Naginata Dojo

Hey everyone!
I’m Alex and I’ve recently been working on a Dojo in Cycles.

Here’s what I’ve done so far.

Rendered in Cycles, 1000 samples.
Approx. 15 minutes to Render

Any feedback is welcome! I’d like you to be as harsh as possible as I want this to be perfect. If there’s even just one thing that doesn’t look quite right, I’d like to know.

I would especially like Feedback on:

  • Lighting
  • Texturing
  • Shading

I am particularly concerned about:

  • The windows on the left are particularly bright
  • The wood texture on the pillars look a bit strange

Thanks in advance!

I can’t really see the texture on the 2 right pillars (they look a bit dark). The window on the left looks fine overall it is a great scene

its ok, a little bit bland though. it needs some focus of interest to make it well, interesting! most (not all) dojos have some kind of shrine, usually dedicated to the founder of the dojo. often this will simply be a portrait with some japanese scrolls hanging on the wall with some incense burners. or it can get quite elaborate with samurai armour and other artifacts.
and some traditional wall art will make the place stand out as well

secondly its a Naginata dojo, so some actual Naginatas would be good :wink:
the Naginata is basically a sword blade on the end of a staff, but it is a different kind of blade to the Katana, being wider and more curved. the kataknas on the wall look ok but i would prefer then sheaved and on a rack rather than naked and on hooks.

the lighting you are concerened about, your concered wrongly, theyre not bright enough! the ground floor looks ok but if you boost the light from the top left windows,angled down towards the center of the room will bring a lot of life to the scene. using that light-beam effect would be ideal for this scene, and a subtle particle effect to fill the air with dust motes just to catch the light.

i cant really tell if there are texturing issues exept the swords are looking a little dull. less roughness and more gloss i think!

i’d throw in some more references but i only get three per post! maybe next time. keep it up this could be awesome once its done!

Thanks for the awesome tips! I should have done some research on Dojos and Naginatas :S

I was inspired to make this by playing a lot of ‘Shogun 2: Total War’ and that definately features Naginatas. One of my favorite units are warrior-monks that use them :slight_smile:

I’m also thinking about re-texturing the pillars to a lighter colour, do you think that’s a good idea?

i’m not sure. it might work, but see what happens when you bring the lights into the scene, that might be all you need. perhaps bring the bump value down a couple of points too before you decide to re texture.

Thanks :slight_smile: I expect that I will need to replace the texture with a brighter one but I will definately try tinkering first.

Thanks! I’ll start working on the pillars as soon as I get back on Blender. I’ll update the render with all the new stuff hopefully by the end of the day.

Updated Render


  • Lighting Angle
  • Windows on the left made transparent for light to be allowed in
  • Texture Changes (Pillars and Roof now have no bump, only displacement)
  • Some UV maps have changed
  • Material on Windows changes slightly
  • Added a shrine (probably needs work)
  • Added Naginatas and removed some Katanas
  • Katana Blade Material changed (Less Rough)

Things still to do:

  • Particle affects (and maybe volumetric lighting)
  • Put weapons on racks

Thanks for the excellent feedback so far! I’m looking forward to new critique. I’m especially hoping I got the Naginatas right. The reference images I saw didn’t show any fancy design or patterns. There were, of course, some with carvings but I imagine only high ranking Naginata Warriors and Generals would use them. For practice in a dojo, it would make sense to only use basic weapons.


Nice, the shrine works well and the lighting is better. i’m not keen on the new pillars but that may just be because the displacement is too high.
while the lighting is fine, i would try and aim it so it was illuminating the display wall. and yes the fancy, decorated naginatas would be more likly to be in the samurais quarters with their armour and stuff. the nagitana come in two sizes the ones on display are the short handled type, usually 120 cm long which looks about right, but the main ones have a handle of 240cm you could add some of the long handled type, stood upright in stands in either corner of the display wall, that would look good.
and yes difinatly some volumetric lighting!

Awesome, thanks :slight_smile:
I’ll do those things now. I’m still going to leave the volumetric lighting and the particles to the last moment because it will require BI and I don’t want to keep switching between the two for every change I make so that might take a while.

Updated Render


  • Lighting Angle
  • Added a weapon rack and moved weapons on to it
  • Added Traditional Japanese Art
  • Displacement adjustment on pillars
  • Weapons taken off pillars

Things still to do:

  • Dust particles and Volumetric Lighting
  • Additional Compositing

I’m thinking the displacement on the pillars is still quite strong. The new lighting angle really makes it show, I’m going to make it much less strong. I’m also looking at the floor with the new lighting. It looks a bit dark near the front. I don’t think it’s too much of a problem but it makes most of the bottom third look quite dark.

Thanks again for the awesome feedback :slight_smile:

yes, this looks good. i like the addition if the artwork, though i am not too convinced by the weapon rack, but i think that is because i am more used to seeing them on hanging racks or stands.
a little bit more work on the pillars, yes. and i am not sure what you could do about the forground. there is nothing really happening there so let it be. leave the eye to be drawn into the middle by the lines of the mats and the lights.

I based the rack off something I saw in a film recently :smiley:
I’ll fix the pillars and finish off with all the compositing. I’ll post the result here for the final critique. Thanks for your help :slight_smile:

Updated Render


  • Pillar Texture (colour and displacement)
  • Added Volumetric Lighting and Particles

I think I’m done! Any final feedback is welcome though.

Thanks for all your help!

just noticed, the texture on the pillars is repeating vertically, and across each of the pillars!
i would also just slightly boost the halo so its is slightly more noticeable, just a touch and perhaps increase the streangth of the light a notch too. but the pillars definatley need adjusting

I’ll get to work on that later, thanks :slight_smile:

I would say it’s a bit to symmetrical and not very interesting as it lacks a natural focus.

The mats on the floor look a little flat. The textures on the mats seems a bit wavy but the mats geometry are perfectly linear. Only a slight problem.

I can see some repetition in the wood texture on the lower walls, but I had to look pretty close. Not a big problem at this scale though, perhaps it will be more visible when you render it bigger?

I agree with what you’re saying about the mat texture and the repetition. I think I’ll leave the repetition because, like you said, it’s not obviouse and hiding it is too much effort and might take more from the scene than it adds.

As for the symmetry, it did cross my mind that the scene was symmetrical but some scenes don’t need to be un-symmetrical. I’d say this is one of them. Thanks for your advice though :slight_smile: I’ll fix the wavy textures on the mat right now.

Updated Render:


  • Particles now more powerful
  • Warmer Colour Scheme
  • New posters to hide repetitions in pillar textures
  • Pillar textures larger to hide repetition
  • Mat texture changed to a more linear one (still not perfectly linear)

I’m worried that the posters covering the repetitions on the pillar textures are too much. I’m also worried that the textures on the pillars are now too large.

cheat, lol
yes the scrolls are too much, except, keep the scrolls on the shrine pillars. and if possible, (i dont know if they are connected to anything) just rotate the pillars so they are showing different parts of the texture. the only reason that the repetition became noticable was because you had it on all four pillars the same (and i had been scrutinising it for a while).

they particles might be too big now and too many, at this scale, they are almost little snowflakes :smiley:

i like the added warmth, subtle, but it makes a difference