Is it clear what is going on in this image?

I’m working on this project and struggling to find a composition I like for this render.

The goals are to convey that this meant to look like a mountain range, as well as to show the material of the key. I’m wondering if there is a way to improve the composition of this image while achieving both these things.

Below are two other attempts I made.


Before I read your post I was seeing a wooden
Segments of beveled painted doorframe… Maybe should be a bit shineyer for a key? I do see the key strieght away in the 3rd image.

And I really like the concept.

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Maybe pulling out with the camera helps. Ultimately I also want a person in the image, so I’m hoping that also makes the idea easier to see.

Not sure about the roughness values, I’ll have to verify that once I get around to rendering. Could also have something to do with the lighting.

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My eyes cue off the closest object and conclude that this is a set of wooden or metal keys, stacked in a row, with as-yet unexplained circular discs in the background. I see no mountains at all.

Okay! I’ve re-created the scene so I can demonstrate my suggestion. Here’s my recreation:
KeyRange.blend (190.4 KB)

The first thing I notice is that there’s no background, and no foreground.
The two keys I’ve selected are hogging the background, so we’ll need to deal with that. I’d add a cutout to the one on the left to reduce the impact on the scene.
The next thing I would do is lay the keys over a bit, this helps to open up the background a bit and also give a sense of sloped mountains.
There’s not much background either, so let’s give some of those keys a white paintjob and cluster them in the sky as clouds. We could make some of them green and turn them into trees (might want to make the round handle larger) and a grassy field in the foreground. Here’s the resulting composition, minus the character:

After that, I would add a lot more atmospheric haze to give a sense of scale. Maybe make the sun in the background a key as well, with an emissive material?