Making of – The MALL

Hello to everybody, I’m very glad to make this update on the making of “The Mall”. It’s a wonderful tutorial that will teach you how to deal with big scale interiors, such as this mall, designed by MC ARTHUR GLEN in Austria.

3dsmax VRay the mall

This Render was made with 3Ds Max and VRay, post work with Photoshop and few realistic plugins to enhance the PHOTO-REALISM.

But Before we start let me show you the real photos of this mall – it turned out to be very similar to what I did in 3D. Thanks to my friend Stanislav Orekhov for taking those pictures.


Alright this is quite inspirational! It’s an amazing feeling to see or walk through the building


that you have made in 3D – I wish that every 3D artist could experience that:)

Now enough chit chat, let’s get down to the real deal and I’ll show you how this “MALL” was created.

Part 1 – Modeling
After importing DWG or DXF files in to the 3Ds max, which is is a great idea but I do it very carefully, because I’m trying to keep my scene as clean as possible.

 planes DWG

I use 2.5 snap option and snap to vertex function while modeling from DWG’s files – this method is the fastest for modeling “clean” elements.

I also work with layers, so all my DWG plans will have separated layer and my modeling will be performed on a different layer. The reason for working with layers is simple, you want to hide and un-hide the entire group of object with one click only. so heavy object should have separated layers, that way your workflow will be much more effective.

Simply extrude the form. Try to stay clean and simple as much as possible. Use spline with snap tool and extrude option- to make elements/shapes from your DWG files.

Note: Files from AutoCAD or ARCHICAD can cause rendering bugs with VRay or unseen objects (such as; “Block::”) in our scene, most of them “Linked” to their source files. That what probably causes bugs, such as; drop renderings, light leaks ‘Disko Lights’, texture failure…etc. These bugs happened in my case, and I think you have the right to be ware of how to avoid such failures.

If you asked me how dis I solved it, you can watch the video here, it will show you how to deal with bugs.

Anyways back to our subject, I used “box modeling” to build the window frames together with elements such as columns and floor.

Also used “pro Boolean” to do the details, however I don’t go much into modeling details, only when it will be necessary. Closeups or close camera objects, better to be good looking, otherwise your visualization will drop down few levels at the first glance.

Lamps were modeled with “Loft” from splines with different shapes.  Same here trying to stay clean and simple.

Made some nice parapet and the whole thing was ready for z axis combination.

This one is like puzzle, you need to find the best cutting place for continues loop,
so you can keep on duplicating as much as you need.

Texture with Displacement could be nice idea for making the floor,
but I went with the loop thing, and have build actual floor plates and colored them .

it took me few times to get the right proportion, since the bricks were not in the DWG plans I hat to measure and build the whole thing by myself.

Finally the loop is complete.

This “Loop” was duplicated and converted to ‘vray.mesh’ objects. This made my whole scene to be very light and easy to operate, especially when setting up the lighting.

Se here it is, the whole loop was converted into repetitive proxy’s – just remember to duplicate by using “instance” option and not “copy”. This way your computer will use memory for only one object, even though it was 10 times duplicated.

I can suggest you to make some light rigs – few combinations  for easy use. I use one that made from:
- 1 VRaySun with VRayPhysCamera
2 fill lights:
- 1 strong yellowish, from the sun direction.
- 1 low blueish from the side.

This can come along with saved rendering settings, which most likely will include environment with VRaySky.

Observe, the whole scene with meshes, and lights. I’ve added 2 more fill lights at the dome, and a set of IES lights at the cupola area.

Part 2 – Rendering

After adjusting the camera and the sun position on the “OverrideMtl” option, came out this render with passes.

I use VRay’s Dirtmap For Ambient Occlusion, however MetalRay AO – looks much better but way longer with rendering times. Here’s a good script that you can use, in order to do it the easy way

Part 3 – Post Production

After performing basic color correction, i start to build above all the rendered passes.I know that this is the non-traditional way of combining passes, but it works for me :)

At the final polishing stage I like to add a bit volume light, there are lots of different methods to do it, i use this one.

of course you need to reduce it’s opacity that way it will naturally flow into your interior.

Final result

I’ve added lens distortion in order to get photographic look, for that purpose I’ve used PTLens. Wonderful plugin, got free working mode.

3dsmax VRay the mall

I used Nikon D80 and Zeiss Jena Flektogon 20mm f/2.8 lens for Chromatic Aberration with PT Lens.

So that’s it.

I hope you find this useful, feel free to comment and share it with your friends.

Final 3D Render with post work.

Real photo was taken by my friend Stas while his was visiting in Austria.


Thaqnks for checking this out!

Talk soon,


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