Aerial Battles (self improvement render)

This took waaay too long, started back when CG geek made his low poly island tutorial (, (so yeah I can’t take too much credit for the island :sweat_smile:)
It’s a self-improvement render so, criticism is what I’m looking for! (Be it image composition be it nit-picks! ^^)


There are some glaring issues, I guess I just didn’t know what was wrong or how to fix’em… (like those buildings… ughh)
I found I spent too much time on things that wouldn’t appear in the final frame, so… frame first, do after!
Some more renders:

Oh, I found I love compositing! I thought for sure it was just a crappy render, and compositing made it 10 times better! At Least!! Have you guys tried other compositing software? How does blender do in that regard? If anyone knows of a cough free cough in detail tutorial for compositing, or even another program, please redirect me!

Rendered in cycles cuz Eevee was giving me some shadow weirdness:

Soft shadows enabled:

still 100% blender
Also, making characters is haaard ;'3

Hope you fellows experienced a pleasant new year!
I decided that I’m going to make my projects open whenever I can!
.blend file:!j7QiQQZJ!dinUIkK5mXGDVOpP4P8Ic4-5yC-4wEXUy0mLuACmaNc
(Do I need to add some license to this so everyone can use it freely or something…?)

I’m a 2D artist and blender noob, so I can only criticise final aestethics relative to the intended purpose/usecase for your image. Judging from the first picture, it seems you have a little bit of a story going on. I will pretend the image is for a story book or advert. From the zoomed in image, it is not clear that there appear to be a chase between floating islands because I cannot see that they are floating island from the closeup, but this is clear in the zoomed out version. However, the zoomed out version lacks the up and close story elements, its not easy to see the persons face or steering wheel, so the narrative is a bit lost in that one. I like the lighting.
When composing scenes with a story, it can in the future be a good idea to make placeholder elements or a pencil sketch of what elements should be in frame to best serve your story before you start modeling, but since this was a tutorial that is not so important but maybe next time.
I like the expression on the person, but I feel like it is a seperate art style from the otherwise low poly scene. I would either repeat elements in that style elsewhere in the image (for example on the antagonists), or match his face to the low poly style.

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Skyfish! (It’s the second time you critique one of my works! Thanks dude ;3)
The “main” render was the first image, the zoomed out one was kinda just to show off… like “look at me I’m dumb I spent so much time on stuff that doesn’t appear in the final render!” Sorry, that wasn’t clear.
Those placeholders would be a really good fix for that! I just came from art club and the teacher told me to use guide-lines before drawing, they helped with proportions and probably a bunch of other stuff I don’t know how to call, cuz it got that much better! it’s the same here right!
I honestly never thought about not recognizing the floating islands from up close! That’d be a big “oops”
I’d hoped, the title or the “background floating islands” with give it off… I wonder if I show that image and title to someone if they’ll be able to tell… damn :laughing:
I feel like the antagonists need that low poly stiff look, I could perhaps make the clouds in that style, and what else :thinking:

Thanks dude!
Oh yeah, you’re right!
And take care, hope to see you again!