3D Visualisation Challenge – Ideal Home Magazine

I like setting myself challenges.  

These little exercises help me to sharpen my 3D modeling/visualisation skills; they keep me motivated and feed my all consuming interest in Architectural Visualisation.

Plus, for a 3D Visualiser, this is basically playtime.

I’ve clocked up a few challenges already.  There was that time I attempted to recreate Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment (Sex and the City Challenge), there was my Homebase challenge and then not so long ago I took the plunge and constructed a 3D model of Christian Grey’s Red Room of Pain (Fifty Shades of Grey – Saucy 3D Visuals).  As I type, the Fifty Shades of Grey post has received the most views on my blog from it was published in September 2014 (almost 2,000 views in total).

How surprising.

Yea ok, I knew exactly what I was doing…


But this time I’ve turned my attention to the March issue of Ideal Home Magazine.

Or more specifically, the front cover of Ideal Home Magazine.

This challenge (if I’m successful) should highlight something cosmically important about Architectural Visualisation: that its accuracy and realism is of such a high standard, it can be incorporated into a wide range of design platforms, including Interior Design/Homes publications.

In 2014 IKEA announced that up to 75% of its product images are produced using CG.  Click here for full article.

Surprised?  I’m not.

No hiring of studios.  No building of ‘sets’.  No shipping and construction of products.  No stylists.  No photographers.  

No costly mistakes.

And there’s obviously the financial savings and reduction in waste to take into consideration.

Actually, it kinda makes good business sense.


IKEA CG image

So, back to Ideal Home.

I have to admit that the interior on the current (March 2015) issue is quite subdued and ‘safe’; not really my personal taste but I decided to go ahead and model it while I was still enthusiastic and inspired by this project (there were some gorgeous industrial, urban styled spaces within the actual publication, such a shame not to use those instead!).

I had to model this scene by eye only.  Trust me, this is tricky.  Thankfully, with my previous event design projects, I have experience in creating 3D models by eye (i.e. without any dimensions AT ALL).  So I wasn’t too daunted by this but it can be time consuming all the same.  However, trying to replicate the colour balance of the original was extremely challenging.  I didn’t like this task one bit.

And here’s the result.  The image to the left is the original, with my replication on the right.  Now, before your eyes start dancing from left to right to make comparisons, there isn’t a chance in hell that I would be able to replicate the typeface used on the original Ideal Home front cover.  So, I generalised this aspect of the design.

I’m also at a disadvantage in that you are able to make comparisons full stop.  If the image to the right was the actual front cover, you would be none the wiser (hopefully)! 

3D Visualisation Ideal Home Mag

The image to the right is for illustrative purposes only. Certain graphics on the design of this front cover are fictional.

With results this impressive, my question is this: why aren’t the Interior Design/Homes magazines availing of 3D visualisation in their publications? I’m not for one minute suggesting that an entire Homes magazine should be filled with CG images but there’s no reason why these publications couldn’t use a combination of CG images AND authentic photography throughout their magazines.  No?

Ideal Home magazine is all about providing inspiration for readers to makeover their own homes, right?  Well, I couldn’t resist giving the front cover of Ideal Home a makeover too!  This is one of my designs (yes, completely CG) and even though I’m clearly biased, I think it looks amazing!

I can but dream…

IH Front Cover - Autumn Inspired FINAL 2407

This image is for illustrative purposes only. Certain graphics on this Ideal Home front cover are completely fictional.


  1. Rachel says:

    I struggled with which one was real!!! LOVE this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • anitadesignstudio says:

      Haha, that’s a compliment and then some!! Glad you like it. It was more time consuming than I thought but I think it was worth the effort 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Suzzy Smith says:

    WOW your work is amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad I found your blog, this is so impressive!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amy F says:


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Peter Istrate says:

    There is still a huge lack of knowledge. Many companies are still not even aware what CGI is – i have found that here, dealing with KBB/interior design/interior architecture clients in the UK. British brands are not that keen to improve their brand image, they don’t invest that much into marketing or at least they didn’t used to.
    On the other hand, italian and german brands have some top notch marketing campaigns. Their products are presented using high-end CGI or high end photography(if they still have that huge budget to use photography instead of CGI).
    I don’t find the british companies to have that much interest in staying competitive. That is very sad though, but hopefully they’ll catch up – some companies already caught up, but i wouldn’t say it’s a trend among them.
    Changing the tide, the trend is what we can do, making people and companies aware of that, especially that the film industry is a world leading now in UK (so we have this advantage which must be exploited).
    Companies must become more competitive otherwise they will fail to become world renowned brands like those italian and german brands. UK must become more competitive in and worldwide.

    Liked by 1 person

    • anitadesignstudio says:

      Hi Pete! I agree with the lack of knowledge/information on the benefits of CGI to the various design industries. Northern Ireland is so much more behind than UK Mainland. For some strange reason, Interior Designers in Northern Ireland don’t seem interested at all. I find this very strange but then Northern Ireland always seems to lag behind the rest, especially where cutting edge design/technology is concerned.

      I agree, we need to continue putting the message out there about the benefits of 3D Visualisation and demystify the fear that surrounds it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Brian Shaw says:

    Hello Anita, Just came across your website, very interesting and informative. I too am perplexed re: Interior designers etc not interested in Vis/CGI. I recently did a small job for a former employer and he said he didn’t normally look for CGI citing a fear that the client would hold them to the image content if the actual job didn’t quite turn out the same!

    I live/work in Northern Ireland (the North West) and work is quite scarce so I have tried online job boards but there seems to be a reluctance to invest CGI with any kind of worth. There is a perception that one only has to press a button and out will pop a photo-real image.

    Best wishes for your continued success


    Liked by 1 person

    • anitadesignstudio says:

      Hi Brian,

      Always nice to ‘meet’ a fellow 3D Visualiser, especially a local one! We’re few and far between, right?!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

      There is plenty of work out there, it just takes a lot of time and energy to market/promote yourself and your services. Although, I do find that NI lags behind somewhat (as per usual), which is unfortunate. My client base is generally UK Mainland.

      You’re right about this perceived ‘reluctance’ – especially at projects that are at the lower end of the budget. What doesn’t help is that many Designers simply do not appreciate the work involved. If only it was as simple as pressing a button, right?! It’s such a niche, skilled industry and we’re not given the proper credit for it!

      My gripe on this particular blog post was the lack of foresight in the interiors publishing market – there’s so many benefits to using 3D Visualisation that is not being utilised by this market. I think it’s good old fashioned fear that’s stopping interiors magazines from using 3D Visualisation – a tricky one to address.

      Thank you, I wish you all the best with your own 3D services too.



  7. Hi Anita,
    I have been reading your blog from time to time and think you replicated the magazine Front cover quite well.Congrats.
    I was wondering if can you share your sketchup workflow for the scene perhaps any plugins one requires to model some of the elements like pillows ,sofa etc thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • anitadesignstudio says:

      Hi Michael, thanks for your comment and for your kind words regarding my work, the sofa was a purchased asset and the cushions were obtained from a mixture of sources. Sometimes it’s easier (and cheaper in the long run) to buy ready made assets than it is to construct them from scratch.



  1. […] undertook a personal project a few months ago, where I replicated the front cover of Ideal Home magazine.  To my delight, it […]


  2. […] haven’t set myself a 3D Visualisation challenge in such a looooooong time.  You remember my Ideal Home magazine challenge, right?  To recap, I replicated the front cover using 3D […]


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