El Mirador (Critique Requested)

I posted an earlier version of this the other week to a somewhat muted response.
Having come to terms with the fact that it’s probably not as great as I thought it was I’d like to ask for constructive criticism, specifically about how to improve on the realism aspects. The composition is settled as it’s an attempt to reproduce an existing painting.

Here’s an update (improvement?)

Any comments welcome.

You could maybe add some variation to the texture on those models, maybe combining two or more textures with procedural nodes. (Some ideas are in this video.) Adding some fog with a mist pass or a volumetric cube could add depth to the scene. The image could also benefit from a more obvious focal point, e.g. putting the white background building in the middle. Otherwise, the city with the people in it looks okay.

Thanks for the advice and the video link. I know those techniques but it was good to get a reminder of my options and dynamic paint wasn’t something I’d considered. I’m already using normals to separate the walls from the paving, and there is a very large-scale noise that modulates the texture beyond the local patterning. But you’re right the texture is still too uniform over large scales. I’m going to try breaking the model up into separate objects so I can use the object random input to vary various parameters. I’m already doing that for the thatch roofs.

As for point of focus, as I’ve said I’m somewhat constrained by this being a reproduction of an existing painting.

Thanks again.

[edit] sorry forgot to mention there’s already a mist pass but as it’s meant to be a clear day it’s not very pronounced.

Here’s another update, main changes:

  1. Bevel everything :slightly_smiling_face:
  2. Added huts amongst the trees outside of the perimeter.
  3. Used a UV map rather than just vertex paint to get precision on the Sacbe (white road) and added narrow paths.
  4. Split the city into separate buildings and used object info/random to modulate the building textures.
  5. Replaced the basic crowd particle systems on the ground with boids to give the crowds some direction.
  6. Improved skin textures on the foreground figure, inc. some tattoos.
  7. Varied the clothing uv maps more.
  8. Fixed the lake reflection issues.
  9. Better smoke simulations/volumes.