The first step of making an image is to model the house in as much detail as possible. Usually, all I need is an address so I can look it up on GoogleMaps, but pictures of the property from various angles are much preferred. Below is an example of a property I used for this example.
The next step is to build it in my 3D software.
Once I'm happy with how the property looks, now it's time for the background. In this example I decided to build a futuristic orbiting ring.
This is how the set looks without texture, and not all elements are in place as it takes a lot of CPU to display everything at once! Once I'm happy with the build, I plop the house in there somewhere and then it's ready to render. After it's rendered, it looks like this;
I try and do as much as I can within my 3D software so that there's less work to do in Photoshop and it makes it easier to capture different angles. Now, I'll take it into Photoshop and make any adjustments in there, painting in any minor details that would be more time consuming to do in my 3D software, adding filters and colour corrections and finally sharpening it all to make it pop. Below is the final image, again at a lower resolution than would be a final print-ready image. Underneath that shows a few different angles of the same image, a nod to the versatility of the type of images I create.
*The models I build, as exampled in the above image, are intended only for use in still images and the topology reflects this. Though mostly quad polygons, I allow a small percentage of n-gons and triangles as these models are not intended to be used in animations or for any other purpose than the sole reason I built them. As long as they look nice when textured, painted and lit, for efficiency I don't need to concern myself with 100% quads.