Paper christmas

This was my entry for the Blender Guru Christmas competition.
Please tell me where I could improve.


Compositing here looks great. Could you share your nodes?
I think the biggest thing is just the subject. Maybe instead of newspaper you could use some prettier paper? And possibly move the paper tree closer to the camera. The composition is a little hard to see what the main focus is supposed to be. And the wall color could be more of a purple color? Idk but it doesn’t seem to help. The blurring on the picture frame and Christmas tree is really good though. And the newspaper looks realistic I think, just doesn’t make a very pretty tree.

Hi, thank you for the review.
Concerning compositing, I didn’t use nodes, its the direct output from cycles, using the cube closest to the paper tree as the focus object.
I used of course nodes for the materials, but nothing special, just UV textures and playing with difuse and glossy shaders. For the scissor blades I used a procedural noise texture and scaled it in different directions depending on the face, in order to simulate the directions of the metal tiny stripes, although in this final image it might not be perceptible (I’ll probably share the scissors model in blendswap one of these days).
For the light I have 6 circles in the roof to simulate focus lights and I used an environment colour similar to the wall since I the walls, roof and floor that are not visible were not created. I tried using them but the render time increased a lot and would need a lot more samples to reduce the speckle.

Concerning the paper, I agree that a different paper would create a nicer tree, but this clearly transmits the idea of a paper tree while other kind of paper could probably create the illusion of a plastic tree. The tree could be closer to the camera, the reason for this distance was to keep the space for the paper letters and also not to see that it is computer generated. A closeup would reveal the details of the paper balls glued to the tree and would be harder to simulate them in a realistic way.

I just don’t agree with the purple color you suggest for the wall… in my oppinion would create a strange environment.

But thanks a lot for the suggestions, I’ll take them into account in my next productions.

Main thing I see is the camera angle. I would put the camera higher, looking down more. That way paper tree, tools, and title will occupy more space. Real tree in the background don’t add too much. In fact it is competing with your paper tree.

When I saw this in the Guru thread I knew it wouldn’t win 'cause it invokes the feeling one is at the office. A cold sterile feel to it and nobody wants to think about the office at Christmas time (well most people anyway :stuck_out_tongue: ).

But, I gotta say when I first saw it I immediately liked it. Its a good render for what it is… simple idea but well executed. Throwing in the scissors, glue, and Merry Christmas helped to fill out the image. The paper tree came out looking good too and while the black & white lettering/pictures on a newspaper might not invoke warm fuzzy feelings I do think they make for an interesting texture.

Merry Christmas :cool:

(I think the guy above who made a comment about the background tree competing with the viewers attention might be right though.)

@ridix, thank you for the suggestion, you might be right. I was probably stuck on my first idea and didn’t try different angles.

@notyourbuddy, glad you liked it. it’s true it does not create a warm feeling and it would be difficult to win with all the fantastic works that were on the competition. I should have submitted it to this focused critique forum before sending the final version but only recently I started following the blenderartists forum closely.

thank you for the feedback