Minangkabau Architectural Reconstruction

A four week assignment was given to create a reconstruction of an architectural building. My group chose a very unique and stylized home structure in the regions of Malaysia and Indonesia. The home is based on the Minang culture and the Minangkabau people. We found this structure to be an intriguing subject as it is often not found in CG works.

The following is how we as a group, divided assignments and progressed throughout the assignment. The following are written per individual.


Cody King:

To begin the assignment, we split the areas of focus in a way of which we were all interested in working. I proposed to model the front deck area of the building providing me to focus on the details of the roof, stairway, stair rails, and spindles. I found working with the roof to be rather interesting. The shape demanded a way of modeling that was unexpected. As it has a rather unique slope both in verticality and depth, the process to get it distinctly correct took longer than expected. It was then overseen by Kelly to match the rest of the building as a whole.

I then turned my focus to the frozen lake. I found that texturing such a lake would be a challenge and I embraced it willingly hoping to learn a thing or two about the texturing process. I was introduced to Substance Painter, a rather fond software, allowing me to procedurally paint an ice-like texture on the lake mesh. I then used multiple layers to convey a subtle frost, snow, and scratches (wear) on the ice surface itself.

After the textures were set, I created snow mounds that sat on the lake surface to break up the composition of the lake itself. Using a plane found under the lake mesh, I sculpted mounds to project upward and blend to the surface of the lake. I then created alpha maps to show the mounds and create further detail to both break it up and create size variations. Joshua's incredible snow texture, was then applied.

To finish up the project I did some final placements and edits in set dressing the foliage around the landscape.


Kelly Robert:


  • Modeling house

  • Fixing/adjusting models when necessary- piecing together the parts other group members created and adjusting them to have continuity

  • UV unwrapping various parts of the structure

  • Assisting with Maxwell/rendering

  • Compositing


Joshua Aoki:


  • Snow Textures (Substance)

  • Roof Texture (Substance)

  • Rock Texture (Substance

  • Rocks (Houdini)

  • Set dressing (see Breakdowns)

  • Fog

  • Lighting

  • Camera/scene layout

  • Modeled landscape

  • Maxwell Shader Setup (All Maxwell shaders)


Eman Abdul-Razzak:

My Contributions:

  • Initial color script

  • UV unwrapping various parts of the building

  • Texturing all buildings except for the roof

  • Edited renders

  • Edited models when necessary


Nicole DeBolt:

At the beginning of the assignment I worked on modeling. I modeled the small houses, the bottom arches on the main house, and window frames on the main house.

Also I did Initial lighting tests in maya using Maxwell Renderer. Experimented with using HDRI images, but decided to not use HDRI images.

I found the image that we used as the background in our renders.

I also did the initial placement of the foliage in the scene.


Brett Lee:

As we all began searching for reference photos of historical architecture, some reference we found inspired us to combine an eastern Asian style house with a snowy climate. We split up preliminary work to which I was tasked with creating the white box for us to establish blocking and how we wanted our house set up with surrounding trees. I then began modeling the front door of the house and the snow for the roof tops.

Throughout the process I continued to set dress the scene, gathering everyone's models. Moving toward the texturing stage I unwrapped the door to pass on to Eman for texturing. At this time I also created the preliminary lake and ground surfaces, along with rock models to surround the lake. In order to give the roof a more icy feel underneath the snow, I painted on some frost to the UVs using photoshop.

After critique, I worked to adjust the the snow on top of the roof to give it a more realistic feel. In the end, both the snow and rocks were altered. The final scene was passed to Josh to continue the set dressing and make render-ready.


Ben Quigley:

I spent most of my time for the project researching and learning speedtree while I produced multiple versions of a bushy winter tree, evergreens, bushes, and branches to be used as debris. I also used houdini and a plugin to create a falling snow effect.

So. . .

  • Falling snow

  • Bushes

  • Trees

  • Other trees

  • More trees


Special Thanks to Andre Thomas, Benjamin House, and Neil Blevins for their input and feedback throughout our progressional stages.

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