Correspondence Chess

Working on this one while I attend the Architecture Academy.

The story behind the image is maybe a retired person, just settling in this corner of the room by the oriel window (you know the sort of enclosed balcony like structure protruding from some older houses) has just eagerly opened a letter from his pen pal with whom he’s playing correspondence chess.

No postprocessing is done on this image yet. It might need some brightening and I think I will desaturate things a bit.

Anyway, C&C welcome.


Wall pendulum clock by oldtimer (Blendswap)
Photorealistic statue by farley (Blendswap)
LuxRender chess set by BlendMagic (Blendswap)
Vases by tadine (Blendswap)
Radiator by adzibala (Blendswap)
Break-Time! by Jay-Artist (Blendswap)
Antique coffee table & Antique table lamp by Hans Erickson (Blendswap)
Wallpaper pattern by
Chairs, rug & plant by The Architecture Academy
Envelop, note, slippers, curtains, colored windows, wooden floor texture by me.

Made it brighter, desaturated it a bit to create somewhat ‘old’ feeling but did not saturate the focal area of the picture (the letter) to draw even more attention to it by having slightly brighter colors.

Great job! I like the clock on the left, its really detailed.

thank you, I liked the clock as well as it fits the general decor, but just to be clear, the clock is by oldtimer (available on Blendswap) so kudos to him for this clock :slight_smile:

Really good job. The second render with the de-saturation and brightness change is a huge improvement. In particular, the light under the chair makes the rug and floor stand out better. Two small critiques.

1.) I know that you didn’t create the chair, but I have never seen a leather arm chair with what looks like a velvet cushion. Aren’t the cushions usually the same leather as the chair, although perhaps a little more worn?

2.) The book sitting open on the chair looks slightly fake and far too new for the setting. There is no definition in the spine and the pages are two regular. Also, unless the cover yes a yellow/white border the edges look a bit off.

@achoin: thnx for your reply. I am not sure about the chair: it is all leather (with a slightly reddish hue) so the velvet appearance is a lighting issue. You do haveva point though so I will look into it. And the book is to fake, I agree. See what I can do about it.

  • changed the color contrast a bit between the chairs and the rest of the scene
  • made the light from the window more ‘blown out’ for a somewhat more photographic effect
  • changed the book
  • tweaked the slippers
  • added some extra details (credits for wall socket and power plug to monteira and antonvdh on Blendswap.)

(this picture is a screenshot from the compositor node editor, hence the white X. If anyone knows how to save an image that is used as a backdrop after tweaking nodes without rerendering I would like to hear that very much. I know I can make a separate blend or scene and use a file input node but that all feels a bit counter intuitive).

You’re “dragging” my eye right out the window, since that’s the brightest and most contrasty part of the shot. And, you’re including too much detail in the image, which above all is supposed to be “about” the chessboard.

Grab two pieces of cardboard and cut both of them into the shape of an “L.” Now, holding one upside-down in your right hand and the other one rightside-up in your left, put these two cropping boards on top of the image and start moving them around … to enclose the smallest possible area that conveys the essence of the shot.

The shot that you now have could be used as an “establishing shot” in a picture, but the camera’s going to then need to immediately move much closer, to include only the material that you have cropped-in. If there’s not going to be a movie, then a single, therefore much-tighter shot is needed.

In conventional photography, I always found that the cropping boards were my most-useful and therefore most-used tools. Within every great, but expansive photo, there’s a tight shot waiting to get out. And it’s always the better shot.