Growing Up

This is my entry for the Blender Guru Competition - Saying Goodbye.

I’ve tried to capture the moment when you have outgrown your toys and find yourself looking at the things you once held so dear, being thrown away.

It’s about leaving childhood and your imaginary friends, broomstick ponys and so on.

Hope you like it!

High resolution at


Nice one! Me and a friend made an animation with a similar idea once.

I know this is in finished projects but I hope you don’t mind a few constructive critiques.

I think the plastic bag could have some more rimlighting or specular highlights to get it to contrast better with the background and give it a more three dimensonial form. As it is it kind of blends in with the environment.

What is the dominant light supposed to be? Is it a street lamp?
You’ve lit the scene almost dead on from the front which gives it a bit of an uninteresting mood. A bit similar to taking a photography with a flash. If you had a more angled lighting with more contrast it might look nicer.

The trashcans seem to be equally specular across the surface even though they have a dirty texture to them. Adding a specular- and a bumpmap could help a lot.

Just a few suggestions you can ignore if you wish. :slight_smile:
It’s good overall though. The football is especially nice imo. :smiley:

Thanks for your critiques, I appreciate it!

I did struggle with the lighting, my idea was to make it look like dusk/dawn hence the red colours. I wanted the boys shadow to be visible (lower right) to get that human presence. No light seemed to do that well, the sun lighted the whole scene with no clear shadows. Here I used a plane which i cranked up to 5000 in strength and finally got that shadow I was looking for, i gave the light a reddish color but it’s so bright that the reflections in the scene are white. Then I added HDRI lighting but just 0,1 in strength, and also made the background image emissive a bit.

Not sure how to get that shadow but without lighting everything, “this layer only” option isn’t available in Cycles, any ideas?

The trashcans shoult not be equally specular all over, look at the right lid, the rust isn’t shiny but you can se some gloss around it.
I have posted a screenshot of the material on my WIP thread if you wish to take a look. I think I’ve done it right :slight_smile:

This is my first project, I’ve been watching tutorials (and following them:) ) for the past four months. Thought I’d give this contest a try.

I have still much to learn so any advice is appreciated!

Thanks again, where can I see your animation?

Couldn’t you just put the character casting the shadow on a different renderlayer and composite them together?

Alright then.
Though the reflectivity may change over the surface I think it’s still a bit too glossy overall. If you consider that the trashcans are dirty and rusty they probably aren’t that reflective on any point across the surface.

It is very good for a first project so congrats on that!
I’m just throwing some suggestions out there.

The animation I mentioned isn’t actually available online but there’s a link to my online portfolio which contains a pic of a WIP phase in my signature. (The one with the ragdoll.)

I noticed I haven’t followed my own advice on that one all that well but it’s a couple years old though. :smiley:

@3dementia; Thanks :). Yea that is a similar scene, I really like his image, lots of stuff going on. I also like what you’ve done with my image, is it just brightness settings involved or are there more steps.

@Ben_Lind; “Couldn’t you just put the character casting the shadow on a different renderlayer and composite them together?” - :slight_smile: well to be honest it’s not “just” to me, I’m not that experienced with the layers :). What does the shadow need to be projected on, do I copy the same ground plane or make a new one?

I’ll probably fiddle withe the image a bit more based on the crits I get.

“It is very good for a first project so congrats on that!
I’m just throwing some suggestions out there.” Thanks, glad to hear it. Any type of critics/suggestions are welcomed, you can’t hurt me :).

I took a look at your site, love the guitar by the way, and saw the image you were referring to. Must say, they’re not worlds apart. Cute little guy you’ve got there! :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the crits, keep them coming!

It’s auto color in Photoshop. I cheated. I think Gimp has something similar as well. There is lots to learn about gamma correction, color correction and the like out on the web. It starts with tuning your monitor properly, again I cheat by using a Sony Bravia tv to look at all my images, and that works really well.

Since cycles doesn’t have shadow passes yet it would take some fiddling. I’ll try to explain a possible solution and hope it makes sense.
You’d have one renderlayer with the scene lit as you want it without the shadow from the kid. Then another render layer with an all white diffuse plane and the kid and a lamp/emissive plane. You can then adjust the intensity of that lamp however you wish to get a good shadow. After that you’d render out the direct diff pass (you can also add the indirect diff if you want, but it probably isn’t all that visible) to try to get the info you want for the shadow. Then composite the “shadowscene” with multiply onto the lit scene. This is not the ideal way to do it but it might work in some extent.

You could also try to mimick the lighting in internal and render a shadow pass from there and composite it into the cycles render.

Well I’m not intending to be rude either so I guess you’ll be fine. :wink:
Also thanks for the compliments!