Cable-Stayed Bridge


Here is my suspension bridge (cable-stayed) I have been working on for a few days (recorded for a YouTube video).

I’m not really sure why it does not feel as realistic as it should be. Any suggestions?


Hi, @unyxium
Lights don’t seem to affect the bridge - I mean, there are some lights - mini dots, but the parts of the bridge around them are dark. The sunlight seems to have no effect on the bridge too.
The sky and river look good, so does the bridge model.


I had a go at fixing the lighting. The only thing that I still cannot get right is the sun illuminating half the bridge. It is a silhouette, but I think that is how it should be, as the sun has set, and it would be hidden behind the closest bridge pylon.

Anyway, I also added some navigation lights for ships, and lowered the bridge in the distance as 20m is quite high. I also need to do a final render with higher samples. I know there are a few fireflies scattered everywhere.


Looks better :+1:

(SterlingRoth) #5

I’d look into adding some mist or haze, just a touch to break up the harsh silhouette of the bridge


I lowered the contrast, and tried to fade the sky where it meets the water, so it has some haze. I’m not too sure about the saturation and increased it. Should it be higher?

Unrelated changes were the addition of another tree type, more aircraft warning lights on the cables, and a slight modification of the background ground shape.

Also, what should I do with the headland background? Should I put a tower or lighthouse there, or maybe add more distant mountains and trees?

(Thomas) #7

I went looking for reference to compare with because I thought the cables were arranged wrong, but they are in fact fine - this is a cable-stayed bridge, not a suspension (but I figure you know that already :slight_smile:).

Anyway, biggest issue seems to be, as others have said, in the lighting: pictures I’ve seen tend towards longer exposures which means a brighter, more saturated sky and much more light splashed up on the bridge. Even when not long exposure and the bridge is silhouetted, the sky is still much stronger than you have here - the dullness suggests mistiness, and its absence is strange. In any case this bridge, looking to be quite long, should get much more obscured by the atmosphere as it goes into the distance.

One little thing I noticed is that the cables look very thick; in photos I see cables which are roughly about the same thickness as the streetlight poles.

There’s a few other details you can add to sell it, like cable terminators, maintenance walkways/slats/lattice stuff on the underside, a ship or a buoy, etc. Also try decreasing the scale of the water (that is, have more, smaller waves)? Smaller waves = bigger bridge.


Thank You for the input! @tomjk

I knew the two types, but hadn’t realised they were actually different, and that the cable-stayed was not a subgroup of the suspension bridge. Looks like I will have to do some renaming.

I had a go at fixing what you mentioned. Firstly, I boosted the saturation a bit more (this is the highest saturation before it goes too weird in the highlights [was there a node to adjust that?]) The issue was getting the mist pass to not desaturate the sky too much, and only the distant objects. I think I fixed it with a gradient on the mist.
I removed the cable thickness (which was caused by a solidify modifier), and also added some minor details to the underside. I also made the waves smaller.

(Kit MacAllister) #9

Hi @unyxium, great bridge! Bridges like these are often lit up at night, not just for visibility, but to show off the architecture of the bridge. Try adding some warm spotlights throwing some light up toward the towers. The bottom right of the composition is a bit dark, adding some reflections on the water in that area could add some interest to that area.


(C_Campbell) #10

That’s a fine bridge.


Here is what I tried to do:

As you can see, some lights have been set up (though i am planning on adding more spread), and an adjustment of the camera allows more bridge to be visible.

I will have to fix the water as it does not reflect the lights properly.

(Kit MacAllister) #12

Nice! I think that little bit of extra detail in the shadows is adding a lot of interest!


Well, I will now consider this artwork completed. I cannot just work on this forever. There are plenty more things I still want to do (one of them is photogrammetry and importing into blender scenes).

Here are some renders:

Clay render

There will be a YouTube video soon released on my channel: