Nice work so far, Eradicor.
I can appreciate that you want to learn for yourself.
In that sense, what I will provide are some generic questions that could be applied to any image wanting to be less game-like and more natural.
Before I say this, I must say your image is very well done so far.
Here are some random considerations:
- Does the viewer’s perspective of the image resemble that of a FPS?
- Is the lighting flat?
- Are there repeated elements throughout the scene that would betray any sense of naturalness?
- If so, can there be more variety and less of a sense of “preparation” introduced in the scene?
- Are there any textural issues? (stretching, mapping, noticable repetition)
- Are there any value issues? (i.e. too light, too dark, too neutral or contrasted – for specific objects and/or the entire scene)
- Is there a balance of detail throughout the scene, or are some objects more detailed than others?
- Is there a true sense of cohesion to the scene, as if all elements truly seem to belong to the environment or have been here as part of a story that goes beyond the instant the scene is portraying?
- Is there a sense of history to the scene? (e.g. are things too new in appearance, and/or is there a sense that this scene has existed for a while - not just in terms of dirt maps, etc., but in all elements – trees, chainlinks, rocks, etc.)
- If there a sense of physical reality and “liveliness” present? For example, if there are trees, or grass, or water, or objects that could be affected by wind or whatever, is there the subtle sense of motion, or is the scene somewhat dead in that sense?
- Does the DOF feel natural enough? (i.e. comparable to that which would be typically experienced through human eyes or a camera lens)
- Do certain (or all) elements give a sense of a “low-poly” look?
- If this is so and yet object(s)/scene is not necessarily low-poly, could there be some better way to highlight those details? (e.g. through additional/layer-only lamps - positive or negative, or through higher AO/shadow buffer/light samples?)These are the kinds questions I tend to consider when I take a few steps in the “more real than not” direction when rendering, so I hope they can be helpful to you or anyone who comes through here.
Take care, and best of luck with your project!