[Updated with latest render]

I’m working on creating a matte painting based on a photo of the Dolomites. So, not an exact copy but looking quite similar. Here’s the first attempt, concentrating on the sky for the moment. Rest is just placeholder. Church by Daniel74, from BlendSwap. The photo I’m trying to match is included for reference.


Talking about the sky, the general idea is well “copied” but i’d try to soften the edges of the clouds. Not only soften, but to make them more cottom-like.

Yes, I need to do more work on the clouds for sure.

Some progress I think. I’m happier with the clouds but will probably need to do a bit more with them.


So, I think I’ll move on to other things


I love your clouds. What approach did you use to make them?

I make the clouds in Vue. I believe it’s a volumetric material using procedural noise.

I wondered if they were done by another software. Its hard to produce clouds like that with Blender.

Vue is not a modelling application (except for basic primitives) but is good with terrains and skies.

I seem to recall using quite a few years ago - probably its earliest incarnation. I haven’t used Vue for years though. Blender struggles to
reduce terrain and skies that compete with such programs. The terrain stuff looks as though it may get better with micro displacement. My feeling is that blenders limited cycles noise functions are one area that holds back good clouds in Blender.

The scene I’m emulating does have some buildings, so I whipped up a quick house in Blender to go with the church (a BlendSwap model). I’ll probably need to make a few more. Not sure how detailed to get. And texturing of course, or, being a matte painting, I could just paint over the render in Photoshop.


Decided to do some basic texturing. I don’t expect to be seeing this close up.


Here’s what I’ve got so far.


I set the photo as a background and managed to get better scale and perspective. The sky is from the photo.


The scale of the building is completely wrong! A church like this would have a tower around 70 m high and the regular three storey building is 18 m maximum. On your model they are almost the same!

Edit: I checked your original reference and the main problem is that you choosed wrong reference images for your church - you can’t simply pick a reference of a large basillica and scale it down - it won’t look realistic.
Check this image for a church that would be adequate for a small village in mountains:

Yes you are quite right. I plan to replace the church with a model similar to the one in the photo in the first post, which is also significantly taller than the house.

This week in the workshop I’m doing we’re looking at terrains. I think the actual rocks in my scene will need to be sculpted or something similar as I could spend forever trying to find a fractal or combination of fractals to produce this particular form procedurally. Here’s a very simplistic mockup.


Here’s my current block in in Vue. I plan to model the village in the foreground (currently just the house) in Blender and pop it into the scene. I may also be sculpting rocks for the mountains in the background in Blender. Maybe. Everything is just basic colours, no attempt at realism here, just scene layout. The terrains are using heightmaps painted in Photoshop, with a touch of fractal noise added for interest.

I’ve added the reference image so you can see what I’m going for without going back to the start of the thread.


Some more work. Compositing is pretty rough at this stage. Cabin from Blendswap by OliverMH, other buildings by me.


Nice progress, it is so much better now! Are those trees in the foreground just plane with alpha? The blue border around the trees is quite distracting.