Dry Crater Lake

I haven’t had much time to Blender lately, nor to check out all the great work on BA :(. But I did manage to spend some time making this yesterday.

I had watched some painting videos which covered creating a sense of depth in a landscape where linear perspective is not particularly helpful. In Blender, some of this is taken care of “automatically” by simply adding volume scatter, so I hadn’t really approached depth with much thought.

I have previously placed additional mountain objects in the background, typically fairly far away from the main landscape. This gave the volume scatter plenty of space to work. In this piece, there is only a single square plane with one circular mountain ridgeline. So in addition to the scatter, I also desaturated and lightened the base color farther from the camera. I also applied a very slight DOF on the camera to simulate diffusion through the atmosphere, which isn’t perfect, but it softened the skyline enough that I thought it was worthwhile.

Even with these additions, I didn’t feel the raw render felt deep enough. So in Blender’s compositor, I pushed each of the above goals a little farther. Blurring the details farther from the camera, lowering contrast, lightening, etc. I brought the colors out a little more intensely than they would be in a photo, but kept them subdued compared to many mountain landscape paintings I found online.

As the point of this exercise was playing with the sense of depth, I didn’t spend much time texturing. And there is no vegetation. These would probably have helped create a more finished look.

Let me know what you think. Also, if you have a favorite technique for enhancing depth in a landscape, I’d love to hear it.