Christmas contest critique


I’m looking for some critique on how to improve this image.

I am going for a Polar Express feel.

Well, for a start:

  1. Feet feel wrong
  2. Is that a carrot next to the milk?
  3. Is that milk?
    4.Tree feels empty
  4. Socks should fall in different ways, not with the same rotation
    6.Maybe add some toys beneath the tree?
    Generally, the scene feels a bit empty and need some compositing as well.
    Don’t feel offended, I’m not perfect either, nobody is, just trying to help…
    P.S.: Is there a Santa Clauss coming down in the fire place? If this is the case, why don’t you focus the camera in the fireplace. And no fire! You will burn him XD Just put some logs with some smoke coming out. Also, it would be a good idea to have some blue-ish light coming through a window, and on the carpet shadows from snowflakes.

every thing is blurred, except the glass of milk !, you should use the bluer when needed, not all over the place
and why are you focusing on the milk any way ?

Thanks for the quick reply.

To answer your questions.

  1. Why do the feet feel wrong?
  2. Yes, it is a half eaten carrot, what can I do to make that more apparent?
  3. Yes it is milk, again what can I do to make that more obvious?

And yes there is a Santa in the fireplace.

Some good ideas, thanks.


I have used the DOF to focus the attention of the audience onto the plate, where they can see a half eaten carrot and a glass of milk that has been drank.

I was hoping by not focusing on the fireplace the audience could use there imagination to determine what is happening.

Thanks again.

had to check i was still wearing my glasses, this is just a big dark blur. find an interesting focal point. it is funny that in a scene full of stuff you focused on a plate of milk and carrot (funny as in, not really)

May I ask, why a carrot?
Also, from the feel of the picture, it seems as though everyone should be sleeping. Except that there is fire.
Take this as friendly critisiscm, but who leaves a fire going while they are asleep? Unless, that is, they are awake, and Santa shouldn’t be there. The fire doesn’t make sense, smoke maybe. Maybe the family just put it out and went to bed.
One more thing, is that a kid or a teenager. By the look of his/her feet, it almost looks like a teenager.
In agreeance with antoni4040 the feet just feel wierd. Try looking at some stuff on the anatomy of the feet, for different ages. Everyone else covered everything else, soooo, yeah.
Good job though. Remember this is friendly critisiscm. so please don’t be offended, just trying to help.

Commenting purely on the idea behind the scene - it mostly makes sense to me. We used to leave some food/drink out for Santa (whiskey rather than milk, haha) and a carrot for the reindeers. It made sense to me as a child anyway ;). All I see here is that the parents have lit the fire, drank the milk and ate half the carrot, and the child is taking those first steps into the front room on Christmas day. You could argue that the parents would not light the fire at that time, and would instead light it after everyone is up, which I think would be a reasonable argument.

The basics are there though

Why is it on the floor? Milk & carrots is - like Blender Matt - something I used to do as a brat for Santa & reindeer however it was almost always on a table.

Really remove a lot of the blur. It makes no sense to be blurred by the feet & focused on the plate & carrot. Really the only thing I’d blur would be the tree and then only slightly to give it a distance feel… and same with the fireplace but not extensive [a fire would be more pronounced than unlit backgrounds regardless of distance].

Also the light is a tad off - you have a lit area right between the plate, tree & window to the left. Like you left a sun / spotlight right there… there’s no angle so it doesn’t make sense. If it’s supposed to come from the window it’s too focused right in the center to work properly - should be 45 degree angle.