first time -- flower


This is my first successful attempt at a flower. I started learning Blender last week, so I think this is pretty neat for a fresh newbie like me. Anywho, nice pictures of flowers will eventually be going to the gf.

So, I’m generally satisfied with the picture. Its not intended to be realistic, just interesting. Its been compressed a bit, so ignore the bit of blur and jpeg artifacts.

I’ve observed two problems, though.

First, there is a shadow falling across the left-most petals. I have absolutely no clue as to what is causing this. There are no other objects above the flower except the spotlight and camera. Does the camera cast a shadow?

The flower’s material is red, with specularity of yellow. The spotlight is also yellow. However, I’ve noticed there are bands of yellow falling off the main specularity highlights in the center. How do I reduce this effect? Do I just make my subdivisions higher when rendering (I think its already at 4)?

Finally, how might I increase the “depth” of the flower’s rendering so that the petals stand out a bit better against each other?

C & C are most definitely welcome.


thats great for a newbie like yourself , well done!!


well… I don’t think you need to subsurf any more… have you tried the “set smooth” button? I don’t know what is that shadow… maybe if you’ll supply a .blend we could tell you. in order to make the patal stand alone try using different shader (frankly this one is horrible), mybe try some textures more complex lighting that emphesis the patal. You can also try using the z-blur plug-in to get a depth of field effect an thuss adding more depth to the pic. It’s a most excellent pic for a newbie (and dare I to say very good even for the finished projects level of works).

Work on the petals, right now they look a bit stiff and paper-like

Nice Work…

I agree with Kansas_15, the petals seem a bit too stiff…

I dont know what’s going on with the shadow… if yu can give us a .blend file it will definitly help…


Thanks for C & C. I actually like the stiffness of the petals. This was my first attempt at something after learning about “face loop select”, “alt+s, scale along normals”, and “y, split”. I’d actually been trying to do a split by hand, and it was horrible.

Anywho, the .blend file is linked below.

Hello, I took a look at your file and found some things you can fix up. Firstly, you can lower the subsurf level to 1 or 2 on the flower, and keep the petals smooth by slecting “set smooth” next to the subsurf button.

Another problem is that your light is way too bright, you can bring its power to about 1, unless you want it to be really bright.

Something else you may not know about is the start and end distances of your light source. The start and end distance is illustrated by the solid line that points directly down the middle of the light, with black dots on the ends. This line is showing the light’s range and will only light up objects that come in between the line.

To fix this, go into side view by pressing “numpad 3” and moving the light back so that the flower is directly in the middle of the light’s range line.

That will allow your whole scene to be visible.

Another way to see what the light can see is to select the light and press “ctrl” + “numpad 0”. This turns the light into a camera, showing you what the light can see. You can also adjust the “ClipSta:” and “ClipEnd:” amount in the light settings. After you’ve done that, select the camera and press ctrl + numpad 0 again.

I also noticed that your flower has a circle without any faces at the bottom of it. To see what I mean, enter edit mode of the flower and look for a circle of vertices at the bottom, then delete the circle.

Just two more things to mention, when you render the image, you’ll notice that it renders two squashed images before showing the final image. To fix this, go to the render buttons panel and deselect the button that says “fields”, oh, and also turn off “unified render” on the very bottom right side.

Now I have a question, what’s the big green thing? It has too many vertices and looks pretty ugly.

Anyway, I hope all this info helps and wasn’t too confusing.

Thanks Wiggie. The “big green thing” is just a green plane I played around with. Its simply there to break up the background a bit. The lighting distance is on purpose. I like the look of the dark shadows with the strong light.

Thanks for the tip about “set smooth”. I tried it and it helped a lot. Its something I missed.

Do you think that circle is what causes the shadow across the left-most petals?

Just looked at the .blend (nice work :wink: )

The ‘line’ on the left pedals was cuased by Clip Start: just put it as low as it goes.

And also, there really in no need for sub-surf higher then 3.

I like this. I suggest that you establish that the goal for this picture isn’t photo-realism, but to achieve the style of a painter such as Ed Mell.

You have a very strong composition in this piece: the bright yellow background against total black, with the flower petal between. The “drawing” style is also very sharp and bold; very geometric. Keep it that way. You can try for other treatments of the subject in future pictures.

Only two elements of the existing shot “strike wrong” enough in my eye to warrant attention: - There is a line of shadow across the petals, like some kind of obstruction, like a pencil or part of the light-rigging, was on top of the flash when the photographer shot the picture. That needs to be cleaned up. - The stamen casts a very strong shadow below it and to the right. My eye says that the shadow wouldn’t be that strong and that there ought to be more of the bright yellow highilght right there instead.
Compositionally also, consider that this might be a desert flower such as the flower of the prickly-pear cactus, which it resembles. In that case there would be a green subject in the lower right region that is now black. It would be in soft focus and it would be darker, so that it is there but it does not compete with the subject. The upper region would be quite explainably opaque, just as it is now.

If I were a photographer, of course I would not change the subject. (I couldn’t.) So, don’t change the mesh. What I would do is to adjust the lighting. I want to eliminae two specific artifacts, but keep the picture. I’d bring in a pencil-flash to soften the shadow of the stamen, coloring it yellow to blend with the existing yellow highlight, which I like. I’d find the pencil that’s blocking my light-panel and move it out of the way.

I’d probably also put a small rim-light at about nine o’clock beside the flower, maybe slightly to the rear, to give me just a little more edge-definition on the flower petals at the left side of the shot. I want just a hint of color, maybe bluish, to help define where the edges of those petals lie so they don’t blend together.

Nooby or not :slight_smile: you’ve got a good picture here. Work it subtly and carefully. Good job.

O: Thanks for the help. The shadow ended up being the “clip start” in the lighting section. I pulled it back, but I then couldn’t get the dark shadows in the lower right as they were an artifact of the shadow clipping. I decided to put the “clip start” just before it casts that shadow on the left-most petals so that it gives that nice dark shadow on the right. Not the most elegant solution, but it gives a nice look.


As you said, this is not a photo-realistic picture. I agree about the petals lacking definition with the lighting. I’ll try a small, blue light as you suggest. I’ll be honest, I’m not an artist or a photographer (I’m a physics graduate student :)), but I’m learning. I’m not really keen to put a bulb or plant in that dark shadow. I kind of just like the flower to float. If you notice, the “stamen” is also floating and not attached to the flower. That was just a quick thing to make it a bit more interesting, but it turned out being quite nice.

I’ve a new idea for the background. How about I place several flowers on an isosphere so that it looks like a little cactus. It won’t be entirely realistic, but it’ll look neat.

However, I haven’t been able to figure out something. I can parent an empty to my flower’s bottom so that its easy to move it around and attach it things. In particular I’m trying to attach it to a vertex of an isosphere. Now, this is easy for the top-most vertex, as simply using snap “selection->cursor” is sufficient. However, when I snap the flower to a side vertex I also wish to rotate the flower so that it faces outward along the normal from the vertex.

The problem is: how do I figure out that rotation? I can eyeball it, and I can probably do the math and figure it out, but is there a way do just let blender do the math? Or, is there a way to figure out the angles of a normal, so that I can use that information at a later time? The information provided by “NKEY” doesn’t include anything about normals.

turn on “rot” next to the duplivert button, that should fix it.