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# 02

Domaine Viticole

Les Davids

093 COM.jpg



I really enjoyed working on the landscape and architecture of this French winery, and it is with pleasure that I pass on the steps of my workflow to you. The scene is technically very simple. Simplicity is also what often characterizes my way of approaching an image. I like to work on capturing the gaze by placing art before technique. Only 2 days were devoted to this scene, that is to say a day of artistic research and a day of 3D manipulation and rendering on 3DS Max + Corona. In this logic of simplicity, I set myself the objective of not having recourse to post production. The final image is therefore "raw" and Photoshop did not intervene in the workflow.

The project exists in reality. Here's a look at it on ArchDaily:

"Text description provided by the architects. Marc Barani designed a winery that combines a gravitational process of winemaking with a form of architecture that is integrated into the landscape in such a way that it seems to be a natural element. As well as the rooms for receiving the harvested grapes, and for blending, maturing, and bottling the wine, the winery also includes a shop and tasting room, which just opened to the public. "
Source: ArchDaily

01-Les Davids Winery-photographies.jpg

The production of this image is a personal initiative and it was not commissioned to me by the architect. I didn't share the picture with him until it was finished. I was delighted to receive his compliments after he gave me permission to publish it.

02-Les Davids Winery-reference MIR.JPG
03-Les Davids Winery-reference Sora.JPG

References :


Sora Pictures

I have always been fascinated by the richness of the sky. I particularly appreciate the atmospheres between light and shade. These two images of MIR and SORA are the references that motivated my first ideas. A dark and overcast sky leaves a small opening to the sun so that it comes to meet the architecture. Only the building is highlighted while the rest of the scene remains in the shadows. We can also talk about the vertical framing of these references which - in my opinion - encourages the observer to browse the image from bottom to top while expressing the place of the building between sky and earth.


As introduced previously, I wanted the visual impact of the image to depend above all on the light and the framing. Several tests have been carried out with different HDRIs. Here are a few :

04-Les Davids Winery-HDRI tests.jpg

All HDRIs tested are from HDRI Haven. Interestingly, the sky chosen for the final image is rich in nuance, almost uniformly dark with a brightening upwards, thus helping the gaze to move there and recalling the idea of the breakthrough of light. The author of this HDRI was thanked for his work.


The scene is not lit only by this HDRI. The addition of a light spot allowed the effect of breakthrough of the sun. More details are given in the "lighting" part.

05-Les Davids Winery-Composition.jpg

I found that the verticality of the framing was all the more relevant because of the horizontality of the project. As seen previously with the references, verticality invites the gaze to browse the image from bottom to top. The cap  Marc Barani's building is a strong mark of this horizontality. Over the course of my tests, I made sure that the light came to emphasize it. In the composition, this cap lines up with the first third of the frame.


The vines represent a guiding element of the additional gaze in the landscape. In reality, these vines are not perpendicular to the building, but in the image I chose to align them with the camera to reinforce the symmetry and to boost reading from the bottom up.

06-Les Davids Winery-Composition and orientation of the vines.jpg

3D Modeling:


Ground :

The land is made up of 2 parts. The surrounding landscape and the vineyards.

08-Les Davids Winery-Composition and orientation of the vines.jpg
07-Les Davids Winery-Terrain modeling.jpg



16 models of trees and plants from the MaxTree library were used to dress the landscape. Variations in foliage hue are present by default in each plant and this is what makes their main quality in my opinion.

09-Les Davids Winery-Plant models.jpg

Regarding the vine, this is the model of 3 variations of shapes are supplied with the model, which helps to limit the impression of repetition.


The scattering tool used is the CoronaScatter. I find it easy to use and quick to access. The vines are repeated on splines along the land.

10-Les Davids Winery-CoronaScatter.jpg

Tree scattering, on the other hand, is applied on the global terrain and the boundary is indicated to the CoronaScatter by means of CoronaDistanceMaps in the “Surface scattering” slot. Given the grazing position of the camera, it was not necessary to worry too much about the precision of the contours in plan.

11-Les Davids Winery-CoronaScatter.jpg

Building :

12-Les Davids Winery-Building.jpg



Ground :

It is the only "complex" material on the scene. The quality of this material, the basis of which comes from RD Textures, is to be relatively wide and therefore suitable for a large surface. But it is above all the formidable Corona UVWrandomizer which allows the repetitions to be melted over the entire length of the vines. This UVWrandomizer is connected to each map with the “Randomisze Each Tile” functionality which allows you to make a random mix. It was necessary to increase the "Blending" value to 0.5 for a better blending of the Displacement map. Thank you Corona Renderer for this very useful new feature.

13-Les Davids Winery-Ground Material.JPG


This is the most simplistic of materials. I simply took a photograph of the building in order to map it in 3D. Its resolution is 2500 x334 pixels. A small passage in Photoshop was necessary to make the map "seamless". In Corona, only the diffuse and reflection slots are used. At this distance from the camera, I did not consider it useful to work more on this material.

14-Les Davids Winery-Façade Material.JPG


The MaxTree plant materials are by default well set for the majority of cases. We can nevertheless simplify them to reduce the computation time, especially when they are not in the foreground. Here, I deleted the bump and displacement maps. The final rendering time is reduced and the interactive render of Corona becomes more fluid.




A global and diffused lighting is given by the HDRI. The latter is interesting that it does not generate cast shadows. This leaves the freedom to add an independent primary light (the breakthrough of the sun).

15-Les Davids Winery-HDRI.jpg

The effect of projecting light onto a small area was achieved with a DiskLight. If you want to reproduce this effect, you should make sure to set the “Directionaly” value between approximately 0.7 and 1. You can also play on the size of the disc to vary the shape of the projection.

16-Les Davids Winery-Disk light.jpg

I tried to ensure that the whole building was lit by emphasizing the edge of the "cap" and leaving the foreground in the shade.

093 COM.jpg


Photoshop did not intervene in this work. It is therefore a raw rendered image.

Only 3 parameters of the Corona VFB were used. The other values are default.

17-Les Davids Winery-Corona VFB.jpg



My goal in this job was to strip my workflow of any superfluous technicality. I decided to make the light and the framing speak before any other concern. It is interesting to note that extensive post production was not necessary.

“The architect writes a story, the graphic designer tells it”. Here architecture spoke of relation to the ground and to the sky, of materiality and elementary forms.

See you soon for more making-of

Arthur Neveu

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