Hi guys,

My name is Nguyen Ba Dung, Founder of 4pixos Studio & 4pixos Training.

We specialized in Architectural Visualization and Archviz Training. You can check out my Corona course here : http://jobs.ronenbekerman.com/archviz-training-corona-renderer-4pixos/

As promised, follow will be the Making of my entry that won the 1st prize in the Fstorm Challenge #01 last week.


Consider this is a small scene made in a tight deadline for a challenge, the process was more about ideas, art direction and how to find solution for a request rather than technical skills.

1. Let’s take a look at the brief :

Let’s pretend I am your customer and I’m making a catalog with christmas products to sell, and I want you to make a nice image of this advent candlestick that should be the COVER of the catalogue.

You have pretty free hands, but since it’s a christmas catalogue, it’s preferrable if the image feels “christmas:ish”.

If you feel it fits best on a table, in a window, or in a studio atmosphere, it’s up to you. You are free to do whatever kind of image you want, add whatever models or stuff to the image as you want, as long as the focus remains on the product. I trust your judgement.

Remember: A super complex setup is not always better than the simplest ideas.

*You shall make 1 (one) image, and the format should be Portrait (standing) since a catalogue is usually standing. (Of course you can make more images but only one will be in the voting process).

*Resolution should be at least 850x1200px but feel free to render it bigger. Just make sure the aspect ratio is the same.

*I’ve made this 3D model for you to use (download link below)

*You are free to tweak the material to fit your scene, but you may not change the appearance (color, size, design) of the product. You may replace the lamps if you want, and turn them on/off.

*The challenge will end Friday night.

I found that this is a nice challenge and very similar to the situation that we face with everyday. Clients send request and we find a creative solution for that. Interesting idea from Johannes !

So, assume that he is my client, i will break down the brief to something like this :


  • Promote for candlestick product : so it has to be about the candlestick, its color and its shape must be read clearly and every other things should be simple enough in term of shape and color so the focus will always on the subject.


  •  Christmas atmosphere : what is the symbol of christmas ? what will remind you of christmas ? which objects, which colors ?
  • A rendering in a catalogue cover layout : Aspect ratio should be set at 850 : 1200 right from the start. A catalogue cover meaning there will be typo surround the rendering, usually on top or bottom. Subject should be focus, bold and simple beautiful.


  • Friday night : several days for the dealine, infact I only had 1,2 days for this challenge and so are others, so the scene should be simple so I don’t have to spend too much time on modeling, shaders.. and have more time for refining ideas and details. Less is more and we are looking for something simple yet sophisticated and elegant enough to put on cover of a catalogue for Christmas
2. How did I find and collecting Ideas

Pinterest is your friend, especially when you are looking for something like christmas ideas or interior decorations. My key word was ” Christmas candle” and it worked like a charm.

I created a new board for the challenge, and collected my pins.

Something similar to this : https://www.pinterest.com/allezonyva/candle-stick-challenge/



I chose 3 colors that represent Christmas atmosphere : green pine leaves, white snow and cangles, yellow/brown lights, pine cones.. They are really going well together and create a great harmony of colors.

Keep that in mind and look at it during the progress will keep you on the right track and not loosing time dragging to something else. Focus is power !

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