A Curious Obsession With Trees

After months trying to create a realistic tree, I finally found a good combination of tricks and addons that didn’t involve forking out 160+ dollars for The Grove 3D. My progress is documented in the WIP thread here.
I need more critique and am not getting much response in that thread, so I’ll test my luck here as I feel the image has advanced enough to warrant a focused critique thread.
I am aware the water is a bit grainy. I will render with more samples in the future.

imgur has less jpeg artifacts: http://imgur.com/gallery/AKeKe

To be honest the leaves look too small and too dense - the image reminds me of broccoli (sorry)

Let me try a render with bigger leaves, I’ll see if it’s better.

The overall leaf “masses” are to dense and need breaking up just a bit I think.

Go outside and stand under an actual tree, then look up. Even though you’ll see that most of the sunlight is absorbed, you’ll also see that the canopy of the tree is not so dense that even the leaves closest to you are able to get a fair amount of light. Look on the ground around you is actually fairly well-lit.

Therefore, there are a couple of noticeable issues with your “present” tree. One is the density of the shadows on the ground. Another is that there are simply too many leaves. The clump of shrubbery that hangs down, presently obscuring the trunk, probably wouldn’t be there because it probably wouldn’t be able to get enough sunlight.

These things fall into the “I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I can sense that something’s not quite right …” category of problems.

I would look at a tree outside, but in my area, everything is either eucalyptus or dead.

Alright, how’s this?

maybe a bit too much removed

but over all GREAT !

Ooo very nice update! I have nothing to add but just play with the tree’s particle amounts. Are you using the Translucent shader or the Subsurface Scattering shader? Just wondering.


Much nicer :slight_smile:
The left tree is looking good, although some more leaves on the bare branches on the left and fight of the trunk. Centre line is great. The right-hand tree still looks a bit dense in the centre-line, but the right hand sticking out branch is perfect.
Is it me or do the bushes look to be about 2 metres tall?

Yeah the bushes cover the black line from the HDR background. I have increased the tree size so hopefully it won’t look so disproportionate.

New Render

I think you’ve done a great job with your “obsession” with trees. I think at this point you need to focus on creating specific types of real trees. There’s so much variety in the real world. Understand the differences between the trees, then you can create trees that are appropriate for whatever type of environment you’ve created. I think everyone can benefit from this because trees tend to be added to scenes based solely on appearance.

I like the messiness of the smaller trees or bushes. It looks like a battle going on, and that’s what tends to happen in the real world. Eventually it thins out leaving only the fittest trees. A lot of nature scenes are way too pretty and clean. You always need some degree of funk in there (new growth, death, sickness, etc.).

I think the image looks really great! I have only one comment: The water looks totally fake. Other than that, it looks really great.

man this is crazy , i cant tell a defrint between real and 3d anymore

Haha the water is literally a mix shader of glossy and glass.

so your telling me the water is the only thing 3d in this pic ?

everything except the sky is 3D

Experimenting with the stream, among other things.