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Adam Karlsson
by adamkarlsson on 30 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

Independent Real-Time Artist. Right now in the middle of building my career and running my own company. I'm looking forward to sharing my 3rd entry here at The Rookies. You can see more of my work and contact me at or visit my Instagram @ultraviz

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2019 I submitted my first entry for The Rookie Awards. With zero expeditions. That entry includes my first ever architecture visualization projects. I made it as a finalist and got the opportunity to write an article of my work which was later submitted to Substance Magazine & The Rookies blog page. It gave me enough motivation to come back in 2020 with a stronger mindset hoping to get one step closer to the podium. My last year's entry was probably the entry that changed me the most as an artist. I learned a lot of new tools as workflows. This put me in a good place in the industry and was a great way to develop and push projects.

2021 I decided to make my last and 3rd entry for The Rookie Awards. It was probably the most stressful period as I was working full-time and later built my own company. It's been a lot of hours working late and a lot of time in front of the computer. I spent roughly less than six months on this entry. But I want to make clear I didn't work full time on this. It was mostly made in my spare time. But if I was available to be part of this competition one last time I was going to take it.

100% made in Unreal Engine

To keep this short this year's entry is all about me trying to push the maximum quality to the highest possible. I want to say I don't compare myself against off-line renders like V-Ray or Corona. I see Unreal Engine and V-Ray as two different tools. They are both great but for different purposes. But I want you all to see this entry as something more than just a render. My project is an experience where clients can interact and discover in full real-time. I especially want the judges to be aware of this while watching my entry. And especially my film reels since I've been putting a lot of effort into these.

Please watch all videos with headphones as they contain high quality audio tracks.

For business inquiries visit and contact me at Instagram Website or LinkedIn 

To get you all extra excited let's jump right into the trailer. It was filmed inside Unreal Engine and edited in Adobe Premiere. No post production. All RAW 4K footage. Art Direction, Shading, Lighting, Animation, Real-Time Rendering, Film Editing, blueprint-scripting made completely by myself.

Interactive Interior

Introducing the interactive interior. Takes you through an experience of self confidence. For me, confidence is one of the most important aspects when buying an apartment. That's exactly why I designed this project. To be able to give the clients free hands discovering the apartment and customizing their future home.

One of my big passions is doing cinematics film reels. When I was younger I've always interested in filming and video editing. Clearly because combining shots with music makes everything ten times better. Art Direction, Shading, Lighting, Animation, Real-Time Rendering, Film Editing, Texturing, UV-Mapping, Interior styling & blueprint-scripting made completely by Adam Karlson. I may be missing something but I've been working on everything more than less.

This film was rendered in 4K resolution on a NVIDIA RTX 2070 graphics card. 

Giving each shot a good grade of depth of field and combining it with 4K resolution made the quality improve a lot. Click on each image to discover the images in the highest amount of quality.

I wanted to have a realistic view of the sea. So instead of having a static image I decided to use a high resolution video playing the waves in the background. To make this feel alive I added animated birds flying outside the window. To combine everything together I added sea and waves audio to get one step closer to real life. Watch the walkthrough video below to see the full project. Headphones required..

Full Walkthrough / Configurator Breakdown

In this video I will demonstrate how the user experience works as showing the entire projects from all different angles. For a full proper breakdown I recommend you to watch the short film below it demonstrate and cover the full project and configurator.

I rebuilt the entire automotive blueprint from Epic Games to suits my needs for this project. This was a perfect way to expand my knowledge of Blueprinting inside Unreal Engine as well as saving time. I probably spent just two weeks on adjusting and building the blueprint.

We all know it can be very difficult to style and match colors. That's why I built a few ready sets for people to choose between. Here I show you a variety of options for the floor.

Lighting Breakdown

Lighting was pretty straight forward on this project. Apartment had a lot of windows which helped me to create a more natural soft look. I will share some of the detailed lighting renders to demonstrate my lighting without materials.

Using ray traced reflections together with ray traced translucency made it possible to create the reflections on the glass surfaces.

I tried to break up the floor a bit by putting a less reflective surface close to a shiny surface. This gave me the look I wanted on the floor and helped the lighting to create more bounces. I also put some rectangle lights in different locations to give the lighting more of a luxury look.

Casa 6 | Exterior

Casa 6 is a villa in São Paulo, Brasil. This was a very interesting and fun project for me since it was the first time I ever built an exterior. However it was an obvious decision to widen my skills. When doing personal projects I find it very fun to be able to decide the interior design by myself. So keep that in mind in all of my entries I've been styling the interior design as well.

Water and caustic

This is the shaders I used for the water and caustics. It's pretty straight forward but here is a quick breakdown for anyone that is interested.

Casa 6 Walkthrough

To give a bit of a nice touch I added a cicada's ambient sound to add the feeling of being in that exact environment. This was completely possible because of "Ambient Music Italy", who was the creator of this perfect sound. If you want to get in touch you can follow the links below. Huge thanks.

YouTube, Spotify, Facebook

Exterior Lighting

The lighting for this project was interesting. Because of the animated palms I knew early that I had to use some kind of movable light source to be able to catch the shadows. So I went with a dynamic direction light that I customized to make sure it would behave exactly how I wanted. I didn't use ray traced shadows for the light source but instead had effect ray tracing reflections ticked on. Having the direction light dynamic made it possible to animate it for my short film.

600 C

600 C is a minimalistic interior designed by architect Kanstantsin Remez.

Art Direction, lighting, shading, modelling, UV-Mapping, propping, animation, blueprint scripting, real-time rendering and film editing is made by me. 

With help of good reference images from architect Kanstantsin Remez I could easily manage to build up the apartment in 3D.

Cinematic Film Reel

Cinematic video showing the apartment together with beautiful soundtrack.


This video is showing me walking around the apartment. I used an Xbox controller to get smooth camera tracking shots. 

Automotive | Raytracing | Porsche Taycan

I've always had a huge interests for cars so I decided to share this Automotive project. If this isn't going to be judged I'm fine with that. My main tasks was to build up a story with different lighting techniques and working with materials to make the best shape of the car. The architecture in this project was simple and even if it's not that noticeable it's there and are supposed to be in a garage/photo studio location.

Art Direction, Shading, Lighting, Animation, Real-Time Rendering, Film Editing & Look-Dev by Adam Karlsson. Car is from CGtrader.

To be able to give the car the perfect shape I decided to go with a backdrop film that was going to give the car the best amount of reflections I needed. I used a lot of different rectangular lights to make sure I got a good shape in every corner. I got in touch with Toros Köse who was the creator of this backdrop video. Please make sure to check out his works. This man really has passion for what he does.

Sound is made by the amazing, remember music is more than 80% of the shot. So get in touch with him if you are looking for something perfect.

I always want to explore and push the boundaries. That's why I decided to try to render all my still images in this project at a resolution of 16K. This was possible because of the movie render queue in Unreal Engine 4.26.

The fabric for the car I used Marvelous Designer to simulate it as well as animate it. Then I imported it to Unreal to apply high detailed material from Substance Source.

Playing a bit with color-grading was fun even if I never ended up doing it for my films. Here I explore some different lighting styles. It's a great way to discover different variations of moods.

If you found this entry inspiring please drop a high five and if you're interested to get in touch use the links below.

Linkedin Website Instagram

"I want to give a million thanks to The Rookies for being such an amazing platform for artists to develop. As you probably know this is my last year on this platform. Never did I expect that I would be standing here with my own company and be able to work with such an amazing range of clients. I recommend everyone to enter The Rookies. It's the perfect way to expand your skills. Set goals and reach them. Grind hard and it will pay off."

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