Nature Scene || Lake/River

Now its time for my first big Environment Scene.

Im at the Stage of Blocking everthing out and trying to achieve a Interesting Composition.

Its at the Moment just a placeholder tree quickly created with sapling addon. But the huge amount of alpha mapped Leaves makes it Render really slow. I Think I should either make the Leaves actual Geometry or research if Cycles can turn of filtering and blurring of the Alpha Map to improve Rendertimes. Ive read of this Feature on Forums of other Render Engines.

The Ground plane is exported from Sketchup where I quickly displaced it using real world height data.

I would love to hear some Feedback and/or Suggestions.


looks like a great start! I See you are focused on composition, it seems like a solid plan, although I would make sure the tree/waterline doesn’t split the image in half.

That water looks very nice. Did you use procedural textures for the shape/reflection?

One suggestion that I have would be add some land rising out of the water, which would also elevate the trees. Maybe you were planning on that, but it would affect your current composition map.

As for a focal point, you could add something rising out of the river, like a log or a river bar. It would be only a small addition, and it would get a lot of light. Maybe you could put a small fork in the river through the trees on the other side. That would allow more concentrated light around the trees in that area. Maybe a kayaker?

@ferrettank: thanks, I will try how it looks when i move the waterline down.

@Urist: yes, its just some Procedural Noise textures mixed together. Thanks for your Suggestions. I like the Idea to have a dead tree/Log as focal point, maybe with some birds on it.

I think thats better:

This looks great! What about for a focal point you add a small dock and a canoe or rowboat beside it on the bank of the middle ground?

That’s really nice. The atmosphere is already there. The line of trees and also the forest behind is maybe a little off. The tress are very much alike in their size and shape . Adding just a little more variety and maybe few holes with missing tress (the one that will be dead in the river…) will bring more realism to the scene, I think…
But it’s just my two cents. :slight_smile:

@Skymx99: Thanks for your Sugesstions, I will think about if I can incoporate them.

@albron: Thanks for your Feedback. As stated in the first post, everything is just a Placeholder for now. Modelling a whole bunch of different foliage will be the next step. But first I want to get the Atmosphere and Compostion right ;D

I agree. Something needs to be focused on here.

Did Some Testing on how to Render the Leaves faster. The Render with Modelled Leaves is the way to go for the trees in the Background. But see yourself:

Was it that much faster with translucency?

There is no transcluceny in these Tests. In the first Render its a diffuse shader mixed with transparent shader and a leave shaped mask image plugged in the fac. In the second Render its just a diffuse shader but the leaves have 8vertices instead of just a quad.

Small Update:
Improved water shader to look like dirty water and receive shadows (unlike clear water).
Note: The White Pillow is just there to test the water shader.

That is some very good water. How did you create the surface? Would love to see the nodes for this. …


The “Focus” Object is where I will put something to focus on ;D
I think the detailamount of the Tree works fine for the Middleground and Background. Now I need to make a few more.

Compositing the Mistpass turns out to be tricky because it doesnt take into account the reflecions of the Trees.
Does anyone have a Solution for this?

Nice work! Like the feeling. Looking forward to see the final result! :slight_smile:

Thanks ivaydesign :slight_smile: