Christmas hopes

Hello everybody! I’m new on this forum and, as i’m becoming a Freelance 3D artist, I wish you could help me to improve my skills with Blender and 3D work.
Here is my first submission. I made it for last BlenderGuru contest. I learned a lot making it, but I’d like you to tell me what I would have to change to make it a great picture.
Thank you.
PS: Sorry for my poor English, but I’ll try to improve it too;)

Hi Athanyse,

Can you answer two questions?

  1. What is the greenish-blue thing on the right side of the picture?

  2. Is it supposed to be night time? The blackground is completely black but the rest of the scene is too bright for night.

Sorry if it sounds harsh, but I think you have really a long long way to go. I did also also a long way. I started 7 years ago with maya (switched to blender last year) and looking backward I realize how much there is you just can’t learn fast. Like learing how light and shadow works (doing serious photography and working on moviesets helps a lot), learing how to compose a nice image, how light works (as a physical phneomenom).

There are no shortcuts or magical tools, you could copy tutorials, but that’s not enough for a freelance artist.

If the modelling and texturing is yours, I think its a good start to keep learning, but lighting? Oh boy. There is some obscure redish light that lights the stonethingy in front (what is that supposed to be?), there is a green light coming from the right (also no hint where it could come from), the gras looks to bright, the shoes too black, the background is #000000 black which NEVER happens in reality (unless you are in a perfectly sealed black box). yeah.

I don’t wan’t to be harsh, really, but I don’t wan’t you to be freelancer and learning things the hard (and probably expensive) way. Don’t get me wrong - if this is your dream - go for it! But before you can build a car for people you should learn how a car works, otherwise they won’t even buy it…

I don’t wan’t to be harsh, really, but I don’t wan’t you to be freelancer and learning things the hard (and probably expensive) way.

I agree with forelle that you have a bit of a way to go plus you don’t want to be learning as a freelance artist. I would highly recommend learning in a studio environment as you can then learn off more experienced artists and you would likely have more time to explore things. My work increased greatly due to working in a studio.

As for your scene. You may want to add a background image and then try to match the lighting in the scene to that image. Also the textures you are using look too low res for the size of the image. The curtain looks too blurry.

If you have some reference images, maybe post those so we can see what look you’re going for.

Don’t be discouraged, everyone started out in the same place and it’s only through practice and getting feedback can we improve.

First, thank you all for your replies.

@sizzler: I will answer your two questions.

  1. the “greenish-blue thing on the right side of the picture” is a bench. But now you talk about it, I didn’t have time to finish it before the deadline and it is awfull.
  2. yes it is suppose to be night. And you’re right, a background is missing. I’ll try to see how I can add one.

@forelle: Yes it sounds a bit harsh, probably because I work on Blender for 7 years as a professional always learning by myself. But you’re right: I have a long way to go, specially for lighting. In fact, I understand how light works in real world, but wasn’t able to apply this in Blender (Cycles and BI). It’s a mess for me, but if you could recommend me some tutorial for beginning…


I would highly recommend learning in a studio environment
If I could do so, I would. But there’s no job in this times, that’s why I decided to create mine. In fact I always worked alone and never met any else 3D artist. That’s why I need your feedback.
So, could you explain me why you say the textures res seems too low ? On which objets?
I don’t understand what you call “curtain”. Do you mean the snow?
I tried for the first time a camera DoF and compositor nodes, perhaps it was a bad idea…
And sorry, no reference photo to show you, all came from my imagination.

I wish to have a feedback on shoes modeling and texturing please. I spent many time on this :wink:
Here is a link for the original render high res
Thank you all. :slight_smile:

Sorry about beeing harsh ; )
As I said your modelling and texturing seems to be quite your strenght! Thats odd, because your lighting is really… off from that niveau. If you try to rebuild reality you have to think like physics: there is no absolute black in your scene (can be in your camera, but not in your scene). Start with easy scenes. Take your shoe modells - put them in a “studiolike” environment and let them shine. If you can light one “still life” you can go on to harder things like architecture inside/outside or even Nature scenes.

Try to focus on one thing - and get Pen and Paper going: sketch your scene roughly, what goes where and why (like what is in the foreground, what is in the middleground what is in the background what are the proportions of light and dark etc). E.G.try to sketch your shoe-still-life and imagine where the lights could come from. Then just get the blender going. make a big white plane. Build your “studioroom” - maybe a classical bowed paper, black walls, white emission planes (cycles?) for the reflections, arealights.

Play around. You will maybe learn much more than from this scene, because you could focus more on lighting - getting a feeling how things in blender work out and look. I study film and must say - it’s really similar to working with real lights (only that in RL you can’t afford a 10m x 2m Softbox).

I highly recommend reading about “movie lighting” - and if you already know how you would LIKE to do it but don’t know how just search on youtube for cycles tutorials and whatch everything that you find.

What I meant by “curtain” in your image is the green thing on the right hand side of the image. I think you called it the bench.

Now about textures being too low res. I think the bark on the tree has this problem. Because the texture is too small it’s pixellating and it leaves a pretty bad finish. The image below illustrates this. The bark on the left is 700 x 700 pixels, the one on the right is 128 x 128 pixels. As you can see the texture on the right is too small for the space it’s filling up on the screen so it pixellates and look blurry.

Hopefully this makes sense, for a little bit more info on it check out this quick tutorial

Also, to learn lighting in cycles I checked out the tutorials here:

It’s how I got up to speed on Cycles. I’ve still got a bit to learn but these tutorials helped greatly.

You should also get some reference images for the style of lighting, look you’re going for. Even if it’s not exactly right it’ll help you visualise what you need to do. Not many photoreal artists work without reference.

Lastly, the boots look good and are the best part of the scene. Like forelle mentioned, maybe just set up a scene with those and get the best out of those models and textures.

I hope this helps.

Ok! Thank you very much for your advices and explanations.:slight_smile:
I think i’ll spent next week exploring and testing lighting in Blender before redoing this scene or making a new one.