Mountain Snow Castle

EDIT: New Version:

Started as a study on snowy mountains using the z-component of the normal vector. Found some annoying cross-talk between normal bumps and displacements, avoided by not using the normal input in the layer weight node.

Transitioned the landscape to a castle scene, which then became practice using render layers as the vertex count grew. Some strange and maddening streaks of alpha transparency appeared in compositing that went away when the defocus and glare nodes were wired in parallel instead of series. Also, the z-pass input seemed to be scaled oddly and did not act as expected with the defocus node (will look into that some more).

More of a working model, so suggestions welcome.

New version:

Ended up disabling “Use Z-Buffer” but kept the z-input connected with a 1.5x scaling. Also tweaked the RGB curve.

New version with low-poly trees (attached to first post above).

The snow on the castle looks like cowhide instead of snow. Have you considered a night scene? Maybe the top of the castle could be a beacon of some sort.

Very purdy.

One concern is that I don’t think the snow would cling to the sides of the structure like that. It’s too steep to hold on to accumulations of snow.

The rock faces of the mountains could stand to be a bit more jagged and uneven as well.

Jagged mountain faces would be good but for my piece, I’d say rotate the small spires because the snow patterns are 100% identical. My eye went right to them. I think the snow is piled and wind blown quite well on them. Another suggestion for scale would be some hint of an entrance or rocky stairway. That tree was a smart addition. Foregrounds help backgrounds a lot.

Wasn’t sure if the castle should be just all snow or have some rock visible. Will have to try a night scene in the future. Thanks.

Thanks. Jagged peaks have been a challenge. Trying to get an alpine look, like the Eiger:

See that. The spires are already rotated wrt each other. Might have to mix up their textures a bit.

There are actually two figures walking up the left slope to the castle. I’ll try to bring them out more. Maybe add more trees to bring the tree line up to a believable level closer to the foreground tree.

Thanks for the comments.

New version with more jagged mountains, modified castle spires, and more trees.