October 30, 2019
A sunset in Amsterdam: the winning entry of our previous Twinmotion Community Challenge!
The winning image depicts a beautiful sunset over a canal in Amsterdam. We caught up with 3D Environment Artist Jawad Tariq about what inspired him to create it.
A beautifully lit archviz sceneTariq is an artist at Rebellion, one of Europe’s leading indie game developers and comic book publishers. Based out of their Warwick studio in the UK, he comes from an architectural background, having graduated as an architect from the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan in 2010, and practiced as an architect/interior designer for a number of years after that.
For his entry to the competition, Tariq wanted to choose an architectural scene that matched the beauty of the sunset lighting it up. “I looked for something iconic, preferably a famous place or a building,” he says. “While browsing the internet, I came across an image by a UK-based photographer, Piotr Chrobot.”
“This image of a canal in Amsterdam instantly grabbed my attention because I loved the composition and the silhouette which was directed towards the beautiful and almost perfect sunset,” says Tariq.
Setting to work on the project, Tariq used the geometric nature of the source material to his advantage. “The linear nature of the image was a blessing in disguise, and I took advantage of this by making modular architectural blocks in 3ds Max,” he explains.
Tariq gradually built up the elements he’d need for the scene from simple geometric shapes. “I started by creating smaller and basic blocks so I could later combine and make various buildings out of them,” he notes.
Once he reached this stage, his model was Twinmotion-ready. “Working with modular assets is like playing with LEGO bricks but in a real-time game engine,” says Tariq. He exported his model as an FBX file and started applying materials to everything in Twinmotion.
Customizing materials for greater realismTo bring the scene to life, Tariq added a number of decals. These included things like stains, moss, leaks, and puddles, as well as vents, fuse boxes, and wall damage.
“The decals helped a lot in ageing the materials and making them look more believable,” he says. “Twinmotion has a vast library of materials, and what I love the most about it is the ability to customize materials and use custom maps such as roughness, normal, and metallic.”
The set piece of the scene is the sunset and the effect of its soft rays on the architecture—an element Tariq took great pains to get right. “Initially, I struggled with the placement of the sun but that’s where the Localization feature came in handy,” he says. “I googled the exact location of my reference and placed a marker in Twinmotion which gave me the perfect sun angles.”
Clay renders offer a great way to showcase a model, enabling you to easily see its shapes and forms without being distracted or deceived by textures and reflections. For Tariq, this is one of the best things about Twinmotion. “The ability to extract clay renders with no hassle at all is my favorite Twinmotion feature,” he says. “It’s really good for architectural presentations and client pitches.”
Tariq’s atmospheric Amsterdam canal scene is a great example of the level of realism it’s possible to achieve in Twinmotion. And it doesn’t take long to start seeing results like these, he explains. “It was just a month ago that I saw a Facebook post about Twinmotion being offered for free. That’s when I decided to download the software and participate in the challenge. It didn’t take me long to get on with it—everything in Twinmotion is pretty much self-explanatory.”
Want to start creating your own architectural visualizations? Download Twinmotion for free until November 2019, and keep using it indefinitely after that! You can also now enter our next contest and win some great prizes.