newb render problem - model looks miniature

Hi, I’m a newb (a few months) and have been fiddling with focal lengths, atmosphere etc and just can’t seem to prevent my renders from looking like my model is a miniature. Could you suggest solutions please? Thanks


It is because of your background picture… your 3d assets need to be bigger in frame to match the reference scale of the background picture. you probably need a shorter lens & push in more

THANK YOU, I’ll try that

Need more detailed textures. Gigantic white giraffe(?) doesn’t help either, it dwarfs that building.

The awnings are textures with a burlap, the brickwork is textured - maybe the cement walls? I haven’t textured them…

Looks like the relative scales of the objects are off too. Too big: bricks in the texture, chairs, leaves on the trees. Too small/low: umbrellas. We’re really good at picking up even small deviations in relative scale. It doesn’t help that real miniature models often have the same problem.

I would suggest getting your light and shadows under control too. The sun comes from a single source very far away. This looks almost like the key light is a point light directly above the model which is causing the shadows to cast outwards rather than uniform. This gives you that look of a model as it is a model with a light-bulb over it, rather than a building out in the sun.

The other thing is color, specifically the pavement color. Whether poured concrete or asphalt, it is going to be a very rough surface, an there is no light/shadow/color information there to suggest that (i.e. it’s too uniform).

All very good points above. Also: Trees are of unusual scale, both trunk & branch diameters and leaf sizes, look like bad HO-scale pieces. Study some smaller trees to get the proportions right. The perspective of the building in the BG does not match that of the main subject at all, causing a discrepancy that weakens the image overall. Note that in the BG plate (image), even in the far distance there is a lot of variation in apparent surface textures. You need this kind of small-frequency detail in your main subject textures as well or they will tend to look miniature by comparison.

Changing the focal length of the camera helps a lot too - in fact, I believe this is the only thing you need to do to change this look of your render. You don’t have to tweak textures or anything like that, this will just make your render more realistic, not with a real-size look.

Man this is great advice. I readily admit I hurried through details in my excitement to get a decent render. The trees are low-poly from Blendswap, the BG image was hastily put together. Now I know that the render quality of the finished image is arithmetically related only to the square root of the amount of effort put in. My hat is off to those who do it well. Thanks for the advice, now to spend lots more time on it.

I’ve run into this problem before. One thing that helped me composition wise was to put the camera from a lower angle. I was working on a stair case and this helped emphasize its size. A higher angle tends to make things look smaller. That might not be feasible for your composition though.

I also personally think that more realistic textures will help bump the realism. Right now, part of the reason it looks miniature is because the textures do not strongly contribute to the believability that it is a real object. Not sure if that makes sense. The textures alone will not fix the problem - but in my opinion, simple textures contribute to the problem of 3d objects looking like “models.”

absolutely. I’ve reshot the scene from a lower angle and it helped a lot. THANKS