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Small Details

Small Details

Ivan Ontiveros Ortiz
by iontiveros on 31 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

"Small details" is a short Archviz film of close-ups for the Rookies made in less than 2 weeks.

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By Ivan Ontiveros

Hello everyone! I'm really happy to be part of TheRookies competition one more year. I almost miss it!

Two months after being Rookie of the Year - Highly Commended last year, I got a position as an Archviz artist in a studio in London (Lightfield). 

Since then I have been really busy working with them and learning lots of things about this industry.

I have had a little spare time in the last two weeks, and I decided to do a small animation for this year.

I really like to focus on the small details when I'm doing 3d, but these days the clients want wide images to show the whole space. So this project is going to be about close-ups and details.

Also, I decided to have a little fun with phoenix fd, tyflow, and growfx, so I force myself to learn new skills animating liquids, smokes, plants, and cloth.

I used 3d max for modeling and Fstorm for rendering. Fstorm for me is the best render engine I ever used, fast GPU rendering, easy to use with great results.

The post-processing is been made with After Effects.


Nowadays the GPU rendering allows us to render almost in real-time. This is really helpful to play and test with light and animated objects like trees or curtains, giving you more interesting animations and less boring to watch it.

And also really fun to play with!


When I start moving the camera to look for a good angle, I like to follow a few rules of composition, and try to use different ones, so it is not becoming boring shot after shot with the same composition.

To do so, I have a script showing me different composition rules straight away to my viewport.

In the image below I use the Golden Triangle rule, using the branches and flower to follow it.

The next rule is the most common one, the golden ratio. Guides your eyes trough the objects to the central focus, in this case, the whiskey glass.

But don't forget rules are made to break it sometimes! 


Archviz animations are sometimes a little bit boring to watch. To break the monotony I like to use animated objects.  For me the best part of a project.

This time I used Tyflow for cloth and ice cubes. It's a superpowerful tool, and is still in beta!. It also works really well with Phoenix FD to interact with liquids, as I did with the next shot.

Fstorm is really powerful but doesn't generate caustics, so I calculate it with corona render and match both images in post.

In the next shot, I wanted the viewer to read a windy day, so he/she wanted to get in this bath with hot water and candles, (Now I think I went too far with the wind)

For the steam, I used PhoenixFD and GrowFX for plants. I tried the water movement with phoenixFD but the calculation times were too long, so I cheat with a "flex" tool from 3d max to make a soft body and a deflector to manipulate it.


And the last thing but not least, is how we texture the scene.

I use a wide range of textures but the more common websites I go are Substance Source, Poliigon, Megascans, Friendlyshade, and a really good one is Texture Supply, with a great displacement as you can see in the last shot.

If you reach these lines, thank you so much, I hope you enjoy the result:

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