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River Side

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Date Added: 24th March 2014
Software used:
The final scene created; River Side

Digital artist Enrico Cerica gives us an insightful look into the process he used in creating his pictur-esque scene; River Side

When I started this project I didn't know precisely where I was going with it. I had no reference images, but I knew that I wanted to show some water and surrounding nature with a nice house in the middle.

One of the main challenges was to be able to render such a huge scene with only 3GB of video memory including geometry and textures. I also had to take into consideration the limitation of 64 RGB textures and 32 gray textures.

The house

After starting, I had several ideas in mind: a very old stone house, a modular house like the one I made for a previous project called Module house near the lake, but I finally reused some parts of a project to be finished and based on the Type Variant House (Vincent James Associates Architects).

Some ideas on the shape of the house, based on a Type Variant House style

The terrain

I first created the terrain (about 170x100 meters) with some hills based on a rocky geology. For the water, I thought that a river would be the best solution as it gave me the opportunity to create a non-closed perspective.

I used a Displacement map on the terrain with more details/subdivisions for closer parts, and less or no displacement for distant parts, to allow the exported geometry to fit within the 3GB video memory limit.

Creating the terrain within the 3GB memory limit

The landscape

For the far landscape I simply used billboards with a wide landscape image and an Alpha texture to make the sky part transparent.

This image was from

Using an image from with an Alpha texture

Water bump map

I didn't use a Displacement map on the water but simply applied two Bump maps, one Normal map for the global waves, and a Bump one for the trail behind the yacht and some local waves around the boat and the pontoon.

The water Bump map to create the waves

Mix materials
I used the Mix Materials node to mix those two maps. Depending on the view and the light direction, the mix value should be adapted to get the best result.

Using the Mix Materials Node to mix the maps

continued on next page >

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
STONECRUSHER420 on Fri, 30 September 2016 12:25am
This is excellent work! I work alot with 3DS Max and Forest Pack, along with Railclone. A work of art like this done in blender and gimp (for free) is awesome. Please do a full video, or series of videos! I will spread them to my friends. Cheers man!
Shioda on Tue, 23 February 2016 1:56am
very, very nice. Do you have any video tutorials I would like to see how you when about with all of the process. I would be willing to pay for a tutorial like this in a step by step video form. Excellent work!!
The Animator Tale on Sat, 29 March 2014 2:53pm
This is simply gorgeous! It looks so real! Nicely rendered! I hope you can make a full tutorial for this.
King on Wed, 26 March 2014 9:44am
Wow really nice renders.i hope you make a full tutorial
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