Halloween Lockdown

Took a break from my Anubis to work on a picture I’d like to finish by Halloween. The premise is basically a Jack-O-Lantern in prison wear to symbolize the lack of freedom many may face come All Hallow’s Eve and trying to make the best of a bad situation.

This is the cycles render along with my lighting setup, not sure if my background fits so am open to suggestions.

but would mainly appreciate any help and advice on how I can improve the image, along with any tips for the post processing and composition that you think could help

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I really like the idea and your render.
Maybe dirty up the balls and felt. At the very least they’d have grime on them, and more than likely scratches. If this were a pub table, there would be lights hanging directly over the table, but if this is a table in Jack’s house, his head may supply all the illumination he needs :).

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thank you very much, going to work on those now

added scratches and worked on the lighting a bit. Could use some input on how else I can improve this image

It is looking great! Maybe the scratches are a bit too big and intense and equally oriented. I would make them more subtle and in random directions.

But to me the thing I had to do some effort to understand, was the fire. I think it does not look is coming out of the back of his head, to me looks like something that is behind him , making the whole silhouette difficult to understand at first sight.

As he is static, maybe the fire should come out all over his head and not only from the back.

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Thank you Basie, I’m wondering if this closer to what you mean?

Yes, in some aspects looks better, but now the white ball looks like is floating.
Are your scratches also applied as a specular map? Because I feel the specularity of the balls do not follow the scratches.

thanks, will take care of the cue ball now and my scratches are procedural

Does not mater if they are procedural or a bitmap image. What I mean is plug the scratchs also to the specular input of your node and see what happens.

plugged the scratches into the specular input