Crummock Water Work in Progress

Going for a ‘painterly’ style landscape using Blender (obvs) as the starting point and then messing around to get the look I want (lots of messing around and improvements to make in initial render and final appearance - but would welcome comments at this stage on how I can make the initial render better - inc. a more realistic ‘atmosphere’). I also have some issues with stretching on the sharper cliffs which I’m not sure how to resolve.

Photorealism is beyond me and so I’m not that interested in it. However, I’ve always wanted to paint and I can’t. I’d love be able to do nice landscape paintings. So, I am using what little skills I have in this department to create my versions of landscape paintings in the PC (while also trying to improve my skills). I quite like the ‘sketchy’ oilpaint look - if I could paint, I envisage this would be my style. Bit chocolate boxy - but this is a first go (this style also removes some of the obvious imperfections and allows a degree of ‘artistic license’ in colours, shapes etc. Still lots of improvements to make - hence it being WIP (though comments on improvements welcomed).
Software used:
Gaea
QGIS
Blender
Mixer
Photoshop
Lightroom
Data Used:
Morton, D.; Marston, C. G,; O’Neil, A. W.; Rowland, C. S. (2020). Land Cover Map 2019 (25m rasterised land parcels, GB). NERC Environmental Information Data Centre. doi.org/10.5285/f15289da-6424-4a5e-bd92-48c4d9c830cc
Openstreet Map
OS open data (Zoomstack)
Assets Used:
Grasswald
Trees from a tutorial on fake forests by CGBoost
Botaniq
Textures.com/TextureHaven/CCOTextures and probably others (lots of textures from free sources - thanks for these)

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A (very) little bit of progress:

By the way - does anybody know why when I export this as a multi-layer EXR my clouds are tinted a greeny-blue tint, but when exporting as anything else they come out fine? Using filmic colourspace. (I admit I don’t really know what I’m doing with .EXR files!)

Differences to the previous upload are subtle, but they’re there!

If you use anything other than Filmic as your rendering transform, the ratios will skew quite wildly. The two highest intensity ratios will be blue, with green coming in lower, and as such, skies will skew to cyan unless the rendering transform has some gamut compression on the ratios.

Filmic does this, hence it holds the skew back a bit.

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Just trying to get a bit more variation in shadow across the landscape. Its a sunny day, with faint wispy cloud so doesn’t need to be too dark. However, finding it very hard to control. I’m just using a plane with a noise texture and a transparent/black diffuse mix. Not working too well. I shall persevere. Not that you can tell, but my fields now have sheep and hay bales in them (unfortunately they’re only 1 pixel wide :smile:)

Variations - but I’m pretty much calling this done - but now comes the fun bit where I can move around and ‘paint’ different landscapes from the same starting point. Different compositions etc.

Still wish I could get a better looking ‘atmosphere’ - still looks very fake. I’m using the new sky texture mixed with HDR and the normal mist pass. I suppose I could use some form of volumetric (advice welcomed please!!??). I own the ‘Physical Sky and Atmosphere’ addon - but I’ve had issues with this in terms of render times and crashing, so haven’t really tried it on this one. I’ve been looking at Luxcore - would this provide any advantages (is it worth learning?)

Another basic question (showing my still noobyness at Blender) but I’ve been finding that my renders start off really fast, but then the last 5% or so take an absolute age (at least 3 or 4 times longer than the first 95%). I am rendering on Cycles with GPU and CPU - auto tiling. I haven’t got the greatest graphics card (GTX1060 3GB) but surely this can’t be right? Again, advice very welcome.

Good basis, you do indeed need some atmosphere to make the scene more believable.
I really would recommend a volume, which you thin out via a gradient towards the top. That way you do have better control over the thickness of a subtle fog layer in the valley.
I think using volumes creates a better result than for example the mist pass.

Try to copy this setup and make it less dense for a start.


For you render question:
Your gpu and cpu are getting tiles assigned. Your gpu will finish with its tiles and any remaining tiles will need to be rendered by the cpu, thus the gpu is idle and you are waiting very long for the result.
Either dont render with the cpu or decrease the tile size a lot. Nowadays you can go rather low, as small tiles are better supported by the gpu (like 32px^2 in size)

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Thanks for the comments and advice. Very much appreciated. Took your advice on turning CPU off and test render was 30 minutes faster. God knows how much time and energy (especially energy!) I’ve been wasting.

In terms of the volume - I agree entirely. Do you apply this setup to a cube covering the scene?

Thanks again!

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It was a very flat cylinder, not a cube, to hide the a bit thicker corners. With a cube you can see the volume getting ever so slightly thicker as the corners are a bit further away from the camera.
Locate the cylinder dead center on the camera and the volume will be equidistant in all directions.

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I think another thing that would add to the scene are cloud shadows. Since you have clouds in the sky, one would expect some of those clouds would be between the sun and parts of your landscape. I know you aren’t going for realism, but I think it could help enhance the look to see shadows from clouds dotting the countryside.

Thanks. I have attempted this, but it may be a bit too subtle. Actually found it quite difficult to do.