Bridge Pass - Light Test


Alright so basically this was made for me to test light and play around with it making some areas more visible than others… my aim was around making a semi-realistic (cuz this is not realistic at all or at least it feels like that to me) type of scene but I guess I fail to understand if the way I am approaching it could be improved or seen from a different perspective in making it better.

Any kind of criticism is appreciated for anyone who feels like it’s worth helping me figure out what I might be doing wrong or what can be improved… and well anything can be improved anytime it’s just that, it’s easier hearing it from someone that knows so here I am!
(I think this should’ve been in focused critiques but I consider it done and I would only want to know what could be better and improved if anything I can revisit it and apply the said criticism to see for myself and learn)

Thanks in advance!

From here towards the bottom are the images arranged from first - last progression wise


I think your image is pretty good and is most of the way there.

I see a few problems that undermine the realism.

1-There is either some filtering or compositing problem that causes a weird outline around some objects.

2-The depth of field is way too intense. In real life, the amount of defocus blur depends on the size and location of the camera compared with the objects. In order to get that much blur in real life, you would need to either photograph a miniature from up close or have a giant camera with crazy specs. For most people seeing this photo, your scene will look like a miniature.

3-Is the background a photo of a real castle? Because it seems to have a bit of a rough outline against the sky. Also, using a photo is a bit risky, because any difference in the sun’s angle could have consequences for the realism.

4-The leaves look like intentional walls of branches that were placed in beautiful arches on purpose. This is completely fine for a stylized image, but be aware that it can make the image less convincing if the rest is meant to be realistic, because of a clash in visual styles.

5-Finally, I have an other element that’s not necessarily unrealistic, but could make the scene a bit harder to read for the viewer: the sky in the final image is darker close to the horizon. In the final, color corrected image, I have a hard time telling which part of the sky is clouds and which part isn’t. This makes the sky hard to read and it appears as if its gradient was inverted, leaving an impression of weirdness.

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Thank you!

  • 1 - Composition mostly… tried doing something weird there and well that happened but yes that I can see and understand since we’re talking about very harsh edges that are visible.

  • 2 - Now that you say it… it does look like a miniature considering the DoF is very strong which I will have to work on next time. (Thanks for pointing it out)

  • 3 - It’s an asset I simply used and added, I know it doesn’t make sense and it’s rough around edges, it’s simply a photogrammetry scan which I slapped there in the background.

  • 4 - That is true and it works for stylized but almost any tree I used or wanted to use looked out of place because of the leaves or branches so I went with some leaves that I use in most scenes. (which usually work, not here however, yes)

  • 5 - I think the mist pass did that and I did not overthink it and went with it but yes it does kinda break the sky readability which would’ve been fine I assume if the sky wasn’t exposed but as is… yes it does look weird which I will be careful with next time.

Thank you for taking your time to write this and help me!

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I think the current leaves would work in this scene if the castle was different. Right now, the castle is the only element that’s super realistic. But if it was more of a fantasy or fairy tale castle, the image would come together even with the current leaves.

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