Introduction talking about the start point of this render

(later I’ll show you the making of)

Have you ever participated in a render contest?

Do you know how to start the planning to win?

What considerations must be in your mind to be satisfied with your result?

In this post, we explain you the path that we followed to get the first prize,

obviously, with a big dose of luckĀ ?

Competition rules

The same 3D model were provided to all contestants. From here, your imagination was the only limitation.

You could deliver as many images as you wanted.

This type of competitions attract all kinds of competitors. There were with experience and novice ones. I do not know how many finally participated, but it was a worldwide competition and the level of the finalists very high. Without a doubt, we are proud of winning in these circumstances.

Our initial process (before render)

It was not the first time we took part in a competition. When they are so very open, it is hard to decide to go. What criteria choosing to win.

First render test of the structure
Renders with different moods
  • Imaging what will be the composition of the jury and what they would value.
  • Choosing a view and a frame.
  • How to light the scene up: day, night, cloudyā€¦
  • What materials to use.
  • In black and white or in color?

Anyway, many possibilities and many decisions to make.

The decision

We immediately found that the 3d model ofĀ Arya SiekĀ was very versatile. It offered many views to be displayed.

Our working method is not subject to strict rules for decision-making. That is, with the same test, we checked whether the textures, lighting, perspective, etc. was working or not. Little by little we opted for one option.

It was as valid as the other we rejected.

So, we decided to visualizeĀ the model as if it had been abandoned. As if time had swallowed it.

Vegetation had grown up around and even inside. The original materials were not recognized.

Attractive render framings

As I already mentioned, the bridge was attractive from many points of view.

We considered the possibility of distant and even very close views. They all had something interesting.

In the end, to limit decisions, we focused on these three points of view.

For various reasons, more linked with aesthetic sensations than anything else, we kept the vertical framing.

Render - Frontal framing of the structure

Once again, the attention to detail for the render

Details make the difference between a good image and a winning image. We made additional efforts.

In modeling

We wanted to show the deteriorating situation of the bridge. To do this, we made multiple actions on the 3d model:

We broke the windows, both on the deck as lower floor.

Render - Broken glass detail

On the stairs, we eliminated some steps

In the handrail, we made a few notches.

Messy vegetation grew everywhere and some dry leaves appeared in the foreground.The standing water also helped.

Render - details of vegetation grown over the structure

In the end, we even put a few crows in 3d and the rusty barrel.

In the textures

Materials should appear, accordingly with the above, cracked, rusted, battered by time:

Render - snowed frames with different moods

The other render image we submitted sought this desolate look with the lighting of a cloudy day.


It was the latest discovery. It was quite costly but it was the icing on the cake.

Render scene snowed

Render post production

Although we did some tests with the final image in black and white, which we liked very much, we decided to submit them in color.

progressive different moods

Ā Successive adjustments allowed us to reach the desired end and we sent the renders.

Uncontrollable factors

I do not know how long we dedicated the three team members. We did what we could and then, one of the most decisive factors in a competition, gave us as winners: luck.

Luck not understood as ā€œI do anything and letā€™s see what happensā€. I mean the jury take a liking to us. Another jury would probably have chosen another image (we believe there are several very good).

We are very happy and it gives us strength to continue.

We hope our clients find that, when they let us to do, we get the most brilliant render results.

YES, now, the making of


Once we have chosen the point of view and the aspect of the scene, we set out to search for reference images, which help us to get, as close as possible, the final render idea.

The fundamental keys of our image were the deterioration and the abandonment of the place.

We are looking for images that show that feeling, to apply it to our scene.

Therefore, the first search was made on bridges or similar locations with some deterioration.

reference images of destroyed structures

We think also that, such scenario like this, it could be habitable place for some individual animals, whom often use this type of places or conditions for nesting, such as crows, vultures, etc ā€¦

So, this was the second search in internet.

reference images of crows

After deciding that the scene would be lit like a night or evening ambiance and snow finally take part of our scene, we made a third and final search, searching dusk sunset skies, and places where the snow is present.

reference images of landscapes snowed



For snowy process, we used a plugin for Cinema 4D :Ā MagicSnow.

This plugin had advantages and disadvantages when is used. The advantages were obvious, the scene brought something different and for us back in our work. The big drawback was that we had to ā€œwait snowingā€, since the snow go fill the scene, like in real time. There wasnā€™t something like an airbrush which go filling the snow scene. We ā€œhad to snowā€ the different objects in the scene, and see how they appear, depending on the values we gave them.

We also had an additional problem because the snow pure and simple geometry, computers resented if we tried to do the whole render scene at once.

We had to make it snow in parts, and adapting the final snow geometry to the scene, meanwhile in the distance, the snow could be less in quantity, resolution and definition.

Finally we were able to fill the scene after multiple render tests, since not always chose in the right values, mainly because it was a novelty for us to use this plugin for the first time.

Some screenshots of the snow process:

magic snow plugin
wireframe image snowed with magic snow plugin
wireframe image snowed with magic snow plugin
wireframe image snowed with magic snow plugin


Initially, it was an element that was going to have some prominence, because we wanted to put in the foreground, and its inclusion in the surrondings, along with its values of reflection, diffusion, etc., would make it an attractive element in the scene . Finally, it is a ā€œlostā€ element but still there giving more detail to the final image.

We sought photographic references to get an idea, although the water acquires multitude of aspects depending on multiple factors ā€¦

reference images of puddles

We used geometry and tried to liken as possible to reality. The puddle was more attractive when it was over. Finally stay in the background, but partly have fulfilled its function.

simulating a puddle inside 3d app


Regarding the issue of modeling vegetation we used ā€œhairā€ of cinema, proxies for trees and pure and simple 3d model for the dry trees.

Finally back trees that seems placed in post-production, but, during the process, many tests of vegetation were conducted.

vegetation around the structure
vegetation around the structure

The trees were placed back in post-production, because we obtain more control, and we avoided having to ā€œsnowā€ that amount of trees, resulting polygons weight.

Also, we kept a large percentage of herbs and shrubs. Unfortunately, most of them were rather hidden by snow.


Some elements were modeled to be include in the scene.