Forest Island

hello everyone,

here is a small, lonely island in the middle of a forest lake - completely made in blender/cycles (and a little color correction in photoshop).

for the fog, i created a modular, procedural volume shader, which is applied to simple boxes.

i used the following real picture from juan davila as a reference:

have a good start into the week!

EDIT 25.12.2019

Hello everyone,
thank you again for the great interest and your kind comments.
I apologize for taking so long to get back to you.

in the following i would like to give you a short overview of the scene:


for the scene i used numerous particle systems. the landscape in the background uses a selection of five different, low-resolution tree models i created before. additional variation was achieved by random rotation and scaling.

the trees in the foreground I created separately and individually with the help of the blender-addon “the grove”. it was very important to me to stay close to the reference photo. afterwards I imported and placed the models and assigned an individual foliage to the empty particle systems.

the grasses and small bushes on the island are also composed of numerous particle systems, which i control using vertex painting.

the fog:

creating the fog was a real challenge for me. in the run-up to the project i experimented with different approaches. in view of the necessary flexibility and adaptability, i decided to use a procedural shader. by shifting the texture depending on the coordinates of the assigned object, i was able to add, scale and overlap different beams.
the boxes marked in the screenshot all contain the same fog texture and together they create a closed fog atmosphere.

who is interested can download my demo-setup here: fog.blend (697.1 KB)


the lighting of the scene is really simple.
i only use one ordinary sunlight and a gradient texture as environment-light.

in order to cut the light rays atmospherically, i have placed a box in the non-visible area.

thats all.

finally some info about the rendering process.

because of the fog i limited myself to pure cpu-rendering. in this case it’s just much more perfomanious. the volume settings in the render-tab are limited to a step-size of 20m with max. 64 steps.

the final rendering is done with only 256 samples. the rest is done by the new denoising-node insinde the compositor.

I hope I’ve answered everyone’s questions so far.

all the best


Amazing job! You nailed those volumetrics and I know how much of a pain it can be. Could you show how you arranged those boxes in your scene and of course, the node tree?

I used a big cube and some big noise to make it random but your approach is also interesting and more importantly, looks outstanding!

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Omg this was in Blender? Can you do a scene breakdown? This looks amazing!

~ Para :heart:



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Looks amazing! Do you mind showing lightning setup and maybe viewport ?

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Hi Heiko,
this is a really beautiful recreation of the ref image! Well done. Would you mind to post some screenshots of the viewport, so that we can learn how you mastered the lighting and the scaling? Thank you !

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WOW!! This is absolutely stunning! :star_struck:
I think this is one of the best cycles landscape picture I’ve seen so far!
The models, the light, the haze, the water everything is spot on.


Hi, it looks really convincing to me, I really like it…
I think it is a huge step from your last topic…
Are those trees done by you - or did you use assets from some library?
:clap: :clap: :clap:

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You’re on the #featured row! :+1:

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I thank you all for the great comments and your interest in my work.

Unfortunately I have private problems at the moment that I have to take care of.
By the end of the week I will get back to you and provide you with the desired information, setups and screens.


You know, it really is underhanded to take “what is very obviously a photograph and claim that it came from Blender! :wink:

Very nicely done.


Would you post a wireframe? I’m dying to show my girlfriend it is in fact a render. Awesome work!

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This is the first time I can’t tell which is real reference photo and which is CG…and so beautiful.
Really! I can’t!


OK, I’ve seen some amazing renders but no joke this is the best and most realistic 3D rendering I have ever seen!!! :open_mouth:
When I saw this in the featured row I was like “who posted a real image to here?”.
Great Job, You nailed it!!

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So beautiful

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This is mind-blowing! What else can I say. I’m speechless!! Congratulations for this amazing recreation! It really looks like a real photo!

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I need to know how many friggin samples did it take. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Wow this is such a great render! Thanks for your post! You got it to look so real I must say!

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Awesome render! And I love the tree variation in two renders, well done!!!

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/technical note: Reflection of sky on water is one of the rare scenarios where a polarisation aware pathtracer would do a better job./

Wonderful job!

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