeled and rendered in Revit Architecture – mental ray as I remember.

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Blender 3D Architect: Did you use any references for modeling, like technical drawings?

I did use my own technical drawings for this project. I changed nothing from the old design, but as an architect now I could see some rookie mistakes in the overall technical details of this project.

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Blender 3D Architect: How long did it take from start to finish?

It took me a week to adapt an FBX model to blender, apply materials, and to build a surrounding. Then it took me a few days of doodling with details and light settings to actually finish it.

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Blender 3D Architect: What hardware did you use to render? Can you share some render times?

I render on an i7 – 5820K CPU since I don’t have a GPU that could make any difference to render on a graphic card ( it is a GTX 960). I rendered each image with 800 samples and denoised images. Images without volumetrics took about 5 hours each while a scene with heavy volumetric fog took like 10 hours to render.

Blender 3D Architect: Can you share any details about the lighting process?

I lightened my scenes with HDRIs from but there was a lot of trial and error in choosing one. I also added a few point lamps in places that I felt needed some emphasis like the red lights of a car. Lights from an interior of the building are area lamps stretched to match the width of an open space interior.

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Blender 3D Architect: Do you want to share any additional information about the project?

This project was a really fun experience since I’ve learned a lot because I did use functions I previously didn’t touch like smoke simulation (a cloud on the first scene) and motion blur. I have to add that it is a very heavy model and I’m pretty bad at optimization. The gigantic number of tris comes from bad model export to F from Revit and since the model has literally thousands of glass system mullions I didn’t bother to optimize that because FBX actually didn’t need to. The viewport started to lag a bit at the end but I got what I wanted and I’m a strong admirer for minimizing the time spent on boring things like optimization.

For this project I used a Tesla S model from Blenderkit by Davide Tirindelli. I also used a Scatter Add-on to add grass but it is only visible on a scene with greenery in the foreground.

Thanks again to Artur Szóstakowski for providing such detailed information about the project. You can check more works from the artist on his profiles:

Using Blender for architecture

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