A Dose of Festive Imagery

Season’s greetings from Lightmap. It’s on this note we have a lovely festive project to share with you.

This holiday season Dose Pictures wanted warm up their creative skills and give back to the community. The Holiday Dreams Project was created in collaboration with Green Star Movement, a nonprofit that inspires students and community through the creation of public art.

The Dose team needed to create 5 different, unique illustrations for this project in a very short amount of time. While 2d digital painting was used for most of the pieces, artist Chris Boyd thought it was a great opportunity to use CINEMA 4D, Octane Render and, of course, HDR Light Studio.

The narrative for this holiday image was, “design the coolest gingerbread house.” In which Chris had to interpret the young students drawing into a fully realized 3d illustration.

Here is the original drawing:

Holiday Dreams Project 1

“Jacklin’s Epic Gingerbread House made me smile big time as soon as I saw it. The whimsical swirls, giant candy, and the wonderful little house on top of the house made me think of an animated children’s show. So I decided to make the scene look like a set from a stop-motion holiday TV special. Jacklin’s imagination made this a fun and unique image – perfect for a Christmas card.” Chris Boyd


The production was standard practice, beginning with sketches, color studies and style exploration. This was mainly created using Photoshop.

Holiday Dreams Project 2
Holiday Dreams Project 3

3D Production

After there was solid direction in both design and color, the scene was modeled and textured in CINEMA 4D.

Holiday Dreams Project 4

The goal was to have a stop-motion feel, like objects were props on a little set. The depth was kept close, as if objects were hanging from strings or being propped up.

Holiday Dreams Project 5

Typical box modeling with deformers and some light digital sculpting was used to create the 3D scene.


It was very important to stay true to the drawing, and to capture the magic of the holidays. The lighting was kept simple to reflect this. Trying to find the right HDRI image ultimately burns up time and loses flexibility in the end. The features in HDR Light Studio allowed maximum speed, flexibility and the ability to design lighting in real-time. This tool is unmatched in that area.

Holiday Dreams Project 6

HDR Light Studio – Stylized Lighting

Starting with the right ambient value and color is key. Balancing out a dark scene with bright elements, like snow, can be challenging. The scenario called for using restraint while creating the mood — oftentimes, less is more. Complexity is not needed to successfully light a scene, usually just well-thought out placement, intensity and color with an attention to the composition focus.

Holiday Dreams Project 7

Octane – Incandescent/Illumination

The house needed to feel warm and inviting, so we paid homage to the holidays. Perhaps there is a fireplace inside? The moon was a character, and he needed to emit warmth as well, the smile helps out quite a bit there.

Holiday Dreams Project 8

Octane – Overall Diffuse Lighting

To achieve the overall mood required less of a heavy directional light, and more about the illumination from the snow, windows and moon. However, the objects still needed to show definition, depth and volume.

Holiday Dreams Project 9

Final Composite Image

The final was composited in Adobe Photoshop, using only a few passes with some minimal color correction.

Holiday Dreams Project CLose 1
Holiday Dreams Project Close 2

For more infoon this project please visit: