Large scenes with distant background objects.

I am playing around with a boat scene where I want there to be an island in the far distance. The view will be from the boat as it bounces around on the waves.

If I put both the boat and the island in the same scene in blender it seems very difficult to get the perspective right without actually scaling the island to be proportional to the size of the boat. Is there any trick to doing so successfully?

I have also tried rendering only the island and then use that picture (or video in the end) as a background for the boat scene. However, I cannot simply put a plane with the island-video playing in the boat scene (as I am using the internal renderer). If I put the rendered island image as the background image in the world settings it does not follow the camera motion but stays in the same place as the camera is moving.

What is the best practice for dealing with scenes with big scale difference. For example, a man standing on a mountain top close to the camera, surrounded by a mountain range. How would one do that?

Perhaps some of the questions are too general, but I am thankful for any insight you might give me.

Sounds like you need to play around with the focal length on your camera in the scene. Values closer to 0 increase the perspective, so objects far away appear a lot smaller and more distant, where as values closer to infinity get more and more orthographic and perspective free.
Hope this helps :slight_smile:

Thanks for the tips, I will try this as soon as I can.

If that does not work it seems like I only have two choices, one is to scale the island to about 100x100 blender units and make the scene really big. The other is to first render the island to an image and then use that as either a background or put it on a big plane behind the rest of the scene.

Regarding the latter, is it possible to get lighting from a plane in Blender internal in the same way as it is possible in cycles?
I.e. I want to put up an hdr-rendered picture on a big plane and use that to partially light the rest of the scene.

1 : default cam settings, (and also perspective view settings) have fairly low max draw distance, you should increase these to make all of the scene visible in the viewport or renders… You should be able to make the scene fairly close to “real scale” and it should look about right.
2 : internal rendering CAN do video planes, you would need to render out the “island” scene as a set of images, and then use these as a sequence texture… this should look ok, if you have no specular on the video planes material (specular will make it look like a shiny plane showing a video)
3 : I personally use separate meshes for distant objects such as the mountain range (rather than one object for the full scene)… this way you can have a high detailed mountain with a character standing upon it, surrounded my low detail mountains, which are further surrounded by even lower detail mountain… this way you can keep the detail you NEED but lower the scenes polycount vastly…

hope these help

Thank you for the replies. I will try around with this. I will be using the method of less and less detail for the ocean surrounding the island.

I will try both the video method and the scaling method.