Line of Defense

I based this project heavily upon reference images. My goal is to depict a scene which shows the missile defense system in action. May I have your suggestions on how to increase the photorealism in the final render?

(I would love to upload a high-resolution version, but BA seems to forbid files bigger than 10MB…)


Looks pretty good as is.

Maybe darken the sky near the horizon to give the equipment more contrast? Put in some indications of a base camp surrounding the launchers? Troops?

Do you have any reference images for comparison?

I took the liberty of making my own adjustments, as I’m not aiming for an entirely recreation of the launcher.

Looks really good, did you add noise to the background?
I did notice that the mountains in the background are all one color.
However, launcher looks realistic enough.

the scene looks really good so far. at least the composition and modeling and texturing. but it looks not interesting yet. the main problem i see is the lack of contrast. it’s nighttime. therefore the launch of the rocket would be very bright. so make the fire more powerful, more saturated. and also you could try to darken the sky. I would suggest to leave the color at the horizon as it is, but blend it to a full black. but the image got a big potential, especially with that realistic fire-smoke simulation! well done.

Use render farm?

Thank you! I will definitely try darkening the horizon as you suggested using the compositor. I have actually tried doing that before, but I got lost in a maze of nodes…As for the base camp, I’ll see what I can do. I’m not sure an entire base would be a good idea, though a few signposts here and there may be a nice addition.

Thanks for the encouragement! I will work on the horizon. I am also considering making the sky more interesting by adding a few subtle stars.

Yes, I did add some RGB noise in GIMP to break up the night sky a bit. It seems to help with the photorealism a bit, but I may have overdone it.

You could just post a link to cloud space (eg. Dropbox), where you previously upload your file.
Anyone can download at full resolution, if they wish.

Btw it looks pretty good to me.
How is the smoke modelled?

Thanks for the tip! I tried a lot of methods creating the smoke, but the one which gave me the most control is to simply put a plane at the end of the rocket and use a particle system with a high normal velocity. I then made a box resembling the launcher and used it as a smoke obstacle. I also found that the flames look terrible if “Dissolve” is turned off for the Domain.

I tried using wind fields and a moving smoke emitter, but it didn’t work out.

I followed some of your advice and altered the background. I also tried to make the lighting on the rocket more realistic and added a subtle texture to the hills. I tried to add some bunkers, but I couldn’t make them fit in the image.

Any suggestions for further improvement? (Especially for realism)

I worked on the compositing a bit and here’s the result:

Please give suggestions on how I can increase the level of realism!

i think good photos with size of 3MB (i dont know the actual limmet here) should be enough; i mean the real photo’s i took once with my old eos350 where amazing, my new cam takes picturs (whn in jpg) about 7 mb, but this realy doesnt add anything to it.
If you cannt do it in less then more bits dont add quality i think.

But oh well, your scene is quite light; while there except for the explosion no light sources
To add visible detail with added lights, on could park another truck and use its head lights.
… or… maybe just create a picture as if you where looking through night goggles, or some robotic goggles; with some digital digits etc on the screen. also the sky is verry equal, use clouds or stars in groups

It’s unlikely that stars would be visible in a photograph of the same scene. You need to use a long exposure to pick up star fields, which would give you a blurred missile.

Ah, I haven’t thought about that before. Is there any other way I can break up the night sky?

A graduation towards a lighter horizon? Like it’s taking place just after sunset or just before sunrise?

Why is the missile red now? Also I’m looking at the streaks of light in the sky, if those are also missiles, shouldn’t the fire die out a lot quicker than it is, leaving a trail of smoke behind a small smear of light?

I found that the missile blends too much into the background if it’s white. When I have time I may add a texture to make it look more realistic.

Guys, I followed your advice and here’s my latest render:

I altered the color at the horizon, added some signs to the launcher and changed the color of the rocket.
Mr. Banks, I agree that the streaks of light may be a bit unrealistic. I’ll see if I can create long smoke trails when I have some free time.