Learning compositing / texturing...

Hello all, I’m relatively new (about a month in) to Blender but trying to learn as much as I can as quickly as I can (so I can draw some “good” stuff). This weekend I decided to make a simple lantern such that I could practice some texture and composite to try to achieve a closer to photo-realistic effect (so the focus wasn’t the model). A general reference was http://www.vermontlanterns.com/content/anchor-lantern-antique-brass-12, but was also going for more of a brushed brass type look (easy enough with http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D:_Noob_to_Pro/Every_Material_Known_to_Man/Gold).

Few things I’m struggling with or thought I could do is (or would appreciate feedback or a pointer to a good tutorial to read):

  • “Flame” flicker on the light cast (caustic effect on the lamp using a texture or something). The lamp in the center of the glass “lens” just doesn’t feel like it’s playing nice. I fiddled with this in composite too with little luck, but I just don’t know how to use the nodes proper yet.
  • Soften / blur the cast shadow from the center of the latern, I figured I could composite this somehow also.
  • Take the brass material and maybe “node” it with “scratches” (I admittedly haven’t searched for this yet). I’m just still dissatisfied with the realism of the texture.
  • Anything else.

I also installed Yafaray but backed off for time being. Blender composting seems incredible but the books I have (and read) only show me what’s available (and explain the nodes well) but not really how to imaginatively deploy them. Comes with time I’m sure. I appreciate any time and consideration in any and all responses :wink:


Lantern4.blend (724 KB)

Here is one way to use nodes for compositing your scene.

Might have the light figured out. Used a radial stencil before applying the caustic and to get the soft shadow, kick the number of samples up (on the light) and tweaked on the soft size and threshold. That looks to be a very good example on using the blur. When I tried myself I had very poor luck, I’m going to have to spend some time playing further with that example.