Beginner's basement scene - please, give me tips :)

I’m new to 3D graphics/modelling/etc. in general (a couple months in). Recently I spent quite a few hours working on my basement scene.

I would love to hear your opinions on what the biggest advantages and disadvantages of the scene are. I’m open to any critique, I recognize that I lack many important skills.

I am not posting this in the “Focused Critiques” thread because its description said something about ‘serious projects’ and I’m not sure I’m a serious enough Blender user :slight_smile:

Cheers and have a nice day!

PS I also have a 4k render but it seems to be too big to be posted here :frowning:

Great work for a couple months! I think you’ve got a future in this. Here’s some advice to help you along:

The lighting is too even. There’s little variation in shadow intensity. In particular, what stood out to me immediately was that the beer bottles on the left don’t appear to cast a shadow at all. If you have any filler lights I recommend turning them down and letting the ceiling light cast stronger shadows.

This might be because of the even lighting, but your textures appear to need a little depth. It looks like you’re already applying bump maps to some of your textures (I recommend applying bump maps to all of them) but you don’t appear to be using specular maps.

Try opening your textures up in an image editor, desaturating them, and adjusting levels until they are very nearly pure black and white. Then, adjust your material nodes. I’ve provided an example here.

For the box on the right, I created a gloss shader, applied my really high contrast texture to its color input, and then mixed my shaders together with a fresnel input (highlighted in node editor, top pane). This creates a more dramatic difference between dark and light, and should greatly help you with your lighting. This particular setup is actually the core of most materials in Blender.

Your image is a little noisy, which probably means you aren’t rendering with enough samples. Try something like 1500 to 2000 samples. That will increase your render time, especially at 4k, so only put the samples up that high when you’re ready to call it done.

Finally, try adding a little more clutter in the background.Create copies of your boxes, rotate them randomly and spread them out. Consider creating variations of your box texture–like different logos or different states of decay. Maybe make some smaller boxes as well. Make sure that some are casting shadows on others, to increase drama.

There are other things you can try, of course, but these tips are fairly low-effort ways to improve your scene. If you’re feeling really ambitious, I recommend looking into volumetric lighting to give that ceiling light some dust to shine through. That’d be really dramatic, but would also require a lot of work for a project you consider to be finished. Think of it as something to try next time.

Again, nice work–I wasn’t modeling whole interiors a few months into learning this program. Keep at it and I’m sure you’ll do great things.