Making Of: Sendai Mediatheque


Making Of: Sendai Mediatheque Imagine Studio presents Sendai Media as personal project. It was made for educational and experimental purposes concerning the architectural visualizations. Sendai Mediatheque (the reference building) is a library in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. It was designed by Toyo Ito in 1995 and completed in 2001. We wanted to represented this beautiful architecture, refracted through our minds. It includes several images during the autumn season with different lighting scenario. We decided to share our knowledge through this “making of”. Enjoy it! Concept&References/Inspiration We needed some references for inspiration and information also. Here you can see some of them:



We looked for some drawing, 3d model or any info that would help us to get the basic lines of the building and the environment. So we found several drawings and a 3d model. It was not detailed as we wanted it, so it was fixed a bit and some details were added:


On the following screenshots you can see what we did with the environment. Our desire was to prepare the landscape a little bit different from the original:


Ps: credits to our friend Asen Todorov for the wonderful model of the Mercedes W123


For finding the most appropriate camera angles we tested different points of view. We chosen 9 of them, which had most interesting composition…the following illustrates first drafts:



There is nothing special about the materials. You can see it below:


- Concrete – we wanted to look like as used. It was made with VrayCompTex


- Glass – as you can see on the screenshot, the glass material is really simple (but effective)


- Road markings – The material is composed only from diffuse map. We applied VrayDisplacementMod modifier on the object which is 0.6 cm under the road



We decided to make an autumn scenario. The trees are iCube, we erased them leafs, made some basic adjustments on the materials and added VrayDisplacementMod modifier for more detailed bark appearance:


To generate the flying leaves we used particle flow. The objects were three slightly different variations. Geometry of the leafs is one faced plane with noise modifier. The material is composed from diffuse and opacity map


The fallen leaves on the ground, we made with the help of MultiScatter. The settings you can see on the following screenshot. We wanted the leafs on specific places, so to do this we used VertexPaint modifier. That way we painted the areas with the leafs


We made the grass that was sticking from the tree metal grate with MultiScatter as well



The idea was to achieve realistic lighting. For illumination the scene it was used VrayLight type Dome with HDRI. We used our favorites HDRI – Peter Guthrie


For lighting the interior we placed VrayLights type Plane


Render Settings

We used irradiance map plus light cache for the GI bounces. Each render took from 7 to 10 hours on one computer – i7, 48 gb ram, on resolution of 4000x. Only the top view with the flying leaves was very slow (motion blur was generated with the vray camera), and it was around 17-20 hours.

Post Production

Usually we use render elements to fine-tune the materials...and the standard photoshop tools (mainly curves and hue/saturation), as plugins - PhotoLooks(Magic Bullet).


Final Result

Here you can see the final images: