'Refuge de Charmotane', an architectural short film made with Blender & Houdini

Hi everyone,

I’ve just completed my second short film, titled ‘Refuge de Charmotane’. My aim with this film was to imagine the atmosphere of a mountain refuge I designed and how it would feel to stay the night there. As I decided to locate the refuge at a real world location in the Swiss Alps, I also wanted to recreate the mountain landscape surrounding the refuge as faithfully as possible. I achieved this using high resolution LIDAR point clouds provided by the Swiss government, Houdini to create the necessary height maps and geometry nodes to add extra detail to the mountain geometry. All visual effects were created in Houdini before being imported into Blender for rendering. Color grading and editing were done in Da Vinci Resolve.

I hope you like the film and I’d love to hear your thoughts, positive or negative!

If you want to see more of my work, you can follow me on instagram: instagram.com/rowanibbekendesign or go to my website: rowanibbeken.co.uk


Approaching the refuge from below


View of the mountains from the kitchen and workshop area


View from the upstairs sleeping area


Looking down at the seating and lounge area from the kitchen

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It is visually stunning! But, I was really moved by the effect of the ambient sounds. The crunching snow and wind made me feel cold. Then inside, the ambient sound made it very obviously warm. This is where life was being lived, not seen but heard.

Just beautiful!

I’m glad you enjoyed the ambient sounds so much! I’m not a fan of using 3D people (hopefully one day we’ll overcome the uncanny valley issue) so using ambient sounds is my way of suggesting the presence of people without actually having to show them.

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I featured you on BlenderNation, have a great weekend!

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