Lepidoptera (UPDATED with RayTraced shadows)

I finally finished something I would consider showing here. So here is my first project post. Here’s the link:


You can click on the thumbnail for a big version. For those who are interested in the process I went through to get to this image, just look at the previous posts on the site.

Hope you like it. C&C are not only welcome, but encouraged.
Long philosophical treatise on the spiritual merit of the image are even more encouraged. :wink:

Thanks for reading (and viewing)

  • UPDATED - see below

Very nice! Texturing and the grass are done very well.

Some things that you could improve:

  1. Lighting. The lighting to me should be a a lot briughter. As it looks now, you only have 1 lamp emitting light. Try to add 4-6 spot lights to simulate some GI or try a 3 point light setup. You can do a search here for 3 point lighting to find many threads on the subject.

  2. The wings seem a little too thick to me. Could be just the camera angle throwing it off. Take a look there.

  3. The grass blades could be sub-surfed. You can see the poly edges right now. The texture on the grass is perfect. Just the edges are making it look odd.

Other than that, I can’t find anything else to say. Just a nice piece of work.

Keep it up!


something about the environment…
There are appears to be a bright light shining (like the sun), but the background is black (like night)…
maybe instead of a black background, go for a gray-blue look

great render!

Great work! Love the texture,…it has a nice fuzzy look to it. Perfect.

Thanks for the comments everyone.

  1. It’s actually not a single light, but 3. I haven’t used a traditional 3-light setup, but I do have the main spot as key light, a background spot to illuminate the grass, which I guess could be considered a sort of back light. And I have one low energy hemi to fill in the dark areas. At the moment I was going for a dramatic dark scene, but I will certainly try out more globally lit options.

  2. The wings were thicker at the front and taperd towards the back. In the old render the light caught the edge of the wing, which might be what was making it look too thick. The updated render with the new ray-trace options doesn’t seem to have this problem.

  3. Thanks for catching the sub-surf problem. That blade of grass was actually subsurfed to begin with, but it needed more. Taken care of in the new render.

The scene was meant to be an approximate facsimile of the regular studio shots you see of insects in coffee table nature books - i.e. strong bright light from an almost vertical angle, mildly lit foliage in the background, and a dark background. Granted that it ended up being darker than what I was originally aiming for, but I sort of like it. However, I will surely try a brighter setup.

Modron and @ner,
Thanks for the general encouragemant.

I have re-rendered the scene witha smoother blade of grass. The new ray tracing preview is all the rage at the moment. Since I couldn’t really find a way to force any reflective mirror objects into this scene (like many are doing at the moment :smiley: ), I decided to try the ray traced shadows instead. I think it is a big improvement - look for the subtle shadows on the blades of grass in the background, and the dramatic shadows created by the wing on the moth’s body. Here is the link :


Thanks for the comments and suggestions thus far. Keep them coming.

But there is no chrome on this moth. :expressionless: j/k :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m still waiting for your render of a reflective banana, with reflective mirror shades, both mutually reflecting each other into infinity.

Great image.

Some comments :

  • The moth body could do with bump map and should be of a different texture than the wings
  • you should fill the holes in the wings
  • about the lighting, ever your ambient is set too high or you should decrease the hemi, some grass blades are almost glowing

Besides this, great compositing and light sense

Great work bud! What is this new hybrid rendering feature you are talking about? Is this offered exclusively through a tuhopuu build or the alpha release of 2.31 itself? Let me know because I am HIGHLY interested in cooking a new render of the AIRMAN with it!


just check the thread ‘blender has a new feature’. download links within. ( this forum )

Landis: Read the news at http://www.blender.org


Hey Landis,
Glad you liked the image. I’m sure by now you have found our new little Blender treasure, and are busy playing around with reflective helmets and soft shadows. I can’t wait to see how this new development enhances both Airman and the Beast. Keep up the good work.

Thanks for the comments and observations.

  • The moth body was meant to have a similar texture to the wings. I have used a NOR setting, but maybe I need to work some more on the bump map as you suggest.
  • The holes are based on some image references I used for the moth. I wasn’t clear on this one, did you think they were a mistake, or did you think they didn’t look good?
  • I didn’t really play around with the ambient settings. What I did was to put in a mist to gradually obscure the grass in the distance. That is possibly what is causing the glow you talk about. I will look into that.

Thanks again for the comments.
Next please!

Much better render. I think it could still be a bit brighter though. Just my opinion though.

Keep up the good work.


Glad you liked the new render BgDM.

I think this new renderer in Blender is great. The best part is the way you can selectively apply Ray Tracing techniques to some elements, and at the same time stick to traditional scanline cheats in others. For example, in the new image, being able to selectively enable ray traced shadows in some lamps was very helpful. This opens the doors for much more complex, and hopefully efficient, lighting setups.

We are all so overwhelmed by this new development, that the sheer flexibility of this sytem hasn’t sunk in. As it usually is with Blender, we are bound to see a slow but stedy discovery and development of new and unique scanline-raytracing hybrid tricks to achieve … well, only time will tell.

Hey! All you strong silent types reading this thread. Speak up.
Like it? Hate it? Abducted by moth shaped aliens when you were a kid? Blade of grass in the 4th tuft, 10th row, 3rd from the right should be a little more curved? Anything?

hey hopefully i was able to see you pic, i tried before but it was down. anyway
i can say a comment that slaped me in the face, the shine on the main grass stick is way too shiny. it doesn’t fit with the blackworl behind.
if this is jsut a model based render, well everything is good for me especialy the butterfly.