05 - TIKIN LE' - 3rd Prize in CGMood Competition

TIKIN LE' - "The Autumn Colors"

Rendering for CGMood Competition
Tikin le'

 Tikin le'- (means Autumn in Mayan language).


I'm very happy because I won the Third Prize in the CGMood Competition "The Autumn Colors" this year.

I was looking for a personal work about a natural landscape after seeing some photos on the web, specifically a photo of a curved tree. Then I knew about this competition and I decided to do my scene with an Autumn mood.

It is amazing for me to be a winner considering the jury. I can't believe that Bertrand Benoit liked my work, he's the Best ArchViz Artist in the world!

If you don't know him watch his work here.

Also the famous mexican artist Juan García, the swedish Daniel Reuterswärd and the italian Massimo Gnocchi were part of the amazing jury.


I do Archviz for a living, so this kind of nature scenes are not usually asked by clients and I always use my personal works to learn new stuff and to explore new techniques and styles, so I decided to do this image.
It needed a lot of landscaping and detail, nature is too random and too loaded of detail, so doing this work was a real challenge for me because I tried to use as less RAM as possible. The scene used only 22 GB of RAM during rendering phase besides it uses millions of proxies and displacement mods.


These were my references, I decided to make a mixing of a lake and autumn colors.
Also I liked how that wooden boards are curved so I could use them to get a "golden ratio" based image.

This were the images that inspired my mood.
I like the vivid colors, so I wanted to create something like that.


The software used was SpeedTree + 3dsMax 2017 + Corona + AE + PS + DabartiCapturePro

First I modeled the curved tree in SpeedTree. I have used SpeedTree before using some templates and doing changes to get animated trees for animations but this was the first time I used it to create my own tree from the beginning, so this was my first challenge. 

It was imported as Alembic so I can separate the elements according to its shader. I added an Ivy plant with Guruware.

As you can see, the materials of the tree are quite simple to avoid problems and higher rendertimes.

This was the quest for the "Golden Ratio", also the basic modeling of landscape and the first scattered trees to get a general idea.

The volcano is a cone with displacement maps and the mountains are just just planes with deformations. Everything was modeled thinking in a low poly account.

As part of my work I create Architectural Animations and I am a "Full 3D" guy, that means that I like to have the most things possible within the 3D Scene so if I have to move the camera, the objects are already there and I do not have to suffer doing trackings or super difficult (for me) VFX compositions. For that reason I decided to go Full 3D with this scene.


I used a lot of Displacement maps. Some remarkable objects are:
-The texture of the yellow leaves up in the foreground (scanned by me using Dabarti Capture Pro)
-The wood bark of the curved tree
-The wooden boards
-The water near the plants next to the boarder.

I spent a lot of time scattering trees and objects. I put different things such as: Trees, twigs, stones, undergrowth, leaves. Also I put them underwater. I tried to place them correctly so they will look natural.

The scene is divided in Foreground, Middleground and Background, so the scatters have different values between them to use the less instances as possible, optimizing the scene for rendering. Also I played with the scale of them so the ones in the background are a little bigger to be noticeable in the final image.

Also I wanted to try to make the Fog manually, so I placed some geometry over the lake, background trees and around the volcano and I used the VolumeFog material with the help of some displacement maps, I think the result is great and very fast at rendertime.


Here's the process of the Fog:

The selected geometry are the clouds I placed to simulate the fog.
I share the material specifications of the VolumeFog:


Here are the first test of illumination using only a Sun and Sky. I wanted the sun glare in the image, later I changed the sun position so I sacrificed that detail.

I tried different a lighting setup using HDRI + CoronaSun:

At the end I used a sunset HDRI with a CoronaSun to gain that warm orange-mood typical of the Autumn season.

Final Rendering

The final rendertime of the 2500px image was just 40 minutes in a Dual Xeon, so I was very glad with the optimization work I did.


Here you can see the clay render to appreciate that all the geometry is there (I hided the water so you can see the bottom of the lake) and the final raw image:

For the final composition I used only this passes:





In the postproduction process (After Effects + Photoshop) I only added some stains, birds and all the color grading stuff.


And this is the final rendering:


Rendering for CGMood Competition
Tikin le'

I spent a good time doing it and also learned a lot. I hope you like it too! 

If you have any Comments or Questions feel free to write me below.


Thanks for watching!

Mario Cameras


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Comments: 3
  • #3

    johan rosas (Wednesday, 31 August 2022 04:15)

    fantastico el trabajo ! felicitaciones !


  • #2

    EDUARDO ROMERO (Saturday, 10 October 2020 08:15)


  • #1

    Medea (Tuesday, 27 August 2019 20:36)

    I loved your render and everything you did to achieve that result, it is very cool. ♥ I also liked that you set it with a model of morning and afternoon.