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Behind the Scenes: Old Apartment Adaptation


About me

Hello, I’m Artur and I’m a freelance archviz artist working and living in Gdańsk, Poland. I have a master’s degree in architecture and have been working as an architect up to the beginning of 2020. I recently decided to focus only on my archviz business since I have noticed that it gives me the most satisfaction and freedom to be who I want to be.

I had my first experience in 3D during college. Back then I was using Revit and 3ds Max, mostly to model my projects. One day during my last year of studying, I read about Blender and its community and decided to give it a shot—but I was kind of repulsed by the 2.75 version and quickly forgot about it. After college, I immediately started to work as an architect, and in 2018 I was approached by a friend, who is also an architect, to create some archviz. I didn’t have licenses for the software I was using before so I decided to give Blender another shot and it went really well. Since then, I’ve realized that I actually did not like my job and that working on archviz was fun. The decision to switch wasn’t really hard. I was learning Blender after work and fulfilling some minor contracts for another archviz when the opportunity came to switch jobs; I established my company and left the job I had been in. It was the best decision of my life besides saying yes to my wife. ;)

Old apartment adaptation

I was inspired to create this work by one of the older apartments in Gdańsk that I had the pleasure to visit. I noticed the unique space I was in and remembered it with an intention to model it and to try to create my vision of that place. Additionally, I wanted to train my skills in interior visualization since these are an Achilles heel of my work.


The idea came to me as I was searching for some images of an orangery on Pinterest. I was particularly inspired by photos like this one: a table with seating surrounded by greenery was to be the point of this scene.


For this project, I used Blender to model and Cycles to render the scenes. I render with an i7-5820K CPU with 1500 samples and did not use any of the available denoisers because I didn’t like the results. Most of the models used in the scene were downloaded from or from I also used some paid assets from 3D SHAKER on Blender Market and some I modeled myself. For the post-processing, I used Photoshop to work on the tonality.

The scene creation process basically looked like this:

Step one: modeling interior structures and boundaries like walls, ceiling, floor, and windows.

Step two: adding basic textures to the scene to better understand what light setup is needed for my particular vision of the project.

Step three: managing light setup to work the way I want. I was looking for a soft light with an overcast sky (exact light setup is below in the Light setup segment).

Step four: adding elements like furniture and plants. I did model some of the elements used, like the chairs, table, towels, lamp, etc. I like to model furniture by creating a second scene and then instancing the model onto the main scene for better performance.

(Chair is modeled using basic tools like extrusion, bevel, and modifiers. I have also added some seams in particular places to properly unwrap the texture onto the model)

Step five: finding the right angles.

Step six: adding some details and a little story. Overall, I think that there should always be room for a little story in the images because they add some artistic value to the project.

Color management

What you may find interesting about this project is that it was made using an ACES color management scheme, which is a professional motion picture industry color encoding system. Basically, the difference, in my opinion, is that it yields some better quality contrasts and shadows. Try it for yourself to see if you agree. Follow this tutorial by Mario Cazares to learn how to set it up in Blender. It’s pretty easy but what is not really that fun at this moment is that you have to manually change the color scheme of each of the textures you are using in your scene to actually achieve the proper results.

Which color space to use in textures: You need to set the Utility - Linear -sRGB for the diffuse texture and Utility - Raw for the textures where you would usually set to non-color data. This is a setup that works and gives similar results to what you would normally have but you can try to use different color spaces for your textures to find out what suits your style.

Light setup

I also wanted to share my world light setup that I used for this scene. This is a setup that is used in a free-to-download project by a Blender Artists user named Holi Home.

Basically, this setup gives you a lot more control over your scene. You can adjust the strength of the diffuse or gloss in your scene as well as the color of light rays. I definitely recommend it and I wanted to thank Holi Home for sharing his interior scene for free. In my project, I used an HDRi from HDRI Haven and my exact setup is as you can see here:

As I am still somewhat of a newbie to interior archviz, I also wanted to thank Filipe Lima Botelho for sharing his work for free. It helped me a lot with interior modeling basics like camera setups, angles to capture, etc. I highly recommend checking out his post with downloadable scenes.

My small contribution: free chair

As a small contribution from me, I wanted to share with you a link to the chair I’ve modeled and used in this project. The model is not perfect by any means, but if you find it useful for your scene I would be very happy. :) The textures used are CC0 downloaded from Public Domain Textures.

Here was the inspiration for the chair and here’s my 3D file.

And here are some shots of the process and progress:

Thank you all for reading!

About the Author

Artur Szóstakowski, Architect & 3D Artist



About the Author

Abby Crawford

I've been a part of the BlenderNation team since 2018, producing Behind the Scenes and Meet the Artist features that highlight Blender artists and their work.

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