This article is a "behind the image" presentation of our entry  in the nvArt competition hosted by cgSociety.org in collaboration with nVidia.


We look at the proposed “Architecture and Landscape” theme as an interaction between the architecture and its context, a bipolar relation where both participants are redefining themselves.

From the “mise-en-scene” aspect up to functional interference, the complex dialogue searches solutions at various levels. There are no passive elements in this equation. Just skillfully tuned ingredients giving birth to a new entity, a globally improved context, a new “datum”. And the “ritual” can start over again.

While every real case has its uniqueness and requires appropriate solutions, we proposed a metaphoric expression of this very process that governs the act of creation of architecture set in context, the landscape. We tried to conceptualize its mechanics, identifying common actors and actions involved. Playing with the thresholds of reality, a magic world emerged.

Rather than proposing a concrete case study, we explored the intimacy of architecture and its creation in its purest form.

The setup takes us in a real but, in the same time, imaginary world. A child’s room where landscape and architecture are born, destroyed, and reborn again. Emerging worlds exploring unique associations between random components.

And each setup, as a self sufficient world on its own establishes, by definition, a perfect harmony between architecture and landscape.

The final image is just a snapshot, an instance of this magic. The associated text gives the key that integrates this “snapshot” into the larger, richer and ever changing experience.


Two floors higher than the landing platform, we watch the playful constructs dancing with the light swirls. Our world is glowing in its brightest splendor as it approaches its latest hours…
Each time we’re born, we struggle to see beyond. Beyond the boundary, the darkness where even the light swirls hardly dare to adventure. With the powerful light and we already gone, incredible things happened out there. Fantastic creatures with infinite power will reshape our world, setting again and again new rules and new foundations so we can be born again…

There it is. The transport approaches. I’ll climb in spirals to the uppermost platform, trying once again to glimpse beyond the rugged peaks… Our structure grows higher with every cycle. I’m convinced that soon we’ll be tall enough.

The model, textures and lighting were done using 3dsMAX and vRAY renderer. The main tower and its features were rendered separately. Post processing was done in Photoshop: global filters, fog, highlights and some add-ons: the boat, horses and the soldiers near the “harbor”. The same goes for the silhouettes, the Montgolfier and the “light swirls”.

The difference between real and imaginary is sustained by different CG techniques for the “exterior”, outside the peaks, and the “interior” formed by the tower and its proximity. While one is pure photorealistic rendering, the other is mainly 2D “freestyle” manipulation of more “exuberant” elements.

There are 2 wooden construction sets used to build up the whole playground geometry. While the “exterior” structures are rigorous concerning the overall stability (the bridge, the tunnel), the main tower has a stable base which starts to “decompose” towards the top where everything floats. Using Reactor, about 1200 objects from the smaller set were “dropped” around the tower in order to form "chaotic” piles.

This completely interior scene contains approx. 25k Polys and 2 exterior light sources. The main image took about 4.5h to calculate on a INTEL 2.4Ghz Q6600.