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In the Details - ArchViz Projects

In the Details - ArchViz Projects

Kayla Cardona
by kaylac on 21 Mar 2023 for Rookie Awards 2023

Life is an experience built upon layers of detail. This is the inspiration behind In the Details: a collection of my architectural visualization projects that focus on achieving realism in interior and exterior environments.

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Life is a collection of little details layered upon each other to compose an experience and a reality. This concept inspired my journey this year in architectural visualization: a focus on smaller perspectives saturated with attention to details in light, texture, and mood. 

Modern Northwestern Small House - UE5

Inspired by modern architecture and the cool forests of the Northwestern United States, this modern small home is one of my first attempts working with architectural visualization in Unreal Engine 5. I wanted to use clean lines and rich wood textures to compose an inviting interior and an eye-catching exterior.

Video Walkthrough


The interior uses suspended track lighting to create an inviting open floor plan that feels larger than it truly is. A sensation of warmth was important, and this I emphasized blending natural wood textures with pops of color. The living room lighting was designed to mimic that of a stage, taking advantage of tall windows and natural light to bring the cool outdoor environment into the warm living space.


In contrast with the brightly lit first floor designed for entertaining; the bedroom is sparsely lit with cubic lighting to create a dark, moody aesthetic. I wanted to build a striking contrast between the two floors with a sharp transition from the warmer living space to the cozy secretiveness of the dark bedroom loft.


The project uses Lumen Global Illumination to accurately mimic an environment set in the Northwestern United States. I carefully designed the outdoor lighting to highlight the crisp angles throughout the architecture.

The architecture and floor plans are my own designs modeled in Blender 3D. I also designed all the light fixtures in Blender 3D and planned the lighting arrangement using Unreal Engine with Lumen.

Lighting and planar reflection set up in UE5.

Little Corners Series

The corner of a room is a particularly interesting perspective in regards to space and light. I decided to challenge myself by designing three interior visualizations nestled in the corners of different rooms. This was an opportunity to educate myself further in Adobe Substance Stager and the various Substance 3D apps.

Whimsical Traditional

In this visualization I wanted to balance light and texture to build depth and playfulness in a traditional styled interior. The setting takes advantage of unique light angles and contrast in color to create a sophisticated, slightly atmospheric interior. 

Elegant Steampunk

This visualization was all about bold patterns and contrast. My goal was to create a vintage aesthetic with color and light, then elegantly modernize it with steampunk accents. Combining sharp reflections with antique textures helped me achieve the eclectic mood I was striving for.

Minimalist Pastel

An emphasis on natural light and a simple color palate was crucial to keeping this scene pure and minimalistic. I wanted the room to feel clean, soft, with an overall delicate feeling. The challenge was to embrace the "less is more" concept by allowing the light itself to enhance the soft reflections and gentle sloping lines throughout the decor.

As an added challenge, I designed and modeled the majority of the objects in the Little Corners Series in Blender 3D.  All three scenes were textured in Substance Painter and Stager, with some fabric materials created in Substance Designer.

Scenes modeled in Blender 3D.

Conclusion and Credits

Building upon layers of detail has helped me approach visualization as a sensory experience driven by creativity and perception. By using a variety of software to create different interior and exterior environments, I feel one step closer to pursuing my long-term goal of designing structures that could become tangible in our own beautiful reality.

Modern Northwestern Small House

Rendered in Unreal Engine 5 with Lumen. Video edited in Shotcut. Architecture, couches, bedroom lounging chair, bedroom night tables, couch side table, bedroom loft shelf wall, kitchen bar, shelving, and all light fixtures made in Blender 3D. Bed, kitchen appliances including oven and fridge, and herb containers are from Adobe Substance 3D Assets. Kitchen bar stools, dining table, dining chairs, bedroom library, and other kitchen appliances and tools from Twinmotion. Texturing done in Substance Painter and UE5.  Indoor plants, containers, and some wood and stone shaders are from Quixel Megascans. Outdoor landscape material is from Project Nature on Epic Games Market Place. Pine trees are from STF3d on Epic Games Market Place.

Little Corners Series

All scenes rendered in Substance Stager. Post processing done in GIMP. All objects were designed and modeled in Blender 3D, with the exception of the flowers in Minimalist Pastel from Adobe Substance 3D Assets. All models textured in Substance Painter and Substance Stager. Materials made in Substance Designer include pillow pattern and fabric in Whimsical Traditional, chair pattern and fabric in Elegant Steampunk, and base fabric material in Minimalist Pastel. 

 Thank you to The Rookies for this opportunity to showcase my work. If you enjoyed my projects please feel free to drop me a high five! Thank you again for visiting my entry!

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