Attempt at realistic scene

So I have been trying to achieve a realistic scene in blender, the image is below.

I don’t no what’s going wrong, any advice on how I can improve?

Thanks in advance James :slight_smile:

The roof looks flat and looks as if it is part of the buildings. Make it a separate object and also let it hang over the sides a bit.
Other than that, it looks good. I like the water especially.

Water is good, though I think that reflections should be more blurred.
What I don’t like are the textures on the buildings: they look flat, and are out of scale at several points (e.g. windows are too close to the roof in the two central buildings). I think that displacement, normal, and AO are lacking (or way too weak, cannot say for sure).
To end, if you are after an HDR image (I mean: something like a real HDR photo), then all goes well, otherwise, the lights are too dramatic.
It’s a good start, and it conveys feeling, what really matters. Keep on improving it.

The background should be more high-res, and for the buildings repetitive textures are obvious. Also the lighting seems a bit unclear, I can’t tell where the key light is. The whole buildings are lit up, and there’s very little shadow. It’s a good start though, and you’re going in the right direction.

The buildings seem to be just blocks. Add some bevel to the edges of the buildings and make the roofs out of separate geometry and perhaps model the roof tiles instead of just using texture map. Maybe you could also try to add a light source behind the buildings to simulate the light from the setting sun in the HDRI you are using.

Just to add to the other points: imperfection is the mother of realism. You scene needs some clutter or anything to break up the feeling that every window is exactly the same, that the textures are tiled, etc. Adding ‘clutter’, like trees, lamp-posts, walkways, a small quai maybe, adding something behind the camera to be reflected by the windows… If you model the tiles on the roof, some could be a bit off or even broken, depending on how old the building is… Take a walk around where you live and look at all the crap building can have on and around them :stuck_out_tongue: