Destroyed burnt house - WIP Feedback requested - updated

Need feedback/criticism to improve this piece as I plan to use it in a short animation.


old lighting:



Another background. Which looks better?

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Good mix of terrain work particularly the trees, sky, and structure mesh. Plus smoke effect

Fence needs work. Terrain needs more elements, rocks, dirt, plants, etc. The grass image texture you’re using is causing “tiling” creating a repeating pattern.

Smoke is Too Black. Smoke has grey in it as well. Particularly on a fire that going out.

Lighting - The house itself either needs more illumination to reveal detail.
or … It needs much less, and is only a Stark outline against the sky.

My two cents

Thanks for your feedback. I will try to address the issues

Again, what you got is a good concept, and you’ve “blocked-out” the elements you want for your scene.
which is a big step beyond just “thinking about doing some art”

Your first shot is the best, I think. If you turn down the angle on the sun to blunt your shadows a bit, add in some light volumetrics for atmosphere, and, most importantly, add some grass and shrubbery to the scene, you’ll have something good going on.

I’d also get rid of the smoke, since it doesn’t add much to the scene. If you want to keep it in, I’d suggest adding some glowing embers on the wood here and there, to make it look like it’s smoldering.

Thanks! Yes this is not a standalone piece but a part of a short film I am planning for a year now :frowning: Some more environments are WIP and I will keep sharing them. Thanks a lot for your feedback , as working alone, I really need extra pairs of eyes.

Yes, Extra eyes are invaluable.

Thanks. The smoke is part of the story where the hero returns home to find it burned down. I will try out some fire/ember to see how it works out.

Here’s another render of a shot inside a forest. Starting to build the lighting. Any feedback/pointers is greatly appreciated.

This is a example shot from the short film Irradiation (made in Unreal). I kinda want that mood but have to figure out the lighting in blender.

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I really like the volumetrics and the look. I think its on track with your reference shot. But… I’m not a lighting guru or volumetrics guy. so I can’t give constructive critique in that area on “how to improve”

Updated based on feedback. Smoke is now gray. Added some rocks (I like how it might add some symbolism for his wife and daughter). And some grass (although not too sure about the grassy look as I would have liked it to be more “minimal”, also the rocks get “lost” in the clutter). Still figuring out the fire.

render without grass:

with grass:

I like the grass a lot, of course you may tweak it to get the rocks to show better. The fence to me may need something. I think you may be using Curve Deform. Maybe try Collection Instancing. I made a little blend file for you.

fence instancing.blend (1.4 MB)

Smoke looks better. But I’d add some blue into the grey as well.

The grass is a nice addition. less sterile now. But I think your instincts are right. Scale back the grass size and number of children. That will take testing experimenting to find the right “Look/feel” If you want denser clumping weight paint your hillside mesh. And then highlight those vertices and create a “grass clump” group in vertex group panel under properties. then you can adjust the particle tool, adding vertex/ weight paint density at the bottom of the particle menu.

I think the picket fence does not match the environment. If fence a small area of yard near the house, That will work.
But not a “long meandering” picket fence down a grassy hillside. Picket fences aren’t used for border fences on large plots. If you’re fixed on using a fence, split rail is likely more appropriate

Thanks! That’s a really cool tip and thanks for the sample file! Btw, is collection instancing similar to what we can get with geometry nodes? Because I thought I will give geometry nodes a try for the fence.

You are exactly right about the fence. Looking at some references now. Thanks for the guidance!

updated render. Calling it done for now and moving onto the next scene. Will come back to it later when animating the shots. Thanks to everyone for their honest feedback. The scene has come a long way since the initial draft and wouldn’t have been possible without the support of you guys!

Here’s what I did for grass in my most recent project.

I started out with a basic clump of fairly low poly grass. Nothing fancy or fantastic. Just something that looks like grass from a distance.

Then what I did was add in two separate vertex groups, and weight painted them. One was for what I called scrub grass, which was the really fine, tiny grass that carpets the ground. The other was for larger clumps of that grass, more sparsely laid out, and a 3rd pass was with that same clump above stretched out on the z-axis to look more weedy, which was even more thinly distributed.

Geometry nodes were used for the distribution across the two vertex groups.

The end result was this…

One thing I wish I did was add a little more variety in colors and weeds to break it up a bit more. In the end, the grass wasn’t the focus of my scene, so it worked well enough.

I’d recommend trying something similar with your scene.

…and a shot without the shadows, so you’ll get a better idea of how it’s all distributed.

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That’s a really helpful tip! Thanks! I will definitely use this.

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Just remember, you’re going to want to keep the grass as low poly as you can, and use the scrub grass primarily along edges where the grass stops to meet dirt or some other termination line fairly close to the camera, because it WILL bog down your computer.