Hello, BlenderNation! I’m Mohammed Marwan Al-Atassi, I’m a 24 year old 3D hobbyist from Syria. My first experience with 3D was a couple of years ago with Solidworks in engineering school. After I modeled some stuff I discovered Solidworks’ internal render engine, I applied some basic materials and I just fell in love with the idea of making models look believable. I used Keyshot for a while then started learning Blender 8 months ago; this is my third completed project in Blender!
The idea behind this project was something my best friend and I always talked about—that someday, we’re gonna meet again and build a cabin with a porch in the woods and just be at peace for once.
So here it is!
Since I've never been in such a cabin before, the challenge here was figuring out the correct dimensions for the porch and how it’s made, so I had to do some research and learn a little about woodworking. And of course, a lot of references from Google images!
For the floor and the wall I thought that using a displacement map would work just fine. I had actually never tried using displacement before, so I tried it and it did not work the way I thought it would. So I ended up just modeling the basic geometry and using array modifiers. And I blocked out the rest of the porch wood the same way, just simple cubes with array modifiers.
And yes, BEVEL. EVERYTHING.
For the door and the window I used the Archipack Addon that comes with Blender. It worked just fine and it’s great, giving full control over the parameters. I just enabled it and played around a bit until I got the hang of it.
For the furniture modeling I like looking through furniture companies’ websites to get some inspiration, and because they provide multiple pictures with different angles, I am able to figure out how they put the pieces together.
For the ivy I used the built-in IvyGen Add-on; it’s simple and it adds a nice touch to the scene. I had to make a copy of the railings objects that I wanted the ivy to climb on, and then joined them together because the ivy only works on a single object, as far as I know. Then I hid that copy.
I tweaked the leaves manually with the proportional editing tool to bend some leaves randomly a bit after subdividing them once.
To be able to use the add-on you just have to enable it from Preferences > Add-ons. I got the ivy leaf texture from the add-on’s website—it’s free!
After Unwrapping everything, I used Substance Painter. I started with base materials and built my way up. I also used some layers from smart materials to play around with them and see what worked, then I added some dirt with the dirt generator, and used some paint layers to add details to my liking, and then proceeded to export the textures.
In Blender I used the Node Wrangler add-on to import the Substance Painter texture quickly with just Ctrl + Shift + T! It’s one of the most useful add-ons and I suggest enabling it to speed up your workflow in the node editor.
The fun part, am I right?! I used a forest HDRI from HDRI Haven, and played with the value and the saturation a bit until it looked good in my scene.
The HDRI provided some light but I ended up using a few area lights to improve the scene’s light, and I added fill lights inside the cabin to lighten the shadows and show more details.
Regarding the camera, I used a focal length of 28mm with depth of field to limit the distractions of the background and mix it better with the scene.
I used 2200 samples for the final render, then corrected the colors and the levels in Photoshop and here’s the final render!
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