Hello! Here is the product of two days well spent (whew).
It is called Journey. Apologies for the cluttered render, this was really just a learning thing for me
I will post some more renders of different elements in a minute. But for now here’s the main one!
300 samples, about 3.5 hours, 2560x2560
Oh, and something was weird with the AO Pass and it didn’t really get the background at all.
The Gems were by far the funnest part, using procedural textures for the roughness of the outside and complex volumetrics for the inside. A 3D Quadratic sphere centered in the bottom plugged into a volumetric emissive shader creates the glow. They look great from far away and up close, and only take 11 vertices and 1 material each. I scattered little glowing icospheres in the gem fields to add complexity.
I did a ton of sculpting, which, when combined with the decimate modifier (which preserves the form of sculpts surprisingly well), ends up as wonderful organic looking low poly mesh. So, for organic things (rock, mainly) I used sculpt + decimate, and for more man-made things (bridges, lanterns) I hand modeled.
My favorite thing about the final render is the lighting on the pillars in the top left corner
Anyway, Enjoy! Feedback + criticism is welcome!
Funny story, I originally had some groundcover on the path traversing the rock face but got rid of it. The lamp posts were on the groundcover, so they ended up floating. I actually had to lengthen the bases in post-processing. In the AO pass they’re floating. Whoops!
Im rendering a 2560x1440 one so it’s not a square