Message in a bottle - work in progress

Hey all,

Ok, I’m both new to blender and new to blender-artists, and this is my first attempt at doing something in blender.

I was invited to a friend of mine’s wedding - the invitation was beautiful: a bottle with a little sand and shells at the bottom, and a rolled up invitation inside, closed with a cork. I really loved the invite, so decided to make my RSVP a little bit original too.

So far I’ve mostly worked on the glass and the sand… but the rest is so boring! I hate the lettering inside, which i couldn’t flatten properly, and I don’t like the lighting. I thought I’d post this here to get a little feedback from the pros :slight_smile: - all comments welcome, I can take a slating :stuck_out_tongue:


Heh, nice idea for an answer :slight_smile:

The sand looks very flat at the moment - I guess it’s just a image texture, mapped to Color? You should try to add some bump (like, a noise texture, or a tiny cloud texture mapped to Normals)

For the text… try to find a nice font? (A cursive one maybe)

Hey, thanks for the input! I already have some noise applied to the normals of the sand - i’ll try increasing it a bit. I’ll also try a small cloudy one, see what comes out better. Any ideas on the lighting?

Thanks again for the help!

I’d recommend using the technique shown here:

but using Add with strength on max and Noise as the texture.

Ok, I’ve been working on the lighting a little bit, and changed the spot to a sun, and added a hemi too… but I’ve lost the shadows a had before, so I might still add a soft spot in there too. I increased the noise on normals effect on the sand, I think it looks a little better… more? Still not happy with the text, but I’m thinking I might turn it into text on a small scroll of paper?


Indeed, the sand and light are way better. I gives a “warmer” image.
If you go for a text on paper, maybe you could write it with your own handwritting? (provided you have a scanner).

Added cloud texture to sand, took out hemi and put spot back in. Lost warmth, and the cork just refuses to brighten up… For the writing I was thinking of doing it by hand, I do some calligraphy on the side, so I’ll try that.


the last one’s the best :D… nice work! almost photo-realistic!
I’m not sure about the text though… I’d change that. make it… fit?
Just a suggestion though…

Hey all, thanks for all the feedback, here’s the latest with a basic little paper scroll. I don’t have a scanner at home anymore, so I havn’t hand written it. I’m now noticing that the sand is coming through the bottle - gotta try and find a way to make the sand mesh wrap around the bottle. Man I love blender, I’m hooked.


I used a boolean mesh modifier in the end to fold the sand out of the way of the bottle… but it gave me some odd shadows. Gonna unsink the bottle a little, maybe try some shots from some other directions too…
I got the camera a little closer to the bottle this time which increased my render time quite a bit. I’m rendering on a core i7 @ 2.7ghz - just built the machine and blender is just the thing to put it to the test. Unfortunately at the moment I’m using vista 64… will be switching to Linux 64 soon.