This scene is inspired by a little area of my yard that i look at every day. i have gotten the concrete texture and the candle to my liking, but the grass is still very rough and the dirt needs some finishing touches. please critique and comment!

grass looks brilliant, the texture on the concrete also looks great, but why is the concrete melted? :wink:
As for the candle, not much to say, looks like a candle :stuck_out_tongue:

Need some SSS on the candle, wax is very translucent in real life.

Yep, candle definatly needs SSS.
And the grass needs thickness and a little variet.

You gonna light the candle?

Even at this point you might consider recomposing the shot. After all, about 50% of the image area is devoted to grass. Consider (and of course, “the world’s your oyster…”) where you would like for the emphasis of the shot to be. The candle? The “melted” concrete? The glass?

When I’m doing photography I usually carry with me a couple of L-shaped pieces of cardboard … visual cropping tools … and with them I look for “the picture within the picture.” It’s probably the most important tool that I know to use. Make the artistic decision of what you want to emphasize. (I think that it is preferable that you make such decisions now, before you invest a tremendous amount of time in “final” (sic…) lighting and texturing that you might feel ill about “throwing away.”)

(Actually, I try to do as much as I can in preview and/or wire-frame…)

The modeling and so forth seems quite serviceable now, and I definitely like what I see in the “melting concrete” (obvious visual parallel to melting wax, even if unintentional). It gives you an almost subliminal balance between the two elements, positioned on a natural diagonal within the frame. Lots of possibilities there if you want to “work” them. (And, let’s hear it for serendipity… “heck, yeah, I planned it that way…”)

@Bizla: thank you!

@Kemmler: yes, it really does. i tried to compensate with a little glow, but you’re totally right about the sss.

@Antirales: i have no intentions of lighting the candle yet, however once the scene is more complete, i really dig the idea of doing a night-lighting render with it lit. also, I’m working on getting a particle system of basic grass meshes instead of just paths. gonna add some dandelions, weeds, etc too.

@Sundial, Wow. i never hoped for such a in depth response. Thank you very much for your feed back. not to dismiss is, as i DO agree with your approach on composition, but i have barely given much thought to it yet. i understand the fundamentals of composing a dynamic, interesting image, but i have been primarily concerned with getting the elements all together (models/textures/lights) because that is something i do NOT have any experience with and i expect to take more time.

as for the melted bricks. i wish i could say that was my intention, and it IS a cool idea. however, i approached this project with realism in mind, and i intend to redo the faces of those bricks. i started with a displace modifier and a cloud texture, but the clounds ended up displacing it weirdly.

IN CONCLUSION, thank you for your feedback, all of you, and i hope to post a couple new renders tonight or tomorrow!

The grass is alright, but I would strongly recommend following Derek G’s tutorial on the Blending Nature thread. It makes much more realistic grass, and its not that hard to do.

so, after some tweaking, i’ve come up with a composition that i like more, i’ve fixed the wax a bit, and added a good ol’ ciggy butt, since this is a scene of my smoke spot. ha ha. coming soon is weeds and grass in the top left corner, some moss, ants, etc. please, critique and comment!

note: i did not fix the grass intentionally, i’m going to completely take out the particle system soon and just use objects. also, the cinder blocks are still “melting”, i didn’t want to change it until i felt it out a little, and decided whether i really like the effect or not.