Medieval Scene

Hello, this is one of my biggest projects sofar, and I already learned a lot from it. I still want to add an allay next to the house and some statues and rubble. However I could use some serious comments, because i am a very beginner.

I’m using blender internal renderen.

Overall view: The axe is not enough visible (material acting weird, tangent shading however looks nice in closeup), lighting definitely needs improvement.
http://img415.imageshack.us/img415/3540/axetest4yo6.png

Close up lamp: the displacement of the wall on the left side is odd. Although i made a flame with particles, it simple ignores to be visible through the glass, and I don’t know how to solve it without breaking the glass :).
http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/5249/axelampcloseuprf2.png

Close up axe:
http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/4338/axecloseupam0.png

It’s a bit dark.

Yeah, dark. You’ve got a strong idea by putting the camera low and the lamps up high. And as you turn up the lights, you still want to keep that sense of drama. (You might think about using haze or depth-of-field to make sure that my eye doesn’t get distracted by the bog in the foreground.)

My eye is naturally going to study the lamps, and then zero in on the person or whatever-it-is who appears to be sitting in the door frame. Remember: that’s your subject. The whole picture needs to tell me the story of whatever-that-is. Is he in danger? Is he Harry Potter left on the door stoop, waiting until morning when the adventure begins? Etcetera.

Your composition already directs my eye properly. You can trace i t, following the light spots: foreground, window, window, lamp… subject. Rests on the subject and looks more closely. Good. Keep that.

The flames? Who gives a flip about the flames? They’re good-enough now and they’re not the point. So, give the viewer just enough detail to make sure he knows they’re flames (you’ve got that, now) and make sure the picture tells the story. You’re not giving me a close-up of that lamp, so you don’t need to dress it up too much. That effort isn’t going to pay-back.

What you want to do is to turn up the overall light level while maintaining appropriate contrast. Contrast sets the mood and gives the sense of “darkness,” not light-levels. Light levels … the general “histogram” shape in Gimp or PhotoShop … need to be appropriate for the physical requirements of the media (in this case, a video screen). The distribution of the histogram also depends in-part on the physics… making sure you still have details in those shadows, no completely blown-out whites, and so-on. But your moodiness is then established by the short-distance contrasts within the frame… what is adjacent to what, and how bright or dark are the adjacent areas. The histogram tool is great for helping you to quantify your sense of “what works, what looks good, and what doesn’t.”

edit
Oh, I see it now, in the close-up: it’s an axe. Too bad. An axe, even a glass or crystal one, is just a thing, and without some human-sense of what character may have placed it there, the otherwise-organic picture is much more sterile. It’s just a still-life then, you know? And “still life” is just a code name for lifeless. Interesting to look at but it doesn’t move you: it just sits there, and you just sit there too, watching it. Because nothing’s alive, nor formerly-alive as the case may be. Hang a scrap of bloody cloth on it. Stick a note in the door. Smear the handle with mud. Break the blade. Put a dead corpse, or at least his broken leather jacket, face-down in the rain… “Show me a story.”

Your flippin good for a begginer!

I like your comment. Especily those details which give more life within it. Also great tips on lighting. I made a skull, and my idea was to model a foot just right or left and a waving dirty piece of cloth, simulating a guy standing just next to the camera, and probably (a) skeleton(s) in left corner. Can he get tot he safety of the house in team? Will he reach the door without being attacked by skeletons?